What is Brainware?
Brainware by Hyland (formerly known as Brainware or Perceptive Intelligent Capture) is a powerful Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology that effectively reads and extracts key data from documents. It is most commonly used to extract invoice data elements such as vendor information, invoice number, amount, and purchase order details, but it has many other valuable applications such as educational transcript documents elements like student and school information, or high-volume mail processing.
After successfully extracting data and information from your documents, Brainware intelligently compares and validates the data against records in your enterprise business systems, such as your Enterprise Resource Planner (ERP), Student Information System (SIS), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), or any other external database. Following validation, data and documents are passed directly into your ERP, SIS, or Enterprise Content Management system to kick off your important business processes, or as exceptions that need further validation.
Brainware is truly a brilliant front-end OCR technology that is flexible and scalable, making it a good fit for many different business processes, and saving companies significant time and money on processing high-volume documents. Advanced configuration for unique business logic, as well as trained ‘learnsets’, can be deployed to further customize your OCR requirements. Brainware is used by companies in almost every industry to extract data elements from many different types, reducing or eliminating manual processes commonly performed in other systems.
How does Brainware work?
Brainware includes an innovative combination of features and technology that enables it to stand completely on its own as a capture, ORC, validation, and processing tool. Each of these functions are flexible and customizable, helping making Brainware easy to integrate with one or many business systems or software tools. From capture to export, Brainware reduces or eliminates the manual interventions required to review, process, and transcribe data into outside business applications.
Typically, businesses will utilize pre-existing ECM or document imaging solutions to export images to a shared directory monitored by the Brainware import process, Run Time Service (RTS). However, if you do not have an ECM or document imaging solution, documents can also be scanned directly to a shared directory using a Multi-Function Device or Printer (MFD/MFP), monitored by the same Brainware import service.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Once documents have been captured by the Brainware RTS, the images are submitted to a powerful OCR engine that recognizes and extracts data from the file, effectively converting words on the image to readable text. This data is stored with the image as metadata and is eventually exported to an ERP or ECM platform.
After the initial OCR process, Brainware will use the readable text, or metadata, to classify the type of the document. For example, Brainware will attempt to determine if the document is an invoice, financial statement, transcript, check request, application, etc.
Based on the classification of the document, Brainware will extract and associate specific data fields. For example, if the document is an invoice, then Brainware will automatically search the document for tags and keywords to identify data like Invoice Number, Invoice Date, Invoice Amount, and PO. Brainware extraction is not based on templates.
Validate & Export
After the appropriate data has been extracted, Brainware will use those values to validate results against your business system, such as an ERP, SIS, EMR, or other accounting system. For example, Brainware can integrate with your ERP to validate vendor information, such as vendor name and address. Using these values, Brainware automatically stores the vendor number. This validation can also be performed for purchase order (PO) line details.
When the Brainware engine has completed its intelligent capture and validation, documents and data are integrated into ERP or ECM solutions. For example, invoices are exported to Lawson or an ECM workflow, such as Perceptive Content (ImageNow) or OnBase, for GL coding, approval routing, and payment processing.
Additional Key Benefits & Features
Brainware is highly flexible, scalable, and customizable, which makes it valuable across the enterprise. In order to meet the needs of multiple departments across a number of industries, there are other key benefits and features available.
Verification (Brainware Verifier)
With any advanced data capture solution, straight-thru processing is always the ultimate goal. However, various exceptions can occur that may not allow a document to be fully validated. If Brainware is unable to determine a specific value(s), or fail any validations, at any step in the process, the document will be moved to the Brainware Verifier.
The Verifier is a user interface (desktop or web client) that allows users to manually review and verify data, document types, or other validations. Documents that have been sent to Verifier could have experienced specific logic rule failure, failure to validate against host system, bad image scan, or unclassified document type.
For example, if a paper invoice with poor print quality is scanned, Brainware may not be able to identify a key value like PO number. In this instance, Brainware will extract all the values possible and highlight any data that needs verification. Additionally, if a PO number is identified but fails validation, the invoice will also route to the Verifier.
Document & Data Integrations
There are many integration points for Brainware, including integration with ERPs for data validations, and integration with ERPs and ECMs for final document and data export. The most common integration method, available “out-of-the-box”, is standardized XML which can be easily customized to fit with your system.
