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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Introduction and Developments

Find out how FIS and SAP are creating new machine learning technologies to solve real business problems

Neural Network and machine learning

SAP Business Technology Platform

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are now being used by organisations of all sizes and across a diverse range of industries. Intelligent technologies support the digital transformation of companies and are becoming more and more important. 

SAP provides basic functionalities for the development of modern Artificial Intelligence solutions with the SAP Business Technology Platform. The portfolio includes numerous innovative technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Blockchain.

The platform provides application developers with comprehensive functions and a wide development environment they can use to enhance, integrate and quickly create innovative applications themselves without any infrastructure maintenance tasks.

Your benefits by implementing intelligent SAP Technologies

  • Smooth integration of AI applications
  • Easy adjustment, enhancement, optimisation and automation of processes
  • Simplified and faster work flows
  • Data-driven services can be provided immediately
  • Detailed forecasts and, consequently, faster decision making on a strong data basis
  • Creation of new data-based business models
  • Improved adaptability to market changes
  • Increased competitiveness and efficiency
  • Directly measurable added value through cost reduction and time saving

Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence means the capacity of machines and systems to imitate human behaviour in order to simulate intelligent behaviour. It is either the fulfilment of specific tasks, such as advertising personalisation (applied AI), or more comprehensive activities, where, for instance, entire systems or devices completely imitate human behaviour (general AI).

Contrary to many opinions, Machine Learning (ML) is not the same as AI. It is part of artificial intelligence focusing on algorithms and mathematic models. Samuel Arthur, a pioneer in the field of AI, described ML as “the ability of a system to learn without being explicitly programmed”. This intelligence is “trained” in such a way that it can solve any occurring problems by itself by developing the appropriate AI algorithms. The bigger the dataset and the number of sources, the more successful AI technology will be.

Machine Learning is essentially a sub-area of Artificial Intelligence. As the wording suggests, it is about imparting knowledge to machines or computers. To this end, a so-called neural network or models need to be trained with data, such as texts or images. The respective data can be unstructured financial data from the SAP system for instance. From the mass of training data, the system extracts characteristic features to enable a direct recognition and assignment of the data imported in the future based on these features.

Overview of SAP intelligent technologies

  • Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI or CI) includes the entirety of intelligent technologies standing behind automated message transmission and voice-activated applications. They enable human-like interactions between computers and humans. As a result, users will be guided and supported in their daily business.
  • Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (IRPA) is the combination of RPA, ML and AI. Tasks, such as the processing of messages and orders or the execution of data transfers, are assigned to digital robots or “bots” as they are often called. These bots efficiently implement time-consuming and repeating processes.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) means the networking of devices, machines and installations with and through the Internet. Sensor data transferred in real time increase the transparency of business processes. Decisions based on this data will be made proactively and more quickly.
  • Machine Learning (ML) is part of artificial intelligence. IT systems (machine learning models) are trained on the basis of existing datasets and algorithms enabling them to identify patterns and rules and use them to develop results by themselves. In this way, business decisions are optimized or even made automatically.

FIS Machine Learning Applications and Development

Usually, self-learning technologies, such as ML, become relevant if applications cannot be optimised or developed in a rules-based way. The FIS professionals work every day on testing and further developing innovations by using ML, RPA or bots. FIS, for instance, enhances its own products through the use of machine learning or further develops customer-specific ideas and proposals.

FIS strategy has always been to put the customer requirements at the centre of our thinking. That is why FIS offers both SAP applications and our own self-developed optimisation applications, with teams of experts who will work with you to find technology solutions for your specific challenges.

As an example, within our SAP integrated invoice processing solution, FIS / edc (invoice monitor), the two main technology components use machine learning technologies to automate the invoice throughputs with less human intervention.

In the FIS OCR data reading application (FIS / fci), the embedded machine learning technology is able to extract the key content from an invoice in the same way that an individual would recognise the data (i.e. data in the vicinity of key words and prefixes) and then later stores the co-ordinates of the key data in a knowledge base for subsequent invoices from the same supplier.

