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Data capture: The vital first step in transforming with content services

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The evolution continues. Business is changing and the associated technology landscape is mirroring that change. Terms are being thrown at you from all directions as vendors and analysts are evaluating and reforming their vocabulary for describing the technology needs of business today.

But as much as the vocabulary and business processes seem to change, the core critical piece of doing business stays the same – information. Information fuels every business decision, every customer/client/constituent interaction and every transaction. And at the end of the day, technology continues to revolve around understanding exactly that.

So where does “content services” fit in and where do you begin? Content carries information in, around and out of the organisation. The concept of content services allows organisations to take pieces of technology that best support each piece of the content lifecycle and connect them together in ways that best fit the needs of the organisation and its unique processes.

So what “pieces” should you focus on first?

Where to begin with content services

It is rare I have the opportunity to quote Julie Andrews when discussing business technology, but as she sings in Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

I could not agree more. The kickoff to most of these business processes is the receipt or gathering of information. So it would only make sense for your content services journey to start there.

Capture technology is not new nor revolutionary by any means, but it has evolved and continued to be a critical solution to invest in when optimising business processes. There are two facets of capture technology you need to consider when investing in content services.

They are:

1. Multi-channel capture

We keep talking about business evolving and this is an answer to that exact problem. Your information is not entering your organisation through a single avenue anymore – paper is not the only option.

Suddenly, we are buried in paper and electronic files reaching our desks through mail, email, sharing applications, portals and much more. It becomes critically important the minute that content walks through the physical or virtual doors of the organisation that it be made easily accessible and available for processing.

Multi-channel capture, as the name denotes, can reach out to all these different sources, capture the content and connect with other services to ensure it is presented to the right people, exactly when they need it. My tip is this – instead of looking for different vendors to offer each “channel” for your multi-channel capture, look for a single vendor that can provide solutions for multiple avenues of content receipt.

2. Automated data capture

As I brought up earlier, it isn’t the content that is most valuable – it is the information the content holds. Many times this information needs to make its way off the page and into different systems to reach the employees who need it.

Chances are, this process is very manual today – involving individual staff members manually keying data from incoming content into databases and systems. This leaves you exposed to risk of information getting mis-keyed as well as slowed processes due to necessary human intervention.

Automated data capture technology significantly reduces that dependency on staff by extracting information directly from the page, validating the lifted data and passing it to the systems that need it. This type of solution frees a number of resources previously devoted to those manual tasks and allows the organisation to reallocate them to higher-value tasks – like customer service.

Another tip

If you have large volumes of documents that tend to vary in how they look, search for vendors of truly intelligent capture. You need to find software that can learn and understand contextually – like a human – to make sure it is flexible enough to scale as new versions of documents, like new vendor invoices, enter your processes.

Inpute have been leaders in capture for over 25 years. Talk to us to learn how your organisation can leverage intelligent document capture solutions. Email or call +353 1 5175100


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