I arrived home in the normal fashion last night, briefcase in hand, the sting of cold about my parka. My wife greeted me at the door with a martini and my children cheered for joy at my arrival. After settling in my chair my eldest daughter brought me my slippers and asked, “Father, won’t you regale us with a tale about your workday?” And the other children joined in, “Yes poppa, please, tell us about ECM!” How could I resist? Even the dog that I own only in this story wagged her tail in anticipation. “Alright, alright. Since you are twisting my arm.” I replied. My wife looked at me adoringly as she stirred beef stew in the kitchen.
“Children, have you ever considered the enormous challenge Santa faces during this holiday season? For ten months out of twelve his mailbox is as empty as this martini glass I am holding….thank you dear. But then in November and December he receives messages from all across the world. Think of it. He gets old fashioned letters still (in fact if it weren’t for Santa the post office would have gone out of business long ago) but he also receives text messages, emails, faxes (not really but let’s pretend shall we?), and comments on his Facebook and Google+ pages (I know, I’m stretching the limits of reason now). We are under NDA with Santa but I don’t think it would be out of line to tell you he receives tens of millions of messages during Christmas time.
“Santa of course was an early adopter of OCR. Even before the proliferation of messaging types he had more than your average number of letters to sift through. The old boy practically demanded all of the improvements we think of as common today in capture technologies. Think of it. Children don’t have the best penmanship. So back in the day exception processing was closer to the norm than a true exception process. But today Santa gets straight through processing on nearly 99.9% of handwritten messages. However, the total volume of letters is stagnant if not declining. So, Santa has outsourced that operation via lockbox to a scan and capture facility that captures the documents stores an electronic copy in the cloud as well as transferring key data elements to Santa’s CRM for production and manufacturing.
“You probably don’t realize this, but Santa is under a host of compliance regulations. Ever since the Tommy Faucet incident where that naughty little boy requested a Payday candy bar even though he was allergic to peanuts, poor Santa in his generosity got caught up in a pretty ugly lawsuit. Well, I’m not calling Tommy a gold digger, but he didn’t have to pay a dime for medical school, that’s for sure. Point being, that even on the e-mail front, where capture is less of an issue Santa still has a bear of a time retaining e-mail and correspondence with doctors to keep up to date medical records on children’s allergies.
“Well, that’s probably enough for tonight children. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how Santa is using ACM.”