Episode 024: Trending Topics at CTC and CommunityLIVE


With topics like artificial intelligence, data governance, automation and digital transformation on the minds of many, the time has never been better to gather together and find new ways to address the challenges and opportunities available to all those who serve in this dynamic industry. Today, ImageSoft Marketing Manager Kevin Ledgister is talking about the hot topics and can’t-miss sessions of the Court Technology Conference and CommunityLIVE, Hyland Technology’s annual user conference – and what we can look forward to discussing after the sessions wrap up!

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Kate Storey: Welcome to the Paperless Productivity podcast, where we give you the tips, tricks and know how to solve your biggest workflow challenges, and bring great productivity into your workplace every day.

Charge up your laptop and order those extra business cards. It’s conference time in the justice community. Here at ImageSoft, we’re getting pumped up to be part of two major events for us and our customers.

The Court Technology Conference (CTC), which happens September 10th through the 12th in New Orleans and CommunityLIVE, which is Hyland Technology’s annual user conference happening September 15th through the 19th in Cleveland, Ohio.

So, with topics like artificial intelligence, data governance, automation, and digital transformation on the minds of many, the time has never been better to gather together and find new ways to address the challenges and opportunities available to all those who serve in this dynamic industry.

Today, here to talk about all the hot topics and can’t-miss sessions of these two conferences is ImageSoft’s Marketing Manager, Kevin Ledgister. How are you doing, Kevin?

Kevin Legister: I’m doing great, thanks, Kate. Glad to be back on the channel.
Kate: Excellent. So, let’s start with the Court Technology Conference, which I know is put on every other year by the National Center for State Courts. I know there’s a couple of big sessions that everyone is really looking forward to at CTC this time.

And so, let’s start with those. Can you tell me a little bit about the sessions on CMS Intelligence, for example? Why is this such a big topic in the justice community right now?

Kevin: Well, I’m glad you brought that up because artificial intelligence is on everybody’s minds. And like all industries, the justice industry is trying to figure out, how do we leverage this technology?

They’re actually inviting somebody from Israel that has been doing some interesting things to leverage the technology. So, first of all, when it comes to artificial intelligence, in a courtroom we’re not necessarily talking about having robots in there and having an I-Robot episode.

But it’s really something that the courts are looking to in terms of, how do we make judgments which are consistent based on the facts? How do we make sure that our sentencing guidelines and the sentences that courts will apply are also consistent across the board? Right?

There’s nothing that’s more upsetting to a community when one… When you have two people who commit the same type of crime, the same level and one seems to go scot-free and the other one spends half of his life in jail. So, that’s the other thing.

And then, the third thing is, how do we plan out for using court resources? And that’s the other challenge in the courts, as well too because sometimes it’s hard to predict how long a case will go. And based on the facts and the factors that are there, sometimes they can tell.

So, using artificial intelligence can help with that. It can help to gather some of those case documents together so that you can look at relevant cases; those are presented to you automatically in a sense.

And also help you to determine, what those sentencing guidelines should be. So, that’s really a big part of where we see the initial beachhead for artificial intelligence within the courtroom.

Now, the interesting thing is, is that the majority of information that courts need to make those kinds of judgements and courts need to look at are actually not really contained in the core or case management system that has a lot of data about a case, but it’s actually contained within the documents themselves.

And that poses a particular challenge, a challenge for courts because a lot of times those documents are simply just images that are sitting in a bucket that’s tied to a folder, to a case. They’re not really accessible that way.

So, from our perspective, we’ve been at this business a long time and we don’t sell court case management systems, but we do work with enterprise content management technology that connects with those.

And, one of the things that we see happening with that is that… We’ve worked really hard to make the data on those documents accessible so a judge can perform a search looking at various aspects of a court case and begin to find related cases very easily, so that they can help them make a determination and even look at the sentencing guidelines for those related cases as well too.

So, it’s not as advanced as somebody pushing a button and have everything pop up for you on a screen. But we believe that where that next step in terms of, what can we do that to help court officials and court users really get at that information and data that they need?