Other Common Integration Scenarios:
- BAPI calls with SAP for invoices
- XML flat file ingestion
- Hyland Connector (RPI)
- Perceptive Content via Perceptive Connect Runtime
- Web Services post flat file export
Line Item Extraction & Line Pairing for Invoices
For invoice processing purchase order invoice lines will be extracted and validated against your purchase order table. With this extracted data, the software will determine if the lines are correctly paired. By performing a two-way match against purchase order and invoice numbers the software can accurately determine whether the invoice matches the purchase order and is ready for ERP integration.
Visibility is a separately licensed reporting engine that gives incredible visibility and insight into your Brainware implementation and OCR solutions. Out of the box reports include overall processing statistics, field specific extraction rates, straight thru processing rates, and more.
Multiple Language Support
English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese etc. A full list of supported languages can be provided upon request.
Is Brainware a Good Fit for your Business?
Brainware was developed specifically to be more flexible than most OCR engines, giving businesses the ability to scale and customize the product to fit unique needs and requirements. The purpose of Brainware is truly to reduce or eliminate manual data entry for standardized document structures, such as invoices, student transcripts, medical records, contracts, or mail.
If your business relies heavily on manual data entry and processing for physical documents, consider the following use cases as an indication that Brainware may be a good fit for you:
Invoice Processing with ERP or ECM
Brainware helps automate invoice processing by automatically recognizing and validating metadata, such as invoice date, number, amount, and PO number, against an ERP or accounting system. Following validation, data and images can be integrated directly into the ERP or enterprise content management system.
Transcript Processing with Student Information System (SIS)
If you are responsible for receiving and processing a large number of student transcripts, Brainware can help you automate time consuming tasks like reviewing transcripts and manually transcribing data into an SIS.
Exception Handling for Invalid Documents or Data
Very often when a process relies on information submitted from other people, such as financial or insurance applications, or medical claims, there is a higher instance of invalid information and data. This means that your team is usually spending a lot of time on a document just to find out that it needs to be routed to an exception handling process.
By automatically recognizing and validating data from forms and applications, Brainware can automatically push records into the appropriate exception handling process, making sure that your team members can focus only on those records ready to be processed.
Advanced / External Validation Requirements
Sometimes new documents and information must be validated against multiple outside systems and databases. Typically, this requires a processor to spend a lot of time looking up records in multiple applications. Brainware can be configured to perform simultaneous validations against multiple systems inside or outside your enterprise architecture.
Brainware can help reduce many of the manual tasks that users and businesses face every day. Whether extracting data for student information, human resources forms, invoices, vendor statements, etc., Brainware is powerful and flexible enough to cater to your specific business needs. Integrated closely with your existing capture, coding, approval, and payment processes, Brainware is an easy and important step forward in true automation.
About RPI Consultants
RPI Consultants is a leading ERP and ECM professional services organization with over 18 years’ experience designing, implementing, and supporting Infor Lawson, Perceptive Content, Kofax, OnBase by Hyland, and Brainware by Hyland. RPI employs approximately 100 full time consultants, developers, and solution and technical architects with tremendous experience across many industries and solutions. RPI is based out of Baltimore, MD, with additional permanent offices in Tampa, FL, and Kansas City, MO.
RPI’s Imaging Strategy & Technical Services (ISTS) practice is made up of consultants and developers that have direct experience with Perceptive Content, Kofax, OnBase by Hyland, and Brainware by Hyland. The ISTS team represents the only independent consulting organization with over a decade of Perceptive Content (formerly ImageNow) experience.
RPI provides professional services for new installations and upgrades, new solution design and implementation, solution and technical health checks, solution optimizations, and custom integrations. The team also has deep industry and solution specific experience for back office solutions, including accounts payable and human resources, higher education, healthcare, and manufacturing. RPI is a licensed reseller of Perceptive Content, Kofax, and Hyland products, including OnBase and Brainware.
For more information about RPI Consultants, including professional services, license requests, and general inquiries, visit www.RPIC.com.
About the Author
Alex Lindsey| RPI Consultants Senior Solutions Architect
Alex has six years of experience designing, implementing, and supporting enterprise content management solutions with Perceptive Content (ImageNow), OnBase by Hyland, and Kofax products. A master of automation, Alex strives to help his customers find ways to increase efficiency, thereby lightening their workload.