Data Conversion: The Do’s and Don’ts

Authored by Gabe Russo, Solution Architect at ImageSoft

Imagine that it is go-live Monday. Your company is scheduled to begin using OnBase, or another electronic document management system, for the first time. The level of combined excitement and nervousness is palpable. Documents and other content from the old system are scheduled to be available in the new system when team members arrive for work. Incomplete or missing content would cause serious disruption. It is in this moment you begin to ask: Did the conversion finish? Was any content missed? There are millions of documents to convert, how could I be sure? When and how will I know if anything is wrong?

I'm Fully Confident

I should have remembered – Trust but verify.

Data conversion projects are time consuming, risk-heavy, and essential. They are often conducted as an exploratory exercise wherein new challenges are born from the resolution of others. It is crucial that the outcome of processing is verified for each document. The customer should expect to know exactly what happened to his/her data during the conversion project and the responsible vendor provides it readily. Through transparency, the conversion effort is verifiable cultivating trust between customer and service provider.

Keep in mind the following points as you prepare for a data conversion. Be wary of the service provider who doesn’t.

Source of Truth

Whether using the database or the file system to dictate which content to convert, it is important to understand the differences in approach. When using the database, the service provider might miss files that aren’t represented in the database. When using the file system, the service provider may not be able to interpret important metadata contained in the database. It is better to take a hybrid approach. Use the database as the source but compare it against the file system. In favor of awareness, expose discrepancies while making a deliberate plan for content that doesn’t line up.

Determine What to Convert

Maybe the source system contains old, incomplete, or content with little value moving forward. The data conversion is great time to flush out those facts to determine what needs to be moved. Sometimes it makes the most sense to convert everything and to use retention rules to eliminate content later. At other times, it can make the conversion process more efficient to ignore unnecessary content. Regardless, be sure to define the rules for what must be converted. This will make the process of reconciliation easier to complete.

Snapshots

Ensure the conversion process is separated from the source system. Taking periodic snapshots of the source system during the life span of the conversion affords several key benefits. First, the source system is left unimpeded by the intense burden of conversion processing. Second, the conversion content is captured as a point in time representation of the source system making it easier to define exactly what content was converted and when. Third, conversion processing often requires iterative actions. Using snapshots allows iterations to occur rapidly in isolation from the source system.

Capture State

Each step of the conversion process must be ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability). Avoid implementing a solution that violates these core principles. Ensure the conversion process is designed to work on chunks of data. A conversion solution should operate as a pipeline of loosely connected events as opposed to single large unit of work.

Excluded or Errored

It must be easy to distinguish documents that were deliberately ignored from those that meet an error condition. To accomplish that means that all documents recorded in the source system must be indexed by the conversion solution. Otherwise, it will be difficult or impossible to reconcile the systems while being certain that documents aren’t missed.

Verify the import

ImageSoft includes the source system document ID as a keyword in target OnBase systems. It’s a small refinement to make reconciling the systems easy. Don’t assume every import batch is successful; Prove it.

After all, the reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

Digging Deeper into Data Conversion

Interested in understanding ImageSoft’s approach to data conversion? Want a glance at our non-traditional resume of successful conversions? Trying to anticipate what your organization should expect? Answer all these questions and more by visiting our conversions webpage.

We Want to Hear From You!

If you’re anticipating a data conversion, what is your strongest apprehension?

If you’ve undergone a data conversion, what was your experience?

Tell us in the “comments” section below or on our LinkedIn page. We read and respond – promise!

Episode 18: Creating Efficient Customer Correspondence Management and Content Services


Here’s a hard truth: Your current methods of creating, distributing, and archiving customer letters or other communications probably include a lot of manual steps with outdated or disconnected systems. Carolyn Kane, senior product evangelist for Hyland, talks us through the many benefits that automated customer correspondence management can bring to your organization.

Check out this episode!

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“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 14: Using OnBase for Human Resources

Managing employee growth at a company, along with onboarding and regular employee support, can put quite a strain on its human resources department. How can one department oversee everything from hiring to performance reviews to exit interviews and more, without losing its mind? Listen in as ImageSoft’s human resources manager Leanne Eastman and OnBase administrator Nathan Armaly discuss how implementing OnBase for our own HR department has allowed ImageSoft to more than triple in size without stressing out its two-person (yes, two!) HR team.

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Episode 010: 19 Ways Government Agencies Can Leverage Technology in 2019 – Part 2

In part two of a two-part episode, Kevin Ledgister, marketing manager for ImageSoft (a reseller of Hyland’s OnBase solution), shares some quick tips for using OnBase to supercharge your agency’s efficiency.

Continue reading “Episode 010: 19 Ways Government Agencies Can Leverage Technology in 2019 – Part 2”

Episode 009: 19 Ways Government Agencies Can Leverage Technology in 2019 – Part 1

Government agencies are constantly tasked with doing more with less: less money, less time, and fewer team members. But the information and services that you provide to your constituents is high in demand, which can put you in a tight spot. In part one of a two-part episode, Kevin Ledgister, marketing manager for ImageSoft (a reseller of Hyland’s OnBase solution), shares some quick tips for using OnBase to supercharge your agency’s efficiency.

Continue reading “Episode 009: 19 Ways Government Agencies Can Leverage Technology in 2019 – Part 1”

Episode 008: Technology Solutions for Government Agencies

Incorporating a secure, streamlined solution that brings true visibility and efficiency to daily tasks can make a huge difference for understaffed and overworked government agencies. Hyland’s Kevin Albrecht takes us through some of the biggest questions government agencies need to ask themselves, and help us understand how leveraging technology can help eliminate wasted time and paper each day.

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

Authored by Carolyn Kane, Product Evangelist at Hyland

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

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

In my industry, we call this a workaround.

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

Creating on-ramps

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

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

Thinking about access

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

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

Accommodating different types

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

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

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

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

Your On-Ramp to Complete Process Automation

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

We Want to Hear From You!

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

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

 

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.

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?