The recognition phase of capture may seem to be the most important step relevant to automated indexing – since it is, after all, the phase where OCR is performed. But at least half of the factors relevant to successful indexing occur during the pre-recognition steps, particularly in obtaining appropriate image quality for OCR and indexing.
I found the latest research paper from AIIM “Winning the Paper Wars – capture the content and mobilize the process troops.” to be an interesting read, especially since I have seen many of the points discussed when working with our customers—specifically with growth areas in mobile capture, OCR, BPM/Workflow and AP/AR processes.
I am happy to say that the report addressed not just scanning paper records but also looked at the hundreds/ thousands of external paper documents that flow into a company every day.
At ImageSource we help address capture via ILINX Capture® Many of our customers have experienced progress towards “paper-free processes” and are achieving payback of their investment. If you are looking at addressing some of the issues that were discussed in the report – feel free to reach out to ImageSource…or me…
Inside Sales Account Executive
Does your organization waste valuable time and resources to manually prep documents? Are you tired of manually typing in data which oftentimes isn’t inputted accurately and error-free? If you want to venture away from these tedious slow processes, there are solutions out there! Advanced capture technologies will streamline and automate the transformation of documents into structured electronic information for your business processes.
Accounts Payable is a document intense department with complicated workflows and approval processes. Although our world today is going digital, AP departments are still bogged down by a majority of documents (purchase orders, invoices and supporting documentation) coming in paper form followed by manual routing and approval processes, keyed data entry to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and the physical filing and storage of documents.
While ERP systems handle the information they are designed to process very well, they do not have the capacity to manage data and images simultaneously or perform complicated workflows. By automating the entire AP process organizations can reduce labor requirements, lessen storage costs, decrease late fees, increase early pay discounts and improve vendor satisfaction. And because Accounts Payable touches almost every department it is a great launch pad for ECM technology providing a large impact on the organizational business processes and substantial ROI.
ImageSource is an ECM integrator with vast experience implementing Accounts Payable Solutions and an industry leader in implementing the Oracle 11g technology. Most recently we completed a project for a large manufacturing company integrating Oracle 11g ECM technology with the Accounts Payable system, Oracle Enterprise Business Suite. As a manufacturer poised for growth due to multiple acquisitions, they were looking for a solution that could handle the increase in invoices without increasing staff.
With Oracle EBS already in place, Oracle 11g was the perfect ECM solution. Oracle’s Solution Accelerator enables such a tightly coupled integration that it makes the two technologies ideal for integration. The result is an Accounts Payable system that has provided an efficient system for imaging, processing and viewing documents related to AP with a reduction in overall labor.
The manufacturer receives over 8,000 invoices a month, 80% in paper form and the other 20% through email and fax. All are now processed by Oracle Document Capture and Oracle Forms Recognition (OFR) when received. Oracle Document Capture scans the document and Oracle Forms Recognition automatically extracts relevant data and does some basic validation. The document is then automatically sent to Oracle ECM for more validation and storing of the image. Due to the sophisticated logic with code and BPEL workflows, the system performs all kinds of checks, and is able to move information from Oracle ECM to Oracle EBS without human assistance. Knowledge workers can stay in their familiar EBS system and reference any invoice they need by clicking on the recognizable paper-clip. EBS pushes the parameters to the ECM repository and brings back the search results in a web link.
The ease of processing invoices has been improved dramatically. What used to be a manual process of keying in information is now completely automated. The only time an invoice needs any type of processing, barring exceptions, is the physical act of scanning it in. After it’s scanned the Oracle OCR technology adds the appropriate index fields and the Solution Accelerator automatically moves it through the system for validation and storage until it is available to view through Oracle EBS.
Times are changing now, and there are demands for student portals, integrations with Student Information Systems, the ability to capture electronic transmissions, the need for extensive workflows, and quite frankly, the ability to work more efficiently. More work has to be completed by less people. In most cases, staffing levels have been reduced.
The problem is, most systems currently installed in these institutions were built by Hershey, ImageNow, Nolij and other client server technology software manufacturers, and were built for specific purposes, primarily to eliminate space.
However, In order to meet the demands for campus-wide ECM solutions, there is a need to move from client server platforms into true n-tier architecture products, where standard document imaging has been integrated with Web Content Management, where records management and digital asset management is all part of a suite of products. Content needs to be ingested at the beginning of the process and pushed to knowledge workers.
