Racami: Modern Orchestration of Customer Communications

Hani Khalaf, President & CTO When it comes to consumer-facing businesses, communication is essential to customer satisfaction and retention. The same principle attains greater importance when the communication consists of not just attractive marketing campaigns, but crucial transactional information that needs to be securely transmitted and tracked throughout the organization and delivered to the end-consumer. Racami, a leader in the production and distribution of Multichannel communications, offers an end-to-end workflow solution to manage the complete lifecycle of content that goes from the enterprise to its external customer or vendor. Racami’s platform, Alchem-eTM, uses Web Services to execute workflows and automates several operational tasks involved in the creation and distribution of consumer content.

Racami understands the impact of time-lapse on workflows, especially in a digital environment. Alchem-eTM is aware of Service Level Agreements (a.k.a. deadlines) for each of the steps a job travels through, ensuring that users are notified when processes are taking longer than they should. By managing the ownership of data being processed in the workflow, Alchem-eTM ensures that all pieces of communication are secure and encrypted, and each activity performed in the workflow is audited to a detailed level. Alchem-eTM informs decisions for all of the stakeholders of the business and doles out permissions for access to the system according to each user’s area of responsibility.

“We closely track every step of the automated workflow to visualize the processing of data and its transmission through the organization,” explains Hani Khalaf, the President and CTO of Racami. To that end, Alchem-e’s comprehensive purview is broken into five segments of communication workflows—the collection of input data in a variety of formats and conversion to a standard format, composition of customer communications for various output channels, physical production of communications, sending the data out through those channels with the help of open-API integrations, and tracking the output for reporting and analytical purposes.

An All-Encompassing Approach

Racami provides a variety of Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) tools that make it easier for companies to process data in multiple input formats. Alchem-eTM facilitates standardization of data; A key factor in achieving high levels of automation and quality control. Alchem-e’s standard XML format allows customers to onboard jobs, documents, and campaigns using a simple drag-and-drop method, and execute the entire workflow using Web Services, which is a powerful workflow automation capability.

The composition module in Alchem-eTM assembles communications into formats compatible with their intended output channel, such as AFP, PostScript or PDF for printing, PDF for archiving and electronic delivery, and e-mails, text messages, faxes, billing statements, and social media posts.
“The advantage that our customers have is that we know the digital and print communications space, and we know what document-based communications are all about. That gives us the ability to perform re-engineering techniques to get the communication in and out of the enterprise in a wide variety of ways,” explains Khalaf. Apart from the ability to transform files in multiple ways, Racami also ensures that each action performed on the communication is indexed, a critical capability built into Alchem-eTM. This ensures that each entity of communication and each component within it is searchable, retrievable, auditable, presentable, and securable.

Workflow platforms have to be more flexible and easily integrate with all the value adding steps to keep pace with today’s digital consumer

Take PDF documents for instance: Alchem-eTM provides connectors to different PDF libraries securely enabling knowledge workers to change the layout, add barcodes, messages and annotations while ensuring that each of the actions performed by different users is a part of an audit trail. Similarly, customers can address the requirements of all of their preferred output channels with the powerful tools that Alchem-eTM provides.

Open API integrations enable the Alchem-eTM output engine to communicate with a variety of constituents in the output channel, from mailbox and logistics service providers to bill payment processors and clearing houses. The output is tracked until it reaches the end-consumer and useful information is collected and reported back to Alchem-e’s dashboard, closing the loop of the workflow.

Alchem-eTM—A Source of Intelligence

Khalaf upholds that as much as Racami is a provider of a software platform, it is also an integrator, tying together technology and processes into the platform and providing windows between systems and services to share data. A significant factor that underlies Alchem-e’s extensive reach is its open architecture, much like that of a service hub. Additional third-party services and integrations can also be augmented to extend the capabilities of the Alchem-eTM workflow and dashboard. Consequently, the overarching function of Alchem-eTM is to provide business intelligence, using the workflow dashboard as a central component. Applying predictive analytics built on historical data, Racami’s customers achieve optimized communication schedules, recommended channels for each consumer, and a peek into the future of every document that enters the workflow.

“All the data gathered into our platform helps in executing steps needed for the business units, and the dashboard platform itself is responsible for monitoring the workflow, sending out notifications, and giving access to the data in realtime to concerned users,” explains Khalaf. This ability came in handy for one of Racami’s healthcare customers, for whom Alchem-eTM not only tracks the digital and physical workflows but also reports on the communications as they travel through the USPS and electronic channels.
Tying Technology with White-Glove Services

Apart from the Alchem-eTM platform and workflow, Racami also provides industry expertise and managed professional services that administer and guide in performing system migrations, implementing new products and services, simplifying complex environments, and addressing the challenges of organizing resources to produce customer communications. Racami offers IT staff to its clients for managing the digital channel of the workflow by improving the complete creation, delivery, storage, security, and retrieval of any interactive content. The team helps augment the minds and hands working on the communication workflow, analyze the data procured from different points in the workflow, and deploy the dashboard to oversee the operations.

“We provide data analytics as a professional service,” explains Khalaf. “We help extract data from multiple output channels for real-time insights that can trigger an action back in the workflow.” Racami also provides compliance as a professional service, a key component in serving clients from healthcare, finance, and other service-oriented sectors, whose communication channels carry sensitive information. Overall, the combination of Racami’s technology and the professional services helps create a digital story for its customers, moving their traditional communication channels into an e-presentation domain.

This approach comes in handy for those customers who have traditionally relied on postal services to get communication out to consumers—a time-consuming and relatively obscure process that cannot return actionable insights. In a recent project with a state Department of Motor Vehicles, Racami delivered the ability to offer license renewal services digitally, via e-mail. Citizens who opted for the digital service can provide their documents via e-mail and receive the renewed license along with an invoice from the DMV in a short period of time. Racami undertook the conversion of their cumbersome, manual, paper-based processes and created an automated digital workflow to ensure that critical information gets to the right people at the right time.

"All the data gathered into our workflow and platform helps in executing steps needed for the business units, and the dashboard platform itself is responsible for monitoring the workflow"

All these capabilities are a result of the communications expertise garnered by the company for over a decade. A look inside the organization reveals a culture defined by both traditional and new-age philosophies. Racami’s team is diligently trained to understand the well-founded principles and tenets by which corporate communications work, and the flow of data throughout a typical organization.

At the same time, Racami exhibits its innovative capabilities, continually researching and working with the latest in technology to drive increased value through its indigenous platform and dashboard. Racami is now focusing on introducing master data management (MDM) into its solution. As a result, any piece of external communication that is transmitted via a preferred output channel is traced back to the corporate master data system, regardless of the complexity of workflows it has been through. “We continue to improve our ability to serve our customers by providing dynamic, secure, and optimized solutions for all types of external communication,” concludes Khalaf.


Norcross, GA

Hani Khalaf, President & CTO

Provides an end-to-end dynamic workflow solution to automate production and secure distribution of documents and communications for healthcare, financial, and service organizations