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Konica Minolta ECM Blog

What Public Records Access Non-Compliance Looks LIKE

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 @ 12:25 PM

I just finished reading an article in the Providence Journal, “Town settles suit over records access.”  In this article, it stated the Town of North Kingston, RI agreed to pay a fine as they acknowledged it violated the state’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) a year ago.  It got me thinking that if a small Rhode Island town such as North Kingston was fined, what calamities are happening at the city, county state and federal levels.  This inspired me to write about it, knowing the perfect solution exists right here in the Konia Minolta storehouse of Information Management offerings.

To begin to understand how requests can slip through the cracks or mistakes are made, let me recap this article and use it as a simple example of an APRA breach of compliance.

What happened?

A former School Committee member sent an email seeking information about a School Committee request to transfer money out of its budget.  He received no reply. He then filedperson a complaint with the Attorney General’s office, which, in turn, filed suit against the town in Superior Court.

Under APRA, a public body must supply the requested documents within 10 business days or seek a 20-day extension.  If a request is denied, the reason must be sent within 10 days. 

The town only responded after the School Committee member filed his APRA complaint with the Attorney General’s office.  The original request had been overlooked in the pending resignation of the town finance director.  The Attorney General’s office, however, found the town in violation and announced in a news release that the town acknowledged the violation, agreed to pay the fine, and settle the suit.

Does it seem harsh to you?  It does to me.  BUT, it is a state and federal mandate.

So how do government agencies cope with the overwhelming amount of requests, tight deadlines to meet these requests, the unexpected occurrences such as resignations, and the usual lost or misplaced paperwork/information?

We recommend our Public Records Request solution. With this solution, you simplify create a request submission and it follows a workflow until fulfillment.  From simple, automated online request capabilities and comprehensive record searches to digital delivery, our Public Records Request solution  improves the process from beginning to end. The solution tracks and stores all information surrounding a request as well, so any time an audit comes up, it’s easy to demonstrate that your organization completed requests within the legal timeframes. With a digital solution to record your requests and activity, you get the transparency and speed your constituents expect for completing public records request.

PublicRecordsnewcolor

We love this solution as it allows the government agencies to meet its responsibilities of safeguarding and providing public records – despite budget cuts and staff reductions- and to use a phased in approach. This Information Management system allows governments to start with a basic system to fulfill immediate needs and then ramp up the system’s capacity when cost allows or demand increases.

Need to see for yourself how an automated Public Records solution can help your government entity complete timely records requests without using additional staff?  Contact us now for a complimentary demo.

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Tags: Document Scanners, OnBase workflow, Workflow, go paperless, enterprise content management,, government, Records Management

Eliminate ECM User Experience Obstacles

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 11:40 AM

Let’s face the truth, some people are resistant to change.  Whether it be the simple “foot dragger” or the outright rebellious staff member, when people resist change it’s because they believe some aspect of what you want to do as not being in their (not the organization’s) best interest. This could be a mistaken belief or they could possibly be correct.  Either way, their resistance makes perfect sense to them.

With new technology you have the potential to make a big impact that will affect both the organization and your clients.  If you have identified a need to implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution to digitize, centralize, and store documents electronically so you have total access to all supporting documents as it applies to a Human Resource file, a contract or a customer service issue, training of staff might be when of your top concerns.  So don’t force them to use another system if they don’t have to. After all, the point of ECM is to use the technology to get more work accomplished in a more efficient and time saving way.

With Hyland’s  OnBase solution provided through Konica Minolta, the ECM system does not have to be what the user lives in for their primary line of business software.  Instead, The ECM system can be running in the background of their existing line of business whether it be SAP, PeopleSoft,  Microsoft Sharepoint, Saleforce or any of the hundreds of applications. As a result, many people don’t even know they are using ECM, they simply see additional functionality as a new feature in their existing line of business software.   Read on….

Tags: Document Management, ECM, enterprise content management,, Technology,

For the Record: Records Management Will Help You Find What You’re Looking For

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 01:57 PM

records managementDuring a recent records management chat room that I belong to, one user asked, “Can you share a song to depict a day in the life of a Records Manager?” The first person to respond said, “I apologize that this one has been around for a long time, but it’s so apropos to Records Management: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.”

