Expanding Softdocs ROI with Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
Once the college had successfully implemented both Ellucian Colleague and Serve by Softdocs, focus soon shifted to introducing other Softdocs systems on campus—including Softdocs’ legacy electronic forms and content management solutions.
“When we chose Softdocs as a partner, it wasn’t just about Serve,” said Evans. “We also selected Softdocs’ Doc e Scan and Doc e Fill solutions, recognizing the value they’d provide as our college went paperless. You see, we had paper everywhere!”
Within some departments on campus, documents dating back to the college’s founding 63 years ago still resided in filing cabinets and storage. Softdocs’ legacy ECM solutions provided the opportunity to begin digitizing and electronically archiving much of the paper files and documents on campus, as well as begin reducing the rate that paper accumulates around campus, through electronic forms. Resources, once committed to standing up a new ERP, were reallocated to begin building the organizational structure for the college’s content repository within Doc e Scan. Softdocs handled much of the back scanning of decades of files, allowing faculty and staff to focus efforts on incorporating front-end scanning within their day-to-day processes and workflows. Financial Aid was the first office on campus to begin leveraging this approach.
At this time, the college also began replacing paper forms with electronic forms. “We chose to start with forms that impact every area on campus, such as leave reports, leave requests and time sheets because those are things that every employee has to do,” said Evans. “We knew if we could get employee buy-in doing those forms, it would be much easier to implement other forms that don’t serve as wide of an area.”
Introducing E-Forms and Next Steps with ECM
It didn’t take long for the college to receive the buy-in from employees they were looking for. “When Financial Aid saw what we were doing with student records and how it would benefit their day-to-day, they said ‘now we want our forms’,” said Evans. “It really wasn’t long after we started using electronic forms that every area on campus approached us about needing certain forms digitized.”
For example, Rockingham’s Admissions and Records offices were interested in having forms created to be filled out by faculty for students that came to their areas for help.
“After the employee-facing forms, those were some of the next forms we introduced — forms for students but that would be filled out and submitted by faculty.”
A few examples of these e-forms include:
- Progress Report for TRIO and Early College
- Instructor Form for Missed Classes
- Grade Change Form
- Proctored Tutoring Request
- Teleworking Agreement
- Network Access Form
From Legacy Systems to Etrieve by Softdocs
2017 saw Rockingham migrate from Softdocs’ legacy ECM solutions to Softdocs’ browser-based Etrieve platform. Architected specifically for Education, Etrieve combines content management, electronic forms and workflow automation into an easily scalable, seamless ECM experience for every user—whether on campus or online. Documents residing in Doc e Scan were copied over and filed within Etrieve Content’s customizable filing structure, without impacting any users at the college. Etrieve Forms and Etrieve Flow replaced Doc e Fill, elevating the school’s utilization of electronic forms and workflows with additional capabilities and efficiencies.
“While Doc e was still running great for us, we knew that migrating to Etrieve would put us where we needed to be,” said Evans. “We knew that Etrieve would be a more mobile-ready solution, and we’ve learned that it has many more capabilities than our legacy system did.”
Leveraging Etrieve, Rockingham expanded their use of electronic forms to include student-facing forms that could easily be filled out and submitted online, without requiring students to spend time on campus to do so. All Doc e forms were converted to Etrieve forms, and with Etrieve it’s easier than ever to create new forms at the pace desired by departments and offices across campus.
“A lot of our forms now leverage databases that have been built, pulling data directly into forms and prepopulating fields for our students and staff. We are using drop downs and autopopulating fields to make our forms as user-friendly as possible.”