Best strategies to OCR scanned documents for SharePoint Online

"OCR Strategies for SharePoint Online" on an image of a young black woman working at a computer

We often get asked about the best strategies to OCR scanned documents to SharePoint Online. So to be as transparent as possible, we want to share our answers with you here.

Firstly, what is OCR? It stands for Optical Character Recognition; it’s a process used to convert images (such as scanned documents) into machine-readable documents by adding a text layer. This is hugely valuable as SharePoint indexes this text layer making the inner contents of the document searchable. This enables enterprise-wide discovery and the extraction of data when you need it.  

When deciding on the best OCR strategy for scanned documents, it boils down to two key KPIs that you’re aiming for: 

  1. Quality of the OCR results 
  2. Cost efficiency of the process 

Quality of the OCR results  

If you don’t research, there might be options that don’t hit the mark. However, with top providers such as Encodian, comparing quality is like ‘splitting hairs’ (if you’re familiar with the saying).

Look for your expected performance capabilities, such as:

  • image cleanup
  • deskew
  • despeckle
  • adjust brightness
  • adjust contrast
  • remove border
  • rotate
  • rotate confidence level
  • and similar.

Top providers will likely be using the same or similar technology engines behind the scenes that have been integrated into their solutions.  

Our advice would be to go out there and validate your results. That’s why Encodian provides free trials for Indxr and Flowr. We also offer free plans across most of our products as well!

Unfortunately, there simply is a limit to the success you can achieve with poor-quality images or handwriting. Some solutions, such as Microsoft Syntex, may yield improved results. Just note you’ll be journeying into a realm of higher costs which will need justification. So if this is a must for your OCR projects, reach out to us here. 👈

Cost efficiency of the process  

OCR is a comparatively expensive process to execute in the cloud versus other document manipulation processes such as conversion, merging, resizing and others. That’s why despite Encodian having Flowr, the market-leading document process automation Power Automate connector with the capability to Automatically OCR Documents added to a SharePoint Library, we still decided to build Indxr as well as build in native OCR capabilities in our Filer product.  

Why does Encodian offer three OCR products? 

Indxr is our flagship OCR solution for high volumes of documents. We built it purely to offer you a cost-efficient route to achieve this. We did this by designing it to run locally on a desktop, laptop or VM, which removes the need to send documents to the cloud and cuts out that additional expense. This way, we provide you with a fixed price for unlimited users and usage to OCR as many documents in SharePoint Online as you wish.  

Often the strategy for companies during a large document scanning or file migration project is to procure Indxr for a chosen period of time (a few months or a year) to overcome their initial high volume requirement. From there, you can judge if you can transition to a solution like Flowr to OCR as you go. Flowr automates the OCRing of lower volumes of documents as you upload to your SharePoint environment or when you trigger it for specific documents.  

We have helped you to reduce costs with Flowr too. Our ‘Get PDF Text Layer’ or various ‘Split’ actions can be used to first, check if a text layer already exists not to repeat the work, and then split documents if you only need to OCR specific pages to save Actions.  

Filer customers get the perk that all documents are automatically OCR’d upon ingestion. 😉 

We hope this blog gave you a helpful steer.  

We talk about OCR all the time, so if you’d like to discuss your requirements with us further, please do reach out!

MVP-exclusive event!

MVP-only event - Tavern Inn

After a long day at the MVP Summit, you’ll want to kick back and relax. So if you’re a Business Applications or M365 Apps & Services Microsoft MVP, you’re invited to a casual get-together with food, drink, and friendly faces.  

Click the link below to add yourself to the waiting list! Food and drink will be provided. 

👉 Sign up for the event 


This event has been put on by Encodian! We are an award-winning Microsoft Partner with a suite of products and services. Scroll for more about us!


This evening is intended for you to get to know other MVPs in a casual setting and learn more about products you can access for free as an MVP, but above all… have a great evening! 

We will also be running a competition to win a Microsoft expert Thule laptop backpack! Simply, sign up to our Partner Programme and post a selfie from the event with the hashtag #EncodianAfterParty 


Wednesday, April 19th, from 8 pm until late! There’s no stuffy agenda, so turn up and chat whenever you’re ready. 


The event will be held at Tavern Hall. A great place for casual networking! 


505 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, Washington 98004 

 If you’re the designated driver, the best parking place is in the garage connected to the building. There is valet parking on the ground floor and 6 total floors of parking in the garage.  You can enter the garage from Bellevue Way (heading southbound right after you cross NE 8th) and NE 8th (heading eastbound, just before Bellevue Way). 


If you’d like to attend, you need to click the link below. Using your promo code, you can add yourself to a waiting list. This waiting list is designed to allow us to check if you’re a Business Application or M365 Apps & Services MVP, so once you’re confirmed, we’ll ask you to claim your ticket!