Whether it’s by making the documents easy to text search as well as being able to have the metadata text searchable as well too. So, for instance, you may be looking for a particular case. You might be looking at, for instance, a burglary and it’s a criminal case.

You can look up all kinds of information, you’re trying to find cases with similar elements that are in there. But one of the things you might want to look at too is a lot of courts, what they do is they actually will have what they call case types. And they’re very, very specific based on the type of case and where it falls in, in terms of the criminal codes and those types of things.

And so, by having that metadata along with the text and the documents together, those things can actually form very powerful searches to find the type of documents and related cases that can really help the court, not only to come up with something that’s very consistent, but also something from a community perspective.

They can feel really good about that. You know, justice has been served, and that they are really consistent, and one particular party or race or whatever it is we want to inject into it, isn’t being unfairly treated compared to another. So, that’s where we see some of the artificial intelligence really playing into the court space.

Kate: Well, that definitely sounds interesting. I can imagine that a lot of people are going to want to hear about that because it’s such a big topic across so many industries. So, I bet that’s going to be a pretty packed session.
Kevin: I think so.
Kate: But that’s not the only big session or big topic that’s going to be covered at this conference. So, what are some of the other sessions at CTC that you think are really going to catch everyone’s attention?
Kevin: Well, I hope the session that ImageSoft puts on is going to be a big session.
Kate: Yes.
Kevin: We’ll be talking about [crosstalk].
Kate: Real talk, tell me a little bit about that one. Yes.
Kevin: But I’m not going to go into that right now, actually. Actually, one of our Justice Senior Justice Consultant, Brad Smith, he’s actually sitting on a panel actually for government procurement and to helping courts to think through the procurement process, and what are the best practices that can help along with that.

So, we think that will be a good one. But the one that I’m focused in on is really the one on data governance or data governance, depending on if you say potato or potato.

Kate: Right.
Kevin: It could be sounding interesting as watching paint dry, but it is a pretty powerful thing. So, if you think about what we just talked about in terms of artificial intelligence… And you have to make artificial intelligence really, really effective, you have to make the data as accessible and as consistent as possible.

But the same thing applies in terms of data governance, in that data is really becoming the strategic asset for courts. And it’s not just in terms of determining court cases as we just talked about, but really how do we govern the operations and transparency of the court?

Right? So, giving you an example. Once you have a drunk driver and it’s his third offense and he’s going to lose his license and he also has child support payments, so he’s not going to be at work.

So, there’s all kinds of different things that factor into the fact that this person’s been convicted of a crime, right? And the court has to notify all these different agencies and all these different parties that are affected downstream from this criminal case.

In a typical court case, what ends up happening is that you’ve got some poor clerk somewhere in the court that once the decision has come down, they have to notify the jail that somebody’s going to stay some time there because of the jail sentence.

They have to notify the DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles because of a license suspension. They may have to notify the state; a number of different state agencies as well. And then, maybe they have to notify the child support people that [inaudible] along with the social services.

So, there’s all kinds of different agencies where data needs to flow back and forth. And really, governing that data and thinking through in terms of how accessible is that data, how accurate is that data and how standardized is that data becomes really, really, really critical.

And we’ve seen so many times where because so much of the stuff is done manually that mistakes are made, information doesn’t flow correctly. And I think about this, one time I did a search for…

I was looking for somebody, I was looking for a David Smith and I’m thinking, “Well, Smith is a common name, but how many David’s are there?” And I remember in one state, I think there was over a thousand different David Smiths.

Kate: Oh my goodness.
Kevin: Okay. How do we narrow down that search? So, those are some of the challenges that we run into in terms of… For data governance. And then, it gets to the next level too where even within a court itself, think about this.

Let’s suppose the court has got three different systems and all three different systems all need to share information with each other. So, from an IT perspective, that means that you have to have nine different integrations going back and forth to have these different systems connect.

And that’s a lot of information to maintain. Who has those single source of truth in terms of their data? And how do we make sure that we have consistent name spellings and addresses and data that’s being shared amongst those different systems that may even operate within a single court?

So, one of the things that we try do and what we try to talk about, and it’s probably not going to be covered in this session, but for sure, we can maybe follow this up with the feature podcast is how does the enterprise content management play into a solution like that?

