Esker Receives the Forbes Futur40 Award Award for Fast and Promising Company Growth

Sydney, Australia — July 23, 2018 — Esker, a worldwide leader in document process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced it was awarded the Futur40 award by Forbes France for recognition as one of the fastest growing listed French small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Futur40 ranking is based on data provided by Morningstar. It recognizes 40 non-financial Euronext Paris-listed companies that have distinguished themselves based on the originality of their business model and financial performance over the past three years. The fifth-annual Futur40 awards ceremony took place at the International Financial Forum in Paris on July 11, 2018. This award was presented by Forbes magazine and PMEFinance-EuropeEntrepreneurs, in partnership with Euronext, MorningStar, RSM, and the Federation of Individual Investors and Clubs (F2iC).

“It’s an honor to be recognized with theFutur40 award,” said Jean-Michel Bérard, CEO at Esker. “Esker’s success can be attributed to our ongoing commitment to providing customers with innovative and effective solutions.”

Esker’s impressive financial performance is marked by the continued success of the company’s cloud-based document process automation solutions, which represent 85 percent of sales. This business growth has enabled Esker to accelerate solution implementation thanks to commercial partnerships and strengthen investments in human resources.

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Customer Service is Key

I recently went out for a meal with my family. We arrived at the restaurant, and were greeted and seated immediately by our smiling host, at the table of our choice.

Whilst looking at the menu, our host came over and took our drinks order, and also took the time to give us recommendations of dishes, explaining about ingredients and suitable accompaniments.

The food arrived fairly swiftly and was delicious – the recommendations were correct and accurate, and our attentive host returned on occasion to check we were happy and that we had full glasses.

Our table was cleared, and then, the best part – dessert. Being a fairly indecisive bunch, our willing host again took the time to answer any questions about the dishes and made recommendations. A couple of members of my family enquired about one particular dessert. We asked for a few more minutes to decide. Our host then re-appeared at the table, not yet to take our order, but with a sample of the dessert that we were enquiring about, to aid our decision.

What fantastic service we received. This was the thing that really made our visit special. It certainly made me want to return.

These days, it is all about customer service, or the customer experience. It can make or break an experience or transaction. There is so much riding on it. In fact, today, excellent customer service is expected and demanded as standard. It’s what makes the best stand out from the rest.

A fantastic experience with any service or transaction is always preferable, but things don’t always go to plan, mistakes are made, and then need to be dealt with, and again it’s here that excellent customer service shines through and makes companies stand out from the rest, and makes customers loyal and return time and time again.

Did you know that Esker’s customer issue management solution can help with this? It gives CSRs have the ability to log, track and manage every claim, which improves efficiency by completely automating issue management workflows. On top of this, Esker’s dashboards provide clear and up-to-date information on the number of complaints awaiting resolution, and consolidated reports enable managers to accurately analyse, detect and quickly fix any problem areas. Getting customer issue management right is so important. After all, it directly impacts financial performance and customer retention.

Written by Amy Rees – Esker Marketing Administrator

Capture Supply Chain Transparency Through Automation

It’s difficult to secure what you can’t see, which is why many argue that greater visibility is key to improving the security of corporate networks. Much the same can be said for improving transparency in modern supply chains, particularly ones as complex as those in the electronics industry. In an age of rapid digital transformation in almost every part of the business world and the blurring of the lines between the supply chain, sales, and customer experience, it’s imperative that managers see what is going on at every point in their supply chains.

They need to ensure that orders are being fulfilled correctly and as quickly as possible, that efficiencies are built into every step of the process – from the time the order is made through the interaction with the customer to the fulfillment of the order. A more efficient process can even mean more revenue. Forrester analysts in recent years have said that bumping the customer experience from below- to above-average can mean as much as $80 million in additional revenue.

In addition, the supply chain environment is seeing an influx of new technologies that promise to bring even more changes. Gartner analysts took a look at some of the key trends in the supply chain for 2018 and pointed to the growing use of new technologies to confront industry challenges. Supply chain mangers are adopting artificial intelligence to drive better decision making, predictive and prescriptive analytics for identifying new opportunities, and the Internet of Things to drive better asset utilisation and customer service, not to mention robotic process automation, immersive technologies and blockchain. These technologies all aim to make a complex situation even more fluid.

Just as employees quickly adopted the simple and responsive nature of their Apple or Android smartphones in their work environment, the customer experience is now being defined by the Amazon model – transparency in everything from price to products, a fast and easy ordering processing and speedy delivery of their orders. They can track their orders through delivery and get updates where their orders are.

Transparency is becoming increasingly critical to a business’ operations and applying automation to the supply chain holds the key to driving that transparency. Technologies like AI, robotics and blockchain all will contribute to automating parts of the process, but a fully automated supply chain solution is needed to enable the transparency that is demanded by customers, and that will help customer service representatives (CSRs) better serve their needs.

For customers, automated supply chain management software gives greater visibility into inventory and pricing, which is particularly important for an electronics industry that has had more than its share of price fluctuations and subsequent evolutions of its cost structures. They can better plan their costs and streamline their ordering process, including submitting orders in whatever form they choose, whether it’s through an electronic data interchange (EDI) system, via a fax machine, in an email or over the telephone. By enhancing supply chain visibility, customers can get real-time information about their orders and when they can expect delivery of the products.