Click the link below to get your free ticket! Food and drink will be provided. 

👉 Sign up for the event  

Don’t have a promo code? Get in touch!

Not attending the MVP Summit?  

Don’t worry! If you’re an MVO, you can still sign up for our Partner Programme to be in with a chance to win one of 10 Microsoft Expert Thule bags. You won’t be able to post a selfie, so instead, comment on or share our latest LinkedIn or Twitter post and use the hashtag #ImAnMVP 

👉 Sign up for the Partnership Programme!  

More information about Encodian 

Encodian is a multi-award-winning Microsoft Partner with proven expertise in helping businesses of all sizes maximise their investments in Microsoft 365, SharePoint, Power Automate, PowerApps and Azure. 

Encodian’s Partnership Programme 

Not only will you get access to free product licensing worth $10,000, but you can also access free training and commissions on sales. 

Included SaaS Products 

Our Standard Power Automate Connector 

Our market-leading Standard Power Automate Connector provides enhanced document and image management actions covering format conversion, merging, data extraction, securing, splitting, watermarking, OCR + more. 

Deploy flows across SharePoint 

Make Power Automate Flows available across multiple and targeted SharePoint Online sites. This is possible via a SharePoint Framework (SPFx) Extension; users can access Flows from within SharePoint Online libraries and lists. 

Convert SharePoint documents 

Convert and merge 70+ common file formats to PDF with Encodian Vertr, our cloud-hosted SharePoint Online app. Vertr is integrated into both classic and modern library experiences, enabling users to quickly convert to, merge to, watermark and secure PDF documents. 

OCR your PDF documents 

Apply Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to your PDF documents within SharePoint Online. 


Revenue Streams 

Earn commission for yourself or your business with each sale of Encodian products you support.  


Free Training Resources 

Enable your team with free training from M365 experts, architects and developers. 


Official Partner Badge 

Who doesn’t love a badge? Show that you can deliver more than just the out-of-the-box solutions for M365 by having the official Encodian Partner badge on your website. 


Can’t wait for the 19th to sign up? 

👉 Sign up for the Partnership Programme! 


Implementing an EDRMS for Local Government using SharePoint

SharePoint EDRM for Local Govements

Most local and regional government organisations have 1,000s of employees working across a diverse range of services and departments.  

Microsoft 365 is a prevalent platform providing core digital services covering authentication, email, chat, voice automation and document management. Many organisations are now driving consolidation to Microsoft 365 services across their IT portfolio, not only because this reduces overall IT spending but it simplifies information security and compliance with regulatory obligations.  

However, a commonplace challenge is that delivering an EDRMS which provides regulatory compliance and feature parity with a traditional EDRMS is just not achievable with Microsoft’s document management service provided by SharePoint Online out of the box. Thus, delivering consolidation and realising the associated benefits is challenging.  

We designed Filer with several public bodies specifically to tackle these challenges, enabling local and regional government organisations to implement a native Microsoft 365 / SharePoint Online EDRMS, which is highly configurable and can address the requirements of various services whilst aligning to a Cloud-first strategy.  

Filer is delivered on top of SharePoint Online. So your data resides in SharePoint Online. This ensures data management and security can be managed centrally through Microsoft 365. Furthermore, Filer’s supporting infrastructure is hosted in your Microsoft Azure tenant, allowing full compliance with data residency requirements. 

There are numerous benefits to this approach: 

  • All data stored in Microsoft 365 services 
  • Centralised data security and compliance  
  • Consistent and familiar user interface 
  • De-commissioning of on-premises infrastructure and legacy EDRMS 
  • Reduced software licence and maintenance costs 
  • Cloud-first modern technology platform 
  • Seamless integration with all Microsoft 365 services (Power Platform) 
  • Digitise paper stores and paper-centric solutions 

Filer is suited explicitly to providing digital ‘case files’ integrated with Line of Business systems (e.g. Liquid Logic). The intuitive case file viewer eases adoption and simplifies change management processes.  

Filer’s open API allows for simplified and standards-based systems integration and natively supports industry-standard document scanning technology for delivering end-to-end digital solutions. We also work with a host of scanning partners who can review, process, classify and ingest paper documents directly into Filer. 

Together with Councils / Local Authorities, we configure Filer by their Information Governance Policy and statutory and legislative requirements. We create the Information Architecture to ensure the system is configured with the correct metadata, classification structure, access types, and demographic information to suit the need of the department (e.g. Green Claims, Adults Social Care Services, Children’s Social Care Services, and more).  

To see what benefits Filer can bring or how to adopt an M365 native EDRM solution, please get in touch with us. 

Apply for 25% off Encodian Professional Services

Encodian Professional Services

Did you know we are a professional services organisation?

