Monday, March 25, 2013

Improve your efficiency by more than 60%

The day-to-day work that takes place in an administrative consultant company, a law firm, or a managing agent business often means working with an average of seven hundred new files a day. Using certain modules in certain modern document management systems, files can be added automatically once the documents within are digitalized. The problem is that there has to be someone who can show the system where one file ends and other begins. 

The manual work of subdividing batches of documents into individual files usually takes an average of one minute per file. That means that we have 700 minutes invested in a task that has no particular value – in the particular case of one Professional Association of Managing Agents, more than eleven hours per day for four employees, wasted. That’s not forgetting the monotonous, repetitive character of this task, which is a difficult cost to measure in terms of productivity and employee morale.

Athento Capture allows you to minimize manual work related to document management that the platform can sort that work out for itself. That way, employees can spend their time on tasks that bring real value to the business.

Working with the previous premise, our engineers have been working on automating the task of dividing batches of files. By applying technologies related to Neural Networks and Image Processing, Athento can automatically separate files which are digitalized as a group, reducing the task of entering files by 66.6%.





Discover how Intelligent Document Management can help businesses and governments.descarga este contenido





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Thursday, March 21, 2013

How can a company manage 17 million documents? Use Athento for Clusters!

"How can a company integrate different, diverse applications so that it can work with seventeen million documents without duplicating them? 
How can you have a system that is powerful enough to respond to constant inquiries or solicitations for so many applications?"

Since 2011, we've been working with a prominent international client in the financial sector. The client’s basic problem was that it had a huge quantity of documents to manage, and various different software applications that worked with the same documents, each with its own document repository. You can bet that having the same documents in different repositories created difficulties when it came time to maintain the system or deal with inconsistencies in the documentation. Additionally, it made it difficult to maximize the information contained in the documents and also made it possible for documents to become lost or to lose the work that had been performed on said documents.

We evaluated our client so that the client would choose a solution that would allow for not only connecting all the applications, but which would also make sure that they were not dependent on one particular DMS alone. The large capacity for integration and scalability that Athento iDM has on this point was crucial, given that it can function with any document management system that meets CMIS standard so that, if, in the future, the client decides to migrate to another repository it can, at the same time, allows for communication and data transfer with the current (and future) applications. By making use of Athento’s web interface, an intelligent ECM platform the company’s 200 users and applications can create, consult and modify documents which are stored in Nuxeo DM 5.4.2, the selected DMS.

At the same time, Athento makes it possible to create connections between the different applications and the document repository.

The performance of the system was another of the key points, and that’s why the client decided to implement Athento in Cluster. Two Nuxeo instances (running on 64-bit Linux virtual machines) running on the same physical machine will allow for fast management of only one document repository, which will store all of the documents; but the system will also use a "load balancer"  whose function will be to determine which of the two Nuxeo instances has the least amount of work, in order to send the petitions and requests of the applications of the global system, so that none of the instances is brought down because of an excess of requests.



This is how our client came to count on a stable system that has 17'569.405 documents at the moment. Athento allows the client, at all times, to have consistent, updated information; and, also, to access all that information at  an average speed of four seconds from any of the applications, or from the Athento interface.

If you want to learn more about this case study, feel free to download it below!


Discover how the BBVA's Real Estate manages over 7 million documents in less than a year using Athentodownload it













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Monday, March 18, 2013

ECM Glossary: Letter C

 Today we’re pleased to bring you the third installment in our document management glossary: words and terms that begin with the letter “C”.


Letter A.

Letter B. 


Letter C.

C.

Capture
Within the life cycle of content (according to the theory of Enterprise Content Management”, capture is one of the first stages.

When we want to enter data into an ECM system, we can be confronted with two situations: having the documents in physical form, on paper: or having the documents in digital form (but in an unstructured way.) In the first case, we need to convert the paper documents into electronic documents in order to manage them, with the help of ICR or OCR technology.

Once we’ve got all the documents in digital format, we’re confronted with the next problem: we should organize them within in a logical and coherent structure which allows them to be managed efficiently. Having an adequate structure for the content means that we have to categorize said content, grouping everything according to criteria that normally is its content. To automate this document classification process, metadata is normally used; metadata is, simply put, information about the specific attributes of the document. Content management applications, therefore, are responsible for putting each document into the appropriate place, according to the information provided by the metadata.

Once we’ve got the documents or content in our ECM system and placed in a logical way within the system, we can say that the capture process has been finalized.


CategorizationWithin the Capture phase of ECM, there is a process called Categorization. This stage refers to the organization of content into logical groups according to the content.

