Category Archives: News

Esker Cribs: Touring Our International Offices

Introducing the new hit game: “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Esker?” Just kidding, please don’t sue me for copyright infringement.

Jokes aside, Esker’s offices are scattered all around the world. As a global company, we understand the intricacies of dealing with regional regulations. In our line of work, it’s important to support business functionalities wherever customers are — and, check us out, we’ve got the spread to do just that.

Play around with the interactive map below and discover our global offices!

 

Mixing AI and Machine Learning Into Business Processes

Artificial intelligence has been the domain of science fiction for decades — think HAL, the computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey” — but as many people know, it’s actually established well-developed and growing roots in modern-day life. Amazon’s Echo, Netflix’s recommendation engines, Facebook’s facial recognition technology, auto-braking on cars, it’s all based on the ability to analyze massive amounts of data in near real-time and being able to mimic human behavior based on the results.

AI and its various subsegments — like machine learning and deep learning — are also reaching deep into the enterprise, helping to automate many of the tasks that now are done manually, creating greater efficiencies, reducing errors and offering valuable new insights into the massive amounts of data being generated. In a dynamic and fast-changing market like manufacturing, systems that can learn and adapt on their own will be crucial in driving the next-generation flexible environments.

Businesses know this. According to Accenture, 85 percent of executives plan to invest in AI technologies over the next three years. In addition, the consulting firm notes that, by eliminating repetitive tasks and enabling more creative and accurate problem-solving, AI can increase productivity by 40 percent, many times without having to grow the workforce. But it’s more than improving process efficiencies and reducing costs. Systems leveraging AI and machine learning capabilities can help businesses become less reactive and more proactive, make better decisions for the future and improving the customer experience.

How does this help your company?

So how can all this help a company fine-tune its business processes? AI-based systems essentially think in a fashion similar to humans and can help automate many of those processes, while machine learning can learn from a human by, for example, watching them correct mistakes and then being able to make those corrections on their own. A deep learning system can learn by itself and program itself.

Given all that, businesses now have the technologies that can enable significant amounts of policy and process automation — freeing up employees to handle more valuable tasks, like customer engagement. These technologies can churn through tremendous amounts of data, thousands of documents, analyze information and rapidly find patterns that can lead to better and faster decisions. For the back office, these systems can learn how to group hundreds of thousands of invoices, understand what the data means, which customers are associated with which invoices, correct errors and process the documents.

AI-based technologies like natural language processing can read data and discern whether the document is an order or invoice, the numbers on the document, the language that’s being used, the order number and any other information. The technology also can be used for chatbots that can solve most customer issues without human intervention, freeing up customer service representatives (CSRs) to deal with the most demanding buyer needs and improving the user experience. Predictive modeling means business leaders can see real-time trends in everything from customer buying patterns to changes in the market and can make product and marketing decisions based on those insights.

This isn’t science fiction. It’s happening now. Business process software vendors are rapidly building out the AI capabilities in their products with engines that use machine learning and deep learning to manage and analyze structured and unstructured data and offer core functions like document and image recognition, content recognition and analytics and reporting.

These technologies are already being used in the business world in areas such as market analysis, content management, finance and accounting. It’s also being leveraged in customer engagement, where Accenture says businesses are seeing faster resolution and a 30-percent increase in capacity — two factors which are driving customer satisfaction.

