Fuel RPA with “Smart” Cognitive Document Automation

Fuel RPA with “Smart” Cognitive Document Automation
April 23, 2019 | By Daniel Schmidt
Wouldn’t it be great if you could build RPA robots that were intelligent enough to read and understand what any given document or email is about, identify what information it contains, and know what to do with it?  

As organizations implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate their tasks and processes, they frequently get stuck when their robot needs to “read” something more complex than a simple structured piece of data.  The problem is that while RPA does an exceptional job at interacting with websites and business applications to automate repetitive manual tasks, it typically requires all electronic data be 100% structured.  This means reading complex documents such as invoices or emails, and reviewing websites where information may move to a variety of physical positions on the page is out of the question.  

Yet studies show that over 60% of processes rely on unstructured documents.  It’s clear that companies have a burning need to be able to capture, read and incorporate unstructured information into their automation processes. 


This is where Cognitive Document Automation (CDA) comes in.  CDA uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), neural networks and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the acquisition, understanding, and the integration of unstructured information in robotic processes. Organizations with document-centric robotic processes can leverage CDA to significantly reduce labor costs, boost productivity and efficiency, accelerate business processes, and better engage and empower customers.


CDA automatically classifies and separates documents to determine what they are and where they should go. With CDA – including OCR capabilities –data from documents is extracted and validated, automating manual data entry tasks, including support for machine print, handprint, cursive, barcodes, bubbles, checkboxes, tables and mailing addresses. With a highly efficient user interface for exception handling, users are spending only the minimum time required to process documents, which delivers a tremendous payback. With these capabilities, you are ready to intelligently automate any document type, such as invoices, orders, enrollment and claim forms, mailroom documents, mortgages, contracts, correspondence and bank checks.

For example, an AI-based RPA solution that includes CDA can recognize the arrival of an invoice, identify which supplier it came from and its associated purchase order, and then trigger an action in the Accounts Payable (AP) system — all without human interaction. And if information is wrong or missing, a “smart” RPA robot automatically involves the right employee to validate and correct the information.

As you automate and scale RPA, it becomes evident that RPA needs CDA; it’s a complementary capability and a core component of a true Intelligent Automation platform. Kofax Intelligent Automation combines RPA and CDA, as well as process orchestration, mobility and engagement, and analytics, in a fully integrated solution that helps lay the foundation for enterprise-wide digital transformation – on your organization’s timeframe. 

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