What Capabilities Do You Need for Enterprise Capture?

Most organizations that are implementing enterprise capture have a vision for document ingestion: They want to provide their staff and customers with a common mechanism for submitting documents associated with business processes.

Here are five of the major capabilities that you’ll need for such document capture, along with a snapshot of where most organizations are with respect to their maturity for each capability. By “most organizations,” I mean most organizations in the document-heavy industries such as financial services, healthcare, and some areas of manufacturing.

For enterprise capture, you’ll need:

  1. A common mechanism for submission of all types of documents (e.g. loan documents, investment documents, etc.) that’s capable of supporting:
  • Capture of paper and electronic documents at the point of receipt
  • Multiple user types (e.g. sales reps in branch or field, operations and call center staff, customers, etc.)
  • Multiple channels of submission (e.g. from hardware devices, from the desktop, from email, from mobile devices, etc.)

Where is everyone with respect to this set of capabilities? While the best-in-class firms have implemented solutions for both distributed paper and electronic capture, these are separate processes at most firms. Many are using e-forms to reduce the need to capture paper documents. And mobile document capture has been embraced by some market segments (e.g. insurance claims processing, check imaging), and is seeing increasing adoption in traditional financial services processes.

  1. Ability to electronically complete and electronically sign documents, both in distributed offices and online.

Where is everyone with respect to this criterion? E-signature is widely accepted in industry sectors such as retail, but adoption has been slower in financial services, and in many cases is application-based and organic in implementation, rather than through any kind of enterprise approach. Intelligent, dynamic, online-fillable e-forms have been widely adopted in some sectors, such as life sciences and government.

Some financial services firms are targeting advances in this area.

  1. Automatic document identification, recognition, indexing, data extraction, and validation capabilities to reduce the manual effort required for indexing, document vetting, and passing information to downstream processes.

Where is everyone with respect to these capabilities? Except for automatic document identification, these capabilities are mature and widely implemented across many industries, including financial services. Automatic document identification is the newest capability in this group, and is gaining adoption.

  1. Ability to use business rules to ensure that all required documents are submitted, and that the documents and data are in good order — to reduce the incidence of NIGO (not in good order) submissions.

Where is everyone? Many of the requirements in this area are commodity capabilities provided by all industry-leading document capture platforms.

But some of the business rule and workflow capabilities needed to determine whether submissions are in good order require more advanced business process management (BPM) capabilities. An example of such a capability is if the documents in a submission must be held for a period of time – days or weeks – while additional documents are collected and evaluated. Such capabilities require either a separate BPM module provided by the same vendors or a third-party BPM engine.

  1. Ability to export documents and metadata for storage and management in the company’s ECM repositories, which ensures proper records management as well as accessibility for customer service and other downstream business processes.

Where is everyone? The requirements in this area are commodity capabilities that are provided by all industry-leading document capture platforms.


Rich Medina
Rich Medina
I’m a Principal Consultant and co-founder of Doculabs, and the resident expert in using ECM for information lifecycle management.