How do you get data into the cloud? If you're lucky, the information is "born digital" and can be easily uploaded to cloud storage. But in a world that has not yet gone totally paperless, demand persists for solutions that seamlessly transform ink-and-paper data into cloud-friendly bits. Starting this week, Fenestrae hopes to take advantage of this market with a new cloud-based scanning service called Udocx for Microsoft (MSFT) Sharepoint and Office 365 storage.

Fenestrae, which was founded in 1990 and operates out of The Hague, delivers communications products and services to an international market. The company engages extensively with resellers and has an especially strong channel presence around Microsoft products, including Exchange and Sharepoint, as well as ERP and CRM providers.

Fenestrae's core focus has been on fax and mobile messaging. With Udocx, however, the company is branching out to into the office automation and cloud-storage world. The solution allows enterprises to use existing hardware devices to scan documents and upload them automatically into Microsoft SharePoint or Office 365.

Udocx diagram

Such a service may not be too original on its own, but Fenestrae adds the key feature of automated optical character recognition (OCR) to the process, which makes the documents digitally searchable. The service also indexes the scanned files and adds metadata to simplify archiving and retrieval. The documents are stored in PDF/A format.

In theory, providing a service that uploads paper documents to the cloud is a little like automating beeper messages to forward to smartphones. Demand is almost certain to decrease over time, as the amount of paper data in enterprises grows ever slimmer. Still, it's a safe bet that, despite myriad campaigns to go paperless, paper-based data will be around for a while to come—much longer, at any rate, than pagers, whatever Liz Lemon's sometime-boyfriend may have believed. Integrating legacy technology and storage with the cloud therefore makes a lot of sense.