Monday Jan 06, 2014

Process Inbox Zero: A resolution your company can actually keep

This time of year, your e-mail is flooded with prognostications and ideas on how to lose weight, how to be healthier, how to be a better employee, a manager and generally be more effective.  I personally have seen several articles about getting my e-mail Inbox to zero.  In fact, January 2nd was unofficially known as Email Overload Day, though ironically enough, you might not have known about it if your email is overflowing.  :)


This got me thinking about the other "Inbox" that exists in every corporation.  It's the old school tray of papers, stacked up in the "Inbox" on the desks of those that are handling business transactions using paper forms, faxes, scanned images and other files.  For most business process professionals, this stack of papers is a key first step in a longer transaction that ultimately results in payment to a customer or vendor, receipt of funds from a customer or partner, or any other of many possible business processes.

The same principles that apply to your personal e-mail and the ideal of an empty Inbox should apply to how inbound documents are handled.  In fact, given the financial impact on the business when these are not processed optimally, getting these processes running smoothly is MUCH more important.  If you agree with the premise that paper-based processes need to be running as fast as possible, WebCenter can help you achieve the needed improvements.

The key to all this is automation.  Automation of the "ingestion" process - how files are captured, scanned, received and then recognized.  Form and character recognition has matured significantly over the past few years and today, with Oracle Forms Recognition technology as an example, inbound forms can be recognized as contracts, invoices or many other form types and then have the line item details automatically identified and associated with the right vendor, customer ID, PO number or other value.  Instead of having a pile of paper on an employees desk, waiting to be re-keyed into an ERP or related system, now it happens automatically and only the unrecognizable exceptions will require human intervention.

As you can imagine, the cost savings in  automating repetitive transactional processes are significant.  Most imaging automation deployments see a return on the investment in 18 months or less.  Human error is also greatly reduced, to say nothing of the additional archiving and compliance benefits.

To help companies understand the benefits of automating business processes, we've put together a number of assets in a single location that showcase how Oracle WebCenter Imaging can help your business... and how we have already helped others.

Getting your "Process Inbox" to zero is an achievable goal. The onslaught of incoming documents may never stop, but at least you will have a vastly superior way of managing the flow of information going forward and be saving significant sums in the (pardon the pun) process.

Check out our new WebCenter Imaging information page to learn more. 

Have a great 2014!

Thursday Jul 18, 2013

Saving Money the Hyundai Way

Hyundai Motor Company is a well-known, global brand and is part of a very large, multi-faceted worldwide corporation.  The automotive division as been seeing some very rapid growth and all you have to do is notice how many Hyundai vehicles on the road these days to see proof positive of that.  (Disclosure: I recently joined the ranks of satisfied Hyundai owners - the Santa Fe is quite hard to beat!)  

But with rapid growth often comes growing pains, and Hyundai knew they needed to address infrastructure performance and even more importantly, process and team performance. With thorough planning and analysis, they devised a plan to centralize content management, drastically improve infrastructure performance by using the Oracle Exa platform and take advantage of Oracle integration up and down the software stack.  But perhaps more importantly, they also took a look at the WAY they do business and how their teams inter-operate and share information.

One big area for improvement turned out to be their reliance on paper-based business processes. Using paper for contracts, invoices, internal forms, documentation, operating procedure documents and many other information types was causing important business processes to be sluggish. Critically, information was becoming harder and harder to find as the volume of paper continued to increase. Something had to be done!  

Enter Oracle WebCenter Content and Imaging solutions.  By reducing the number of internal information silos in use, information became easier to locate.  By utilizing imaging and scanning technologies across their distributed office and showroom network they are realizing some very impressive cost reductions. Impressive as in a savings of around $1 Million U.S. Dollars per year!  Below is the quote that Hyundai issued about the savings they are getting: 

"We chose Oracle Exalogic, Oracle Exadata, and Oracle WebCenter Content to support our new document centralization system over their competitors as they offer stable storage for petabytes of data and high processing speeds. We have cut the overall time spent each day on document-related work by around 85%, saved up to US$1.1 million in paper and printing costs, laid the foundation for a smart work environment, and supported our future growth in the competitive car industry," said Kang Tae-jin, manager, General Affairs Team, Hyundai Motor Company.

