Much worth the paper it’s written on!

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By Susheel John


Today’s digital economy has caused organizations to be acutely aware of the harnessed power of big data. While the technology world may move from buzzword to buzzword, the concept of pulling analytics out of vast amounts of data for intelligent information is still a powerful notion.

As organizations move towards a data-driven approach to almost everything, a broader set of audience within the enterprise will be looking for information that can be extracted from data, primarily the non-technical business users including sales, front-line customer operations and service support.

Adding to the challenge is that customer data is coming from multiple information channels including social media, mobile devices and web engagements. The amount of paper documentation in forms, emails, invoices, receipts have increased in line with the volume of transactions that the organization does with each customer. Legal and statutory requirements have placed further burden on organizations to leave documented audit trails for these transactions.


Within this malaise, there is an urgent need for organizations to unlock the power of paper-based information to improve operations and ultimately generate more business, while keeping an eye on compliance and governance. This is the path to connected intelligence.

Electronic data is abundant and to a certain extent, extracting intelligence from digital information is less challenging than data that originates on paper, and paper information remains the most basic record between a customer and an organization.

Fortunately the road to connected intelligence nirvana is not an unbeaten path, as there have been organizations that have adopted intelligent use cases to access and capture key information and improve their business capabilities.

These forward-thinking organizations around Asia Pacific have implemented variations of intelligent document capture solutions and transformed them into a distinctive solution on customer engagement.


Take for example some of these connected intelligence applications and the benefits they provide.

• Bank branch customer service: Intelligent scanning of paper documentation helps a major bank in Singapore to accelerate document input from various branch locations through distributed capture. This solution reduces processing errors with automated workflow and keeps the customer service office focused on personal interaction rather than processing documents.

• Healthcare patient automation: Intelligent document capture has transformed this healthcare provider in Australia by connecting incoming documents from registration through to dispensary, minimizing any unnecessary administrative work and focusing on patient medical needs. You can only imagine the astonishingly high patient care satisfaction levels.

• Government tax return processing: The government department in an emerging South East Asia country relied on intelligent document capture to process bulk tax returns and documents for rapid integration with back-end systems applications. This was designed to handle seasonal volumes during tax season, raising productivity and dramatically reducing staffing costs.

Almost all business improvement initiatives can be augmented by a connected intelligence project.

The payback can be dramatic in terms of increased productivity and better operational efficiency. While organizations look towards extracting digital data for intelligence, most organizations do not realize the vast potential of customer intelligence from paper-based information.


For most organizations, a connected intelligence strategy that leverages document and data capture solutions is an underdeveloped opportunity to build business advantage. New and ingenious scanning and data capture technology has empowered firms to progress on the connected intelligence journey bringing a business view to vast amounts of paper information.

Connected intelligence is not worth the paper unless it unlocks the power of information.


The author is Managing Director, Document Imaging, Kodak Alaris Asia Pacific.

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