Encodian is an award-winning professional services Microsoft Partner, here to deliver digital transformation for your organisation through modern workplaces.

We utilise the core collaboration, productivity and automation offerings from Microsoft Office 365: SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, Power Automate and Power Apps.

Working with over 25,000 organisations worldwide through our products and services, we provide end-to-end professional services, including analysis, design, development, implementation and support.

We’ll collaborate with you to find the right solution for your company’s needs, whether that involves outsourcing or building your internal centre of excellence.

Delivering Business Solutions powered by the Power Platform

We offer services across the entire Power Platform suite, from ideation, design and build, to training, support and building a Centre of Excellence.

The Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Platform Centre of Excellence, Power Pages, Power Virtual Agents)

The PowerUp Fund for SharePoint and Power Platform projects

To kick start 2023, we’ve launched our first commercial incentive programme for our new and existing customers. We’ll work with you to complete a comprehensive and detailed Analysis and Design phase, understanding your business requirements before offering a 25% discount on any Professional Services fees to implement your solution.

  • Free Analysis and Design
  • 25% off Implementation costs
  • Free 180-day Warranty Service

*subject to terms and conditions.

Delivering business solutions powered by Microsoft

Share and manage content – empower teamwork and seamlessly collaborate across the organisation with Microsoft Teams.

Migrate from legacy file shares to provide rich, co-authoring and secure collaboration experiences with Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive.

Engage and inform your organization with a SharePoint Intranet powered by Viva Connections.

Take control of enterprise information, assuring regulatory compliance without impacting operational collaboration with Microsoft Purview.

Creating an Employee Experience with Microsoft Viva.

Use advanced content artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide an end-to-end intelligent document processing solution for your organisation with Microsoft Syntex.

👉 Speak to us today to discuss your Document Management and Employee Experience requirements.

Value-Added Services

Our value-added services complement all our services.

We provide support and managed services covering all aspects of Microsoft 365. We also cover supporting infrastructure such as Azure and on-premises components, providing a single support service for your Microsoft 365 tenant or specific Microsoft 365 solutions.

Ready to PowerUp?

Want more information about the Encodian PowerUp Fund?

👉 Apply and view T&Cs for the PowerUp Fund

PowerUp Fund Offer: free analysis and design, 25% off implementation costs, free 180-day warranty service

Encodian PowerUp Fund for SharePoint and Power Platform Projects

PowerUp Fund Offer: free analysis and design, 25% off implementation costs, free 180-day warranty service

If you want to start a SharePoint or Power Platform project in the next few months, you’re in the right place, especially if you want to save money whilst not compromising on quality. So, get ready to PowerUp!

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Encodian PowerUp Fund. The Fund is a new funding stream offering free analysis and design services to help organisations kick-start their 2023 SharePoint and Power Platform projects.

The Fund reduces the risk and cost of your projects, helping you to progress your business case faster.

What do I get with the PowerUp Fund?

  • Free Analysis and Design
  • 25% off Implementation costs
  • Free 180-day Warranty Service

Who are Encodian?

Encodian is an award-winning Microsoft partner specialising in SharePoint and Power Platform projects.

We have over 25,000 organisations using our products or services, and offer end-to-end flexible consultancy services, from analysis and design to delivery and ongoing support.

So, whether your ambition is to outsource delivery or build your internal centre of excellence, we’ll work with you to complete your goals.

First come, first served

The PowerUp Fund is awarded on a first come, first served basis. Upon submission of your application, we will be in touch within two working days to confirm your application.

Does my project qualify?

  • Your application must be received by 31st March 2023.
  • Your project must begin within 12 weeks of Fund acceptance.
  • Your project must be in excess of 10-Days.
  • Your project must relate to SharePoint and Power Platform solutions.

Please refer to our T&Cs for full details below.


  • This offer is available to new and existing customers.
  • This offer is available for new engagements only.
  • This offer is available between 1st January 2023 and 31st March 2023, or until the Fund has been depleted.
  • This offer applies to Professional Services Consultancy only, and excludes training.
  • This offer excludes funding of Project Management fees.
  • This offer of the free Analysis and Design phase is capped at 5 days maximum.
  • This offer is valid for signed agreements between 1st Jan – 31st March.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

How do I apply?

There aren’t any arduous bids to fill out or reams of questions to answer. To apply for the Encodian PowerUp Fund, you simply have to fill out a quick Microsoft Form. It shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes!

👉 Apply today! 👈

The Best Standard Power Automate Connectors for 2023

A common theme throughout our blogs is the growing adoption of automation for workflow management, for obvious reasons! It’s becoming easier to use, much faster and better than ever. But that doesn’t mean it’s as accessible as it could be. Microsoft’s Power Automate alone has hundreds of connectors, so figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. But we’ve done our homework, so here is our list of the best Standard Power Automate Connectors for 2023.

