Are you ready to Perform Automatic Business Processes with Advanced Insight?

Consistently, new technologies are introduced to increase business effectiveness and automatic business processes with improved insight are such an advancement. Thanks to scripted, rule-based workflows, content entry has gotten a whole lot easier.

Think about simple data with simple data entry. It is unrecognized and it has no meaning. When it’s captured, the process to understanding has begun.

The data can then be classified so it turns into information where important components are identified, and that can be used in transactions. When complete, data has transformed into information and then knowledge for the organization to improve their understanding.

As demonstrated in the chart below, the process of data being captured to becoming understood knowledge, leads you through the transformation from Enterprise Content Management to Customer Experience Management. This means that you are taking the information from a company view and understanding how it will be utilized to benefit customers and their needs—which drives customer loyalty.

automatebusinessprocesses

As another example, social media is data and companies are able to discover useful information to help maintain relationships and business partnerships—providing power to see concerns, complements, as well as feedback.

Using this methodology—Intelligent Document Understanding—will make your business more competitive.

For more information on Intelligent Document Understanding and automatic business processes and advanced insight, download our whitepaper.

Hayley

Integration of new information sources  

With modern technology continuously expanding, there are numerous ways to receive information – both structured and unstructured. Today, paper documents and mail are becoming outdated as sources such as social media, mobile apps, and Web sites take over in volume and significance.

These new information sources are known as “big data,” and they are explosively increasing.  Big data gives businesses more data that is available to be analyzed, which in return makes for better decision making.

However, many businesses find these sources to be “chaotic or difficult to manage,” according to AIIM’s report titled “State of the ECM Industry 2011.”  Paper documents are easy for businesses and organizations to manage because they are easily organized through a capture system.  But how does one organize a Tweet, e-mail, Web document, and a phone call all about the same thing?

For example, say you get in a car accident. You would take a picture on your Smartphone of the damage, call your insurance agency to explain what happened, e-mail the photos from your Smartphone, and depending on how you feel about your insurance company’s service, you might Tweet about your experience.

 

ImageThe insurance agency must then manually enter all of that data you provided to them into a unique customer claim case folder – which can be very tedious and time consuming.  Ultimately, this work will provide the insurance agency with instant photos of the case, instant communication with the customer, and overall details about the claim straight from the scene.

Businesses that are able to expand (and manage) their information sources with the proper solution will find that big data does not have to be time consuming and frustrating, but overall very rewarding.

 

Do you have any questions about multi-source integration?  Read more about this topic in our whitepaper.

Nikole

 

Answering your questions from LinkedIn

It has been a little more than a month since I began my responsibilities as Kodak Alaris’ Chief Executive Officer.  So that I could immediately connect with you at that time, I invited you to ask me questions via a LinkedIn post on Kodak Alaris’ company page.

To provide you with answers, I’m posting this blog so that everyone can see the Q&A in an easy-to-follow format.  Please let me know if you have any more questions for me or feedback.

Thank you for engaging with me on LinkedIn.

Alex Wellman: I appreciate that you were able to use the principles of economies of scale to create a company that still produces value from traditional products while also continuing to innovate. This is an extremely admirable trait for any company. Do you have any jobs available?

Ralf Gerbershagen:  Thanks for your feedback, Alex.  Yes, we do have positions available.  You can visit our career center, if you’re interested.  The address is http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Career_Opportunities.htm.  You can learn more about Kodak Alaris there too.

Peter George: Kodak’s huge investment in analogue photography in the past meant that when digital came the rate of change was so fast they could not react in time. Has Kodak Alaris taken this on board and will it be an innovator once again? If so what disruptive technologies do you foresee Kodak pioneering in the future?

RG: Appreciate the question, Peter.  My passions include driving long-term growth by way of innovation, empowerment, and accountability.  And those passions are behind everything I want to do for Kodak Alaris and our customers to enable success for all.

I am looking at the whole company at the moment and how we can expand. There are huge opportunities here. In Personalized Imaging (PI), we have more than 100,000 kiosks worldwide, with strong retail channels. In social networks, there are millions and millions of pictures that people never dig out. Our charter is to look into this and see how we can get people closer to the pictures they have, how we can get all the pictures of their lives back in front of them, and what method would we develop  On the Document Imaging (DI) side, there’s tremendous opportunity as well. That business is focused on the traditional software and scanner business to do document capturing and data capturing. We have licensed software that allows us to migrate from just data capturing. The scanner scans it, the software reads it, knows what it is, and then feeds it to the entire company where the document needs to go. We’re going from data capture to intelligent document management. This is an emerging market and a significant opportunity for the DI business around the world.

Document Imaging

Jeff Underwood: What are your plans for future photo scanning products?

RG:We constantly review the needs and desires of our customers.  For instance, we just released drivers that allow our Photo Scanning Systems (PS50 and PS80) to be directly driven from popular Mac-based applications.  Also, we released new Application Software versions at the end of 2013 for the PS50, PS55, and PS80.

