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Back at the beginning of February this year, I had a briefing with a company local to me, Celaton, whose headquarters are in Milton Keynes. What had intrigued me to know more was the service that they are providing to their customers – the automation of a company’s inbound document flow.

Celaton was founded in 1993 as Red Rock Technologies and are a registered UK Company. The company was floated in 2001 and sold in 2002 only to be bought back in 2004 to be reformed in 2005 as Celaton.

Their product, inSTREAM, automates the inbound information streams (post, fax, email) that flow into and through organisations every day. To their customers they offer to deliver a guaranteed input of this information into the necessary customer’s systems. The company has an impressive and wide ranging set of UK businesses as their clients, including Carphone Warehouse, Asos.com, Gullivers Travel Associates, Talk Talk, Davies Group. The price of the service is based on the volume of transactions and is offered in pricing bands.

Infrastructure diagram

Figure 1: Celaton inSTREAM (Source: Celaton)

One of the banes of businesses today is the amount of documents, faxes, emails that are received every day. An enormous amount of time is spent by employees reading this incoming information and deciding on its importance and relevance. inSTREAM is a universal ‘hub’ that receives this plethora of inbound data and transforms the information contained in the various documents into a unified format for onward possessing. Any paper-based documents can be scanned and captured into inSTREAM from any location using the inSTREAM client software. Emails, attachments, faxes and other electronic data streams can be received directly into inSTREAM. One of the real differentiators of inSTREAM is its ability to self-learn. It is able to identify, locate and extract key data and make decisions from data and documents received.

inSTREAM works in the following way:

  • Incoming documents in whatever format are captured
  • The key data essential to the process is identified and extracted
  • The retrieved information is validated – this sometimes involves connecting to a customer’s systems or contacting a person in the organisation to resolve any issues
  • The validated information is delivered into the line of business systems of the customer
  • All the collected information is securely stored and managed, so that customers can access historic information and also run trace searches on what has been collected by inSTREAM

Celaton have also produced some customised versions of inSTREAM to handle correspondence, procurement, accounts payable, travel and expenses, claims and recruitment.

For organisations whose business involves large amounts of correspondence that needs to be processed daily, then Celaton inSTREAM provides a very sophisticated service at a reasonable cost.