Customer service representatives also have better visibility into the order, which enables them to fulfill the order more quickly and with fewer corrections or errors. Artificial intelligence takes data from an EDI order and translates it so people can read it, making verification of the information faster and easier for customer service representatives (CSRs), who can also correct errors and send the order to the fulfillment centers more quickly.

In addition, customisable dashboards help them gain more insight into the customers and their orders and set and track key performance indicators (KPIs). In the end, what’s achieved with supply chain automation solutions is a more visible and transparent supply chain that enables customers to more easily submit and track orders, for organisations to accurately gauge the performance and ROI of their supply chain automation tools and for CSRs to better serve their customers, all of which translates to a stronger relationship between the vendor and its customers.



Should we view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the evil robotic mind that has prompted an inflated cause for concern when it comes to thinking about job security becoming under threat?

As we see increased thoughts towards the adoption of autonomous vehicles, delivery of goods via drones, chatbots taking fast food orders, immersive technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), then should we be concerned for the future of the job roles that we currently have and the security of the future workforce?

We increasingly hear that the next industrial revolution of robotic process automation, machine learning, and AI is upon us and with this in mind, a certain amount fear, uncertainty and doubt seems to have set in. Just as history has shown with the very first industrial revolution, many people initially opposed this change due to the fear of large-scale manufacturing leading to the deskilling and replacement of the workforce.

Of course, some work practices were replaced and lower quality items initially produced but for the large majority, it actually meant a surge in workforce employment and improved practices to supply the increased demand for goods. In fact, one study from Gartner Research states that while 1.8 million jobs will be lost by 2020, 2.3 million new ones will be created.

So, we should probably embrace the new industrial revolution and view it as a positive step towards improving our work and lifestyles yet further. Yes, there may well be some short-term implications concerning job replacement but in the end, the impact will be minimal just as it was with the first industrial revolution.

Therefore, following our own philosophy at Esker, whereby we embrace technological advancements such as AI to enhance the way our customers can go beyond business as usual, we have been pleasantly reassured to continue our investment in the development of such solutions.

For example, one area in which we help organisations to improve their business practices through these technological advancements is the processing of incoming customer orders. When an order arrives in the system, the data is automatically extracted with machine learning and any exceptions are flagged for review. Approvals are then made through an automated workflow with accurate order data integrated into the ERP system. A copy is then archived for a complete electronic audit trail. Custom dashboards display data like the number of open issues or processing time, while a customer portal allows for orders to be placed from an online catalogue and for staff to quickly communicate with customers.

This allows benefits to be quickly realised, such as increasing the accuracy and efficiency of the processed data as well as improving the visibility of the workload. The result of these benefits does not diminish the skills of the workforce as perhaps perceived but actually enables them to allocate more time to assisting customers and providing a better overall customer experience.

With this, plus the various seminars and events I’ve attended over the past few months, I have been further reassured that this new era is not the apocalyptic end to the way we do business and won’t see humans being the puppets on the strings of a far superior robotic mind intent on taking over the world!

The fact is that technological advancements should be embraced and be viewed as a positive move towards enhancing our current working practices, improving the business world and making our lives even more positively interconnected to reap the rewards it will bring.

Written by Sam Townsend – Esker Head of Marketing, Northern Europe

The Truth About Artificial Intelligence & Its Role in Business

In recent years, there have been amazing advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. From the use of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft to more complicated (and a little creepy) examples like the robot Sophia.

Most people don’t realize how common AI is and that they use it every day. In fact, when discussing its applications, many people get scared and automatically think of scenes from movies like “I, Robot” or “Terminator” — others get excited thinking of scenarios closer to The Jetsons. Neither are wrong, per se, but both are pretty far-fetched.

The Truth About AI

It’s not scary, I promise. It’s actually a pretty incredible technological revolution that we are witnessing. We’ve got a front-row seat to technology that becomes smarter by itself rather than relying on humans to continually program it. And no, I don’t mean smarter like take-over-the-world smarter. By smarter, I mean learning what it should be doing or could be doing better and then achieving that.

A few examples of commonly used AI tools are:

  • Spam filters: They continuously learn what messages to mark as spam based on machine-learning algorithms that take into account words in the message, where it’s sent from, who sent it, etc.
  • Mobile check deposits: Offered by most large banks, this technology relies on AI and machine learning to decipher and convert handwriting on a check into text.
  • Facebook: That nifty feature that identifies people in your pictures uses AI to power facial recognition software.
  • Voice to text: A standard feature on smartphones, speech-recognition systems that transcribe your words into text require … say it with me now … AI.

See? Not so scary.

How It Benefits Business

With how much AI benefits our daily lives, it should come as no surprise that it is also beneficial in the workplace. Heck, we already use some of the tools mentioned above to help us in the workplace. But how exactly does AI promote better business?

  • It allows staff to focus on what’s important. Rather than focusing on menial tasks that don’t add value to the organization, employees can skip to the activities that do. For example, instead of manually organizing and entering documents, an automated solution allows staff to focus on serving customers.
  • It creates greater efficiency. Thanks to its ability to learn over time and take over tedious tasks, greater efficiency is achieved.
  • It empowers customers. Self-service options are often powered by AI technology, emboldening customers to do things themselves — something that most customers prefer.

In the next five years, investment in AI and human-machine collaboration is estimated to boost revenues by 38% (Accenture). Will you be one of the companies profiting from it?