Take a look around your office. Do you see people handling large amounts of paper as part of their every day jobs?  Is it easy for employees to quickly find the information they need so that fast, proper business decisions can be made? Are workers still copying and printing out paper documents to use as reference materials or to file?  And what happens to all that paper over time?  Is it stored properly and securely? Or do you have a large annual company bonfire every year?  :)

One thing is for sure - there is room for operational improvements no matter the size of your company. To be more competitive, Hyundai has to be as nimble and responsive as they can be.  You know what? It's working. The other metric in all of this is customer satisfaction and I can tell you from personal experience they have been quite impressive.  Yes, I still had to fill out a form when signing up for the lease, but I know it is being scanned, classified, recognized and routed efficiently due to Oracle WebCenter Imaging technology. The speed at which the process moved was very fast, there was no confusion or duplicate content, web access to my personal information and car details was immediately available and the sales, finance and service teams were in lockstep.

If you cannot say the same about how your business operates, we think we can help!

If you would like to see a short, introductory video illustrating the value of WebCenter Imaging, click this link to watch it now. If you would like to learn more about our Imaging solutions, how they work and hear more customer success stories and read up on other details, please visit our WebCenter Imaging solutions pages.

We hope to speak with you soon!

The Oracle WebCenter Team 

Monday Jul 15, 2013

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale.....

This will not be the tale of a fateful trip or a three-hour tour gone awry.

But it is the all-too-familiar tale of modern organizations that in 2013, are still relying on paper-based business processes. Every time I am asked to "please fax in the form when it is complete", I wonder to myself... what is happening with this information? How will it get entered into whatever transactional system might be in place behind the scenes? Will it have to be re-typed by someone else or is it automatically scanned, intelligently recognized and routed appropriately, based on specific field values on the form?

Sadly, it is often the former scenario that takes place. Somewhere there is a clerk that must re-key in the data and hopefully make zero errors in the process. In the mean time, absolutely nothing else is happening with this business process and the result is hours or even days in unnecessary delays.

When it comes to a common process like Accounts Payable invoicing, these kinds of slow downs introduce a number of problems including late payment penalties, inability to handle growing invoice volumes and of course, the physical storage issue.

OK, so if the issue is so common, why don't more companies do something about it? Often times, organizations don't fully understand the cost savings opportunity in front of them and to some degree, there is the "it's working well enough for now so lets not spend any money on that issue" mentality at work, especially in a world of tight budgets.

More forward looking companies are investing in capture, scanning and imaging technologies that drive down their current costs and deliver a fast return on investment. If you are using Oracle E-Business Suite in conjunction with your AP processes, you really owe it to your self to learn more about how you can improve your existing processes with Oracle WebCenter Imaging Solutions

For starters, check out our recently created screencast on the topic, along with what we call a "Brag Book" that includes several customer stories confirming the real-life benefits of WebCenter Imaging. There are not any pictures of Ginger, Maryann or the Professor, but you will get ideas and insights from other customers about the value of WebCenter Imaging. Even better!  

And now, in the immortal words of Thurston Howell III.... "Quickly Lovey, another Perrier and lime!"

Have a good week everyone....

Thursday Mar 14, 2013

Show Me the Savings! The Value of Radically Cutting Internal e-Biz Processing Costs

Lately a lot has been written about the opportunity available to companies that can take advantage of dynamic discounting when dealing with partners and suppliers.  But how can you get your organization to the point where you can also take advantage?  It can seem daunting but if you already are using Oracle e-business suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards or Siebel CRM, you are already halfway there!

Simply put, dynamic discounting allows you to negotiate favorable pricing when you have the ability to pay your suppliers very quickly.  Initially it might seem counter-intuitive that you can improve cash flow by paying suppliers early, but the numbers tell the story.   For example, if you can negotiate a 2% discount with your suppliers by promising to pay them in 10 days instead of the traditional 30, the return on capital is 2% in 20 days, or 36% annually.  That kind of return is certainly more than the interest earned by delaying your payments.

That's all fine and nice if you can actually guarantee quick payments with confidence.  But for many companies, the processing of documents, faxes, scanned images and other content is not anywhere near as efficient as their transactional processes.  WebCenter Content and Imaging solutions fill that gap and provide the automated capture, scanning and intelligent routing needed to accelerate invoice processing along with lots of other internal processes.

