What Happens in Vegas Will go to Court

Hosted at the Bellagio in Viva Las Vegas July 21- 25, the National Association for Court Management’s (NACM) annual conference is not something to take a gamble on missing. Showcasing today’s best-of-breed solutions for complete courtroom efficiency, the conversations and innovations are, admittedly, rigged in the judge’s favor and include everything from real-time reporting and digital workflow to the newest tools for better managing multi-media evidence and encouraging a bi-directional flow of information between the Court and its infamously disparate stakeholders.

A Judicial Jackpot 

All attendees are invited to walk away with the invaluable winnings from “Empowering Court Administrators and Judges in the Digital Age” – a co-hosted presentation by James “Dan” Wallis, McHenry County’s Trial Court Administrator for the 22ndJudicial Circuit Court, ImageSoft’s Senior Justice Consultant Brad Smith, and Mentis Technology’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Martin.

With the CMS typically focused on optimizing clerk-related functions and attorney-clerk communications (think eFiling), the justice technology sector has, ironically, been the worst offender of neglecting the most critical aspect of courtroom innovation – equipping the judge. 

Motivated to bring the judiciary to the front and center of all workflow and information sources, this presentation spotlights innovations, both new and solutions trusted over time, in the judicial toolbox that solve the notorious challenge of connecting disparate court stakeholders while equipping the judge with access to information beyond just the case management system. Attendees will enjoy a demonstration of how the McHenry County Circuit Court integrates with local jail information, provides attorneys with all accurate and necessary information to schedule hearings, and supports stakeholders in communicating with their specific courts. 

Come to Our Table and Forget Rolling Dice

Pulling the lever on a solution for your courtroom shouldn’t feel like a gamble – you should know for certain that your investment will be a guaranteed win. With information and experienced thought leaders on a variety of integrative solutions, visiting us at booth #210 has all your answers surrounding tools like the aiSMARTBENCHecosystem, TrueFiling,OnBase’s digital workflow and supportive tools for managing multi-media evidence, including multiple video file types, pictures and metadata. 

We Want to Hear from You!

Have you been to NACM in previous years, or are you a first-timer? What topics and/or solutions will you be taking notes on? 

Reply in the “comments” section below or on our Court Solutions LinkedIn page. We read andrespond – promise!

The Gist of IJIS

Like all industries, the court space is no stranger to organizations marked by confusing acronyms that most people don’t recognize or are even sure how to pronounce. Because so many readers found nuggets (or should we say “cookies”) of wisdom from our “C is for CJIS” deconstruction, we thought we would spell out another version of letter soup that, while not widely understood, is vital to the health and integrity of justice and court collaboration.

“I JIS” Don’t Get It

But did you get that? Our dry humor, that is.

Anyways, back to the letter of the day.

Founded as the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, the heartbeat of IJIS lives to assist state, local and federal courts and overall public-sector communities in leveraging secure, standards-based information sharing technologies. IJIS work is important in that they partner stakeholders in the justice community with technology partners to promote workable solutions that enhance public safety. Especially in the context of courts, ascending appeal cases to upper courts, sharing cross-jurisdictional information or working with other justice organizations, user confidence in a secure, compliant and efficient case and document management system is key to safer and overall healthier justice communities.

With law enforcement, prosecutors, attorneys, court personnel from several courts and other parties simultaneously working on the same case, there is no room for the antiquated paper-based process of file sharing. Thanks to the experience-based standards and thought leadership of IJIS committees, information interoperability between all necessary parties is possible and trusted.

Can You Provide an Example?

Can Superman fly?

A significant part of IJIS work is establishing exchanges of reporting information, such as for sex offenders, crime statistics and FBI national data exchange. When this touches courts, it’s critical that courts be able to not only provide access to data but also reporting on a timely basis.

This is one of the reasons why courts and prosecutors are digitally transforming using OnBase by Hyland, as ImageSoft delivers it. This enterprise content management system is like a DMS on (legal) steroids. It enables standards-based exchange of documents and metadata, including the NIEM (National Information Exchange Model) standard as new state and federal agencies require access. But access to documents and metadata is not enough. Key information in a criminal case, such as a crime pattern, often does not exist in a case management system. This is the reason why text-searching capabilities of imaged documents is so important for active and forensic investigations.