What you need to do to adopt AI and machine learning

Once a business’ executives decide to bring AI capabilities into their company, what steps do they need to take? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the data is clean. An AI- or machine learning-based system is only as good as the data it is using — it can’t think or decide on its own. A company needs to ensure that the data from the databases and tables that is going into the system is accurate, complete, uniform, consistent and tagged correctly to order to be have confidence that the results are accurate.
  • Find the low-hanging fruit where AI capabilities can make an immediate impact. Determine the processes that tend to be done manually — like billing, invoicing, procurement and expense — and use AI and machine learning solutions to automate those tasks, which will have an immediate effect on efficiencies and costs. Then move up the stack and look for ways the technologies can be leveraged to create predictive models and other tools to help drive better, more-informed decisions.
  • Find the right vendor for the AI-based business process project. The terms “AI” and “machine learning” are being used everywhere, the same way “cloud” and “virtualization” were in past years. The right vendors should be able to explain the how AI in their solutions can improve operations and what the benefits will be. In addition, they should also be ready to support the company in such ways as identifying problems that need solving, ensuring the company has the right data, explaining the skills that are needed and proving ROI.
  • Remember that AI and machine learning algorithms are tools, not magic bullets. Companies need to work with their vendors to ensure that the technologies are being used in the best way to get the desired outcomes and that they’re addressing the right use cases. Executives also have to have realistic expectations of those outcomes and to keep in mind that AI-based solutions can provide insights, patterns and recommendations from the massive amounts of data they process and analyze, but in the end the decisions must be made by humans.

AI, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and other such technologies can have a significant and positive impact on how business processes are run. They help drive everything from efficiencies and cost reductions to better decision-making and customer experiences. Companies just need to make sure they are taking the right steps as they adopt the technologies to ensure the outcomes are what they’re looking for.

Eric Bussy is a Worldwide Corporate Marketing and Product Management Director at Esker.

Cerapedics Chooses Esker’s Automated Order Management Solution to Integrate with Multi-Tenant SAP® S/4HANA Cloud

Esker, a worldwide leader in process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced that Cerapedics, a novel orthobiologics company, has automated its order management process using Esker’s AI-driven Order Management solution integrated with its multi-tenant SAP® S/4HANA Cloud system.

Cerapedics’ search for an automated solution began after realizing it needed a more efficient and accurate way of processing orders. It didn’t take long for the company to discover Esker.

“We fell in love with Esker the first time we saw the solution,” said Karen Minniear, director of customer service at Cerapedics. “It was important to us to find a robust solution that provides complete transparency and Esker does just that.”

Read the full press release here

Esker Strengthens Its Purchase-to-Pay Solution with New PunchOut Catalog Feature

Sydney, Australia — October 9, 2018 — Esker, a worldwide leader in AI-driven process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced the launch of a new PunchOut catalog feature for its Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) automation solution. Esker’s new functionality enables users to “punch out” from their procurement application to select online catalogs so that they can order anything online without leaving Esker’s P2P solution. As a result, users save time while purchasing at contract-negotiated prices.

Esker’s cloud-based, AI-powered platform automates the entire P2P process, eliminating manual tasks from purchasing and accounts payable, such as: supplier information management, contract management, procurement, accounts payable (AP) automation, expense management, payment and supply chain financing.

Read more here: https://www.esker.com.au/company/press-releases/esker-strengthens-its-purchase-pay-solution-new-punchout-catalog-feature/

Esker Continues Its International Development with New Subsidiary in Hong Kong

Sydney, Australia — September 5, 2018 — Esker, a worldwide leader in document process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, announced today that it has opened a new subsidiary in Hong Kong, further strengthening the company’s international development strategy.

Esker is one of the few mid-sized French companies that has achieved international success — generating 61 percent of its sales outside of France and featuring 13 subsidiaries worldwide with more than 20 employee nationalities. This achievement is all the more exemplary in an industry where leading players are often American or Nordic.

 

Read more: https://www.esker.com.au/company/press-releases/esker-continues-its-international-development-new-subsidiary-hong-kong/

 

Team Effort Makes Digital Transformation Real

The term “digital transformation” has been bandied about so much over the past several years that for some it may have lost its meaning. However, for most companies, whether or not they decide to embrace digital transformation may prove to be a make-or-break moment. The decision will determine whether a company continues to compete in a fast-changing global economy or gets run over by competitors and left by the side of the road.

Advanced companies are going to embrace the technology innovations that enable them to digitize their entire operations. They’re going to be able to automate many areas of their business, such as document processing. They will be agile, flexible and ready to adopt such emerging technologies as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the cloud. This will, in turn, help them become more efficient, grow revenues and profits and improve the customer experience.