When it comes to your experiences with records management, have you found yourself singing these lyrics on a weekly or daily basis?

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

Organizations accumulate various types of documents, such as financial information, personnel records, office correspondence, reports, forms, publications, contracts, vendor and customer records. Today, many documents kept as records are created electronically and can be delivered electronically to an organization. However, with a paper, manual-based records management system, documentation must be converted to paper documentation for handling in the current, manual records environment. Filing, retrieving and disposing of records are all examples of manual tasks requiring the conversion of electronic documents to paper documents.

Manual records management can be done a million different ways and everyone has a system for filing, storing and accessing their documents. In one example of a manual records management environment, documents are file coded, filed and maintained all by hand. Manual records management requires personnel to determine the file code and retention rule for the document or file, hand write the code on the document, then place the document in a file folder associated with the file code. Under this system, managers typically do not know where documents are filed and must rely on administrative personnel to locate records. As documents accumulate over time, retrieval can be difficult even for administrative personnel and misfiles do occur.

So if you find in your time of document need you’re humming the U2 song, what can you do to change your tune to Jerry Camp’s song, You’re Right Here?

Everywhere I go I know You're not far away.
You're right here, You're right here
.

workflow automationHere’s the solution: Look to adopt an electronic, automated records management system to fully automate the process from record declaration through final disposition. One system is used for both document management and records management – meaning that a single copy of the document is both the transactional and the business record. Our solution, OnBase, provides a centralized management software tool to manage physical records alongside electronic records in a single system. Now anyone with security rights can track, locate and request both physical and digitized records. Gone are the frustrated managers and administrators who can’t find the record they are looking for.

Management of records has always been important – from ancient times to today. Put an end to lost, missing or hard to find files. Digitized records simplify accessing and finding documents. You’re just a keyword search away from finding any important document and singing a very happy tune.

Tags: Document Management, ECM, Workflow, enterprise content management,, Records Management

The Ongoing Attraction of Paper

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 02:55 PM

dreamstime_9311137.jpgMaybe you’ve noticed a decrease volume of your personal mail from the United States Postal Service (USPS) postal service. I certainly have. In fact, it’s been confirmed by USPS stats, including that First Class paper volumes have dropped 30 percent since 2007 and are predicted to drop another 40 percent in the next seven years. This decrease is illustrative of a more widespread trend that we’re gradually seeing important transactions migrating to an electronic space of some kind, thus paper transactions are increasingly going away.

Even paper money is quickly fading as you receive your paycheck via direct deposit or pay for goods and services electronically with your credit card, smart phone or PayPal. Money, the most of traditional of paper documents, is gradually going away and becoming less important.

Electronic signatures and electronic records were legalized in virtually every situation by President Clinton in 2001 with the enactment of the Digital Signature in Global and National Commerce Act. Leaving aside a small handful of documents as exceptions (e.g., wills, house repossessions, etc.), virtually every electronic record is acceptable in electronic format with very few barriers or requirements of any kind. Based on what I just wrote, you might believe that paper records are effectively dead.

But you’d be wrong.

Paper is alive and well. Paper will be around for some time. Why?

There are many reasons why paper does need to stay around that have anything to do with technological efficiency. Paper has an ongoing attraction. Notwithstanding the efficiency of electronic technologies, paper is a very appealing medium for many reasons. No matter how electronic your mindset may be, in one way or another there’s something on the list below that will appeal to you.

Misconceptions

dreamstime_m_31958911 (2).jpgIt’s a misconception that people hold onto paper and a wet signature (one made with a pen) because it’s a legal document and has some sort of special legal status. People perceive that paper and ink have special legal status over electronic documents, but they really don’t have the legal significance that people think they have. In reality, that isn’t so. A wet signature is an old 12th century technology intended to reduce fraud and forgery. Is a wet signature any more secure that its electronic counterpart? No, they are actually less secure because a signature can easily be forged. A wet signature is really an illusion of security that people retain because it’s an appealing illusion. Anything you intend to be your signature is your signature, including any sort of electronic mark or code.