Comparable to your annoyingly-talented friend who excels at everything, OnBase equips courts with all the functionality needed for a completely electronic case flow. With cloud-based storage, full-text, meta-data searches, color-coded files and highly configurable reporting dashboards, OnBase allows your court to achieve and honor an unparalleled level of transparency and efficiency that publics notice and respect.

In addition to real-time access to documents and metadata, the reporting tools available makes it far easier for courts to generate detailed summary reports by a user that, in the past, may have required a custom development effort. As courts and/or prosecution offices continue to leverage the electronic workflow function for managing processes, the more integrable their data becomes.

In addition to users quickly generating reports, a mouse click also allows them to break it down by judge or disposition along with the underlying data. Such flexibility and real-time data sharing are critical to law enforcement and public safety.Further recommendations from IJIS and other standards have enabled cloud-based applications and storage that facilitates even greater flexibility for data exchange. Due to industry standards and the vast expertise of cloud service providers, the security of these hosted solutions often exceed what courts can leverage with tight resources. One such application is CaseShare by ImageSoft, which enables a lower court to electronically prepare and deliver transcripts and case files to appellate or supreme courts. As a case management neutral application, there are numerous functionalities, such as image to text conversion, bookmarking and table of content generation, that all occur in the cloud and eliminate the need for a court to maintain a complex stack of hardware and software.

While that’s only and nothing but the truth, we also have this Circuit Court case study as testimony.  

I Still Have Questions

We won’t make you take it up with the judge. For more information on court solutions that can support IJIS initiatives, simply contact your ImageSoft representative or fill out this quick form.

We Want to Hear From You!

Is your court mindful about following IJIS guidelines? If not previously, will you recommend it is?

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

Jeopardy Abbreviations for Insurers

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Jeopardy game show, let’s play the category of Abbreviations for Insurers.

185_jeopardy

Me: Let’s start with Abbreviations for Insurers for $200, Alex.

Alex: The answer is: ECM

Me: What is Enterprise Content Management?

Insurers were among the early adopters of imaging and related software, but today many of those solutions are out of date, no longer supported or so customized and patched up that it takes too many steps to even get them to work. Workarounds abound. They leave data in siloes, can’t communicate with other programs and are vulnerable to security issues. Growth and innovation are stunted.

An ECM solution with workflow for insurers automates all manual systems and integrates with your current imaging and policy administration software. It brings efficiency, transparency, and cost savings with data security. Managing your workflow, the ECM digitally identifies, routes, maintains and manages all documents and data points. From scanned documents, application files, Web content, and multimedia content, to emails and industry standard ACORD XML files, an ECM solution integrates document, workflow, business process and record management with a single application that also integrates with existing policy administration and claims processing systems.

Me: Next I’ll take Abbreviations for Insurers for $400, Alex.

Alex: The answer is: CMS

Me: What is Case Management or Content Management System?

Insurers deal with millions of data points about customers in a variety of forms and formats. If these data points are siloed in outdated legacy solutions that don’t communicate with each other, insurers are only seeing a fraction of the customer information they need to open a policy or process a claim.

A comprehensive case management system is a platform that streamlines capture, case management, document management, secure file sharing, customer communication management, and workflow that integrates with your modern core system and business applications.

A CMS delivers document management of all types, including scanned paper documents, faxes, print streams, application files, electronic forms, web content, multimedia files, customer communications and emails.

It gives insurers the options to easily configure and integrate an unlimited number of content-enabled applications and solutions to manage content, processes, communications and cases across your entire enterprise with the modern core systems that run your business.

With a CMS, claims administrators or examiners manage all aspects of a claim, from early assessment to investigation to settlement. Insurers can collect, review and maintain the supporting documentation to assess the claimant’s coverage, validate statements and negotiate payment of claims. One integrated platform promotes access to all necessary information, task assignments and schedules, notifications and time-based reminders – bringing efficiency and lowering costs.

