Automating Invoice Processing With Oracle WebCenter - Webcast Recap

Yesterday on our webcast, Optimize Accounts Payable Through Automated Invoice Processing we had over 120 questions from a very engaged and enthusiastic audience! Today Jamie Rancourt and I want to address a number of the questions that were asked.

Does the invoice have to have a particular template to be able to capture & extract?

Throughout yesterday's webcast, we mentioned how data from invoices can be extracted using Oracle WebCenter to help automate your invoice processing flows.  Let's dig a litter deeper into that today's post.  

Unlike many other products available today, WebCenter Forms Recognition is not a template based solution. It works much in the same way as the human brain does. Imagine you are looking at an invoice.  You've seen enough invoices to know where the header information is, where the line items are, what the line item values, total value, and tax information is.  You don't need to be told the vendor information is in the upper left corner, and the invoice total in the bottom right corner.  WebCenter Forms Recognition, the component of our Automated Invoice Processing solution that performs the extraction, works in the same way.  When installed, it already knows what an "Invoice" is.  It knows this because we've taught it what an "Invoice" looks like by feeding it a variety of real invoices while it is in learning mode.  This way, it knows what the different components that make up an invoice are, and doesn't care where they are actually located on the page.  This is how WebCenter can handle 1000's of invoices from 1000's of vendors with very little effort, and most importantly very little administration.  Typically our customers realize a successful extraction rate of over 80%, significantly reducing the number of invoices their AP clerks need to process on a daily basis, and therefore significantly reducing the cost to process those invoices.  Additionally, WebCenter Forms Recognition can learn about other types of forms, whether that is benefit enrollment forms, medical forms, tax forms, or any other form that you may process on a regular basis, either within your financial operations or outside.

So the image scanning could be used to extract and store information from non-financial documents as well?

Yes. The system can be taught about other types of documents and can be used beyond AP processes. Oracle WebCenter provides a best-of-breed enterprise content management (ECM) system, so your AP solution built on WebCenter can be expanded to address any content management use case your organization has. You can see an example of this in the Embry Riddle ROI Study – Oracle WebCenter was implemented to address accounts payable, but since then has been expanded to handle student admissions.

How are you calculating cost per invoice?

These are numbers supplied to us by customers. They are predominantly the labor cost to process. And the bulk of that cost is from doing lookups and handling exceptions, hence the automation savings by having the image instantly accessible and lowering errors by automating the data input. We have seen some customers who have average invoice processing costs of $33, and they are able to get the cost below $3 per invoice after implementing Oracle WebCenter.

Where is the ROI which includes the cost of Web center and its implementation costs?

You can see the Nucleus Research Embry Riddle ROI Study to understand a typical return on investment.

Which ERP systems are supported? Can the solution work with non-Oracle ERP systems?

Oracle WebCenter is integrated out-of-the-box with:

  • Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10, 12.0, 12.1
  • PeopleSoft 8.9, 9.0, 9.1, PeopleTools up to 8.51
  • JD Edwards Enterprise One 8.11, 8.12, 9.0

Oracle WebCenter is also open and can be integrated with other non-Oracle ERP systems. Our adapter framework can be leveraged for custom integrations to non-Oracle ERP's or other systems.

Does WebCenter support annotations on the electronic image?

Yes. Images can be annotated, commented, and marked up for review purposes. All annotations are stored as individual layers on top of the original image to keep the original image intact.

Will you need special scanners at the remote places or will any desktop scanner or copier/scanner work?

Any TWAIN-compliant desktop scanner or multi-function device is supported for distributed capture.

Can invoices be emailed in as attachments?

Yes. While we've talked about paper-based invoices, invoices already in electronic format can also be injected into this system. This can be done either via email, or a shared network folder.

Can the scanned image be available for review from Oracle AP as attachment to the invoice?

Yes. Once the invoice is scanned into the system, it is linked to your Financial application and is accessible directly from the invoice in your ERP.

Are non-ERP users who use Web Center counted as e-Business Suite users (is Web Center a multiplexor for eBS licensing purposes)?

No. WebCenter users do not necessarily need to be ERP users

What is the impact on the database size or are these images stored in a different server?

Images are stored in WebCenter, not in your ERP. The WebCenter repository is designed to store large amounts of unstructured data, such as images, or other documents. WebCenter provides an enterprise content management solution to do so. You can learn more about WebCenter’s tremendous scalability in this white paper: Extreme Performance, Extreme Scalability (PDF)

We currently have Oracle IPM, is this the same thing?

Yes, Oracle WebCenter is the rebranded name, and it includes the functionality formerly named Oracle IPM.

What product is being used to manage the workflows that are being discussed? Are these workflows setup in Webcenter or EBS?

We leverage the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack for workflows. Oracle's Business Process Management (BPM) Suite is what is used for workflows. The solution extends the workflows defined in your ERP to allow you to include non-ERP users in the approval process if needed. Ultimately you have control where you want to define the workflows, either inside your ERP or outside.

Can we listen to this whole Oracle’s Live Webcast for this session once again? I missed a few pieces here and there.

This webcast will be available on demand by 10 AM PST today. You can also see other AP entries we have posted this week on the blog as well:

For those of you who joined us on the webcast, thanks for your questions. Check back as we will have some additional posts next week. And feel free to add comments below if you have additional questions.


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