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Seven Things We Are Thankful For From 2017

by Hannah Goodwin

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, we wanted to take some time to reflect on 2017 and share some of the things we are grateful for as a company. In the fast-paced world of the software industry, our days are full of meetings with prospective customers, handling implementations and managing our roadmap, that we don’t always stop and think about how lucky we are to have the team and customer base that we do.

So in the spirit of the season, we are sharing seven things from 2017 we are thankful for.

We are thankful for 20 years of Softdocs.

This coming year will mark our 20th anniversary as a company! Softdocs was founded in 1998 in Columbia, South Carolina and has since evolved into a well-established software development company full of bright and driven professionals. With around 600 higher education institutions and school districts leveraging Softdocs’ solutions, we are definitely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past 20 years.

We are thankful for a successful user conference and the opportunity to spend time with our customers.

Our user conference, Bridge, was such a success that we still can’t stop talking about it! This year’s Bridge was hosted in our hometown of Columbia, and we had customers come from near and far to spend three full days of learning, networking and fun with our team. It was a blast to meet so many new customers, as well as reconnect with our long-time customers. And with hosting the conference in town, our entire team was able to participate in Bridge.

We are thankful for our best year yet.

This past year has been record setting for us in terms of revenue and client growth through new and expanding higher education and K-12 relationships. It has been humbling to see how our Etrieve platform has taken off and the difference it is making in our customers’ daily lives. Whether it be a migration from another ECM solution, an upgrade from our Doc e products or a move to the Cloud, we are thankful for the opportunity to connect with [...]

Team Spotlight: Migrations

by Jennifer Wilson

The needs of higher education institutions and K-12 school districts have evolved significantly since 1998 when Softdocs first got its start in the software industry. The goals of these institutions used to revolve around this idea of eliminating paper by creating electronic student and employee records. The mass amounts of paper were not only taking up valuable office space, it was also slowing down processes and causing employees to work less efficiently – a waste of both time and money. While manual, paper-based processes are still a concern for many educational institutions, so many of the implementations we are currently facilitating are about more than just going paperless. Many of these new projects are now driven by the need to support growing student and employee demands for mobile access to content and e-forms, which means migrating from legacy, outdated technologies. Migrations are unique in the sense that the institution already has some kind of technology and processes in place, and due to their differences from a typical implementation, they deserve a special degree of attention.

With this industry shift in mind, we created a dedicated Softdocs migration team a little over a year ago to focus on those institutions who are converting from competitive solutions, as well as those who are upgrading from our Doc e product suite to the next generation Etrieve platform. Made up of both technology-focused development and services resources, the migration team has seen a huge increase in opportunities. With the current disruption in the ECM industry, the team has evolved to add resources to handle a wide range of migrations. These include basic apples-to-apples conversions, customer-led migrations, and total revamps of previous implementations. Whether it be generated by end-of-life announcements or institutions wanting to make the move to the latest technology, we have definitely seen an increase in migration needs and we know this team will only continue to grow.

The team is currently working on many projects with existing Nolij and ImageNow institutions, and have developed a deep understanding of those solutions, one of the many values in having a team dedicated to these projects. They are able to [...]

Softdocs Taps Steve Johnston for Vice President of Professional Services

by Softdocs News

Customer Experience Veteran and Former Perceptive Software Exec with Track Record in Higher Education Joins Enterprise Content Management Leader to Foster Client Engagement

Adding to its already rich education market expertise, Softdocs, an education-focused enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow provider, announced today that Steve Johnston has joined the company as vice president of professional services. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Johnston has held senior client and professional services positions with a variety of technology application companies including higher education.

“We are thrilled to add Steve to the Softdocs leadership team as he has a passion for creating strong long-lasting relationships between customers and employees, and a record of achievement in delivering and leading exceptional professional service-focused teams,” said Mike Murphy, CEO, Softdocs. “Under Steve’s leadership and pedigreed experience, our delivery team will be working side-by-side with the entire Softdocs organization in order to achieve one main goal – customer success and optimal ROI.”

