Episode 004: Automation We’re Thankful For

Technology has become such a standard part of modern life that sometimes, it can be hard to remember a time without it. Kevin Ledgister, ImageSoft’s Marketing Manager, shares a few real-life examples – including references to a Sean Connery film and a nearly-missed flight – to put into context just how much technology has contributed to our everyday lives.

Continue reading “Episode 004: Automation We’re Thankful For”

Don’t Build Your Highway Without an On-Ramp: Electronic Forms and Process Automation

Authored by Carolyn Kane, Product Evangelist at Hyland

Imagine designing a super-highway that moves vehicles at top speed through rough terrain, eliminates bottlenecks and traffic jams, and improves the day-to-day efficiency of residents and businesses.

187_freewayonrampNow imagine that you designed this super-speed highway, but you didn’t include a way for people to access it. Your highway might be fast and efficient, but many travelers have to go around it in order to get to their destination.

In my industry, we call this a workaround.

This frequently happens to processes that still rely on paper forms or an unintegrated electronic form (like a fillable PDF that has to be printed or emailed). It’s like having a highway without an access ramp. People have to try to kick off that process in some other way (like scanning the form, emailing the form, or processing manually), instead of just hitting “submit” and knowing that their form is saved and the process is moving forward.

Creating on-ramps

Because OnBase forms are processed by Workflow immediately upon submission, they are the ultimate on-ramp to an automated process. No scanning or manual import is required, and thebest part is that they index themselves!

Fortunately, designing forms can be the easy part of automating your process, with a point-and-click designer for Unity Forms and Image Forms to make form creation intuitive, simple, and fast.

Thinking about access

Not everyone on the highway started in the same place. This seems obvious when talking about roadways, but with process automation you have similar considerations. Where should your users access the form to kick off a process? Allowing them to access forms in a convenient manner means less delays overall.

Depending on your industry, you may need to have “external” users fill out forms in addition to your own internal users. If you’re in government, education, insurance, finance or healthcare – really, any industry that works with the public – extending form access to users outside your organization will be very important to streamlining your processes. Fortunately, OnBase Forms can be accessed from a browser on a desktop or mobile device, so that they can be easily filled out and submitted anytime, anywhere.

Accommodating different types

Think about the different vehicles you see on the highway—trucks, busses, private cars, ride-sharing vehicles—they all have different purposes and slightly different needs. If you want to move the contents of your house, you want to use a moving truck, but if you are just taking your family to see grandma your hatchback will do just fine.

In the same way, OnBase Forms offer different tools for different needs. Unity Forms are the configurable option, offering no-code electronic forms with endless flexibility and dynamic behavior. Image Forms are designed to replicate a paper form, with users filling it out by typing instead of writing—with many of the advantages of Unity Forms built-in to improve the experience over paper. And HTML-based E-Forms offer the endless possibilities of a fully custom form.

A process isn’t automated unless your forms are electronic and integrated

Even if your forms aren’t paper, you may not be automating your processes as much as you would like. Downloadable forms and forms received by e-mail still require manual steps and unnecessary workarounds. For a fully automated process, you want to be sure that forms are integrated with your workflow so that processing can begin the moment the user hits the submit button.

Your On-Ramp to Complete Process Automation

Ready to pave your on-ramp to a super highway of streamlined data collection, workflow and overall optimized efficiency? Check out this forms management webpage detailing all things eForms, courtesy of my friends at ImageSoft!

We Want to Hear From You!

Are you building your on-ramp alongside your super highway (i.e., in the process of implementing various automation tactics), or will eForms clear the path to optimized efficiency for your organization?

Answer in the comments section below or on our LinkedIn page. We read and respond – promise!

 

Keep Calm: The Court Clerk Uses CaseShare to Handle It

186_keepcalmclerk“Keep calm” is probably the least comforting phrase to any court clerk trying to ascend a case to the higher, or Appellate, courts. And rightfully so – there are custom requirements to be met, volumes to be assembled, files to be named and pages to be ordered, signed, sealed and delivered. Even after that laborious process, the file will likely still bounce back for unmet requirements, missing or improperly ordered papers, etc. Studies reveal that the court case rejection rates rise as high as 46 percent!