In the SAP integrated invoice processing module (FIS / edc), machine learning can be used to create automatic account assignments and direct FI invoices to the correct individuals or groups based on the experience of previous postings.

 

 
FIS EDC invoice processing diagram

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Key OCR invoice reading technologies and functionality

A combination of advanced technologies work in combination ensuring that invoice data is read accurately. FIS / fci uses validation and feasibility checks prior to the data export to SAP or Financials.

Introduction
The video highlights some of the advanced technologies that are applied to the task of automated invoice data extraction.
The technologies ensure that invoices are correctly classified and the data quality is maintained, prior to transfer to SAP / ERP.
The technologies free-up time for the AP team by eliminating or significantly reducing labour intensive tasks.
Who is it for?
For organisations with SAP ERP (ECC 6 or S/4 HANA) who wish to:
  • Replace time consuming tasks such as processing invoices received via emailed attachments
  • Improve the invoice data quality in SAP  by utilising reference tables from SAP for company code identification, PO validation, current tax values, and supplier identification
  • Relieve the AP Team from mundane tasks such as data entry and bar-code additions to invoices
  • Make savings by reducing invoice processing costs whilst making a significant improvement in SAP invoice data quality
  • Improve the task quality and workload volume for the AP team
Key Information:
Functions of OCR Reader and Integrated Invoice Processing
Emailed Invoices automatically forwarded to FIS / fci , the invoice reading component, and then archived for retrieval in SAP / ERP - no need for manual tasks such as printing, scanning and keying in invoice data
Multiple OCR engines are used and the data read is compared against all engines to support the data quality -  ensures data quality by highlighting data that could have errors
Invoice classification confirmed against standard tables in SAP / ERP to confirm or highlight potential errors in the invoice data
"Fuzzy logic" is used for comparing invoice data (i.e. supplier recognition) with reference data to compensate for inexact data on the invoice or within the SAP master data
Freeform recognition technology – automatically hunts for data in the vicinity of keywords to extract the key invoice data from day-one
Intelligent Knowledge Base – is used to extract the key invoice data by statistical analysis of the co-ordinates of previous successfully read invoices for each supplier.
 

 

 

 
schematic diagram working from home with FIS

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Automated Invoice reading from day one

FIS invoice recognition software checks data for potential errors prior to the export to SAP/Financials. The OCR reading includes an intelligent knowledge-base function so that new invoices are read correctly without intervention.

Introduction
By introducing technology to automate manual tasks and check for potential errors, the invoice reading process becomes more efficient and the quality of the key invoice data is improved. Accounts Payable Teams will benefit from the reduced number of mundane tasks such as manual data keying and pre-SAP classification of invoices.
FIS invoice reading technology (FIS / fci) is a stand alone or hosted application and although designed to work with SAP (ECC 6 or S/4HANA) can also be configured for other ERPs or Financials software.
Who is it for?
For organisations who wish to:
  • Replace the mundane, manual tasks of their accounts payable teams and replace them with technologies that automate the reading of invoice data
  • Remove labour intensive and expensive stages of invoice classification by eliminating the need for bar-code label additions to invoices
  • Make savings by capturing invoices at the first stage (early invoicing) rather than scanning invoices (or using a bureau service) retrospectively
  • Free-up time and make savings by removing all manual invoice classifications – no need for pre-sorting invoices
  • Support the accounts payable team working from home (i.e. coronavirus restrictions) by recommending that suppliers send invoices electronically via email or EDI
  • Improve data quality by installing technologies with validation and feasibility checks
Key Information : Replacing Manual Tasks
The FIS invoice reading technology (FIS / fci) is designed to model the way in which a human would interact with an invoice – reviewing the key invoice data (using multiple OCR engines) and searching for the data in the vicinity of familiar words and phrases.
Data is validated and against SAP/ERP tables where applicable and there are checks for arithmetic agreements between net, tax and gross values. The data from each supplier is learnt automatically as a knowledge-base gains experience with each supplier invoice.
Tasks that are replaced include:
  • Significant reduction and in some instances elimination of data-entry work by the accounts payable team
  • No requirement for bar-code labels to be added to each invoice
  • No requirement for emailed invoices to be printed and then labeled with a bar-code
  • No retrospective scanning of invoices or using a bureau service for "late archiving"
  • No need for manual invoice classification into categories such as company codes, currencies, invoice type (PO or PO-exempt)
Working From Home and Hybrid Working

