Suncorp targets faxes in document capture pilot

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Suncorp targets faxes in document capture pilot

End-to-end system could reach banking, insurance arms.

Suncorp’s loan application division is piloting end-to-end document handling technology that captures and stores faxed, printed and handwritten documents in its backend systems.

The paperless trial links IBM FileNet business process and enterprise content management software with a $1.5 million Kofax document capture system deployed in July.

The FileNet system was deployed in August 2010.

Suncorp’s executive manager of enterprise applications Dawn Stephenson said the system would reduce paper storage requirements and improve regulatory compliance.

“One of the things I realised when it came to content capture was that we didn’t really have a strategy around what we were doing in that space,” she said.

“We were recognising a growing demand and interest from our business units in digitising paper in particular.

“There was also a big drive around reducing real estate space and obviously the cost of storing paper documents with an external provider.”

Stephenson said Suncorp Bank’s loans origination area had a “burning need” to automate its home loans process.

Prior to the implementation, there would be 5000 paper files on the floor at any one time, she said. Files were passed between staff, who manually entered each document’s location into mail tracker software throughout the process.

Stephenson hoped other business units would adopt the system after observing it in the loans application division and Suncorp’s internal technology roadshow.

She highlighted staff on-boarding documents in the human resources division and invoices in the finance division as potential applications.

The new document capture system could also play a role in Suncorp’s core banking modernisation project, expected to deliver a new customer relationship management system next month.

“It’s difficult for some of the business units to see the need, but once we are able to show them what we are able to do, it’s quite a compelling story,” Stephenson said.

Though Suncorp previously used EMC Captiva software for document capture in its insurance mailroom, it had “really underinvested" in the Captiva instance, she said.

Suncorp considered Captiva, IBM’s Datacap and Kofax software, choosing the latter specialist vendor for its local implementation team and research and development investment.

Implementation took place over two months and used Suncorp’s favoured Agile software development model, despite Kofax’s lack of experience with that model.

Stephenson planned to assess any improvement in how quickly loan applications were processed during the pilot.

Full implementation could begin in six weeks, she said.

“The end-to-end [trial] is going really well. The feedback I’m getting [from users] is, ‘It’s really easy; I don’t have to do anything else’,” she said.

“What we’ve found is we can really do some analytics around whether there are any blockages in certain steps of the process… there’s no red flags to me at the moment.”

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