More stress than even a Snickers can fix, we knew we better come up with a solution.

Now There’s an App for That

A purpose-built application, CaseShare is a stand-alone solution that satisfies all state requirements, automates the fancy footwork of appellate court cases, and digitally delivers it in a user-friendly PDF format to the appropriate higher court. But if you really want it to integrate with the lower court’s document management system (DMS), it will.

Remember that 46 percent? Since adopting CaseShare, one county’s Circuit Court reported that less than five percent of its appeal cases have been rejected.

A Ruling in Favor of All

Cat’s out of the bag: lower court clerks benefit from CaseShare in numerous ways. With a previously paper-based process gone automated, rules-based processing keeps them on track while the man hours required to assemble the case and transcripts drops from days to hours. Lower court clerks now have the capacity to handle their appellate case workload, and then some.

But don’t hang your heads just yet, Appellate clerks – you actually win twice! Not only are you spending less time reviewing and sending back the record, but you’ll receive all your files in a consistent manner that also allows you to easily route them into the appropriate hands.

CaseShare didn’t forget about you either, Appellate Justices. A text searchable PDF with bookmarks makes it easier in court proceedings to quickly get everyone on the same page.

Let’s Build a Case for It

There’s more to CaseShare than can fit into one blog – without losing the average reader’s attention, at least. So we built an entire webpage that spells out all the functionalities – including a populated table of contents, text-searchable documents, one-click rotating, re-ordering, deleting and/or adding pages, and more – in chunked, digestible sections. You’ll also be able to listen to a CaseShare-specific webinar which includes a demo by ImagesSoft President Scott Bade and a customer story.

Take Me to the CaseShare Webpage

We Want to Hear From You!

On average, how does your court handle higher court case ascension? Which re-occurring issues do clerks gripe about most?

Make your case in the “comments” section below or on our Courts LinkedIn Showcase page. We read and respond – promise!

 

Big Name Break-Ups

Have you seen the new movie Stan & Ollie? Trailers and previews hint at betrayal and disharmony behind the beloved façade of the iconic comedy duo. It’s the same story with other big-name celebrity duos hit hard by public breakups: Lewis and Martin, Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, McCartney and Lennon, Mario Impemba and Rod Allen (that’s for our Detroit Tigers fans) and even Cheech and Chong – amazing chemistry when performing together but personal animosity behind the curtain.

These duos went through major public break-ups that, in most cases, resulted in big-time, successful solo careers.

Is it time for a big-name break-up with your legacy system?

Perhaps it was an innovative system when installed (how many years ago?) but now it needs too many patches, doesn’t integrate with the forms and applications of modern documents and delivery modes, and requires too many workarounds (even some manual processes) to deliver on its decades-old promises. Sound familiar? A break-up is in your future.

Legacy Systems Have Outlived Their Usefulness

Insurance carriers are hampered by outdated legacy enterprise content management systems. Approximately 70 percent of insurers’ corporate business systems are legacy applications, most in place for decades, with many in use since Sonny and Cher were on the charts (that’s 60 years ago!) These legacy systems have significant security issues, lock up data in inaccessible siloes, prevent collaboration, limit innovation and growth and don’t offer digital user or employee experiences. Moreover, they don’t allow for the efficiencies found in robotic process automation and similar automated methods that save time and money.

Legacy systems bottle up communication with end users, from agents and brokers, and to the insured. They don’t provide a full view of the customer that a customer service rep would need. When information is difficult to find, share, use and secure, time and resources are wasted, and potential opportunities are missed.

With InsureTech innovators leading the industry with agility, efficiency and effectiveness by embracing digital transformation, established companies need to follow their example and invest in the digital transformation that will separate the winners from the losers. According to Gartner, insurers who increase their investments in digital modernization strategies are 63 percent more profitable on average than their industry peers who keep their IT budgets constant or reduce them. Read more in Disrupt or Be Disrupted.

Replacing a Legacy System: Customer Success Story

A large property/casualty insurer, hampered by information stored in several legacy systems and an imaging system that couldn’t unite them, optimized its claims and underwriting processes, increasing efficiency and reducing costs by more than $1.5 million per year. Migrating from its legacy document imaging system, the insurer now enables more than 1,500 employees, authorized agents and agency support staff in nearly 200 locations to quickly access information stored in multiple formats — whether received through email, electronic feed or directly scanned into the document management solution.  

