“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!

Episode 16: Shades of Velocity 2019

For this episode, we took Paperless Productivity on the road for a very special episode – ImageSoft’s annual user conference, Velocity 2019! In this episode, we speak with several of the special speakers and guests at Velocity about the insights they’ve learned and shared with the conference’s attendees. 

Check out this episode!

Continue reading “Episode 16: Shades of Velocity 2019”

A Glimpse in the Rear-View Mirror: Velocity 2019 Recap

With the dust finally settling from Velocity 2019, we’re giving our OnBase-enthused engines a breather as we shift into park until 2020. But before we officially turn back the key, let’s take one last glimpse in the rear-view mirror at all the innovation, collaboration and pure fun that fueled such an accelerating event for courts, governments, insurance organizations, back offices and others across the nation.

Day One: Fine-Tuning

Velocity Training 2019

Rubber immediately met the road for the 30 OnBase admins who attended Tuesday’s all-day training sessions. Divided into general and advanced classes and instructed by two ImageSoft sales engineers, the sessions blueprinted many traditional and new OnBase tools that serve admins across every industry.

Some Traded in Cars for Carts

A few attendees decided to spend the day driving their momentum across the course during a round of golf and networking with ImageSoft account executives at The Inn at St. Johns.

A Dine No One Dashed On

Whether attendees opted for taking swings or stroking keys, everyone reconvened under one roof for a complimentary dinner, cocktails and catching up at the Novi Suburban Collection Showplace. On the menu? Something for everyone! With stations serving up Mexican fare, Mediterranean-Greek style dishes and good ol’ BBQ, it was easy to indulge in conversation with new and familiar faces while visiting and enjoying each spread.

Day Two: Showtime!

With vibrant teal lanyards and a personalized schedule in front of them, the roughly 100 “day two” attendees enjoyed session after session (with trail mix and nacho bars refueling them in between!), hearing first-hand customer stories about the opportunities afforded from the electronic workflow, case management and overall streamlined communications that OnBase provides. While sessions were organized on industry-specific tracks, participants were free to attend any session that peaked their interest. After all, it’s not uncommon for the prosecutor’s office to be inspired by seeing OnBase at work in the courtroom.

Before the busy day ahead, however, all attendees were invited to join us for breakfast and a brief general session, featuring a guest speaker who is the “apple” of many technology-inspired eyes.

Will the Real Steve Jobs Please Stand Up?

A complete 180° from Emcee Adam Rose’s cowboy getup during last year’s Velocity, attendees were unexpectedly greeted by Steve Jobs. Well, kind of. It was ImageSoft CEO Dave Hawkins channeling his inner Jobs, complete with a black mock turtle-neck sweater, casual blue jeans, white New Balance sneakers and all the appropriate iconic quotes and mannerisms.

All entertainment aside, Dave opened the day by spelling out the “why” of technology innovators in the context of encouraging sentiments. Building on quotes such as “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat” and “Think Different,” Dave’s contagious excitement about the paperless future energized the room and opened everyone’s minds to the possibility of their ideas, the inspiration of what’s been done and the opportunity of what’s to come.

“I wanted to draw on the wisdom of a universally admired master innovator to convey a few key principles of success: the willingness to try crazy ideas, the discipline to focus and the need to persevere,” said Dave. “These traits can make or break IT projects.”

Survey Says…

We’re not just bragging. We swapped completed surveys for swag bags on the way out and are humbled to share that, out of a four-star possibility, attendees gave us an average of 3.8. Our most common, free-handed response? “Loved seeing how other organizations used the products!”

Catch all the social engagement, “tweet” moments and pictures on the #Velocity2019 feed!

We Want to Hear From You!

2019 Velocity attendees: what was your most memorable Velocity moment? How about your new favorite OnBase feature?

Future Velocity attendees: what session topic would be a “must-see” for you?

Answer below or on our LinkedIn page. We read and respond – promise!

