ECM VAR Wins A $260,000 Imaging Project
A custom software demo helps this ECM (enterprise content management) integrator land a document imaging project with a top restaurant franchise.
What's a software demo worth? In this case, it was worth $260,000 to Imaging Solutions, Inc. (ISI), a systems integrator that specializes in ECM solutions. The story began in 2000, when Roger Tausig, president of ISI, met with DAI Associates, Inc. to discuss the customer's document imaging needs. DAI is the franchisor for Subway Restaurants. After an evaluation process, DAI chose a solution from one of ISI's competitors. For the next five years, Tausig stayed in touch with DAI, monitoring the success — and struggles — of the company's imaging practices. That persistence paid off in 2001, when DAI contacted Tausig, looking to make a document imaging system change.
DAI needed a more open Microsoft-centric platform. The existing imaging platform used a proprietary method of storing scanned document images. This caused a host of problems for DAI, as images could not be viewed without the existing application's client software. That proved to be a big problem when DAI had to e-mail an image to contacts outside the company. DAI could not get adequate support from the vendor, and in 2002, the vendor was pushing the customer to upgrade to a newer version of its software. DAI determined it was time to evaluate other document imaging options.
The customer developed a matrix of product requirements — including an open file format for storing images. Tausig reviewed those requirements and determined that OnBase by Hyland Software would be the best fit for DAI. "We built a prototype of OnBase using one of the customer's accounting applications," explains Tausig. "Our competition came in and did a generic demo using a standard software application." This time, Tausig won the business.
"There were a number of other factors that helped us win the project," explains Tausig. "We established a comfort level with the customer, we're in close physical proximity to the customer, we addressed all customer objections immediately, and we had previous experience converting Optika [the system being replaced by OnBase] imaging data."
The installation of OnBase was performed in conjunction with the customer's schedule over a two-month period. ISI installed the OnBase software architecture (which serves as a foundation for all software modules) and the OnBase Document Imaging Module version 5.2 with 68 client licenses. ISI also installed the database and COLD (computer output to laser disk) ERM (enterprise report management) file servers and five scanning stations and integrated the OnBase software with existing Canon midrange desktop scanners.
Add Document Conversion And Customization Services
It was the document conversion from the Optika system that provided ISI with the biggest challenge. "The conversion of the Optika image data took nearly a year due to inconsistencies in the database," says Tausig. "We had to work through all of the content that was not indexed and content that was imported erroneously." There was approximately ½ TB of image data that was converted from the Optika format to an open format readable by OnBase.
ISI also customized OnBase to add EDM (electronic document management) functionality. For instance, DAI distributes many operations letters to all franchisees. The customer needed a way to track this information by adding it to the OnBase repository. Using the OnBase document import processor feature, ISI designed an interface that allows the customer to extract certain information from those letters and store that information in the OnBase repository. The information is added to the OnBase index so it can be searched and retrieved without having to physically scan each letter.
One of the more interesting aspects of this installation is how ISI configured the Web-based capabilities of OnBase. ISI installed the OnBase Web component to allow in-house, browser-based users — as well as external DAI offices around the world — to access OnBase securely via the Web. ISI also integrated OnBase with Citrix Presentation Server to provide access to OnBase without the need for any client software on the end users' computers.
The initial implementation cost approximately $260,000 including software and professional services. ISI also earns recurring revenue by providing maintenance services and will earn additional revenue as DAI adds licenses and additional modules in the future.