Solutions abound at Work Process/2001

Solutions abound at Work Process/2001

Many new products and partnerships were announced by TAWPI Affiliate members at Work Process/2001.

At TAWPI’s 31st Annual Forum in New Orleans, there were several recurring themes, both general and specific.

On a general level there was more partnering. This was particularly notable between the recognition vendors and the data capture vendors. Neurascript (44 (0) 1223 488570 / www.neurascript.com), eager to be recognized for its recognition engines on this side of the Atlantic, trumpeted its agreement with Kofax Imaging (949-727-1733 / www.kofax.com) (Neurascript’s forms processing features are integrated as a custom module in Kofax’s Ascent Capture.). AMOS (404-876-8800) and BISYS (856-424-0150 / www.bisys.com) announced an agreement to provide remittance software for the community bank industry and Open Scan (303-333-7444 / www.openscantech. com) signed an OEM agreement with Mitek (858-635-5900 / www.miteksys.com) to incorporate Mitek toolkits directly into the Open Scan solution.

Several vendors announced products or methodologies designed to securely output key entry tasks to offshore or home-based workers. Using various methods of encrypting data, by perfecting distributed data entry, a pool of untapped workers can be accessed.

Virtual Solutions (717-731-6200 / www.virtualsolutions.com) announced vCapture version 3.0, which promises to lessen the volume of work being outsourced to temporary workers or service bureaus. Rather than relinquishing control over data to a third party, this solution extracts field data and transmits these “snippets” to remote workers. Not only is data encrypted, but it is removed from the context of other data, which might compromise its security. Data output in this manner is entered and validated by at least two independent sources, adding accuracy as well as data integrity.

Virtual Solutions brought one of its flagship customers to New Orleans to talk about the product. Ernie Fanella, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Imaging bureau said, “Security and quality of data are critical to the success of processing millions of tax returns.”

With much fanfare (a New Orleans Jazz band marched through the expo hall) check recognition solution provider Orbograph (978-901-5042 / www.orbograph.com), and its reseller AFS (405-787-1800 / www.afsimage. com), introduced OrboCAR APEX, a software extension to its family of courtesy amount and legal amount recognition products. The companies boast that the new “smart” character amount recognition (CAR) tool will, “virtually eliminate the need for data entry clerks in check and remittance processing shops.”

The solution combines the AFS DREAM product (Dynamic Reject Entry Automation Module) with check recognition technologies from Orbograph and the distributed verification across the Internet to support 100% automated read rates.

OrboCAR APEX provides highly accurate recognition results for amounts and other fields on items processed and automates the back office processing function of amount keying. The solution improves overall throughput and is able to deliver faster results to the remittance or POD application than currently possible in today’s existing operations. OrboCAR APEX can also be used to eliminate slow manual tasks such as reject repair or data entry for miscellaneous fields, including account numbers.

“OrboCAR APEX is a 100% solution that we expect will transform the remittance and POD operations as they become radically streamlined,” said Joseph Gregory, VP of marketing at Orbograph. “This automation makes the process much easier for the end-user and results in significant cost savings.”

“This is sure to be the most significant development in remittance processing this year”, said Jeff Vetterick AFS VP of marketing.

Wasuau Financial Systems (715359-0427 / www.wausaufs.com), likewise addressed what it called the “ugly work” of item processing-handling exception items-with enhancements to its ImageRPS application suite. Wausau is Web-enabling its item processing as well.

Repeatedly TAWPI exhibitors stressed the value of securely tapping into home-based key operators for data entry and validation. Web functionality was often repeated, as were workflow improvements for exception processing.

Work Process/2001 was also the debutante ball of new releases. Neurascript’s Data Capture Suite 3.0 was unveiled, offering sophisticated recognition functions as well as modules for data extraction and correction. Tangent Systems (847-882-3833 / www.tangent-systems.com) released the next version (2.0) of its DocuTran II product, which contains upgraded image analysis and a Customer Notation Detection (CND) feature to automate the routing of documents lacking signatures.

In addition to those partnerships announced at Work Process/2001, New Orleans proved to be fertile ground for deal-making. Shortly after the Forum, Open Scan announced an OEM relationship with fellow– exhibitor Mitek Systems, to incorporate Mitek toolkits directly into the Open Scan Solution. The partnership will address the increasingly competitive market for processing unstructured documents.

“This new partnership will allow Open Scan to offer our clients industry leading template-less forms recognition,” said Nadine Lange, president of Open Scan. “The Mitek technology is a great complement to our interactive recognition and structured forms processing capabilities because it allows us to find floating data on forms without human interaction.”

Mitek image tools provide cleanup and enhancement, while its DynaFind product is rules-based to find fields that “float” around a page or change names. A purchase order or invoice, for example, might have 200 different vendors with 200 different styled forms. DynaFind could read “Invoice Number”, “Inv. No.”, or “Inv. #”. DynaFind locates the information and sends it to the recognition engine.

“The primary benefit is that DynaFind provides a way to extract data that no other automated technology like this could previously handle,” said David Tente, Mitek national sales manager. “It results in some very dramatic savings in labor costs.”

Tente explained that in addition to invoices, Mitek is looking to include processing such documents as employment forms, explanation of benefits for medical forms, check registers, purchase orders and bills of lading.

