CommunityLIVE 2017

By: Kevin Ledgister, Marketing Manager, ImageSoft, Inc.

The recent tragedy has the nation thinking about Las Vegas and how a community is brought together. Our thoughts are with the residents and visitors of Las Vegas.

Two weeks ago , we were joined by thousands of OnBase professionals, administrators and business leaders for Hyland’s annual CommunityLIVE conference in Las Vegas. OnBase is a platform that governments and businesses can use to manage their content and bring new efficiencies into their organization. This year was a record year for ImageSoft. We had nearly 70 customers in Las Vegas that were all interested in expanding the use of OnBase either to serve their constituents better or to reduce operational costs to make them more competitive in their industry.

IMG_7033 2CommunityLIVE kicked off with a keynote by author and industry disrupter, Josh Linkner, who shared with us five obsessions of an innovator. Linkner was right on with his “obsessions” and real examples of organizations that solved business problems and challenges with scarce resources. For sure I’m going to download his book and read it.

Several of our customers, including Cleveland Municipal Court, Del TacIMG_7092o, and Philadelphia Gas Works had opportunities to spotlight how using OnBase made a significant impact on how they operated. Even though each one was using OnBase in a very different way, they all shared the benefits of reduced cycle times, reduced missing documents, automation of repetitive tasks and time saved with immediate access to required information. To do this, they all had to integrate OnBase with their core business software.

While it’s no surprise to us, our customers are frequently surprised that the projected benefits and the return on investment are often far too conservative. The reason for this is that using paper requires a lot of kinetic energy that is often overlooked or dismissed in terms of value and the focus is on highly visible areas. Spending 20 minutes locating a missing file may not seem like much, but if across your staff you’re spending 2,000 hours a year locating and refiling documents, that’s another full-time employee.

IMG_7099While we worked hard during the day attending sessions and having strategic sessions with our customers, we did take some time out in the evening to enjoy the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. Every year, we hold a special event for our customers called TNO (The Night Out) and this year we treated our customers to a dinner at the Grand Hotel downtown, a scavenger hunt on Fremont St. and then an impromptu karaoke session to wrap up the event.

Featured this year is OnBase 17, a new version with over 3,000 enhancements and new interfaces that makes OnBase more accessible to more users whether they are in the office or on the go. The changes and updates on OnBase 17 definitely proved to be an incentive for customers to accelerate their upgrade schedules. Hyland Software once again reiterated their shared vision of making OnBase available anytime, anywhere, on any device, in a secure mode. And their sneak peek into the future proved that they are on the right track.

For those that attended, what was your biggest takeaway from the conference?

Customer Success Stories, New Features and Prizes, Too

IMG_1845Last week we held our annual OnBase Community Event in Allendale, MI. As always, we enjoyed seeing so many customers excited to engage and learn how others are solving real-world challenges.

The conference opened up with our CEO, Dave Hawkins, sharing key insights from Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, on how he sees technology impacting and challenging our world. Dave discussed how ImageSoft views our relationships with our customers and the products we develop to help our customers meet these challenges.

Besides the delicious food, prizes and awards, we also heard about a ton of helpful customer experiences. For instance, our host, Grand Valley State University, shared how they depend on many online and internal forms to initiate and drive many processes, just like any court or government agency. In the past, they required ImageSoft expertise for custom form development with special scripting to perform validation and table support. And, there was no easy way to attach documents to a form.

Today, they are working toward retiring these HTML forms and switching to Forms, which allows them to internally design highly functional forms without any knowledge of HTML and in a fraction of the time. They are also enthusiastic about the ability to rapidly update these forms based on changing requirements and legislation. One customer expressed that having this capability in-house to modify and change forms will allow them to quickly meet regulatory compliance changes that often have narrow windows.

A popular session was “What’s New in OnBase,” led by Colleen Alber from Hyland Software. Customers were excited by client user interface enhancements, new features for Unity Forms, and mapping features that allow a set of documents in OnBase to appear as geo-located points on a map (e.g., work orders or incident locations).

Another popular session was about the various options available to share documents securely outside of OnBase. Many of our customers must balance the need of protecting and securing their documents with the need to share and collaborate on documents externally. Many entities have already blocked the personal file sharing sites because there is no control and no audit trail. When an employee departs, he or she will still have those documents.

Hyland’s ShareBase is an option for organizations facing this issue because the entity, not the individual, retains control with a full audit trail. Permitted individuals can still share files externally in folders with permissions for view only, uploading, or collaborative efforts. TrueCertify, an ImageSoft solution, is another great option that enables a court, city, school, or other institutions to provide certified copies of documents and video files without the need to print and affix a physical seal, saving a great deal of time-consuming steps (including changing that toner cartridge).

Looking ahead, one of the key areas of OnBase interest was in the area of mobile features. Users have been clamoring for the ability to fill out a form, capture documents, view information, sign a document or make decisions within an OnBase workflow, all on mobile devices. Mobile access provides options for better work/life balance and increased productivity as decisions no longer have to wait until the user is back at the office.

So, the day was a success because our customers gained new insights into how they can improve and expand their OnBase system. And some of them won a prize.

Stay tuned for our next event, which should be even bigger and better.

Will we see you in Las Vegas at Hyland’s CommunityLIVE conference?

Engaging with Our Customer Group in Allendale, MI – And Prizes, Too

One of our major objectives, and frankly, one of the best parts of our workday, is to keep in touch with our customers – those who are using our products every day and who sometimes face unique challenges. Finding innovative solutions to those challenges keeps us on our toes. Any opportunity to bring customers together to share customer stories is a win in our books.

