Onward and Upward With Document Process Automation. As a Cloud Service. ESKER ON DEMAND

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1 Onward and Upward With Document Process Automation As a Cloud Service ESKER ON DEMAND

2 Assessing the Strategic Value of Cloud Services Cloud and SaaS appeal Quitting paper Most companies today recognize the enormous operational efficiencies and sustainability benefits to be gained by removing paper from business processes that rely on documents, and many have already automated parts of key processes. Still, the cost and complexity of implementing software and hardware to achieve comprehensive automation can be prohibitive making cloud computing and the Software as a Service (SaaS) model attractive. Cloud services have become part of many organizations process improvement strategies for several key reasons: IT maintenance costs are spiraling out of control Businesses need to do more with less Bandwidth and connectivity are available Cloud services can make data available to ERP applications and other business systems Security can be ensured According to IT industry analysts, early concerns over security and general performance of cloud services have faded as SaaS models have matured and been adopted by more organizations. A Gartner survey found that 95 percent of companies expected to grow or maintain use of SaaS through 2010, 1 and a Businessweek Research Services survey found that 4 out of 5 managers and senior executives in North America are either interested in, or in the process of, adopting cloud services using the SaaS approach. 2 Both surveys identified IT cost and complexity as top factors driving the trend. What s driving cloud service adoption? Making the business case Everyone wants to save money these days, and businesses are specifically looking to reduce capital expense budgets. At the same time, companies are facing the need to replace installed software that no longer provides the document processing functionality or flexibility they require, and they want to deploy solutions as quickly and easily as possible. And ultimately, those on the front lines would rather focus on improving processes instead of managing servers for faxing and ing. Key attributes driving organizations to adopt cloud services for document processing include: Quick deployment and immediate ROI Flexible pay-as-you-go pricing No on-premise infrastructure Low implementation cost, low risk Little or no IT investment With cloud services, organizations can deploy document processing solutions across the enterprise quickly and pay only for what they use. This offers an extremely low-risk approach because it costs virtually nothing to implement a core component of the efficiency and sustainability initiatives that so many companies are focused on. Instead of installing and managing software to gain automation savings (and using energy to run server computers and other infrastructure for document processing), organizations can simply access the technology via the Internet. As an alternative to the traditional approach of installing software on premise, cloud services make the benefits of document process automation readily available. Essentially, all that s needed is an Internet connection to deploy automated document processing across the entire enterprise. The SaaS approach offers the opportunity to shift ROI from the project level to the document level (capital versus operational expense) for immediate ROI. 1 Gartner Survey Indicates More Than 95 Percent of Organizations Expect to Maintain or Grow Their Use of SaaS Through Gartner, Inc., April 29, Marion, Larry. What s Driving SaaS Adoption? Internet.com, October,

3 Automating with confidence Taking care in the cloud While cloud services offer clear financial benefits and operational advantages, the thought of handing off management of core business processes still makes some companies nervous. Companies are well-advised to proceed with caution because outcomes are dependent upon the provider s ability to safeguard network connections and information flow. Data privacy, access control, and business continuity are key considerations for any company in choosing a provider. The good news is that cloud service providers have worked hard to ensure protection of sensitive information and support for compliance with privacy regulations, and those efforts have paid off. Top-tier SaaS facilities combine physical and virtual infrastructure to secure enterprise information within and outside the walls of the organization. Lingering apprehension about security is addressed by cloud services specifically designed to safeguard document processing. Data security and confidentiality Key features to ensure that your data is handled securely and confidentially include vendor-hosted data centers with key card entry, biometric recognition, digital surveillance, secure protocols (HTTPS, SFTP, SSL) for data and document transfer, logical security and physical security controls, application security measures, and process auditing capabilities. Access control Secure login and password protection, folder-level and document-level restriction to specific users or groups, identity administration, role management and user provisioning all help control access to cloud services. Reliability and scalability To deliver highly reliable and scalable performance, a cloud service for document process automation should offer automatic 24/7/365 system monitoring to ensure operational continuity. In addition, a solution leveraging multitenant architecture facilitates easy deployment of new technologies and additional capacity so you will benefit from system updates and improvements automatically. Availability Cloud service availability is enhanced by a redundant disk array subsystem architecture for high performance and fault tolerance. Clustering and load balancing promote server efficiency and continuity assurance, as does redundancy of servers, networks and telecommunications. SaaS facilities should have backup generators for the electrical infrastructure as well as active and passive fire prevention measures and temperature control for humidity and pressure. Recovery Essential safeguards for disaster recovery preparedness include data mirroring, replication and synchronization, and failover capabilities. The cloud service provider should have a rapid response team available around the clock in case of emergency. Additional detail about cloud services and SaaS security is found in the white paper, Securing the Flow of Information: Software as a Service and Your Confidential Data, available from Esker. 3