Me: Moving down the board, I’ll take Abbreviations for Insurers for $600, Alex

Alex: You’ve picked the daily double. The answer is RPA.

Me: I’ll make it a true daily double, Alex! (I’ve always wanted to say that). What is robotic process automation?

It goes by several different names, but RPA for robotic process automation is the main one. We’ve also heard the terms jet issue and automatic underwriting bandied about. It all comes down to the same idea: automating repeatable, rule-based processes, such as underwriting tasks, web services, and lookups – much of it in the name of giving consumers what they’re asking for, an online “Amazon-like” experience with insurance. Consumers are looking for mobile and 24/7 access with quick responses online.

Insurance workflows such as new business and underwriting, claims registration and processing and the creation of business and process analytics lend themselves to automation.

Software developers are working to automate these insurance tasks to address the demand for RPA in the marketplace. For example, they are adding chat bots that handle a variety of underwriting tasks. It amounts to “no touch” claims processing. They are identifying manual processes that can easily be automated to optimize processes, increase collaboration and reduce costs.

Many insurers are using automation to create efficiencies in the industry including smartphone apps, consumer activity wearables, claim acceleration tools, individual consumer risk development systems, online policy handling apps, automated compliance processing and more.

ImageSoft insurance solutions offer automation and operational efficiency to insurers and modernized content and process management. This includes digitizing existing processes and introducing AI to further streamline operations and reduce costs. We are leveraging front- and back-end technology to give customers a transparent and more personalized response. These technology advances capitalize on the wealth of data collected through tech devices and big data sources. The goal is to securely and efficiently manage cases, content and processes.

Alex: And there’s the buzzer. We won’t get to the rest of the categories today.

ImageSoft can guide you through the abbreviations for insurers to achieve the efficiencies and cost savings you need with industry-leading solutions for insurance. Gain automated workflows, improved speed and efficiency, reduced costs and proper compliance. ImageSoft is ready to help your company reap the benefits from all of the abbreviations.

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 to understand all the abbreviations.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – eCourts 2018!

The cold temperatures have arrived and they’ve brought the stress of the holiday season with them. Sounds like a good time to hop a plane to sunny and simple Las Vegas, right? We think so too, which is why we do so every other year for the bi-annual eCourts Conference. 169_eCourts.png

2018 eCourts Conference

Presented by the National Center for State Courts, the eCourts Conference is the jackpot for innovation-driven courts across the nation. The two-day summit immerses CIOs, judges, court managers, clerks, justice administrators and all eager-to-learn court personnel in the latest trends driving court technology. Not only will these sessions keep your thumb on the pulse of courtroom IT know-how, but it’s the perfect place to network, share and hear other’s experiences, and finally address the pressing issues that have been holding your court’s efficiency in contempt for far too long.

The Gift That Keeps Giving

While you’re trying to forget all the holiday hustle your family keeps texting you about, stroll over to booth #312 and meet some of the personality behind your favorite paperless process people! In addition to product experts, several members of our leadership team will also be hanging out in between note taking at their favorite sessions.

Things to talk to us about:

 

Can’t Wait to Warm Up?

Weather-wise, we can’t do much. After all, we are headquartered in southeast Michigan – the state that’s literally shaped like a piece of winter apparel.

But we can give you a pre-eCourts warm up on some of this year’s hot-button issues. Grab some hot chocolate and head over to: www.imagesoftinc.com/ecourts2018. After that…

We Want to Hear from You! Before eCourts.

If you haven’t already heard, we like to talk. But we’re also great listeners and we want to hear what you have to say.

In your opinion, what’s the best court solution to date? Will you be talking about it at eCourts this year?

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

ImageSoft Court Solutions l ImageSoft Government Solutions l ImageSoft Insurance Solutions

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?

A Crash Course: EFSPs and EFMs Explained the ImageSoft Way

By: Katie Pusz, Copywriter, ImageSoft

163_confusion

When you decide to roll out state-wide eFiling, you’ll start hearing a lot of E-words. “EFSP,” “EFM” and pretty much e-everything. Eeek, we know! Confusing as all the acronyms and terminology can be, being versed in this knowledge will be the difference between optimizing the most of your digital toolbox or keeping your state’s filers e-ternally confused.

