Core Imaging Targets the Paper Chase at OS/400 Shops
March 8, 2005 Alex Woodie
There is a new player in the market for OS/400 document imaging and workflow software. Core Imaging of Southern California has developed a suite of software designed to make the accounting departments of manufacturers and distributors more efficient by replacing paper-based workflows with electronic equivalents. Last week it announced CoreConnect Host Access, which makes it easier for employees to find and pull up documents from a 5250 emulator.
Core Imaging has accumulated some interesting facts about the inefficiency of relying on paper forms to document transactions, which is still the case for 85 percent to 90 percent of all transactions, according to data from JP Morgan and the electronics payments association NACHA. Consider that:
Core Imaging wants to help companies save money by reducing these inefficiencies with its suite of Java-based document imaging and workflow applications. The foundation of its software is the CoreDoc Document Management System (or CoreDoc DMS), which provides a repository for storing documents, provides check in/check out and version management, and integrates with Kofax‘s Ascent Capture 6 document scanning and optical character recognition (OCR).
Another component, called Core Business Process Management (or CoreBPM), provides a document routing engine, as well as a graphical workflow editor for outlining the roles, rules, and routes that people and documents will take during the approval process. CoreBPM outputs XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) and integrates with the CoreDoc DMS.
If a user already has an electronic document solution, they can use another Core product, called CoreCapture, to bring those documents into the CoreDoc repository and the CoreBPM workflow. Core Imaging offers two CoreCapture packages, one that integrates with the Adobe Central electronic output management system (formerly JetForm and Accelio), and another that works with Bottomline Technologies‘ Create!form software, which is popular at former J.D. Edwards shops.
CoreConnect Host Access
The newest product, CoreConnect Host Access, makes it easier for employees to find and access documents stored in CoreDoc DMS. The software works with IBM‘s Windows-based 5250 emulator (or any other 5250 emulators with a HLAPI interface) and performs a search based on employee input, such as a purchase order number, whenever a user-definable “hot key” is pressed. It then displays a list of all matching documents in a Web browser window that pops up.
CoreConnect Host Access will be very useful in gathering all the documents necessary before running accounts receivable or accounts payable processes, says Bo Kelleher, Core Imaging founder and president. This is often called the “three-way match,” and it requires having a receiver document (or proof of delivery), a purchase order, and an invoice.
“Those are the things I need to pay the vendor,” Kelleher says. “Today, that requires I chase down somebody in shipping and receiving [to find the proof of delivery], I have to route the physical paper invoice to my desk, and I have to have the purchase order, and I need to make sure those three documents match.”
With CoreConnect Host Access, finding and pulling up those three documents can be done with a couple of key presses, Kelleher says. Core Imaging says users can cut their accounts payable cycle time by up to 30 percent by using CoreConnect Host Access.
Core Imaging’s software is pretty affordable compared to other imaging and workflow products on the market, which sometimes start in the six-figure range. A five-user license for CoreDoc DMS and CoreConnect Host Access costs $10,000, with additional concurrent user licenses going for about $250. The license fee for CoreBPM is also $10,000 (no additional user licenses are necessarily provided they already have CoreDoc DMS user licenses) and the CoreCapture plug-ins are $7,500 each.
Core Imaging is focusing its sales and development efforts on mid-market OS/400 shops in the manufacturing and distribution space, an area that its founders have years of experience. “Manufacturers and distributors have unique problems with managing paper,” says Kelleher, who worked at OpenText, Gauss, and Magellan before starting Core Imaging in an Orange County suburb in June 2003.
While the company has experience with OS/400, it decided to write its products in Java. “RPG is never going to die, as long as the iSeries is around,” Kelleher says. But Java won out, “because not only will it work with iSeries, but if you want to run the product on a Linux or a Unix or a Windows box, you have that capability as well.” The software has been certified to run on DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle database management systems, Kelleher says.
Core Imaging has a handful of customers, some running the software on OS/400 servers. The company has the most experience with integrating with ERP packages from Apparal Business Systems (ABS), International Business Systems, and J.D. Edwards, which is now under the control of Oracle.
For more information, visit Core Imaging online at www.coreimaging.com.