7 Reasons Why ECM Is the Answer for Insurers – Part 3

In this blog series, we’re looking at how enterprise content management brings modern technology to the insurance industry to streamline:

Part 3: Case Management

“I can’t find your file right now.” SAID NO CUSTOMER SERVICE REP EVER. But if your employees have to track down documents and data spread out among Excel spreadsheets, systems that don’t communicate with each other or worse, in paper files on employee desks, customer service suffers.

Insurers need on-the-spot access to claims information, case files, and documentation managed on one, easy-to-use platform.

Having a modern case management solution can make or break an insurer. It enhances claims and new business processing by giving a full view of the insured’s profile or risk in one single view. It amounts to better, more informed decision-making by improving investigations, customer service, incident management and claims handling.

Without up-to-date and automated ways to manage cases, insurers face delayed service requests, unanswered complaints, and limited visibility into work projects. Customer expectations for real-time service and responsiveness have grown exponentially in the last few years – they will leave an insurer with poor customer service in a heartbeat.

Do We Need Case Management Software?

It’s a valid question. Undoubtedly, adding software and investing in an enterprise content management solution (ECM) with integrated case management functionality is a critical decision.

  • How does your organization currently process cases?  Are there inefficiencies, error-prone manual steps, or siloed information?
  • Are current processes enabling your knowledge workers to deliver the best possible service to your clients while remaining flexible and efficient?
  • Can your employees solve problems effectively with a complete view of all the information they need to complete their work?

Your answers to these questions will suggest whether a software upgrade is what you need. 

The Benefits of Case Management

A robust case management system (CMS) coordinates the collection and sharing of information among relevant users. The benefits include faster decision-making, better customer relationships, quicker claims processing from early assessment to investigation through settlement, easier processing tasks for employees when they have a complete view of the information they need, when and where they need it.

As an insurer begins the claim process, carriers are undertaking multiple tasks including collecting, collating, filing and reviewing supporting documentation to assess the claimant’s coverage, validating statements and negotiating payment of claims. Most legacy systems (and even some modern ones) lack the capability to effectively track and manage claims. They may store claim data, particularly final decisions, but most of the business decisions and actions around a claim happen outside the core system.  

An ECM with a solution for coordinating cases gives claims examiners easy access to information, schedules tasks, highlights and processes notifications and adds time-based reminders to increase efficiency. It’s critical that such a process is integrated with financial systems to manage payment schedules, provides control over the release of funds, and streamlines track and audit claims-related activities to reduce compliance risks. 

Here are some of the strategic benefits of an integrated case management solution:

  • Increases productivity. An automated solution for managing cases reduces the need to search for information across multiple data sources – it gives a complete view of information all in one place.  No more toggling between systems or managing multiple spreadsheets – staff remain within the same intuitive interface, logging activities, adding notes and updates, delegating tasks, and scheduling events.
  • Improves visibility and control. Reporting dashboards and activity audit trails increase transparency, support compliance and help organizations identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Ensure smooth handoffs and effective collaboration. With critical information and supporting content instantly accessible to all authorized employees throughout the case, organizations gain effective collaboration – whether that’s while completing a project, resolving an issue or providing exceptional customer service.

A modern enterprise solution ensures tasks are completed in a timely manner with reminders, timers, notifications, and other communications. It also drives value with fast deployment and quick returns with a full audit trail for reporting and compliance with operational policies.

By managing data relationships, documents and processes on a single platform integrated with your core systems, an enterprise technology solution empowers employees to effectively manage cases and make better business decisions. A platform that scales to support business needs across individuals, teams and departments drives value and elevates productivity enterprise-wide.

Next Up

Our next blog in this series will highlight content management.

But for now: what kind of case management challenges are you currently facing?

ImageSoft can guide you through the selection of enterprise solutions for insurers to achieve the efficiencies and cost savings you need. Our industry-leading solutions for insurance offer automated workflows, improved speed and efficiency, reduced costs and proper compliance. ImageSoft is ready to help your company reap the benefits from integrated enterprise content management. 