Two for One Click

“Let’s take a look at the BlogCast page!” said Lisa, our Marketing Operations Specialist, during an, obviously, very serious website meeting. The team busted into laughter at the unintentional mash-up title of what would be our blog and podcast webpage, but we haven’t since been able to shake the term of endearment.

So today, we’d like to introduce you to what we affectionately refer to as our new “BlogCast” page! Upon arrival, readers come to a fork in the road – “What would you like to do?”

Let’s explore your options.

Talk Nerdy to Me

From the new “BlogCast” home page, you can also choose to “Listen to Podcasts.” That’s right – we’re starting to actually talk the tech walk by recording commute-length episodes on trending topics related to paperless productivity. Hence, “The Paperless Productivity Podcast.”

With short descriptions accompanying each podcast episode, you can quickly choose the one that best interests you while you drive, enjoy lunch, go for a walk, or whenever you work in your podcast fix. Let’s say you’re super revved about Velocity 2019 and click on Episode 12. You’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this:

You can play this episode straight from your desktop, and/or follow along with the full transcript. Not only does it save you the hassle of needing to take notes, but it will help you fast-forward or replay to a certain timeframe of interest.

Have feedback on what you’ve heard? Want to join the conversation? Scroll down just a bit and you can leave a reply. As always, we read and respond!

Not “A Post” to Blogs

For those of you who regularly enjoy the dry-humored, yet fairly informative, blogs about all things paperless in the realm of courts, government, and insurance – thank you. As you know, we’ll never tire of typing tech-savvy text and hope you’ll continue weekly reads of the Paperless Process Blog on this new webpage.

Have eyes for a particular interest? Cast your gaze toward the navigation bar and click the drop-down on “Blog Posts.” From there, you can continue to seek something industry-specific for your specs!

I Have an App for That

Same. If it’s more convenient for you to listen through your favorite podcast platform, such as Google Podcasts, iTunes, or Spotify, simply search “The Paperless Productivity Podcast” and subscribe. You’ll stay up to date with the latest episodes and never miss a guest speaker!

Enough About Us – We Want to Hear From You!

Will you be eyeing up our blogs, tuning in for podcasts, or mixing it up with a little of both?

Episode 12: All About Velocity 2019

We’re gearing up for Velocity 2019! This second annual customer conference, hosted by ImageSoft, is a high-energy mix of success stories, industry trend sharing and a sneak peek at new solutions to help courts, insurance organizations and government agencies more quickly achieve their business goals by adopting paperless processes.

Kevin Ledgister, marketing manager for ImageSoft, gives all the details in this episode about what to expect at this year’s Velocity conference, and why it’s a can’t-miss event for anyone looking to increase their organization’s productivity, efficiency and connectivity.

Check out this episode!

Continue reading “Episode 12: All About Velocity 2019”

If Velocity Were A Bumper Sticker

180_bumperstickerForest P. Gill is credited with inventing the bumper sticker in the late 1940s after the screen printer found himself with an oversupply of adhesive-backed stickers and fluorescent paint following World War II. Sources can’t verify what exactly it said (if anything), but it’s sad to think he missed the trademark “Run, Forest, Run!”

At any rate (or should we say “Velocity”), Mr. Gill quite possibly invented one of the most brilliant messaging tools. After all, what else are you going to read while stuck in traffic?

So as we launch registration for Velocity 2019, ImageSoft’s second-annual customer event, we thought there was no better way to explain what’s to be expected than through bumper-sticker language.

“I’m Not Speeding – I Just Replaced My Engine with OnBase”

Because your momentum is Velocity’s goal, the substance of every activity is to introduce you to challenges you might not realize exist within your current processes, zero-in on the cause of that pain point and match you with a solution that best fits your organization’s needs. Whether you’re networking, listening in on a customer story, or learning how to better leverage an existing workflow solution, you’ll leave Velocity with the know-how, tools and confidence to make your workflow great again!

