Features, PublicNet: 16 January, 2015

This feature describes how Land Registry benefited from replacing a forms-based registration process with an electronic document service.

Land Registry is a government department which was created in 1862 to register the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. They keep and maintain the Land Register, where more than 24 million titles – the evidence of ownership – are documented. Once land or property is entered in the register they record any ownership changes, mortgages or leases that affect it. Land Registry’s vision is to be recognised as a world leader in the digital delivery of land registration services and in the management and reuse of land and property data.

Challenge

Land Registry’s electronic Document Registration Service (e-DRS) project was established to allow customers to send in applications to change or create property registers electronically, rather than through the post. With e-DRS, customers can send in certain applications and receive the results securely, over the internet and through Land Registry’s business to business channel. The Project was a significant 3-year programme of work that was designed to deliver significant benefits to both Land Registry and their customers. One aim was to save customers time and money and help protect them against property fraud.

The applications customers submit through e-DRS are form based, typically as PDF or an image, such as TIFF, JPEG and GIF. The content of those files is “locked” and not readable or searchable by machine. Land Registry wanted to increase operational efficiency by reducing the time required by employees to manually enter data from these documents. Land Registry determined they could increase efficiency by automatically digitising the valuable information held in the forms so they could prepopulate their existing casework systems.

Solution

One of Land Registry’s partners mentioned that they had previously used ABBYY’s products and suggested this might be a best-fit for their document processing needs. They obtained trial versions of several products and ran examples of Land Registry forms through them. They obtained trial versions of several products and ran examples of Land Registry forms through them. Ultimately, ABBYY FlexiCapture Server was chosen based on the accuracy of the output data, the scalability of the product and the friendly licensing scheme.

ABBYY FlexiCapture Server is designed for large organisations that wish to automate their document-based business processes. With this powerful enterprise capture platform companies can automatically digitise paper documents, extract key data and transfer the information to various back-end-systems for further processing. By implementing an intelligent capture solution organisations can streamline resource-intensive manual operations for business-critical documents, such as applications, purchase orders, invoices, remittances and contracts.

Once Land Registry had established a model that worked, the solution was deployed quickly. The development and deployment team were able to work through any issues with the ABBYY support team in less than two days. In the new process Land Registry receives scanned forms from their customers via both their online and business-to-business channels. Land Registry puts the documents through ABBYY FlexiCapture Server to extract some of the information contained in the forms. The digitised information is saved in data sets (in a DB2 database) and read by the casework systems. This allows them to pre-populate specific information, removing some manual keying in of data.

“We are expecting to process over 10 million pages this year and this is increasing steadily as take up of the service increases,” said Kim O’Flaherty, Technical Team Lead, Land Registry.

Results

“The decision to move to a digital system was not taken lightly,” added O’Flaherty. “The e-DRS initiative was a multi-year project but we knew we could reap significant benefits by undertaking it. A major part of this was putting in an automated system that gives us the potential to take data straight from forms and put it into our systems. The ABBYY FlexiCapture solution gives us this potential.”

O’Flaherty continued: “Overall, we are very pleased with the ABBYY solution. It is saving our caseworkers time by not having to key in data. The ABBYY team was friendly and supportive throughout, responding quickly to the emails and calls put in by our developer.”

About ABBYY

ABBYY is a leading provider of text recognition and document conversion technologies and services. Its versatile product portfolio for document processing and information retrieval is available on various platforms and devices. ABBYY offers a broad range of solutions designed for specific business and industry needs. Organisations all over the world rely on ABBYY offerings to optimise their paper-intensive business processes. More information at www.ABBYY.com

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