What Is Workflow and Content Automation (WCA) and Why You Should Care

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It’s no secret that “digital transformation” is on the minds of global enterprises as they rush to meet customer demands and gain efficiency. As part of these digital initiatives, analyst firm Aragon Research believes organizations need to include rethinking the way they create, route and manage content, documents and digital communications.

Because analysts are so important, we’re honored to be recognized by Aragon Research as an industry leader among 14 vendors reviewed in a new emerging technology category the Aragon team calls Workflow and Content Automation (WCA). We invite you to read more about this announcement and download a copy of the 2018 report here.

So what is WCA?

WCA Platform diagram

Figure 1: WCA Platforms have four key components.
(Copyright © 2018 Aragon Research Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Aragon Research and the Aragon Research Tech Spectrum ™ are trademarks of Aragon Research Inc.)

According to Aragon, WCA represents a consolidation of traditional software categories covering Customer Communications Management (CCM), forms development and workflow. WCA has its roots in the Digital Transaction Management or DTM space, which includes digital signature providers like our partner DocuSign. (The three-letter acronyms can get a little crazy, we agree!)

The last 25 years have been about managing content after a transaction was completed. Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Business Process Management (BPM) as well as CCM software matured in the electronic era as companies looked to move paper to computing systems. Today often agreements are still completed on paper, then scanned and stored.

But what if you could tackle automation of that content on the front end? And then use real-time inputs to create and deliver personalized, data-driven communications on demand, through digital channels, instead of through a batch process delivered in print?

WCA is the next generation of these systems designed to deliver digital experiences. What TurboTax did for consumer tax preparation, WCA platforms like Intelledox do for common business practices like new account opening, insurance claims reporting and customer service.

WCA platforms like Intelledox enable organizations to move away from the human creation of documents to machine-based creation and routing of intelligent documents or digital communications. And, e-signature tools are connected into a process to enable seamless end-to-end transactions.

In other words, WCA involves complex document processes, including, but not limited to, document assembly, routing, integration into other applications, and automated business processes both upstream and downstream from the decision, approval or signature. Furthermore, WCA platforms are typically designed to be low code to simplify integration among systems.

“Start with the end in mind.”
Stephen Covey — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Why does WCA matter to your enterprise?

WCA solutions are delivering long-term sustainable value to enterprises and government agencies. From a digital perspective, it’s about thinking fast. If you can speed up information flows between your company, customers, employees, agents and brokers, as well as core business systems of record, then you can sign more clients faster, onboard or enroll them in programs, and provide better customer service.

“WCA solutions accelerate how quickly information flows between enterprises, people, and important business systems to accelerate process cycle times and increase accuracy,” the report authors note. “WCA is the future of content.”

We find all too often organizations are still mired in traditional paper and manual processes. Maybe you’re scanning documents into a digital archive, or you’re rekeying information captured on a web form into another system. From a competitive standpoint, these processes slow you down and carry high costs.

We have one client that used to take two hours to turn around a highly customized proposal and was able to shorten that time to just 15 minutes, with fewer people and manual steps. This kind of agility is essential in this digital economy. And that’s what WCA is all about.

Where should you start with WCA?

We encourage clients to start by asking themselves four questions.

  1. How can we improve the customer experience, especially using digital/mobile?
  2. Do we have the information or data available to automate and simplify the business process?
  3. Who needs to be involved in the interaction to complete a request?
  4. Once completed, what and how do we need to communicate – and with whom?

As the famous author Stephen Covey says, “Start with the end in mind” and create a vision for the ideal digital customer journey. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, we can help.

If you’d like to learn more about Intelledox, we invite you to contact us. We’d love to talk with you about your plans to improve customer experience and digital/mobile applications.