“I Drive Better on the Course”

Maybe not the most reassuring message to see on the road, but we know many customers (and ImageSoft team members!) who would be proud to admit this is true. After all, you have concentrate before you can innovate. So on Tuesday, May 21, all customers are welcome to join us for an afternoon on the green at St. John’s Golf Course and channel your inner Tiger Woods for a complimentary and slightly competitive round of golf before dinner.

“I Brake for OnBase Training!”

With so many meetings, activities and deadlines to meet, it’s difficult to dedicate time to continuing education. But slowing down to refresh your OnBase skills or learn how to optimize expanded functionality could be the best business decision you make all year. With OnBase experts instructing hands-on training sessions, this once-a-year opportunity is your big break for asking questions, solving workflow challenges or just bringing more insight to the table.

“Honk If You Love Break-Out Sessions!”

We’re laying on the horn. With panel discussions, customer spotlights, and live demonstrations on topics ranging from ShareBase and records management tools to video evidence management solutions and online dispute resolution, you make your own agenda based on the array of sessions available throughout the day. Because we love to get technical, we did organize the tracks according to which industry the topic serves best. But whether your background is in courts, prosecution, government, insurance or somewhere in between, every session is open to you. So wander around – a little cross-industry networking and know-how could unlock an idea or opportunity you never thought possible.

“Buckle Up!”

Our favorite event of the year for customers, partners and ImageSoft staff, Velocity lives up to its name by making the most out of its two days per year. With so many hands to shake, stories to be told and new functionalities to learn, it’s really a time to buckle up for what’s to come.

“I know, I know – license and registration”

Relax – we only want to see your registration. Click here to reserve your spot!

Did you attend Velocity 2018, or are you a first-timer this year? What topics are most interested in learning more about?

For Insurance Companies, These 5 Truths are Self-Evident

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

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

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

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

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

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

Insurance Truth # 2: Documents come in varying formats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageSoft’s Truths for Insurance Companies

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

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

Which truths are you grappling with?

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

Staff Separations: Seeing You Through with OnBase for Offboarding

Not too long ago, we leaned in with Leanne to learn about OnBase for onboarding. We hope it left you feeling optimistic about the opportunity for growing your own organization, but it probably also left you asking the one question no one wants to voice: “what about offboarding?”

Whether your intern just landed their first job, a valued staff member has realized another career path or someone is no longer a good fit for your team, employee exit management is a necessary process of every organization. Not necessarily every HR person’s favorite topic, offboarding is one of their necessary undertakings that demands significant attention. Not just a reversed onboarding checklist, separating a staff member from the organization is sensitive for obvious reasons and, because the process carries safety risks, needs to happen as diligently as possible.

You know us – we love talk technicalities, and especially about OnBase. But first, we’re handing the mic over to Leanne, human resources manager at ImageSoft, to learn about OnBase’s role in helping her manage safe and swift staff separations.

Leaning in with Leanne: OnBase for OffBoarding

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Can you Summarize That?

Like a well-seasoned symphony conductor, OnBase keeps everyone in tune with their to-do’s and deadlines, holding each person accountable for playing their part in onboarding, offboarding, transfers, promotions, and other organizational activities.

In a nutshell, why play trumpet when you could really steal the show by playing your part “on base”?

Unlike our dry humor, here are some more notes you actually want to hear:

Reducing Risk

Every organization has standard steps for offboarding a staff member, but knowing who is responsible for what and keeping with a timeline is critical during instances of sudden termination. The offboarding checklist tasks ensures the separated staff member no longer has access to the organization’s systems, information, or infrastructure.

Immediacy and Accountability

Having the automated checklist in one, central location provides HR with immediate access to necessary documents, and notifies other parties, such as managers, marketing, and finance, of their responsibilities in offboarding a certain staff member by a certain date (or right away!). Automated notifications and real-time status updates hold everyone accountable for a seamless and low-stress separation.