Workflows keep processes moving by automatically forwarding documents and information, notifying stakeholders of material they need to see or actions they need to take. In one improvement, new policies and policy change submissions that used to take two days are handled in 20 minutes and made available across the enterprise. Benefits were realized in multiple areas:

  • Automated electronic claims filing increased speed and accuracy
  • No-cost electronic file sharing eliminated $465,000 in storage, mailing, shipping and courier costs
  • Electronic archival of claims photos empowered staff with instant access to any file type;
  • Integration with Outlook minimized the need for employees to access multiple systems, reducing time spent on each call

Breaking Up Isn’t So Hard to Do

While insurers have been managing information digitally for decades as early adopters of enterprise content management solutions, they have been slow to advance their core processing solutions. These outdated, functionally limited and siloed systems and applications make information impossible to share and act on.

Insurers need solutions that accelerate their digital strategies by managing documents, cases and processes that legacy core systems just can’t handle. By implementing a single platform to capture, clarify, share and secure information, insurers can deliver better and more timely services while saving resources. In this way, insurers can streamline processes, lower costs, increase security and deliver the customer experience required by today’s consumers.

With ImageSoft’s ECM solutions for insurance, we’ll automate your workflows, improve your speed and efficiency, reduce costs and address compliance requirements. We’ll make the break-up with your legacy system a walk in the park.

Ready to break up with your legacy system? Check out ImageSoft’s solutions for insurance.

Follow ImageSoft’s Insurance Solutions LinkedIn Showcase page and plan your break-up today.

For Insurance Companies, These 5 Truths are Self-Evident

With President’s Day coming up, we’re stealing Thomas Jefferson’s words from the Declaration of Independence about self-evident truths.

176_thomasjeffersonThe truth is, insurance companies must upgrade their systems to take advantage of technology advances to eliminate paper once and for all. Customers are looking for an “Amazon-like” experience as manual, or outdated, processes are inefficient and costly. Moreover, they shut out insurance companies from winning new business.

So, thanks, Mr. Jefferson, for the lead-in. Here are our five self-evident insurance truths.

Insurance Truth #1: Digital document management is a must.

Companies must automate their document management, for several reasons: customers want information access and control. New business opportunities demand an enterprise content management solution that is flexible and can streamline all document handling. A single enterprise platform for managing content, processes and cases will result in additional opportunities for insurance companies.

Using technology to redesign insurance propositions for customers is fundamental to an insurer’s survival, profitability and ability to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Imagesoft knows that adopting technology to increase efficiency while staying compliant is the key to success.

Insurance Truth # 2: Documents come in varying formats.

Insurance companies deal with various formats of documents, photographs, claims reports, quotes, etc., and need a software solution that can handle these document formats. Paper-driven processes mean too many expensive copies, rising storage and copying fees, a lack of confidence in the integrity or timeliness of content changes, filing compromises and document misplacement. Enterprise content management is the answer.

The right-fit integrated ECM solution efficiently manages scanned documents, faxes, print streams, application files, electronic forms, Web content, multimedia files, emails and industry standard files such as ACCORD XML. Moreover, it eliminates the costs and vulnerabilities of manual and legacy, patched-together systems.

Insurance Truth # 3: Document management needs to be available across devices and be completely mobile, with Cloud compatibility.

Efficient customer service demands a mobile presence with the advantages of Cloud compatibility. Customers are becoming more adept at online transactions and expect online interactions with enterprises of all kinds – they demand a responsive experience that is available 24/7.

Insurers need the right tools to provide a consolidated view of information and documents with critical tasks identified, due dates assigned, and priorities identified. With an integrated enterprise content management solution available across device types, insurers can quickly access customized views, for example, by priority, policy type or due date. Increased visibility results in better customer service from the very beginning of the relationship.

Insurance Truth # 4: Modern enterprise content management systems help insurance companies deal with security issues.

