Considerations for an Enterprise-wide ECM Implementation

by Jennifer Wilson

Whether you are starting from scratch, expanding your existing implementation or migrating from outdated technology that just doesn’t work for your institution anymore, something to consider is an enterprise-wide approach to your content management implementation. While it may seem overwhelming, this approach can easily help bridge the gap between departments and campuses.

After reading this article on eCampus News, our gears got turning about the impact enterprise-wide implementations can have on innovating your institution. This piece covers how in today’s world companies are moving towards cross-functional collaboration with profit as a main goal, and how higher education is different in that collaboration is inhibited by the complexity of various departmental goals.

We wanted to contribute to the conversation by sharing what we have noticed when institutions take this approach.

Technology is at the heart of today’s schools, and having multiple or all departments know the in’s and out’s of the software is huge. Of course, each department will have different processes in place and will have different functions for the solution, but it is extremely beneficial for departments to be able to interact and “speak the same language” when it comes to your ECM platform.

The speed of processes will be noticeably enhanced and decision-makers will see a quicker return on investment when efficiencies are being increased cross-departmentally, versus one department thriving and the next one still shuffling papers. Additionally, having a staff well-versed in the same solution can spark ideas and inspire departments to adopt different approaches from one another to increase productivity.

An enterprise-wide implementation allows your IT department to gain a big picture perspective of your institution, as well as produce data and insights that wouldn’t be possible with departmental silos. During the discovery portion of an implementation, each department’s processes get put under a magnifying glass, providing an excellent opportunity to evaluate what is working, what is not and then reworking where necessary.

Additionally, when IT can work closely with each department, as well as other C-level decision makers, they gain a more well-rounded outlook on how the ECM solution can propel the institution forward, as a whole.


The Current Insight with Steve Johnston

by Steve Johnston

It’s hard to believe how quickly 2018 is flying by. Softdocs has had quite a full year so far. Between numerous tradeshows all across the country, webinars hosted by our subject matter experts and a fantastic bunch of discoveries and implementations, we’ve been busy – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

As we continue to experience record-setting years, with each being stronger than the last, it is more important to us than ever to place priority on finding ways to better serve you, our customers. One of the best ways we’ve found to do that is looking at the overall customer lifecycle: from the prospect stage to the sales process to implementation, support and beyond, and seeing the process from a big picture perspective.

After evaluating our overall relationship with customers, some main areas we found that had opportunity for improvements were customer-to-customer interaction and feedback. Softdocs’ customers are filled with valuable experience and advice for best using our software and solutions, and have so much to offer other institutions to help them reap the full benefits of the investment they’ve made in Softdocs.

As our first action step in enhancing the overall customer experience, Softdocs is pleased to announce the launch of the Softdocs Community at community.softdocs.com, a central place for all Softdocs customers and employees to share learnings, download documentation provide feedback and more. Our hope is that this portal provides an opportunity to interact with the customer base, and discover new and innovative ways to improve your current or future implementations.

Coming this summer, we will expand the community to integrate full support into the portal. This will be a single place for all things Softdocs. This rollout will include enhanced support options, complete with improved ticket visibility and follow up, along with real-time chat features.

We are excited to take this next step forward with our customers by tying our community closer together than ever. Feel free to contact community@softdocs.com with any questions or to learn how to register.

Softdocs’ Impressive Q1 Growth and Expansion of Partnerships Sets Tone for 2018

by Softdocs News

Softdocs, an education-focused enterprise content management provider of document management, electronic forms and workflow solutions, sets the pace for the education ECM market with new Etrieve customers, as well as expansion of existing customer implementations.

Softdocs, the sole education-focused document management, e-forms and workflow provider, today announced its continued expansion through the higher education and K-12 markets in the first quarter of 2018, including new customers as well as growing existing customer implementations and partnerships.

As more school districts, colleges and universities find themselves needing to begin paperless initiatives, refresh older systems or replace outdated technology, Softdocs’ next generation ECM platform, Etrieve, has made an impression on institutions of all types and sizes.

Accomplishments from Q1 2018 include conversions from competitive products Perceptive NolijWeb and DocuWare Fortis, as well as existing customers expanding their use of Softdocs’ solutions and services.