As vice president of professional services, Johnston will lead the professional services initiatives and direct all aspects of deployment, including implementation services, consulting, project management, and support.

For nearly a decade Johnston served as manager of professional services and consultant at Perceptive Software. Prior to joining Softdocs, Johnston was vice president of customer success for DSI and vice president of consulting for Netsmart Technologies. He also served as an analyst and consultant for Emporia State University.

Looking Back on Bridge 2017

by Hannah Goodwin

Yet another Bridge has come and gone, and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to connect with our customers, both old and new. We wanted to take some time to reflect on the conference and share some of the highlights for those of you who couldn’t make it.

This year’s Bridge was held in Columbia, SC, a special location for us as it is the home of our headquarters. We kicked off the conference on Tuesday, October 10 with customers traveling from as far as California, Oregon and Massachusetts, as well as some coming from as close as Columbia! It was so fun to see so many different kinds of school districts and universities come together and share ideas.

Back by popular demand, our system experts hosted boot camp training sessions on both Tuesday and Friday, and with six boot camp options to select from, attendees had the opportunity to receive a half day of training on all of the Softdocs products. I heard several attendees say the boot camps were so beneficial that those alone justified the price of registration!

After attendees had settled into their hotels and the boot camps had wrapped up, everyone convened back at the Convention Center for the opening reception followed by our annual Dine Around, which pairs attendees with the Softdocs team for an evening full of food and fun at some of the area’s best restaurants.

Wednesday officially kicked off the educational portion of the conference with five session tracks: Hands-On, Trends & Best Practices, Etrieve, Softdocs in Action and Doc e & Add-Ons. Each track featured tailored sessions presented by our system experts, as well as some sessions presented by customers. Customer presentations are one of the highlights of Bridge as it gives attendees a valuable perspective on specific uses of our solutions. We also included several Town Halls in this year’s session schedule which opened the floor for questions and discussion – these were quite popular!

After a night off to explore all that Columbia has to offer, Thursday was day two of sessions. Throughout the conference, we welcomed attendees [...]

Softdocs Announces Q3 Milestones, Remains First Choice for ECM Among Educational Institutions

by Softdocs News

Polk State College and Other Educational Institutions Choose Softdocs for its Industry-Leading Enterprise Content Management, Electronic Forms, and Workflow and Print Customization Solutions in the Cloud

Continuing to lead the way in educational enterprise content management (ECM) sales, Softdocs, an ECM, e-forms and workflow solutions provider, today announced key achievements for Q3 2017. These milestones include higher education and K-12 client growth, a 100 percent higher education client retention rate, and prestigious award honors.

Softdocs’ new customers, including Polk State College, represent migrations from other ECM providers as well as existing customers expanding their use of Etrieve Forms, Etrieve Content and Doc e Serve, a print customization and delivery product.

Polk State College, a public state college in Winter Haven, Fla., is a Jenzabar One user that selected Softdocs’ Etrieve Cloud platform for its seamless integration between leading ERP solutions and other critical business and student information systems. As part of phase one, the institution is introducing Softdocs in its admissions and financial aid offices to improve efficiency and streamline processes.

“We selected Softdocs for their forward-facing, cloud-based approach to ECM. Previously, user access to our ECM solution was limited and our financial aid office was still relying on manual workflows,” said Naomi Boyer, vice president and CIO of strategic initiatives and innovation, Polk State College. “Now, to automate processes, increase productivity and facilitate student success, we are concurrently launching Softdocs and Jenzabar Financial Aid.”

Also in Q3, Softdocs achieved a 100 percent higher education annual client retention rate, as the Etrieve platform continues to gain momentum with colleges and universities.

“Based on the depth of our solutions and commitment to customers, we are proud to maintain a strong higher education client retention rate and are seeing an increased demand in our cloud-based solutions as well as migrations from other ECM providers,” said Andrew Daniel, vice president of corporate strategy, Softdocs.