Our Athento platform offers users interesting features that are connected to the capture and categorization of documents, not just within the OCR module, but also with an Auto-tagging module which allows for the use of tags (either concepts or words) to group documents, So if we tag various different documents under the same concept, one search for this tag will give us all the documentation that was tagged with this concept. The most interesting thing is that the Auto-tagging can pull up all the tags automatically, extracting the content of the documents and bypassing the need for users to waste time and work establishing the tags themselves.

Content Management System (CMS)No doubt, you’ve probably heard the term CMS used more than once: Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, eZ and Mambo are some of the systems available.

It’s because the term CMS has taken on a lot of meaning during the last few years within different web technologies. A CMS is simply an IT application based around a structure that allows for the creation and management of web content (publication, editing, classification, etc.) Content generated with the help of a management system is stored in a database which is updated each time that we edit, delete or create new content. CMS helps users work because they offer new structures which are functional, efficient and customizable. The tedious and boring work is already inside a CMS; all the user has to do is to worry about adapting its design to his or needs, and to generate content.

Most CMS systems have been developed with specific philosophies of usability, so that users who don’t have extensive knowledge of IT systems can use them with the greatest of ease. That’s why CMS are an excellent option for many users. However, they can be a bit of a straightjacket when you need something more specific because they’ve been created to meet a generic need and address the most general problems that users face when they’re trying to generate content for the Internet.

Content management and document management should also interact, in many cases, with information that is produced on the web, or offer interfaces so that external users (those users to whom we don’t want to give access to our internal document management system) can upload content or documents to the document manager. Athento gives you the possibility to integrate your document manager with a web interface which can work as the entry point for documents provided by third parties. Think of a web page, with all of the necessary multimedia characteristics, that your clients or suppliers can use to interact with your business and generate content which can automatically be included in your management system. They’ll be able to upload documents via simple forms, obtain information about your services, and, generally, all of the services that a web page can offer a business.

Other document managers can only give you integration with well-known CMS systems on the market: we offer you made-to-measure development which covers all of your particular needs. The technology used to offer you this web interface is called Django, an extremely powerful framework used by businesses and project such as tThe Washington Post, the Lawrence Journal Word and Lanzanos.com. You can learn more about Django here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_(web_framework)



Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS)CMIS is becoming the standard which allows the interaction between DMS (document management system) applications. CMIS offers a group of web services that allow users to share data and information among repositories of content and to facilitate the interoperability of document management systems. In this way, if, one day, you want to migrate from one document management system to another, it’s extremely beneficial if both management systems contain CMIS specifications.

CMIS also offers interoperability between CMS (Content Management System) and DMS. Put simply, meeting CMIS directives allows us to be able to carry out integrations without large problems between web applications such as Drupal, eZ and Joomla with our document management system.

Right now, well-known businesses in the sector are working together to turn CMIS into the standard for ECM software.

CMIS specification allows clients and servers to share the same language in HTTP (SOAP or REST/AtomPub), using a unified dominion model. 


Collaboration Tools Collaboration tools allow various users to work on the same content in an common environment. Basically, they allow various uses to work together in a shared virtual environment, even if they’re not physically in the same location. They are one of the greatest and most interesting gifts created by Web 2.0. Examples of collaboration tools include forums, Google Docs, etc.

Athento provides users with a Collaboration Mode that allows for coordinated team work via the use of forums, e-mail subscriptions, RSS, Atom and shared work spaces.

Control Panel The control panel is like the dashboard of your car, the place where we have all of the information about the vehicle at one moment: temperature, gas level, speed, RPM, odometer, etc. – but focused on the business. It is, therefore, a collection of indicators which tell us about the current state of our organization or our processes. Control panels could include financial data, production statistics, sales data, marketing information, quality control, human resources, etc. It works as a monitor of the state of the business and a valued tool for business intelligence

Athento contains solutions such as “The Control Panel” which allows you to monitor the current state of the system, specifically tasks to be resolved, work flows that have been started, modified documentation, work spaces, etc. 




Smart Document Management helps Public Transit Companies to Automate Ticket Refunds Share

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some facts about Document Management

Below, we would like to present you with a collection of facts and figures about document management.

This data comes from important sources, mostly from the United States, including governments at the state and federal levels, universities and management associations such as AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management).