Culture

People like paper – it’s familiar, it’s traditional and it has the appearance of being official and permanent. For example, a diploma on someone’s wall. If their building burns down they haven’t lost the official record because the official record is at the registrar’s office . Also, at graduation ceremonies, you wouldn’t hand the graduates a flash drive as they walk across the stage rather, you’ hand them a paper diploma. They are essentially bling and nothing more, but these characteristics are powerful psychologically. Paper documents are so powerful because they are tangible and people don’t let go of easily.

Convenience

dreamstime_xl_31666572 (1).jpgPaper is convenient stuff – no technology required, no internet connection needed, no charger required, its available anyplace, and only minimal skill and training is required. Also important is that a paper document is universally accepted. It’s rare for someone to refuse a paper document and demand an electronic document.

The bottom line is that, even though electronic technologies are secure, trustworthy, accurate and reliable, people are people and not necessarily entirely rational and efficient about these things. Even when electronic equivalents are available (and the reasons to utilize electronic far outweigh paper) people have a preference because paper is tangible, familiar, simple, and old-fashioned often feels better. That’s gradually changing over time as younger generations come up and are not only more comfortable with electronic records, but demanding the transformation.

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, Workflow, enterprise content management,, Technology,

What’s the Next Step After You Choose Your ECM Solution?

Posted by Dan Termale on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 @ 09:37 AM

So you’ve found an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution that you like. Now what? How do you make sure that the one you chose is implemented successfully? Here’s some guidelines.

Plan and Strategize

iStock_000046141776_XXXLarge_updated-1.jpgSuccessfully implementing an ECM solution takes a lot of planning and strategizing. Business leaders must put in the necessary time to map out exactly how the ECM will run from every angle, throughout every department. It’s essential to ensure that the implementation strategy is clear from the beginning on all stages of the process from document capture, records management, business process management (BPM) and the other aspects of the solution.

Usability

Ensuring that an ECM solution is easy to access, use and learn is a sure-fire way to gauge whether or not you chose the right solution or not. After all, because the users are typically the consumers of an ECM solution, it’s ideal to give end users a pleasant, easy to use experience when setting up an ECM and workflow system by making it as user friendly as possible.

Educate Staff and End Users

Education is imperative because staff members and end users may not understand what an ECM system is. Making sure they understand the benefits of the new system and how to get the most of out it will go a long way.

iStock_000016903391LargeR.jpgCommunicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Communication between business users and the IT staff who will be supporting the system is key. You want the business requirements to be very clear and straight-forward for the users to understand. Gaps in communication can lead to problems and hurt the overall adoption of the ECM solution.

Choose the Right Vendor

Choosing a vendor that has the necessary expertise and will go above and beyond what a business needs is a must have. The right vendor will help businesses define its vision and road map for the ECM solution to meet all of its needs. Ideally, the solution needs to be scalable, continuously evolving, and ready to integrate with existing ERP and legacy systems.

Are you looking to implement an ECM solution successfully? Contact us! We have one of the best teams in the industry and would love to help answer any questions you may have about your ECM search and implementation.

Tags: Document Management, ECM, Workflow, Document Imaging, enterprise content management,

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solutions Help Reduce Educational Costs

Posted by Dan Termale on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

The lack of funding in the education sector isn’t new. It seems as if every week there’s another school somewhere in the United States that is being forced to cut back on something — whether it be resources available to the students or eliminating staff. The good news is there’s a solution to help ease the pain of any financial burden that a school might be facing.

Que, Our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) K-12 Education Solutions

dreamstime_2798611.jpgThe K-12 Education ECM Solutions exists to help school districts and Education Service Centers overcome economic, compliance and efficiency challenges by reducing costs and increasing the resources available for student services. With the money saved from implementing an ECM solution, jobs can be saved, as can many resources and programs that children rely on.

