2017 capture technologies review and predictions for 2018

Let’s start by reviewing 2017- a year in which capture technologies fully emerged from the mailroom and developed into applications that address real-time, immediate, customer requirements.  In talking to our partners and customers, the consensus is clear:  capture technologies are providing the ease of use and producing the data quality required in today’s fast paced business environments. Throughout 2018, these proven capture benefits will expand in scope to address the larger topic of business automation and be applied to new, high value, use cases.

Strong growth in the capture market

Looking back on 2017, the capture market continued to experience strong growth—over 10%—according to leading analyst firm Harvey Spencer Associates (HSA). And going forward, as described by HSA, “capture capabilities are becoming  less operational and more strategic.” It’s a trend  Spencer discusses in his recent whitepaper. Where capture has previously been used primarily to enhance efficiency in operations, now capture technologies are also being used to drive business processes in a way that has the C-suite taking notice. The adoption rates of mobile, real-time capture, and Advanced Recognition have created new markets and they’re being used in ways that are driving innovation far beyond traditional, back-office, mailroom operations.

Innovation is driving real-time capture solution development

Innovation is driving real-time capture solution development and having a direct impact on customer experience. It’s easier than ever to embed capture technologies into customer-facing apps, allowing organizations to utilize powerful services to onboard new customers, speed up case management, and process transactions where an exchange of documents and data is required.

These kinds of customer-experience initiatives get attention come budget-allocation time because of their ability to not only speed processes, but also to increase customer satisfaction. Automated capture provides more than just saving money – expanding on such traditional benefits as reducing the footprint of physical document storage- now they make money by attracting more customers.

Your bank, for example, likely has a check-deposit feature so you can deposit your check via your mobile app and get access to the funds immediately—no more stopping into the nearest branch to make the deposit. Your bank’s app is doing more than just taking a picture of the check: these apps read the data from the check and deposit the funds in real-time. Such customer-centric, real-time implementations are making capture far more relevant than ever before.

The advent of mobile capture applications has an internal purpose as well. As companies become increasingly distributed and global, tools that allow for access of centrally stored information and documents are essential to creating a single source of data. Whether it is at a branch office or engaging with a sales representative on a call overseas, actionable data that is  captured immediately is a source of very high value to any organization.

Predictive analytics trend

Another trend in capture is predictive analytics, made possible through Advanced Recognition. Building on the example of the banking app, financial institutions can use the data from your check deposit to bridge business units and ask you if want to pay a bill with your newly available funds, or even allocate funds to an existing loan or new service. By connecting  products and services for increased  convenience and efficiency, the bank will help consumers see the value of doing business far beyond their regular savings and checking activities. Learn how Capitec Bank has automated customer onboarding and loan processing in this ebook.

Advanced Recognition

Through Advanced Recognition, capture technologies can automatically classify documents and extract all relevant data utilizing optical character recognition other proven techniques. The most immediate benefit of this is that documents get to the right department or workflow and can be filed appropriately, without human intervention. This provides a huge savings in time and resources, both for internal knowledge workers and for customers awaiting action on, say, a loan application or insurance claim.

Ironically, though paper use in business has been declining slowly (generally at 4-7% decline annually) the capture market has been seeing double-digit growth. Why? While the documents that we used to fill out and process on paper are still needed, more and more they are now being completed in electronic form. You’ve probably already signed an electronic document and sent it back for processing, without ever having to print it.

Businesses’ goals are now to process their paper forms as efficiently as these electronic ones, which in turn drives adoption of advanced capture technologies.  Organizations can use the same Advanced Recognition capture flow to process incoming documents in all formats- paper and electronic based- from any type of device.

The next logical step is the ability to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.  As capture solutions integrate AI, and increasingly integrate with cloud services, these scenarios become more realistic and available to businesses with lower costs and implementation times. Organizations, as demonstrated by capture automation in SAP environments , can benefit from these “the future is now” technologies and leverage AI to process all incoming documents efficiently, in real-time, with minimal manual intervention.

In summary, 2017 the capture market experiences double digit growth as innovative solutions began to extend capture’s reach beyond the mailroom and into customer facing applications. As organizations further implement proven advanced recognition capabilities, we anticipate 2018 to be a year of great change as capture further automates and extends value across the enterprise.

Clearly, capture not only saves money and automates manual processes, it gives organizations the ability to interact with customers in real-time- whether at work, home or on a mobile app.

Here’s to a productive and successful 2018!

Jim Hayes

Jim works in Capture Product Marketing for Enterprise Content Management at OpenText. He has 25 years of experience in the capture and information management markets, working for 12 years in Europe as country manager for Germany and then as Director of Business Development for EMEA. He has held several leadership roles in sales and marketing and is now based in the Bay Area.

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