A revolution is underway in the world of outsourced document processing services. It is a digital transformation that will shake up the competitive landscape of Document Process Outsourcers (DPO’s). The winners will experience high margin returns on new digital services – starting with Digital Mailroom 2.0.
This blog will discuss the changing capabilities of Digital Mailroom solutions and highlight why recent advancements justify the label Digital Mailroom 2.0. The business opportunities offered to DPO’s will be addressed, with a focus on the critical success factors that DPO’s must master to unlock the potential of this digital transformation.
How are Traditional Mailrooms Outdated?
Today’s mailroom automation services are typically deployed on-premises rather that in a private or public cloud. They use fat-client technology (i.e., not internet browser based) and local servers to deliver scanned document images to file or email. The equipment needed for this process requires expensive capital outlays. Simply put, the infrastructure of traditional mailrooms is out-of-date and too expensive.
Furthermore, traditional mailroom automation discussions started and ended in the Mailroom with little to no direct input from business units. The resulting contract involved the DPO scanning the document and delivering document images via SFTP or email – ending the scope of the service. This created very little room for the DPO to engage closely with affected businesses.
Meanwhile technology has advanced at a rapid pace and customers now expect their outsourcing partners to offer solutions that leverage the latest in cloud, AI, RPA and other technology. It’s time for DPO’s to advance their mailroom solutions to reflect the growing value that new technological capabilities can deliver.
Is Digital Mailroom 2.0 a Reality?
Sceptics may question the reality of Digital Mailroom 2.0. They may argue that technological advances allow incremental improvements but not a transformation worthy of the label Digital Mailroom 2.0.
But what sceptics miss, in our view, is the impact of cloud computing and its commercial model in reshaping customer expectations of what to expect from “the mailroom.” History is a great teacher and Web 2.0 provides a useful comparison and helpful lessons for Digital Mailroom 2.0 sceptics.
Following the Internet’s first wave of adoption, cynics thought the internet bubble had burst and that the internet’s potential to revolutionize business had been overblown. Yet Web 2.0 crashed through boundaries to transform business trajectories. This second wave of the internet delivered a radically improved experience and provided faster connectivity with greater ease-of-use. It encouraged a participatory culture with an increased ability to share content and greater interoperability.
In summary, Web 2.0 revolutionized our understanding of the capabilities of the Internet. In a similar vein, Digital Mailroom 2.0 will transform how business perceives the value of its “mailroom”, welcoming a new era of cloud computing and digital services, provided by its Document Process Outsourcing partners.
Digital Mailroom 2.0 solutions introduce a seismic shift away from mailroom solutions widely used today. They use cloud-based cognitive services, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) as standard and in a new commercial model.
Digital Mailroom 2.0 transforms current on-premises solutions to a new modern paradigm of cloud-based subscription services. Funded from operational budgets and delivered as no/low-code, Digital Mailroom 2.0 requires little human effort to set up or maintain and provides the agility and resilience modern organizations need.
Why Should DPO’s Shift to Digital Mailroom 2.0?
Digital Mailroom 2.0 opens new business expansion opportunity for DPO’s that is transformative while also being realistically achievable. It provides a natural pathway for a DPO to move up the value chain from being a provider of commodity scanning and document processing services to become a trusted partner who enables organization-wide digital transformation.
Unlike traditional mailroom solutions, Digital Mailroom 2.0 allows DPO’s to become the agents of information velocity throughout an organization, providing sophisticated management and distribution of documents – beyond the “mailroom”. Additional value-add digital services can also be offered, including data enhancement, automated routing and processing, and case management.
Commercially, Digital Mailroom 2.0 enables DPO’s to offer a new business model. DPO’s can provide cloud-based digital services on a subscription basis, changing the commercial dynamics of the DPO-customer relationship. As a result, customer teams and departments can sign-up without a significant up-front investment and generate early loyalty on which DPO’s can build. This new model increases the reach, ease of adoption, and expandability of DPO services. For the DPO customer, Digital Mailroom 2.0 is both financially attractive and low risk, and the value proposition is now broader and richer.
Consider the ability for a Legal firm to process all in-bound documents, automatically group them into the correct cases, highlight new documents, and record full custody and audit records while cases are active. Digital Mailroom 2.0 can deliver this and more.
Insurance claims managers, in another illustrative example, can now expect DPO’s to process more than just claim forms. Insurers need a full, AI-driven Digital Mailroom 2.0 so their teams can review the pictures, video and text streams that claimants provide and receive that information in a just-in-time stream. Digital Mailroom can deliver this and more.
How Can DPO’s Provide Digital Mailroom 2.0 Services to their Customers?
To take advantage of the Digital Mailroom 2.0 opportunity, DPO’s must get to market quickly and stay ahead of the curve. Key lessons to draw from those DPO’s who have flourished include three critical success factors that release high margin returns on new digital services – starting with Digital Mailroom 2.0.
- Agile Cloud-Based Services: Create or adopt a cloud-based service, either in a public cloud or deployed in the DPO’s own private cloud. Architect the service to allow segregation of customer data and documents to provide the security assurance customers need. As customers access the service, provide an experience fully tailored to their organization with appropriate permission levels automatically granted.
- Speed of Go-live: Minimize the time and effort required to customize for each customer. The vast majority of mailroom document workflows are the same in every organization. Provide a Digital Mailroom 2.0 solution that provides these as pre-built and configurable options with the ability to quickly add and customize as many document types as desired. Provide simple configuration options to allow for grouping of documents into cases with easy-to-use permission models. Exploit this configurable approach to create high margin services you can offer in a ‘configure once, sell many times’ approach.
- Connectivity: Choose a solution that supports multiple integration points to allow the rapid delivery of high value services to end customers. Allow documents to be ingested from leading IDP providers and support consumption of multiple cloud-based cognitive services. Re-use existing investments made in traditional document capture solutions, to quickly and easily extend and transform the services you offer.
How Can Lithe Help?
Lithe Digital Documents is designed to help DPO’s digitally transform their document processing services. To address out-of-the-box the critical success factors highlighted in this blog, Lithe provides a pre-built, cloud-based service that DPO’s can quickly adopt to accelerate time-to-market and access new digital service business opportunities.
Lithe has many years of experience in the BPO, DPO and IDP sectors, and Lithe Digital Documents embodies best-practice in a cloud-based service. As a result, we can provide our BPO and DPO customers startling go-live timelines of five days or less with no training required.
Our customers have already adopted Lithe Digital Documents as their game-changer app in the race to Digital Mailroom 2.0 and other outsourced digital services.
If your DPO would like to become part of this revolution, contact us. We would love the opportunity to discuss your perspective and showcase Lithe Digital Documents.