The current state of the capture market

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I can remember a time when microfilm was still king. Remarkably, it’s a technology that was first used in the 1870’s and, after a great run, it died away gracefully as scanning and OCR took over. Of course, it continues to be used today for long term retention of certain documents, but it’s now considered a technology of the past.

Data capture has moved on. 

As is common during most periods of technological evolution, there’s currently a lot of hype and hyperbole surrounding the future of data capture. Reflecting on this hype got me thinking about how the industry has changed during the 25 years I’ve worked in it. It also brought to mind how much further we still have to go, and the way that substance always trumps style. 

In recent months, I’ve seen data capture vendors using spin and semantics to try and hide the fact that they still use OCR. They use phrases such as cognitive capture, machine learning and robotic capture to wage war on each other, seeking one-upmanship rather than collaboration. It’s a sad state of affairs and it sounds like the last desperate wails of a dying industry. 

As we know, slowly but surely, the OCR market is consolidating, shrinking and dying as vendors acquire each other. In some cases, we’ve seen firms buying a handful of competitors before letting the solution languish with no further thought for technological development. Sadly, this always damages the end customer, leaving them to search out an alternative solution.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. As OCR declines, the rise in the number of businesses who can receive and process data-rich application generated documents (AGD) is heartening. Now customers can question the continued use of outdated and error-prone OCR-based technology on their own terms. They are no longer a slave to one type of technology. And it’s about time.

9 years ago, CloudTrade identified this shift towards AGD and started to develop a truly scalable solution that has become the undisputed industry leader. Roughly 90% of all business documents are now application generated. This means that senders now easily interact with each other without the need for long and costly setup and integration.

The adoption of AGD-led technology now presents significant opportunities for businesses to drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs. It also provides control compliance and visibility of their processes. AGD’s popularity, coupled with CloudTrade’s deep experience gained over the last decade helping clients, means we can now solve problems for companies globally.

This isn’t anecdotal. Evidence for this shift is supported by CloudTrade’s growth. In July, we processed more documents in a month than ever before. The longest had over 1,500 pages! This volume continues to grow, proving how far we’ve come since the days of microfilm and my arrival in the industry 25 years ago. Excitingly, it also feels as if we’re only just getting started. In order to find out more about these exciting changes and how CloudTrade can help your business, why not join one of our weekly Webinars?


To learn how 100% accurate data capture can change your business, contact us today.

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