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Last week, the Gordon Flesch Company’s Content Management team joined 4,000 Laserfiche users at the Long Beach Convention Center for Empower 2019. Unlike most technology conferences, Empower was a participatory event, giving attendees lots of opportunities to participate in talks, labs and conversations with other content management and ECM users.
As with most conferences, buzzwords like AI and machine learning were all the rage. Unlike most other tech conferences, however, Laserfiche could explain how these buzzwords translate into real benefits for real companies. According to the company, technologies like Robotic Process Automation, machine learning and AI in the business world are not the end of document management systems, but a natural evolution of them, and a company like Laserfiche sits in a uniquely advantageous position to be strengthened by these evolutions.
The biggest news at the event was likely Laserfiche’s introduction of robotic process automation (RPA). The technology will automate manual, repetitive processes by deploying bots that mimic a user’s actions. For businesses, RPA is the new source of data entry or, as the company grandly put it in their introduction, “the end of data entry.”
Laserfiche also addressed machine learning in a “coming soon” session as a feature they hope to launch at the next Empower. The aim is to deploy machine learning and intelligent data capture to make the gathering of information within documents more powerful and easier to deploy. We’ve seen this in other software suites, but without such high levels of integration. This is a fascinating development that raises all kinds of possible new ways to automate business processes with less human intervention.
I’m also proud to say that GFC is part of that evolution. We attended the event not only as attendees, but as a sponsor, exhibitor and presenter. Mike Adams, our Manager of Development, was on hand to meet with attendees and give a presentation about AskGordy, the Gordon Flesch Company's interactive IBM Watson application for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and document storage repositories.
Customers have been telling us that traditional search methods are simply not giving them real insights into the exploding volumes of data that accumulate in their content management systems. That is why we partnered with IBM to bring Watson's cognitive capabilities to content management databases. We think that, as with the automation and intelligent features Laserfiche announced, AskGordy will help organizations discover more value in their content management systems.
As mentioned earlier, the best part of Empower is the interactive and participatory elements. We made a point to get together with all our clients attending the show to share stories and insights about improving business processes. One thing I realized is that even with all the artificially intelligent elements coming to content management, the human element is still the most important.
Just because a system can learn and do things automatically does not mean it will work in the best interests of the user. There’s still a need for input from human users even with all the ongoing advancements in technology. The bottom line is that even with new automation and process automation, it still takes support and customer service to make sure these systems actually improve the business processes for users. As we talked to companies about their experiences, we found the most useful part of the conference was simply sharing stories that might help others overcome business challenges.
For technical insights into improving business processes, check out our eBook below. But if you need some human intervention to make business processes and content management work for your business, contact the experts at the Gordon Flesch Company for a free consultation today.