In today’s world, content is not about scanned pieces of paper, it is not about bar code indexing, or OCR technology. Universities are demanding products that are versatile and can be supported by a light IT staff. The cost to repeatedly introduce an RFP for every IT need has been realized. The requirements now set forth in an RFP for content management solutions far surpasses the ability of the traditional scan, store retrieve systems of old.
The new technologies available in Enterprise Content Management platforms will be demonstrated at the ACCRAO conference in Seattle, the 14th through 16th of March. At booth 106, you will see how a student portal will work. At the ImageSource presentation Tuesday evening at 5pm, you will see the inner working of the system designed for San Jose State University, due to go live early spring.
Chief Solutions Officer
As with any new job there is a learning curve- learning about the industry, specific products and just how things are run. Having come from outside the ECM industry, I expected my first few months at ImageSource to be a huge learning curve. No one could have prepared me for how big that learning curve, or rather mountain, was going to be.
I thought that the biggest challenge for me was going to be understanding the variety of products available and technical aspects of them. I could not have been more wrong. While the products and technical foundation are complex, there was a whole other mountain that I needed to conquer before I could even begin to understand what it is we do.
Those of you in the ECM know what I’m talking about. ECM, BPM, OCR, EMR…I could go on for days!
I remember on my second day of work someone tried to explain to me what was going on with one of our cutomers, “client XYZ is upgrading from IBPM 10g to IPM 11g and their AP department needs an ECM solution implemented.”
I nodded in agreement, like I knew what I was talking about. In my head I really was thinking…WOAH! Who needs a what now?? Are 10g and 11g a type of car? Since when do we deal with cars? I thought we were a tech company…
A few more conversations like this and I quickly realized that I had a new challenge in front of me- learning all of the acronyms.
I used to think that the military had a lot of acronyms, but I think that the ECM industry could give them a run for their money. There are so many industry specific acronyms. The tricky part is that they are constantly changing, new acronyms are being created and that there are a number of acronyms that can mean the same thing.
To keep on top of all the acronyms I heard people using all day long I started a list. It started on a Post-it and has now grown into three pages front and back of a legal pad. I am constantly adding to the list and looking up new ones too.
I still don’t always know what people are talking about. If you look at the top of my notes from meetings, I have all kinds of three-letter acronyms written across it.
How do you handle all of the acronyms? What is your secret? How do you keep up with the ever-changing and growing list of ECM acronyms?
Apparently I’m not the only one clueless about them either…
Check out our own Ruben Kerson at Nexus ’10 asking people what ECM is!
I know I’m not the only person this has happened to. You have a friend, loved one or even a stranger ask you what you do for a living or what industry you work in. What I’ve found is that being in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) space sometimes makes it difficult to describe what ECM is exactly (in plain English).
My grandma has asked me at least five times what exactly I do and more specifically, what the industry is about, and the dialogue goes something like this:
Grandma: “So Kristina, what exactly does your company do? I know you’ve told me before, but I can’t really remember.”
Kristina: “We are an enterprise content management solutions provider, an integrator and we have our own line of products called ILINX®. We also have this really cool conference every year called Nexus® with presenters, networking time, a vendor expo, etc.”
At this point, my grandma is just staring at me, blankly.
Grandma: “Um, so what does that mean?”
Kristina: “It basically just means we help people try to automate their business processes by scanning in documents, implementing automated workflows, utilizing capture software, storing information in electronic databases, things like that.”
My grandma’s eyes are beginning to glaze over…
Kristina: “In a nutshell, grandma, we help businesses become more efficient and more paper-conscious.”
After being in this industry for a few years, living and breathing it every day, I can sometimes easily forget that others don’t understand what capture is, how workflows come together, or why you’d ever need to get rid of fax machines and paper. They don’t throw acronyms around like OCR, BPM and ERM, which have become part of my everyday language.
I am glad my grandma isn’t the only person who doesn’t know or understand what ECM is. Check out this awesome video played at Nexus ’10 this year where people were asked to answer the question, What is ECM?
My grandparents just mastered text messaging. I’ll continue to work on a good description of my industry that doesn’t make my grandma ask me the question every time she sees me, “Kristina, what does your company do again?”