Hoping to add more muscle to its content management portfolio, Oracle today delivered updated versions of its Oracle Imaging and Process Management and Forms Recognition software, which are intended to help users better automate image-rich business processes.
The two products working in concert can help users not only better automate processes but offer better visibility for tasks involving accounts payable, employee recruitment and claims processing.
“We see two major benefits with these releases. One is around efficiency, where organizations are having a difficult time simply collecting information to put into applications," said Andy McMillan, vice president of Product Management for Oracle’s Enterprise 2.0 products. "The second has to do with knowledge management concerning retrieval time. Without systems like this, you have to make trips to the warehouse [and] go through boxes and boxes to find an invoice that somebody put into the system.”
For example, McMillan said, E-Business Suite 12 users involved in accounts payable could use the imaging and process management product to scan invoices. The forms recognition product could collect relevant line items off the form automatically. The imaging software could then take those items and put them through a workflow, allowing users to carry out escalations or manage work queues.
“Users can marry that information directly up into E-Business in a way that would allow someone to look at a transaction by looking at the original invoice,” McMillan explained.
"They can then just press a button from within E-Business Suite and the image comes up that is stored in our content management repository."
One longtime Oracle user said the new version helped his organization streamline a number of manual processes.
“The [Imaging and Process Management] package has significantly contributed to streamlining our manual processes," said Robert Lieberman, senior vice president and CIO of Centro Properties Group. "We have also gained more control over payment cycle times. It has given us a more clear and defined ROI so we can measure our associates’ productivity gains.”
One of the goals Oracle had with both products, which the company inherited when it purchased Stellent Inc. in late 2006, was to fine-tune them to work more smoothly with Oracle’s middleware products.
“With these new releases, we have taken a lot of the capability Stellent provides and integrated that much more richly into the Oracle technology stack,” McMillan said. “They are now better able to take advantage of things like WebLogic Server, Fusion Middleware, BPEL and business process management capabilities.”
The new products are some of the first to take advantage of Oracle’s Fusion Middleware line, announced last July 1. That technology is designed to serve as a convergence layer helping a wide variety of applications to share data across Oracle’s technology stack.
“All processes with these products are orchestrated using Fusion Middleware’s process tier,” McMillan said. “This means you can extend them to integrate with other processes pretty seamlessly for things like accounts payable.”
Both Oracle Imaging and Process Management 11g and Oracle Forms Recognition are available immediately.