It's a universal problem - one you may be surprised to hear we still face in today's technological age: you send me an invoice with your software, my software can't read it so I waste time and money interpreting it. iSOCO promises to change all that with its new prototype i20nt. This system aspires to become the first to exchange electronic invoices between companies transparently and regardless of their originating format and system.
In 2002 a European directive was passed to permit companies the electronic exchange of invoices. Some have incorporated this functionality into their ERP systems; a business management system that integrates all facets of business including manufacturing, sales, marketing, e.g. SAP. This saves time and money in processing invoice data, but not all companies can afford the initial outlay for such technology, not would want to.
ISOCO is a contributor to the four year European project NeOn which aims to significantly advance semantic technologies. These propose to create meaningful relationships between programs that have not been pre-programmed or hard-wired, but learned and evolved. Without semantics, every time previously unfamiliar information needs to be exchanged, there must be costly human intervention.
The key feature of i20nt is its ability to automatically convert electronic invoices across different formats using a combination of semantic and natural language processing technology. This enables the system to learn from the user experience and establishes for itself similarities between an incoming invoice and a conceptual invoice model. This way i20nt can import any subsequent invoice that matches this evolved model, in real time, in large volume, and in varying formats.
iSOCO estimates that implementation of i20nt on an industrial scale will allow an organization to save 30% of the total invoice processing costs, due to a massive reduction in the time taken to handle each electronic invoice. Furthermore the cost of translators will decline increasing the overall saving.
“This is a great opportunity that iSOCO has been able to take advantage of, as we have undertaken a rigorous research and transformed technology into something potentially valuable in the market," says Jesus Contreras, Innovation Director at iSOCO. "We will work on this prototype in order to make it commercially available as soon as possible."