Last month, in Part 1 of an examination of case management we looked at how Enterprise CMS vendors have been preoccupied with the development of platforms and solutions designed to fill a growing demand for case management software.

Here in the second part of this series we look at  specific software products that companies can use to develop case management frameworks.

In our recent article on case management software, after examining current thinking on what exactly it should do we concluded that it should:

  • Provide instant access to all information
  • Be able to include all forms of content
  • Enable easy sharing and search
  • Offer collaborative tools
  • Automate mundane and time consuming tasks
  • Provide all case history
  • Flag duplication
  • Be compatible with legacy systems

At the moment there are three different possibilities for companies looking to deploy software that can carry out these functions. These include systems that provide:

  • built case management framework that can act as a common platform to configure different case applications
  • An enterprise content management system that enables case-based solutions by providing a single platform
  • Cloud-based platforms that enable organizations to design and deploy custom applications that use enterprise content management capabilities at their core. Let’s take an example of each.

Editor's note: If you haven't arleady, have a look at part one of this series: Enterprise CMS Usage Scenario: Case Management Frameworks.

Open Text Case Management Framework

Open Text’s (news, site) Case Management Framework is a multi-client management framework that provides a common platform with all the applications needed to manage cases from entry point to exit point.

Built using key elements of the Open Text ECM Suite, it offers users the ability to configure and deploy multiple case-type applications.

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The Open Text Case Management framework
 

The principal components it uses come from Open Text:

  • Document Management
  • Records Management
  • Workflow Management (Business Process Management)
  • Archiving

With Open Text Case Management users get an overall view of all case information depending on the level of permissions assigned, whether that information is contained in documents, emails, photos or interviews.

Both structured and unstructured data can be located in numerous different repositories -- even data located in repositories in different systems -- and pulled together into a single case management location.

But in terms of the criteria we already selected for effective case management how does it stack up? Quite well it seems, as it comes with all the principal features we have identified including:

  • A single location repository for storing and managing documents. It also allows full birds-eye view of content stored.
  • The ability to manage any type of electronic document in any file format, it also enables users organize electronic documents into folder hierarchies
  • Audit tools to prevent document and task duplication. The tools monitor document creation, renaming, reserving or unreserving, versioning and viewing.
  • Collaborative tools that enable numerous users to work on the same material and share it across the enterprise. Tools include project and community workspaces, real-time instant messaging.
  • Automated and customized document management processes, such as document change requests and document review and approval processes.
  • Compatibility with legacy systems. There is already an Open Text Case Management Framework for SharePoint, as well as extensions for Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

Documentum ECM

EMC (news, site) also has a case management framework that uses some of the core elements of the Documentum enterprise content management platform including content business processes, repository services and federated search and reporting capabilities.

Again, like Open Text, it provides a single, unified platform of pre-integrated technologies configured for the industry the framework is being developed for.

case management_Documentum.jpg

By starting with a given framework made up of components from Documentum, companies can use their IT department to refine their framework rather than using it to configure and write code.

The result is a framework that is highly modular with minimal customization that reduces the resources, both financial and human need to deploy it.

EMC has been heavily promoting its CCM (Collaborative Case Management) across the public sector and has identified a number of advantages for this sector including:

  • Automated processes with less paper handling including tracking and administration of all documents from the central repository. This function aims to eliminate the loss and misplacement of documents.
  • Use of Virtual File Technology (VFT) which means that any single element in a case can be managed as an individual information object.
  • Easy cross-agency collaboration through a central repository where even outside users can access the information depending on the level of permissions granted.
  • Faster and efficient response to information requests. Advanced search capabilities enable users conduct searches not just in the ECM but also across enterprise databases and other file systems.
  • International standards compliance by the customization of business rules within the system and according to the needs of the enterprise. All audits and process activities are stored as business records to prove compliancy.
  • Automatic archiving on case closure through business rules developed for the system that define not only what processes a case should be subject to, but also what files should be archived.

In addition, check out EMC's xCelerated Composition Platform (xCP), released in June of this year. It is a platform that allows you to build and deliver case-based solutions rapidly. It includes pre-packaged and pre-integrated components for content management, business process management, monitoring and reporting, compliance, intelligent capture, collaboration and customer communications management.

Cloud Case Management With SpringCM

The final case management framework we will look at is one developed around the SpringCM (news, site)  platform, which brought out v5.4 of its SaaS ECM recently.

SpringCM is a cloud-based platform that allows organizations to design and deploy custom applications that use enterprise content management capabilities at their core.

Users can design and deploy whatever applications they need for their case management needs by accessing these core services through web services, email and fax, web client.

The SpringCM platform is ideally suited to case management as users can deploy whatever applications they think necessary to move a case from entry point to archiving, or destruction.

Each department or application may have its own customized interface, but all applications share a common repository, interface and security.

case management_springcm-platform.jpg

The SpringCM platform:Easy deployment of applications for effective case mangement.
 

Keeping in mind that all applications are cloud-based, SpringCM comes with a list of applications that can be customized to produce a case management framework.

These include:

  • Ingestion of structured and unstructured data from inside and outside the company using emails, fax, scanning devices, manual upload, either individually, or on in bulk.
  • Management of documents in organized and secured hierarchical folders with versioning and collaborative tags that can be searched across the entire system.
  • Complete workflow management from ingestion of data to archiving and record creation. These workflows can be customized quickly, with advanced workflow management enabling the creation of complete business processes.
  • Integrated E-mail collaboration that enables users to include non-SpringCM users in the collaboration process with e-mail attachments saved into the central case repository.
  • Management of records by establishing record classes that determine how long and where records should be stored as well as all levels of permissions.
  • Access to data through drop-down menus with SpringCM to accommodate specific business needs.

And Finally. . .

Finally, remembering that a case is basically a grouping of information that a user works on, be it a legal brief, a customer, a location or a query, the user's objective is to pull together all the information they need into a single location to manage the case.

What kind of system you adopt depends entirely on the kind of cases and the steps needed to manage it effectively from ‘trigger’ to archiving or destruction.

After the decision to deploy a case management framework in the first place, the next most important decision is what you need it to do. It is the answer to that question that will dictate what you end up deploying and ultimately whether it effectively manages your “cases” or not.

Editor's note: Read Part 1: Enterprise CMS Usage Scenario: Case Management Frameworks