We review Kofax ControlSuite for Intelligent Automation
With Kofax ControlSuite, we are witnessing a breakthrough in understanding how technology can benefit employees. ControlSuite is a key component of the Kofax Intelligent Automation platform, and over the course of several articles, we shall explore how this innovative thinking can deliver maximum value to organisations, while enhancing employee satisfaction and creating a superior customer experience.
A definition of intelligent automation
Intelligent automation is best defined as the convergence of rules-based software along with AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered technologies to really drive forward the digital transformation programs to help organisations ‘work like tomorrow’. This encompasses Robotic Process Automation (RPA), mobile capture, print management, cognitive capture and other elements which may be integrated into a unified approach to data and document management.
Why we need intelligent automation
This is best summed up by the Harvard Business Review survey which reported that, ‘90% of people would swap a percentage of their lifetime earnings to have more meaningful work’.
We all want to work in a smarter way, but manual processes are holding most businesses back. Despite some automation and success, too many organisations are working with a patchwork of solutions which hinder progress towards true digital transformation.
It is in this context that we examine Kofax ControlSuite, and why this unique software integration must be considered as a key component of intelligent automation, as highlighted in the graphic above.
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What is Kofax ControlSuite?
ControlSuite has one purpose: to improve office productivity and document security. It achieves this goal through its fully integrated software which offers centralised management and governance of all data flowing through your multifunction printer device (MFD) fleets, as well as through your mobile and desktop devices, email and print streams.
Designed as a unified platform, clients benefit from a single installation and configuration. This enables the total management of print, capture, and through to precision output management. There’s key focus is to enhance business productivity and efficiency by ensuring that documents and information get to the right people at the right time by automating the processes and workflows.
Three components, many benefits
Of the many features of ControlSuite, the very tools which drive the process enhancements also come together to mitigate the risk of data breaches. So strong is ControlSuite in terms of strengthening the security posture of an organisation that, for some clients, it’s regulatory compliance which is their key motivator.
There are three software components to ControlSuite, and they may be installed individually, or in any combination.
The elements are Kofax AutoStore for document capture and workflow, Kofax Equitrac for print and device management, and Kofax Output Manager which controls what people print. Let’s look at each in more detail.
Kofax AutoStore explained
Kofax AutoStore is a software solution to automate your document capture processes, regardless of the source, whether via hardware (such as your office MFD), a web form, fax or email. By eliminating manual data entry and automating the decision-making processes which follow, employees become more productive, produce fewer errors, and discover their roles are more satisfying.
Since Kofax AutoStore functions as a single interface to manage all document and data capture processes activities across organisations of any size, and in any IT environment, it represents the very essence of digital transformation.
How does AutoStore work?
By creating a library of business processes with AutoStore, your business rules can govern how documents are to be captured, stored, or processed – including aspects related to data extraction. The result triggers the workflows which otherwise fall to humans to determine, so reducing further the chance of errors and misplaced documents.
Included within AutoStore, there are routines for enhancing scanned images, optical character recognition (OCR) for data conversion into computer editable text, barcode recognition and more. With such document data known, third party data – such as from your CRM or ERP – can be added to ‘enhance’ the document. An example is extracting a name and address and then being able to look up an account number to add to the document.
At a stroke, your office MFD printers can be enabled with the ease of use and versatility of a smart phone, saving time and effort across an entire business. Depending on your processes, ConnectKey can be the most powerful productivity booster you’ve ever implemented and thus it’s the easiest entry point to embarking on a digital transformation program.
AutoStore: the three key benefits
- Data security is a national priority, and in the face external hackers, a mission critical one. Your company directors have legal obligations too due to the GDPR and Data Protection Act (2018), whereby carelessness of the processing of personal data can carry criminal sanctions.Expanding on this topic further, how your organisation processes data securely is a concern for your clients, both corporate and consumer. A single data breach costs a mid-sized or large organisation up to £1m per occurrence to overcome. Why risk the trust of your customers and suppliers when securing inbound data is so easy?
- You want to increase the productivity and efficiency of your workforce, so why do you retain manual processes? It’s not hard to find examples: look at your finance team, especially accounts payable, or ask how many steps are required for a member of staff to raise a purchase order and get it approved.Automation can return routine labour savings of 90% across many processes, or sometimes remove the human component entirely. Once the human data entry or decision-making element is out of the equation, the accuracy of your data skyrockets. The resultant data quality uplift delivers lowers overheads and happier customers too.
- By ensuring that your operational processes apply consistent business rules, and that all documents are tracking throughout their lifecycle, you create an environment in which regulatory compliance is greatly simplified.It is through better regulatory compliance that your business risks are mitigated and, critically, this is essential to sound business continuity planning.
