Technological innovation for its own sake has a certain “cool” factor for software developers, industry analysts, and journalists, all of whom are looking forward to the next big trend to code, present, discuss, analyze, and expound upon. However, innovation is relevant only when it can be applied to solving real-world business issues that have a meaningful impact for organizations implementing those innovative solutions.
This year, at the Xploration 18 conference in Orlando, FL, Xplor International honored Unum and Crawford Technologies Inc for their innovative application of automated quality assurance using CrawfordTech’s QA in the Cloud solution to help Unum to outsource all print operations across four data centers to a large print service provider. Unum and CrawfordTech appreciate being recognized by Xplor International for this implementation!
However, the real impact for Unum is that they were able to automate the outsourcing of their printing and fulfillment operations while maintaining control over the generation of customer facing communications by their lines of business. At the same time they are able to validate the integrity of their customer communications throughout the entire creation to delivery process via automated testing facilitated by QA in the Cloud.
The scope of the whole project was expansive and daunting, as it entailed identifying and automating the migration over a twelve-month period of over 2,800 individual print jobs from Unum print centers to their selected PSP partner. As Wade Redmond, who heads the print migration project team at Unum, indicated during the presentation that he and I delivered during the Xplor conference, successful completion required very close cooperation between the various vendor partners – CrawfordTech, Canon, and Broadridge – and Unum to ensure success. It also required some new, creative thinking and execution to automate the recognition and “onboarding” of print jobs, including the insertion of NOPs and TLEs into the print-ready files that are transmitted to the PSP for subsequent printing and mailing, as well as the comparison of the original print-ready files to the output created by the PSP’s make-ready processes to ensure document integrity.
Wade also pointed out during our session that at the outset, no one really knew exactly how many jobs needed to be migrated. “We had a goal to consolidate the work from four data centers and outsource it, and we had a timeline. We also understood that without automation and the right solutions and the right partners we would not meet our goal. Fortunately, everyone stepped up, and we were able to apply some innovative technology and thinking to make it happen.”
Now, that is really cool…