Bringing the work to the worker: ECM in the field

Have you ever been in a car accident, and had a claims adjuster come to the scene? They typically come armed with a clipboard, camera and a car that looks like a mini-office.

What’s wrong with this?

We talk a lot about the benefits of ECM – process management, document management, compliance, etc. But if they don’t work the way the users need them to work – in this case, completely offline – what good are they?

Not good at all. The OTTC session I went to about offline ECM capabilities yesterday pointed to this same situation with a claims adjuster. What ends up happening is that two worlds are created – an electronic one and a manual one. Work becomes more difficult because any task must be duplicated, once in each world. And, even worse, because it can’t get into that electronic world from the get-go, the process is held in limbo until it can.

When I talked about how an ECM system must work for the person in the last post, it was all about integrations. Now, it’s absolutely necessary to consider the offline capabilities as a requirement, too.

Think about if the claims adjuster could electronically fill out forms and ingest documents, photos and other content. Then, as soon as he or she is able, connect to the ECM system and sync the information. The process starts that much sooner.Two mechanics look under a car's hood

This is just one example of the offline need for ECM. In this increasingly more Web, cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) working world, it’s so important not to forget the people that don’t have readily available access to systems through these methods.

Taking it a step further, the offline capability is just one tool that the claims adjuster – and other types of field workers such as a case worker in government– needs to be effective. In my next post, I’m going to get into another way to look at what ECM does, not as a just a suite of tools, but rather how these tools can be applied to manage all the processes, content and documents to get a very specific job done.

Check back often today and tomorrow for more posts from the OnBase Training & Technology Conference (OTTC), Hyland Software’s annual user conference.

Or, subscribe by e-mail or RSS for automatic updates. I’ll also be tweeting news of fresh entries from @HylandSoftware, where you can keep up with OTTC activity via the #OTTC hashtag.

Her title may say "Public Relations Specialist," but Kaitlin McCready's got her hand in the corporate Web site, social media, marketing writing and media relations, too. From Baldwin-Wallace College, she came to Hyland in March '08 with big ideas for PR and marketing, including this very blog. In her spare time, she enjoys being disappointed by Cleveland sports, spending time with family and friends, and being involved with the PRSA Cleveland chapter, especially the Young PRos committee. Check her out on Twitter (@kaitmccready) and LinkedIn (
Kaitlin McCready

Kaitlin McCready

Her title may say “Public Relations Specialist,” but Kaitlin McCready’s got her hand in the corporate Web site, social media, marketing writing and media relations, too. From Baldwin-Wallace College, she... read more about: Kaitlin McCready