I’m lucky!  And sometimes I forget that.  You’ve heard a few stories from me that I’ve crafted on my journeys pursuing the holy grail of the Information Governance market. A recent interesting stop was Harvey Spencer Associates’ Capserve – a small industry gathering of the top players – maybe 100 people – the who’s who (oh and me!) of the industry. Great potential for some fascinating discussions. Particularly when I’m trying to get to the bottom of what makes organizations tick when it comes to capture.

What was interesting - or depressing - though was the focus.  We’re in 2017 now but we may as well have been back in 1985.  Not only because the music was better then, but because the technology discussions were fundamentally the same. 

It was depressing to see the focus still on paper, and scanning as the dominant discussion in the realm of capture.  We looked at page per minute, double sided vs. single side processing, two-tone vs. greyscale, and wet signature.  

Now don’t get me wrong; these are all critical issues...or they were 10 years ago.  But come on people - these should be solved by now.  There are dozens of great vendors, doing incredibly innovative work in the digital transformation sphere that you should be leveraging. Figure it out and move onwards and upwards!
To give you a sense of the room, this was what I was surrounded by:

  • Where’s the classification?  
  • Where’s the electronic ingestion? The automated data extraction?   
  • Where are the social media feeds, and IOT Sensors?
  • …or even more close to home, where’s the integration with ECMs, automation of email (and attachments and metadata), and and and.  

Now it’s not for lack of trying on the part of the organizers. Harvey Spencer Associates (HSA), the leading industry analyst firm in this area, had an aggressive agenda exploring cloud, security, ECM (or whatever the term is) integration, BPO mobile, and more.  BUT the vendors seemed firmly entrenched in retro mode. HSA was keen to point out that physical capture is going the way of the dinosaur and rapidly being usurped by the need to ingest digitally born materials.   If this isn’t a call to arms for all capture professionals I don’t know what is.  

I would argue, and our customers are demonstrating an appetite for this evolved set of solutions, that capture
is no longer the real requirement – it’s much more than that.  It starts with digital preparation, but includes aspects of OCR, data extraction, classification, de-duplication, zonal assessment, ECM integration, process integration, and much more.  It’s about getting past the legacy of paper, and focusing on the future, the growth area, the digitally born. I think there’s something new... and the vendor community needs to get on board with this.  

Since it’s the season for new terminology, to coin a phrase, I’ve started referring to this concept as Recognition. The term has hooks into old school capture and Optical Character Recognition... BUT, to me, it starts to touch on a future of machine learning and artificial intelligence as it starts to hint at COGNITION.... the understanding of information, the unlocking of value, the deriving of insights.   

I’m really keen to get the market take on this terminology and explore these concepts further. To that end Ken Chin, VP, Harvey Spencer Associates will be joining me and my colleague Cengiz Satir, SVP, Product Strategy here at Adlib for a live webinar June 7. I hope you’ll join the discussion!