4 SaaS and Document Process Automation Order-to-cash and procure-to-pay All processes within the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay cycles of business rely on documents. The pains of paper handling are concentrated in a few key areas: sales order processing, accounts receivable, purchasing and accounts payable. Cloud services offer the opportunity to integrate end-to-end automation with existing business processes, encompassing entire document lifecycles from inbound receipt and data capture to workflow, archiving and outbound delivery. ORDER-TO-CASH PROCURE-TO-PAY SALES ORDER PROCESSING Customer Order Purchase Order E-PURCHASING Payment Payment Your Customers Your Company Your Vendors Customer Invoice Vendor Invoice ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE ACCOUNTS PAYABLE Why the cloud makes sense SaaS offers the ability to implement document process automation solutions rapidly and cost-effectively, without the need to build or expand an in-house network. With a mature and well-defined SaaS model, cloud services can put the most powerful document processing technologies at an organization s disposal and the enterprise can dynamically adapt to new business challenges and deploy solutions quickly. With the right cloud service: Users anywhere in an organization can leverage the automation platform at any time to process customer orders, vendor invoices, customer invoices and purchase orders efficiently and consistently Geographically separate business units can all share in the benefits of visibility, tight controls, support for effective process management and operational cost reduction Services can be customized easily so that each user only has access to the components he or she needs Minimal implementation cost brings the benefits of automated document processing to organizations of any size so small and medium businesses can gain process efficiencies once practical only for large corporations Managers can accelerate execution of document automation projects without the need for deep involvement of IT resources or large budget allowances for implementation cost 4

5 Cloud Services for Inbound Document Automation Vendor invoice and sales order management Simply put, cloud services can enable more people throughout the organization to operate more effectively when it comes to accounts payable and sales order processing. A cloud-based SaaS approach allows enterprises to expand automated invoice or order entry and approval workflow beyond the walls of the company to subsidiary offices, remote employees, manufacturing facilities, and other locations with best-of-breed security. A key point of value here is that the SaaS approach does not require a company to open the corporate firewall. Document is 1 Verification is Data and submitted done through routed to 4 passed to 5 image are web application staff for approval manager for final uploaded to ERP sign-off Order or Invoice With a cloud service, scanned documents or those sent via fax, or web can enter into an automated workflow for approval upon receipt. Orders and invoices can be dispatched to the appropriate business units where staff receive timely alerts that prompt them to sign-off on documents. Each order or invoice can be processed based on business rules matched to document attributes such as customer or supplier, amount, product, business unit, etc. Every step of the workflow process can documented, and all documents can be automatically archived and retrieved immediately for reference or auditing. Fax-to-order For sales orders in particular, fax continues to be a medium of choice for customer transactions and a source of pain for businesses. Nearly every company has a certain percentage of customers who want to fax their orders, often because they are unwilling or unable to use EDI. While companies need reliable faxing capabilities to keep business processes running, most are not interested in supporting the required infrastructure. Fax hardware and software can be time-consuming to manage and expensive to support. Cloud faxing offers a cost-effective way to: Ensure reliable fax with a solution that is transparent to users Let IT staff focus on process improvement instead of fax server configuration and maintenance Support change control and business continuity by limiting the effect of changes like ERP upgrades on faxing systems, and avoiding downtime with around-the-clock monitoring FAX SERVER HARDWARE PURCHASE 6% SOFTWARE LICENSE MAINTENANCE IMPLEMENTATION & CUSTOMIZATION Compared with cloud faxing, the costs of using a fax server go far beyond software and hardware. Cloud faxing eliminates the hidden costs of relying on a fax server. There are no startup costs and the service is simple to use, with no real training involved. It can be easily integrated with existing business systems and there is nothing to install. TRAINING TELCO COST 10% 25% 33% 10% 19% HIDDEN COSTS FAX SERVICE INITIAL SET-UP PER-PAGE FEE 28% 72% HIDDEN COSTS 5