And one of the ways that we see it happening is that by flowing information through enterprise content management first and teaching these different systems how to [inaudible] enterprise content management systems.

You can go from nine integrations down to three and not only can you reduce the number of integration points that you have, but also the information that goes back and forth becomes much cleaner, much more accurate because you don’t have to depend on individual humans entering the same information into different system independently.

And then, of course [inaudible] human error. But also, then it’s easier for us to determine or who has the single source of truth, which system actually has this particular chunk of data as a data of record that we can trust and verify, that all the others will look to align themselves against or to check themselves against.

So, those are all those different things that in terms of courts taking this next generation step in terms of how do we leverage that data for transparency and making information available to the public, making information available to other agencies and connecting with them.

We see that we think for the courts to get that next step, that really having a system on the level of an enterprise content management system is really going to be key for that. So, I’m excited for that session and I don’t know if I’ll actually get to attend. I’m going to be at the conference, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to attend that because I also have some other responsibilities at the conference as well too. But I think it’s also going to be a really interesting one that’s going to really spur a lot of thought and conversations for next year.

Kate: Yes. Maybe some good future podcast episodes and things to talk about because yes, I can imagine that’s going to have a lot of people talking as well.
Kevin: I really do believe so. And data’s becoming more and more and more critical for court operations, and we’re seeing it happening internationally. And really, we’re starting to see that start to affect a lot of courts here. So, it’s going to be pretty exciting stuff.
Kate: I agree. All right. Well, let’s shift gears a little bit and let’s talk about CommunityLIVE. So, this is a little bit of a different event than CTC for a couple of different reasons. But one of them is that there’s a lot of different industries that are served at this event, not just the courts, right?
Kevin: That is correct. There’s state and local governments, there’s insurance companies, there’s higher education manufacturing, general businesses of all different sorts of service industries.

So, you’re right, Kate. It’s not just the courts, it’s really a broad based show, and that’s actually the power of that too because when you think about it, in a lot of different industries, they will have similar challenges.

Even though the process might be a little different, the names might be a little different, how they solve those issues could very well be the same. And that’s really the power of that learning is that you look at how another industry solve their very similar problems here.

And then, you ask a question, “Hey, can I do that in my business or in my operations or in my organization?” And the answer to that is yes. And so, that’s one of the great values of this conference and one of the reasons why I love going to this conference.

Kate: Right.
Kevin: I can roll to court with my laptop. I can access any file that I need, either for that assignment or any other one that I need to look at. Document organization is a lot smoother because each file has designated folders where specific types of documents belong. We have one for police reports, we have one for the defendant’s lien printout or criminal history. We have another one for documents that we received from the court, such as scheduling orders or things like that.

So it’s a uniform document organization system. So if I access one of these digital files and I want to read the police report, I just go to the file folder for police report, click on it, and I can read all the reports that are in there so it makes file organization a lot easier. I talked about the rigors of having to locate a file. I don’t need to do that anymore. All I need to do, if I know the criminal tracking number, I can search by number, or if I know the name of the defendant, I can search by name, pull up the file, and I can just read it right here from my desk. I don’t have to walk over to a file room and hunt around for a file or ask somebody if they’ve seen it lately-

Kate: Yes, a lot of collaborative learning, it sounds like.

All right. Well, can you tell me a little bit more about it and what we can expect to learn from this? So, what sessions do you see being more popular at this event and why do you think that different attendees from different industries will want to be part of those?

Kevin: Well, there’s a lot of sessions at this, so I couldn’t even come close to even touching the full agenda. But there’s a couple of areas that I think that we’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about for this past year, and I think they’re going to pop up to be big sessions this year.

One is on enterprise search, and what enterprise search is, is that if you think about this in any organization or in any company, business or operation, you have information and data that’s spread all over the place. You have emails, and then somebody’s folder on their computer, the laptop hard drive, shared folder somewhere in a database.

Information is spread out all over the place. And at different times, businesses or organizations are called upon to access that information. In the government’s case, it might be a public records request in the federal government. We call that [inaudible]. For state local governments, we call it public records requests.

