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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 [...]

What You’ll Gain from a Softdocs Discovery

by Robert Gunning

Many of you reading this have either purchased Etrieve or are considering it as you explore your current options. Either way, it’s an exciting time as you and your colleagues look to make changes throughout your institution. Most likely you are so ready to get started, and maybe even a little nervous as you begin to make this transition.

The good news? We’ve been doing this a while and totally understand. For that reason, Softdocs has a process in place that makes the move to Etrieve as smooth as possible and makes sure your department is reaping the full benefits of the solution. It’s called Discovery. Whether you’re making the move from another content management solution or making that initial transition from paper to electronic records, the Discovery process is essential in helping you outline your goals, requirements and best practices to help ensure a successful implementation.

So here’s how it works…

After an institution purchases Etrieve, a representative from Softdocs travels on-site and meets with the departments implementing to discuss what their business processes currently look like. Many times, there are multiple thoughts and opinions of daily operations, so this step helps set the standard for what is to be implemented. The Softdocs rep and department head discuss all the forms, corresponding documents and workflows within that department and who exactly handles what. Once in agreement, the Softdocs rep starts building out the suggested filing structure, or folder tree, to illustrate how the paper and content within the department will be organized.

For paper-based processes, they will then walk around to every office and check out the stacks of paper and filing cabinets to ensure that all documentation has been accounted for within the tree. And for clients moving from existing content management solutions, the current implementation and filing structure in their existing solution will be reviewed to determine where the institution might want to make changes during their conversion process.

As you can imagine, the Discovery process is quite thorough as it takes a day or two to complete per department. This is a great opportunity for Softdocs to really get familiar with [...]

Softdocs Ranks 21st Best Place to Work in South Carolina

by Hannah Goodwin

Last week our team had the pleasure of attending the 12th annual Best Places to Work in South Carolina awards dinner to celebrate making the list! Hosted at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in downtown Columbia, we enjoyed an evening full of delicious food and drinks, engaging conversation and delightful company.

We are so excited to have ranked 21st Best Place to Work in South Carolina in the small/medium category! Read this post to learn more about the survey-and-awards program.

Recognized for our laid-back atmosphere (office cat included), Sweat for Lunch peer-lead workout programs, internal communication initiatives, sustainability efforts and much more, we are honored to have made the list.

What an exciting evening it was to have the rankings revealed and an opportunity to spend some time among other fantastic workplaces in our state. It was a blast to get a glimpse into some of the fun ways other companies show their employees appreciation and to see everyone celebrate this accomplishment!

Thank you to Colonial Life for hosting the event and SC Biz News, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group for sponsoring the award. But most of all, thank you to all of our employees for playing a part in making Softdocs such a great place to work.

See the full list of 2017 Best Places to Work in South Carolina here!

Your Questions Answered: Etrieve Cloud

by Hannah Goodwin

As many of you have heard, we announced our Etrieve Cloud offering late last year. Etrieve Cloud leverages the Microsoft Azure platform and offers a fully cloud-based deployment option for our enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow solution.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our cloud offering lately, so we thought it’d be a great time to address some of them.

A couple of questions current and prospective customers have is, “What are our options for running Etrieve in the cloud versus on-prem?” and “Will the legacy Doc e Serve solution run in the cloud?”

There are several key advantages to hosting Etrieve in the cloud. First of all, installation and maintenance is handled by Softdocs, freeing up your institution’s IT resources for more pressing needs. Secondly, a cloud-deployment model is secure and dependable, so in the event of a catastrophe the cloud helps ensure minimal data loss. Another benefit is the great price point. Hosting Etrieve in the cloud can help alleviate some of the upfront costs of traditional on-prem technology with a flexible, subscription-based pricing model.

While the cloud is perfect for hosting Etrieve, we do strongly encourage schools to keep hosting Doc e Serve on-premises. Many institutions require print jobs that generate extremely large files for the local printers to process. Given the nature of print customization technologies and the connections required between local printers and the software, an on-premises deployment can help prevent any delay in the delivery of these files and also help avoid print quality issues as most laser printers have little to no data error correction.