This week, we posted a new screencast that quickly illustrates how processes can be improved using WebCenter Imaging from Oracle.  You can view it here.  We believe you will find it insightful and that you can use it to get your company thinking about ways to further automate systems that can make a real impact on the bottom line.  For further details, please be sure to view one of our recent webcasts on how to optimize your e-business systems.

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Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: DDI

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) has been helping hundreds of organizations around the world―including half of the Fortune 500 companies―close the gap between where their businesses need to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the company’s expertise includes designing and implementing employee selection systems and identifying and developing talent, from front-line workers to executive leadership.

As DDI continued to grow, it experienced escalating costs associated with searching, storing, and recreating critical, expense-related documents for its operations around the globe.

They  implemented Oracle Internet Expenses and integrated  a new document-capture solution based on Oracle WebCenter Imaging,  that enabled the company to overcome the limitations of its legacy system with an open, enterprise architecture that facilitates a flexible deployment.

DDI cut administrative costs associated with managing paper-based transactions, as well as operational costs associated with photocopying, faxing, and couriering documents and decreased its physical storage requirements & costs.  DDI estimates that it is saving the equivalent of one full-time staff member in IT management.  In addition, the company gained the ability to track, access, and manage information more efficiently to assist with regulatory compliance related to information protection and privacy.


www.ddiworld.com

Company Overview

Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) has been helping hundreds of organizations around the world―including half of the Fortune 500 companies―close the gap between where their businesses need to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the company’s expertise includes designing and implementing employee selection systems and identifying and developing talent, from front-line workers to executive leadership.

Business Challenges

The company previously used a third-party system to manage employee expenses, a solution that was extremely complex to maintain, as it was not built on a standards-based architecture.  As DDI continued to grow, it experienced escalating costs associated with searching, storing, and recreating critical, expense-related documents for its operations around the globe. Every year, employees spent thousands of hours and the company expended significant financial resources distributing client-billable expense receipts across several departments globally. This largely manual system delayed employee reimbursement and client billing and prohibited the rollout of shared services centers, designed to elevate efficiency and customer service.

To address these challenges, DDI defined following business objectives:

  • Advance DDI’s global, shared services strategy to help it to reduce costs, improve administrative efficiency, and expand its ability to deliver world-class talent acquisition and development services
  • Enable the company to more efficiently capture and process employee expenses, eliminating manual processes and accelerating reimbursement, as well as customer billing
  • Reduce IT complexity and management costs by eliminating custom integrations between the company’s business-critical applications and systems
Solution Deployed

DDI implemented Oracle Internet Expenses to accelerate expense report submission, approval, processing, and payment, and control expenses with flexible audit tools. The solution automated the approval workflow and accelerated and ensured accurate expense attribution in client invoices.
At the same time, DDI implemented  a new document-capture solution. It deployed Oracle WebCenter Imaging, a solution that enabled the company to overcome the limitations of its legacy system with an open, enterprise architecture that facilitates a flexible deployment. As part of the rollout, it integrated Oracle WebCenter Imaging with Oracle Internet Expenses. Oracle WebCenter Imaging operates as an infrastructure-supporting solution, as opposed to an application unto itself—so the company can leverage it as a shared service that extends wherever imaging is required throughout the enterprise. 

Business Results
DDI cut administrative costs associated with managing paper-based transactions, as well as operational costs associated with photocopying, faxing, and couriering documents. Further, the company decreased its physical storage requirements and costs.  DDI estimates that it is saving the equivalent of one full-time staff member in IT management. The team can now apply time it previously spent managing and maintaining custom interfaces to more strategic initiatives. In addition, the company gained the ability to track, access, and manage information more efficiently to assist with regulatory compliance related to information protection and privacy.

We are very pleased with the way Oracle WebCenter Imaging enabled us to achieve process efficiencies by capturing receipt images up front and making them accessible to managers and other approvers all along the workflow. We also like that we can retrieve images not only from Oracle Internet Expenses, but also from Oracle Payables, as well as within Oracle WebCenter Imaging itself.

Mike Fieldhammer, Corporate Controller, Development Dimensions International


Additional Information

Monday Mar 11, 2013

The Attractiveness of Automated Capture, Scanning and Imaging for Your E-Business Applications

Ok, let's face it.  When we bring up a topic like automated capture, scanning and imaging, it might not make your heart flutter.  And when we see a blog post about automating processes like Accounts Payable Invoice Processing, I doubt your pulse quickens.  But maybe it should!  Let me explain...

