By Mitchell Palski, Oracle WebCenter Sales Consultant.
When we talk about Enterprise Content Management, we are talking about a content management solution that can be leveraged as part of your organizational infrastructure. What does that mean? That means having a solution that can be used across all business applications, desktop tools, websites, etc. A true ECM solution is a “single source of truth” for all enterprise content.
There are lots of topics to discuss about how using a true ECM solution benefits your organization, but today we’re going to focus on one specific aspect of an ECM solution – a shift from paper content to digital content. In an effort to cut costs on storage, to save time for employees, and to speed up business processes, many organizations are focusing on eliminating as much paper-based content as possible. That means a couple of things:
- Transforming all of the paper content that they currently own into digital formats
- Standing up a solution that can capture future paper-based content items
- Re-engineering processes to integrate with business applications and take advantage of their new digital solution
Last but not least… it means clearing out all of those file cabinets filled with invoices, purchase orders, change requests, resumes, termination letters, etc.
First of all, the ability for users to do unlimited scanning without any volume restrictions is essential for those with large repositories of paper-based content, as well as those who are expecting to continuously process paper-based content moving forward.
The tools that are provided with content capture are ones that are designed to remove the bottlenecks in business processes. At the lowest-level of automation, a stream-lined interface that is designed for rapid data-entry can drastically improve processing times. Even then, keying in values leaves your organization open to the cost of human error. That’s why WebCenter allows you to link fields to database tables so that when users are entering values they are picking them from a list rather than typing them in manually.
The next step up is to leverage recognition technologies like barcode scanners and Optical Character Recognition. WebCenter uses these technologies to automatically populate document data so that users don’t have to. WebCenter can read data right off of a page to:
- Intelligently locate and extract data like vendor names, invoice line items, and others
- Match text off of a page to values in a database to improve accuracy
- Categorize documents for approval routing
Let’s use that topic to transition to the other capability that many legacy solutions typically overlook – automating processes. In the past, your organization may have standardized a business process by writing it out in a document somewhere and then entrusting employees to refer back to that documentation whenever they needed to complete a task. Rather than rely on that transfer of information, Oracle WebCenter provides the tools to build automated processes that:
- Speed time-to-complete for business processes
- Reduce errors in process completion
- Are fully traceable and auditable so you can hold your employees accountable for their participation in those processes
- Seamlessly integrate with your business applications
WebCenter is designed to integrate with other Oracle products, most commonly PeopleSoft and E-Business suite. By using WebCenter in conjunction with these applications, organizations benefit from:
- Pre-integrated Content Management solution provides a single interface into business data and associated content
Business processes that provide a layer of automated Quality Control before content is ingested into your application.
- Pre-integrated solution automatically populates data fields
- View documents associated with a task for easy key-from-image, and document annotations, including redaction
The best place to start is always to define your requirements. Figure out:
- Which content must be archived and kept as paper?
- How much content can I digitize?
- What content is mission critical?
- What are our processes for ingesting new documents?
Your Oracle sales team is trained to ask these types of questions when they come on site for product demonstrations, so opening a dialogue with your sales representative will lead you to these types of discussions.
If you are examining your organization and finding high-costs for paper-based content, WebCenter will not only reduce your storage needs but also give you a reusable solution for the future.