When it comes to identifying the appropriate Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) vendor, it can be a daunting task for enterprise executives. Not only is there a huge market of different IDP vendors, but companies evidently have to consider various factors in the process – some of them more relevant and others less so, for obvious reasons.
This overview can serve as a guide for companies to identify which factors are relevant for them when looking for an appropriate IDP vendor.
Table of contents
- Questions for evaluating the requirements
- Example of difficulties
- Requirement analysis for the appropriate IDP solution
- In summary: IDP must-haves to look out for
1. Questions for evaluating the requirements
As a buying company, what are the relevant dimensions you to need to consider when evaluating which of the IDP vendors to work with?
To figure out which factors of the IDP solution are important in the first place, a company needs to be clear about what they need.
The following questions can help with the evaluation:
What are the exact requirements the company has? This includes preferences and uses cases.
What must the IDP solution be able to handle? This includes the document volume and document complexity, that needs to be processed.
How does our current infrastructure look? This includes integrated systems and applications like ERP, DMS, RPA, etc., and also legacy OCR systems.
The more precisely the company does this evaluation process in advance, the more efficient the subsequent steps will be.
2. Example of difficulties
The dimension of the IDP solution can vary greatly depending on the requirements of the company. Let’s look at a fictional example, but one that could very well be reality:
Bank X makes a POC for the automatic capture, classification and extraction of data from tax returns with IDP vendor Y.
Based on this POC, Bank X now also wants to automatically process pension fund statements with IDP vendor Y. However, depending on the IDP vendor, as in this case with IDP vendor Y, this is where the difficulties begin.
IDP vendor Y can read tax returns without any problems, but the IDP solution is too inflexible and weak to capture and extract pension fund statements as well.
The thing here is: capturing and processing tax returns is only moderately complex, there are not hundreds of different of these documents. The situation is quite different with pension fund statements. With thousands of different PF institutions, there is also a wide variety of different and complex pension fund statements.
Bank X’s assumption that it can read both tax returns and pension fund statements easily and quickly is a false one, depending on the IDP vendor, as in this case with IDP vendor Y.
3. Requirement analysis for the appropriate IDP solution
In the requirement analysis and in the search for the right IDP vendor, companies need to ask themselves various questions with different key factors.
These are a few of those key factors:
- Ease of integration
- User Experience
- Vision of the IDP vendor
- Achieving the companies business goals
Is the IDP solution of the IDP vendor powerful enough?
The IDP solution must be able to handle the day-to-day and real-world problems of document processing. To do this, it needs effective technologies.
- Is the IDP solution powered by high-performance AI technologies so that it automatically learns and improves from the documents it processes?
- Can the IDP solution capture and process both machine-written and handwritten text?
- Can the IDP solution capture and process structured, semistructured, and even completely unstructured documents
- Does the IDP solution understand the context out of the documents?
- Can the IDP solution handle formats with poor image quality while providing quality enhancement at the same time?
Ease of integration:
Can the IDP solution be easily integrated into existing infrastructure?
IDP solution integrations that take days or even weeks to run are not what businesses are looking for these days:
- Will the IDP solution run in a cloud infrastructure?
- Can the IDP solution be easily integrated into existing infrastructures?
- Is the IDP solution compatible with other business tools such as RPA, ERPs and DMS?
- Can the IDP solution be used across all industries or is it specific to one?
Is the IDP solution user friendly?
Nowadays, a software solution must be user-friendly. No one wants to continue to struggle with document extraction after integrating a solution.
- Can the IDP solution be used by employees without advanced IT knowledge?
- According to what principle is the IDP solution built? Low-code or no-code
- Has the IDP solution already been tested extensively?
- How user-friendly is the user interface?
- Can new use cases be created and configured on the fly?
Vision of the IDP vendor:
What is the vision of the IDP vendor?
One of the most important factors in choosing a modern technology like IDP is to look for a IDP vendor with whom you can build a solid partnership for the future.
- What is the IDP vendor’s vision for the future?
- Is there a clear product roadmap?
- Is the platform constantly being improved?
- What is the ecosystem behind the solution?
- What does the support from the IDP vendor look like?
- Is the team fun to work with?
Achieving the companies business goals:
Does the IDP solution add value that is clearly evident in achieving business goals?
In the end, probably the most important question is whether the IDP solution can be used to achieve the intended business goals of the company.
- Is the IDP solution easily scalable?
- Can more straight-through processing be achieved with the IDP solution?
- Can productivity be increased with the IDP solution?
- Are end-to-end-automations possible with the IDP solution?
- Does the IDP solution enable hyperautomation?
4. In summary: IDP must-haves to look out for
In essence, the must-have-features a powerful IDP vendor should provide are the following:
- Highly flexible in capturing, classifying and extracting structured, semistructured and unstructured data from any type of document
- Global cloud-based solution, quickly scalable
- Easy integration and compatible with existing software
- Industry-agnostic IDP solution
- User-friendly platform
- Strong and forward-thinking IDP vendor (big vision) with fun people to work behind the solution
- Continuous improvements and optimizations of the IDP solution
In order to determine the appropriate IDP vendor, a bunch of relevant factors are included in the calculation for companies, which must be evaluated very precisely with questions such as those in this guideline.