Today, we have posted a new "screencast" that walks you through a short before and after scenario showcasing how the use of Oracle WebCenter Imaging can slash the costs associated with AP invoicing.  It's about 7 minutes long and the perfect thing to watch before you head off to your next meeting.  While many companies use Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise or JD Edwards to optimize how business transactions are handled, the handling and management of associated documents and other files are often disconnected.  Fixing this problem and driving further efficiencies is certainly a great way to become bit more popular around the office.

Here's how.  Many companies are still relying on paper forms, faxes, letters, scanned images and digital content as key elements within business processes.  These items should ideally be easily referenced, stored and managed within the scope of the process, but when it is a piece of paper or a fax, that can get very tricky.  That invoice might be in a stack of papers on a specialist’s desk over at headquarters.  Or maybe that fax with the new contract terms got routed to a clerk’s e-mail but he is on vacation for the next 10 days.  You get the picture; the information is in the company...somewhere.   But when paper or disconnected and unmanaged files are involved, everything becomes a manual process which of course means it is error prone, slow and likely under a poor level of governance.

That's where Oracle WebCenter Imaging Solutions come in.  With native integrations for Oracle E-Business applications, you can automate the capture of documents, images and forms and automatically detect the type of form or document, retrieve line item information right off the document and route it into the appropriate process.  And that is where the appeal comes in.  When you bring in WebCenter and start improving first one, and then multiple processes, you will start seeing immediate results that drive significant cost savings.  Having that sort of vision and eye for strategic business improvement drives recognition and visibility within any company.  And who knows what might happen next with your newfound recognition?  Perhaps your boss sees your value and gives you that big salary increase you now so clearly deserve.  Upper management hears about the difference you are making in your part of the organization and invites you to present your ideas at the next leadership meeting.  The next thing you know you are having cocktails with the CEO's daughter on the porch of their summer house in St. Tropez. 

Admittedly, your scenario might be somewhat different from this one but when it comes to making significant improvements to the company’s bottom line by optimizing back-end processes like AP Invoicing, the results are proven and tangible.  Learning more about how your organization can save money and be more efficient is certainly time well-spent, and just might pay some personal dividends.  Check out the screencast to learn more and check back on this blog throughout the week for more information.  You may not end up in St. Tropez, but no matter where you work, being smart and saving money is always sexy.

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Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Not to miss! Today’s web seminar on content integration with Oracle Apps

Hello everyone.  The first web seminar in a three-part series kicks off later today, focused on the value of delivering and controlling the flow of content in the context of your most critical business applications.  

If you are using Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne or Siebel CRM, we heartily recommend you investigate the value of centralizing the delivery of scanned images, forms, faxes and digital documents within those processes.  The improvements in efficiency and productivity can result in some impressive cost savings.

One customer recently reported that they had realized an impressive ROI of 180% and that the investment in this new technology had paid for itself in a mere 6 months

We hope you can spare some time today to join us at 1pm Eastern Time / 10am Pacific Time / 18:00 GMT. We think you will find it time well spent.  

Click here to attend.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday Aug 16, 2012

Webinar: WebCenter Imaging and Process Management for Accounts Payable

Oracle WebCenter Webinar Series

E-Business Suite Customers

You're Invited to join Oracle’s WebCenter Product Management Team and Sena Systems in an
Exclusive Webinar for E-Business Suite Customers


WebCenter Imaging and Process Management for
Accounts Payable


Learn how Oracle E-Business Suite customers achieve the following with WebCenter Imaging for Accounts Payable:

  • Eliminate the need for paper processing and storage
  • Speed up Accounts Payable processing
  • Reduce Accounts Payable operational costs


Please join Oracle’s WebCenter Product Management team and partner Sena Systems for an overview of the solution, a review of previous customer success, and a product demonstration.

Thursday, August 30, 2012
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST

Kindly RSVP to this event by contacting Justine Eller via email at justine.eller@oracle.com or by telephone at: (650) 633-6635.

Webinar details will be distributed upon registration.

Thank you for your support of Oracle solutions!

