Cleverly connected with the PROMOS document interface

As an experienced specialist in digital mail processing, IAB Communications is the perfect partner for PROMOS in the electronic processing of all kinds of documents. We use the example of incoming invoices to illustrate the various processing steps that a physical document goes through in order to enable further digital processing.

Once an invoice has been entered, whether by scanning or an import of digital formats, this is followed by important image processing and classification steps. After the documents have been optimised and categorised according to language, layout and structure, the actual content is then read out during data extraction. Is a reference number mentioned? What is the date and invoice number? All relevant data is technically read out via optical character recognition (OCR) and made available for further processing as a data set. Further validation and verification steps also ensure plenty of checking options and a very low error rate. Finally, the transfer takes place via interfaces to almost every known solution.

One such standardised solution is the smart document interface resulting from an extremely fruitful cooperation between IAB and PROMOS. It ensures that data is fed into your ERP system and then seamlessly processed with easysquare workflow, for example. The product consists of two technical components:

  1. On one hand, the necessary data that can be used in machine learning or in parses is exported.
  2. On the other, an OData interface transfers the data required for the process or documents from IAB to your SAP® system.
Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 33 / April 2022

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The technical specifications, based on standard SAP® functions, are kept quite simple here. This ensures encryption, authentication and high performance as well as audit and logging functions. If a supplier is blocked, for example, such errors are seamlessly logged in SAP® and made available for evaluation.

Just like the PROMOS.GT solution library, the document interface is based on a generic approach. This means that if you want to transfer data to SAP® that should be processed differently, the interface itself does not have to be changed. The mapping of the fields to be assigned is carried out via customising. In addition to the standard functions included in the scope of delivery, customers can also still implement individual customisations.

So how exactly does the processing work? The method is essentially based on clusters. A document can initiate various clusters and thus result in either a single document or a process. This means that a single document can be transferred via the interface and then archived, or its information can be transmitted to an external archive as an ArchiveLink. This is followed by processing to park a document, for instance. In this case, a process is started that appears in easysquare workflow as the first step for data initialisation. The user is first provided with information about the processing status and technical information, such as whether the document is a paper invoice.

PROMOS Dokumentenschnittstelle zur nahtlosen Weiterverarbeitung digitalisierter Dokumente in easysquare workflow und SAP

Figure 1: The data initialisation step in easysquare workflow supplies important information for further document processing in SAP®.

Particularly interesting is the scope function, which assesses how valid the data is and to what extent it can be processed further. For example, a scope 1 indicates that an incoming invoice from a supplier has been recognised, but that the supplier could not be read out. This means that a process can be created, but no document can be entered. In a scope 2, the supplier may be identified but no account assignment. Then the system can at least park one document, attach the document and create a process. With a scope 3, both supplier and account assignment have been recognised, so the system can process a parked document entirely automatically.

In addition, the cluster controls how the processing is to be carried out. Let’s take the example of a final utility invoice, which can initiate two clusters and, therefore, two different processes. On the one hand, a subsequent payment or reimbursement for the tenant must be processed from the respective utility statement. On the other hand, adjustments to the vendor agreement may be necessary since the advance payments have to be changed.

As you can see, the document interface ensures a seamless integration into further systems, whether an external archive or DMS, a process control tool such as easysquare workflow, or SAP modules such as contract management and RE. It forms the ideal link to process your data as a document with the extracted information perfectly mapped to the structures of your SAP® system.


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