Dynamics, Ephesoft & Flow: Document Driven Intelligent Automation

ERP Document Automation

Using Unstructured Content to Drive Efficiency in ERP/CRM Systems

Let’s face it, manual data entry is an efficiency killer.   And in the world of ERP and CRM systems, the amount of data required to properly create an entity (Accounts, Contacts, Agreements, Work Orders, Scheduling, Tasks, etc.) can be mind numbing.   Manual data entry is a distraction from more important work, and is often accomplished in a rushed, “just get it done” state.  This leads to errors and skipped fields that can be important to an organization’s analytics and data strategy.  How many important fields in your own system are blank?  Are records properly related?  Automating these mundane tasks has 3 core benefits:

  1. Standardization – using automated technology provides a standardized process, where business rules are applied to every instance, and exceptions can be handled in a rapid manner.
  2. Repeatable – automation creates a repeatable process that can be accomplished any time, any where, regardless of how it is initiated, or the source of the process.
  3. Efficiency – creating an automated process improves overall turnaround time, creates efficiency in business and reduces errors (See more on the true impact of errors here: 1-10-100: The True Cost of Errors.

In a recent study by CapGemini, 86% of respondents agreed that process automation can reduce costs and risk, and aids in compliance. 89% believed that using process automation increases the quality of work.  So we know the downside of manual entry, and we know the upside of automation.  What is the shortest path to a solution?  I would argue documents.

In the demo video below, I use a signed agreement (In the form of a PDF), to drive automation.  The solution uses Ephesoft to classify the agreement type and extract all the pertinent data.  It then uses a combination of Microsoft SharePoint and Flow to facilitate the auto-creation of Dynamics CRM entities, with zero manual data entry.  You can watch the overview and video below:

 

This is just a sample of how the technology can work for you.  Comments?

Unstructured Data and the Cloud: The Benefits of Capture as a Service

Document Capture & Analytics in the Cloud

We launched the first fully functional Capture as a Service (CaaS) offering in Microsoft Azure this week at the Microsoft Inspire Partner Conference.  We were helped along the way by one of our larger partners, that had high demand for Capture as a Service, and we were seeing more and more requests for the intelligent processing of unstructured data in the Cloud.   Below are some core benefits of our cloud offering:

Cloud OCR Services

Time to Value – On-premise software implementations can be a long-term journey and require additional budget for hardware, IT resource time and long budget cycles for capital expenditure approvals.  With the Ephesoft Transact Cloud, your time to value is minimized and your intelligent capture platform can be up and running in a fraction of the time.  Want to see how you can calculate a quick ROI on CaaS?  See our recorded webinar here: The Ephesoft Effect

 

Cloud Scanning Services

Cost of Ownership – Software as a Service (SaaS) reduces the overall solution cost of ownership by including support, and eliminating the need for hardware, backups, monitoring, dedicated administration and overall management.  By including these costs in one recurring fee, complexity and overhead are reduced, and IT spend becomes more predictable.

 

Competitiveness – No longer is intelligent document capture only for large organizations Cloud Document Data Extractionwith an army of IT folks.  Now smaller organizations can have access to enterprise-class technology, and glean the all the advantages and efficiency to stay competitive, and challenge their larger rivals.

 

Gartner estimates that the annual cost of owning and managing software applications can be as much as four times the cost of the initial purchase.

 

SDK and APIs For Cloud Scanning and CaptureAccess to Innovation – with SaaS, access to the latest and greatest software is included.  As Ephesoft improves its processing engine, you can immediately take advantage of the added efficiency.   Your subscription provides continuous value, and appreciates over time as more features and functionality are added.

 

Azure OCR ServicesScalability and Agility – the Ephesoft Transact Cloud is built for maximum scalability and agility.  You can easily add more cores, features and processing power, depending on your requirements and needs.  You can start small, and grow with our flexible subscription model.

 

Cloud Document AnalyticsCapture Anywhere – with the Ephesoft Cloud provides intelligent document capture anywhere, on any device.  You can automate document processes with a browser, a smart phone or a tablet.  This allows todays distributed workforce to access all the benefits Ephesoft can provide.