schematic diagram working from home with FIS

FIS / fci  is an ideal technology for accounts teams that work remotely.
AP departments were not unduly hampered by the restrictions caused by the pandemic if the number of physical invoices (i.e. paper) are reduced.
The technology works automatically with emailed invoices or invoices sent electronically via EDI.
 

 

 
FIS EDC invoice processing diagram

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Make savings by automating invoice postings in SAP

FIS invoice processing technology automates data-entry, freeing up accounts payable resource. Invoices are processed in any layout, in different languages and currencies. The technology assists with supporting colleagues working from home.

Introduction

FIS are one of the leading software developers of applications that improve business processes in SAP ERP. The invoice processing solution provides time, effort and financial savings for organisations by:

  • Reducing manual data-entry tasks and additional human involvement
  • Positing a high proportion of invoice automatically into SAP (no touch processing)
  • Automatically forwarding FI (PO-exempt) invoices to individuals or groups
  • Providing a familiar SAP environment for invoice queries and approval workflow

Automated Invoice Data Extraction (FIS / fci)

FIS have developed one of the most effective technologies used for extracting supplier invoice data from a scanned or emailed attachment. By introducing technologies into the invoice data extraction process there is less manual keying and improved invoice data quality. Key invoice data can now be read from invoices with different formats, languages or currencies.

SAP Integrated Invoice Matching and Posting (FIS / edc)

As an integrated add-on to standard SAP, the invoice monitor technology enables invoices to be posted automatically or alternatively routes them to designated approvers or groups.

FIS / edc complements SAP ERP, creating new functions for the accounts payable team and approvers. The invoice monitor referencing real-time SAP data and enables incoming invoices to be identified as either payable or parked.

In addition workflows are incorporated into the invoice monitor to manage approvals. Additional functions are aimed at invoice assignments and complex invoice coding tasks.

In combination, FIS offer an enhanced process that releases accounts payable teams from mundane tasks. A high proportion of invoices are posted to SAP without any manual intervention

Functions of OCR Reader and Integrated Invoice Processing

Key Benefits

Reduced Effort for AP Team and Machine Learning. Invoice content is read automatically from day-one, so manual data-entry tasks are reduced. In time, the  data extraction technology "learns" the zones where the key data on an invoice resides for each supplier in a "knowledge database" - resulting in automatic reading of the invoice data.

(MM) Invoices that agree with the original PO and GRN in SAP could be posted automatically. (FI) Invoices can be assigned to accounts and forwarded automatically to individuals or departments.
Improved data quality. In the invoice data extraction component, invoice data is checked against SAP tables for vendor, company code and PO recognition. Net, tax and gross values are calculated to ensure that the data has been read correctly. Furthermore, the document can be classified (invoice, credit-note.. etc.) and assigned to the correct company code automatically.
 Rapid Adoption. As with all FIS add-on technologies, FIS / edc complements and works with standard SAP ERP presenting data from SAP transactions and new FIS transactions to assist with invoice queries.
Accounts Payable teams work within standard SAP GUI display formats and approvers use FIS / edc approval workflows using SAP Web Dynpro and Fiori App standards. By developing proprietary technologies using SAP platforms means that FIS applications are easy to adopt for organisations already familiar with standard SAP.
Deep integration with SAP standard. FIS / edc harnesses the intrinsic power and of SAP with no modifications to SAP standard being necessary. The processing technology presents information in real-time from the SAP database - so no data exchanges. SAP add-ons are easier to maintain when SAP upgrades and enhancement packs are introduced.
Diagram illustrating remote working for Accounts Payable Teams
Working from home and Hybrid working
Many customers have adapted to the change in working practices brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Firstly, most customers have worked with their suppliers to further increased the proportion of invoices received via email - and reduced the volume received in paper format.
In this way, invoices are read automatically and manual completions, if required, can be actioned remotely. FIS / edc is also able to accommodate electronic invoices (EDI) and checks their credentials before posting.
Adopting an electronic method of invoice recognition means that organisations are not unduly hindered by the accounts payable team working from home.

