Forced Change+Business Continuity

Forced change, WFH

By Randy Weakly, CTO, ImageSource, Inc. 

When I used to think of “business continuity” I thought primarily of off-site backups and redundant servers. But the last couple of months have imposed unprecedented changes onto our global economic infrastructure forcing many organizations to scramble to adjust their workforce and even their entire way of doing business, including “business continuity”. Change is often scary and risky but when it’s forced upon us in an instant it can be crippling.

One huge change for many organizations is that their knowledge workers must now be enabled to work from any location and in some cases, from any device they can get their hands on. The same goes for their customers and partners. It is now obvious to most everyone that the mobile workforce and customer engagement technologies are no longer a nice-to-have but an absolute necessity

One of the best and easiest ways of enabling a remote workforce and customer/partner ecosystem is through the use of device-agnostic web forms or electronic forms. It’s pretty easy to throw a PDF form on your website but it’s not a very friendly customer experience, especially on a mobile phone. Additionally, the resulting PDF document creates downstream work as the inbound information, often with errors and omissions, must be transferred to a workflow or line of business system for processing. An eForm solution can easily be integrated into your existing website and provide input validations before the employee or customer even clicks the submit button. This validation can be applied not only to the information being typed into the various input fields but also to any required attachments. Even if you’re on a mobile phone, an eForm can attach photos of documents taken right from the device. These document photos can be processed by back end services so that you can’t tell the resulting image from one that came right off your scanner. Once the form validation is satisfied, the user is allowed to submit the form and it is immediately placed into an automated business workflow to be routed for human and/or programmatic processing based on the machine-readable input and business rules.

Another benefit of an eForms solution is the wide variety of input fields that can be used to create rich and engaging user experiences. Basic field types such as text, numbers, dates, email addresses, signatures, radio and checkboxes are staples. But more sophisticated eForms packages can provide aggregated inputs such as table data (think Excel spreadsheet), matrix choices, multipage forms with wizard options, file attachments with white/blacklist types, configurable size limits, password checking, and virus scanning, and much more. Combine these powerful auto-validating input fields with point & click dynamic field presentation logic, no-code web services integration, enterprise single-sign-on (SSO), and your custom theme library and you’ve got the tools to create your own online/mobile customer and employee engagement masterpiece!

One of our customer partners, Superior Court of California, County of Stanislaus detailed their success with ILINX platform and eForms here: https://tinyurl.com/y5yx7hbg

If we can be of any assistance to your organization please contact us at (360) 943-9273 or image@imagesourceinc.com

ImageSource+Business Continuity

ImageSource and Business Continuity

Business Continuity

Rapid change, maintaining service and extending our platform.

Like all businesses and individuals, ImageSource has been responding to changing conditions of life and work over the last three weeks. As the State of Washington was one of the earliest and hardest hit ImageSource employees transitioned from working in the office to working from home quicky. I have been a remote employee for many years, and the ImageSource HQ is truly a place I enjoy traveling to and spending time at. I am already missing my monthly trips to Washington, and I am sure my colleagues are starting to feel some of the effects of communicating by phone, chat and web meetings. The culture at ImageSource has always been its strength and we’ve all got to do a little bit more in the coming weeks to maintain it. I am reaching out to coworkers I don’t have a pressing business need to speak with and have a chat. There are so many subject matter experts in our organization and I have the opportunity to get them more engaged now.

The most important result for ImageSource is true business continuity for our customers. There has been no downtime in solutions, no change in response time or the effectiveness of our response to solving and supporting critical business solutions. As a trusted partner for many state and local government entities we see the need to quickly automate solutions that are now considered essential, but previously completely managed in person or through the passing of paper. It’s not an easy time to suggest technical solutions or engagements but our ILINX platform automates and facilitates reaching the members of the community and connects individuals with essential services. We help state and local governments, and other essential businesses maintain compliance while making changes quickly. ImageSource and our ILINX platform can automate staffing changes, program/benefit enrollments and interactions with the most at-need and at-risk members of the community safely and almost instantly, through mobile and SaaS deployed modules.

If we can be of any assistance to your organization please contact us at (360) 943-9273 or image@imagesourceinc.com

The Truth about 99% Accuracy

Every day when I come into the office I’m greeted with a poster from an old ECM conference that reads, “If 99.9% is good enough, then…” and it proceeds to rattle off staggeringly large consequences of inaccuracy ranging from incorrect medication dosages to parents receiving the wrong newborn child. Even with that perspective, variations of the “99%” accuracy statements are all over in the technology industry. Despite some of these statements being technically accurate, they often lead to misunderstandings and misaligned expectations.

So, what does 99% accuracy really mean? for example, if your organization wants to automate data entry for invoice processing, then you are collecting date, number, and total amount on individual documents. Your objective is to have as much of this data automated as possible, but to be useful data it must be accurate.

Here’s the claim: a solution can deliver you 99% accurate data. While not untrue, this claim can be supported if the only measurement is of the amount of data you need. This measurement should be true regardless of the volume of data, and regardless of the number of fields that need to be automated. If a solution is claiming to be 99% accurate, but only on a small, controlled data set, then overall it is not a useful solution.

This is where we can reframe the discussion to ensure your needs are being met. Measuring specifics like “more than 85% of my data entry fields are now automated at 99% accuracy” provides a clear and measurable goal that defines the true amount of automation required per process. Also, it addresses not just data accuracy, but on the entire set of expectations.

So, the next time you begin a dialog with a solution provider that claims 99% accuracy, ask them, “how much data?”

Process Efficiency for TribalNet

We are excited to attend TribalNet starting Tuesday, November 12th. Our experience working with organizations of sizes and types has taught us the hallmarks of successful projects and those tell-tale signs that automation is necessary and underutilized in most business processes. Taking a look at a few larger Indian tribe websites, or a quick google search for Tribal Enrollment/Membership Verification returns PDF files that would require a printout, then scan and email or fax back. Tribal membership is a sophisticated process and unique for each tribe. A simplified but automated business process can make those important documents associated with the process easy to access and be secure for both the benefit of the member and the tribe. Automated workflows can also kick off personal interactions allowing communication on what documents or time commitments might be required as one moves through an enrollment or verification process. Our experience working with the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington State is something we are looking forward to sharing in more detail with attendees. Come see us at TribalNet booth #211.

Automate and Accelerate

Deciding to replace a document on a website with an electronic form is as simple as collecting or capturing the customer information in a user-friendly format. Most of us have personal data saved in our browser, making it a few clicks away from completion. If your customer has already found the web page relating to their needs, it’s a logical next step compared to working with a PDF that was intended for printing.  What happens next with the information collected? A few years ago, the best next step may have been sending an email to a help desk staff member with the collected information, then a duplicate effort begins where the customer information is keyed into another system. Today initiating a workflow with an electronic form is completely reasonable, and possible next step for automation. Connecting back-office systems and customer-facing interactions reduces the time employees spend duplicating each other’s work and gets your organization closer to its potential for automation while accelerating customer interactions. In the coming weeks, we’ll cover the basics of eForms, and then a deeper dive into second and third phases of eForms automation.

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