 

Read more on our offering in the Cloud here:  Unlocking Unstructured Data: Document Capture, OCR and Scanning in the Cloud

 

AP Invoice Processing ROI & Value

Invoice Capture and OCR

Scanning and Capturing Invoices: Justifying AP Solution Costs

We had a great webinar this past week, all about using the efficiency and automation in Ephesoft to drive reduction in errors, and cost savings.   This rings especially true in the complex, unstructured world of invoice scanning and capture as it relates to software.  See the webinar below:

 

 

Using Ephesoft to Add Intelligent Automation to Microsoft Technologies

OCR and Automation for SharePoint

Ephesoft Automation for SharePoint, Azure, BI, Flow and Dynamics

We are ramping up our team for the Microsoft Inspire Conference (Booth 1237) in Washington, DC in a few weeks (July 9-13), and I thought I would put together some ideas on Microsoft Classificationthe power of Ephesoft technology when combined with Microsoft technologies.  We have been working with several Microsoft Teams (Azure, SharePoint, Flow) to bring solutions to market, and provide extensive document-centric solutions to their partner and customer ecosystem.  So how do we fit?  I will outline a quick primer.

 

Just Who Is Ephesoft?

Ephesoft was founded in 2010 by leaders from the document capture industry that wanted to drive innovation and disrupt the legacy document automation space.  The company has shown explosive growth through its unique perspective on taming unstructured content using patented complex analytics and machine learning.   Its technology has garnered broad interest, and investment from top-tier firms like Fujitsu and In-Q-Tel.

Just What Does Ephesoft Technology Do?

At the heart of Ephesoft Technology is an engine that provides automated document classification and data extraction.  Feed it documents from any source (fax, scanners, copiers, folders, legacy ECM systems, mobile devices, repositories) and it will do all the heavy lifting –  sorting, separating, classifying and getting you the data you need to drive efficiency, productivity, automation and decision-making with minimal end-user intervention.  Providing SaaS and PaaS solutions, and available on premise or in the cloud, the Ephesoft platform can provide great value to any size organization.  Ephesoft has two products:

Ephesoft Transact – a transaction document capture platform for day-to-day document processing.

Ephesoft Insight – a document analytics platform for ingesting large volumes of existing unstructured content and extracting meaning.

How Does Ephesoft Fit With Microsoft?

Think of Ephesoft as an added intelligent document automation layer that can be placed on top of other technologies as a catalyst for automation.  Below is a list of core technologies from Microsoft, and how Ephesoft can fit from a business perspective.

Microsoft SharePoint and Ephesoft

With SharePoint, Ephesoft Transact can be an intelligent on ramp for documents into SharePoint libraries.   As a front end loader, Transact can auto-identify and route documents from just about any source, and make sure they wind up in the right library, as a searchable PDF, with all the important metadata extracted.   It provides a standardized, repeatable process for adding any type of document to Microsoft SharePoint.

With Ephesoft Insight, SharePoint libraries can now be consumed and leveraged for Document Analytics.  Insight provides the “document side” of the analytics equation.

You can get more information here:

Ephesoft/SharePoint Integration

Email Classification with SharePoint

Microsoft Flow and Ephesoft

Utilizing Ephesoft Web Services in the cloud, you can add intelligence to any Microsoft Flow workflow.   Using the classification or extraction services, you can use Ephesoft Transact technology to “open up” documents mid-process, and make workflow branching decisions based on what you find.   An example of a Flow use case here:

Ephesoft and Microsoft Flow with SharePoint Online

Scanning to Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Dynamics and Ephesoft

ERP and Accounting systems can leverage the power of Ephesoft in many different ways.  As a processing engine, Ephesoft Transact can extract information from critical documents, like invoices or sales orders, and pass the information on to Dynamics.  No longer will employees have to hand key information, and waste precious time.  Along with time savings, data entry errors can now be eliminated through Ephesoft Transact’s validation and exception processing capabilities.  More info:

Ephesoft Accounting ERP Solutions

Microsoft Azure and Ephesoft

Document capture and automation is a great fit for the cloud.  Ephesoft’s web-based technology and RESTful APIs are cloud ready, and are available in Microsoft Azure.  As a Cloud Infrastructure partner, Ephesoft has worked diligently to insure compatibility with Azure, and also to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer from a scalability and availability perspective.  Read more on Ephesoft’s cloud platform:

Ephesoft Capture in the Cloud

This is just a short list of possibilities.  Ephesoft’s products are built for partners, and have an open architecture to facilitate the building of portable solutions to add value and drive revenue.  Come see  us at Inspire (Booth 1237), or reach out to us directly for more information: Contact Us.

