I often think the focus on the “Customer” as someone you sell to is too narrowly drawn. To be successful a company must engage with, manage, and satisfy all its stakeholders – its customers and channels, its suppliers, its staff and its investors. What Capture 2.0 software does is to group a series of technology based elements in order to make incoming unstructured or semi-structured data understandable for computerized (structured) processes.
The technologies employed are pattern based. They include but are not limited to static image textual element recognition (OCR, ICR, OWR); Mark Recognition (OMR); Barcode Recognition; Voice Recognition combined with NLP or statistical analysis; fixed Photo Recognition and Video Recognition. All these elements may co-exist within one ‘transactional element’.
These are then supplemented with a variety of other technologies such as classification, which may be based on the results of textual recognition or on basic pattern recognition of ‘unconverted’ input combined with available metadata. Language translation services to make the input multi-national and even convert between languages in real time. Semantic understanding can extract meaning and sentiment analysis can help drive relevant workflow and decisioning.
In the current world everyone is running in real time or as close to it as we can. Immediate responses are demanded and if the response is not quick, frustration and lost impetus results. As IBM once put it, the understanding has to be ‘at the point of impact’.
Customers are of course critical to a company, but likewise if the other moving parts do not work smoothly, any superior customer relationship is quickly lost. Goods must be sourced from reliable cost effective suppliers, received and paid for – they must be shipped. To manage this, procurement must manage the supplier relationships – as quickly as possible. Receiving must book any goods into inventory and report partials, wrong shipments or damaged goods to the supplier immediately and of course this affects payments. The Accounts Payable department must be able to decide on payment and answer queries which if considering dynamic discounting requires fast understanding and resolution of any queries. All this requires understanding of different elements – many being paper delivered over various channels.
When considering employee stakeholders, Human Resources has to be able to efficiently research and manage new hires. They have to be able to manage government forms and requests. There are employee medical records to maintain and secure. They have to keep track of existing employees and manage retirements, resignations or terminations. All these elements require understanding of semi or unstructured information. Before making a hiring decision, a company may want to review Facebook pages and/or personal tweets – capture software with semantic understanding combined with sentiment analysis can assist with this. Retirements need access to historical records often paper based.
Also internally the Legal Department needs to manage contracts and advise on regulations and compliance. Unfortunately, as we know, much big data is useless, but the pieces that are relevant can have major implications. Capture technologies can understand incoming data to help insure compliance at the time and point of receipt.
Regarding Investor relations, it is important to respond quickly to any analyst relations or major stockholder inquiries as it can have major impact on a company’s valuation. Regulations can affect foreign stockholders. Likewise press or other social media comment must be looked at and analyzed. While there is much software available we believe that capture elements enter into assisting in this area.
Capture software with voice recognition can start to understand the importance of the caller, the nature of the query and what resources may need to be put in place. Any emailed queries can likewise be effectively classified for response and connected with previous inquiries.
Capture technologies enable better and faster business process execution. Without timely relevant information, that is understood and routed to the proper business process(es), business execution slows resulting in increased expenses, and competitive advantage / potential business lost. Without effective information understanding, companies and institutions will not benchmark well when it comes to serving their customers. Over 80% of incoming information is now unstructured or semi-structured information connected with social media and new sources. Capture 2.0 technologies are designed to classify and extract relevant information for use by structured business processes including analytics, intelligence, customer service, records management and accounting.
Of course using Capture 2.0 software is directly relevant to the customer and has applicability in Customer Engagement Management (CEM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Predictive analytics and CCM (Customer Contact Management). We will be writing on these topics in another series of blog posts.
Harvey Spencer – President, HSA Inc.
Since 1989, HSA is based in New York (US tel: 1+ 631.368.8393) has been specializing in electronic information (image based and electronic transaction) capture and understanding technologies. Our services include Market Analysis, Technology Planning Assistance, Product Positioning, Product Management, Client Sponsored Research and Strategic Planning Services. These products include high-speed document scanning hardware, image acquisition software, character recognition software (OCR, ICR), optical mark recognition, barcode recognition and other pattern recognition and classification tools. More at: www.hsassocs.com