Personalized Imaging

Matt Whitman: There are many, many artists and filmmakers – not just older ones but young, emerging, and mid career – whose work specifically requires the use of film for capturing and/or exhibition images as opposed to a digital means (just as a painter might require oil-based paints rather than water-based paints in order to successful create their work). Do you see film – both motion picture and photographic – as being a sustainable part of Kodak Alaris’ future?

RG: The Motion Picture business is still owned by the Eastman Kodak Company—a company that is separate from Kodak Alaris.

Film Capture is part of Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging business, offering consumers and professionals an award-winning range of still-camera film products.  We plan to stay in the film business as long as there’s a profitable market. Film is still in demand.  We’re happy to provide it … as long as it makes sense for us.  At the moment, it makes sense for us.

Heikki Repo: In the past years Kodak was known for somewhat rigid approach to distribution of products here in Europe. In many cases it has been almost impossible for smaller dealers to obtain Kodak products. What is your policy on this? Do you have plans to make it easier for small businesses to cooperate with Kodak Alaris in order to have your pro films more widely available? My question stems partly from a recent experience of a fellow photographer here in Finland who has been interested in taking Kodak Alaris pro films product range to his online store but thus far has been unable to reach anyone to discuss this business opportunity. My best wishes to you and thanks for your excellent products!

RG: Hi, Heikki.  Here is contact information for our distributor who covers is Finland.  Please connect with them.  Thank you.

Andris Dementjevs

Kodak key account manager

Poligrafijas apgads SIA
15 Lejupes street, Riga, LV-1076
Tel: +371 67551833
Mob: +371 26434821
Fax: +371 67551850
e-mail: mailto:andris.dementjevs@polap.lv

Timothy Brown: Many of us miss the look and connection to history we felt when taking pictures using Kodak’s old still photography stocks: Kodachrome, Plus-X, etc. Are there any plans to bring some of these older stocks back? Also, the photography community has had something of a back-to-basics moment: Ilford, lomography, and the Impossible Project have all tried to tap into a growing enthusiasm over film photography, classic cameras, and experimental photographic methods. Will Kodak Alaris follow suit and try to (further) integrate itself into the film photography community

RG: The key message to all the film shooters out there is that our full range of photographic films continues to be available.  Any decisions we’ve made in the past to drop a particular product were driven by changes in user preferences and/or digital substitution, resulting in substantial fall off in demand.   There is not much point in continuing to make a product that no one is buying in reasonable quantity.   Don’t forget that as we trimmed some of our portfolio, we also continued to optimize many of our films (PORTRA, T-MAX 400) and also added a new one, the very innovative EKTAR 100.

“Stone” Robert A Stone III: If Fuji stops producing E6 film, would you consider re-introducing E100G?

RG: The decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of our EKTACHROME films was a very difficult one.  It was based on a steady decrease in demand and customer usage, coupled with a highly complex product formulation and manufacturing process.  This conclusion was reached more than two (2) years ago.  At this point in time, it would not be practical to try to bring these products back to market.

Tom Ribaudo: Can Kodak Alaris sustain color still film production if Hollywood movies are made exclusively digital?

RG: Our award-winning portfolio of consumer and professional films are manufactured in Eastman Kodak’s world-class film factory via a supply agreement.  Kodak Alaris remains committed to the film capture business and has the ability to meet the needs of our customers for the foreseeable future

William Hogue: Would you consider appointing an official liaison to this group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/ishootfilm/members/ ?

RG: A number of our team members review the forums (APUG, Flickr, etc.) regularly.  We respond as often as we can.

William Hogue: Do you think it would be possible to downsize production while returning a few products to production, even if only periodically? I am thinking for example of the excellent but under-appreciated ProFotoXL 100 in 135 or 120 format.

RG: Decisions we’ve made in the past to discontinue particular films were driven by changes in user preferences and/or digital substitution, resulting in a substantial fall off in sales.   These discontinued products are more than adequately replaced by the films that Kodak Alaris offers today, which are the very best that Kodak has ever produced.

Samuel Davis: Is research and development into new/improved emulsions continuing, or is Kodak Alaris sticking to the emulsions it already has?

RG:Our current product portfolio delivers the very best films available in the world today.  In fact, these are the best films that the company has ever produced.   No improvements are necessary.

John Mosey: Is there any chance of your company bringing back transparency films such as Ektachrome and black and white films such as Panatomic-X and Plus-X Pan? Thanks in advance for your answer.

RG: The decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of our EKTACHROME films was a very difficult one.  It was based on a steady decrease in demand and customer usage, coupled with a highly complex product formulation and manufacturing process.  This conclusion was reached more than two (2) years ago.  At this point in time, it would not be practical to try to bring these products back to market.

Many of those older black and white films, in addition to declining sales, were also impacted by changing HSE requirements.   And to be fair, they were more than adequately replaced by the black and white films that Kodak Alaris offers today, which are the very best that the company has ever produced.

Thank you again for your questions.  If you missed the opportunity to write to me on LinkedIn, please submit your questions on this blog.

I’m looking forward to Kodak Alaris’ bright future—a future of winning together with our customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.

Ralf

Speed + Accuracy = Satisfied Customers!