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

Follow ImageSoft’s Insurance Solutions LinkedIn Showcase page for more details about ECM. 

Episode 019: Connecting the Court at NACM’s Annual Conference


The National Association for Court Management’s (NACM) annual conference is one of the most-anticipated events each year for the justice community…and this year, we have an all-star team on stage discussing court technology! Listen in on this lively conversation between Brad Smith, ImageSoft’s senior justice consultant; Ben Martin of Mentis Technology Solutions; and Dan Willis, Trial Court Administrator for McHenry County in Illinois, as they debate how to best integrate technology in the court system.

Check out this episode!

Continue reading “Episode 019: Connecting the Court at NACM’s Annual Conference”

Episode 13: Follow the #InsurTech Road — Exploring Insurance Technology Solutions with Jeff Hiegert


As the pace of business in the insurance industry continues to grow, agencies are increasingly looking to technology to help them better manage their daily operations and grow their businesses. Jeff Hiegert, senior customer advisor for insurance at Hyland, is taking us through the many different ways technology solutions are improving every facet of today’s modern insurers.

Check out this episode!

Continue reading “Episode 13: Follow the #InsurTech Road — Exploring Insurance Technology Solutions with Jeff Hiegert”

Dear Component Model: We’re Thankful!

As colder weather and feel-good movies draw us home, it’s easy to look around and reflect on “the why” of who we are and what we do – making memories with loved ones, embracing the stillness of nature, and finding ways to contribute to and be a part of both.

Enjoy Thanksgiving typography

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, almost everyone is making a conscious effort to unplug from technology, forget about work, and be present in these moments. But, at the risk of sounding millennial, many of us wouldn’t be where we are without the rapidly-advancing technology supporting our daily lives. In more ways than one, it’s a component of who we are, what we do, and how far we’re able to go, and we would all be amiss to not show thanks.

A Case for the Courts

We know – you would expect software developers to draw such conclusions, but hear us out. 2018 has been the year of a system that, through the orchestration of loosely-coupled, modular applications, has digitally transformed courts across the nation to be more accessible, transparent, efficient, and empowered court computing environments to identify gaps in their technology infrastructure, zero in on opportunities for growth and be more strategic with their investments.

What does this mean? That justice is more accessible to everyone. That court managers, CIOs, judicial officers, and many other busy court personnel are getting more done in less time, and are able to recycle these saved resources into addressing triple-bottom-line issues. And that, with snap-on, integrative components now available, we can start having real conversations about long-term court visions and the technology needed to support it.

All of this, thanks to The Component Model.

Functionality Not Far-Fetched

As any court personnel can tell you, the idea of various parts working together to bring versatile functionality to a court’s case management system (CMS) is not original. In fact, many legacy systems are supported by functional components. The issue lies within the limits of those components. You see, the traditional monolithic structure is very tightly wound, and all the components, though serving a niche purpose, depend on one another. So if a court manager decides to alter, add to or take away one component, changes to the model’s code will have to be made, Vendors may not want to pursue new coding if it won’t be beneficial to their customers in other jurisdictions, will be too costly or other roadmap priorities are taking precedent. Not to mention that the court faces the headache of replacing or changing the entire system.

Fast-forward to loosely-fixed, NextGen application components, and enjoy defined interfaces that make it easy to snap-on and snap-off parts as you see fit. This type of flexibility allows each court system to decide on and invest in the specific functionality that best serves their needs. Despite these boundaries, however, the components use open data standards and can still communicate with one another to maintain seamless automation and workflow.


Because, just like maintaining peace with your relatives at Thanksgiving dinner, communication is key.


