CIO’s view of maximising the business value of SharePoint

Nalaka Withanage Uncategorised

Simplification of information intensive customer engagements at the forefront of the organisation has become the highest priority of  most CIO’s. The goal is to provide a better  customer engagement with their preferred channel of participation.

Most organisations has some form of investment in SharePoint and it is widely adopted as general collaboration and intranet environment.  It has excellent set capabilities in managing the lifecycle of enterprise content from the point of origination to downstream systems of records. However only few organizations has adopted SharePoint as a business critical platform (using SharePoint in advance business scenarios) to drive their core information intensive customer interactions at the forefront of their organisations.

Today, This alignment is fast becoming an vital initiative to driving the executive strategy. This goal of this article is to show you few high impact opportunity areas where process automation with SharePoint yields lower total cost ownership and higher return on investment

Here are some common attributes of an information intensive process that involve customer interactions at the forefront of the organisation

  • The inbound content is loosely structured (unstructured) or semi-structured
  • Information arrives from multiple channels such as electronic documents, email, physical documents, fax etc.
  • Upon content receipt manual data metadata entry is required either for processing or cataloguing
  • Information present in the documents needs to validated with business rules by cross referencing the backend systems
  • Findability of relevant content/document at the right time at the right place using any device.
  • Process must be adhere to the regulatory compliance requirements with audit trials.
  • Process is collaborative, loosely coupled and requires frequent changes.
  • Process is labour intensive, slow and error prone due to manual data entry, filing and handling of documents

So what are the top most CIO priorities when it comes to managing information intensive customer engagements? Today, organisations constantly looking at achieving the following goals when it comes to content centric business processes,

  • Lower Operation Cost
  • Higher Customer Engagement
  • Reduce Compliance Risks
  • Environmental control
  • Process control and visibility

Information critical customer interactions has numerous human touch-points in the process. Every human touch point in a process is a potential system stress point where it is prone to inefficiencies, introduce human errors, and process transparency. So how can we align SharePoint as technology to remove some of the process stress points?

In order to provide a sustainable solution you need a flexible framework that can handle the lifecycle of such content from the point of origination. Such a framework should be able facilitate the following goals.

  • Capture the content data at the point of origination
  • Touchless content analysis and processing
  • loose coupling with service oriented architecture (SOA)

What are the potential opportunities in a typical business where such a framework can yield higher return on Investments?

Facilities Management: Mailroom Automation:

Mailroom in most organisations is the gateway where inbound documents arrive into the organisation. Most organisations have invested some form of scanning technology in the mailrooms. However just scanning and digitising documents at the mailroom does not provide the level of engagement customers expected in today’s environment. The documents arrive at the mailroom often needs intelligent recognition and route it to the relevant department SharePoint library where correct business process is initiated often in real-time.

Accounts Payable Department: AP Automation:

Supplier invoice processing is a manual, labour intensive error prone task carried out by Accounts Payable team. Invoice are arrived in various different formats from suppliers. All invoices data needs to be extracted, allocated coded before send to line of business managers to approve before authorising the payment. This is a repeatable process that can be automated using SharePoint.

HR and Operations Department : Customer and Client On-boarding process automation

Customer on boarding is an information intensive process which has high level of digital interaction and need high level of electronic content transformation. Customers are looking at participate in the digital interaction in real time with their mobile device and the preferred channel of engagement. This creates a high level of customer engagement and interactivity. This requires a stare of art client focus on-boarding process leaving the traditional scanners and manual and slow process of tracking trailing documents.

Customer Service Department: Case Management

Case management is information intensive area that needs numerous customer interactions and digital content transformations between parties. Streamlining the process of handling cases creates high level of Customer engagement and service excellence.

One of the biggest challenge in automating content bound process with SharePoint is its native inability to get metadata rich content into SharePoint. However an intelligent document and data capture platforms can fill that gap and automate the metadata extraction process. Automating the document classification and data capture at the early in process and release the data into SharePoint means that content processing lifecycle can be fully managed with SharePoint with its proven ECM capabilities.

The good news is most organisations have already invested in SharePoint just as intranet or as a collaboration portal. Automating the above processes in your organisation means taking your SharePoint investment to the next level by capitalising the existing investment. It is time to think about business process re-engineering by leveraging SharePoint as a platform as engagement to free your organisations’ future by giving it a clear and competitive winning edge. If you need you any help in formulating a strategy or re-engineering your current content bound process that is our passion and competency.