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Extending Content Services Systems – Leveraging Riptide® with ECM Systems


Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems are important document repositories of record as well as critical components of operational business and case processes within organizations in every industry. All organizations must deal with an increasingly complex confluence of content. Everything from e-mail messages and social media, to a multitude of databases, document repositories and legacy print and mail systems all must be managed, protected and maintained in order for ‘business as usual’ to proceed. Mismanage even a single piece of the content management puzzle and chances are that your company is not experiencing optimal performance and possibly incurring increased risk.

A great deal of attention is paid to the systems that collect and archive enterprise information. The strategic focus is often on capturing and retaining information digitally and/or converting paper documents into digital files with the goal of removing paper from enterprise processes. This digital transformation is well underway and it is common for most enterprise organizations to have multiple information systems and content repositories to support any number of specialized processes, departments and jurisdictions.

Information Input vs. Information Output

While ECM systems are very good at information input, they don’t do a very good job at information output. These platforms all provide great ability to capture, search and view data, but most do not provide easy or efficient ways to output, or publish, the information.

Consider a case-based process which requires users to collect information – for example as part of an insurance claim, customer services request or perhaps criminal proceedings – and provide a case file of related documents for consumption by other internal teams or third parties.

Publishing case files can be a slow and error prone manual process. It requires finding, opening and viewing each document in the case, to then collate, assemble and print or output in some digital delivery channel. This issue is compounded in most ECM systems by the fact that documents can be stored in multiple formats, such as MS Office documents, images and print ready files, all of which need to be combined into a final bundle, often in the same document format, often as PDF. Not only that, but the required documents may likely be spread around multiple, separate ECM systems making this process even more challenging.

Homegrown Work-Arounds

Some ECM platforms have the ability to output manually aggregated results, but as a general rule the results are limited to the documents’ original file format in a simple .zip file with no capability for the user to perform value-added functionality such as sorting, watermarking, annotating or indexing the contents. In the end, even with the most advanced ECM systems, most companies suffer from lowered operational productivity and effectiveness due to this missing output functionality.

Many customers resort to developing their own in-house ECM publishing point solution to address these weaknesses. But this approach results in significant initial development costs as well as the burden of ongoing maintenance, often exacerbated by ECM system upgrades and various incompatibilities encountered.
In the end, satisfying common business requirements for outputting, or publishing, content from most ECM systems is difficult and costly. The result is lower case-worker productivity, a less effective end product, and significant I investment in the absence of a purpose-built enterprise solution.

A Better Approach

Crawford Technologies provides a better approach with Riptide® — an output management solution for ECM repositories. This innovative solution provides the ability to output content from Enterprise Content Management platforms and solutions from virtually any document format and for virtually any destination you choose. Using Riptide, you can collect and package ECM content from any variety of disparate repositories and then output that content in standard print and digital delivery formats.

Riptide supports very high volumes of documents and seamlessly and easily integrates into existing multi-vendor and multi-repository enterprise ECM environments, and supports office, print and imaging file types.

When you need to collect and publish enterprise content, Riptide makes it easy to support a wide range of input formats and convert to a variety of delivery channels with a broad range of delivery options, including print, e-mail, fax, and more.

Use Cases

We believe Riptide is an essential tool for effective Enterprise Content Management. Here are just a few examples of Riptide at work today:

Enhanced Customer Communications in Financial Services

A Wall Street financial services firm deployed Riptide to create an integrated system for enhanced customer communication. The firm used Riptide as part of a major business reengineering effort to consolidate all business processes into a single managed solution. Content is accumulated through several internal and external channels and due to the very large number of documents involved, they needed to automate the output and delivery. Users request content they need, requests are automatically sent to Riptide which retrieves the content and determines the output destination. The jobs are automatically converted to the proper format for delivery. Read the entire use case here.

More Efficient Case Management in Government

This city government combines the power of ECM with the automated document aggregation and output management capability of Riptide. The police department of this suburb of Los Angeles ensures the public safety of almost 210,000 residents. Their struggle: Case management. Each case file is assembled as documents arrive and is comprised of documents in disparate formats. Files contain both scanned and electronic documents. As the investigation process proceeds, case files need to be reviewed by various departments and individuals involved. In the past, this was a manual process involving printing, copying, collating, and so forth. Now, Riptide is used to automatically find, assemble and distribute the case files. The automated process not only saves time; it also provides error tracking, logging and a record of case files sent. Read the entire use case here.

Case Management and Distribution for a Hospital

This hospital took advantage of the integration capabilities of Riptide to connect their health information management (HIM) system with their IBM FileNet Content Manager platform, resulting in a comprehensive web-based, digital healthcare records management system. The HIM collects, stores and presents unstructured data integrated with structured electronic patient records (EPR) data. With Riptide, data is collected, reformatted as necessary, and then automatically released and distributed to the appropriate departments and individuals. By eliminating manual processes, the hospital has reduced errors, saved money, and improved the customer experience. Read the entire use case here.

Streamlining Administrative Processes for an Insurance Company

This large insurance company, specializing in disability claims processing, had implemented IBM”s Case Manager for document storage and management. When handling insurance claims, numerous reports from a variety of sources are generated, typically in different formats, including Word documents, image formats, PDFs and XML transmissions. Because different audiences must receive this information securely and in a timely fashion, it was essential that the insurance company find a solution that would streamline the collation and distribution of claims documents. By using Riptide, the company was able to automatically extract documents from one or more ECM repositories, assemble a packet that included a cover sheet, table of contents, and other relevant data, and submit the complete packets to designated outputs, including print, fax, and ePresentment. The insurance company has reduced administrative costs and provides better customer experience with this automated process. Read the entire use case here.

Moving Forward

Riptide provides a number of important capabilities that organizations should consider if they hope to fulfill the full promise of Enterprise Content Management tightly integrated with business processes and adding business value. With Riptide you can output multiple disparate documents in batch or real time. Easily pull content from different ECM repositories and then distribute that content in multiple formats and for multiple destinations or devices. Eliminate bottlenecks associated with ECM output while you track the delivery of your content in the form of print, fax, e-mail, PDF and more.

Riptide supports user-driven and automated process integration scenarios. Riptide integrates with virtually any ECM system via either standard CMIS interface or via the REST API. Integration with an automated process can be easily accomplished with the REST API. For either scenario, simply designate the documents needed, specify the desired attributes such as Table of Contents, watermarks, page ordering, etc. and then output in one or multiple formats to the desired delivery medium and method.

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