Kofax Equitrac explained
Kofax Equitrac is best described as intelligent print management. Apart from offering the most advanced data analytics of any product in this class, it brings enterprise-grade device management to complex mix fleets of printers.
At its heart, Equitrac is a print management solution which increases the efficiency of your IT department, so they never have to worry about updating print drivers or matching users to devices. From the user’s perspective, it simplifies their work too, by providing the intelligent tools to manage print and scan workflows and the associated corporate policies which come into play.
How does Equitrac work?
Equitrac features a modern web-based user management interface which permits administrators to drive print cost reduction and efficiency while keep network infrastructure requirements to an absolute minimum.
Being scalable from small businesses through to global corporations, Equitrac brings tangible benefits to organisations with mobile workers, or where there is a high percentage of remote work. Not only are mobile print users more secure, follow-you / follow-me printing makes these staff more productive.
Equitrac: The four key benefits
- It minimises the risk of security breaches by controlling your corporate data capture policies. This is achieved by enabling ‘Follow-you’ / ‘Follow-me’ printing, delivering the user’s documents to the printer most convenient to them and most suitable to the print job performed.
Printer access may be controlled by card readers, mobile, or even touch-screen authentication, and documents printed may be overlaid with watermarks or barcodes to enforce security.
- Data redaction, audit trails, user and device monitoring and much more all come into play with Equitrac. Consider this application as a full chain of custody system, so you have a precision record of who has engaged with a document.
- Apart from a unified print, capture and routing interface, Equitrac enables all of this via the desktop or mobile. Particularly impressive, it’s the perfect solution for Cloud Printing or on-premise deployments.
- With its robust user-authentication options combined with configurable rules which can match any device, employees gain a simplified print and capture interface. The result: business printing costs are reduced to the minimum.
Kofax Output Manager explained
Kofax Output manager is a best-of-class print management software suite focussed entirely on the security of what data you print or share. Not only does it track every person who has accessed a document, it controls precisely what they can print, where, and how.
Output Manager may be configured as a stand-alone product or used in conjunction with Equitrac or AutoStore, and it brings many advantages for organisations with BYOD policies in that it secures both data at rest, as well as data being transferred to a printer from a mobile or BYOD.
How does Output Manager work?
Kofax Output Manager brings print process orchestration to the organisation, so all printing becomes secure, as does the routing of documents.
As a robust print management suite in its own right, AutoStore can transform an organisation’s reliance of multiple print devices and prevent the flow of restricted data. It achieves this through sophisticated profiles which can detect vast arrays of personal or sensitive data and then redact this data on the fly. For example, automatically strip out financial data or addresses from customer reports.
Output Manager: The three key benefits
- Regulatory compliance and data security: whenever a controlled document is to be printed, the system can prevent unauthorised printing, redact sections of the document, or apply watermarks to the document. Similarly, archival copies of documents m ay be preserved as audit trails, and even when your data is stored on the print device, it’s stored in an encrypted format.
- Chain of custody and document ownership are AutoStore fundamentals. For example, by printing the document owner on the document, watermarking, or even adding a barcode, the usage and distribution rights are controlled.
- Workflow simplification is essential in the modern office, and AutoStore normalises documents which would otherwise be incompatible for easy printing and distribution. Together with mobile print workforce support, this is the easiest approach to reducing the cost of office print.
The paperless office doesn’t yet exist, and it will be several years yet until we see a paperless corporation. Documents are integral to business, and it must be remembered that digital data transforms into digital documents too. The rules and measures to govern the creation, sharing, printing, capturing and editing of all such documents must have suitable sophistication and security. Data breaches are a very serious threat.
Where there’s inefficiency, there’s risk
Yet, all of these document actions can be fraught with inefficiencies, and where there’s inefficiency, there’s risk. The solution must begin with the very fundamentals of document creation and extend through to how that data is to be utilised.
ControlSuite is a universal solution
With Kofax ControlSuite, it’s clear to Advanced UK that there is now a universal solution which can drive costs of printing down across all key metrics, automate the capture, filing and routing, and culminate in ensuring absolute document security when that data is shared or reproduced.
As part of digital transformation strategy, we see no better solution than Kofax ControlSuite. It has the pedigree and global support to ensure its longevity, and a track record second to none.
Humperdinck Jackman – Marketing Director
Humperdinck has a 30-year career spanning Document Management Systems (DMS), data protection, Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection and Robotic Process Automation. With many articles published in print internationally, he believes the advances in office technology are such that we’re entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Now Director of Marketing and Consulting Services at Advanced UK, he’s as active with clients as he is in endeavouring to write original blog articles.