Innovating and Workflow

If you are reading this post, you are familiar with the term enterprise content management. Over the years, I think you’ll agree that the technology has changed significantly, adding features and functionality; none of us were thinking about a few decades ago. In fact, it’s more customer-oriented than ever, which means all sorts of good things like being easy to use, easy to deploy, easy to train on, intuitive UI, and so on.

And while all these developments are significant. The biggest innovation I’ve seen is the democratization of workflow. In its broadest sense, workflow functionality is now at the service of the customer and their experience. In addition, Laserfiche makes workflow available to every full user, which is the ultimate form of democratization. I remember when we first started building workflows in Laserfiche. Clients were amazed. Back then, workflow was about limiting keystrokes and automating a single process, for instance, routing a document for approvals. Before we knew differently, we used workflow to mimic existing paper-processes. We’ve come a long way since then.

Once we stopped replicating the paper-flow, we started implementing business process management or BPM. In short, BPM provides a well-defined end-to-end process. Laserfiche is often used to automate repeatable processes to improve your work efficiency. Usually, it involves actions and decisions that an agency makes regularly. The advantages of BPM are consistency and easy retrieval of information.

The final evolution of BPM is case management. Case management is the handling of a collection of documents and other information types through a variety of processes until a specific objective is achieved. It has a defined goal and requires human judgment to determine each decision point. Generally, case management involves the gathering of data from several sources and the coordination of the resolution of the case. On our upcoming webinar, Greg will show you three processes that add up to case management- Contract processing, auto-redaction, and records management.

Analysts such as Forrester and Gartner now roll ECM and case management under the umbrella of content services, in acknowledgment of information and data being “of service” to the user.

Today’s technology users have different expectations. Those born-digital users, and even the rest of us, are much more likely to dig into the product, ask us for training, get certified, call a colleague in a neighboring agency, or attend a workflow lab. I’m continually impressed by the innovation I see coming from agencies. And we’ll continue to support that by being available to you whenever you need it. Over the past 24 years, we’ve built out our support team so that you don’t have to go through a low-level agent. If you call us for help, you’ll get a senior person, and we won’t charge you extra. So go ahead and build those workflows and if you can’t get them to work, call us, and we’ll help you out.

Sometimes an agency will tell me that they’ve built a workflow, and they’ve found it to be really useful. Still, they are struggling with the fact that they aren’t leveraging Laserfiche’s full functionality, or none of the other departments seem interested in using workflow. The secret to workflow adoption is just to get one win! The smart way to do that is to build a process that includes more than one department. For instance, automate the PRA request process. We work with an agency who’s PRA requests include both the clerk’s office and the department who owns the record hence multiple departments are participating in and seeing the value of Laserfiche Workflow.

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