New partnership mobilizes AI and enterprise information management to tackle inbound communications challenge
Macro 4 and Charta Porta to offer automated ‘virtual mailroom’ solution
Crawley, UK, February 3, 2021 – A new partnership between Macro 4, a division of UNICOM® Global, and Charta Porta, a value-added consultancy which specializes in document automation technologies, marries AI-driven Natural Language Processing (NLP) with Macro 4’s enterprise information management (EIM) suite. This creates an intelligent automated solution for handling the influx of inbound email, SMS, social media and other digital correspondence that overwhelms many businesses today. By automating slow, manual processing, the solution can supercharge response rates, boost customer service and enhance the customer experience while driving back-office efficiencies. Personal or sensitive data within inbound correspondence is automatically identified, allowing the correct retention, security and access rights to be applied to individual messages, complete with data redaction, in line with data privacy regulations.
The new offering combines Macro 4’s Columbus EIM suite with a cloud-based AI service supplied by Charta Porta which uses an AI-driven automation engine from document automation specialist aluma. The service combines hundreds of techniques and algorithms to understand, classify and extract information from digital (and paper) documents. The integration with Columbus EIM adds proven workflow, content management and process orchestration capabilities.
In most businesses, the process for handling unstructured content such as emails, SMS or chat and messaging apps relies on human operators working behind the scenes. Laboriously trawling through the correspondence, they must decide how each item should be actioned, logging the details manually into the CRM or ERP system and forwarding the message or assigning a task to the correct internal department while complying with data privacy regulations.
Delays and human errors when handling correspondence are common, and these problems have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis, as most interactions with customers are now happening on digital channels, as Diccon Grayling, Partner Manager at Macro 4, explained:
“Companies have told us that with inbound digital messages at an all-time high because of the pandemic, they simply do not have the resources to cope. Customers are waiting weeks for a response to an email to the sales or customer service department, for example.”
The automated solution created with Charta Porta addresses these challenges. Upon receiving inbound correspondence, the automation engine classifies the intent of each message by analyzing the keywords and phrases within the text, allowing the Columbus EIM system to trigger a personalized acknowledgement to the customer, explaining how their inquiry is being managed and when they can expect a response. At the same time, the system will automatically extract relevant information from the message and update the CRM and other internal applications, assigning a task to the relevant internal team or individual to address the customer’s requirement.
In benchmark tests the automation engine has achieved a 99.5% accuracy in classifying unstructured content, which is higher than that achieved by human operators and significantly higher than other automated classification engines. The system learns by example in production, meaning accuracy levels quickly improve once live.
“Businesses were already seeing the volume of inbound email and other digital communications growing before COVID-19. The pandemic has accelerated this, with the majority of interactions now digital, and many organizations have prioritized streamlining the management of this ‘virtual mailroom’ as a key part of their digital transformation strategies, ” said Grayling. “Our partnership with Charta Porta creates an easy and quick-to-deploy automated solution to tackle the challenge of responding to this huge increase in digital correspondence.”
The partnership also allows Macro 4 and Charta Porta to work together to deliver point solutions that increase efficiencies in other applications such as automating aspects of processing inbound customer GDPR Subject Access Requests, and automated invoice matching.
"Customers expect and deserve a frictionless and interactive experience from suppliers, ” said Charta Porta Principal Consultant Mark Schroeder. “This is not always achieved when modern means of communications rely on human intervention to feed the back-office systems and processes with the information that those systems require. This integration introduces an ever-learning brain capable of interpreting all inbound communications by adding structure, intent, and process to a customer message. The Macro 4 Columbus suite provides automated feedback to the customer while adding a compliant and auditable process to the entire customer experience."