10 Facts about the Value of Document Management:

The value of document management software is particularly relevant, given how difficult it is to get companies to invest in information technologies (and given the current economic situation that we’re going through):

  1. Businesses spend US$20 (about €15) on the labor related to present a document; they spend $120 (about €85) for a worker to find a document that’s been badly filed, and about $220 (about €180) on the work related to re-making a document that has been lost.
  2. Seven and a half percent of documents are lost; 3% of remaining documents are stored incorrectly (which makes it impossible to consult them quickly).
  3. Workers spend between 5% and 15% of their time on reading information, but up to 50% of their time looking for information.
  4. A document is photocopied an average of 19 times over its lifespan (this fact seems less real or less connected to what we typically see.)
  5. There are some 4 trillion paper documents in the United States alone, and this amount is growing by 22% every year. (Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  6. Corporate users receive an average of 18MB of e-mail every day in 2007; by some estimates, that figure could have risen to 28MB per day in 2011.
  7. Workers send and receive an average of 133 e-mail messages every day. (Source: Radicati Group)
  8. One itty-bitty little fax machine costs $6,200 (€4,300) per year and it takes a person an average of eight minutes to send a fax manually.
  9. The average cost of sending a package via courier runs between $8 and $15 (because a lot of documents are still send via courier.)
  10. The cost of office space has gone up by 19%. (Source: (Office Space Across the World 2008).

Taken from: Pam Doyle’s presentation at the AIIM road show in Chicago 2008



DOWNLOADSWe explain how Athento helped Crisa manage technical documents.



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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ROI of Capturing Paper Documents

Quantifying the benefits and real costs of a digitalization project is the first step to take when you decide to make the investment in a paper documents capture project. Today, we would like to share a whitepaper about this subject. This content will guide you, step by step, when trying to calculate your capture project's ROI.

We hope you find it useful! :-)


Discover how to calculate the ROI of a paper document capture process.download it


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Athento’s Text Analyzer versus the Stanbol Semantic Motor

“Let’s test how accurate Athento’s Text Analyzer is, compared to Apache’s Stanbol, which is used by suppliers of document management systems, such as Nuxeo.”

Over the past year, the concept of semantics, associated with document management, has been gaining strength. The importance of this concept applied to document management is found in the capacity of building relationships between documents, which then builds the paths towards the construction of knowledge. Put another way, it means transforming unstructured data into information that can you can use to understand a system, the business, a project, processes, etc.  At Yerbabuena, we’ve been talking about semantics and intelligent technologies for two years; and, these days, other providers of DMS systems are beginning to give these technologies more and more importance. Nuxeo is one of those companies which has taken an important step with its “Semantic Entities” package, which uses the Apache Stanbol semantic motor to find the names of people, places and organizations, which it then associates with their respective entries in DBpedia. This Nuxeo plug-in visualizes the entity found via an image (which could be, for example, a photo of the name of a person found, or a flag) and which allows us, with a link, to access all those documents in which the aforementioned word or object is found.




Athento contains a similar semantic module, though it’s one that is more advanced and which can find any term which is deemed important within the context of the text of a document, and can convert those terms into tags which allow us to relate documents which share a theme or have information in common. (Click here to see an example of Auto-tagging in action, as it manages résumés.)

We wanted to test the accuracy of Athento’s text analyzer, compared to the Stanbol semantic motor, when it came to extracting data from documents. To do that, we uploaded the same PDF document to a Nuxeo and Stanbol configuration, and to a Nuxeo and Athento configuration. The document is called “Seis Pasos Para Liberar A Mi Empresa Del Papel” (In Spanish); it was a document whose content many of our Spanish readers have already read, and which is found as an entry in our Spanish blog. The document talks about digitalization. For most people, the most relevant terms included in the text would be centered around these concepts:



Document management
project
costs
digitalization
investment
business
paper
expenses
documents
capture
benefits
Software
Hardware
OCR
scanner
information
digital
distributed
documentation
extract

We wanted to see how effective both Stanbol and Athento would be in extracting these words from the text, and, to be honest, the results were fairly surprising:

Words identified by Stanbol: “como” [as] y “espaa”.

We assumed that the first term came up for the number of times it had appeared in the text, and the second ought to be “España” [Spain], but because of some coding issue, the system only extracted “espaa”.

Words identified by Athento: 77


Key word
Found by Stanbol?
Found by Athento?
document management
no
yes
digitalization
no
yes
paper
no
yes
documents
no
yes
software
no
no
scanner
no
yes
distributed
no
yes
project
no
yes
investment
no
no
expenses
no
no
capture
no
yes
hardware
no
no
information
no
yes
documentation
no
yes
costs
no
no
business
no
yes
ICR
no
no
benefits
no
yes
OCR
no
no
digital
no
yes
extract
no
yes

Athento’s hit rate: 61.9%

Stanbol’s hit rate: 0%




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Monday, March 4, 2013

The ECM Glossary: Letter B

Today, we’d like to bring you a new entry for our Document Management and ECM Glossary. This installment will deal with terms that begin with the letter “B”.

Remember that this path to understanding the world of Enterprise Content Management is accomplished by teamwork, which means that you can direct any questions or inquiries to us via our contact page.

We’d like to send our warmest regards to our readers.

Glossary

Letter A.

Letter B.