Spending a few minutes on this short crash course will set you on the path to understanding what’s available for optimizing state-wide efficiency.

EFSP 101

Despite being thrown off by the acronym, your eFilers know EFSPs all too well. E-Filing service providers are the user interfaces that attorneys, pro se litigants, prosecutor’s offices and all other eFilers use to submit filings and new case requests to the court. EFSPs act as an “online clerk” augmenting and mimicking the filing process at the counter, with the added flexibility of anytime, anywhere filing. The EFSP also provides up-to-the-minute status updates on filings and keeps transaction history at a filer’s fingertips.

EFM 101

Once filed with an EFSP, the data is sent to the appropriate eFiling Manager. Also known as the clerk’s FilingReview interface, EFMs act as traffic managers for incoming filings from one or more EFSPs exposing and enforcing the court requirements for the data and documents.  The EFM also manages the roles and security rights of court personnel managing the filings. If integrated, the EFM can also exchange this data with the case and document management systems of the respective courts.

EFSP and EFM: Working Together

Now that you understand the function of each, let’s watch them work together.

ESFPs are your filers first point of contact. From there, ESFPs transmit information to EFMs, or clerks, who will sort the eFiled data and move it along. If, for example, a jurisdiction was using different CMS/DMS for different court types, EFSPs could feed the multiple EFMs to get the job done.

The collaboration of EFSPs and EFMs is also very fruitful. First and foremost, it empowers filers with flexibility and options in terms of where and when they want to file, which translates into five-star customer service. In terms of cost savings, travel between the courts is eliminated, and so are the expenses of postage, paper, and ink. Truly the gift that keeps on giving, optimal customer service and multi-faceted cost savings is shared by all filers and the courts.

One great example of the collaborative power between EFSPs and EFMs is TrueFiling. A web-based portal for electronic filing, TrueFiling’s primary components are the EFSP and EFM, and the payment processor. It’s also ECM-conformant to support standard integrations, and powerful enough to serve and support highly-configurable and multi-jurisdictional needs.

Together with OnBase, TrueFiling is the preferred eFiling solution for courts, attorneys, and pro se litigants across the nation. The standard for enterprise content management (ECM), OnBase is a secure storehouse and workflow hub for all your data storage and communication needs.

The ImageSoft Way

Don’t sweat it if your court is already working with existing EFSPs or EFMs (or both!). Our innovative approach to implementation accounts for that and can integrate existing EFSPs to TrueFiling’s EFM, or vica versa, with an ECF-conformant link.

As a matter of fact, TrueFiling and OnBase solutions were designed specifically to accommodate several types of eFiling court configurations:

TrueFiling Hosted Courts: For courts new to eFiling, ImageSoft’s hosted TrueFiling and OnBase solutions will be used for filing and managing electronic documents.

Local On-Premise Courts: For courts that have already invested in an EDMS, ImageSoft provides the option to use either a hosted or local filing review while archiving and storing all eFiled documents in OnBase.

Third-Party Hosted Courts: Courts currently using an EFM from a different vendor will receive ImageSoft support for its third-party EFMs and EFSPs while eFiled documents are archived and stored in either OnBase or the court’s existing repository.

Choosing TrueFiling also means added value with the electronic commerce module, which allows filers access to court-approved electronic case files. With the electronic commerce module, courts can give filers the option of viewing and/or purchasing the entire list of filings associated with a case.

Tell Me More About TrueFiling!

Whether you feel that TrueFiling is definitely right for you, or you just want to learn more about all things “e,” send us a message. Our product experts and representatives love to chat about e-everything.

If you’re already using eFiling, how could you take efficiency to the next step? If you’re not, what’s holding you back?

