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The New World of Intelligent Data Capture

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Intelligent data capture is now a realistic option for companies everywhere. It solves the inherent inaccuracies and inconsistencies of OCR, but until recently this incredible technology simply wasn’t accessible for many businesses, because people sending documents were unable to create them as machine-generated PDFs. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.

Intelligent data capture has actually been possible for several years, with CloudTrade being one of only a few tech companies active in the field. Our patented technology captures data directly from machine-generated PDFs and therefore delivers 100% data accuracy, but when we launched our offering in 2009, less than 30% of inbound documents were machine generated. This meant we could only help a small segment of the market – early adopters who invested in new systems and wanted to get the most out of them by using our technology to replace OCR with fully automated, straight-through processing and line level data capture.


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In catering to early adopters, CloudTrade was able to identify practical use cases from inbound purchase orders and invoices to more complex documents including statements, receipts and bills of lading, developing our technology in real-world scenarios. We learnt from experience, delivering the business insight that capturing comprehensive line-level detail provides, whilst allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of automation.

Fast forward 10 years and the market backdrop is very different. Businesses have largely migrated to the cloud, with robust ERPs and accounting systems like Oracle, SAP Ariba and Advanced catering to the needs of large enterprises, and Xero and Quickbooks helping smaller businesses to digitise their accounting and invoicing operations. 

The rise of the cloud has laid the groundwork for intelligent data capture. But it’s not just cloud-based platforms that are facilitating this revolution. Today, almost all on-premise software can generate PDFs too.

The result is that roughly 90% of senders can now easily send machine-generated PDFs as email attachments. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs. The addressable audience for intelligent data capture has exploded in size and our practical experience in helping clients over the past decade has positioned us to exploit this development and extend intelligent data capture to companies everywhere.

Fast forward to 2019 and we now have thousands of organisations using CloudTrade to process machine generated PDFs including over fifty of the NHS trusts in the UK, hotel chains, retailers, manufacturers (cars, pharmaceuticals), FMCG brands, firing in purchase orders, invoices, receipts, statements, logistics docs and more through the platform. If you’d like to know more. Please contact us.