Digitization has fundamentally changed the way that organizations exchange information, manage processes and engage with customers. But in the race to go digital, certain parts of the business can get left behind.
“Many of our clients have launched digital initiatives that are helping them work more efficiently and accurately,” said Charles Parrington-Tyler, Global Account Director and Client Transformation Director at SPS. “However, it often happens that non-core parts of the business are overlooked in these large-scale transformations. For instance, many smaller departments struggle to secure buy-in for digital projects because they simply don’t have the time and resources to manage the transformation.
“We knew that there had to be a way to help these kinds of customers reap the business benefits of digitization without changing their business processes — or investing large amounts of time and money in this kind of transformation.”
Specifically, SPS wanted to introduce a digital mail service that would allow customers to take the first steps towards electronic documents and digital processes.
Parrington-Tyler continued, “Our aim was to provide customers with a fully hosted, fully managed digital mailroom solution that enabled them to make the jump from the world of physical mail to the virtual one. Crucially, we needed to keep the solution simple, cost-effective and easy to deploy. This would increase the speed of roll-out, allow the business to absorb the change quickly, and deliver rapid ROI — making it a very attractive proposition for smaller departments.”
A longstanding Kofax customer, SPS has taken advantage of a broad range of Kofax solutions for more than a decade. This positive experience led the company to select TotalAgility as the strategic foundation for its new digital mailroom offering.
“With the digital mailroom solution, we are giving customers access to the powerful core capabilities of TotalAgility in a very simple form,” said Parrington-Tyler.” Using a desktop portal, customers can access a range of digital mail services, combined with basic case management and archiving capabilities.”
The SPS solution transforms the physical mailroom into a digital information hub, processing both physical and electronic mail items and making them all available from a single location. Users can manage everything with the touch of a button — forwarding, sharing, commenting on, archiving and deleting mail. In addition, straightforward case management capabilities automatically group related documents together, making it easier for users to locate and manage information, and providing a comprehensive audit trail.
Close collaboration with Kofax partner and TotalAgility specialists, Lithe IT, helped SPS ensure that the new solution was expertly designed and deployed.
“We were looking for a partner with product experience who could provide architectural guidance and development expertise, and Lithe IT was strongly recommended by one of our Kofax account managers,” explained Parrington-Tyler.
“They brought a very agile and disciplined approach to the project, and were instrumental in helping us to architect a very sophisticated solution, while keeping it simple for end-users.”
Today, SPS operates two major deployments of the digital mailroom solution, supporting around one thousand users across nine different tenants on one deployment, and more than 600 users across three tenants on the other. SPS uses Microsoft SharePoint as the core repository for these services.
“As far as we are aware, this kind of multi-tenancy model, supporting such a large volume of users, is unique in the world of TotalAgility,” said Parrington-Tyler.
SPS offers the service on a per-transaction cost basis, with customers simply paying for the number of mail-related transactions they perform—making it very attractive from a cost perspective. As the solution is fully hosted and managed by SPS, customers are freed from up-front investment in underlying technology and ongoing management. And easy scalability means that customers can extend the solution as requirements change.
“Flexibility was a key consideration when we designed the solution,” noted Parrington-Tyler. “We have a model that we can expand in multiple ways; for instance, bringing on more areas of a client’s business, and increasing the scope or complexity of the services we offer to these business areas. We can even extend use of the service to our clients’ suppliers and end-customers.
“Our initial focus was on getting the solution rolled out toour existing customers. We have been running the service very successfully for about 18 months, and are now at a stage where we are ready to reach out to a wider market and bring new customers onto the platform.”
The new solution is already delivering real results for a number of SPS’ customers, helping them reduce processing times and operating costs, improve information visibility, enhance audit compliance, and boost productivity.
Parrington-Tyler offered an example. “One of our customers was moving to a new location, and wanted to take the opportunity to consolidate their physical storage footprint. The business worked mostly with electronic mail, but had to print certain documents to establish an audit trail for regulatory compliance.
“Within the space of a few months, they migrated a number of departments to our digital mailroom service. Not only has this significantly reduced their physical storage requirements, it provided them with a complete electronic audit trail that they can use to prove compliance. What’s more, now that all employees can access mail items in a single virtual location—
anytime and anywhere —it is driving more mobile ways of working, allowing teams to serve customers in the field instead of being restricted to an office.
“Another customer used our solution to streamline mail processing and improve control over documents. The business was receiving physical mail, scanning some of it on site and forwarding the rest to an offshore location, where it was processed and returned to the main companyl ocation. Today, we handle the scanning for all their documents in an offsite facility and deliver the electronic content to the digital mailroom solution, where everyone can view and access documents, greatly improving information availability and visibility.”
For many of SPS’ customers, the digital mailroom is helping break down the traditional barriers to digital transformation.
Parrington-Tyler concluded, “Our service offers businesses an important stepping stone on their journey towards digitization. They can make the move from physical to digital quickly and easily, without large up-front investment. And once a customer takes this first step, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, allowing them to take advantage of other digital services to run a more agile and competitive business.”