Q3 sales represent a mix of:

Expansion in the Ellucian Customer Base – Framingham State University, Jackson College, Pratt Community College, Shawnee Community College and Yosemite Community College are Colleague®, Banner® and PowerCampus ® by Ellucian users that selected Softdocs’ Etrieve platform. Expansion in [...]

Educational Leaders to Convene at Softdocs Bridge 2017 User Conference

by Softdocs News

Education focused enterprise content management provider welcomes IT, student services, finance and HR professionals for industry best practice, trend and training sessions.

Celebrating 20 years serving educational institutions, Softdocs, an education-focused enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow provider, will host its annual user conference, Bridge 2017, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia S.C., October 10-13, 2017. With growing interest in implementing content management and workflow solutions that increase operational efficiencies, Softdocs is bringing its growing professional development event back to its hometown with educational leaders sharing best practices from Carson-Newman University, William Jewell College and Auburn City Schools.

“Our Bridge 2017 User Conference offers an excellent forum to share the most innovative approaches in achieving the next generation of paperless through increased operational efficiencies and improved overall workflows,” said Andrew Daniel, Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Softdocs. “Hundreds of educational professionals will interact with their peers and participate in industry best practice sessions, hands-on training and networking opportunities – all to help them be more strategic and effective operations leaders.”

Focusing on paperless strategies, Bridge 2017 offers sessions on best practices and industry trends, customer presentations, training classes and boot camps and brings together IT, student services, finance, human resources and administrative users into one single place to learn and share.

Registration for Bridge 2017 is still open, and more detailed information is available including a breakdown of conference sessions at bridge.softdocs.com. For more information, please visit softdocs.com.

Employee Spotlight: Steve Johnston

by Hannah Goodwin

This past August we welcomed Steve Johnston to the Softdocs team! Steve is the new VP of Professional Services, and we are thrilled to have his knowledge and expertise on board with us. Steve brings a ton of professional services and business consulting experience from other vertical software solutions. Tune in below to get to know him through this week’s employee spotlight!

What is your main role as VP of Professional Services?

My main role is leading all things customer-facing, with the exception of direct sales. The team’s goal is not to have separate approaches within the company, but to have every employee working together to take care of our customers and help them achieve their goals.

I will work side by side with our employees and customers day in and day out, ensuring that they are satisfied and excited to work with and for Softdocs. We’ll be working to grow a team that loves what they do, is consultative, and equipped with the means necessary to provide nothing but the best service to the institutions and schools we work with.

Can you give us some insight into your professional background?

Right out of college, I worked for a higher education institution on the technology side, designing and developing the university’s finance and budgeting system. After that, I moved into the professional services side of the software industry. I spent 9 years with Perceptive Software, doing a variety of implementations within the higher education, financial services and healthcare industries. For the last 10 years, I’ve been leading and growing professional services organizations.

Any hobbies, interests or fun facts you’d like to share?

My younger brother is in the secret service and my older brother in the special forces!  I’m very proud of both of their choices to serve.

Something I don’t share a lot is that I am a formal martial artist and instructor. I am a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo and a 1st degree in Hapkido.

I’m a major tech nerd. I’m always looking to get the newest gadget, start a new project or write code on the side.

What are you [...]

Case Study: Collaboration is Key

by Hannah Goodwin

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) found themselves long overdue for a technology update. With no true solution in place to manage content and workflows, NICC depended on a makeshift system of network folder sharing that lacked any true collaboration or tracking elements. After being awarded a Title III grant, they had the funds to begin the search for a content management solution and purchased Softdocs in 2011.

NICC got started with Softdocs’  legacy Doc e Suite: Doc e Scan, Doc e Fill, Doc e Serve and Auto Launch back in 2011 to begin the road to paperless in student services, human resources and the business office.

One challenge that NICC has is that their two campuses are more than 90 miles apart and there is no central office, both big factors when it came to looking for a content management solution that could handle communication among the campuses.

Prior to Softdocs, NICC would have to mail or drive documentation back and forth between campuses, a process that not only took employees away from pressing projects back on campus but also lacked any security.