They’re not actually covered under federal law, even though for many of the state local governments, we model their rules and regulations and laws regarding that, based on the federal law. Or if you’re a business and for some reason you’re entering into a party in a lawsuit, there’s discovery.

And when discovery happens, you would be able to find and provide information. Or if there’s been a breach of security, you have to go through and find out how deep was that security? How severe was that breach? What was all affected? What was all touched? What’s sitting out there that you don’t know about?

And so, there’s all this information content that’s out there. And so, having an enterprise search tool that can go out and search and find different bits and pieces of information and stick that all in one spot or make it accessible that you can actually track the information now is critical.

So, in the case of the state local government, they get a public records request and instead of having to tap into all the different systems and log in all this different stuff, if you have an enterprise search engine that’s connected to these, you can do one query and it can hit all those different systems and [inaudible].

I’ve actually seen this where they will actually install the software in an organization on a laptop, for instance, and do a search for, let’s say, social security numbers. We know what a social security number typically looks like, right? Three digits, dash, two digits, dash four digits or that type of a pattern.

And it’s amazing how it goes out and finds all kinds of people’s social security numbers that are sitting really out in the open that nobody is even aware of. But those things exist. So, from a security perspective, that could be really helpful. Responding to those public records requests is also helpful too.

And just one of the biggest, scariest things of what keeps a lot of IT people up at night is, “What don’t we know? What information do we have that needs to be protected, that needs to be secured that’s sitting out in the open?” That if we get breached, we can get a huge fine, they may end up losing their job.

So, they want to [inaudible] all these things. And we all know, in all these systems, really today, it’s not even so much the technology today that’s a weak point, it’s really us humans that are the weak point, right?

You get that email that says, “Hey, click here to update your password because your password is expiring.” And it looks just like the email from the company, but it really isn’t.

Kate: It looks official.
Kevin: And then, you log into some foreign sites. And all of a sudden, somebody over in some foreign country has got your credentials and can log in and get all kinds of access to your systems. So, those are the things that we’re seeing in terms of a big session this year that a lot of people are thinking, “How do I protect our data?” And it’s all part of data governance. How do I protect it? How to secure that just because the risks just continue to increase.
Kate: Yes. We’ve been seeing so many articles recently; so much news about different state agencies where those kinds of things are happening. Sometimes, it’s from those random emails that will come in. Sometimes, it’s other ways of hacking into the system. So, yes. I think that’s definitely going to be a big topic so that’s going to be a good session. So-
Kevin: I think so too. I mean, even if you’re not in the government… I mean, think about this, you’ve heard of department stores, that have had their systems hacked and their credit cards leaked. Right?
Kate: Yes.
Kevin: And if they can track down and say, “This particular database was hacked, we know which ones were actually accessed,” you can notify those people. I mean, even though there’s fines or it’s bad publicity, at least if you get a notification that says, “Hey, your credit card was hacked,” you can contact your credit card holder and get that changed and provide some additional security.

The problem that you run into is when you don’t know that they accessed a particular area because you didn’t know that information was sitting out in the clear. And now, what happens is your customers can’t protect themselves. Right?

Because they don’t know that it’s there. And then, their credit card number gets sold for $2,500 on the black market and pretty soon, these mysterious charges start showing up on their credit card. So, that’s really part and parcel of that, is just thinking about, how do we protect and manage our data and respond to requests for information?

Kate: Yes, absolutely. So, you’ve been going to CommunityLIVE for quite some time now. Do you have a favorite element of this event outside of the sessions, or something that you always look forward to?
Kevin: Besides the desserts that they serve at lunch and dinner every day?
Kate: That’s always a good part.
Kevin: Oh, yes. I know. The sweets are my weakness, so going there is somewhat of a treat. And my wife’s not there so she can’t tell me what can’t eat.
Kate: Right.
Kevin: But probably the [crosstalk]
Kate: Conference calories don’t count. Right?
Kevin: I know. Yes, they don’t count. Isn’t that what they say? Conference calories, I love that. It’s a [inaudible].
Kate: There you go.
Kevin: One of my favorite things to do though… And although I’m in marketing, I was in technical sales for many years with enterprise content management and I’ve been asked… I’ve met with hundreds or probably thousands of different organizations from Fortune 100 companies to very small organizations.

