How ICR, AI, NLP & RPA Technology Enables Government Contractors for Success

November 20, 2023
Todd Walker
Vice President of Product Management

Deltek is committed to investing in emerging technologies−including intelligent character recognition (ICR), artificial intelligence (AI) natural language processing (NLP) and robotic process automation (RPA) − to improve the user experience at every stage of the project lifecycle. These process automation advancements help customers streamline workflows, save time and address challenges within their business. 

By delivering on our promise of purposeful innovation, Deltek is creating lasting value that improves the user experience and maximizes performance to support government contractors of all sizes.  

Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)  

No one likes to create an expense report, but it’s a must in the government contracting industry. Our responsibility to the market is to make this process as quick and easy as possible − without giving up the necessary controls to meet your business requirements and pass an audit. 

Intelligent character recognition, which pairs traditional optical character recognition (or OCR) with machine learning, allows expense data to be captured and submitted faster than ever without giving up the business rules employees and subcontractors must adhere to. ICR technology can even recognize handwritten words and amounts; plus, the machine learning engine recognizes groups of data (like multiple taxes on a hotel receipt) and can total them. 

ICR takes a lot of the dreaded manual entry off the employees’ shoulders, allowing for a more user-friendly, accurate and quicker experience entering expense data with cleaner receipt images. ICR is perfect for capturing paper-based or external documents like business cards, invoices and more that need to be added to a company’s ERP. 

In our latest Deltek Costpoint release, we’ve expanded the use of ICR to streamline outbound payments, which convert the contents of a paper or PDF invoice to populate an accounts payable (AP) voucher automatically. This enhancement streamlines the accounts payable process, reducing manual entry and eliminating the chance of human error. The machine learning component will improve the invoice accuracy to AP voucher data conversion over time. 

Business Intelligence (BI) Meets Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Do you ever ask yourself critical business questions like “Do I have resources to deliver on a project?” or “How much revenue will we lose by not filling positions?” What about “Which projects are at risk?” Wouldn’t it be great if your project-based ERP system could answer these questions for you without having to manually research and analyze data from multiple sources−without human bias? 

Our AI assistant in Deltek Costpoint Business Intelligence was first introduced in Costpoint 8.0 and enhanced in the 8.2 release, allowing users to type a question and receive a data-informed response in the form of a chart or a graph. By incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities into our solutions, Deltek is removing much of the manual intervention and human bias from the equation, giving users the ability to systematically analyze data across the project lifecycle and make more informed decisions.  

When AI is combined with our Costpoint Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, contractors can quickly collect, organize, and analyze real-time data to inform their business decisions and better predict the success of a project.  

In the coming months, we will be introducing our new Deltek Costpoint Digital Assistant, which will allow users to be more productive and efficient. Powered by GenAI, this digital assistant will enable users to ask questions Costpoint data entities like contracts or projects and even carry out simple tasks like emailing a project manager with overdue tasks. Combined with Costpoint's "Hey Deltek" voice recognition and NLP capability, users will have the ability to ask questions verbally and initiate calls to contacts.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) 

To simplify our customers’ jobs, we are continuing to evolve the Deltek Costpoint user experience (UX). Our Product Management and UX teams are constantly looking at ways to enhance how our customers use our products, while maintaining the capabilities our customers require to support government-based contracting.   

One of the ways we can do this is with robotic process automation or RPA, a technology many of our customers are using to help automate repetitive data entry tasks. RPA “bots” (short for robots) can be created to mimic and integrate human interactions with digital systems to execute manual, time-intensive, high-volume, business rule-driven processes. Over time, bots learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Many of our customers are leveraging RPA bots to create new projects, set up new employees, process invoices and even monitor security clearance status.  

At Deltek, we view RPA as a complementary technology to our ERP solutions, including the investment we are making in the user experience. We’ve taken a partner approach to RPA by teaming with Alirrium, an authorized partner of UiPath providing robotic process automation to both the commercial and federal workplace.  

Future-Proof Your Business With Purposeful Innovation 

With the use of innovative technologies like ICR, AI, NLP and RPA, Deltek Costpoint enables digitalization and automation while reducing the amount of time your employees spend on high-touch, manual tasks and decisions. Now’s the time to see how purposeful innovation can help your project-based business become more engaged and productive, while helping deliver more successful projects.   


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