Cloud beckons for ANZ business

it4 Group Australia has developed a cloud-based information management solution to meet the document management, processing, collaboration, compliance and security needs of small to medium business in Australia and New Zealand. The suite of cloud-based offerings include document capture, document management, invoice processing, workflow and erp integration.

Trends like the cloud, BYOD, and flexible working mean that the business landscape is rapidly changing. Organisations are at once keen to embrace recent evolutions and wary of radically departing from the status quo. It's a fine line to be walked by the 21st century business and one that requires a balanced perspective to negotiate.

Aaron Belton, a principal founder of it4Group, explained the offering was initially developed for a range of clients in the hospitality industry as on-premise solutions to deal with the challenge of reducing paperwork, improving productivity and reducing expenditure on print related overheads.

An initial implementation at Sydney's Four Points Hotel in Darling Harbour was successful in reducing by almost 75% the print related overheads for the hotel, and the success saw the same solution adopted by the flagship Sheraton on the Park hotel in Sydney. The initial solution was based on an on-premise client-server document management implementation, with traditional upfront costs for design, implementation, support and hardware supply.

"We identified the burden of realising these costs for a lot of businesses and have since developed a cloud based system called DocMatrix, which can be structured as an ongoing operational expense for most businesses. The system has been designed to meet the demand for intelligent document processing such as invoice processing, AR, AP and HR related requirements, centralising information from various systems into a single interface be it paper, emails, PDFs or even output from virtually any 3rd party system.

“iT4 work in partnership with ABBYY to provide leading edge capture technology at significantly reduced up-front cost compared to traditional commitments that are associated with technology of this nature" said Belton. 

"The DocMatrix platform was developed entirely in Australia to provide a solution for small to medium businesses and departments of large organisations.  The system has been designed around a wide range of verticals, from hospitality to retail, accounting, distribution, recruitment and many more."

Flagship partners of iT4 include Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Harvey Norman, Fitness Australia, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Spar Australia, Workpac, Hilton Hotel Group and major supplier to the aviation industry Pacific Turbines.

"ABBYY have provided us with the flexibility to utilise their technology for capture, OCR, classification and workflow routing on a pay per use basis," said Belton. 

"DocMatrix integrates with any brand of MFD or scanner so that users are able to scan or even print documents directly to the cloud based system and onto workflows ready for processing, thus being totally independent of any hardware manufacturer”

The cloud allows employees working in a branch office, remotely from home or on-the-go, to feed information into business processes directly at the point of customer contact or data creation. This streamlines business workflows significantly and provides people with immediate access to information where necessary, from PCs, tablets or mobile phones. Centralisation of business services is high on many organisations’ wish lists. The goal is to increase the efficiency of business resources by reducing the time, cost and hassle of capturing, managing and securing documents with fast, efficient document capture.

In the small to medium business sector there is a wide array of erp and financials packages employed and many business are reluctant to interrupt their business to undertake complex process re-engineering projects.

"Most companies nowadays are using an on-premise finance system and prefer to provide us with a supplier and GL code tables that we can load into the cloud invoice processing platform for data lookups. As long as people have an easy means of updating those tables they are happy,” said Belton.

"At the backend we will output data in a format compatible with your internal systems, a format that they can be imported into almost all financials package. This provides a much simpler solution to implement than attempting real-time integration.