Compart - Document- and Output-Management

Use Cases

Modern Document Creation Software for Multichannel Communication

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Omnichannel-Capable and Accessable Communications

The omnichannel communication of companies, government agencies and organizations is undergoing a fundamental change. The provision of multilingual, rule-compliant and accessable documents that can be sent automatically on all analog and digital communication channels is a key principle. This is in contrast to the way in which documents and communications are created in many companies, which is still centered around paper-based page formats as the standard. However, this format is unsuitable for display on digital channels (tablet, smartphone, etc.).

Why not create documents or communications from inception in such a way that they are omnichannel and accessible, and can be generated in any language if desired?

The ultimate goal is to make all document processing and customer communication as convenient as possible for the company despite increasing complexity (personalization, multilingualism, multichannel demands).

Summary

Reading time: 5 min

  • Swisscom: reduced maintenance costs by 70%
  • Document creation for all channels in one application
  • HTML5 - the key for omnichannel document and output management

What Was Swisscom’s Goal

Switzerland's largest telecommunications service provider needed new software for creating communications that consumers can also view and respond to directly on their mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.) as needed.

In order to serve all analog and digital media in communication, documents today must be created in such a way that they can be sent, received and ideally processed immediately in an automated manner on all channels. This requires a move away from the previous paper-based and print centric model.

The Solution

DocBridge® Impress is based on the principle of "Digital First - Design Once": Each template is created once on the basis of HTML5 and is then instantly converted into the desired output/display format immediately upon dispatch.

Benefits

Significantly higher performance, significantly lower maintenance costs, and the ability to issue every invoice "on demand" in four languages on all of today's standard analog (paper) and digital media: With the introduction of DocBridge® Impress, Swisscom has laid the fundamental foundations for omnichannel customer communication at a high level.

"In addition to high scalability and performance, the major advantage of Compart solutions is their flexibility, which is reflected not least in their omnichannel capability."


Philip Achermann
Swisscom

Create Multichannel Documents

Digitization of customer communication
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Multichannel Communication

Modern omnichannel platforms
Information on opportunities for new value creation: Automated delivery of multilingual, compliant, accessible digital documents across all channels.
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Multichannel Accesibility

Accessible documents for all
How to meet future-proof document production standards - for all digital communication channels as well as print media alike.
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What Is Important in Modern CCM?
Read about Omnichannel Customer Communication, Automation, Multilingualism and Accessibility

Design Once:
Document Creation for Print, Web and Mobile in Just One Application, in One Step

With the DocBridge® Impress composition solution, document templates can be created and sent to all relevant channels and displayed on different media: as printed pages, as a PDF in an email attachment, as a responsive HTML page in a web browser and on a smartphone/tablet, via messenger services, etc. Each new document only needs to be created once and is available for all media without any major effort. It is also automatically barrier-free in accordance with the globally recognized PDF/UA standard.

DocBridge® Impress represents a paradigm shift in document design: creation is independent of a predefined page size and is based on open standards such as HTML5.

Accordingly, the architecture of DocBridge® Impress is based on the consistent separation between a web-based editor (Impress Designer) and the actual composition engine (Impress Engine).

The DocBridge® Impress Designer

With this tool, the user (e.g. text administrator) designs his document (template) via an intuitive interface and, if required, adds layout details for digital channels or for printing. He can store business logic rules there and determine whether the document should be generally accessible (accessibility according to WCAG standard PDF/UA) and in which languages it should be available.

Also possible:
  • Integrated management of templates, images, text modules and other resources for consistent and intelligible documents
  • Create documents with high flexibility and scalability for multichannel communication
  • Impress Designer (creation of templates) and Impress Engine (production of documents) are also available as API services (e.g. for cloud environments).
 
The DocBridge® Impress Engine

It is the "heart" of DocBridge® Impress and combines the templates created in the DocBridge® Impress Designer or already available elsewhere with the variable data ("raw data") from business applications and creates the finished documents using the defined rules and the resources provided (images, text modules, etc.).

Document Creation Software

Background

Role of omnichannel platforms

When communicating with their customers and partners, banks, insurance companies, energy providers and wholesalers send out many billions of documents a year from their own print data centers and via print service providers. This communication with customers is an important basis for most value-adding processes in the company. For a long time, those responsible have been discussing how to supplement this communication via paper documents with digital channels. In previous projects, they have learned that a rapid digital transformation is hardly possible. This is because the output and document management systems on the market are designed for printing and mailing.

