IDP’s very interesting week

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IDP’s very interesting week

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You knew that, sooner or later, an IDP marketer would jump at the chance to be affiliated with the incredible buzz surrounding the most exciting AI news story of the 21st century.

Quick thoughts from an unusually busy week of observing the very lively intelligent document processing (IDP) market, and meeting new vendors with cool ideas.

ChatGPT for IDP? You knew that, sooner or later, an IDP marketer would jump at the chance to be affiliated with the incredible buzz surrounding the most exciting AI news story of the 21st century. Super.ai was fast out of the blocks with the click-bait headline “ChatGPT and the Future of Intelligent Document Processing”. The blog is speculation and honest admissions that the IDP world hasn’t figured this out yet, as revealed by these excerpts: “these models are not directly applicable to document processing and the unstructured data processing market.” “we haven’t seen any research on closing this (invoice processing) gap with LLMs.” Are we there yet? No, we are still parked in our driveway waiting for a roadmap. Super.ai should stick to their lane and do what they do best – making IDP products – and leave the futuristic speculation to the analysts! 

Receipt capture that really works. Finally! Someone made a reliable receipt processing app for my smartphone. I just test-drove the Veryfi Lens app and I wish their mobile capture technology had been available back in 2016 when I was still a globe-trotting exec. Back then, expense reporting required one to snap a dodgy photo of every receipt, upload them one by one to Concur, and then slowly and painfully enter the data while praying the 3G signal held fast. There were some receipt apps and I tried them all; but to be charitable, they weren’t effective. Of course, this was before Google unleashed its document AI and transformed our world of data capture and extraction. The Veryfi team are new to the IDP space and delightfully unencumbered by the past. It was refreshing to hear their unbridled enthusiasm about the joy of making really good OCR output. As a keeper of the IDP scrolls, I took them on a stroll down memory lane with stories about the time I met Ray Kurzweil, the father of OCR (amongst many other innovations), and the first commercial OCR solutions circa 40 years ago. They politely listened and no one replied, Hey Boomer! Anyway, Veryfi’s innovative approach impressed enough that I plan to publish a Vignette in the next few weeks.

The IDP Appliance? We love discovering the innovation that bubbles up from the smallest IDP players who are looking for a beachhead to land and expand. We met the founder of Captova, a small Canadian IDP vendor who is hustling to find a niche in the increasingly crowded IDP market. (With Captova, our exhaustive vendor list is now up to 310. Here’s a roadmap to find the top vendors.)  Captova is marketing a “bare metal, off the grid” IDP appliance loaded with its pre-trained document AI models. What a cool idea for the CIA, the medical records world, or anyone else who needs the best and brightest document AI for data extraction, but doesn’t want their documents or data leaving the premise. 

IDP for Gaming. OCR Labs has found a sweet spot selling their proof of identity software into the online gaming industry, who have an urgent compliance need for bullet-proof Know Your Customer (KYC). We first reported on OCR Labs in this note from 2021: https://www.deep-analysis.net/did-ocr-discover-the-fountain-of-youth/. The Aussie startup has grown very quickly and their sales teams show up now at all the cool gaming conferences in Vegas and other cool cities. We requested a briefing only to be told they’re in the midst of “rebranding and repositioning.” I’ll give good odds on the bet they might change the company’s name to better reflect their market success. After all, OCR is so….20th century. Or is it?

OCR is the future. Exactly one year after we first reported about their ubiquity across social media, Rossum clearly hasn’t yet run out of marketing juice from their gonzo investment. They are still pumping money into follow-you-around social media. Yesterday while reading an Associated Press article on my phone, anther Rossum ad popped up with some audacious claims. The headline was “Meet the future of OCR” followed by a greatly over-simplified chart titled “The Evolution of Data Capture” (below). Effective marketing? You be the judge. As for me, I’m just happy to hear OCR has a future!

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