With the Doc e Suite in place, NICC was able to:

Eliminate paper within student services and improve efficiency with electronic forms Store all content in a centralized location that can be accessed from any campus Print transcripts and student schedule with a clean and professional look Take the financial aid process online and drastically reduce turnaround time Automate the accounts payable process, including printing and archiving of checks Ultimately improve the lives of both their students and employees with a paperless environment

After five successful years with Doc e Scan, Softdocs’ legacy content management solution, NICC made the decision to upgrade to Etrieve Content, Softdocs’ next generation content management solution. For this implementation, NICC had a product owner in place to handle Softdocs solutions and Softdocs solutions only. They have gotten to a point now where other schools are calling them to ask for recommendations when it comes to content management.

“It’s (Etrieve) is really expanding into all the nooks and crannies…we always are asking what we can do that hasn’t [...]

Why a Mobile-First ECM Solution is Something to Consider

by Terri McKinney

As the summer is winding down, and many schools are already back in session, we’ve been busy checking in with many of our customers to ensure their solutions are running in top shape for the influx of students. This time of year is a fresh start full of high expectations for productivity and efficiency coming off of a restful summer. Our hope is that our solutions can help you meet those expectations this school year and allow you the freedom to focus on the pressing items on campus rather than managing paper.

Back in June, our marketing director, Jennifer Wilson, wrote a blog post about a new driver for institutions to consider in their technology buying processes: the student. In the enterprise content management (ECM) industry, the driver has often been to improve back office operations and eliminate paper-intensive processes at institutions. While that need is still very much present, the evolution of the education ECM industry has had to adapt to accommodate this new student driver.

When you think about student demands, your mind probably goes to their desire for instant access to information, anywhere, anytime. After all, the rest of the world is at their fingertips – why should student requests be handled any differently? Throughout recent years, mobile access has gone from a luxury feature of ECM solutions to somewhat of a requirement to remain competitive in the industry.

When Etrieve, our next-generation ECM, e-forms and workflow platform was being developed around two years ago, our team had this idea of mobile access at the forefront of their minds. Unlike other providers who have reworked their legacy solutions to embed mobile support, Etrieve was built from the ground up specifically for its end users. A mobile-first methodology was never an afterthought for Etrieve; it was developed strategically to fulfill the demands of not only the modern-day employee but the student as well.

The student no longer has to pick up hard copy forms to submit to the institution for instances such as course withdrawal, change of major or request for school absence; these forms are now readily available online. The times [...]

Bridge 2017 – The Next Generation of Softdocs

by Jennifer Wilson

It’s hard to believe that we are just two short months away from Bridge 2017, Softdocs’ User Conference. We couldn’t be more excited as we get ready to welcome our customers both old and new to our hometown of Columbia, South Carolina.

As we start finalizing all of our plans, it’s becoming apparent how far we have come since our last Bridge conference back in March of 2016. Although we had announced the release of Etrieve previously, last year was really the beginning of something new for us. We were just starting to hit the ground with our next generation platform, and as we look out on what to expect this year, it’s even more exciting. So many of our customers have made the move to Etrieve, not to mention all of the new customers we have welcomed over from outdated solutions and manual paper-based environments. Additionally, so many long term customers are still making waves with our legacy Doc e product and continuing to find innovative uses for our complete solution set.

This year’s conference is sure to be one to remember as we look to celebrate almost 20 years of helping higher education institutions and K-12 districts go paperless. From sessions on best practices and industry trends, to customer presentations, hands-on training classes and boot camps, Bridge 2017 brings together IT, student services, finance, human resources and administrative users into one single place to learn and share. And, we will of course throw some fun in with great opportunities to explore Columbia, as well as a closing party hosted at our brand new state of the art headquarters.

As we get closer to showtime, I would like to encourage each and every customer to attend this year’s conference. There are a variety of sessions and tracks for every type of user focused on our entire product portfolio. And as much as we enjoy providing you with product updates and demonstrations, the biggest benefit really is the time spent together. Whether you are networking with your peers or talking about tips and tricks with developers and services staff, the face-to-face interaction provides attendees with [...]