As paper based documents decline, I would expect that digital documents will increase, nothing scientific here, documents will never cease to exist!
Office Equipment Dealers can and should be the stewards of those digital documents, either by selling document management software or enabling clients with Managed Document Services.
I had a day of down time at the end of the last quarter and was able to catch up with Jon Langdon who is Vice President Product & Development for DocuWare.
Jon was transitioned over to DocuWare with the purchase of Westbrook Technologies back in September of 2013. His first job out of college was with Westbrook and started at the software support desk, a few years later was promoted to Field Consultant, and then moved to Fortis & Fortis Blue. Jon stated that he has always had a passion to develop software that would offer "ease of use" to end users.
Thus, we had some time to chat about the newest version of DocuWare 6.8.
Jon, I heard there was a new version released in September — DocuWare 6.8 —what’s new and what's the added value for DocuWare resellers?
The big new feature with DocuWare 6.8 is our DocuWare Forms module. DocuWare Forms replaces paper-based forms and the processes around them with an electronic form. For resellers it’s a great opportunity to go back to their customers who have been successful with DocuWare for years and find a way to bring even more efficiency and value to their customer. There are a lot of forms products out there today, but all of them are a separate platform from the document management platform. That’s where DocuWare sees a big opportunity – we’ve built our own forms solution and it’s completely integrated into the product. The point of electronic forms is to improve end-to-end business processes, and there is no better way to do that than with a fully featured document management platform with embedded electronic forms.
I remember that ease of use for your software is a core belief, is that still the case?
You bet it is; a big new feature in 6.8 is our continued focus is on ease of use. This is a really important topic for us. We know that having the best, most capable, most feature-rich document management product isn’t enough. If an ECM initiative doesn’t get adoption within an organization it will never produce ROI, and it will never grow within the company. When we look at what is important to our Partners, it’s being able to give our customers a product that is simple to use, intuitive, and maybe even enjoyable because of the time savings the employees get. For our Partners it means smooth roll out, easy adoption, and in the end they have an easy time going back to that customer to start their second ECM project, then their 3rd, 4th, etc.
Are there any key areas that you are focusing on for ease of use?
We’re focusing in a couple key areas for ease of use:
- · Administration – we’ve taken all of the most commonly used administration features and put them into a really nice and simple web-based interface that we call “File Cabinet Administration.” When an administrator wants to create a new file cabinet or give a user access to documents it’s very straight forward and intuitive. You don’t need to be in IT to do this stuff.
- · Capture – From the main scanning screen we’ve put in some new screens which let the user know how their documents are getting stored. We offer a lot of functionality around splitting documents, automatically filing them away, OCRing, etc. For a seasoned user it is probably something they understand already but for someone new it might not be completely clear what is happening or where stuff is going, and if there is an error-- how to resolve it. Now, all of this is in a very simple history window – so I know exactly where stuff went and what happened to it. If there was an error with something it stands right out in the history window and I can even retry it directly from there.
What about Mobile users, is there something to help them with DocuWare 6.8?
Mobile – We’ve added a new mobile app to our product family – DocuWare Hub. The main point of DocuWare Hub is that it can connect any other mobile application that you might use on your phone to DocuWare. For example, let’s say that I use Google Docs on my phone and I want to send a copy of a spreadsheet to DocuWare… I can do that from Google Docs right on my phone now. DocuWare Hub lets people use the apps they want to on their mobile devices side by side with DocuWare.
Wow, that's impressive!
I've heard some chatter recently about DocuWare Forms, how can that help end users ease their pain when working with forms?
Paper forms are difficult – as a person filling out a form you have to sit there and write in small little boxes and you always run out of space… just so you can give the form to someone to have them type everything you just wrote into a computer. And think of all the paperwork when you start a new job. You have employee record, emergency contact info, health insurance, dental insurance, tax forms… and all of those forms want the same information over and over again – first name, middle name, last name, address, SSN… I get tired and annoyed filling out that stuff over and over again.
What are the features of the new DocuWare Forms product and the pain-point issues it solves for customers?
Rather than having to deal with all that paper I can fill out the information from a company website, portal, or even a tablet. One DocuWare form replaces all of those forms. And the beautiful part – the end result can be identical to the paper form… like the IRS tax forms – you can take the data from the DocuWare form and lay it right on top of a PDF of the government form, so the end result is that you’re using the original government form.
For companies this is a great thing… not only do they not have to waste money on printed paper forms (especially those costly three-part forms that you see all over the place).. but even better is that they don’t have to waste money on retyping the data from the handwritten paper form. That information is already digital when it’s put into a DocuWare form. They can use our various database connectors and workflow tools to get that data into other systems too, if they need it.
And I think the last benefit is that DocuWare Forms fits in perfectly with our workflow tools. Let’s get back to that new employee example. Maybe one of the HR forms I have is a direct deposit form. Once the employee fills out that DocuWare Form, it can go right into a DocuWare workflow… the person in payroll gets an email with a link to the direct deposit form; from there they can enter any information they need to set up the employee in the payroll system. Once the employee is set up in the payroll system they automatically get a confirmation email from the workflow letting them know they are all set up and they will get their next paycheck in their direct deposit account. All of that is really simple to set up. And, think about how efficient that is compared to how most companies are doing it today.
Nice, that's what I call workflow! One more question for you. In reference to the SMB market, what is the current percentage of Document Management Software Adoption?
There's about a 15% adoption among SMBs which leaves a tremendous amount of green space for additional adoption of Document Management Software. There's such a big piece of pie available out there. Just think, with 15% adoption that leaves 85% of SMB companies with employees from 50-500 that do not have Document Management Software.
Pretty incredible once you think of it that way, kinda reminds me of the fax industry many years ago, the adoption rate was low at first and then exploded when SMBs figured out how much time they could save, along with the ease of use for fax machines. I'm thinking we're at that tipping point where every SMB can cost justify Document Management Software to develop workflows that will increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
Jon, thank you for the time today and looking forward to seeing you at DocuWorld this Spring.