Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 8.20.54 AMContact Dolphin to discuss the findings in the Gartner report "Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement". Copies of the report are no longer available for distribution. Source: Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement, Garth Landers, Alan Dayley, JP Corriveau, 13 June 2016. Untitled-7

Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 8.20.54 AMContact Dolphin to discuss the findings in the Gartner report “Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement”.

Copies of the report are no longer available for distribution.

Source: Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Structured Data Archiving and Application Retirement, Garth Landers, Alan Dayley, JP Corriveau, 13 June 2016.

Untitled-7

University of Toronto Masters Invoice Processing

The Facilities and Services Department of the University of Toronto was looking for a solution to enable more efficient invoice capture and routing so it could reduce errors, eliminate paper-based processes, and shorten the payment cycle to vendors. The department, which is responsible for maintaining the downtown campus of the 4th largest university in North America, wanted to gain greater control over the large number of Non-PO invoices the university processed each month and benefit from better pricing/discounts from its wide network of vendors. Due to the unique audit and compliance requirements of this institution, the university also wanted to improve visibility into the entire invoice lifecycle from capture through posting and payment through the use of unique vendor spend reports.

Solution
After a detailed search for a solution that could meet the university’s needs, it selected the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP), which enabled the university to achieve significant cost savings through the following key capabilities:

  • Flexible invoice capture to capture invoices electronically, improve invoice accuracy, and eliminate paper
  • Automated approval and exception handling workflows to shorten the payment cycle to vendors
  • Real-time invoice information to improve visibility into invoice processing, including Non-PO invoices
  • Ability to view invoices by vendor to reduce the time spent on vendor inquiries and report on vendor spend
  • Web and email notifications and escalations for approvals and exception handling
  • Ability to delegate approval authority to multiple individuals over a selected time period to accommodate employee sabbaticals
  • Report on utility consumption, spend trend, and more to improve compliance with the university’s policies and regulations

Results

Since implementing the solution in late 2014, the university has been able to:

  • Gain complete transparency into invoices on spend by individual, departments, etc.
  • Fast capture and processing improves consistency of payment process, resulting in more discounts and avoidance of penalties
  • Capture of utility consumption is a huge gain for the department
  • Online processing results in no duplication of effort, freeing employees to do higher-value tasks instead of low-value clerical work
  • Sustainable online solution: the university is removing 80K sheets of paper, reducing office and storage space, etc.

Based on the current volume and cost of invoice processing in the department, the department expects to save 250K in the first year.

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University of Toronto Masters AP Invoice Processing

uotinfographic2016This infographic demonstrates how the University of Toronto Facilities and Services Department was able to have savings add up quickly by implementing a centralized and standardized Accounts Payable solution for SAP systems. This award-winning solution has saved the team hundreds of hours and thousands of pages of paper as were able to increase the percentage of electronic invoices and enable online approvals for more than 100 staff located across Canada’s largest university that is like city-within-a-city.

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Collier County Clerk of Courts Implements an Audit-Ready Invoice Processing Solution

The largest county in Florida wanted to centralize and automate the processing of more than 7,000 invoices a month. The county had implemented SAP ERP more than a decade before and used the software for many of its financial processes; however, the AP department still relied on a paper-based invoicing process. Vendors mailed invoices to the county’s various offices and departments, and these invoices were then routed for manual approval. For an organization that manages massive projects like constructing roads and buildings, accurate financial planning is crucial. Also, Florida Statute requires the Collier County Clerk of Courts to audit these documents to ensure legality of payment, which can increase the timeline for processing invoices.

“We had manual processes in place for receiving and processing invoices,” says Jane McDonald, Senior Project Manager for Collier County Clerk of Courts. “Workers used email and interoffice mail and didn’t always send the invoices to the AP department right away. We didn’t have visibility into an invoice’s status until it was approved and entered into SAP ERP at the very end of the process. Because our projects sometimes continue for months, workers often had to search through file cabinets (files are kept on site for two years) or warehouse archives to locate older invoices.”