However, companies are looking for an omnichannel platform that can not only serve all channels without any problems - but also offers all functions at a calculable price. This requires a rethink: The previous customer communication with printing and mailing is a comparatively unstressful process. The data stream flows from the application systems, and output management captures it. The output systems format the data records for printing. In the next step, the printing line converts data into paper documents and finally sorts them, enveloped and postmarked, into the mailboxes of the postal service providers. Until now, the value added by print data centers has been in this core competence - printing. But that is changing very quickly. In the foreseeable future, an omnichannel solution must enable comparable, high value creation with services related to digital document dispatch. Because the demand from customers is: "Digital First" Create documents for highly flexible  multichannel communication.

End of the A4 paradigm

So far, the A4 format has been the undisputed basis for any communication with customers. But this format is intended for classic channels such as
printing and mailing - DIN A4 makes no sense for digital media. Obviously, it will lose importance together with letter mail. The formats that will take its place are electronic and can adapt the content of documents to the size of the screens of the digital devices of their addressees.

In the first place at the moment are XML for internal data transport and HTML5 for sending documents. With the help of Unicode, the
senders ensure that their documents can be translated and read by recipients in all languages around the globe.
It is important to understand that these omnichannel systems push the boundary between document creation and output. The choice of page size and output channel is not made before documents are sent, as it was before - but when the addressee accesses a document via the Internet and opens it on their digital device.

„The volume of mail will decline, but mail will not disappear completely. That's why we need solutions that complement print.

Jürgen Hausl, Head of Output Services, HDI-Systeme (Talanx)

Use case: Digital "postal cycles"

About half of the cover letters in the inboxes of insurance companies and banks are already electronic - and the numbers of digital cover letters are growing fast. Obviously, a great many customers want their communications to be digitized.
To this end, many print departments have already established electronic channels and not only handle the receipt of documents and records. They also ensure the automated forwarding of all inquiries and are responsible for sending feedback and reply letters.

In this way, companies are establishing document cycles that are completely paperless. With digitization, they hope to make processing more accurate compared to sending letters and much faster in competition with other providers.

Use case: Personalized customer communication

Analyzing data, segmenting data - the challenge is to send the right data to the right customers. Choosing the right design for the processes is crucial. Paper documents can be just as important and right as sending documents electronically via chat applications or e-mails for another group. With the competence to determine layout, data and dispatch channel individually in each case, print and dispatch service providers will differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Accessibility

Investments in accessibility are not optional, they are recommended. And they are an important technology for customer retention in an aging society - already today, around 30 percent of the population in the EU have problems reading and understanding documents for a wide variety of reasons.

"According to the "Barrier-free Information Technology Ordinance - BITV 2.0", government agencies have to offer accessible documents since 2019. With the European Accessibility Act passed in March 2019, the topic of accessibility for business will become even more important.

For the first time, areas of the private sector will also be obliged to provide accessibility. The EU directive lists products (hardware and operating systems, e-book readers or self-service terminals, etc.) and web-based services (e-commerce, online banking, audiovisual media services, e-books, etc.) that must be marketed without barriers in the future. The directive must be transposed into national law in the EU member states by 2022. This means that the first companies will be obliged to offer digital documents in such a way that they can be easily read or understood by people with disabilities.
people with disabilities can read and understand them without difficulty.

The basic idea behind accessible documents is that computers "understand" what is in a document, what is illustrated or highlighted there. Data formats such as PDF/UA make these structures understandable for the systems: what texts are headings, continuous texts or captions - and in what order should they read the document aloud.

But from the point of view of those responsible for output, it's about much more than that. Accessibility upgrades documents to intelligent information carriers. Accessible documents are structured in such a way that they are not only understandable for people with disabilities - they can also be easily read and processed by artificial intelligences.

At this point, these documents offer extremely high potential in automating customer correspondences. A modern omnichannel engine will be able to implement the requirements for converting documents into accessible typesets.

„Accessible PDF documents stand for user-friendly content. Accessibility means meeting customer needs in a very rapidly aging society and leads to increased customer loyalty.“

Klaas Posselt, Print and media specialist, einmanncombo

Analyst Opinion

Independent analysis and positioning of Compart in the CCM landscape by Aspire Customer Communication Services. Watch the video.

Cloud Strategy of Compart

Most of the solutions within the DocBridge® product family have been or are gradually being developed further in the direction of cloud or SaaS capability. In essence, the aim is to offer selected functions as so-called microservices in the future, which can then be quickly and easily integrated into existing infrastructures via web APIs and linked with third-party applications.

Some solutions are already available today as component-based applications that basically consist of just such microservices. These include DocBridge® Impress for document creation. Thanks to their granularity, they represent a worthwhile alternative to monolithic on-premise applications. The aim of this strategy is to help companies to automate their processes in customer communication even more and to expand their business overall. As part of this strategy, Compart will therefore also continue to push the automated provisioning or deployment and orchestration of container applications using Docker and Kubernetes in order to better meet the increasing demand for easy-to-integrate microservices.