Benefits and Payroll

Once HR initiates offboarding, the payroll department is immediately notified with instructions on when to process the separated staff member’s final paycheck. Benefits personnel are also given direction as to which benefits will continue for the separated person and for how long.

Immediately notifying the benefits and payroll department of these circumstances ensures the separated staff member has what they need and when they need it, and makes it easy to accommodate special circumstances, such as severance packages or when certain agreements are made between the individual and the organization.

Interested in Keeping Pace with OnBase?

Check out this webpage.

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

Becoming a Fan of Leanne?

Don’t miss an episode! Here is a list of her other productions to date, all speaking to her experiences with OnBase for human resource support.


Employee File Management

And don’t forget about our coffee chat with Crystal and Christy about recruiting with OnBase!

We Want to Hear from You!

Think about your current offboarding process: are there any risky gaps that could be mitigated? How seamless is the transition?

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

The Year in Review: Expanding our Footprint

By: Dave Hawkins, ImageSoft, CEO


ImageSoft continued to grow in 2018, expanding our footprint in a variety of ways. We were awarded major new projects from California to Georgia, and many places in between. ImageSoft is now doing business in 31 states and three provinces as more organizations continue to accelerate their digital transformation and need to transform their processes, not just paper. Specifically in the justice arena, we now serve nine state court administrative offices or justice departments, and currently have proposals out to two more.

But it’s not only our geographical footprint that has grown. We are also continuing to widen our array of court technology solutions. Here’s a sampling of ways we’re expanding our technological footprint.

Charge Code Management

Leading the “charge” in this arena, ImageSoft has been asked by three states for help in managing their charge codes. We thank our role as a Platinum Reseller of OnBase by Hyland for positioning us as a trusted leader in solving this issue. Our solution, a uniform, state-wide table of codes, utilizes OnBase’s case management module to create a database management tool that keeps everyone on the same page and synchronizes charge codes across all jurisdictions. With everyone speaking the same charge code language, efficiency improves and data analysis becomes much more feasible.

Electronic Case File Transfers to Appellate Courts

ImageSoft has also been solicited by three states to provide automated transfer of electronic case files from trial courts to appellate courts. Again, the value proposition is readily evident: especially in states with decentralized judicial systems, anyone sitting on an appellate court knows the value of having all incoming case files organized, indexed and packaged in a similar fashion. ImageSoft’s CaseShare solution makes this possible, providing appellate court justices with electronic case files structured in a consistent fashion. We think this tool will “appeal” to many higher courts.

Data Conversions

Another area where ImageSoft has grown in terms of both staffing and capabilities is data file conversions. We recognize that new software adoption usually requires migration of data and documents from the old system to the new. To give you a sense of our  data conversion experience, we developed an algorithm for a large, well-known insurance company that successfully migrated 30,000,000 documents. When we had finished this automated process, 100 percent of the documents were accounted for, and 99.987 percent were moved without human intervention. With results like that, I suspect we can “convert” more clients to our solutions.

Video Evidence Management

Our society has witnessed an astounding proliferation of cameras in the past fifteen years, which have undoubtedly impacted the justice realm in the most positive of ways. Usage of bodycams, dashcams, security cameras and cell phone cameras has exploded, placing a greater burden on prosecutors to review hours of footage before identifying and extracting the right clips to show in the courtroom. Imagine this: a confrontation with police occurs on a busy city street that is lined with numerous retail establishments. The prosecuting attorney might have video from two dozen cameras to sort through just to find a few minutes of evidence. ImageSoft is partnering with leading video evidence management companies to bring their products into our fold, pairing them with OnBase to help prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement efficiently manage all the available digital data. This technology proved to be a difference maker on a recent proposal and demo for one of the largest cities in the country. Our foray into video evidence will definitely be worth “watching.”

