The Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts wanted to find a way of streamlining access to documents, especially information used to help its investigatory staff fight insurance fraud. AIB installed a KnowledgeLake ECM solution along with Microsoft SharePoint, which has reduced the time that documents are available for review from days to just hours.
The Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts (AIB) has served the state’s insurance companies since 1925. The industry organization provides a wide range of services and expertise, such as guidelines for rates and policies, support for insurance rules and forms, and actuarial and legal services.
AIB also provides Information Systems Services to the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB). IFB augments the fraud-fighting efforts of insurance companies by investigating the most complex instances of insurance fraud, developing materials for use by the courts and law enforcement. As part of that effort AIB administers a database that contains tens of thousands of documents delivered by insurers in many different formats, including paper documents, CDs, and email attachments.
“Historically, original documents were retained for administrative purposes, and all documents were either copied or printed for investigations,” says Ira Dobrow, Development Manager for AIB. “But the investigative process is decentralized, so printed copies of the documents were transported weekly around the state and could not be readily accessed by senior staff. It could take days or longer to obtain documents. Copying and printing costs were excessive, our response time was slow, and IFB’s business processing was hampered.”
The organization needed a solution thatcould make documents available to staff members quickly and from any location. Due to this requirement, the organization was already considering a move to Microsoft SharePoint.
“We hoped to achieve other benefits too, such as reduced copying and printing costs, easier and faster searching for information, and better compliance with document destruction requirements,” Dobrow says.
Dobrow learned about KnowledgeLake Enterprise Content Management software products at an industry conference, and realized it would provide an ideal solution for the organization’s document challenges.
“We considered a variety of ECM products,” Dobrow says. “But with our limited budget and Microsoft-centric network, we never considered any software that would require significant change to our infrastructure. Plus KnowledgeLake was tightly integrated with Microsoft SharePoint, which we wanted to introduce into our environment. That was a major factor in our decision.”
AIB deployed several KnowledgeLake products along with SharePoint. These include KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which is used for attaching metadata to documents during scanning and for document search and retrieval, and KnowledgeLake Capture, which is used with the organization’s multi-function machines to aid the actual scanning process. AIB also deployed KnowledgeLake Connect, which allows employees to upload digital information such as Microsoft Office documents, emails, and audio and video files directly into SharePoint libraries.
To help the document management process, AIB uses Nintex workflow software, which integrates with SharePoint to give users a variety of review and approval options. The solution also integrates with a custom, Microsoft .NETbased line-of-business application used for managing cases and referrals.
Core functions of the new system took two AIB employees—working with help from KnowledgeLake Professional Services— about eight weeks to implement. AIB made continued improvements after that, and also trained employees on the new system and updated business workflows.
With the KnowledgeLake ECM solution in place, IFB users have fast access to important documents, which helps them do their jobs more effectively. The user experience is aided by the tight integration of the KnowledgeLake products into the organization’s daily business productivity software. The IT department benefitted as well through a relatively fast deployment process and minimal training required for the organization’s small technical staff.
Fast Document Access
The ECM solution led to significant productivity improvements in how daily IFB tasks are performed. Now users can quickly access shared documents instead of spending time trying to find scattered paper files. “In the past there were always delays in getting documents to the right person—and the legal department quite often did not get copies at all,” says Dobrow. “Now paper documents are immediately scanned and uploaded to SharePoint using KnowledgeLake Capture, while electronic documents are uploaded via KnowledgeLake Connect. With the KnowledgeLake solution, it’s now just hours instead of days from when we receive documents to when that information is accessible to employees.”
Seamless Integration of Functionality
KnowledgeLake Viewer—a component of KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint that lets users view and annotate PDFs within SharePoint—is an especially powerful tool that highlights the tight integration of functions within the new ECM solution. “The KnowledgeLake Viewer is one powerful piece of software,” Dobrow says. “In our document lifecycle, we need to annotate PDFs, run workflows, search inside documents, and do occasional printing. It’s very convenient that the KnowledgeLake Viewer has all of this functionality and has greatly simplified user training. With the integration of the Viewer and our line-of-business application, some users don’t even realize that they’re using SharePoint at all, which we think is a plus.”
Streamlined Work for IT
Introducing multiple enterprise products in one deployment could be a cause for concern in a small IT department. But the tight integration of KnowledgeLake and SharePoint erased those concerns for AIB. “When we deployed KnowledgeLake and SharePoint, it felt like the IT department was learning just one product instead of two,” Dobrow says. “Everything my IT staff learned about configuring KnowledgeLake products was a lesson in how to configure SharePoint, and vice versa. With just four people in the department, the integration was a huge benefit to us.