Bar Code
The bar code has been with us for an amazing sixty years, when three American inventors registered the patent.

These days, bar codes are present on almost everything that we touch, almost everything that is sold by human beings. But what, really, is a bar code? A bar code is composed of a series of vertical lines of distinct thicknesses and with different space widths between them. These lines, together with the spaces between them, represent characters, generally alphanumeric ones. These chains, or groupings of characters, guarantee that the object carrying the bar code can be unequivocally distinguished throughout the world.

And now, you’re asking yourselves, what could bar codes have to do with document management? To which we would say, without fear of lying to you, that almost everything is related to document management, but let’s give you a more precise answer. Some businesses, when faced with the power of the system, implement bar codes to manage files or documents. Bar codes allow the system to recognize and distinguish between documents; but they also allow users to be able to follow the flow of a document throughout a business. Bar codes even allow the system to safely recognize the document when, in its processing, the document has had to be taken out of the business. The truth is that this is just one example; the importance and the functioning of bar codes depend directly on the processes that each business carries out. Document management – and, more concretely, the IT systems behind document management, provide organizations with the possibility to efficiently and automatically manage their documentation based on bar codes. (In this case, we’re thinking of documentation being any and all kinds of content, whose role as documentation makes it important for the business to process information and to function.)

Athento, our ECM platform, is fully prepared to manage document flow based on bar cords. Users only need to upload a document and our OCR analyzes the information contained in the code so that we can recognize what the code has been assigned to (a product, an object or a file, for example). It is even capable of searching the internet to find an image of the thing that has the bar code.



Business Intelligence
The ultimate goal of Business Intelligence is to perfect the process of making decisions by generating data that allows businesses to make smarter and more accurate decisions. To reach this objective, Business Intelligence uses unconstructed data collected around the external and internal functions of a business, processes them, and converts them into information and, afterwards, into knowledge that helps managers to reach more accurate business decisions.

Business Intelligence comes from using five sequential questions:
  • What’s happening in my business?
  • Why is it happening this way?
  • What could happen tomorrow?
  • What should our team do?
- and, finally:
  • What path should we take?

Some of the elements or tools included in Business Intelligence are:


Enterprise Content Management is vital to Business Intelligence because the process of extracting and processing data that leads up to knowledge is going to largely depend on being able to structure all the information contained in the business’s documents. All of that cannot be carried out without an intelligent analysis of the document flow.

Athento actually contains “KPI Dashboard” which allows users to monitor the current state of the system, especially tasks which have to be resolved, work flows to begin and documents to be modified, work spaces, etc.

Another important tool that Athento has developed for Business Intelligence is the Classification and Organization Chart frame. This module allows users to classify documents by following the standards of document management (15.489:2.001), which is, without a doubt, a key factor in structuring the information which circulates throughout the business.


BPM
"Business Process Management" is an entrepreneurial methodology that seeks to optimize and coordinate the flow of processes and tasks, the access to resources and the interchange of information between an organization’s internal and external clients.

To understand the concept of BPM, it’s necessary to first understand the concept of business processes. A business process is a sequence of structured actions. Within that process, various areas of the organization can become involved, with the aim of achieving a common goal. Every business has processes; the problem is that, for most business, the processes have been constructed on the fly and they haven’t been evaluated, analyzed and designed to obtain better results while using fewer resources. Applying BPM means redesigning, re-thinking and re-imagining a better way of doing things and focusing each process within a global business strategy. In other words, all of the processes and all of the individuals are heading together towards one common goal.

Businesses implement BPM because it reduces costs and eliminates waste. Currently, many business are looking to become certified by carrying out this methodology.

We can say that, generally, BPM provides businesses with the following advantages:

  • Eliminating unnecessary tasks
  • Avoiding repeating tasks which can be suppressed 
  • Prevent and eliminate errors which frequently happen within a process
  • Make processes more agile
  • Guarantee that there is no ambiguity in the execution of processes and tasks.
  • Allow the business to control and follow processes 
  • Make continual change possible
  • Provide real instruments that can measure the productivity of processes.

Defining intelligent workflows is one of the pillars of BPM. A workflow allows users to identify the way in which tasks associated with a work activity are structured. The design of a workflow allows the business to capture the way that information flows so that the information can be used to support tasks. In order to implement concepts such as workflows, BPM relies on the use of IT tools. In that way, BPM is closely connected to information technologies because it requires latest-generation tools that permit automating and monitoring the processes carried out by the business.

Athento offers solutions created to make business methodologies, such as Business Process Management, possible. Among those, the Work Flow Module stands out; this Module allows users to create workflows for document revisions, serial and parallel work flows and approvals. This module has been designed with norms such as ISO 9.001.27.001 in mind.


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