This Q1 growth included:

Welcoming new customers Marian University, University of Mount Union, North Island College, New College of Florida, Moberly Area Community College, Colorado Christian University and Elon University. Expanding existing customer relationships with new Etrieve implementations for Arizona Western College, Clarksville Public School District, Meridian Public School District, eStem Public Charter Schools, as well as Spartanburg School District 4’s move to a cloud-based deployment model.

“Higher education institutions and K-12 districts are prioritizing technology investments that help save time and resources. Additionally, many are in need of easier deployment models and more flexible technology platforms. With Softdocs’ innovative approach to ECM, cloud-based deployment model and open architecture that encourages integration to third party systems, institutions are seeing an immediate value for taking this next step,” said Softdocs VP of Sales and Strategy, Andrew Daniel.

Moving forward into the year, Softdocs plans to capitalize on its recent announcement of Etrieve’s integration capabilities to the Ellucian Ethos Platform, providing a streamlined experience for end users and administrators alike. This initiative is following the showcasing of Etrieve’s rich integration to the Ellucian Banner and Colleague solutions through the Ethos Platform at the recent Ellucian Live conference in San Diego.

Additionally, Softdocs will continue furthering development on their [...]

Slate and Softdocs – Making your admissions process smarter

by Andrew Daniel

By now you’ve likely heard of Etrieve, our true all-in-one ECM platform comprised of document management, electronic forms and workflow components. One of the many next-generation features of Etrieve is its integration capabilities that help ensure institutions can get the most return from their investment in both current and future deployments.

We are especially thrilled to showcase one of our latest integrations with you. Softdocs and Technolutions have joined forces to provide an integration between Etrieve by Softdocs and Technolutions Slate.

Built exclusively for higher education admissions, Slate is one of the leading providers of comprehensive CRM. Leveraged by more than 750 colleges and universities, Slate serves as the “one-stop-shop” for all admissions-related tasks.

With the majority of higher education institutions utilizing CRM technology to assist with the admissions process, we found a great opportunity in seeking this integration out as it aligns with the continuing goal of streamlining and simplifying.

The actual premise of the integration is simple, but the power it can have for your institutions is unmatched. When a student applies to school, all information associated with their record is stored in Slate. This can include everything from the actual application to transcripts and test scores. When the student accepts their admission, an automated workflow is triggered and all information for that student is funneled into Etrieve to create their individual student record. That student record holds all admissions data and documentation, as well as index information.

One of the first adopters of the integration was Transylvania University, who purchased the complete Etrieve platform in 2016. After implementing Etrieve to tackle paper forms, disjointed communication and inconsistent file naming, they purchased Slate about a year later and bridged the two systems to further enhance the investment they had made in each software application.

Transylvania knew the bridge between Etrieve and Slate would positively impact both admissions and the Registrar’s office greatly, but what they didn’t expect was how much it would help with the financial aid process. The financial aid office at Transylvania benefits from being able to see students’ [...]

Recapping Ellucian Live

by Hannah Goodwin

Last month, our team packed their bags and traveled to San Diego for Ellucian’s 6th annual user conference, Ellucian Live. E Live is always one of our favorite events of the year! It’s a great time to connect with current customers, as well as share the power of our Etrieve platform with Ellucian users from near and far.

This year, our conversations were particularly exciting as so much is happening right now in the enterprise content management space, and innovation is abound.

During our time in San Diego, a lot of conversations revolved around Ellucian’s cloud deployment options, and we are very pleased to be able to join in with Etrieve Cloud, our fully cloud-based option for our next generation document management, electronic forms and workflow platform. Cloud is a hot topic right now and for a good reason! If you haven’t already, check out our Softdocs Cloud Blog Series, where we focus in on four core areas and shed some light on the technology. We cover technical security, job security, access and cost!

Another common discussion we had with E Live attendees centered on integration. As many of you are likely aware, Etrieve has a rich integration to Ellucian’s Banner, Colleague and PowerCampus products. One thing we were thrilled to share at the conference was Softdocs’ most recent support for the Ellucian Ethos Platform.

The integration between Etrieve and the Ethos Platform brings a standardized and simplified approach to integration for Etrieve customers. Unlike legacy integration approaches, this partnership offers colleges and universities the benefits of a customized integration without the time, money and resources traditionally needed. Want to learn more? Check out this post for all the details.