Wednesday Mar 03, 2010

Oracle I/PM 11g Webcast Recap

Last week we officially unveiled Oracle Imaging & Process Management 11g (Oracle I/PM 11g). In the launch webinar, Oracle VP of Product Management Andy MacMillan talked about application imaging - how Oracle I/PM 11g provides an end-to-end document imaging system comprised of a set of integrated products and technologies that automate transactional applications such as accounts payable. The paper element of this process (invoices), leads to increased costs and inefficiencies. Oracle I/PM 11g provides integrated capture, intelligent indexing (forms recognition), centralized storage, automated workflows, process monitoring, and in-context access to imaged documents directly from enterprise applications, including Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft. This end-to-end imaging system decreases paper-based costs, streamlines operations, and improves process visibility.

Andy also discussed Oracle's new direction in enterprise imaging. Previous I/PM versions utilized a .NET architecture, which meant it was disjointed from other Fusion Middleware products and therefore it was difficult to integrate their capabilities and utilize their technologies. I/PM 11g has a J2EE architecture, which places it firmly on the Oracle Fusion Middleware technology stack. This is very important as implementing "Red Stack" customers can leverage an integrated set of Fusion Middleware components (SOA & BPM) to simplify their deployments. I/PM 11g also leverages Oracle Universal Content Management for metadata and document storage, providing organizations with a scalable and robust repository for all enterprise content.

The Q & A session that followed the webinar was very lively as more that 100 questions were submitted. Here are a few of those questions with answers provided:

Q: What advantages does I/PM 11g have over competing document imaging solutions?
A: Oracle I/PM 11g is the most complete, most integrated, and most cost-effective imaging system for the end-to-end management of document images within enterprise business processes:

 


  • Most Complete: End-to-end processing of transactional documents - from capture and forms recognition, to storage and management, to business process integration - all on one platform.



  • Most Integrated: Provides certified, standards-based integrations with Oracle Applications, including E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft. Also has embedded workflow capability from Oracle BPM Suite, and utilizes Oracle Universal Content Management for metadata and document storage.


  • Most Cost-Effective: Oracle Application integrations utilize SOA, which not only reduces implementation costs but also preserves integrity of integration during I/PM or application upgrades. Furthermore, pre-built solution templates exist for processes such as accounts payable, simplifying deployment. Lastly, standards-based workflows can be easily extended to other enterprise business processes, reducing service/consulting costs.


Q: What is the embedded workflow capability of I/PM 11g?

A: Oracle I/PM 11g has standardized on the capabilities provided by Oracle Business Process Management Suite. This is an industry-leading, standards-based tool for the creation of human and automated workflows, and adds additional functionality such as a business activity monitoring dashboard, that previous I/PM versions lacked.

 

Q: Can I purchase I/PM standalone?
A: Yes. I/PM is sold as a single product, or it is included with the purchase of Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite, which also includes Oracle Universal Content Management and Oracle Records Management. However, the true value of any imaging product is the set of integrated functionality that other products provide, such as capture and forms recognition systems. Together, this integrated set of products help organizations achieve their highest level of process automation.

Q: Can data captured from invoices be automatically parsed into fields within an ERP?
A: Yes. Oracle I/PM 11g is integrated with Oracle Document Capture and Oracle Forms Recognition. Invoices are captured by Oracle Document Capture and delivered to Oracle Forms Recognition, which intelligently extracts the invoice data from the images (header information, line item details) and delivers that data to the ERP while storing the images in Oracle I/PM 11g.

We will soon follow up with an additional blog post addressing some of the other questions asked during the webinar - stay tuned! In the meantime, please check out the Content Management 11g launch center.

Tuesday Feb 16, 2010

Oracle I/PM 11g Webinar

The Oracle Imaging & Process Management 11g (Oracle I/PM 11g) webinar will take place next week. The webinar will discuss Oracle's end-to-end document imaging system, which has been pre-integrated with Oracle Applications, including Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft. Oracle I/PM 11g includes an integrated set of Oracle Content Management products and certified, standard-based integrations with Oracle Applications, providing organizations with an optimized method to process transactional content, such as invoices and expense reports, while delivering in-context access to the content directly from the Oracle Applications' user interface.

Please join Andy MacMillan, Vice President, Product Management at Oracle, as he discusses the capabilities of Oracle I/PM 11g, and how it provides organizations with an end-to-end system to process and manage document images within Oracle Applications.

About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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