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RPA and Cognitive Document Automation—How AI Can Bridge Process Automation Gaps

Robotic process automation (RPA) continues to help organizations across many industries drive efficiency and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO)—not to mention employee satisfaction, as software robots free workers to focus on more strategic initiatives. RPA accelerates the reliable acquisition, understanding and integration of information from legacy, third-party and web-based systems, so your business processes execute faster.

However, documents, emails and other unstructured data commonly create roadblocks, as humans are required to step in and analyze, understand and make a decision based on the information contained within each. This drives down efficiency and increases operational costs, and ultimately, negatively impacts the service provided to customers.

Enter cognitive document automation (CDA), which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and OCR to automate the acquisition, understanding, and integration of documents needed in business processes. CDA extends the capability of RPA, allowing you to automate more and more of your processing.

Organizations with document-centric robotic processes can leverage CDA to significantly reduce labor costs, boost productivity and efficiency, accelerate business processes, and better engage and empower customers. CDA automates the processing of unstructured data contained in documents and emails―this means understanding what the document or email is about, what information it contains, extracting that information, and sending it to the right place.

RPA, on the other hand, automates repetitive manual tasks that interact with websites and applications, trigger responses and communicate with systems. Together, RPA and CDA automate both electronic data capture and document capture. Translation: reduced operating costs and increased productivity of existing staff, and ultimately, enhanced ROI and accelerated investment payback.

Related: Experience the Power of RPA First-Hand – Free Trial Offer

Cognitive Document Automation – A Checklist

Not all CDA solutions are created equal. Here is a “must have” list when evaluating capabilities:

True cognitive document automation should enable your organization to

  • Create digital images from documents received or imported from multiple sources (mobile, email, MFPs, web, fax, scanners, files/folders, XML/EDI and web services)
  • Capture documents from back office data centers, front offices, remote offices or directly from customers
  • Perform image perfection of scanned and imported documents, making them process ready
  • Automatically classify and separate documents to determine what they are and where they should go
  • Automatically OCR, extract and validate data from documents, automating manual data entry tasks – including support for machine print, handprint, cursive, barcodes, bubbles, checkboxes, tables and mailing addresses
  • Intelligently automate any document type (i.e., invoices, orders, enrollment and claim forms, mailroom documents, mortgages, contracts, correspondence and bank checks)
  • Leverage AI-based machine learning technologies to save time in initial configuration and ongoing maintenance
  • Employ efficient user interfaces for exception handling that deliver rapid payback
  • Perform PDF image+text generation and advanced PDF file compression
  • Deliver images and associated data to repositories and applications via export connectors
  • Manage pre-configured invoice extraction across multiple countries and currencies

CDA should operate on any type of unstructured information to enable your robots to handle sales orders, enrollment forms, claims, contracts, correspondence – in fact any document of importance to any business process. However, invoice extraction is one of the most common CDA use cases. Accordingly, CDA delivers a pre-configured capability, based on best practice methods, to automatically OCR and extract data from invoices across multiple countries and currencies. Just enter field data for a few samples of a supplier invoice, and the system applies AI to machine learn and automatically recognize that invoice’s fields in the future.

Market Leader in Intelligent Document Processing

The Kofax Intelligent Automation Platform and its CDA solution were named the leader in market impact across all industries in the latest Everest Matrix Assessment. Kofax was rated the highest among competing solutions for its advanced capabilities to capture data from documents (e.g., email, text, PDF, and scanned documents), categorize, and extract relevant data for further processing using a combination of AI technologies such as computer vision, OCR, Natural Language Processing, and machine/deep learning. 

rpa and cognitive document automation

CDA Included with Kofax RPA

So, how can you check out the real-world benefits of CDA for yourself? All customers ordering a Kofax RPA production robot get access to Kofax CDA capabilities―at no additional license charge.

With CDA included in Kofax RPA, you can:

  • Capture documents from common engagement channels
  • Automatically classify and separate the documents
  • Automatically OCR, extract and validate document data
  • Export or integrate to backend systems and processes
  • Leverage advanced AI capabilities out of the box: Entity extraction and sentiment analysis
  • Take advantage of pre-configured invoice extraction for U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Spain invoices, so you can start extracting invoice data on day 1.

The Kofax RPA and CDA starter bundle includes: 

  • 10,000 pages per year of document classify/extract volume, including pre-configured invoice extraction and advanced Natural Language Processing capabilities

Have questions? Ask an expert.