The Component Shop

Whether adding new functionality or enhancing existing operations, these highly-configurable (not custom, AKA vendor-coded), scalable application components work together to support the court’s business goals, technology platform, data management and reduce currently-unnecessary application complexity. Below are just a few of the many in-demand functionalities that you can mix-and-match for a best-in-class court solution:

  • eFiling
  • eBench
  • Online Dispute Resolution
  • Litigant Portal
  • Evidence management
  • Electronic payment processing
  • Compliance monitoring

 

Now, We Want to Hear From You!

As much as we like to talk, we’re also great listeners. And that’s something to be thankful for!

What does your ideal component model look like? Which functionality would you choose to work with your CMS?

Join our industry-specific conversations by following the LinkedIn page below that best fits your industry’s needs:

ImageSoft Court Solutions | ImageSoft Government Solutions

 

When Failed Integration Turns into Wrongful Incarceration

By: Katie Pusz, Copywriter, ImageSoft

Unless you’re a part of the super cool, niche group of people that doesn’t talk much but, when you do, it’s about software, you probably don’t get too pumped up about the word “integration.” We, on the other hand, could talk about the transformative effects of powerfully integrative software until our smartwatches tell us to go home. Even then, we would stay late to show you a fun demo, but most people will have left by then anyways.164_Chance_go_to_jail

So when real-world examples of preventable integration fails have life-changing impacts on innocent people, we get all riled up.

What to Say When You’re Being Arrested for a Dismissed Case?

Not me. Well, that’s what one of the nation’s biggest names in software development is trying to say after its court case management system was the reason for dozens of defendants in a very populous county being wrongly accused, arrested, jailed, and even registered as sex offenders.

Worse yet, these incidents are not isolated. Distressed by the same errors, numerous courts across the nation are responding to the county’s claims with “us too!”

How Could This Happen?

We thought you’d never ask! Let us explain. Again.

Integration is key when trying to successfully leverage any software. This is especially crucial in court cases where real-time information about prisoners and warrants needs to flow statewide among prisons, officers, courts, and more.

In situations like the above, failure to integrate with a court’s case management system means mistakes. Big ones. A lot of them. This is because the same case information lives in multiple systems across the criminal justice system, but updating that information at the sheriff’s office doesn’t update it for the court. And vice versa.

Simply put, the case management systems among the courts, prisons, police departments, etc., can’t talk to one another if they’re not integrated. When this happens, the status quo of a case isn’t clarified across the board and people act based only on the information they have. Cue wrongful arrests.

So Integration is Just a Group Chat?

Not quite. By integrating case management systems, the efficiency of your processes and the integrity of your data are both strengthened. Not only is data safely stored and accessible by all authorized parties, you never have to re-key information into multiple systems. Once the data is in, it’s everywhere it needs to be and always up-to-date.

When you’re processing nearly 1,000 cases per week (as most counties do), the time and money saved by having an integrated software is kind of a big deal.

Ready for Integration That’s On Point?

We’ve helped hundreds of criminal justice systems throughout the country stay in immediate and constant communication by exchanging data and documents among law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and more with just the click of a button.

How so? Through our eFiling technology for civil courts, our LEAP portal for criminal filings, and with a little help from our friend OnBase by Hyland. OnBase has standard APIs that allow for the secure exchange of data and documents with virtually any system.

But more important than the technology, we’re a company that loves to do integrations – it’s in our DNA, and we can’t help but to take the lead on working with your technology vendors to get you where you need to be.

And if you ever want to stick around for that fun demo, we know a few people who would be happy to show you!

After hearing what has happened to innocent people in several courts across the country, do you feel your court is vulnerable to the same miscommunication? How could the components of your case management system be more in sync?

6 Ways ECM Can Help Government Overcome Challenges – Part 4

By: Kevin Ledgister, Marketing Manager, ImageSoft

150_roundtuit.pngMusic to Everyone’s Ears: Better Serving Constituents and Employees with ECM.

“I just love frustrated phone calls from residents!” said no government official ever.