And I got asked all kinds of unique questions about, “What can you do? What problems can you solve?” “Hey, I’ve got this challenge. Is there a way to solve this?” And so, it’s forced me to think in a lot of different ways that perhaps, sitting in your own organization, there are things that you would never even think to ask.

And so, when I get to sit down with customers at this conference and have these forward-looking conversations like, “What are you challenged with today?” Or, “What are some of the things you’d like to do?” Or, “What are some areas of the organization that you wish there was a solution for, but you just can’t find?”

And we had these conversations. And then, we figured out that there was a way that we could solve some of these. A lot of times, it’s stuff that they already have, which is amazing. And when you see their eyes just go big as saucers like, “We can really do this.”

And then, they go home and they begin to implement that and they make those changes. And you hear back from them to say that, “Hey, we did this and it’s just made a world of difference. It’s saved me X number of hours a day or it’s just made a huge difference in what we do.”

“And everybody leaves work at the end of the day, calmer, refreshed, energized because they feel like they accomplished something as opposed to before when they were frustrated and the work was piling up and there’s a backlog that they can never touch. And it was frustrating because they can’t find what they’re looking for.” I just get a great high just from having those conversations. So, I love doing that as part of being at the conference.

Kate: Yes. It’s probably great to be able to hear about the other side of it, and being able to hear those outcomes and everything, which like you said, in any regular business setting every other day of the year, you may not get an opportunity to connect with them quite as much as you would at a conference setting like this. So, that’s pretty great.
Kevin: It is awesome. And one of the things that we’ve been seeing more and more and more is, with businesses just changing so fast these days and customers getting so much more advanced that our customers are faced with the challenge of having to respond quicker. And to digitally transform at a rate that they’ve never had to think about before.

So, having the ability for them to look at these low code solutions where they can implement something and it doesn’t have to be the deepest technical person to do it, but it could be someone at the business level that can implement a lot of these changes really just revolutionizes these organizations and begins to change how they approach technology.

And let’s face it, right? For a lot of businesses, a lot of companies that are out there, the products that they’re offering are fairly comparable, very competitive, [inaudible] other products that are out there. And so, one of the ways that companies try to really be competitive and really to increase their profits is as lowering their internal costs, lowering their internal business friction that they have and being more efficient.

And if they can do that, they can generate… They can increase more of their profit margin that way, and that increases their competitiveness in the field. So, those are some things that we’re trying to do in terms of working with our customers. And why we think that conferences like these are so important.

Kate: That’s an excellent point. And it sounds like these are going to be a really great jumpstart for the Fall. So, I’m excited to hear all about them when you and the team returns. So, can we have you back on here afterwards to talk about what you learned at the conference?
Kevin: You sure can.
Kate: All right.
Kevin: Maybe I’ll have to keep track of my desserts too, so you can see what I like. I’m just kidding. But yes, I love the [crosstalk].
Kate: We’ll set up a hashtag to follow, you know? So, hashtag Kevin’s Conference Desserts.
Kevin: Yes, I’ll take the [inaudible] out on my scale.
Kate: There we go. There you go. That works perfect. All right, excellent. We’ll-
Kevin: I’d love to come back on and maybe, we’ll have some other people too from the team that were there as well, and they can maybe share some of the things that they experienced, and we can get some more people.
Kate: That will be wonderful. Well, thanks for taking the time today, Kevin, and looking forward to hearing more about it when you return.
Kevin: Yes. Thank you for having me today, Kate.
Kate: Great. Well, thank you everyone for joining us today. And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Paperless Productivity where we tackle some of the biggest paper-based pain points facing organizations today. We’ll see you next time.

Thanks again for joining us today for this episode of Paperless Productivity. This podcast is sponsored by ImageSoft, the paperless process people, which you can learn more about at imagesoftinc.com. That’s imagesoft, I-N-C dot com. Join us next time where you’ll learn how to harness the power of technology, supercharge efficiency, and accomplish your organization’s goals.

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