Not only that, but with ECM, you can digitally manage content (e.g., paper-based documents, digital documents, e-mails, faxes, web content and multimedia files) and processes in a single, easy-to-use application that complements existing systems, such as Student Information Systems (SIS), Human Resources (HR) and Finance.

Other areas of education will benefit from the ECM solution as well, such as the free and reduced meals program, purchasing and accounts payable, food services, public record requests, school uniforms and facilities.

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS PROGRAM

As part of ensuring that children are ready to learn, most U.S. K-12 schools offer a "free breakfast and lunch" meals program to the eligible student population. Our K-12 Free and Reduced Meals Program solution allows schools to efficiently operate this program with minimal resources.

How it works:

  • Application Forms are generated for each student
  • The student’s family completes and returns the form to the school
  • The form is scanned into the system
  • The information on the form is captured and stored in the database
  • The captured data is checked against the Free and Reduced Meals Program rules
  • The meals system is then updated with the new information on eligible students
  • Any exceptions are automatically routed to the right person for swift resolution

PURCHASING/ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

The K-12 ECM Solution simplifies the process of procuring and paying for goods and services. Our solution integrates with most districts’ accounting platforms and can be accessed using a web browser.

This solution manages the documents, data and processes required to manage budgets, gain purchasing approvals and pay bills quickly. In addition, schools can also benefit from increased early pay discounts and reduced late payment penalties; all within a framework that takes the pain out of auditing and compliance.

FOOD SERVICES

Create procurement and payment workflows; reducing the time your team spends on repetitive administrative tasks. Streamline these core processes and you'll not only avoid late payment penalties, you'll also gain full visibility into your entire operation meaning more accurate orders, less waste, and more time to focus on delivering tasty, cost-effective and nutritional meals.

PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS

dreamstime_l_14628620 (1).jpgFederal and State laws now require all email to be secured, archived, and available for rapid discovery in the event of a public records request. Schools may also need to respond to requests for other paper and digital documents.

This ECM solution simplifies the effort of managing e-mail communication, paper documents and digital content by delivering a single platform that manages all these types of information using a single system. Communications and content can be captured in real time and having a content management solution makes it simple to execute highly specific searches that enable schools to swiftly and accurately respond to records requests.

SCHOOL UNIFORMS

The automated school uniform solution generates and prints individual applications for each student. Filling out the application is made easier as any relevant information already stored about the student is pre-populated on the form.  Once the form is completed and returned, the application is scanned and the information completed by the student’s family is automatically stored in the database. This information is used to complete the process for the new school uniform.

FACILITIES

dreamstime_xl_26467612 (2).jpgOur Facilities solution allows schools to efficiently manage building renovation projects by automating the documents, digital content and processes associated with managing contracts, contractor payments and quality assurance efforts.  

Your ECM solution will manage all the content you have whether it’s paper documents, digital documents, audio files, video clips or application files. Quicker access to content frequently means projects spend less time in administrative black holes. This also ensures this content is protected in the archive so that it can be referenced by future project and maintenance teams.

We care about the success of the educational system and believe that, with our ECM Solutions, schools will find it easier to manage every aspect of their different workflows so that they can continue to put the well-being of their students first. Click Here to ask us a question!

Tags: Document Management, BPM, Workflow, CAD, go paperless, enterprise content management,, higher education

Faster Claims Processing Makes for Happy Customers

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 @ 10:24 AM

dreamstime_l_33395237_1.jpgWhen is comes to processing insurance claims, two things are very important: time and accuracy. It’s a race against time when you’re processing an insurance claim because the longer the process, the more it costs and warrants more chances for complications. Customer experience is affected largely by the amount of time and effort it takes a claim to be completed. Customers don’t want to wait weeks for a claim to be processed; to them that’s poor customer service and they’ll likely start looking at your competitors who can offer them faster, more enjoyable processing.

Processing insurance claims can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor, which is why businesses are beginning to look for tools to simplify the process. After all, the faster claims are processed, the lower the costs for businesses and the happier the customers will be. Fortunately, there’s an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution for this.