When you’re serving an entire state, county, or even a city of people who all “want their answers now!”, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. And as if the natural demands and conformity laws of your job don’t stress you enough, the hoops you jump through just to play your part surely will. Why is that? Because paper drives so many of the government’s processes, including the management of records, contracts, cases, photos, and other sensitive information. I light-heartedly refer to any office like this as a “paper prison” – it’s a term of endearment, really.

Moving from desk to desk, and sometimes even to other locations, clerks and staff waste time they typically don’t have just on finding documents for people at the counter who have their own timelines to attend to. And if you’ve already read Part 3 of this blog series, you know this old-school system also doesn’t bode well for transparency, as there is simply no secure way for your public to self-serve their informational needs.

With an enterprise content management system (ECM), also commonly referred to as an electronic document management system (EDMS), you can easily meet all of your constituents’ needs, and not drive your staff crazy while doing so.

Too Much Time on My Hands

A good song by the Stix, but an even better “problem” for you and your constituents to have! With an ECM, not only do you not have to jump from file to file, you don’t have to click from system to system. All of the information your customer is asking for is stored on one, connected platform, and within a few click’s reach. This facilitates much faster responses, such as responding to public housing status updates or making better decisions because you now have all the edits and notes to a plan. So, what would you typically churn out in a few months to a year gets returned to your customer long before they have a chance to call and check the status.

Automatic

A shout-out to the country music fans of government agencies, particularly Miranda Lambert. But, contrary to the song, many processes for constituents can be described as anything but automatic. One of the best features about an ECM is its automation. When a citizen submits an electronic request form, such as a request to address a pothole or a civic complaint, it’s automatically routed to the right person for further development. No more sitting on someone’s desk until they get around to it. ECM also ensures accountability and can notify supervisors when cases are not being handled according to the department’s policies.

Legal documents are even integrated with the court’s CMS, so you don’t have to worry about running over to physically file or find a case. With a click of a button, all necessary documents, discovery materials, and contracts are shared and accessible to the appropriate parties. So you can take your time with the old-school traditions you do like to keep, like cassette tapes and window cranks, while still keeping up with society’s fast-paced demands.


To continue reading more about how an EDMS can help you better serve your constituents, click here!

Born to Run

Maybe you aren’t an actual runner but, like Bruce, you might always been on-the-go. But just because you travel doesn’t mean you have to keep your public waiting. Inspectors can submit work order requests on-the-spot from their laptop. People in public works can pull up plans, manuals and schematics from a layer’s map on their iPad. Invoices can be approved during a break at a conference from a mobile phone.  In the age of the mobile workforce, people expect that you’re not completely disconnected from them just because you’re on the road, off-site, or even on a plane. With an ECM, you can keep up with the mobile workforce. Simply grab your smartphone or tablet, pull up the document you need, and consider it signed, sealed, delivered!

Remember that ECMs with all of this functionality, like OnBase by Hyand, is also making life much easier on constituents. Empowering your employees with the tools they need allows them by to serve constituents faster and easier with mobile-accessible content and overall communication.

What Are You Waiting For?

Because I truly believe there are still Nickelback fans still out there!

But really, when you free your staff from “paper prisons,” you’re also making an investment in the people you serve. Not only will you see a dramatic upswing in productivity, but doing your job in this workflow will be like music to your ears – without upset constituents calling in the middle of your favorite guitar solo.

Look Back to Keep Moving Forward with ECM

If you’re not following our Paperless Process Blog, check out the rest of our blog series “6 Ways ECM Can Help Government Overcome Challenges” – Parts 1, 2 and 3. In Part 1, we discuss the ways a digital workflow adds value to your operations. Part 2 focuses on slaying the paper dragons that want to take over your office. And Part 3 speaks to leveraging ECMs to strengthen transparency.

Coming in Part 5: Complying with Mandates and Regulations

If you adopted an ECM, what kind of benefits would your constituents enjoy?

 

3 Reasons Why You’re Not eFiling and How to Overcome the Challenges

60_progressElectronic filing means switching up a workflow process that’s been utilized for decades in the courts and government industry, where change isn’t always welcome. But if change makes your job easier and increases access to justice for your constituents, why not eFile?