“Open Scan solves the problem of handling of exception or ‘white’ mail by automating a larger percentage of the document stream, thereby reducing labor costs as well as processing time,” Tente said. “Open Scan’s growing list of installations and major partners give testament to the fact that the company and its solution have matured significantly over the past few years.”

Cash Management Solutions, Inc. (727-524-1103 / www.cashmgmt.com) announced a Web-based lockbox reporting and management product suite called Access-Plus. The system allows lockbox clients to retrieve data and images of their incoming payments over the Internet on an intraday, real-time basis. It also allows them to review “exception items” and provide real-time feedback to their lockbox processor.

One of the primary functions of the system will be to allow lockbox clients to access their payment data and images. Access-Plus will provide this access via a secure Website with full search capabilities. Once the search is finished, the user is given a list of results that will link them to the images of checks, invoices, payment coupons, customer correspondence, and their corresponding data. Lockbox providers will also be able to collaborate with customers on decisions regarding exception payments by scanning the exceptions and posting them to the Website, allowing customers to view the exceptions and provide immediate feedback by selecting the “accept” or “reject” option for each exception they review.

Alogent Corp. (888-333-6030 / www.alogent.com) demonstrated its “converging payments” solution for remittance processors by integrating front office distributed image capture with back office remittance processing.

Face-to-face or front office bill payments are a costly problem for many large billers in the utilities, telecom and cable industries, where a tremendous number of bills are paid using cash and checks, at a very high cost per transaction. For some billers, as many as 35% of payments are paid at these agent counters, which charge fees to the biller of up to $1 per transaction. Alogent seeks to solve those problems with integrated and automated transaction capture at the bill counter through its front office solution, Sierra xClearing.

Sierra xClearing performs remote image capture, data correction and transaction balancing, then sends the validated and balanced transaction data to its Web-based publishing system. Images will be transmitted to a long-term image archive program.

When Sierra xClearing is installed and integrated with back office remittance capture, the validated and balanced transaction data is posted electronically to a central payment processing facility or back office. Paper checks, cash tickets and remittance stubs may be truncated at the point of payment, or they can follow the balanced electronic transaction data for later final encoding.

Meet the Press

At TAWPI Work Process/2001, several vendors conducted press briefings to highlight recent accomplishments and product developments.

VisionShape (800-962-3585 / www.visionshape. com), which is in the midst of developing an Active-X version of its TIFFSurfer plug-in, in response to the unexpected loss of support from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5.5, highlighted its high performance page and check scanners, barcode reading, image manipulation, character recognition and OMR, as well as image viewing.

AiWorks (866-806-6893 /www.aiworks.com) showcased Liquid Document, a records management system for administering imaged documents, electronic audio recordings, computer files and any other electronic data. Liquid Document offers a competitively priced imaging system for converting from microfilm and paper files.

Panini (937-291-2195 / www.panini.com) demonstrated its ICR Vision enhancement feature for the Si Vision Series scanners. Panini is also addressing the migration to check processing at the teller level with the addition of two new desktop reader sorters for checks and item processing SI Vision 170 and the St Vision 80. With a speed performance of respectively 80 and 170 dpm, the transports add to the mid size transport series intended for branch image capture.

The first of the S1 Vision Series had a performance of 120 dpm for mid size item processing applications, upstream image capture, four adjustable pockets, and ink jet endorsement integrated within the machine.

Developed initially to solve the medium-size bank branch check processing requirements, it has expanded into such new fields as remittance, voucher processing, multi document applications and POD.

Faxinating Solutions (800-282-6283 www.faxinatingsolutions.com) demonstrated its automated document processing which supports an extensive number of communication protocols and 132B exchange capabilities (edi2fax, Fax2edi, edi2Web, Fax2erp, Web2erp, edi2erp, edi2scm, voice, email, mail, etc.) along with A2Ai (Application to Application Integration) and associated consulting and professional services. Other services Faxinating offers include documents and forms scanning, archiving, indexing, hosted data-warehousing, hosted data-mining, data-capture, data-transformation, disaster recovery through data-mirroring, 24/7 document search and retrieval, and 24/7 data access and retrieval. All access to hosted solutions is provided through secure web-centric portals that afford total backbone and power supply redundancy, ensuring your data servers are both protected and supported in the event of a communications or power failure

Kleindienst (713-627-1911 / www.kleindienst.com) highlighted a universal scanner that handles batches of mixed documents from check size up to legal format documents. With three cameras, Kleindienst scanners create bi-tonal images (needed for intelligent character recognition) and colored grayscale images of both document sides for the processing of enquiries. The scanners reach speeds of up to 6,000 check-size or 3,300 fullpage documents per hour.

Kleindienst also promoted its electronic archive for payment transactions. The images of all payment transaction documents and related attachments, as well as accounting and processing data, are available at all times for network-wide research.

AMA (917-237-0390 / www.a2ia.com), which has successfully integrated with the Kofax Ascent Capture product, stressed the ability to capture both machine written characters as well as handwritten, and even cursive, text. The France-based A2iA has made progress accessing the U.S. market through recent agreements with many check processing companies, including AMOS, CSC, Netvantage, ImageSoft and Silver Bullet.

At Press Time

IRS Processing Spells Trouble for Mellon Bank Read Reaction at www.tawpi.org

Copyright Association for Work Process Improvement Oct 2001

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