Document capture, the digitizing of paper and making them searchable, is decades-old tech. But everybody's making new document capture tools, including OpenText, which dusted off its tools and is adding AI and machine learning to them as part of its broader Content Cloud Editions 21.4 quarterly feature release at the end of October.
Box and Adobe have recently built document capture tools, and even Salesforce plans to release one next year. It's no coincidence, said Forrester Research analyst Cheryl McKinnon, as AI and machine learning have proven to be great leaps forward to augment optical character recognition that often had to isolate certain zones of a document and data points such as invoice numbers or dollar amounts to be most effective. AI and machine learning (ML) can look at a whole document and better process its contents.
"We had all this useful data locked up in what I like to jokingly call 'dumb file formats,' and paper is the dumbest," McKinnon said. "Things like machine learning and AI are coming into the mix. You don't need to be worried about where on the document to go find the invoice number. The systems are trained enough where it's going to recognize invoice numbers either with computer vision or other kind of text analytics."
OpenText's new Intelligent Capture adds AI to its document capture capabilities in Content Cloud Editions. Executive vice president and chief product officer Muhi Majzoub said that a couple of other tech trends have influenced vendors to invest in document capture during the past two years, including remote work and smartphones. Tuning apps and algorithms for smartphone cameras instead of scanners was a customer need as people left offices en masse last year, something that looks to be permanent for some companies.
"We have done a lot of work for mobile devices, but we are not completely done -- that's an area that continues to improve, and we are innovating," Majzoub said. "Especially when it comes to travel and receipts and expenses. Nobody has access to a physical scanner and we're all working at home."
Salesforce, Microsoft 0365 integrations added
Also included in the fourth-quarter updates is Intelligent Viewing, a feature that applies AI and ML to scanned document images and extracts data and redacts information to enable search, yet maintain information governance policies. The Return-to-Work Playbook Management helps organizations quickly create, approve and distribute their operational restart plans and procedures, in the same vein as Salesforce Work.com features.
Other new features in OpenText Content Cloud Editions 21.4 are OpenText and Documentum integrations with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Teams. These integrations enable users to share documents in those application environments while maintaining security, data governance and version control rules set in OpenText.
"From a metadata point of view, it's also kind of interesting," McKinnon said. "If you wanted to use Salesforce as your system of record for official customer numbers or project numbers, that can be transferred into the metadata the content management system has. So you have that common identifier, no matter what system the customer data or documents related to that customer is in."
Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.