5 Questions With…Sid Chakrabarty, Director of Solution Engineering – HighRadius: Part 1

Receivable Savvy is launching a new blog series titled 5 Questions With…  This additional format allows us to pose some of the most challenging questions we receive across multiple platforms such as webinars and conferences and receive answers from some of the industry’s most knowledgable subject matter experts.

5 Questions With…Sid Chakrabarty, Director of Solution Engineering – HighRadius: Part 1

  1. The ability to leverage technology – specifically implementing electronic solutions for processes such as invoicing and cash application – continues to grow in the Order-to-Cash space. But, there are many supplier organizations that continue to handle processes the old fashioned way – via paper. Why do you think paper transactions continue to be so prominent and what might be some of the reasons for resistance to leverage technology?

For most large suppliers, paper transactions are a source of inefficiency. The scope for automation goes down and manual intervention becomes essential. When not handled by in-house teams, paper documents, or remittance specifically is outsourced to banks at a significant cost. However, several SMB buyers today prefer paper transactions for the lack of more efficient options to transact electronically. For the buyer, writing and mailing a paper check takes almost the same amount of time as initiating and processing an ACH transaction through the bank website or the suppliers’ payment portal. Besides, checks leave a paper-trail for future audit. Order-to-cash technology providers have focused on solving for the needs of the suppliers without figuring in buyer preference – resulting in poor buyer adoption of most electronic transaction initiatives. Only when the technology stack is built from the ground-up, keeping end-user adoption in mind, do you get a real shift in transactions moving away from paper.

  1. When some hear the term “cloud-based,” there is sometimes trepidation in allowing important information and data to simply sit in the cloud in a way that might make it vulnerable. What does a solution provider tell customers and partners about sensitive data in the cloud and the accompanying security designed to keep that data safe?

Cloud-based solutions have been the big decision item for every IT solution over the last 4-5 years and pretty much the default in most implementations over the last 2-3 years. Organizations of all sizes prefer cloud-based solutions for their ability to be implemented without upfront investments, in little time and with minimum project risk. In short, cloud computing is all about storing and accessing data, programs and applications you’re using over the internet instead of storing and accessing the same thing from your computer’s hard drive or a server somewhere in the building. About data security, the layman assumption is that on-premise is more secure, because the data is stored within the company’s premises or building or facility. True in theory, but reports say that most security breaches happen as a result of malicious intentions of the employees. When breaches occur this way, it often takes a long time for the company to discover and handle them. In fact, cloud systems provide better security to control unauthorized physical access of data than most on-premise systems!

  1. What are Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Machine Self Learning? How do these technologies work – at a relatively high level – in a way that lessens a company’s dependence on manual intervention?

People are the biggest assets for a credit and A/R team. It’s the people who take critical decisions about credit management, resolve dispute cases, and collect from the toughest accounts. However, it’s a great misfortune when these resources get pulled into clerical, busywork that is transactional in nature and produces little value. Technology – including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning (ML) – has developed to enable resources to be engaged in high-impact decision making tasks while it takes care of mundane, repetitive tasks. For example, Machine Learning is capable of eliminating the need for a human to ever look at a scanned check image to figure out paid amounts and invoice numbers. Robotic Process Automation can ensure that deduction analysts do not have to manually scourge for backup claims documentation from buyer websites and link it to a dispute case. At the same time, Artificial Intelligence can automate standard dunning tasks so that analysts can focus on high-value accounts that require a human touch. All these technologies are able to take structured, variable input and deliver consistent and accurate output which gets better as the systems continues to learn and improve – pretty much like how a real person works. While they cannot entirely replace humans, they ensure that people are no longer deployed to handle low-value, manual tasks.

Part 2 of 5 Questions With… Sid Chakrabarty will be published on Thursday, October 6.

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