Achieving document management suc­cess has become a key initiative within many enterprise organizations. With the huge volumes of content created daily (we are using the term petabytes now), each stage of the document lifecycle must be addressed in order to gain control of the content that can be leveraged for future business growth. However, achieving suc­cess at every stage of the document life­cycle—from ingestion to output—can be a struggle for many organizations.

Defining Classification

In order to leverage content, reduce du­plication and improve workflow, effective classification is a key imperative for enter­prise organizations. What is classification exactly? At the simplest level, it’s the process of assigning a document to one or more cat­egories. These categories could be anything relevant to the business: document type; stage of the projects’ lifecycle; originating lo­cation; type of project, etc. However, organi­zations struggle to automate the classification process, which, if successful, can improve ef­ficiencies greatly across the enterprise.

In considering classification as part of your document management strategy, you’ll need to drill down to the details to analyze your capture process. Consider the following best practices deployed by some of our customers.

Are your documents prepared for success?

The problem with many classification efforts is that documents aren’t captured from the outset in a way that allows orga­nizations to view their available content. For a moment, let’s consider the entire capture process, of which classification is a key component. Capture overall is the first and most critical stage of the document lifecycle. If an organization hasn’t cap­tured its data effectively, it can’t move on to the next stage. However, the key word here is “effectively.” Many organizations are still ingesting unreadable TIFF files and awkward images that can’t be OCR’d due to size constraints or formatting issues. Knowing what you have from the start is essential to effectively assessing and ana­lyzing the data.

The intelligent ingestion and process­ing of digitally born or post-scan paper content can be invaluable in improving capture processes. Further, the application of enhanced optical character recognition (OCR) software, image comparison tech­nology and PDF interpretation techniques enables organizations to automate tedious manual document-centric processes, and turn content into assets.

Advanced Rendering technology is helping organizations to automatically and intelligently locate and extract information from documents so that enterprises can use this data to drive business processes and growth.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Information can be ingested in mul­tiple ways, in many different formats. In fact, there are often critical pieces of data that go beyond simple text, data that can be managed appropriately by leveraging image-based technologies. By applying an image-based approach to content as­sessment, and automatically contrasting it against defined templates or original ver­sions to determine document deltas, orga­nizations can take the capture of data to the next level. Using image deltas to trig­ger rules-based actions for classification, assessment or further analysis, enterpris­es can rapidly determine if, for example, a contract has been altered or a signa­ture has been applied without expending manual resources. This process can have widespread positive implications for the business.

Applying classification across technolo­gies, business processes and business units.

In order to reduce the negative effects of working in silos, classification can be applied across the organization, allowing you to centralize critical content. A recent study from the Association for Informa­tion and Image Management (AIIM) tells us that nearly 30% of organizations sur­veyed have multiple ECMs in place. By integrating with the key ECM solutions such as EMC Documentum, IBM FileNetOpenText and Microsoft SharePoint, and other technologies like PLM, CRM and workflow tools, Advanced Rendering tech­nology and its various applications, includ­ing classification, can be extended across the enterprise. Using this shared services approach to support multiple repositories and departments, document management processes are streamlined, including cap­ture. A further thought to consider is that classification integrated with repositories and business processes can improve con­sistency. Rather than simply applying clas­sification for a project-based initiative like, say, an e-discovery mandate, implementing it as an ongoing process can improve effi­ciency and reduce interruption to core busi­ness activities.

Integrating Advanced Rendering to Improve Classification

Clearly, integrating Advanced Rendering into the technology landscape of an enter­prise organization can help to improve a number of different processes, including collaboration, compressioncompliance and increasingly classification. Due to the vast amounts of content created every day, the automation of not only creating but ar­chiving, sorting and managing data to en­sure it is accessible where and when it is needed, is invaluable.

Putting this mechanism in place for op­timizing day-to-day content capture-cen­tric processes, including case management, account on-boarding, contracts, invoicing, archiving, and email management can con­tribute to overall document management success. If this is done, successful OCR, data extraction and interpretation can be conducted. Then, with proper archiving and management of data, content can be leveraged to deliver support for business projects, increase efficiencies and help to drive organizational growth.