 

 
calendar day one

Automated Invoice Content Extraction

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Automated Invoice Data Entry

Automated data entry from day one. The OCR (optical character recognition) technology extracts the key information from invoices irrespective of the layout. Advanced machine learning technology is applied for improved recognition rates

rtificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

FIS / fci

FIS OCR document reading software (FIS / fci) is a world leading, innovative technology that is used to automatically examine a digital invoice (or other semi-structured document) and extract the required data with minimal or no human intervention.

The technology generates financial and time savings compared to manual data entry and increases data quality prior to importing into SAP or other ERP/Financials software.

Using the technology means more automated data entry and therefore minimises the administrative burden on accounts departments.

The is installed on its own separate server (outside of SAP ERP) and reads the content of documents that are captured as a digital scan or are received as an emailed attachment.

The software offers unmatched recognition rates for invoices, extracting both the header and line-item (position) content.

The OCR technology is normally paired with the FIS/edc (invoice monitor) to post a high percentage of invoice data automatically in SAP without the need for human intervention (no touch processing).

The solution is also normally enhanced with the FIS email reader and means that there is no need for printing and scanning of invoice attachments.

Reading Invoices on Day One

The OCR reading software is pre-programmed to identify specific information fields on an invoice and then extract the relevant data within close vicinity. The ‘freeform’ recognition technology automatically finds the invoice data irrespective of invoice design and layout.

  • Supplier details and invoice receiver checks are validated against the latest SAP data.
  • Invoice financial values are checked for feasibility by checking arithmetic agreement between net, tax and gross values.
  • Fuzzy technology compensates for incomplete or inaccurate data or poor quality invoice scans.
  • Several OCR engines are utilised to increase data reading accuracy.
  • Machine learning, any manual confirmations or checks are stored in an intelligent knowledge base for each vendor to build up a statistical probability of the key data locations.
  • Automated data entry means that the cost of processing invoices is reduced and savings are generated by the technology.
Reporting

Detailed reports illustrate vendor invoice volumes and data extraction rates for specific fields to identify issues with suppliers. FCI report recognition rates

Summary

For organisations who wish to:

Make savings by introducing automated data entry processes and significantly reducing the degree manual tasks.

Improve data quality by introducing automated validation and feasibility checks  against SAP data.

Alternative to:
  • The printing and manually keying in data from a physical document
  • The slow process of data-entry of key invoice data with inherent errors
Key Technologies:
  • Multiple OCR engines - working in agreement.
  • Automatic recognition of suppliers,  company codes and order numbers
  • Automatic forwarding of emailed invoices.
  • Machine learning by storing key invoice data from previous invoice completions
  • Freeform recognition, FIS / fci is pre-conditioned out-of-the box to search for key financial document data.
  • Intelligent knowledge base which stores data co-ordinates for all successfully read invoices and therefore reduces the number of corrections in the future.
  • FIS / fci reads header and line items automatically
  • Contributes to no-touch processing when combined with FIS / edc (invoice monitor)
  • Ability to read any semi-structured document such as sales orders, payment advice notes or vendor statements

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artificial intelligence robot checking data

Automated Invoice Postings for SAP

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Automated Invoice Posting with SAP

Deeply integrated with SAP, FIS technology automates the posting of invoices and provides efficient tools for the management of invoice exceptions and queries

saving time saving money

FIS / edc (electronic document centre) is an SAP certified technology add-in that automates the processing of invoices and other documents such as credit memos, sales orders, customer payment advice notes and vendor statements with minimal manual intervention.