If you’re pondering the idea, let’s run through your list of eFiling doubts so you don’t delay the possible easy life.

1. Courts can’t afford to replace the case management system

The infrastructure in many of the courts is archaic and if a court’s case management system was last installed in 1985, it’s far from current. Many clerks think they have to replace their case management system—a huge expense and time commitment.

Overcome the challenge:

We will integrate with your current technology using our electronic filing solution, so you don’t have to buy all new. In most cases, we can find ways to connect to your application where we can pull data and we have worked with case management vendors to update their software so that information flows in both directions, reducing the keying and extra steps to keep the systems in sync. ImageSoft is one of a few companies that embraces interoperability and we send eFiling documents and metadata to any document management system.

Our electronic filing solution, TrueFiling, was developed to integrate with any case management system new and old. This technology allows litigants to electronically file case documents, such as pleadings, motions and petitions. The clerk staff now has an intake queue to review the electronically filed documents to make sure the parties filed the documents in the correct case. Once accepted, the statutory fees are collected, the case management system is updated, the electronic image is stored in the document management system, simplifying the intake process. When eFiling allows clerks to review a queue and accept documents electronically without having to scan them it’s a huge time saver.

2. Judges don’t see the benefits of using electronic records in the courtroom

Many judges are reluctant to bring technology into the courtroom. There is still comfort in having a clerk print out documents and deliver folders to their chambers for the day’s court cases. And if judges prefer a paper folder the clerks have to go and print material they didn’t even have to index or scan in the first place. You end up printing out everything, putting in a court folder which ends up in a court filing room, so you can cart the day’s files to the judge.

Overcome the challenge:

Even if judges aren’t ready, you and the other clerks get huge benefits in being able to pull and organize data. We can still make your life easier by narrowing in on the specific documents needed with our eFiling and OnBase solution. Our system automatically can pull court docket information from your case management system and create docket folders by case, date and judge with the appropriate filings. And if you need to provide additional documents for the judge, any related case documents that are stored in our system are only a click away for easy sorting and filtering. You can save tremendous time with our eFiling solution when the documents and data you need are organized and automated the day you need to get them to the judge.

3. You don’t want to add more work for the clerks

With rapid turnover with clerks and retiring government staffers, the courts have to do more with less people. In a typical court, multiple clerks may get filings that come in with stacked papers and divvy up the work and track it and then file the folders and possibly stamp them.

Overcome the challenge:

You may think you don’t have an effective way to manage documents, but we solve this with our powerful Filing Review feature, providing a way to manage the process. First, instead of having a different track for paper and electronic filings, we provide a solution to digitize all of your paper filings so that you only have one process to manage. You can assign work electronically or allow the system to balance out the work. And if a clerk is out sick, a simple drag-and-drop reassigns the work. All files are managed electronically, consistently and mundane tasks are automated, so more filings can be handled with the same number of people.

With our eFiling systems we are making your life easier and taking away the pain of printing and copying paper. We automate the process of the credit card fee and we electronically route documents around the court based on rules. And with a push of a button a judge can sign a document electronically decreasing turn-around time tremendously. You easily expand your electronic records capability with eFiling without putting an extra burden on your clerk staff.

What’s been your biggest challenge keeping you from eFiling?

The Content Below – Connecting with the Buried Business Information

By Jeffrey N. Barlow

126_content below“The ocean is a desert with its life underground
And a perfect disguise above…”

A Horse With No Name
America, 1971

The classic line from America’s forty-five year old classic would be just as true (though nowhere near as hauntingly beautiful and descriptive) if you substituted “file system” or “document repository” for “desert” in the above lyric lines. A pre-ECM/DMS (paper) document management system bore about as much relation to the information within the documents as a table of contents or index bears to the contents of a book. They were “pointers”; like a marine chart telling you where the deep water is. There was little to no information about the water itself, much less what’s in it, and what the things in it are doing. To get to the fish, or the information, you’re on your own.

