This year ReadSoft pioneered a brand new business segment-document automation. Russell Henley of ReadSoft explains what exciting opportunities this opens up for businesses in 2005 and beyond.
At ReadSoft, we're proud of our visionary technology leadership. Our cutting edge products for electronic data and document capture are enabling some of the worlds largest organisations to run their businesses more efficiently and productively, while reducing costs.
But being a technology leader imposes on us certain responsibilities-we need to not only keep pace with the needs of customers, but also stay steps ahead of them, anticipating markets and trends-and delivering solutions not just for today, but for tomorrow.
A few years ago, we carried out an extensive market survey to find out what our customers and partners really wanted from document processing in the future. The results all pointed to one thing: a full-scale product platform that could automatically handle all incoming documents and exchange information easily with other business systems, from input to output.
So we focused on one key objective: "To free businesses everywhere from manual document handling by means of document automation." That means replacing manual document handling with software that automates the processing and interchange of documents.
"this is a radical evolution of our automated document capture, processing and interchange solutions"
That's a tough requirement for any one company to meet. But earlier this year we were delighted to announce the launch of ReadSoft DOCUMENTS, a new software platform that represents a quantum leap forward in our quest to not only meet, but also exceed, customer demands and expectations.
ReadSoft DOCUMENTS Brochure
A complete software platform for Document Automation - A new generation of products for automatically processing all kinds of documents.
We took the proven and robust technology we have spent years developing to the next level in order to solve all of the document automation needs that may arise in any organisation-small, mid-sized, or large-from input to output. This is not a collection of disparate technologies bolted together to try and make a whole-this is a radical evolution of our automated document capture, processing and interchange solutions that are proven and operating today in organisations worldwide.
Today, we're enabling businesses to capture, understand, manage, integrate and interchange documents and to automate the entire lifecycle of documents easily, rapidly or seamlessly.
How document automation works
ReadSoft DOCUMENTS automates all document processing steps, from input to output.
Capture. The software automatically captures information from any kind of document in any format. By scanning paper documents, the software creates an image from which information can be extracted. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS runs with most scanners from the major scanner manufacturers. The software also captures email (including attachments), web forms, faxes, and even information from handheld devices such as digital pens.
Understand. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS identifies, interprets, and validates the captured information. It handles structured layouts such as airline tickets and application forms, semi-structured layouts such as invoices and purchase orders, and unstructured layouts such as letters and contracts. It understands handwriting, machine print, bar codes, and mark fields, and it recognises images such as logotypes. All documents are sorted any way a user wishes, as in an advanced automated mailroom. Any kind of relevant information is automatically extracted and validated according to a user's business rules. The entire content may be indexed in order to enhance archive retrieval. The software is self-learning, which means that it gains speed and accuracy the more it gets used.
Manage. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS allows users to verify content, assure quality and authorise payments or other actions. A user sets up distribution rules to suit their business routines, then the system automatically supports fast, efficient, and accurate processing. For example, invoices can be sent simultaneously to more than one place for authorisation with minimal risk of being delayed, lost or destroyed as a result of human error.
A process repository gives users immediate access to any document entered into ReadSoft DOCUMENTS. All documents are gathered in a single database, no matter where they came from. Users access them through an easy-to-use web page, which means that they can check document flow from anywhere in the world.
Integrate. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS allows users to automatically verify information on incoming documents against data in their ERP systems, business administration, materials management, logistics software, and any other system where the information might be stored. The result? Shorter handling time, less manual work and results that show on the bottom line. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS can even automatically post transactions with no human intervention. Ultimately, the degree of automation is up to the users individual need. Through the years we have provided integration with a large number of third-party systems. SAP and Oracle Financials are two examples.
Interchange. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS makes it easy to exchange documents electronically, via secure email. This breakthrough technology gives users much of what can be expected from an electronic data interchange (EDI) solutionwithout the associated problems.
Fundamentally, we believe document management solutions must meet organisations' challenges from a business perspective. That's why we developed as part of our new software platform a unique set of business solutions: Invoices, Forms, easy EDI, Mailrooms and Indexing. These pre-configurations of ReadSoft DOCUMENTS are tailor-made to automate specific business processes with minimal customisation-simple, out-of-the-box, easy to install and backed by high quality, value-added professional services.
Invoices. Building on more than a decade of experience and the largest number of installations in the world, ReadSoft DOCUMENTS for Invoices is our most powerful and automated invoices processing solution to date. It captures and classifies all kinds of invoices on paper or electronic format. Line items are extracted and interpreted on both single and multi-page invoices. In fact, our line-item handling is unequalled on the market.
Users can increase the efficiency and speed of invoice processing, facilitating faster financial calculations. Some of our customers have been able to cut down on their invoice handling costs by as much as 50 per cent.
Forms. ReadSoft has always provided leading software for forms processing. Now we add to the advantages. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS for Forms captures all types of forms in any format:
* Paper forms
* Fax forms
* Internet forms
* XML files
* PDF files
* Digital images - TIFF, JPG, PNG, BMP etc
* Digital pens.
Mailrooms. With ReadSoft DOCUMENTS for Mailrooms, users have one portal for all incoming documents: scanned paper, fax, email and everything else. Users gain from efficiency increases when each and every document is distributed correctly. Fast access to status reports and auditing trails gives users better control over information flow. And smooth integration with back-end systems such as customer management, databases and archiving really powers IT systems.
Easy EDI. Our Document EDI business solution is a digital bridge for document interchange. It automatically sends all business documents, such as invoices, orders, and consignment notes, to and from a user's customers and suppliers as secure email. It eliminates paper, envelopes, postage, faxes and other time consuming and costly means of communication. In combination with our other present and future business solutions it will provide much the same benefits as traditional EDI, but without the hassle or the cost.
Indexing. ReadSoft technology enables users to set up an automatic flow of document images, complete with keywords, into the archive of their choice. The benefits? Correct, complete and much quicker than manual indexing, automated flow of document images into an archive system, easy classification to support document structure and a complete file enabling free text searches. ReadSoft DOCUMENTS for Indexing further handles classification to support a users document structure. Users even get a complete file enabling free text searches.
Partnering in 2005 and beyond
Most importantly to our partners, this new platform represents a significant opportunity to deliver document automation as part of an overall technology solution. For example, our solutions can be fully integrated into a SAP environment to automate SAP-based document processes.
On the archiving side, we have just announced a partnership with EASY SOFTWARE, which recognises that there are some organisations that require a scaleable and functionally rich document archive and retrieval capability with sophisticated integration into core systems. In such opportunities we now resell EASY ARCHIVE to meet that need and expand our product offering to customers.
We believe there are many opportunities out there for resellers and systems integrators to bring together document automation solutions to customers in 2005 and beyond-and we'd be delighted to talk to you.
Russell Henley is ReadSoft's VP of sales and marketing in the UK. He was formerly VP EMEA of Revit Technology, launching product lines into 20 countries and building successful channel and direct sales operations to enable global expansion. Previous roles include EMEA product sales management at AutoDesk, marketing and business development positions at Graphisoft and consulting roles at start-up software ventures across EMEA.
ReadSoft FORMS Brochure
FORMS will capture data from all kinds of documents - on paper, fax, email or the Internet. Read more in this short brochure.