Cloud ERPs and Intelligent Capture

Achieving Sky-High Efficiency with Cloud ERPs and Intelligent Capture

July 07, 2016

According to findings from a recent Institute of Finance & Management survey, only one-third of AP departments have automated their AP processes, while as little as one-eighth have a cloud solution in place.

While cloud-based computing and business process automation are both popular topics of discussion in most corporate boardrooms these days that talk has not translated into action for a majority of companies.

The good news is that when it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and business process automation for accounts payable (AP), the range of solutions available, the achievable return on investment (ROI) and the ease of implementation all continue to improve—making it an even easier business case even for middle market companies.

The Appeal and Growth of Cloud-Based ERPs

According to a recent PriceWaterhouseCooper analysis of Cloud ERP adoption, net new license revenues for traditional ERP systems have been declining since 2013, to a level that has already been surpassed by global revenue from cloud-based SaaS ERP solutions.

One key finding from the PWC report is that “hybrid” cloud/on-premise ERP systems save up to six times the amount of capital invested cumulatively over traditional ERP systems. Comparing the costs of traditional and Hybrid ERP systems over a five year period amplifies the capital cost savings of Cloud ERP. Based on an analysis of the PwC results, enterprises getting the most value from Hybrid ERP systems are making them catalysts of strategic change, not just relying on them cost reduction.

That drive for strategic change and business transformation, rather than cost/convenience is also what has driven the growth in adoption of what Forrester calls “smart process platforms,” including intelligent capture solutions like Artsyl Technologies’ docAlpha.

Intelligent Capture and the Business Transformation Opportunity

Ultimately the “great ERP migration” that has been taking place since 2013 is more about drawing a line in the sand and looking for smarter ways to do business than simply cutting costs. That attitude and approach is what has led organizations to look at ways to address the most painful parts of their existing processes while evaluating whether they need a new engine to drive the data underlying their business operations.

In a recent analysis of intelligent automation solutions that pair human intelligence with software to handle repetitive, mechanistic, and/or those which require rational and very precise data analysis, Accenture forecast a 30% to 40% gain in employee productivity over the next three to five years – even for already heavily-automated functions.

Benefits of intelligent capture solutions include:

  • Reduced ERP manual data entry inefficiencies
  • Reduced manual document sorting and classification inefficiencies
  • Resolved data entry errors with automated validation
  • Targeted and resolved workflow bottlenecks with automated routing
  • Greater transparency with real time data, document and decision access
  • Scalability to adapt to business growth without adding staff
  • Reallocation of personnel to more strategic, valued-added work

In a follow-up blog on Cloud ERPs and Intelligent Capture, we’ll explore specific use cases for business process transformation leveraging smart process platforms and intelligent capture, starting with AP vendor invoice processes, plus a broader look at departmental and vertical market applications.