Claims Processing is also often one of the areas within a business with the most complexities and overhead. Why? Because Loss Adjustment Expense (LAE) is on the rise, meaning that claims costs are continually a black hole for insurers. Additionally, the current claims processing process is simply too inefficient and time consuming. There are too many steps, resulting in high costs for insurers and disgruntled customers.

dreamstime_l_42750009_2.jpgAn ECM solution for claims processing gives your claims teams all the information they need to process claims and handle exceptions fast according to business controls. The solution can integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and share information enterprise-wide, greatly automating your processes and saving you time.

More key benefits of the ECM solution for claims processing include:

  • Increases productivity by reducing the need to search for information across multiple data sources
  • Ensures tasks are completed in a timely manner with reminders, timers, notifications and other communications
  • Improves compliance through greater visibility, audit ability and adherence to internal controls
  • Reduces time to make a decision thanks to immediate access to information

Even better, the claims processing ECM solution also has a mobile option. This allows users to capture, collect and manage content on their mobile device  in the office or in the field  so work gets done faster and more accurately.

ECM solutions exist to make life easier for businesses. They simplify and streamline their workflows and save valuable time and money. If you would like to learn how to implement an ECM solution to tackle your claims processing headache, contact us! We’d be happy to help.

Tags: Document Management, ECM, Workflow, go paperless, enterprise content management,

Stay Compliant by Following These Rules When Retaining Documents

Posted by Dan Termale on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 @ 01:41 PM

document storagePaper. That’s the one thing all businesses have in common in some shape or form. The difference is that some businesses are drowning in it while others have taken the steps to manage and maintain it.

Something else that most businesses have in common is the requirements and regulations to stay compliant. The price of non-compliance can be very costly and, if you ask anyone who has gone through a non-compliance situation, they will tell you it’s not fun.

Thankfully, there are five steps you’d do well to consider when developing a process for retaining your documents and staying compliant:

1.) Don’t be a hoarder and retain every document just because. Different types of documents have required legal lifespans before it is OK to destroy them. Do your research on those timeframes and plan accordingly.

2.) When we say retain your documents, it doesn’t have to be in paper form in a filing cabinet, and hopefully that’s not your only plan of retainment. Consider implementing a paperless solution to convert and store your documents digitally. That way when you actually need to look up a specific document from five years ago, you’ll be able to just do a simple search and retrieve. Having an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system will decrease the need to store paper documents and surely increase your productivity and workflows that revolve around them.

3.) One of the key issues with compliance is data security. When you store your documents in filing cabinets and storage rooms, you’re not keeping your information secure. It’s at risk to being ruined by natural disasters, fires, theft, or handled by the wrong person. Having a paperless solution allows you to really secure your information and control who can access it.

4.) Having the ability to access your information the moment that you need to is important. Customers are used to getting fast service anywhere else they go, so they expect it from our businesses as well. If it takes you hours or days to locate a file or document to complete a transaction of business process, then you would greatly benefit from an ECM solution. Your customers and employees will both benefit from this. Allow your employees to spend their time on more value-added activities instead of spending time searching for information.

5.) When you implement an ECM solution to manage your content, you can control how long you want to keep/store your information. Depending on the type of information, you may only need to keep a record for two years or forever. Within your ECM system you can set termination dates for data to know when it’s safe to discard. This way you don’t keep accumulating more documents and information without getting rid of the ones you no longer need in a safe and secure way.
compliance

It’s important that you take all of the necessary steps to protect your business and customer information and to stay compliant with all of the current laws and regulations. There’s room for you to improve in this area, including taking the preceding steps to move away from paper and towards a more secure paperless environment for your organization. 

If you have any questions or would like more information on this topic, Contact Us. We’d love to help guide you on your paperless journey.

 

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, ECM, go paperless, enterprise content management,, Data Security

Four Tips to Boost Your Data Security and Protect Your Information

Posted by Dan Termale on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 @ 01:34 PM

Data-Security.jpgOne of the top priorities for any organization is the security of its information. Now more than ever, we have to constantly protect our private and business information from data breaches, theft or hacking. There are many ways that our information can be compromised and found in the hands of the wrong people. 