6 RA GH RA GH Cloud Services for Outbound Document Automation Purchase order and customer invoice management For outgoing documents within accounts receivable and procurement, cloud services effectively eliminate the need for businesses to maintain a large enough supply of IT resources to handle the highest peaks in volume even though the average daily demand for capacity is much lower. Industry analysts consistently estimate that around 80 percent of IT infrastructure in the U.S. is idle at any specific time. Cloud services solve the IT resource problem by supplying virtually unlimited capacity on demand, without the continual IT investment associated with maintaining document delivery infrastructure. How the services work Documents are submitted from business applications or from the desktop Documents are securely transmitted to the vendor production facility, where they are faxed and/or processed, formatted, printed, folded, stamped and handed off to the postal service Status of faxes and individual pieces of mail is directly fed into business application and visible to users ENTERPRISE VENDOR DESTINATION Fax Document FAX BUSINESS APPLICATIONS Notification Mail MAIL Behind the scenes At the vendor production center, documents are received and processed by facilities that provide performance, reliability and security of applications, infrastructure and operations at levels that are above what most companies can or want to support. Documents and messages are handled confidentially, with all the elements necessary to guarantee data security, access control, reliability and scalability, availability and recovery. Multitenant architecture, in which users and applications share a single, centrally maintained infrastructure and code base, offers the advantage of easy deployment of new technologies and additional capacity. The SaaS applications are always available and always current, with automatic upgrades delivering the latest functionality enhancements. DATA CENTER MAIL FACTORY internet Fax Postal Mail 6

7 Plugging into Esker on Demand Power of the platform Long before the current cloud services boom, Esker identified SaaS as the best way to make the quit paper benefits of automated document processing readily accessible to organizations of all sizes in all industries. Over the past decade Esker has brought together technologies and integration services to offer high-value solutions, and today Esker on Demand services run critical business processes for thousands of organizations around the world, processing millions of documents a month. Leveraging advanced technology At the heart of Esker on Demand is patented business rules engine technology that can automate virtually any paper-based business process in any type of organization. Esker on Demand solutions offer imaging and workflow automation capabilities that go beyond basic OCR to analyze content and execute processing based on business rules governing distribution, and are not dependent upon templates or specific document formats. Data is automatically captured and analyzed using this intelligent technology to eliminate manual data entry. Resulting documents can be formatted and delivered to multiple destinations via any combination of transport media. The original document image is automatically stored for retrieval as needed. Fax ERP Web Publishing Capture Applications CRM Scan Content Analysis Workflow Content Formatting Delivery Customers Vendors Partners Employees Fax and Electronic Archive Esker on Demand solutions offer businesses the benefits of this industry-leading technology without the cost of buying, building and maintaining infrastructure to support it. Print 7

8 Solution Example: Healthcare Products Co. With Esker on Demand Sales Order Processing, this $10 billion global manufacturer s inbound fax orders are routed and processed into one of three queues for different business units. Sales orders are automatically analyzed to extract relevant data such as customer name, sales order number, material number, unit of measure, and PO total. Rush and priority orders are identified for special processing. The Esker service then performs a database lookup to check the data captured. Once the data is validated, the Esker service automatically creates an X12 EDI file for secure delivery to the company s ERP application. The original sales order is then indexed, allowing users to quickly retrieve it from a database or repository available in the company s ERP system and the web interface of the Esker service. If discrepancies are found between the data capture and the ERP master data, the sales order is presented to a user in an online web validation interface showing a side-by-side view of the sales order and the captured data. Here users can also teach the system how to recognize the correct data in different order formats. When a customer s format has been taught, users can enable Touchless, and future orders are automatically processed from fax reception to secure EDI delivery without agent involvement. Fax #1 Fax #2 No Exceptions EDI ERP Fax #3 Faxes received into three fax numbers which correspond to three different business units. These will exist as separate queues in Document Manager. CSRs work the various queues in Document Manager. Lookups performed to validate fields: Customer Account #, Ship To, Sold To, PO #, Item # (SKU), Quantity, Price, Description, Units of Measure. CSR submits order, X12 EDI file created by Esker platform and sent into ERP system via AS2 transmission Validations occur in ERP system Exceptions? Nightly file sent from ERP system to Esker service with updated Customer Master and Materials Master data Exceptions process ROI highlights 100% visibility of processed orders Ability to prioritize special orders 70% completely touchless processing rate 100% electronic order throughput 3.5 fewer CSRs processing orders $1,800 monthly order processing cost savings 8

9 About Esker Esker is a recognized leader in helping organizations eliminate manual processes, gain process visibility and control, and reduce the use of paper by automating the flow of documents into, within and out of the organization. With its comprehensive software platform and patented technology, Esker delivers the advantages of automated document processing either as a powerful on-premise solution or as an on-demand cloud services (SaaS) leveraging Esker-hosted infrastructure to automate every phase and every type of business information exchange. Customers achieve significant and immediate operational efficiencies, cost savings and measurable ROI in as little as three to six months. Founded in 1985, Esker operates globally with more than 80,000 customers and millions of licensed users worldwide. Esker has global headquarters in Lyon, France and U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, visit 9

10 Contact Us Esker, Inc Deming Way, Suite 350 Madison WI Tel: Worldwide Esker Locations Americas Australia France Germany Italy Malaysia New Zealand Singapore Spain United Kingdom WP-EOD-US-004-B

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