Digital transformation is here

Digital transformation is happening. Worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will reach almost $1.3 trillion this year, and more than $2.1 trillion in 2021, IDC said. By the end of 2017, two-thirds of CEOs for Global 2000 businesses had put digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategies, the market research firm said. And executives are relying on digital transformation to be successful in a hyper-competitive, volatile business world.  Further, 23%  companies that had digitized business operations and customer interfaces had margins 16%  higher than the industry average, a report from MIT and AlixPartners found.

However, most U.S. and European businesses are struggling with the digital transformation process. Most companies, 85%  of the 400 companies surveyed, said they plan to increase their digital transformation budgets next year, with 37%  saying the bump would be more than 10%,  a report by Virtusa and Forrester said.

Getting digital transformation right

One way to ensure the transformation process is successful is by bringing all of the key players into the decision-making process. The term “digital transformation” has a very technological vibe to it, but it’s much more than simply throwing new products at end users and hoping for the best. It involves changing business processes, rethinking how employees do their jobs and developing a company culture that can adopt and adapt to these changes.

This means that executives driving the digital transformation efforts need to look beyond only IT and get company-wide support in order to be successful. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the key stakeholders are involved. This means IT, business executives and end users, whether they’re employees or customers. The digital transformation will impact all aspects of the business, so getting input from all sides on what they need to get their jobs done better and faster will be crucial. And keep in mind that many of these end users are already digitizing their personal lives with mobile devices, smart digital assistants, cloud apps and collaboration tools. They will have insights into what works and what doesn’t.
  • The partnership between IT, the business, and end users should be ongoing.The digital transformation effort will continue as more capabilities and innovations are introduced, so all of the partners need to be engaged not only at the beginning, but throughout the process. They need to be involved in the planning and the selection of vendors, as the rollout is underway and post-implementation through evaluations and continuous improvement.
  • Realize that the process is ongoing. Changes will continue to be made and new technologies introduced. Given that, make sure that users have continuous training so that the investments made by the company don’t fall by the wayside. Instead, the money spent will drive greater efficiencies, improved productivity, happier employees and more profits. It will also make companies more competitive in the grueling search for the right talent. By 2020, a quarter of the Global 2000 companies will have digital training programs and cooperatives, IDC said.

The thought of digitally transforming a company can be intimidating, but it’s happening now. According to IDC, by 2019, digitally transformed companies will generate at least 45% of their revenue from new business models. In many ways, it’s already begun.

The communication tools people use have evolved from desk phones and pagers to email to cloud-based sites like Google Docs to video conferences on smartphones and tablets. Document processing, including billing, invoicing, accounts payable and ordering, are done more often now by software automation solutions than by hand. Forecasting is driven by AI-based data analytic software rather people hunched over spreadsheets. Companies are all adopting these new ways of doing business and will have to continue doing so going forward. And it will take a team approach that involves not only IT, but also business units and end users.

Source:

https://www.ebnonline.com/author.asp?section_id=4071&doc_id=283597&

Esker’s Cloud-Based Document Process Automation Solutions Shortlisted for 2018 SaaS Awards

Sydney, Australia — August 8, 2018Esker, a worldwide leader in document process automation solutions and pioneer in cloud computing, today announced it is a finalist in the 2018 SaaS Awards Program in the category Best SaaS Product for Business Accounting or Finance.

With awards for excellence and innovation in SaaS, the Software as a Service (SaaS) Awards program accepts entries worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, Australasia, U.K. and EMEA. The SaaS Awards program is now in its third year of recognizing and celebrating innovation in software.

“Our mission at Esker is to enable our customers to improve efficiencies, visibility and accuracy through streamlining their business operations while providing excellent service,” said Steve Smith, U.S. chief operating officer at Esker. “We are honored to be recognized for the third consecutive year as a top global SaaS provider.”

Esker’s AI-driven document process automation solutions allow organizations to automate highly manual and low-value tasks in their order-to-cash (O2C) and purchase-to-pay (P2P) processes. Its solutions are designed to eliminate the need for paper and easily integrate with existing infrastructures. This frees businesses to focus on tasks that provide value to customers and optimize financial management.

