Intelligent automation (IA) is emerging as a game-changer in the drive towards faster and more efficient end-to-end automation of complex business processes. A significant and mature component of IA is Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), which has an edge over Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solutions in terms of recognising and digitising unstructured data, such as hand-written notes, images, and signatures.

But when selecting an enterprise-grade IDP solution, what capabilities should you look for? And why is a technology partner ecosystem such an important consideration? Analyst firm Everest Group has revealed answers to these questions in its IDP Playbook. 

5 key factors to consider

In its IDP Playbook, Everest Group cites 5 key factors to consider when selecting IDP.

Solution capability

The core capabilities that you should look for in an enterprise-grade IDP solution include:

  • Image pre-processing – the ability to improve the quality of images and hand-written documents

  • Automatic classification and sorting of incoming documents and the ability to route them to desired destinations

  • Machine learning and deep learning algorithms

  • NLP (Natural Language Processing) to enable text analysis and consolidation of extracted data

  • An analytics dashboard to provide a view of multiple document processing projects

  • Pre-trained, out-of-the box solutions

  • Security features, including encryption

  • The ability to deploy on cloud, on-premise servers, and on desktops

Ecosystem of partners for collaborative technologies 

A robust technology partner ecosystem is an important consideration for enterprises choosing an IDP vendor. IDP solutions are capable of extracting data from complex documents, but they can be combined with complementary technologies, such as RPA and other AI technologies to perform end-to-end automation.

If an enterprise’s chosen IDP vendor can provide access to a broad partner ecosystem for collaborative technologies, it can help the enterprise to expand its automation capabilities and reduce the hassle of reconfiguring the deployment of and integration with collaborative technologies.

Ecosystem of service partners

Both training and implementation partners are important for enterprises selecting an IDP vendor. Training partners can provide their implementation and training expertise to help enterprises configure and deploy IDP solutions, as well as train employees on new features and capabilities of the solution.

Implementation partners, such as system integrators, can help enterprises implement IDP solutions and overcome deployment challenges. They can also be leveraged to overcome challenges in areas such as governance, business case realisation, and scaling up.

Product training and support

There are two key tenets - product training and support – that should be considered when selecting IDP. Most vendors provide in-person or classroom training to enterprises, but some also offer online training with robust documentation that can be downloaded and viewed offline.

Product support and maintenance are essential for a smooth IDP journey. Enterprises should look for an IDP vendor that offers robust and continuous product and maintenance, with uniform product update and release cycles.

Commercial models

The IDP vendor or System Integrator (SI) usually charges a one-time implementation fee that covers integrating the solution with the client’s existing system, as well as training and implementation support.

There are three pricing models that are common when selecting an IDP vendor:

  • Traditional pricing model - enterprises pay on a monthly or annual basis, depending on the volume and complexity of their documents

  • Progressive pricing model - mutually-agreed pricing based on the quality of output or outcomes

  • Fixed fee model - each installation is licensed monthly/annually to operate on a single machine, irrespective of the number of documents/processes handled 

To find out more about how to select an IDP vendor, download your copy of the Everest Group IDP Playbook now.