IMG_1364Our next customer event is on June 6th, in beautiful Allendale, MI, (close to Grand Rapids) where ImageSoft is hosting its OnBase Community Event. This event is designed to bring our court customers, as well as our customers from other industries, together to hear success stories and to learn from each other about how we can solve common challenges. We even have a few prospective customers coming as well.

Although the justice space is different from any other industry, the core technology challenges are the same when it comes to receiving paper, forms and data from the outside, routing them through review and approval processes, exchanging data with other systems, securing data and documents, and being able to share them securely to external parties.

Besides the common thread of challenges, all of our attendees also use OnBase® by Hyland as their core platform to solve these challenges. OnBase is a single enterprise information platform for managing content, processes and cases. It provides document management, electronic case files, records management, court-configurable business process management and tools to enable integration with virtually any case management or court application.

The advantage to using a platform such as OnBase is that you have more than 10,000 organizations using the solution (including thousands of government agencies) that are all requesting features and enhancements that your court may one day require. Hyland’s development team is also larger than that of any other court technology software vendor. This means that OnBase lowers your risk over using a document management system that is supported by only a few developers that can provide very basic, and if we’re honest, not always useful features. Many of these court technology vendors are so stretched that many of your enhancement requests are never addressed or the customization fees are too high.


For more information about using OnBase in government, click here.

Which brings us to the third reason why courts love OnBase: it’s highly configurable – by the court. With or without formal training, courts have updated and make changes to their workflow to adjust for changing conditions or responding to a smarter workforce that wants to leverage more automation features. They have expanded its use in other areas and in some cases, other government agencies in the county, municipality or state, which may introduce cost-sharing benefits. Some of our court customers are not staffed to tackle big projects so they still partner with us to take them to the next level, but it’s nice for a court to have that option.

So, on June 6th, our customers will hear from our host, Grand Valley State University, how they have used OnBase to solve accounting challenges with invoice approvals and to improve the student application process. Hyland Software is sending out their A-team to share with us what’s new in OnBase and features that our customers should put on their roadmap. We will have breakout sessions that cover the latest technology in document capture to minimize manual indexing and classification, how to share documents externally, and ways to secure OnBase beyond the traditional methods that the IT department relies on.

Afterwards, we will have experts available for one-on-one conversations for deeper discussions or to use as a sounding board for ideas that our customers would like some feedback on. We will have some cool prizes, too – that always makes for a fun day.

Will we see you at the next big OnBase event in Las Vegas?

What the Heck IS ECM?

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In elementary school, my daughter had to write about our family. She had little trouble explaining what her mom did: “My Mom is a Legal Secretary.” I presented a bit more of a problem, to say the least. She wrote, “I’m not sure what my Dad does, but he works with computers. He used to be a lawyer.”

Ah, well. Over the years, I have found that I can do little to improve on that explanation.

Nowadays, when I am asked what I do, I tell people (including my daughter, who now works in courts herself) that I write, speak and consult regarding Electronic Content Management (ECM) for courts and justice agencies. People may nod politely, but I always suspect they are thinking, “What the heck IS ECM, for crying out loud?”

Attempts at more detailed explanations usually result in a response along the lines of, “Oh, I get it — you mean ‘imaging’.” Sigh. And, I used to be a lawyer, too.

I have tried countless ways to explain what ECM is. In June I attended the ImageSoft Government Summit, a conference designed to help court and other government professionals share experiences and tips for planning, financing, implementing, deploying and managing ECM systems . Unable to attend all the sessions, I recently listened to a recorded session presented by Colleen Alber, a Product Evangelist with Hyland Software , who spoke on “The Skinny on OnBase.” OnBase is Hyland’s industry-leading ECM suite of products. Not surprisingly, Colleen had no problem explaining what ECM is. Although Colleen’s talk focused on new developments, by way of context, she gave the most succinct yet comprehensive description of ECM that I can remember hearing.

She explained that Hyland divides ECM into six Building Blocks:

1. Capture:

  • The ability to capture any file type from any physical location and automatically classify the documents.

2. Process:

  • Automate structured processes (workflow);
  • Consolidate unstructured information; and
  • Facilitate case management;

3. Access:

  • Provide access to documents and data quickly and easily, to everyone who needs and is entitled to access, easily, from anywhere, any time.

4. Integrate:

  • Seamless integration of documents and data with critical business applications, such as case management, docketing, office productivity (e.g., word processing, spread sheets, etc.), court recording, etc., with limited or no additional data entry.

5. Measure:

  • The ability to monitor and report on the information and activity within the ECM system, without involving IT or database administrators.

6. Store:

  • • Manage the security of the documents and their timely destruction according to court retention policy.My guess is that many, if not most, people who have not researched or had hands-on experience with ECM assume it involves only capture (and probably only the scanning portion of that) and storage (and probably only the elimination of paper aspect of that).So the next time someone who you’d like to have support your ECM initiative asks, “What the heck is ECM?”, don’t just say, “It lets us image our documents.” Instead, try something like, “It allows us to:
    1. Receive
    2. Use
    3. And provide and control access to documents
    4. While reducing or eliminating duplicate data entry across our systems
    5. All of which we can monitor for quality and productivity
    6. While keeping the documents secure and automatically purging them in a timely manner
      1. Capture
      2. Process
      3. Access
      4. Integrate
      5. Measure
      6. Store

    If my daughter ever asks again, I’m ready, thanks to Colleen.