What is Document Generation?

Document generation brings the modern day printing press to Enterprise systems. Running on a schedule, triggered by an event, or initiated by a user clicking a button on a webpage, these systems bring big data and workflow to the masses, putting useful information in the in-boxes of suppliers, customers, staff, external partners in Word, PowerPoint, or PDF format.  Document generation encompasses all the processes and tools needed to structure, refresh, manage, merge, create, approve, attach, email, store, archive, and retrieve documents.

What do I need to do?

Businesses need to leverage existing investments in big data and document management to reduce electronic document generation costs.  Think about how much it costs to produce a single PowerPoint presentation or Word document.  Measure your current business processes and determine where document generation will save you the most money. Add workflows to automate approval or manage data quality. You will need one or more of the following products to get started: Talend, Tableau, K2, Knowledge Lake, Qorus, SQL Server, and SharePoint.

What do these tools do?

Talend and Tableau provides the big data and integration capabilities. K2 provides the workflow and orchestration capabilities.  SharePoint is for document management and storage. Knowledge Lake is for content type management and document retrieval.  Qorus provides the document generation.  SQL Server is for local data management.

What to expect?

With relatively small investment compared to the cost of producing electronic documents manually, businesses can transform existing expensive or painful processes into elegant and automated document generation solutions.  You would expect to automate complex business processes requiring many staff. Document generation simplifies business processes by using workflow automation to simplify processes. Faster document turn-around and more consistent documents are positive benefits gained by implementing document generation. Automated document generation decreases business running costs by decreasing the cost to produce a document.  Staff are enabled to focus on content rather than document production, this means less copy, paste, email cycles. The time-savings and quality improvements justify the expense to build document generation new systems.

The Old

In the past, document generation systems were written using custom code. Typically, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting and C#/VB .Net were used to write invoicing, quotation or proposal generation systems.  A developer would typically spend a few months building.  These systems would quickly become monolithic legacy systems that would be expensive to support and maintain.  Existing legacy systems can be converted to use new tools. Often data sources can be re-used. The new tools offer insights into data and business process management that older reporting tool vendors did not envision a decade ago.

The New

Today, document generation can be accomplished with little or no-code.  Developers and system designers must recognise the advantage of configuration over code.  Businesses must stand on the shoulders of the document generation tool vendors and leverage document template and workflow automation.  Templates provide document consistency and reproducibility. Why re-invent the wheel? Modern document generation tools provide APIs to easily integrate and configure solutions based on the open OpenXML standard by Microsoft for Word and PowerPoint documents or the PDF standard by Adobe for signed and non-signed electronic documents.

Scenarios

Many scenarios exist in document generation. Here are just a few of them: 

  • Document approval
  • Financial Authority Compliance 
  • Embedded documents and images 
  • Logo, Branding, header and footer management 
  • Wizard based Presentation Generation 
  • Request and Queue workflows 
  • Full Capabilities of Word/PowerPoint 
  • Embedded Excel Charts and Data 
  • Repeating sections 
  • Preview before generate capability 
  • Document retrieval and display 
  • Information co-ordination dashboards and workflows


Benefits

There are many benefits. End-users are empowered with template editing and WYSWIG document generation design tools.  Developers can easily integrate these tools into more advanced workflow and document generation scenarios. System architects can satisfy many common business requirements. Project managers can deliver document generation systems in less time.  Businesses can benefit from more functionality for less cost. Recipients of documents receive higher quality, more insightful, workflow approved, documents in shorter time. If you want to experience the benefits of Document Generation, we can help. Contact us today for more information.