Expanded eFiling Functionality

In the past year-plus, we’ve completely rebuilt our TrueFiling platform to add new features and make it easier to integrate with our clients’ existing case management systems. We’ve updated the capabilities of our TrueSign product, and we’ve scheduled an overhaul of our Law Enforcement Agency Portal for early 2019. Thankful to already be one of the top three eFiling providers for courts across the nation, there’s always room to grow. So stay on the lookout for more eFiling and eServicing enhancements, which will make life easier for those we “serve.”

Online Dispute Resolution

Now, I have to admit: Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a tongue-in-cheek entry on this list. At the eCourts conference earlier in December, no less than five organizations came up to our booth asking for it, and we don’t even provide it – we’ve never even talked about it publicly. But truth be told, we’ve been quietly watching the evolution of ODR for the past two years, and the National Center for State Courts tells us that thirty states are pursuing ODR initiatives. So maybe ODR is in ImageSoft’s future. After all, it’s simply a matter of transferring documents, communicating information and processing payments for courts – much like what we already do with eFiling. We’re not ready to make any promises just yet, but stay tuned – ODR might be one of our New Year’s “Resolutions.”

Final Thoughts

As we continue to expand our footprint, geographically and technologically, there’s one more area that’s growing at ImageSoft: our appreciation for our customers and collaborators. Whether in the justice arena, government, insurance, or corporate clients,  your trust and investment in us is what unlocks our continued investments in product development and allows us to create the solutions that meet your business needs.

So from all of us at ImageSoft, we want to say “thank you!”

Best wishes for the coming year. Let’s do more together!

Chief Executive Officer, ImageSoft, Inc.

Webinar Highlights: Bridging the Gap between eFiling and the Paperless Court

A district court administrator, business systems analyst, and information systems director from three different courts across the country agree to be panelists on an eFiling webinar.

It sounds like the beginning of a good intention gone wrong, but it was actually an extremely informative hour learning about the benefits of eFiling for Superior Courts from three critical court perspectives. Unique to these courts is their eFiling solution, TrueFiling, which combines an eFiling portal with a highly configurable DMS, complete with an electronic workflow, that allows them to achieve an end-to-end paperless court.

As with all ImageSoft webinars, we sent a copy of the recording to everyone who registered so, in the event you couldn’t make it, you can still tune in at a more convenient time. For those who didn’t register and don’t have a copy of the recording, and for those who did register but, let’s be real, you’re just not going to listen, we’ve transcribed the webinar’s key moments below.

You’re welcome.

Meet the Panelists

While eFiling alone doesn’t yet subscribe you to the standard of “paperless,” it is a big first step. With cascading effects that impact all your court’s personnel, attorneys, pro se filers, and the superior courts, the decision to offer (or mandate, as many courts have done) electronic filing understandably raises many questions and concerns from every corner of the court.

Many thanks go out to our fun and informative panelists below, who all come from standard court settings, have “been there, done that” with eFiling and lived to share their experiences with us.


Therese Murphy, District Court Administrator, Yakima County District Court

Christina Dietrich, Business Systems Analyst, Arlington County Circuit Court

Anthony June, Information Systems Director, Macomb County Circuit Court

In Their Own Words

Q: What has been your experience with electronic filing?

Christina: Just a myriad of benefits! Arlington County Circuit Court has seen a more than 20 percent increase in case load and has been able to comfortably manage it without an increase in staff. We’re offering better service to our constituents and attorneys who, with 24×7 access to filing, can file and manage cases when it’s convenient for them. It saves them incredible time not having to drive and pay to park just to file. Prior to adopting TrueFiling, one clerk tracked the time she spent looking for missing case files and logged 14 hours in an average work week.

Therese: Adoption is easily in the 90 percent range! Filers would much rather eFile than drop papers off to the court.

Anthony: We’ve been eFiling for about eight years, and it’s been a driving force in opening access to the court. We took feedback from attorneys in terms of how they like to prepare and submit documents and what they liked and didn’t like about eFiling, provided that feedback to ImageSoft, and they built that feedback back into their product. It’s important to keep in mind that not every filer has same technical skillset. We have actually built out a technical division of the Macomb County Court so self-represented litigants can receive technical assistance with completing and filing their electronic documents. I caution anyone who thinks clerk staff can manage supporting attorneys and pro se filers with technical needs – we provide technical resources who can take the time to ensure filers have what they need. This way, the clerks’ day and document processing aren’t affected, and filers appreciate the extra support.

