Tire-Kicking Tech: Top Five Technologies Being Tested This Year

Our survey identified the top technologies queued up for testing this year. Here’s how five companies are already reaping the benefits.

1 2 3 4 5 Page 5
Page 5 of 5

5. Business Process Management

For the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC), implementing business process management software began with changing from a paper-based to an electronic workflow process. The OESC has 37 offices statewide that collect taxes and process unemployment insurance claims. Files were continually being sent by messenger between the main office in Oklahoma City and the office in Tulsa where most of the actual file work was done. When someone called in with a question, the paper record had to be tracked down in order to get an answer.

"We had tons and tons of paper files for every unemployment claim in Oklahoma," says Jerry Pectol, division director at the OESC. "It was a mess. I felt we needed to find a way to have electronic files with access from anywhere."

Two years ago, Pectol started moving to a paperless office. The OESC already had DocuShare Enterprise Content Management software from Xerox Corp., but it wasn't being used. Pectol retained a local firm, WaterWare Internet Services Inc., to customize a technology that incorporated DocuShare. The system went live in July 2005, with the electronic files in DocuShare serving as the official records of the claims. The repository contains more than 2 million searchable files on more than 280,000 claimants, with another 15,000 documents being added daily. "It doesn't matter whether it comes in through the fax server, mail, the Internet or the mainframe — it goes into DocuShare," says Pectol.

Having a document management system in place resulted in about a 30% efficiency boost and opened the door for further improvements by automating processes. "The biggest thing we are hoping to do in 2007 is automate a lot of our workflows so I don't have employees wasting time having to manually send e-mail or call someone when a document comes in or some action is taken," Pectol says.

In 2007, the focus will be on realignment of business process rules. "Right now, staff has to pull up their mainframe screen, pull up the Internet screens and pull up DocuShare. We want to be able to do everything from a single screen," says Pectol. "But there is no reason to start talking about architecture and technology until we have the processes and business rules in place."

Words of Wisdom: Fix the processes before automating them. "You have to understand the business and the process before trying to implement a big technological change," says Pectol. "It does no good to try to automate stupid processes."

Don't miss the rest of Forecast 2007.

Robb is a Computerworld contributing writer.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 3 4 5 Page 5
Page 5 of 5
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon