Smarter Document Management

Smarter Document ManagementSM is a term introduced by Xerox to describe the automation of business processes that rely on documents containing unstructured information. It is based on a combination of technology, people and processes.

Applications such as opening bank accounts, initiating telecommunications contracts and running mailrooms frequently depend on human labour. Automating operations such as checking for proof of address and routing documents within an organization can reduce costs and improve accuracy. In this way Smarter Document ManagementSM extends document management systems, which focus on storing and tracking documents

Structured and unstructured information:

Business processes use both unstructured information from documents such as e-mail, letters, journals and application forms and structured information from databases. Unstructured information is more difficult for computers to handle and therefore it is traditionally processed manually, which leads to inefficiencies. Smarter Document ManagementSM is about automating or semi-automating these processes for a number of different purposes including:

  • Efficiency: increase the speed and accuracy of document-enabled business processes.
  • Security: reduce risks of intellectual property theft or loss of customer privacy through analyzing the content of documents.
  • Information Access: make information in traditional hard-copy documents easily accessible.

Xerox Research Centre Europe has developed a suite of tools that are used by Xerox in the Smarter Document ManagementSM solutions they offer customers.

  • Categorization and clustering are used to sort documents according to existing categories or discover new categories from an unknown and unsorted set of documents.
  • Information extraction tools identify information such as names, dates, locations or contract references, to enable further processing.
  • XML conversion tools can transform PDF files into interactive dynamic documents.
  • Work practice studies: Approaches such as ethnomethodology provide a holistic understanding of the work environment and the way people communicate and interact to do their jobs. This provides a foundation to determine the most appropriate balance between automation and human expertise while streamlining specific document-intensive business processes.