To bridge Etrieve in the cloud with Doc e Serve “on the ground” a Softdocs Cloud Hybrid Server is brought online. The Hybrid Server allows for the secure transfer of data, allowing for the best of both worlds – Etrieve in the cloud and Doc e Serve on the ground – to occur.

All in all, Etrieve Cloud is a great option for institutions in terms of security, price and maintenance. The harder we work to keep costs down, the more institutions are able to experience the next generation of paperless – [...]

Softdocs Breaks Record for Growth in Q2 2017

by Softdocs News

Solely Focused on Next Generation Paperless Solutions for Education, Softdocs Selected for Enterprise Content Management, Electronic Forms, Workflow and Print Customization Solutions Amid ECM Market Disruption

Softdocs, an enterprise content management (ECM), e-forms and workflow solutions provider, today celebrated a record-setting second quarter of 2017 for both revenue and client growth through new and expanding higher education and K12 client relationships.

Amid ECM market disruption, Softdocs customer wins represent a strong uptick in migrations away from ECM competitors Perceptive Nolij Web and ImageNow. Additionally, Softdocs is expanding relationships through its Etrieve Forms and Etrieve Content solutions as well as continued growth of the company’s print customization and delivery product, Doc e Serve.

“Ultimately, we are earning business based on our expertise, vision and dedication to ECM solutions in the education market. As a company, we have more than 20 years of experience serving educational institutions of all sizes,” said Andrew Daniel, vice president of corporate strategy, Softdocs. “Our solutions help institutions increase organizational efficiencies as they move to a next generation paperless environment, presenting a win for students and employees alike.”

Q2 sales represent a mix of:

Migrations from other ECM solutions – Pepperdine University, Montana Tech, The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Metropolitan Community College selected Softdocs for its browser-based, enterprise content management and workflow platform, replacing existing instances of Perceptive Nolij Web and ImageNow. Expansion in the Ellucian Customer Base – Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Shenandoah University and Salt Lake Community College are Colleague® and Banner® by Ellucian users that selected Softdocs’ Etrieve platform. Growth in the ERP Unit4 Customer Base – Louisburg College selected Etrieve to provide content management, e-forms and workflow functionality to complement their upcoming upgrade to Unit4 Student. Continued Doc e Serve Expansion – Acadia University, Hannibal-LaGrange University, South Plains College and University of the Southwest selected Doc e Serve, which will seamlessly integrate with these institutions’ new and existing implementations of Colleague® by Ellucian. Ongoing Growth and Adoption in the North Carolina Community College System – Sampson Community College, Robeson Community College, Carteret Community College, Coastal Carolina Community College and Western Piedmont Community College all made [...]

Softdocs Named A Best Place to Work in South Carolina

by Andrew Daniel

Softdocs, an education-focused enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow provider, today announced that it was named as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. In its 12th year, the award is sponsored by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

“It is truly a privilege to be recognized as one of the best places to work in the state. As South Carolina’s tech market continues to grow, we are looking to bring more talent to the state by offering a family-focused, supportive, fun atmosphere where our employees can thrive professionally,” said Mike Murphy, CEO and Co-Founder, Softdocs. “With the ability to work remotely in the tech space, we are in constant competition with other companies coast to coast in our recruiting efforts. Our modern-day culture, coupled with the appeal of a southeastern lifestyle, is helping us become a very attractive option to quality talent.”

In the past year, Softdocs has grown its employee base by nearly 40 percent and strives to embrace its employee-focused culture through initiatives such as Food Truck Fridays, quarterly town hall meetings, and various team-building events.

This survey-and-awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the state of South Carolina, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce, and businesses and this year’s list is made up of 70 companies.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data, and determined the final rankings.

The ranked companies will be recognized at a reception and dinner, presented by Colonial Life, on August 3, 2017, and the rankings will be published in the August 2017 issue of SCBIZ magazine.