Bottomline Streamlines Financial BPM

By Theresa Carey  |  Posted 2004-12-14 Print this article Print

Bottomline Technologies, recently named a Certified Partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork, has expanded its financial business process management solutions.

Bottomline Technologies has expanded its fBPM (financial business process management) solutions, which are designed to streamline paper-driven order-to-cash and purchase-to-pay processes. The company now offers a set of fBPM software and service solutions that may be deployed across an enterprise or at a departmental level. Bottomlines fBPM applications include Document Creation, Imaging and Archiving for Financial Document Management; Invoice Receipt Management and Payables Automation; Payments Life Cycle and Risk Management; Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment; and BTR (Bank Balance and Transaction Reporting) for Cash Management. In addition, last week at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Bottomline announced that it has been promoted to Certified Partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork. As a Certified Partner, Bottomline will provide solutions that extend the capabilities of its fBPM solutions to Oracle customers worldwide.
"If you look at everything a business does, theres a financial process wrapped around it. We broke business processing down into simple cycles," said Kurt Mueffelmann, vice president and general manager of business process solutions for North America at Bottomline.
The four cycles for the purchasing process, as described by Mueffelmann, are: 1. Capture the data, either through scanning or OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of a transactional document. The data also might be in the form of captures from an Oracle database, or from the users financial system. Documents captured include purchase orders, invoices, receipts and payments. 2. Workflow the captured information. This step involves managing the data and processing it into the workflow by pushing it through a rules adjudication engine. 3. Make the payment. Bottomlines software will tie the payment back to the workflow and make it seamless. 4. Communicate the payment information to the vendor or payment partner. The system can fax the payment, or put it up on an archive relationship so that the transactional partners can see whats been paid and when. This step avoids having to get a human on the phone to answer questions about the amount and the timing of the payment. Is now the time for banks to rethink payment strategies? Click here to find out. Bottomline has created an end-to-end transactional system, currently leveraged across 6,000 customers in 53 countries. "B2B [business to business] hasnt embraced electronic payments just yet. Were striving to enable that between trading partners," Mueffelmann said. "Bottomline has been processing payments for the past 15 years, and we want to help businesses migrate from paper-based payments to electronic." Sarbanes-Oxley compliance relies heavily on documenting and explaining financial transactions. The Bottomline system is designed to streamline the process. Paper-based financial documents are electronically archived and converted to searchable PDFs. "Were replacing physical file cabinets with electronic searchable files so our customers can get rid of the paper," Mueffelmann said. "Our promotion to Oracle Certified Partner further validates the critical role of fBPM solutions in optimizing financial management tasks across the extended enterprise," said Joe Mullen, CEO of Bottomline. "This partnership will help us to drive our business forward, while enabling Oracle customers to increase the return on their existing IT investments." Oracle has validated Bottomlines suite of fBPM solutions including PayBase, WebSeries and Create!form for use with Oracle E-Business Suite 11i and Oracle Database 10g products. Bottomlines fBPM solutions are currently deployed at hundreds of Oracle customer sites worldwide including Aetna,, G.E. Capital, Motorola, RCN Corp., Staples and Verizon Wireless. Bottomlines systems have been database-neutral in the past, linking to customers existing ERP systems. Mueffelmann said existing customers will not have to install Oracle, since the system itself is database-agnostic. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on financial applications and services for the enterprise and small businesses.
Theresa is the Editor of's Finance Industry Center. She's been writing about financial technology issues since 1990 for a wide variety of publications, including PC Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune, and Fortune Small Business. She is also a Contributing Editor to Barron's and writes their 'Electronic Investor' column.

Theresa received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. from the University of Santa Clara. She also has a private pilot's license. When she's not at her computer, she coaches a local high school volleyball team, plays softball and volleyball, and takes part in many Cal Alumni Band events. She lives in Northern California.


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