The thing is, there’s a lot more room below the surface; so you can fit a lot more stuff. Plus, it’s three-dimensional (richer). Historically, though, getting to it has been a real challenge.

Today, the very nature of information is changing. We used to talk about “structured data” and “blobs”.  Structured data could be used, manipulated, measured, monitored, and so on. Information in the “blob” – that is, things like freeform text, audio, or video – had to be read, heard, or viewed to get any information from within.

Modern analytics engines feast on unstructured information.  For example, companies, law enforcement, governments, and who knows who else, monitor the twittersphere to keep track of what is currently of interest to people, what people are doing or planning to do, what people think about products or shows or political candidates or the weather, and on and on. Courts and those interested in courts are starting to realize that plugging more deeply into their “underwater” information can provide both real-time intelligence (for example, to assist judges on the bench) as well as a plethora of management information.

Across the business and government landscape, enterprises have been (proactively or under duress) reexamining the role that information management plays in their pursuit of their core missions. In many cases, and certainly in the case of the Justice System, the answer is that information management is what they do.

All of which calls into question the historic separation of the constituent “systems”: “Case Management Systems “, “Content Management Systems”, “Business Practices”, “Workflow”, “Jury Systems”, “Inmate Tracking Systems”, “Court Reporting”, “Accounting”, etc. While at the physical level there may be many systems, some of which are “electronically” integrated and some which are integrated through paper or people (affectionately known as “fleshware”), in the primary business sense, they are all components of one Information Management System.

Today, the “desert” (surface) is one or more interfaces with the “ocean” below. The conceptual distinction between a Case Management System and the other systems has meaning only when the technical separation imposes constraints. As a result, look for more and more transparent integration, at the user interface level, of the component systems; because the distinctions are just getting in the way.

For all these reasons, modern Case Management Systems can’t just sit on top of the desert. They have to have rich, fast, and flexible access to the ocean of vibrant informational life below the surface. For while the operations and activities of the courts have long sat firmly on top of that informational foundation, the courts’ relationship with it has fundamentally changed.

 

eFiling is Coming Soon to your State – The Advantages of Mandatory vs. Permissive eFiling

By Brad Smith, Senior Justice Consultant, ImageSoft

When I started working on my first state and local court electronic filing project in 1998, I truly felt that it would be adopted much like computer assisted legal research offered by LexisNexis and Westlaw.

Here we are, nearly 20 years later, and state and local courts are finally dipping their toes into the eFiling water. iStock_000011704687_Medium

Unlike the Federal Courts CM/ECF (Case Management / Electronic Files) system which started mandating electronic filing in the early 2000s, state courts have struggled with adopting electronic filing, let alone making the decision to mandate eFiling for civil and criminal cases.

Texas launched an eFiling portal in 2003, which allowed for permissive eFiling on a county-by-county basis. What the state realized after 10-plus years of “go-lives” and an 18 percent adoption rate, is that permissive eFiling is a nightmare for the attorneys, Clerk of Courts offices and the judges.


Click here for more information on JusticeTech TrueFiling™

For the attorneys and their staff, it becomes very difficult to keep track of which cases or jurisdictions allow for eFiling and which do not. For firms operating statewide in Texas, for example, that would mean your legal assistants / paralegals would need to monitor cases in all 254 counties.

For Clerk of Courts, permissive eFiling presented challenges as well. The office processes an incredible number of cases each year and workflow is critical to keeping the court records accurate and available to the public, attorneys and judges in their jurisdiction. In the permissive environment, the clerk’s staff now needs to operate both a paper workflow queue and an electronic workflow queue to maintain the court records, which adds time and complexity to their jobs.

Even judges, who traditionally use paper court files even when their clerk’s office has taken the time and effort to scan over the counter filings, do not have timely access to electronic court records in a permissive eFiling environment. The steps that are required to convert paper pleadings into electronic images (intake, scan and file) can take up to 24 hours, while eFiled pleadings processed by the clerks’ staff are immediately accessible to the judges via their document management system or judicial dashboard.