Read more: https://www.esker.com.au/company/press-releases/eskers-cloud-based-document-process-automation-solutions-shortlisted-2018/

 

Esker AI-Driven Document Process Automation

The life sciences industry is at the threshold of a sweeping transformation with digitally engaged patients, more complex and stringent regulations, and value-based outcomes defining its expansive spectrum. For progressive life sciences organizations, the vital need of the hour is to be cognizant of the rising quality, compliance standards, customer expectations and take an automated and cost-effective approach to attain operational excellence alongside streamlining the handling of complex documents. “In this scenario, automation of document processing has become a necessity rather than an afterthought within the life sciences industry,” says Jean-Michel Bérard, founder and CEO of Esker. Esker offers the perfect panacea with its cloud-based collaborative platform and AI engine that strengthen business relationships, improve transaction of business-related documents, and enhance productivity.

Esker satisfies all the criteria that pharmaceutical and life
sciences companies seek in a comprehensive solution—costefficiency, increased visibility, and document security in a
unified and integrated platform

Esker recognizes the uniqueness and variability of operations in terms of process complexity and formality across organizations and their impact on multiple departments, end users, and third parties. By leveraging AI, machine learning, deep learning, robotic process automation to fax and email, IDoc EDI/XML, data capture, validation, formatting, archiving, and delivery, Esker empowers its clients with the choice to customize automation according to their requirements. “What makes Esker unique from other point-to-point solutions is that it houses all of the necessary functionality needed for the efficient flow and compliant management of customer and supplier communications in a single automated platform,” states Bérard.

Esker’s automation capability brings to the table lower processing costs, full regulatory compliance, faster processing times, flexible deployment options, and complete process visibility. “The end result being Esker satisfies all the criteria that pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturing companies seek in a comprehensive solution—cost-efficiency, increased visibility, and document security in a unified and integrated platform,” says Bérard. Moreover, Esker’s solution spans procure-to-pay and order-to-cash cycles and seamlessly integrates with multiple ERPs.

As per Bérard, Esker utilizes the agile methodology so that their customers, business partners, and key stakeholders are able to achieve maximum value throughout every phase of solution delivery. The hands-on approach that customers experience from Esker early in the process, results in faster ROI, value-added features, reduced risks, and lower overall implementation costs. Esker provides context to decisions and modifications, features that are ready to be tested and used in a short amount of time, along with greater process insight. With more than 5000 SaaS customers and
600,000+ SaaS users worldwide, Esker provides Cloud services, which represent approx 85 percent of its revenue.

Bérard shares a client interaction, where MEDRAD Inc., an affiliate of Bayer Medical Care, had to process 12,000+ orders to satisfy the demands of its 4500 strong customer base and struggled with the time-consuming task of manually feeding the order faxes and emails within its systems. With Esker’s order processing automation
system, the orders are now automatically captured and populated, resulting in 75 percent faster processing times than previous manual methods. Moreover, Esker was able to reduce the processing time of each order from eight minutes to 1.35 minutes and provide 99.6 percent success in order entry through the AI recognition engine. MEDRAD is also leveraging Esker’s Accounts Payable
automation solution to streamline the processing of vendor invoices and purchase requisitions.

With its global footprint in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific, Esker is all set to expand their AI capabilities to predictive analytics with deep learning and empower sales reps and customers with mobile ordering features and tracking capabilities. On the voyage to create a market disruption, Esker is looking forward to improving user experience with new report and dashboard systems as well as enhanced customer information management.

Source:

https://www.apacciooutlook.com/magazines/June2018/PharmaAndLifeScience

the profile is on page no: 16 and the listing details is on page no: 15.

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.

Read more here:

https://www.esker.com.au/company/press-releases/esker-receives-forbes-futur40-award-award-fast-and-promising-company-growth/

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180723005102/en/Esker-Receives-Forbes-Futur40-Award-Fast-Promising

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