In today’s modern enterprise business landscape, implementing a strong formula for success is key to optimizing the customer’s overall experience when interacting with that business.  It’s crucial to have accurate, consistent, and compliant communication.  Furthermore, fast and efficient communications are expected from today’s “always on” customers.

The adoption and proliferation of digital communications, customers’ expectations have grown to unprecedented levels in this area of business. Unfortunately, this means these expectations of speed and efficiency are often the same regardless of the communication medium or channel with which they reach out to a business. This can cause some headaches when trying to match digital speeds for conventional, paper-based channels and documents.

Most organizations receive inbound communications via at least four channels (plus telephone) with multiple content types per channel. These channels typically differ greatly when it comes to customer response times and process efficiencies. In a recent study by Kodak Alaris and AIIM, organizations admitted to vast improvement needs based on communication and input channel:

How would you rate the speed of response from your organization when customers use the following channels? (N=260)

CEM_speed_of_response_WP_Kodak_Alaris

Adopting sound processes and gaining efficiencies through the implementation of modern technology can help your business stay at the cutting edge and meet these high customer expectations. Once all communications channels are integrated, and transactional, customer and content systems are interconnected, efficiency techniques and process improvements can be applied to enhance productivity, but more importantly to improve the overall customer experience.

Want to read more about this topic?  Download the free study by Kodak Alaris and AIIM.

How data recognition drives intelligent document understanding

How does scanning a QR code with your phone, make the device present the right Web page? This is possible due to a form of data recognition, which is an important factor of intelligent document understanding.

qrcode

Intelligent document understanding first happens when information from a paper form has been scanned and converted into an image. Once a document has been converted, then key relevant data elements of that document can be recognized. There are different ways to do this and recognizing key elements ranges from very fast and accurate, to time-consuming and not as accurate.

To expand further, there are five main techniques for reading the data needed off of documents.

Picture1

The first two techniques are fast and accurate, but only extract key information from the forms of data; they do not read the entire document.

  • Barcode- For instance, when you pick out items at the grocery store they all have individual barcodes that allow the cash register to recognize what item it is and charge the appropriate amount. This method is very fast and accurate but has a limited range of document types because you must complete printing at the source.

 

  • Object Mark Recognition (OMR)- This type of data recognition is found on items such as surveys, school tests and applications. OMR can only understand yes/no type questions, it then takes the written marks and converts them to data on a device. This is in the process of being replaced by online capture of information.

 

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)- OCR can recognize printed text, such as shipping labels, unlike OMR which could only recognize marks. This technique is very accurate with Latin-based characters and is still under development with Asian languages. Although it is accurate, it is very intense so it can be a slow form of data recognition on PCs.

 

  • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)/ Handprint recognition- The final two techniques are grouped together because they are the least developed and least accurate forms of data recognition. These techniques understand handwritten data but only accurate when using a limited vocabulary or information that can be matched to a database.

 

Any questions on how data recognition works for intelligent document understanding?  Read more about this topic in our whitepaper.

 

Nikole

Image source

Dealing with a whirlwind of sources, data, and formats

Businesses deal with a whirlwind of sources, data, and formats.  Do you agree?

Businesses deal with a whirlwind of sources, data, and formats. Do you agree?

Do you fondly recall the days of simplified document management? I’ve met many people who do.  But, just as Bob Dylan aptly said, “the times they are a-changin’.”

Just a couple of decades ago we were only processing forms, correspondence, receipts, purchase orders, and so forth.  They were all quite straightforward and arrived as pieces of paper.  We had it easy and probably didn’t think so at the time.  Am I right?

There was no need to worry about e-mail correspondence, Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, images from smartphones, SMS/text messages, or multiple other information sources that are now part of our wired and wireless, social media world.  Physical documents used to arrive at a company, were scanned, and entered into content management systems (CMS), and then accessed by or sent to the appropriate individuals, departments, repositories, or other appropriate destinations.  Frankly, today’s document management needs are overwhelming and there’s always more change to come.

Of course, the evolution of electronic CMS addresses a portion of today’s challenges and helps to automate and better govern information capture, management, and storage. But many aspects—such as multi-channel capture—remain cumbersome, due to the volume and complexity of formats and limitations of technology.

Today, there is innovative technology available to better aggregate disparate data and make it intelligently useful for the enterprise and automate business processes.  If this is the first that you’ve heard of this, I’d like to welcome you to the era of multi-source, multi-channel information insight.  It’s a bright horizon that includes advanced capture, intelligent document recognition (IDR), classification and data extraction, multi-channel capture, and other emerging solutions that go beyond paper to address that whirlwind of sources, data, and formats.

In my next few blogs I’m going to provide an overview of leading approaches to present and future business challenges, technologies that are available and evolving, real-world examples…really, and key considerations as well as questions to ask technology solution providers as you work to enhance business processes and investigate potential systems.  Sound good to you?  Stay tuned to this blog.

Times are a-changin’.  Do you welcome what that means for your business and its future?

Roland 

P.S.: Download our white paper to learn more about this topic.  It’s free!