The debut blog in a new series of Business Partner Spotlights, where we will feature a Business Automation partner, share their special expertise, and get to know their team.
One of the United States’ original “founding fathers,” Benjamin Franklin is famous for, among many other things, memorable quotes. One that has remained popular to this day is, “Nothing is certain, except death and taxes.” To which, I might add, “and paying bills.”
Headquartered near Franklin’s hometown of Philadelphia, ActiveWorx is an IBM Business Partner with a long history in content management and automation. The financial software firm has built a reputation as a leading provider of Accounts Payable Automation solutions, built on the IBM Business Automation platform.
I met the team years ago, before IBM acquired FileNet and Datacap. ActiveWorx was rolling out their first AP product that automated invoice capture with Datacap, AP workflow on FileNet. I was impressed by how tightly their solution integrated with so many ERP systems, such as Oracle and SAP. Since then, they have deployed hundreds of AP Automation applications for large and small businesses.
A recent example, which has won awards and been recognized as state-of-the-industry AP automation, is Beverage Distribution Center, Inc. (BDCI). In this video, John Insley of BDCI talks about the benefits they received from AP Automation.
I spoke with ActiveWorx Vice President of Direct Sales, George Thomas, about the journey they’ve been on. George was a frequent guest presenter at IBM Think as well as the live IBM Automation series in North America..
While ActiveWorx is a new name for a well-established team who specialize in a line of business shared by nearly every organization in the world – paying bills – they have a vision for adding value beyond AP. Just as we’ve seen automation expanding from core capabilities with new innovations and solutions, ActiveWorx is also expanding from their main strength.
“We see three areas where we can help to bridge the gap between legacy applications and the modern world of digital operations for the finance department,” George recounted. “The first is Finance Process Automation which includes Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Purchase Requisition process, where we have best-of-breed capabilities. The second is what's called “Precision Payments” and “Payment Optimization” specifically designed for the Treasury group.
George added, “Often, automation ends once we enter information into an ERP system, but there’s great value in payment automation – who to pay, how to pay, when to pay, resolving duplicate checks and remittances – automating how a company interacts with its suppliers and banking entities. And then the third area, with lots of upside for finance departments, is supply chain vendor management, which includes online registration and automating the vendor onboarding process, with risk analysis/background checks and supplier validations, to create a vendor self-service environment.”
The ActiveWorx life cycle begins with ingesting inbound invoices and then guiding them through the processes required to approve and pay, and finally, archive for legal compliance and record-keeping.