SharePoint Connector

If you’re using Power Automate, you probably use SharePoint for document management. SharePoint is excellent for collaborative work, especially in this age of remote working.

SharePoint has a great list of Triggers, from When an item is created to When a File is classified by a Microsoft Syntex model, so you can be sure your automations start precisely when you want them to. Used in conjunction with many of the other Connectors in this list, the functionality this connector offers is massive. Using the SharePoint Connector is a no-brainer if you have a business process related to SharePoint.

Example use cases

  • Alert someone when a critical file has been modified
  • Create an approval workflow that doesn’t rely on a lengthy email chain
  • Move a file from one place to another

Microsoft Forms Connector

If you use Microsoft Forms to collect data, using the Microsoft Forms Connector can save you so much time by avoiding manual tasks.

Using the trigger When a new response is submitted, various processes can be sped up without human intervention.

Example use cases

  • Create notifications via email or Teams after a form submission
  • Convert and save a recipient’s responses in a PDF for easy access
  • Collate and extract data from Microsoft Forms for Excel

Outlook Connector

With over 500 million users, Outlook is one of the most utilised email systems in the world. But for many people, emails are the bane of their working lives. Automating business processes tends to mean fewer emails in your inbox for various reasons; for one, you don’t have to chase up people to do something that’s already been done automatically! But other ways can ease your Outlook usage, such as by using the trigger When a new email arrives. 

Arguably, the most efficient and effective users of email systems are those that Inbox Zero. An integral part of this is having automation doing a lot of the heavy lifting (and sorting), so you don’t have to check every time you hear that noise. This is something Power Automate can do for you with the Outlook Connector!

Example use cases

  • Save attachments from emails into specific folders
  • Set daily reminders when to check your emails
  • Block your Outlook calendar for an hour when you need some time for deep work

Approvals Connector

Approving a piece of work or a document can be an arduous process. The tricky bit isn’t usually the amendments or even creating the document itself. It’s the people admin: asking people for approvals, chasing them up, asking for notes, ensuring their notes have been taken on board, etc.

So by taking away that stress and having an efficient and consistent approval process across your company, Approvals Connector is a game changer. 

Example use cases

  • Start approval when a new file is added to a specific folder in SharePoint
  • Request manager approval for leave request
  • Start approval when a response is submitted in Microsoft Forms

OneDrive for Business Connector

Both SharePoint and OneDrive offer an online space to access files. But whilst SharePoint is generally used for document management and communication, OneDrive is a cloud storage system for creating online file backups. So if you want extra protection against data loss, OneDrive is a great way to do it. And by automating your backing-up with the OneDrive for Business Connector, it’s one less thing to worry about.

Example use case

  • Copy files between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint
  • Send specific files created in OneDrive as email attachments
  • Convert a OneDrive file to PDF using Encodian Flowr

Encodian Flowr Connector

The Encodian Flowr Connector is one of the most potent Standard Connectors on the market. So much so that many people question why it’s not a Premium Connector! With over 80 actions available, Flowr offers enhanced document and image management, including format conversion, merging, data extraction, securing, splitting, watermarking, OCR and more. So if you have an administrative task you’d like to automate, Flowr is your one-stop-shop for media manipulation.

Although household names like Sony and Heineken (to name a couple) take advantage of Flowr’s extensive functionality, it’s for more than just Enterprise-level use. Encodian is dedicated to bringing automation to the masses and making it accessible to everyone, even offering a free plan and a generous one-month free trial. So if you’re ready to supercharge Power Automate, the Encodian Flowr Connector is a must-have.

A few of Encodian Flowr’s actions:

  • Format conversion, e.g. HTML to Word
  • Merge document array to PDF
  • OCR PDF documents
  • Search and replace text
  • Populate Word Document
  • Add watermark
  • Compress images
  • Parse CSV
  • Create QR code
  • Search text – Regex

For a complete list of Flowr’s Actions, check out our Flowr product page.

👉 Start your free trial of Flowr today! 👈


If you already have the Encodian Flowr connector, you can also trial Trigr for free. Trigr is a way to centralise flow management and allows admins to push a flow to multiple SharePoint sites, libraries and lists – avoiding the one-to-one challenge with out-of-the-box Power Automate. It also makes automating so much more accessible companywide by allowing end users to trigger your flows simply by clicking a button within SharePoint.

Of course, we also use grouped actions in many of our flows: ControlVariable and Data Operation. So if you want to know more about those, keep an eye out for a future article!

Everyone has to decide which Power Automate Connectors they feel most comfortable with. But this list is a great place to start! And if you still need to use Flowr to supercharge Power Automate, why not start your free trial today?