As a long-term partner of Ellucian, we enjoy being able to grow alongside one another and collaborate to bring colleges and universities solutions that streamline operations, increase efficiencies and create a thriving environment for student and employee success.


Softdocs Announces Expanded Partnership with Ellucian Through Ethos Support

by Softdocs News

Education-focused document management provider’s Etrieve becomes the first enterprise content management solution to support the Ellucian Ethos Platform.

Softdocs, the industry’s only education-focused provider of enterprise content management, electronic forms and workflow solutions, today announced its expanding relationship with Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services built to power higher education. As a long-term partner of Ellucian, this announcement makes Softdocs the first ECM provider to offer support for the Ellucian Ethos Platform, Ellucian’s technology foundation for an empowered campus.

Softdocs collaborated with Ellucian to build an integration between Etrieve, the company’s true all-in-one, browser-based ECM platform, and Ellucian Ethos to provide a secure and seamless experience for end users.

Known for its innovative and cloud-first approach to ECM, Softdocs is standardizing and simplifying the integration process for Etrieve customers. Unlike legacy integration approaches or customized integration processes, this partnership provides a robust and consistent way of communicating between applications to ease the management of student, employee and vendor information.

“Over 75 percent of Higher Education institutions are utilizing software solutions from Ellucian, including Banner, Colleague and PowerCampus. Our existing integrations with these product sets have helped institutions blend technology platforms for years. By building out support for Ethos, Softdocs is continuing to prioritize this partnership through new integration options that are more seamless and innovative,” said Softdocs’ Vice President – Corporate Strategy, Andrew Daniel.

As Softdocs continues to develop support for Ethos-based integration points, Ellucian remains an integral resource by hosting partner development workshops. Both Softdocs and Ellucian are enthusiastic about the value the Ethos Platform is providing to its joint customer base.

“The Ellucian team has proven to be extremely transparent, responsive and forthcoming with best practices and recommendations as our development team has been focusing on this project,” said Daniel. “They continue to be a great partner and we look forward to continued support of the Ethos Platform.”

Softdocs will be showcasing their integration with Banner and Colleague through the Ethos Platform at the upcoming Ellucian Live conference, April 8-11, [...]

Did you know? – Etrieve K12 Revolutionizes Electronic Teacher Contracts

by Hannah Goodwin

Etrieve K12’s solution for Human Resources includes a module for Electronic Teacher Contracts that is reinventing how districts manage contracts. With a fully browser-based solution, contracts are created, distributed and stored electronically, making it easier for your staff to access them from any device and creating a more streamlined process for all in involved. Additionally, Etrieve K12 offers added functionality to help with some of the common creation and distribution challenges districts face. Did you know these features exist?

Preview teacher contracts before broadcast.

Prior to submitting a contract, Etrieve K12 gives the submitter the ability to preview the contract as it would be viewed by the receiver. The preview functionality allows the submitter to cycle through users’ contracts, or to simply select a user to preview. The preview dialog can also be minimized to maximize the viewing area of the contract.

This functionality is game changing for human resources. No longer do you have to imagine the data on the form – you can actually see it! Get the peace of mind you want and need when broadcasting teacher contracts.

Manage users, metadata and new contracts internally.

Etrieve’s New Contract utility allows for uploading a large number of users’ data, for any kind of contract. Excel can be used to manage users’ data and maintain a master list of users. With Excel, human resources can export a tab delimited file to upload user data to the New Contract utility. Any changes to a contract’s look, feel or wording can then be done using Etrieve’s Form Administration.

This feature empowers your district to take matters into their own hands in a streamlined, efficient way. Previous options for entering user data for each teacher individually could end up being a lengthy process. This allows your district to manage this process themselves, without having to depend on Softdocs to upload your users’ data and eliminating the back and forth communication of last minute changes.

Learn more about Etrieve K12 and its paperless solutions for Human Resources, Finance and Student Records.

The Current Insight with Mike Murphy

by Mike Murphy

Another year has come and gone, and we have hit the ground running, welcoming 2018 with open arms. 2017 was our best year yet, and while we were sad to see it go, we are excited to make this new year even better.

We celebrated a record setting year in terms of revenue and client growth, thanks to new and expanding higher education and K-12 relationships. We celebrated the momentum of Etrieve Cloud, our next generation cloud-based deployment model for our enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow platform. We celebrated our internal growth and company culture, proudly being named a 2017 Best Place to Work in South Carolina, as well as an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America.

