ABBYY: A Partner's Perspective on the ABBYY Technology Summit

by DON SWEENEY

At Ashling Partners, we focus on Advanced Process Intelligence, which is a holistic approach to process automation and improvement. As part of this solution, we partner with ABBYY, a recognized leader in “content intelligence”. I had the opportunity to attend the partner day at the ABBYY Technology Summit and I wanted to provide some of my observations.

ABBYY kicked off the Partner Summit by illustrating their growth rate of 25% from 2017 to 2018. That is fantastic growth for an organization that has been around for 25 years. The European and US offices have already been around for 10 years.  This is not a startup company.  They mentioned they are seeing most of their growth in "Intelligent Data Extraction" and that their top Use Case is AP Invoice Processing.

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I largely see this growth due to the better positioning of the company in the process automation space.  In surveying the room during the partner briefing, it was very interesting to see the blend of partners that viewing ABBBY’s capabilities as specifically a document capture & management solution. Other partners are starting to understand this is part of a larger solution that is a key piece of a fully automated process flow that requires orchestration with RPA and other tools to provide the greatest value to clients.

ABBYY mentioned their strong partnerships with Blue Prism and UiPath, and these partnerships are where I would expect most of the growth.  RPA, as a tool by itself, just automates a task within a process.  OCR, as a tool by itself, simply scans documents and stores the data electronically. As you combine the capability of both solutions (and other tools), you start to understand the value and capacity to fully automate a process flow. Conversations like this are what excites the Ashling Partners’ team to bring a much more holistic and empowering digital transformation to an organization.

Let’s take the procure-to pay-process as an example. Instead of minimal task automation, or only scanning of invoices or BOLs or other paper-based document, the technology now exists where an organization can fully automate a “touchless” process from the creation of the purchase order, through receipt of goods, all the way to payment of goods and provide more touchpoints to the vendor than there is today.

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Overall, ABBYY’s growth is partly due to their robust solution with pre-built machine learning models baked into their OCR engines.  But, their growth is also a leading indicator that the broader intelligent automation space has tons of potential, but also requires an orchestrator effort where ‘skipping a step’ can cause the whole machine to stop.  We looking forward to future growth with our clients, and with ABBYY.