The automated invoice posting technology reduces manual tasks and eases time pressure on the accounts team. As a result, the administration burden is taken away from businesses.

Our software processes integrate with SAP to generate  financial savings as documents are processed automatically (no touch processing) and queries are handled more efficiently than with SAP standard.

The software is installed on the same IT infrastructure as SAP with no modifications to SAP standard required. The add-in technology works with the SAP database so that information is presented in real-time.

The integrated technology also includes additional functions to make business more efficient - specifically for the accounts team and invoice approvers.

FIS / edc (invoice monitor)

FIS / edc (invoice monitor) is normally paired with our automated data entry application. Combining these two technologies facilitate the posting of a high percentage of invoices in SAP without the involvement of the accounts team resulting in an unmatched "blind-booking" rate (no touch processing).

The application is further enhanced with the email invoice reader, which eliminates the need for printing or scanning of invoices sent as email attachments.

Invoice data for PO related invoices is compared to the open PO data and goods receipt data from SAP at item-line (position) level. A 3-way match, within a given tolerance, allows invoices to be posted automatically.

Approval Workflow

The Invoice Monitor supports several workflow functions including a workflow application running on the Web Dynpro platform, which allows approvers to action the invoice with forwarding and account assignment functions.

Invoice approval may also be completed from mobile devices and desktops via a FIS Fiori app. This solution provides a simplified workflow design for tablets, smartphones and desktops.

For organisations:

  • Wishing to automate the vendor payment process and make savings when booking invoices into SAP
  • Requiring a substantial increase in the quality of the supplier invoice data
  • With a substantial SAP ERP investment who are looking to enhance the payment processes and make financial and time savings
  • Reduce the degree of manual keying and administration tasks within the current process
  • Wishing to make digital transformations in their current processes

Alternative to:

  • Standard SAP ERP module
  • Physical movement of financial documents
  • Manual keying of data with no validation checks
  • Printing and scanning emailed invoice attachments
  • Using email as a workflow tool

Technologies:

  • FIS / edc has versions for both SAP ECC 6 as well as SAP S/4HANA
  • Flexible import of invoices via OCR and EDI
  • Line matching (MM) of invoice data with SAP data i.e. open orders and goods receipts in real time.
  • Automatic account assignments
  • Workflow options using SAP standards Web Dynpro and Fiori apps
  • Reporting tools to identify issues and bottlenecks to assist with further process improvements
  • Transparency and history audit for each invoice
  • Deep SAP ERP integration with worklists for accounts payable users
  • Presentation of EDI transactions as a standard PDF

Benefits:

  • Higher productivity of accounts payable teams with more functions in a familiar SAP standard GUI, freeing up time from repetitive tasks
  • Faster supplier payments - meeting corporate specific service levels
  • Invoice image displayed in FIS/edc and workflow modules as well as SAP ERP
  • Harnesses the intrinsic power of SAP ERP
  • Integrated into SAP but with no need for modifications to SAP ERP standard - quick enhancement pack and upgrade changes
  • Data stored once in SAP database - no data exchanges with external software
  • High blind booking rate - particularly for emailed invoices
  • Efficient interrogation tools for exceptions / query management
  • High financial return on investment
  • AP team directed to more value-added work as FIS/edc automates labour intensive tasks
  • Reduction in long invoice processing times
  • Transparency and visibility of the entire P2P process

fis customers

 

 

 

 

Metallic jigsaw puzzle with an outstending golden piece - 3d render

SAP – Business Process Optimisation

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SAP Business Process Automation

Business process optimisations can be created by running proprietary add-in technologies from FIS. No modifications to SAP standard are required. All FIS products have releases that optimise business processes in both SAP ECC6 and SAP S/4HANA.