It’s going to be a tough year to top but we’re more ready than ever before to give it our all. A special celebration is in store for our company this year as we reach our 20th anniversary. In the past two decades we’ve experienced tremendous growth, and we owe it all to the dedication of our customers and employees. Some have been here since the beginning, and some are brand new, but we appreciate you all the same. What we do couldn’t be possible without each and every one of you.

We can’t wait to see what incredible endeavors 2018 has in store for us. Happy New Year and thank you for trusting Softdocs to be your provider for your institution’s’ ECM needs!

Softdocs Capitalizes on Changes in ECM Market With Strong Q4 and Record-setting 2017

by Softdocs News

Softdocs, an education-focused enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow provider, leads education ECM market with new customers, expansion of existing customer implementations and overall corporate growth.

Softdocs, a leading provider of education document management solutions, today announced Q4 2017 achievements, wrapping up a record-setting year for both revenue and client growth.

As changes in the ECM industry continue with acquisitions of other longstanding providers, Softdocs stood firm and continued to earn Q4 business that included conversions from competitive products including Perceptive ImageNow, Perceptive TransForm, Perceptive NolijWeb and Hyland Singularity, as well as existing customers expanding their use of Softdocs’ next-generation ECM and workflow platform, Etrieve.

Additionally, Softdocs continues to see momentum with Etrieve K12, a subscription-based software offering for K-12 school districts that eliminates manual paper-based processes.

This Q4 growth included: •New customer sales and implementations for Western New England University, North Central University and Farmingdale State College. •Conversions from Perceptive and Hyland products for Lipscomb University, South Piedmont Community College, Kenyon College and Cleveland Community College. •Expanding existing customer relationships with Etrieve implementations for Fayetteville Technical Community College, Wayne Community College, College of the Albemarle and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. •Continued momentum with K-12 districts including Birmingham City Schools and Forsyth County Schools.

“Our fourth quarter results allowed us to wrap up an already record setting year with great momentum heading into 2018,” stated Mike Murphy, Softdocs’ President and Founder. “Much of this growth was a direct result of our proven stability in the marketplace and commitment to the education market when there is so much uncertainty surrounding other solutions.”

Softdocs plans to continue this path in 2018 with additional projected growth and a product roadmap based on key educational needs.

Murphy continued “This year marks our 20th year developing education-focused software solutions. We have no doubt this will be our best year yet as we continue to be the system of choice for educational institutions nationwide.”

For more information about Softdocs’ education-focused enterprise content management, e-forms and workflow solutions, please visit https://www.softdocs.com.

About Softdocs: Softdocs develops enterprise content management, electronic forms and workflow solutions exclusively [...]

Softdocs Training Options | One Size Doesn’t Fit All

by Robert Gunning

Here at Softdocs, we work with a wide variety of both higher education institutions and K-12 school districts. Our customers’ needs vary greatly, and we recognize that when assembling deployment packages. Budgets, business needs, resources and size are all factors that come into play when institutions are deciding what path is the right fit for them – and one size never fits all.

What we like to remind both our customers and prospects is that while we develop the core software itself, it is designed to allow your team to configure it in a way that best fits your institution. Through the discovery process, your team will work with Softdocs to pinpoint current process challenges and implement the solution in a manner that will provide the greatest return on investment.

In each step of our implementation process, from discovery to installation to training, our team likes to work closely with the customer to ensure that all decisions are made with the institutions’ goals in mind. We like to empower our customers to take our solutions and use them in unique and creative ways.

The final step of our implementation process is training. Our customers benefit from the ability to take advantage of various training options and select any or all based on their particular needs. While some companies offer a cut and dry training program, Softdocs believes in accommodating various objectives each customer has and assisting them in designing a training plan that makes sense for their resources and goals.

Whether Softdocs is new to you or you are a current customer looking for a potential refresher or new employee training, Softdocs has developed training options that work for every type of institution.

On-site Training – This type of training is done at your institution allowing the trainer to sit down with you one-on-one to work through your daily business processes. With on-site training, your team gets a dedicated Softdocs trainer to help ensure your end users understand the software solution, as well as help transition them from their current processes. This is great for institutions who feel they need more assistance in getting their [...]