Gain SMB Customers With ECM
Datanet Imaging Systems is no stranger to document and content management. For years, the Ontario-based systems integrator has implemented customized document imaging and remittance and forms processing solutions for customers in the United States and Canada. It's been Datanet's experience that the most sophisticated and technologically advanced solutions aren't always the best fit for customers. This belief was reinforced when the integrator began working with The Guarantee Company of North America.
The Guarantee is a Canadian-based property and casualty insurance company with operations in the United States. Until late 2005, The Guarantee manually processed, managed, and archived documents in each of its 20 regional offices. The company developed a makeshift folder structure in Microsoft Windows in which it attempted to organize these documents. With this system, document images and PC files were manually dragged and dropped into folders based on customer name or document type. This system did not incorporate indexing and was prone to human error, making retrieving files problematic for employees.
The Guarantee evaluated many of the 'big name' document management platforms on the market and was discouraged by their complexity and their price tags. "A typical enterprise-level document management solution would have cost The Guarantee $250,000 to $300,000," says George Sparrow, president of Datanet Imaging Systems. "Plus, these packages were a bit too sophisticated for the company. The Guarantee's corporate culture wasn't ready to tackle more advanced electronic document management tasks like automated workflow or business process management [BPM]. The company just wanted a centralized and reliable way to electronically manage, retrieve, and archive its documents. We provided them with an affordable, entry-level solution that allowed them to do just that."
Datanet's entry-level solution was ViewWise ECM (enterprise content management) software from Computhink. ViewWise allows archiving and searching of more than 350 file formats (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, TIFF, PDF, etc.) without requiring the native authoring application to be installed on the PC. The software also incorporates the indexing and full-text search capabilities that The Guarantee required to be able to more easily locate documents after they had been archived. Datanet Imaging Systems initially installed 25 seats of ViewWise for The Guarantee — a sale that totaled approximately $100,000. The Guarantee has been so pleased with the solution that it purchased an additional 25 seats from the integrator over the past year, providing Datanet with an additional $50,000. In addition to the substantial sales revenue, Datanet has also been able to improve its technical expertise as a result of this project. For example, The Guarantee wanted the ViewWise repository to interact with its Oracle database — an integration Datanet never performed before. Because of the work it did for The Guarantee, Datanet now has the experience to perform this type of integration for future clients.