SAP - Business process automation software. ERP enterprise resources planning system concept on virtual screen.

FIS Information Systems add-value to our clients by creating technologies that enable business process optimisations in SAP. FIS have a 30 year history as an SAP GOLD partner and are recognised as the leading developer of SAP add-in applications.

FIS create proprietary applications that run on SAP standards such as Fiori Apps, SAP Web Dynpro and SAP GUIs. This ensures that adoption rates are quick for employees already familiar with SAP.

Digitised Business Process Improvements: One of the key tasks for every company today is to automate business processes and minimising manual tasks where appropriate. Those organisations who enhance processes effectively are also able to improve data quality as well as generating cost savings.

FIS software simplifies tasks by bringing together information and documentation required for decisioning in one location.

Managing the processes is made easier with a dashboard overview of the current status and tools to highlight bottlenecks and pressure points.

  • Processing times are shorter
  • Idle times are identified
  • Errors are recognised and corrected
  • Processes are recorded and made transparent

Automation saving time and money: FIS develop a comprehensive range of SAP add-in technologies. These deeply integrated technologies to SAP ERP standard (SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA) create additional functionality to automate business processes in SAP, therefore enabling financial savings and providing more effective tools for SAP users.  The applications run on the existing SAP ERP IT infrastructure.

FIS Business Process Optimisation Technologies include:

Automated Invoice Data Reader (FIS / fci): FIS / fci (free-form collection and integration) is a technology that reduces time consuming task of manual data-entry when processing invoices. The software automatically extracts the key content of documents imported such as an email attachment or from a scanned image.

FIS / fci incorporates "free-form recognition" technology, multiple-OCR engines, "fuzzy" matching of data, an intelligent machine-learning knowledge database - to read invoice data automatically from day-one.

Automated Invoice Posting and Workflow (FIS / edc): FIS / edc (electronic document centre) is an SAP add-in product to improve invoice processing in SAP. Typically the integrated technology is utilised to automate first-time match rates for invoices. In addition, routing of invoices is configured so that invoices can be  approved via FIS workflow applications running on SAP Web-Dynpro or Fiori apps.

FIS / edc works with real-time SAP data with enhanced tools for processing invoices prior to exporting to SAP.

diagram showing S/4HANA infrastructure in memory processing for business process optimisation

Automated Matching of Vendor Statement or Payment Advice Notes: The technology is utilised to automate the comparison of incoming statements (from vendors or customers) with balances in SAP ERP.

FIS / edc (statement monitor) is an SAP add-in product that reduces the number of documents reviewed by the accounts team - highlighting "exceptions" compared to vendor/customer data on SAP ERP.

Automated Processing of Orders  FIS / edc (sales order monitor) converts an inbound customer order into an SAP sales order with or without a reference (e.g. quotation).

The supply chain process such as order confirmation, shipping notification, goods issue and billing documents can be triggered immediately.  Customer orders that do not pass the “plausibility checks” successfully are highlighted and post-processed in the monitor.  

  • Automatic posting of customer orders (OCR or EDI data records)
  • Overview of all purchase orders received
  • OCR image or EDI data visualisation as PDF form
  • Full integration in SAP with all order processing functionalities
  • Quick error analysis with intelligent message log
  • Direct communication due to integrated email system
  • Post-processing option in the split screen display with direct access to scanned and archived customer orders.

SAP Master Data and Price Management: FIS / mpm  is a simplified SAP centred application add-in that is utilised by all employees tasked with master data maintenance of materials, price and conditions, vendors, customers and bill of materials.

The FIS / mpm add-in has built-in duplication checks and defined roles for initiators and master data custodians.  FIS / mpm is an SAP add-in product that runs on SAP standards such as SAP GUI and SAP Web Dynpro.

Cross Company Electronic Transactions: FIS / xee provides organisations with a tool for electronic data exchange between SAP, internal systems, and import/export with external suppliers and customers.