Q: Tell us about how eFiling has impacted your court’s workflow?

Christina: The transmission of documents and information follows a much more defined path. Our clerks no longer have to ask, “where does this go from here?” This more-established process has also instilled a greater sense of confidence in our constituents, who trust that they will receive their files as soon as the judge signs it. This faith in the system has also translated with the higher courts. When ascending a case to the Court of Appeals, we now have a very low rejection rate because what used to be a very tedious, manual process is now mostly automated.

Anthony: A value that many people don’t think about is this new-found ability to measure how many documents are coming through the door, and building metrics regarding staff management and how efficiently they’re able to process certain amounts of documents. This is extremely valuable in managing staff resources!

Q: Has CMS-integration made a difference in your electronic filing experience?

Anthony: It’s rare that you will find a full-source provider for everything so, nowadays, you need to integrate. Integration considerations are very important when choosing your eFiling vendor. Something you can do in advance of your eFiling project is to reach out to vendors and find out what they offer, what they can and can’t integrate, and if they have worked with other vendors.

At some point, you’re going to expose your staff to a new system, and you want efficiency to go along with it.

Christina: CMS integration has allowed us to keep the information in our records management system consistent with the information in our CMS. ImageSoft helped us build a custom way for us to record information in CMS and pull it in real-time so we don’t have to wait for a daily feed.

Q: After making the decision to pursue electronic filing, how was your change management? What strategies worked in corralling support for your decision?

Therese: I involved those least accepting of change so they, in turn, would share their experience in a positive way with the rest of staff who, after hearing their testimony, would be all on board. I involved these subject-matter experts in any changes to existing processes, and even created a lab where staff could test and be trained on the solution in real-life work stations. Giving power to the employees and involving them in the process was the best decision I ever made when it came to deploying a successful project because I needed their support.

For external users, we hosted a series of meetings and several training sessions to expose them to the concept and get filers comfortable with eFiling.

My biggest take-way is that you need to put thought into this. Think about your staff, partners, and users, and the best way to get them all on board. If you don’t, you’re going to have some real challenges down the road.

Christina: We got all our users comfortable with using system by running through all the test scenarios. We crossed things off the list while  still preparing for the solution to to be at their desk everyday and, by the time the first day rolled around, it was muscle memory.

Communication was critically important! We named it “Project Paperless,” made t-shirts, had cakes, and posted signs in our office so filers would ask us and be prepared. All in all, it took about four months for everyone to be rolling smoothly. Funny store: about 8 months in, our system was actually out for a short while and everyone panicked. We said, “just proceed like you did before eFiling” and everyone’s response was “what do you mean ‘like before eFiling?’”

Q: How was working with Judges through this paperless transition?

Therese: The judge can put an end to this quickly, so it’s crucial that we had a judge on our team while developing the solution. In this kind of project, we tend to think about admins, so don’t underestimate the judge’s role. OnBase for judges is an amazing tool! They actually hate when paper files come to their benches now. Being able to create e-forms, play with tabs, and get their job done more efficient – judges are a big fan!

Anthony: Courts around the country have not anticipated so much technology in courtroom. In our courtrooms, we work with judges to come up with a solution to fit their needs. You’re not going to have a one-monitor-fits-all solution – each judge is going to need the technology formatted to fit his or her needs. At the end of the day, the judge is going to need to access a digital case file as conveniently as traditional paper, and I suggest you get started sooner rather than later.

Have Qs of Your Own?

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We covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Between technology infrastructure, corralling stakeholder support and training staff, there’s a lot to consider when pursuing paperless processes. What’s your court’s biggest hurdle?

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