The Advantages of Mandated eFiling

Just in the last four years, Florida (Civil and Criminal) and Texas (Civil) have mandated eFiling, while Indiana and Illinois have released mandatory eFiling schedules for 2017 and 2018. While it’s not surprising news by itself, the fact that these mandates are taking place in states that do not have a statewide case management system is encouraging.

It is my hope that the next wave of states in the early eFiling planning stages use the lessons learned by their Supreme Court / Administrative Office of the Courts colleagues and bypass permissivie eFiling to move straight to mandatory eFiling, which will benefit all stakeholders involved.

Which approach has your court considered?

 

Happy Halloween

116_men-in-blackOne of the great motifs of the “Men in Black” movies is the human disguises used by aliens. A perfectly normal looking human turns out to be a sort of robot or exo-skin for some alien inside who is driving the apparatus. The allure of being able to wear a young, buff, fully-coifed humanoid exterior could in fact appeal to me; but that’s another story. For an alien, life in a human-suit draws a lot less attention. It’s like Halloween every day.

How many judges, court managers, court staff, and court records users live most of their lives in a snappy, graphic, touch-screen electronic world, only to have to deal with an ancient (if venerable) Court Management System (CMS) that is monochromatic, text-only, keyboard-driven and is based on codes that only the long-time insiders can decipher? It’s not that the information management function provided by the old CMS isn’t vital. It is. It’s just not very attractive, very accessible, very easy to use, or very extensible by modern standards. Worst of all, it almost certainly doesn’t handle ALL the information management functions; things like document management, E-Commerce, workflow, and so on.

One solution, of course, would be to replace that old CMS with a spiffy new one that has all the new bells and whistles. Frankly, that’s not a bad idea. However, that’s sometimes not practical. Barriers like cost, process change, technical support staff, to name a few, litter the real world of court managers.

Imagine if the old CMS could look like, act like, and (to some extent) change like a much more full-featured, modern system. Sort of like the alien deep inside the “Human” costume.

Integrating a legacy CMS with a full-featured E-Filing solution can provide this type of leverage. Here’s some of how it could work:

The E-Filing System can extract necessary data from the legacy CMS and store a copy in a much faster, much more accessible repository that is updated at regular intervals. Because the updating involves only changes, regular updating itself is fast.

When dealing with users – for viewing, for data entry, for communications – the E-Filing System provides the interface. Of course, incoming and outgoing documents comprise a large part of the changes anyway; so in fact what is happening is that the E-Filing System is updating the legacy CMS, saving redundant data entry while providing a much more elegant interface.

Likewise, users seeking to view court information, whether it be documents, CMS data such as the Case Register or Judgment Docket, things like attorney names and addresses, and so on, all can do so through the interface provided by the E-Filing System.

Much more extended uses, including E-Commerce (where users pay for court information), and secure E-Notification can also run off the E-Filing engine, all the while using back-end information from the CMS and in turn updating the CMS with the relevant transactional data and metadata.

Another major new “face” made possible by an integrated E-Filing System can be a customizable “Judicial View”. The E-Filing System can be configured to provide judges with views and access to exactly the information they need, whether on the bench, in chambers, or on the go. The E-Filing System will collect the variety of information from the disparate back-end systems in which the information resides, such as the court CMS, the Jail Log, the Court Docket, the Document Management System, and so on, and present it the way each judge chooses to have it presented.

Perhaps best of all, when the time comes to actually replace the legacy CMS, the impact on the end users can be considerably lessened. After all, what they will see probably won’t change much – because they will be used to dealing with the E-Filing System’s front end.

So, as everyone dresses up for Halloween, consider whether your old creature might not be a whole lot easier to deal with if it were “wearing” a full-featured E-Filing suit.

Happy Halloween.