We need to take the proper precautions to protect our information and be aware of all of the possible threats. Based on a recent survey, the number one cause of data breach was due to some type of human error or employee negligence. It doesn’t matter what size your organization is, whether big or small, there are people trying to steal your information.

Here are four tips to help boost your data security and protect your information:

  1. Strong Passwords

This sounds simple and it is. The amount of people and organizations that have passwords like “their name + 1234” or “ABCD” is hopefully decreasing as information security is becoming a more important topic. A strong password should have a minimum of eight characters containing a combination of symbols, numbers with a mix of upper and lowercase letters. The longer and more complex you make your passwords the harder it will be for hackers to gain access to your information. Make it a mandate that all passwords need to be changed every 90 days or so to further increase your protection.

  1. Anti-virus Software

It’s important to have strong anti-virus software to protect against malware. The purpose of anti-virus software is to provide virus detection and protection to help keep your sensitive information safe and secure.

  1. User Permissions

You need to be able to manage and track who has access to your different types of documents and information. This is especially true when you have an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution and a paperless office. Having the ability to only give access to the information that each person needs is a great way to boost your data security.

  1. Content Management Solution

paperless solutionsYou may think that only your digital data is susceptible to security breaches, but according to a recent survey, 21 percent of all data breaches occur from paper records. The more paper you have in your office the more risk you have of your data being compromised, lost, or even destroyed by natural disaster. Once you implement a content management solution, your data security will increase dramatically and the amount of paper documents you have will decrease as a result. Without a paperless solution and strategy, you are risking the security of your organization and your customers. It has never been more important to take the necessary steps to prevent and protect our information. 

If you are looking for ways to boost your data security or ways to go paperless in your organization, then Contact Us, we’re here to help you. This is an important topic that we all have room to improve on!

Tags: Document Management, Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, enterprise content management,, Data Security

ECM Offers Security and Peace of Mind With Email Management

Posted by Dan Termale on Mon, Mar 07, 2016 @ 03:50 PM

shutterstock_266676590.jpgTechnology has become a pillar in the way organizations run. Especially in modern times where we have more information than we even know what to do with. The struggle to manage our documents and information has been a challenge that has impacted the successes of our businesses. Solutions like, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), have been around for a while, and exist to help organizations improve customer service, reduce operating costs and minimize risk. This is made possible by providing instant access to data, documents and business processes from anywhere, on virtually any device. One area where ECM can greatly benefit your organization is in email.

Like ECM, email has also been around, but only recently is it being used as part of an ECM solution to help organizations across the country better manage their operations. However, as the role of email continues to grow in the business world, so too are the regulations regarding the archival of electronic content.

This is where email management comes into play.

What is Email Management?

Within a given organization, thousands of emails can be exchanged every day. A major red flag that is spurring many organizations to explore the benefits of email management via ECM is that every single one of these emails sent or received becomes part of the corporate record and, therefore, discoverable in court. This is a concern because it can put the entire organization at risk. Email management allows users to mitigate this risk by better managing their emails.

In the past, email management has simply been the act of removing emails from a server and saving them elsewhere. But as more and more information is being shared via email, organizations need a system that allows them to classify, store and maybe even destroy emails, while also making it easier for a user to locate and download any given email. An email management system allows for all of this, and more.

How Does it Work?

shutterstock_184194809.jpgOutside of the fact that email management saves time and money, the security benefits are what really make email management worth it. After all, every organization has a crazy amount of emails either in inboxes, sent folders, trash folders, etc. All of these emails not only negatively impact the performance of an organization’s email servers, but it’s all too common that an organization lacks the means to organize their email collection so that information can be found quickly.

When used with an ECM solution, the email management system creates a searchable repository to store copies of all incoming and outgoing e-mail. If a legal event arises, email content can be quickly recovered, thanks to the repository. This saves an organization valuable time and money.

If you have questions or would like more information on this topic then Contact Us! We would love to send you more information and help answer your questions.

Tags: Paperless Office, BPM, ECM, Workflow, enterprise content management,, Data Security