 

 

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 Year in Review: Revolutionizing How Courts Adopt New Technologies

By Dave Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer, ImageSoft

goodbye-2017-welcome-2018-1024x5761_0ImageSoft enjoyed a banner year in 2017, growing our team by more than 20% and breaking all kinds of company records for new bookings, solutions implemented and delivery efficiency. Yet what excites us most is the way we’ve revolutionized how courts adopt new technologies. We’ve broken down long-standing barriers that have kept courts chained to monolithic systems, stifled in their efforts to modernize. Let me share a few highlights illustrating how ImageSoft is pioneering the Component Model in thought, word, and deed.

The Component Model in Thought

Court technology experts at organizations such as the National Center for State Courts, the National Association of Court Managers and the Conference of State Court Administrators all agree that the future of justice technology centers on the Component Model. Courts have traditionally been tied to a single technology vendor, resigning themselves to only those applications provided by that one vendor, or forced to absorb the high risk and financial outlay of attempting custom integrations with a new vendor’s products. ImageSoft, a 20-year veteran systems integrator, is changing all that. In September, we delivered a standing-room-only presentation on the Component Model at the Court Technology Conference in Salt Lake City, demonstrating how a best-of-breed approach allows courts to purchase solutions from a variety of vendors and make them work together seamlessly.

The key to this method rests in standardization of interfaces between components. Here again, ImageSoft has taken a leadership role by serving on the OASIS Legal XML Electronic Court Filing (ECF) Technical Committee, defining the ECF standards which have become a requirement for most new eFiling system procurements nationwide.

We also transformed our June customer event from our former justice-focused theme to a broader-based showcase of a variety of technologies. The shift was designed to let our court customers see how corporate and other governmental entities use OnBase by Hyland to facilitate automated workflow and document management. Many valuable lessons were learned by bringing our diverse clientele together under one roof to explore the possibilities. We invite you to join us for our next customer event, Velocity, February 27-28, 2018, in Novi, Michigan.

The Component Model in Word

Courts pursuing modernization face many challenges surrounding defining the scope and requirements for their initiatives. A language barrier creates confusion between court personnel and solution providers. Some vendors lack sufficient understanding of court processes, and many court staff cannot comprehend the technical jargon used by vendors. The result is that solutions delivered often fail to satisfy the original intent of the project sponsors.

Early in 2017, ImageSoft instituted a new approach to delivering justice solutions, blending the best aspects of waterfall and agile project management methodologies. On the front end, we employ a collaborative process of gathering requirements, aided by our decades of experience working with courts. Then, rather than writing hundreds of pages of technical specifications, we deliver a solutions requirements document (SRD) composed as user stories, written in the common language of court personnel. Each court staff member–judge, clerk, judicial assistant, prosecutor, administrator–can review their section of the SRD to ensure that their needs are appropriately captured and addressed.

On the back end, we build and deliver the solution iteratively, giving our clients the opportunity to see the system every two to four weeks, to ensure that we’ve stayed true to their goals. This process not only keeps the project on track, but also provides early training sessions to enable court staff to gain more familiarity with the new system well before go-live. They can also see how well the new solution will integrate with their existing CMS—a sneak preview of the Component Model in action.

The Component Model in Deed

We do not, however, merely think and talk about the Component Model. We deliver it. In May, the Michigan State Court Administrative Office contracted with us to bring a statewide eFiling solution to over 240 courts, selecting us in part due to our ability to integrate with various case management systems. Dozens of such CMS products are in use across the Great Lakes State’s 83 counties, and we have taken on the task of interfacing with them while implementing eFiling. We have already succeeded with four pilot courts, which utilize a mix of big-name vendor CMS products and locally-developed systems.

We also brought the Component Model to life at Cleveland Municipal Court, one of the nation’s largest, where we coupled the superior document management capabilities of OnBase with the court’s existing commercial off-the-shelf CMS. A paperless court since November, Cleveland Municipal’s documents are now stored and routed electronically to improve security, efficiency and accessibility.

Looking Ahead

As the justice technology community continues to extol the benefits of the Component Model in thought and word, ImageSoft will continue to deliver it in deed. Already for 2018, we have numerous projects in the works for state agencies and large municipalities seeking to modernize their court systems using a best-of-breed strategy. We look forward to leading the charge, helping courts nationwide ease their way into 21st century innovation, one component at a time.