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."

About Charta Porta Since 2017, Charta Porta have supported organisations with innovative technology, strategy and consulting services that accelerate and inform any digital transformation journey. Together with a carefully-selected ecosystem of partners, we help clients to improve customer experiences, drive down costs, and support new ways of working. Our partnership with Macro 4 provides fully automated classification, extraction, and redaction services against unstructured content and returns the required structured data to back end systems, dramatically accelerating the existing process.

About aluma Aluma makes document automation simple. With no complex configuration or deployment, aluma easily extends the scope and value of solutions and platforms with the latest in document automation techniques and powerful tools to fuel business intelligence.

About Columbus The Columbus enterprise information management (EIM) suite helps organizations to share business content across multiple channels and applications, create compelling, personalized communications, and meet their regulatory obligations for managing documents and unstructured data. Columbus connects people and processes with the information they need and provides business intelligence for more informed decision making. It includes an enterprise content management system that lets businesses quickly capture, organize, access and analyze huge volumes of diverse digital assets.

About Macro 4

Macro 4, a division of UNICOM Global, develops software solutions that accelerate business transformation. Macro 4’s cross-platform enterprise information management solutions make it easy for companies to go digital, personalize customer communications and unlock the value of their corporate content. Macro 4 solutions for DevOps, session management and performance optimization are used by many of the world’s largest enterprises to modernize their mainframe applications and development processes.

About UNICOM® Global

UNICOM Global consists of more than fifty (50) corporate entities encompassing a wide range of businesses across all geographic regions. With its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California, to offices in Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia, throughout EMEA in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland and the UAE, and across Asia/Pacific with locations in Japan, China, India, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.

UNICOM Global offers deep in-house resources and flexible IT solutions to our partners worldwide. UNICOM Global focuses on acquiring and integrating mature and growing mid-cap NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange AIM and German publicly-traded companies in technology, financing, IT, real estate, and business services. Please visit our websites for additional information about the services, products and solutions that UNICOM Global offers:

UNICOM Global - Assets, capital and investment management

UNICOM Systems - IBM Mainframe software products

UNICOM Government (formerly NASDAQ: GTSI) - Government IT solutions

UNICOM Engineering (formerly NASDAQ: NEI) Appliance platform

UNICOM Science and Technology Parks

UNICOM Technology Park – Innovation Labs in Virginia

UNICOM Science and Technology Park – Innovation Labs in New Jersey

UNICOM Capital - Business and Financial Services

USRobotics - Data communications products

Memeo - Enterprise-grade Secure File Sharing for the Cloud

Firetide - Wireless technology solutions for security and transportation

DETEC - Document composition products

SoftLanding Systems - IBM i software products

Macro 4 (formerly LONDON: MAO) - Document Management products

illustro - z/OS and z/VSE software products

iET Solutions - ITSM software products

Eden - Mergers & Acquisitions, Business & Financial Services, and Real Estate - Hardware, Software, Outsourcing and Professional Services

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