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Transaction-oriented content: taming ERP

Metrics collected by National Office Furniture indicate a significant improvement in orders entered since implementing the solution: a 30 percent increase in orders entered within 24 hours. With that success, it’s not surprising that National is looking into other applications for DeliveryWare.

Business gains

"We are extremely pleased with Esker’s flexibility and compatibility, and we are planning to expand this functionality into several other areas such as accounts receivable and outbound invoicing," says Clark. The solution will provide the same integration with SAP that it does for orders, as well as the ability to link related transactions.

Despite today’s electronic focus, many key business processes are still tied to paper. "The order-to-cash and procure-to-pay cycles both still rely heavily on paper," observes Renee Thomas, director of field marketing at Esker. Each one of those cycles has sub-processes, including order processing/invoicing and purchasing/accounts payable, respectively.

"Esker DeliveryWare helps automate all of these inbound and outbound document processes combining intelligent data capture, workflow, routing, document formatting and distribution—for gains in business speed, process visibility and customer satisfaction," she adds.

Content related to transactions is one of many sub-segments of the overall ECM market, which is expected to grow 10 percent worldwide next year, according to IDC. However, the market is growing increasingly complex, as vendors broaden their offerings to include more functions.

"ECM and BPM are merging," says Michael Orasin, research manager at IDC. "It’s hard to find a pure-play vendor now. And companies that began as fax servers or scanners are now in the document delivery business."

Managing documents associated with ERP processes is one area that vendors have addressed, and many others remain.

"There are bigger opportunities in more complicated document-intensive processes," adds Orasin. "New accounts, mortgage applications and RPF or RFQ submissions are among the possibilities." Specific verticals that are affected by regulatory requirements also hold promise for specialized document management solutions.

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