IDP Vendor Landscape Update December 2020: Holy smokes we’ve reached 46 IDP solutions on the landscape. In this update, we’re adding 13 more IDP vendors/solutions to the list. These are IDP vendors that we get questions about as enterprises and partners try to figure out what’s what and who’s who.
Remember, if you need help navigating this landscape, we’re happy to be your guide.
We welcome the newest IDP vendors to the landscape:
The Intelligent Document Processing Landscape
Intelligent Document Processing ( IDP) is rapidly emerging as a category of solutions that help you extract data from the documents that drive your business- like insurance claims, mortgage applications, contracts, purchase orders, invoices, engineering drawings, and so on.
Many vendors offer IDP products, but they’re all quite different so the landscape isn’t easy to navigate. The category itself can go by different names. Some call it Cognitive Document Processing. Others call it Intelligent Document Capture (IDC). Some even refer to IDP solutions as OCR or Machine Learning OCR … which is very misleading. To keep it simple, we’ll stick with IDP in this post so we can help you make sense of it all.
IDP solutions automatically extract data from unstructured complex documents, then feed that data into business systems so a whole process can be automated. If you don’t have IDP, you’re extracting this data manually because it’s too difficult for older technologies like OCR to handle it accurately.
True IDP is very difficult, and few vendors actually do it well. Many vendors claim to have IDP solutions, but the scope of what their IDP can do varies A LOT. Choosing the right vendors for your shortlist depends on how the problem you need to solve aligns with the scope of each vendor’s IDP capability.
Five Categories of IDP Vendors
To help you navigate the landscape we group the vendors into five categories:
- Innovative IDP vendors
- Legacy IDP vendors
- Niche IDP vendors
- Systems Integrators with IDP offerings
- Technology providers with IDP components
Vendors in each category tend to view the IDP challenge through a different lens and have therefore developed solutions that are different from one another.
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Listed in alphabetical order by category.
This list is based on vendors we often compete against, vendors we see in the market, and vendors covered by analysts. Our list includes only vendors that support enterprise-grade requirements and operations. If you want a solution for a small office or a single desktop, this list isn’t for you.
Vendors in each category below are listed in alphabetical order. Innovative IDP Vendors
This a younger group of up-and-coming vendors who have built solutions using AI-native platforms to tackle the most demanding automation challenges. Generally, Innovative vendors can handle documents that are more complex or have greater variation. As a result, they often can deliver a greater business impact than older technologies. Since these vendors are free from legacy technical debt, it’s easier for them to build next-gen, future-oriented solutions. Some vendors in this group have a more narrow focus than others, so be sure to make sure their expertise aligns with your use cases.
Tip: If your use case involves complex, unstructured, messy documents, then take a good look at these vendors. We at Infrrd believe we’re the leader among these innovators, but don’t take our word for it — check out our IDP platform and decide for yourself.
Legacy (OCR or RPA) vendors
Legacy vendors are typically building IDP solutions on top of a legacy platform. To make this work, a vendor may bolt some AI or Machine Learning onto its legacy OCR or RPA products. Typically, these vendors have a broader portfolio of automation offerings and are not laser-focused on the IDP challenge. These IDP solutions may not be as agnostic to a multi-vendor environment as other segments, though many have established partnerships with vendors who offer complementary capabilities. Also, OCR-centric solutions tend to be good when you have large volumes of relatively simple documents that don’t have a lot of variation.
Tip: If you are using one of these vendors’ products already, it makes sense to put their IDP offerings on your shortlist. But the real challenge is to get a sense of whether your problem requires a better OCR solution or a true AI-native IDP solution.
Niche IDP vendors
This group includes vendors that are just getting started or those with a particular focus or disruptive solutions to narrow problems. As these vendors may be smaller, pay particular attention to their ability to deliver enterprise-grade performance that meets your requirements.
Tip: Consider these vendors if you have a niche use case that is a good application fit.
IDP System Integrators
System Integrators may offer IDP as part of their portfolio of solutions. Their IDP offering may be a solution from another IDP vendor or developed in-house. Some of these vendors use Infrrd’s IDP platform, for example.
Tip: SIs can help you develop and deploy business and system-level strategies that leverage the transformative power of IDP.
IDP Technology Suppliers
The major technology platforms offer general-purpose technology components such as OCR and computer vision. Since these components are not full IDP solutions we only mention them in this post because some enterprises prefer to develop capabilities internally based on available technology components.
Tip: You will need a strong IT group with a data science team to build out all the functionality needed for a production solution based on these components.
Sources: The IDP vendor list was developed with data from The Everest Group, NelsonHall, and Infrrd’s research. At the time of this post, neither Gartner nor Forrester had a research that covered the IDP market landscape.
How should you navigate the IDP landscape?
Our experience is that most enterprises run this gauntlet more than once. You will likely define and redefine requirements as you better understand vendor capabilities and the scope of your own business process challenges.
One thing we have learned from conversations and deployments with many enterprises is that IDP is clearly a disruptive innovation. Many of our enterprise customers had expectations anchored by years of experience with OCR. They were surprised to learn that a true IDP solution can deliver automation they once thought was impossible. So if you haven’t explored this exciting new vendor landscape, you might be surprised too.
Tip: Define your requirements using your most complex use case. If IDP can solve the most complex challenge, then the rest of your use cases are easy peasy lemon squeezy. You end up with one platform that does it all instead of multiple OCR or specialized solutions that become a challenge to maintain and optimize