Review: That Was Comparting 2019
- Focus: Effects of digitization on customer communication
- In view: Structured company data - a treasure trove of knowledge that has yet to be discovered
- On the market: Compart with new solutions as a basis for AI and Cloud in document and output management
Digitization - what's next? This question was the focus of this year's Comparting at the beginning of November in Sindelfingen, Germany.
AI Needs Eyes and Ears
The future of digitization and the associated new challenges in document and output management were the topics at Comparting in the Stadthalle Sindelfingen on November 7 and 8 this year. Around 430 users and IT specialists from 15 nations accepted Compart's invitation to attend the international congress for Omnichannel customer communication. The effects of electronic customer communication on the creation, processing and output of documents were discussed from various perspectives. The fact is that for companies and public authorities today it is no longer just a matter of simply converting documents or data, but of efficiently supporting complete business processes in the sense of stringent automation.
In order to be omnichannel-capable and to enable output on smartphones, for example, it is necessary to move away from the DIN A4 format as the standard for document creation. In general, the aim is to make content available from the outset in such a way that it can be automatically output or displayed on all analogue and digital media available today, including social media channels, depending on the business process and customer requirements.
Grumser: Computer Will Often Take Over Human Work
First it became fundamental in Sindelfingen. According to Harald Grumser, Compart-board member, it is undisputed that the computer will take over people's work in many areas.
"For thirty years we have been talking about Digitization, but the differences from the beginnings when data was entered manually are now enormous." The fact is that Digitization has changed society as a whole. Grumser: "A process that continues."
Construction Financing Made by Computer
Everyone is talking about Digitization primarily because several technologies have more or less matured at the same time. Keyword AI. But also the storage of data in the so-called cloud and the increasing use of language assistants were among them. According to Grumser, Siri and Alexa can now answer questions, even about events in the time before the invention of the computer, in almost perfect German.
In this context, he recalled the example of Google's Chatbot Duplex, which completely independently arranged a hairdresser's appointment by telephone and the employee in the hairdressing salon did not notice that she was talking to a person with artificial intelligence (AI) instead of a human being. But even so, according to the CEO, scenarios are now possible that were unthinkable years ago. Today, for example, an insurance company that has received a report of hail damage from a vehicle owner can find out over the Internet whether it was really hailing at the specified location at the time in question - to the minute.
According to Harald Grumser, the next step will be for the computer to take care of the tasks of the claim handler in the event of a minor loss. This also applies to small bills from private health insurance companies. Today, a computer does this more cheaply than a human being made of flesh and blood.
According to the Compart-chief, however, this is only the beginning. "We will experience it that the construction financing for an apartment or a single family house is made by the computer. Or: Instead of sending an expert by, motor insurers have long demanded a photo of the damaged area.
"Today," says the CEO, "the car owner walks around the car with a smartphone, sends a video or voice message to the insurer and prefers to expect an answer from them on WhatsApp."
Digitization Today: Ensure Structured and Centrally Available Data!
According to Harald Grumser, artificial intelligence is necessary for the automatic evaluation of voice messages and videos, although Compart does not see itself as an AI provider. But AI needs eyes and ears, and that is structured and centrally available data. With its solutions, Compart puts companies and public authorities in a position to obtain this data and use it for end-to-end process automation.
Harald Grumser considers the so-called unstructured company data; information on paper or electronically archived, but so far not "tagged" (keywords, cross-references), to be a great treasure of knowledge that will have to be raised in the future. "As a rule, only one percent of the data has been tapped and can be retrieved by topic. There is still considerable potential in the rest. We'll take care of that."
Dorothee Töreki also called on the participants in her keynote ("The Cloud is coming slowly but surely") to take more care of the "unused" data in the company and to use the knowledge it contains for value creation in general.
The Cloud Is Coming Slowly But Surely
The Digitization expert also highlighted the "disruptive" power of cloud technologies, which is often underestimated. According to Töreki, this has revolutionized the architecture of software and is the basis for today's digital platform economy. According to the speaker, a modern application has a modular structure and connects functions of different applications via open programming interfaces (APIs). The better the interface, the more valuable the software. This is what is usually referred to as API Economy. This would allow applications to be developed today at unprecedented speed and complexity.
Dr. Francois Charette also talked about the API in his eagerly awaited lecture. The Chief Architect at Compart gave an overview of the principles of API design. He explained the basic philosophy of the REST architecture and presented alternatives such as Graph QL, gRPC and other approaches based on the reactive paradigm. In this context, Charette also explained the challenges of API management in the "new" API Economy and discussed with the audience what good APIs mean for digitization and future business processes.
Another core topic of this year's Comparting was the possibilities of the "cloud". Harald Grumser: "In terms of cloud for document and output management, enormous progress has been made in the last two years. Two years ago, hardly anyone was interested." Today, on the other hand, demand for cloud-enabled solutions is growing - even at Compart, whose products are already running smoothly in private cloud environments and will soon be so for the public cloud version (SaaS).
According to Grumser, one reason for the increasing acceptance is also the stricter data protection guidelines, which facilitate the switch to the "cloud". Grumser: "The DSGVO has provided companies and public authorities with a high level of trust that is necessary to increasingly outsource data to the cloud.“
Simon Egerland and Dirk Hofmann from Alte Leipziger Lebensversicherung reported on their first experiences with the cloud. The insurer's output management system processes 50 million pages annually and makes them available for printing, e-mail and portal. The aim of a large-scale restructuring was to modernize the proven architecture on which the OMS is based on future-proof technologies.
DocBridge® Gear: New Generation Process Modeling/ Automation with API
In this context, Egerland and Hofmann presented the possibilities of DocBridge® Gear, a platform developed by Compart that can be used for cloud scenarios and that allows all processes of document creation, conversion, modification and output to be configured easily and customer-specific - independent of a specific (given) page format and based on raw data. Typical quality assurance processes (document check/comparison, validation, release workflows, etc.) can also be modelled.
The basic principle of DocBridge® Gear is the use of reusable worklets that stand for specific functionalities and sub-processes. These worklets can be very granular (small, manageable processes), but also very large (multiple nested processes/consideration of different complex criteria). Nevertheless, changes in the worklets can be easily taken into account without the need for time-consuming reprogramming.
DocBridge® Gear is primarily aimed at companies that deal with Omnichannel communication and are looking for a solution to seamlessly integrate various business applications on the basis of API.
Learn more about the features and benefits of DocBridge® Gear
DocBridge® Gear played a role elsewhere on Comparting. Thorsten Meudt, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) also responsible for product management at Compart, demonstrated various possible applications in the digital inbox using the example of DocBridge® Conversion Hub, a central platform for the automated conversion of electronic input of any format.
It became clear how DocBridge® Gear, due to its worklet architecture, can be used to integrate the "conversion service" into an automated overall process via DocBridge® Conversion Hub. What is ultimately behind it is the automated and standardized preparation via a special service, at the end of which "intelligent", i.e. generally accessible (barrier-free) documents are created, whose data is available for downstream processes of input management and thus also for AI scenarios.
More information about DocBridge® Conversion Hub as a central conversion service in the digital inbox
The next Comparting will take place on 19 and 20 November 2020 in the Congress Hall Boeblingen, Germany
Various webinars on the following topics are planned for 2020:
- KPIs in document processing
- Easily integrate document processes with DocBridge® Impress
- Modern Web APIs: Design, Strategy and Economy
- DocBridge® Conversion Hub: Intelligent document conversion with DocBridge® Gear