The Clerk of Courts management information system (MIS) and AP organizations knew it was time to research new technology that would leverage the SAP workflow. A cross-functional team was assembled and began to evaluate how much work would be required to build and maintain a custom solution from scratch. At the same time, they also considered third-party vendors that might be able to provide an appropriate solution. Key capabilities the county identified include:

  • Ability to integrate the chosen technology with the organization’s current SAP environment
  • Digital storage of invoices
  • Easy extraction of information for auditors

Solution

The county’s vendor selection team chose Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable (PTS-AP), which went live in August 2012. The project involved instituting a new accounts payable workflow aimed at centralizing the AP process countywide. Key feature are:

  • Automated invoice capture, with scan and capture
  • Powerful InfoCenter to facilitate invoice processing and troubleshooting by the AP staff
  • Automated workflows to route invoices to the appropriate department that, in turn, can route it for additional approval(s).
  • Improved exception handling for If an invoice is rejected during that process, it can be easily returned to the vendor with a rejection code along, with any backup documentation to explain why it could not be paid.

“All of these steps in the invoice approval process have a predefined status within the system’s workflow,” explains Frank Bodino, Senior Systems Analyst at Collier County Clerk of Courts. “In this new process, all of the steps are visible. We know where each invoice is at all times, we know who looked at it, what notes they put down, and when it was approved. If the invoice was rejected, we know why.”

After the invoice is approved, the goods receipt is matched, and the AP audit is performed, then the invoice can be posted to SAP ERP. “All the information we need to post the invoice is there, so there’s no dual-keying or duplication of data,” McDonald says. “We just hit the button, and the invoice information posts.”

Improving the AP business process required changes across the entire organization. For example, since invoices now come into the AP department as the first step of the new process, the various departments within county government had to adapt to a new workflow where AP clerks scan the invoices.

While the new workflow for invoice processing is much more streamlined and intuitive, it did require training users on the new system and getting their buy-in on the updated processes. “Just like with any training, some people caught on very quickly and others struggled with the new processes,” says McDonald. “The project team created training documents to help explain the process in a way users could understand.”

Results

According to McDonald, the new solution has delivered all of the benefits advertised and more.

  • Easy access to and cost effective storage of invoice documents
  • Simplified approvals process
  • Ability to track how many invoices are processed in a given period is helping the organization measure its own performance.
  • Improved visibility both internally and externally.

“Now, we can provide our external auditors with invoice information, purchase order (PO) information, and backup documentation more easily than we could with the paper-based system,” says McDonald. “In the past, we had to go back to the paper files and dig out the invoice which was time consuming. A significant time and cost savings benefit was our ability to search by check number or the clearing document and instantaneously receive the information associated with the invoice.”

The improved metrics have also pinpointed any delays in the AP process. For example, the new process showed that many invoices are rejected because vendors don’t provide PO numbers on their invoices. Without the PO number, AP clerks were forced to try and find out which department and what purchase generated the invoice. By requesting that vendors provide the PO number on their invoices, the AP process has been streamlined even further.

According to Bodino, the county has become more efficient thanks to the new solution. “We have been able to fix and change processes that, while they worked, were cumbersome at best,” he says.

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Johns Hopkins University Data Archiving from Start to Finish

Running SAP systems since 1997, Johns Hopkins University had never archived any data. When performance issues started impacting their users, the University was told that that they should consider archiving. Some of the challenges the University faced were:

  • Too many records in the tables
  • Queries on transactional data were slow
  • System administration was taking too long and costs were too high
  • Storage needs and costs were increasing
  • Starting to see system performance degradation
  • Unique data issues in ECC, BW, and SRM systems

Solution

The University developed an Information Lifecycle Management strategy, which defined the policies, processes and tools for data and information from conception to destruction. They turned to Dolphin to help them with the project which included:

  • User friendly access to archived data
  • Transparent access to archived data
  • Archiving in ECC, BW and SRM
  • Ability to retrieve archived workflows with the documents
  • Defined residency and retention periods based on the type data
  • Ability to perform ad hoc queries

Results

Johns Hopkins continues to see success with their archiving project, which was rolled out in phases, gradually adding more arching objects. The University is especially pleased that the end users have been able to adapt to the new system so quickly and with very little training. The project provides:

  • Reduced DB size
  • Dramatically reduced the DB rate of growth
  • Additional archive objects added easily
  • 30% reduction in table size on average
  • Greater than 350M records archived and growing
  • End users satisfied and have had no problems accessing data

Johns Hopkins’ Data Archiving Project from Start to Finish

Zack Rose, from Johns Hopkins University, takes a soup-to-nuts approach defining how the university planned and managed their data archiving project in their complex environment: identifying staffing requirements; how they evaluated and selected third-party solutions prior to the implementation; the overall effort by the organization; and the most significant areas of improvement, including database size reduction and associated cost savings.

The webcast covers:

  • Understanding what data archiving includes
  • Selecting the appropriate scope
  • Coordinating the necessary resources
  • Executing a cohesive set of tests
  • Communicating an accurate message to those affected
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University of Toronto Optimizes Accounts Payable and Moves to the Head of the Class

The University of Toronto, one of the top-ranked research universities in the world, is used to being at the head of the class. So, when the Facilities and Services department was looking for a solution to optimize its accounts payable processes and increase savings and efficiencies, it wanted a “smart” solution that could meet the University’s unique requirements.

In this webcast, Ron Swail, Assistant Vice-President, Facilities & Services and Darrel Fernandopulle, Director, Financial Services – Facilities & Services from the University of Toronto and Brian Shannon of Dolphin will discuss how the department was able to implement an SAP-centric solution that could automate and standardize its manual accounts payable processes and also support the University’s unique business processes and diverse vendor community.

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Real Estate Giant Transforms Its Manual Invoice Process and Improves Visibility

A 140-year-old privately held real estate investment company best known for the balanced, sustainable communities in Southern California and the Silicon Valley was in the process of rolling out SAP. The company had grown quickly and consequently had very complex Accounts Payable (AP) processes. With over 400 managed properties, there was no visibility into invoices needing approval, and the process needed to be re-engineered. The company decided the best approach is to automate its existing AP process, concurrent with the SAP rollout, so it could have a more centralized invoice process that provided greater visibility.

Solution 
Dolphin provided complete blueprint, implementation and training services for the company’s invoice process for Accounts Payable. The solution included Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable, along with archiving to retain the invoice images in PBS ContentLink, an SAP ArchiveLink certified document repository. Dolphin designed and implemented the capture management system consisting of Kofax Ascent and Ascent for Payables Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Custom workflows were created using SAP Business WorkFlow to provide seamless integration and to complement the entire procure-to-pay process.

Key decision points were:

  • An end-to-end solution with one vendor
  • A complementary rollout in conjunction with SAP Procure to Pay
  • Maximum leverage of their SAP investment with minimal additional Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Best practices-based solution tailored to their specific environment
  • Web-based approval and coding of invoices
  • Automatic routing of invoices for approval and coding based on rules, without AP processor intervention

Results 
The project from blueprint to implementation successfully went “live” in conjunction with their SAP application providing a seamless procure-to-pay solution.

  • An enterprise-wide view to invoices
  • Automatic process time monitoring and escalation as needed
  • Improved efficiencies and visibility to invoices reducing lost or misrouted invoices

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Collier County Increases Visibility to Accounts Payable

Processing more than 7,000 invoices a month with a mostly manual system created a pressing need for Collier County, Florida, to turn to an automated system. Learn how Collier County Clerk of Courts integrated its SAP ERP with the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable to streamline invoice processing, gain visibility into overall AP processes, and reduce costs. Click here to read the full article published in insiderProfiles

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