As one of the most regulated industries, insurance companies must be compliant with industry regulations while protecting confidential customer data. Legacy systems and paper-based procedures are vulnerable to security breaches while automated enterprise content management systems add layers of protection to secure data.

Insurance Truth # 5: Insurance companies live or die by communication.

Today that communication is happening by text, email, fax, Skype, and even real phone calls. When it isn’t clear if a document has been updated, or the most recent version is on someone else’s desk, it’s time for improved communication via automated document and content management.

Insurance companies thrive when there is a single platform for document collaboration with access rights, commenting options, handling and timing rules, audit trails and time stamps, and more versioning and editing options. In this way, agents, brokers, the insured and all other related employees can move documents quickly and efficiently.

ImageSoft’s Truths for Insurance Companies

Industry leading ECM solutions for insurance include automated workflows, improved speed and efficiency, reduced costs and proper compliance. ImageSoft is ready to help your company reap the benefits that an integrated ECM solution can provide.

Look for more information about our solutions for life and property and casualty insurance, plus workers’ comp.

Which truths are you grappling with?

Follow ImageSoft’s Insurance Solutions LinkedIn Showcase page, and receive all the truths you need.

696 Construction is Complete. Now Let’s Talk Planning & Public Works!

At first glance, last Monday was just like many January Mondays in Michigan: gray… cold… we even started the morning with freezing rain. Despite these dreary conditions, however, many Michiganders were smiling through their commutes and probably arriving at work a little earlier than usual to high-five their co-workers. Why so chipper for a Monday? Because the 10-mile stretch of westbound 696 freeway in Macomb County, a main pipeline for Michigan commuters, many of which included our own staff and even some clients, was finally reopened.

Michigan’s Department of Transportation (DOT) started the project in late April 2018, tacking on significant commute time, inconveniencing travelers, and causing a lot of gripe. But thanks to the Midwest’s mild start to winter, the construction team was able to finish the project two days ahead of schedule.

Government Projects Can Be Ahead of Schedule?

Whether you’re the DOT planning a freeway facelift, the Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, the DMV, or any other government department, you’re probably spending these first weeks of January strategizing for 2019 initiatives and setting deadlines that won’t please everyone. Because, let’s be real: people like to complain.

And, as with any large project, your biggest challenges are probably organizing who needs to be where when, meeting deadlines, taking and sharing photos, records management, invoice processing, and the annoying loose ends in between. You could do this by spending every day emailing, faxing, driving and buried in a web of different databases and browsers. Or, you could let OnBase manage it for you.

174_binders

Planning & Public Works On Demand with OnBase

Serving as a central document repository, process manager, integrator, and more, OnBase is the jack of all trades that keeps your public works project on course at every stage.

Asset Management

As we’ve all experienced from buffets, self-serve tends to make everyone happier. Results are the same when applied to the government setting. Okay, constituents probably won’t be as excited as they would be at a buffet, but you get the point.

By connecting to in-house databases like Cityworks and Accela Automation, all your data and documents are connected. With just a few clicks on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, contracts, plan revisions, CAD drawings and more can be collaborated on, managed, edited and routed to whom and where it needs to be. This online access empowers mobility and allows constituents to self-serve while untethering your staff from the phones.

Integrations: Cityworks and Esri

By integrating OnBase with your Cityworks and/or Accela permitting solutions, all working parties and staff have a cohesive view of the information necessary to do their jobs. Quick access to work orders, service requests, licenses, permits, and more fosters collaboration while reducing the time it takes to complete a task. Aside from the obvious benefit, saved time and better creativity lends itself increased constituent satisfaction and stronger community developments.

With OnBase-Esri integrations, everything you need is on the map – literally! GIS users can quickly access  supporting documents relating to any project location simply by clicking on the map’s geographic pinpoint.

Electronic Plan Review

Plan review doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Thankfully, neither does OnBase. Highly configurable automation builds OnBase around your existing processes without the need for costly custom code. With a central hub to store all plans and related documents, automation and revision control, transparency into plan status via reporting dashboards, and a robust workflow that empowers real-time collaboration, plan review has never been easier.

Interested in learning more about keeping your community departments connected through every project? Check out our planning & public services solutions webpage and resources. Have questions? Let us know – we love to chat!