 

The Benefits of Modern Intelligent Capture

Digital Transformation Platform = True Value

Our marketing department has been putting together some great resources on the advantages of a true, modern digital transformation platform when it comes to document processing.  Below are some snapshots from the new collateral.

OCR web services and data extraction
Benefits of a Modern Capture and OCR Platform
Digital Web Services for Automation
Value of Ephesoft’s Digital Platform

Digital Transformation Platform: Accelerating Transformation with Web Services

OCR API Web Services

The Value of Document Capture Web Service APIs

The Ephesoft Web Service APIs provide a valuable set of document capture, classification, extraction and OCR micro-services to “capture enable”” any application.  Need a searchable PDF?  Want to identify a type of document?  Want to extract or validate metadata?

We are seeing a movement in the market where customers want to leverage these functions to provide an invisible automation layer that just happens, and is transparent to users.  You can read more on that phenomena here: The Benefits of Invisible Capture

Below are two videos by our professional services and tech teams that show the capabilities.

 

Healthcare and Fax Automation: Prior Authorizations

Healthcare scanning and capture

Automating Fax Processing in Healthcare

We recently built out a whole set of Healthcare Capture and Scanning Solutions for our partners.  Below is my contribution, and I focused on automating the Prior Authorization fax problem.

 

In the coming weeks I will post more of these capture, scanning and OCR solutions here.  Subscribe to get notified.

 

 

 

Invoice Scanning and Capture Software

Invoice Scanning Software

Using OCR Invoice Scanning Software

There are typically 3 types of invoice scanning software solutions that companies implement.  If you need a quick primer before you read on, see our terminology page here: Invoice Scanning Software.   Below are the 3 types of solutions:

  1.  Scan Invoices and Extract the Vendor and Total with OCR – As a baby-step solution, many Accounts Payable departments look to start with a minimal impact solution to add some level of automation and efficiency.  They scan their invoices with a copier or scanner, and pass it through an application like Ephesoft Transact for AP Invoices.   Users can either point and click in the interface to populate fields, manually type in information, use ERP or Accounting system lookups for their vendors, and output their scanned invoices to structured folders, an accounting Microsoft SharePoint Library, or another content management system like Alfresco.
  2. Capture All Invoice Header Information – the next step is usually to capture (with document analytics + OCR), all the scanned invoice header information.  Here is the typical information:
    1.  Invoice Number
    2. Invoice Date
    3. Invoice Vendor Name
    4. Invoice Total

This information can be extracted automatically through data extraction, and modern solutions use an analytics algorithm to improve accuracy and reduce end-user interaction with the invoice scanning process.   Once again, all accounts payable invoice information is sent to an end resting place, and typically in this level of solution, the information is sent to an accounting system automatically.

3.  Scan to Capture Invoice Header and Line Item Data – Top tier invoice scanning applications provide the ability to extract all the information on the invoice automatically.  They do all of the above, and also provide line item/table extraction of invoice data.  This extracted information can be used to compare the invoice to the purchase order, and provide line item matching capability.  In addition, all OCR invoice data can be routed to an ERP or accounting system for update.

There are tools, like Ephesoft Transact, that can provide all 3 invoice scanning solutions without the need to add additional modules or components.

 

Machine Learning and Distributed Document Capture and Scanning

Machine Learning for Copier Scanning

Using Copiers to Machine Learn Documents

I have been working with several of our MFP/Copier partners, and wanted to put together a video demo on how to use copiers to train Ephesoft when it comes to our machine learning engine.  This demo shows how you can use our document analytics engine and train HR documents.

 

Thoughts?

Microsoft Flow, Document Classification and Machine Learning

OCR for Microsoft Flow

Using Ephesoft Web Services with Microsoft Flow

This is part 2 of my video series on how to add intelligent capture automation to Microsoft Technologies with Ephesoft Transact.  The first video (Scanning to Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Flow) provides a way to front-end processes through web-based scanning for SharePoint.   This demo video below uses Ephesoft’s Web Services to auto-classify documents and add intelligence to workflow.