“What’s Your Super Power?” – A Cross Analysis to Combat Government Kryptonite

You can work hard, but if you don’t work smart you’ll work for the rest of your life,”

– Tony Stark, Iron Man.

Do remember being asked, “if you could have any super-power, what would you like it to be?”? Even more importantly, do you remember your answer? As kids, many of us longed to mirror the far-fetched yet undeniably “super” tools of our favorite heroes: the ability to fly, webs on-demand and car-crushing strength. We put on capes, grabbed make-shift cardboard swords and, just like that, had all the power in the world.

So isn’t it ironic that, as we mature and step into real-world positions of power, we become less confident in our abilities? Walking into any job, especially government-based roles, knowing there are countless people depending on the services we provide, yet we check our creativity and beliefs in what could-be at the door. The status quo becomes our kryptonite and we stay shackled to the enemy of routine, never questioning the power it has over us and, consequently, the public.

Realize Your Power

You may not have Superman’s ability to fly, Thor’s hammer or Spider-Man’s webs, but all government staff have an undeniable superpower: the ability to serve people. To make lives easier. To help.

And, just like our admired heroes, the first step is embracing a tool that compliments your power. How can I extend my talents to best serve my purpose? As with almost every government, it starts by doing more with less. So what tool do you want in your belt? The one with most functionality to do the most good.

OnBase is both a jack-of-all trades and easily attainable – no combat necessary. Best of all, only one belt notch is needed to embrace the aptitude of several superheroes.

Functionality United

When engaged in government settings, OnBase functionality channels the strength of several commonly sought-after super tools. And we’re no Joker – take a look at the cross analysis below:

Superhero Channeled Feature Description
Superman Ability to fly Enterprise content management (ECM) allows admins and users to oversee all records, data and workflow from a bird’s eye view. No digging for information in a variety of different places – everything you need is located in one central cloud-based system and only minimal clicks away.
Wonder Woman Lasso of truth With complete audit trails of who has made which edits to what document, the integrity of every record is kept intact while the transparency holds staff accountable for completing to do’s in a timely fashion.
Captain America Shield Compliance standards are in place for a reason, and occasionally checked up on. Shield your agency or organization from fines or denouncement by applying security steps and transparency features to prevent compliance wars.
Spider-Man Webs Swing from task to task with one-click ease thanks to OnBase’s organizational ability. With rules-based workflows and calendar reminders, staff stay on top of daily tasks and deadlines. Once completed, users simply click “send” to push the documents on to the next step and progress through their own steps.
Thor “Mjolnir” (AKA, the hammer) All the power and strength of this tool rests within your hands. With a customizable dashboard and wor kview, users wield control over their day-to-day processes and how they navigate through it all. Not to mention they perform each task in an impeccably “smash”ing manner!
Iron Man Self-made man Configurability and integration are two of OnBase’s most cherished features. Similar to Iron Man piecing himself together, as opposed to being born into power or the beneficiary of a chemical mishap, OnBase gives you control over business process management, and seamlessly integrates with other case or administrative systems. Both features allow users to plug in where needed, access necessary information and construct a system and process that works in their favor.

“What’s your favorite Super Power?”

Remember: a superhero isn’t defined by a movie – it’s determined by a mindset. So let’s revisit that very first question. Think about your day-to-day activities: who do you support? How? What bigger-picture difference are you contributing to?

More importantly, in the spirit of Iron Man, how could you work smarter – not harder? A helpful read when considering these things is Hyland’s “Superhero clerks and why public records are their kryptonite.”

We Want to Hear From You!

Who’s your favorite superhero? What OnBase functionality do you think he/she would like best?

Respond in the “comments” below or on our Government Solutions 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.

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?

The Jevons Paradox

What?  You never heard of the Jevons Paradox?  Well, I expect that, given the current debate regarding the price of gas, you likely will even if economics is not your leisure reading subject of choice.  

The Jevons Paradox, described by 19th century economist William Stanley Jevons (1835-1892), contends that improvements in fuel efficiency (then coal) tend to INCREASE, not decrease, total fuel use.  The translation to today’s debate is that adoption of more fuel-efficient vehicles leads, overall, to greater consumption of gasoline.

There’s a lot of really sexy equations and graphs involved; but I confess that math and arithmetic are three of my weak areas.  In English, the two reasons given are that 1) Because your Prius is more fuel-efficient, you will drive it more; and 2) The net result of the efficiencies creates a form of stimulus to the overall economy, resulting in greater fuel consumption.

It occurs to yours truly that The Jevons Paradox provides a possible explanation for a long-observed phenomenon in the world of court technology.  Consider: Technology-based initiatives, when efficiency-generated savings compose a significant part of the justification, have essentially three potential outcomes.  First, they can fail, in which case they cost a lot of money.  Second, they can succeed as planned, in which case the expected savings are generated and overall cost drops.  Third, they can succeed in ways both expected and unexpected to such an extent that courts dramatically increase the service they provide and the overall effectiveness of the justice system increases.  In the real world, the outcomes are almost always either Number One or Number Three.  Rarely, if ever, do service levels remain the same while costs drop.

You hear about this phenomenon at conferences and when you visit courts that have successfully implemented solutions such as ECM, E-Filing, E-Signature, and E-Certification.  Where you DON’T typically hear about it – at least as a primary justification – is at either the business case development stage or during the requests for appropriations from the funding source (elected legislatures, county commissioners, city councils, etc.) who are laser-like focused on reducing cost.  And, unless you ask (and few do), you don’t hear much of it from vendors, who, while they know the potential, are responding to the immediate, public sector imperative for making the business case based primarily on cost in the context of current and next budget cycles.

One compelling aspect of ECM and related technology initiatives like E-Signature, E-Filing, and E-Certification is that they CAN provide the type of rapid, measurable ROI and early break even that strapped public funding entities crave; and they can provide relief to courts suffering from current and projected staffing cuts.  In other words, the cost-based financial case can easily be made.[i]

Even more, however, successful completion of such an “efficiency” initiative will almost certainly accelerate the effectiveness and importance of the court to its community, its funding body, and its business partners. 

Such change, albeit based on success, has its own challenges and potential pitfalls.  Courts should be prepared to “Ride the Tiger”.   Court planners should create a well-developed strategy, partner with an experienced systems integrator and engage in a fully-committed implementation; AND plan for an INCREASE in use of court services.   A year after implementation, no one will be asking, “What did you save?”  Instead, they’ll be asking how can you ride that tiger even further?

[i] See Short-Term Payback & Long-Term Gain from Transitioning to a Paper-On-Demand Court: How Courts Can Realize Rapid ROI from Paper-On-Demand, Jeffrey N. Barlow, 2011 [http://www.imagesoftinc.com/resources-wp-roi-of-pod-signup.html]