Speaking of which…

We Want to Hear from You!

What’s clogging your public work’s department? In which areas could you be more efficient?

Respond in the comment section below, or on our Government Solutions Showcase page on LinkedIn. We read and reply!

Keeping Employee File Management on Track with OnBase

We’ve been chatting a lot about how to keep your human resources department on track with OnBase. There was that one time we had a coffee chat over recruiting with Christy and Crystal, and just last week we leaned in with Leanne about the onboarding process. So far, your seamless transition from recruitment to onboarding has your talented new hire in the office and on-the-go from day one.

So what’s next on your HR personnel’s docket? Managing your growing team members’ files, of course.

But before we get into nitty-gritty functionality, let’s circle back with Leanne, human resources manager at ImageSoft, for her experiences using OnBase for file management.

Leaning in with Leanne: Employee File Management

 

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Tell Me More

Just as Journey drums up all the right compositions for Leanne, OnBase’s versatile functionality is music to the ears for HR personnel! Take a skim through OnBase’s most talked-about features.

Instantaneous Document Retrieval

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork – in years past, this was the interior design of almost every HR office. And their daily routine? Searching through and for paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

But with all documents and employee files stored digitally in one centralized hub, and having that hub (AKA, OnBase) integrate with every organization’s human resources information system (HRIS), HR personnel can quickly key a search and pull files almost instantly, all without leaving their familiar interface. Doing so fizzles training time for new software down to a minimum, and allows HR to spend more time on higher-value endeavors, like employee retention.

Visibility and Compliance

With real-time reporting updates and a bird’s eye view of missing documentation, OnBase makes it easy for HR personnel to identify missing documents, and/or identify and quickly resolve other compliance issues.

And when auditors come knocking (and you know they will), you will already be prepared. Rather than scrambling to make copies upon copies for the auditor, simply grant them temporary access to OnBase and allow them to self-serve all the information they need. Or if you don’t want auditors lurking in your OnBase system, you can easily export any of the relevant documents to ShareBase, a secure enterprise file sharing tool that tracks all access and interactions.

Security

With OnBase, HR personnel control where documents are stored and who has access to that information. For example, staff can be granted access to view only their I-9 and other personal documents. And with a full audit trail of every document’s activity, staff members are always held accountable and information breaches are no longer a “thing.”

Not to mention that strengthening the integrity of your file security measures with a secure enterprise content management system (ECM) like OnBase speaks to how much your organization values its staff’s safety and establishes trust from the get-go.

Interested in Keeping Pace with OnBase?

Check out this PDF, this case study, this PDF, or just check out the webpage that has all three and then some.

And if you get tired of reading, we’re always happy to chat over the phone or in person.

We Want to Hear From You!

On a scale from “help!” to “handled,” how well is your HR office managing its documents and files?

Tell us in the comment section below. We actually do read your comments – promise!

Keeping Onboarding On Point with OnBase

As almost every human resources personnel will tell you, onboarding new staff is not the most graceful process – sometimes not even for the new hire! With so many boxes to check from the HR department to the hiring manager and even to marketing, it’s stressful trying to ensure that both the new team member and the organization have the proper paperwork and tools for success from day one.

Our own Leanne Eastman, human resources manager at ImageSoft, Inc., knows this hassle all too well. Starting at ImageSoft over 10 years ago, Leanne remembers when the holy grail for onboarding was just a piece of paper and a chicken-scratched step-by-step process. But there’s a reason she can speak with ease and confidence about our onboarding practice today, and it’s called OnBase.

Leaning In with Leanne: OnBase for OnBoarding

 

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A Closer Look at the Bigger Picture

As you heard, equipping HR personnel like Leanne with an integrative and intuitive tool like OnBase translates into an enjoyable onboarding experience for everyone involved. With their payroll setup, business cards printed, and an agenda of to-do’s ready before day one, new team members feel confident in the organization they’ve joined and empowered to hit the ground running from the moment they arrive.


