Notes From the Field

As Ephesoft turns 10 years old, we celebrated with a milestone event: The Enterprise Productivity Summit. The corporate press release summed it up with the exciting sub-heading, “Inaugural Summit Unites Technology Leaders to Explore Breakthroughs in Enterprise Automation.”

The Enterprise Productivity Summit marked the beginning of a new way to leverage the document classification and extraction technology we’ve perfected in an industry we turned on its head a decade ago by bringing innovation to customers who need big problems solved. Legacy capture companies weren’t providing customers with agile solutions and cobbled together pieces of functionality, in an effort to meet the growing demands of organizations requiring Capture-as-a-Service. That’s the back story, now on to the main event.  

Why are we talking about enterprise automation, what’s in it for my organization and why is it important now?

We’re talking about this because customers have identified a gap and lack of data readiness in their RPA, digital transformation and AI projects. Process automation must move beyond the acquisition of unstructured data – we must make it better or enrich it and provide context.  

One of the biggest drains on productivity is knowledge workers not having access to the right data. Who are knowledge workers? Workers who require knowledge, of course. It is all of us. If you’re working in an office right now, how many browser tabs do you have open? How many programs? How many applications? That’s because data is being presented to you in a one-dimensional snapshot – otherwise known as flat data. 

What if you could have a single pane of glass to view more of what you need to get the job done with a 360-degree view of your data in context? Our access to so many sources of data has us drowning with flat data. What brings it all together is when we put that data into context to make sense of it all. Building context in the sea of data is what throws us a life preserver. If you keep one “ah-ha” from the evolution of capture, data and enterprise automation progress, let it be this: Context is King or #ContextIsKing.

Just Add Context

Context rules the kingdom because it provides a background for the content and fills in gaps you might not have even known existed. We can’t understand intent if we don’t have context. For example, what’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word, “terminal”? If you’re in an airport, you’re probably thinking of an aircraft facility. If you’ve battled cancer, you’ll have a different reaction entirely. Context is essential to understanding.

On February 6, 2020 in Southern California, Ephesoft hosted a group of industry experts to launch the new discipline of Content Driven Productivity. Presenters included a top industry analyst to present a snapshot of where our industry is today, an automation expert to share lessons learned from RPA deployments, the CEO of a global consultancy to cover best practices in incorporating new technologies and, finally, the view of our world through the eyes of a customer. This line-up gave us context from every perspective – exactly what we need to get the job done. 

Each Role Gives Us More Context

The market analyst showed us the statistics to prove that the time to act is now. There has been a 60% increase of people with AI in their title, changing who or what is doing the work, not just the way we work.  

The automation expert presented proof that we either innovate or die. Continuous process improvement should be core to any organization. This ideology should be as important as the quality of their products or the sanctity of their financial records.

The global consultancy CEO analyzed the success and failure of random acts of automation; what’s working and what’s not with RPA. If you automated every single task in your enterprise, you wouldn’t have a successful digital transformation project without the use of the right data and the creation of new value.  

The automation practitioner showed us how he turned the Accounts Payable department into an actual profit center for his company. Having the right content at his fingertips gave him room to be creative and take advantage of Single-Use Accounts (SUA) programs and rebates. He was able to initiate these new programs without losing a single full-time employee. In fact, employees were promoted to other, more productive positions. 

It takes straight-through processing and creation of new value to achieve true process automation. The last session concluded with presentations from the Ephesoft product and technology team who showcased Ephesoft’s continuous innovation with Content Driven Productivity solutions.  

To reach the highest levels of the Enterprise Automation Journey, the “context wall” must be removed. Organizations must build a digital map of their processes and all the data required to complete tasks in order to succeed in the near future.