Anthony Macciola is Chief Technology Officer at Kofax, Inc. and has been responsible for several successful products including Kofax VirtualReScan. He has 25 years of experience in the document imaging industry and brings extensive expertise in the areas of software, hardware and algorithm development. Consulting: What are the elements of a successful enterprise capture strategy?
The origins of capture are based on capturing content for archival purposes. Basically getting rid of filing cabinets and feeding a common repository where people can have shared access to relevant business content. This is the classic stereotype most customers and prospects associate with capture even today.
Most people don’t realize that capture has expanded over the past five to ten years to include two other use scenarios: one, scanning content for the purposes of collaboration or distribution; and two, scanning content for the purposes of enabling or triggering a business process. The latter is really where the most growth is right now. Customers are using our products to capture their content, understand what it is, automate the extraction of metadata within the document and then decide what to do with it and where to send it.
When forming an enterprise capture strategy, a company needs to take all of these use scenarios into account and make sure they’re picking a platform that can embrace the three different capture scenarios and a platform that can scale with their overall corporate needs.Consulting: Where is the market in terms of the adoption of enterprise capture?
We’re in the process of ‘crossing the chasm’ so to speak. Early adopters have been reaping the competitive benefits of a well thought-out and implemented capture strategy for years. It appears that the masses (from an enterprise standpoint) are now realizing the benefits as well. As I mentioned earlier, most companies still think of capture in terms of archiving paper content. They’re pleasantly surprised when they realize the compelling benefits they can realize when using capture to drive business processes and to eliminate the labor that was historically required to classify and index documents.
Ironically, the economic downturn has advanced the evolution of capture because it has accelerated the need for organizations to do more with less. Most of our customers tell us the that amount of information coming into their organization is in some cases doubling, while their IT budgets are decreasing or fixed at best. The net result is companies are realizing they need to use capture more intelligently. Consulting: Don’t people want to do away with paper and go electronic?
Most customers say they want to go electronic. When you peel back the onion, what they really want is to kill paper as quickly as possible. The longer a document lives in paper form, the longer it goes unsecured, the longer you can go without having shared insight into its content, and the longer you have to deal with the hassles of physically tracking it. But on the flip side, most companies have existing electronic infrastructure in place that can be leveraged for reporting and routing. The sooner they can transition paper into electronic, the sooner they can bring to bear their standard IT infrastructure. So what customers are really looking for are solutions that can help them truncate paper as quickly as possible and bridge the paper to an electronic environment.Consulting: What role does the regulatory environment play in this?Macciola:
More and more, organizations have to ensure the secure archiving of business-critical content. In some industries, there are mandates and pushes to make the information public and then in other situations there are restrictions to make it secure. A lot of companies use Kofax to classify the content and extract the relevant metadata.Consulting: How can large companies benefit by developing an enterprise capture strategy?
There are a few really big growth opportunities for capture; let’s look at healthcare as an example.
Most providers have a backlog of patient record archives that they want to convert to electronic format and bring online. These tend to be one-time projects. Then obviously, there is the bigger story of patient admission and all the content around that. Both patients and doctors benefit when medical histories are available and accessible at the point of care. Providers have an added incentive to move to electronic health records, since if they demonstrate “meaningful use” in the eyes of the federal government in the US, they can qualify for significant incentive funds.
The benefit of capture extends to the areas of insurance and billing in healthcare. Reconciling the work against services rendered and what’s being billed and paid. This tends to be a labor-intensive process that can be drastically streamlined with Kofax. Consulting: How are you differentiated in the marketplace?
Put very simply, we’re the ‘onramp’ for getting any business content (paper or electronic) into your IT infrastructure. Our solutions allow you to capture content in a variety of different ways, either centrally or in a completely distributed environment. Once you’ve captured the content, we can automate the processes around understanding what you’ve captured (classification), separating the content into logical documents, and automating the extraction of business critical metadata contained within the captured document.
We automate the on-boarding of business content into your ERP, CRM, ECM, DMBS, and/or line of business applications. The return on investment associated with our solutions is extremely compelling and impacts most organizations’ bottom line within 12 months. Consulting: What is the biggest challenge in convincing firms of enterprise capture’s value to their company?
The biggest challenge for us is awareness. People hear capture and they always initially think of archival. When we talk to Fortune 500 or Fortune 1,000 customers and make them aware of other uses of capture, they immediately see the benefit of using Kofax at the front end of a business process.
As an example, if an invoice comes in paper form we have the ability to classify it and move out the header and footer and match it against your ERP system and get you the metadata to go through the AP process.
Our value is about creating structure around unstructured information and allowing you to take the metadata so you can actually insert it into your ERP system. We find a lot of folks wanting to implement a universal ‘onramp’ process for business content. People want one platform taking the content and creating a normalized output with the right metadata. Most people don’t associate that value with capture, at least not yet. We are trying to educate the marketplace with the message that you can automate the on-boarding of relevant business content for any business process using Kofax. Consulting: Any best practices you can share?
The ROI for this can be so compelling – sometimes in 12 or even 6 months you can see the return. Our best practice recommendation is take business processes you understand well and apply the technology there first to demonstrate incremental value. Then fan out from there. Consulting: Are you currently working with consulting firms?
We’ve transitioned to a hybrid go-to-market strategy, which means that we sell direct as well as through the channel. We still have resellers for our archival based product and we’ve also begun embracing a new caliber of partners: system integrators.
As customers start gearing up to enable or initiate business processes, they become aware of the benefits they can realize by increasing the efficiencies associated with these processes. This usually results in the organization wanting to restructure or even rebuild various business processes to reduce human intervention. Pulling out the human touch naturally drives down costs and increases efficiency.
Now that we’re affecting these sorts of changes, we’re getting interest from the system integrator community relative to them taking the services part associated with process reengineering. It’s a great model for partnering and one that has little to no overlap since we’re primarily a software company focused on driving software license revenue. We’re building relationships with system integrators who have practice areas that are in line with our sweet spots – areas such as healthcare; financial services; federal, state and local government, etc. We can then show them the compelling and specialized value-add and the ROI associated with our solutions.