The OnBase Functionality That Supports OnBoarding



Accountability by Automation

With a signed offer letter in their hands, HR can deploy onboarding responsibilities out to the necessary parties. With the click of a button, OnBase generates and sends checklists according to the new hire’s role, department and needs. The hiring manager, IT, marketing, and other internal training teams will receive their necessary marching orders and due dates, and can start on their tasks well before the new staff member’s first day. With automated to-do’s, HR personnel never has to worry that someone wasn’t contacted about their onboarding tasks and can keep up with each team member’s progress without continuous follow-ups. This keeps the organization’s preferred onboarding practice consistent and efficient throughout all its growth!

One Hub. All Your Information.

As anyone with a desk, file cabinet or car keys knows, digging for physical copies isn’t efficient, and can lead to critical details getting lost or forgotten. OnBase expands HR’s visibility into the onboarding process by centralizing and warehousing all necessary information in one, digitalized location. As team members from various departments work on their assigned onboarding tasks, they can enter and access the information that is relevant to them with just a few clicks. Aside from keeping everyone on pace with their responsibilities, this functionality also allows HR personnel to see how the onboarding process is progressing, identify and fix bottlenecks, and follow-up where need be.

Integrative and Confidential

Teamwork really does make the onboarding dream work, which is why OnBase was designed with integration in mind. Able to integrate with your organization’s payroll, Human Resources Information System (HRIS), and other key systems, OnBase ensures everyone maximizes their time and effort even amidst the onboarding process.

And while this all sounds ideal from a workflow perspective, we know it sounds more like every HR person’s nightmare: breached confidentiality. But take a deep breath, because it’s actually the opposite. OnBase safeguards all its data and records by granting access only to parties with permissions. Because every OnBase user has their own view, he or she sees only what’s relevant and necessary to their role. And, just as our jobs change over time, so can permissions. Users can be granted or denied access to information at any time, even for isolated incidents like conflicts of interest.

Interested in Keeping Pace with OnBase?

Check out this PDF, this case study or this PDF, or just check out the webpage that has all three and then some.

And if you get tired of reading, we’re always happy to chat over the phone or in person.

We Want to Hear From You!

What’s your biggest challenge with the HR process?

Tell us in the comment section below. We actually do read your comments – promise!

Is Automation in Government Programming Fear in People?

By: Katie Pusz, Copywriter, ImageSoft

151_terminator copy.jpgIn a society where self-driving cars are actually in progress and movies like Her are not completely unthinkable, it’s easy to feel fearful when we speak of automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Although we don’t realize it, both AI and automation are already a part of many people’s daily lives. For example, everyone would probably agree that there’s nothing wrong with asking Alexa to play your favorite song, setting an away message on your email, or engaging a bot to really challenge you in chess.

But mention these similarly helpful tactics in the same breath as “government practices,” and everyone’s nerves get a little tender.

AI or Automation? Let’s Be Clear

Judging by the continued debates, pushbacks, and horror movies, many people probably envision both technologies to be physical robots (think Rosie from the Jetsons, only not as sweet), chasing government staff and officials out of their offices, and reprogramming communities to serve their evil demands.

Well that is definitely not the goal of either technology, it is actually a very extreme illustration of AI. Not the evil-taking-over-the-government part, but that AI technology is developed to learn and mimic human behavior, and apply it in appropriate, positive situations.

Automation, however, is exactly what it sounds like: transforming a historically manual process into an automatic one. The stark difference between this and AI is that humans drive the automation process. You tell the technology where to always send or file a specific email, and the automation will continue to do that, and nothing more. Unlike our kids, pets, or AI, automation is very obedient.

Technology Takeover? More Like Technological Teamwork  

As the government begins to toss technology innovation ideas around, it’s critical that officials and the public understand why and when it’s a good idea to apply these processes.

A recent Route Fifty article was speaking to some of the successful integrations of AI and automation already in government. Mentioning the IBM Center’s “Envision Government in 2040” series, the article cited a recent report by the IBM Center stating that The Bureau of Labor Statistics is already using AI to facilitate a survey coding process. The article reported that the bureau “improved both the quality and efficiency of the work,” and “employees are able to focus on more complicated cases that require human judgment.”

You see, most technology is not coming to replace your desk – it’s simply taking care of tedious “grunt work” so you can continue to make real, human impact. And, unlike some summer interns, it’s never late to work and can’t talk back.

I Think You’ve Already Met

You may not realize it, but many people in government offices, law firms, and courts are already harvesting the benefits of automation. If your organization uses an ECM (electronic case management system) or EDM (electronic document management system), you might find that your office is more productive than that of or similar agencies. Because cases and documents are electronically searched for, filed and routed, you never have to think about things like snail-mailing, paper filing, or digging through cases for information.

ECMs and EDMs are actually becoming a very common, well-received form of automation in justice, especially among prosecutors, courts, lawyers, and law enforcement, to expedite justice for victims.

Besides the courts, these systems are helping government agencies of all stripes whether it is managing permits, vital records, agendas, public works or finance and HR.

If you’re interested in learning more about automating your government agency’s paper flow, you should check out this page!

Coming to a Town Near You (Hopefully!)

Already dealing with the effects of car-sharing services, pay-by-phone integrations, and an app for everything, government officials are foreseeing a major disconnect with their publics if they do not continue to stay on top of practical technology issues and advancements.

This is the exact reason that the National Governors Association recently developed “NGA Future,” an initiative to prepare for the incoming wave of technological innovation. The goal is to educate legislators about certain technological areas so they can create policies around any potentially disruptive inventions on the horizon (looking at you, self-driving cars!).

Hand-in-hand with better policies, governors are also hoping to add some new tools to their toolbox by utilizing any innovations that might help them better run their offices, serve constituents, create new jobs and, ultimately, grow their economies.

Don’t Fear Because Automation is Here

Because it happened so fast and integrated so smoothly, it’s difficult to believe that automation and AI aren’t on their way in – they’re already here! And, when applied appropriately, these technologies are making everyone’s lives easier by taking care of the tedious work and leaving human-element decisions to real people.

So as the government continues to leverage AI and automated processes, it’s critical that we stay informed about the technologies that are improving our lives. So let’s start by discerning between the benefits that real-life automation and AI are providing, and the fiction-based plot of a horror movie.

Which benefit of a more streamlined government process are you most excited about?

 

Juggling Public Record Requests – Keep Those Balls in the Air

 

Tim Zarzycki, Senior Account Executive, ImageSoft, Inc.

iStock_000011704687_MediumAmong the multitude of daily tasks performed by court clerks is responding to public requests for records. These records include case files, dockets/summaries of court cases and courtroom proceedings, records about defendants, criminal records, and long email threads, often with photos and videos attached. In addition to explaining court actions and decisions, these records are generally accessible to the public based on state sunshine laws, open records laws or public records laws. In an era of greater scrutiny and demands for transparency, clerks need better ways to handle public record requests.

It’s a juggling act that gets more complicated by the day.

Day-to-day challenges

Giving the public its right of access to public records can be a cumbersome challenge for paper-based courts or courts working without an integrated case management system. It clogs operations and requires scarce resources. In addition to coordinating and maintaining the case file associated with such requests, courts also face such challenges as:

  • Siloed data and documents in each department with incompatible formatting — hunting down documents from multiple departments, locations and filing cabinets puts a burden on government staff and leads to lengthy fulfillment cycles
  • Challenges of tracking and distributing requests, reviewing long email chains, making phone calls and hunting down documents; most tracking systems are spreadsheets that require manual data entry which further consumes staff time
  • Need for a consistent layout for the request packet
  • Need to maintain correspondence with requestor, additional departments
  • Inconsistent/poorly defined request methods
  • Audit trail requirements
  • Protocols for redaction
  • Retention times/discard times/destruction processes with certificates of destruction
  • Fee collection processes
  • Statutory deadlines for providing public records
  • Document security

The right solution

JusticeTech’s public records solutions create a complete package to manage the full scope of public records needs, helping courts meet their legal responsibilities for transparency and open government initiatives. The solutions help court clerks and staff retrieve and bundle documents to meet record requests, provide self-service access to documents and records, automate the request process and redact confidential information. These solutions:

  • Simplify request submission and delivery for constituents
  • Provide comprehensive search for complete request fulfillment
  • Improve process transparency and reporting for better constituent service

Read more about automating request for public records and keep that juggling act in the air.

How are you managing public requests for court records?