Published on 13-Aug-2010
Validated on 10 May 2012
"Before, we had people pulling more than 600 documents a month from the basement. As a result, it could take 24 hours before our frontline staff had the documents they needed to respond to citizen questions. Now, by moving to a paperless environment that focuses on optimizing case outcomes, they can access the information online in seconds.”" - Chuck Picard, Enterprise EDMS Coordinator, State of North Dakota
State of North Dakota
Enterprise Content Management, Leveraging Information
Working with IBM, the State of North Dakota revamped its approach to retaining, accessing and leveraging information and records, dramatically reducing their response times from days to seconds.
As part of its work to manage services more efficiently and enhance case outcomes, the State of North Dakota needed the ability to extract more insight from its growing volume of information and apply it to each individual case.
Working with IBM, the State of North Dakota is implementing advanced case management practices that facilitate the sharing of citizen information across offices statewide and provide greater visibility into operations.
Reduces time to respond to citizen inquiries from days to seconds; drives cost savings through improved fraud detection and operational efficiencies; improves public safety.
As states grapple with budget cuts and hiring freezes, public officials need to extract more insight from existing information and apply it to individual cases if they are to improve citizen services while reducing costs.
The state of North Dakota offers a prime example. State officials are working to bring together disparate stores of case information, process automation and analytics across agencies to manage services more efficiently and enhance case outcomes. For example, in the future, the state hopes to provide North Dakota parole officers with access to more current parolee case information in the field so they can be better prepared for house visits. Today, there is often a lag time between when information, such as a list of a parolee’s acquaintances, is submitted to the central office and when the parole officer can access it. And this lag time can lead to potential safety issues.
“Advanced case management will help keep our parole officers safer because they'll have information faster and more reliably,” says Chuck Picard, enterprise electronic document management system (EDMS) coordinator, State of North Dakota. “When they show up to a door, they'll know potentially who might be associated with that parolee and who may be behind that door.”
The groundwork for its move to advanced case management was laid several years ago when North Dakota’s state government launched an information management modernization effort to keep up with a continually growing volume of information and records. Everyday document storage and retrieval had become an increasingly difficult task with paper files filling storage locations. Most North Dakota government agencies used paper-based means to store, catalog and retrieve records. These systems were increasingly unable to support the state’s growing collection of citizen, business and internal records.
“We had people who worked from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. processing forms,” says Picard. “These forms were then stored in the basement of the capitol building while the people who needed them were on the sixteenth floor.”
Providing immediate access to information
Working with IBM, the state revamped its approach to retaining, accessing and leveraging information and records. “We selected IBM Software not only because of its basic capabilities, but also because of its position in the marketplace and the number of business solutions that are integrated with IBM Software,” says Picard.
Through the implementation of a centralized electronic archive, business process automation and electronic forms, the state was able create a content-centric framework that enables it to effectively manage citizen information across its life cycle and as part of critical business processes. By doing so, the state has not only solved its storage challenges but has also dramatically improved staff productivity and service to both internal and external clients.
For example, with IBM® FileNet® Content Manager, IBM FileNet Business Process Manager and IBM Content Collector for File Systems, the Office of State Tax Commissioner has streamlined the filing and management of tax returns. This has reduced paper storage requirements to a minimum, significantly improved access to records, and decreased the amount of time required to gather information and process returns.
“Before, we had people pulling more than 600 documents a month from the basement,” says Picard. “As a result, it could take 24 hours before our frontline staff had the documents they needed to respond to citizen questions. Now, by moving to a paperless environment that focuses on optimizing case outcomes, they can access the information online in seconds.”
Likewise, by scanning child support remittals and making them available for use by regional office staff and court clerks, employees at the North Dakota Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement can rapidly identify any late or missing payments.
According to Picard, faster access to information can improve not only the speed of service, but also the quality of service. “IBM Software empowers our staff to think of better ways to do their job,” says Picard.
Achieving greater efficiency
In all, 22 agencies and more than 2,000 state employees across North Dakota, including the Departments of Commerce, Taxation, Transportation, Human Services, and Secretary of State, currently use the case management features of IBM Software. This solution helps manage a wide variety of citizen records and information, ranging from unemployment applications and vehicle registrations to tax filings and flexible benefit records. The number of users is expected to increase by hundreds of people as other state agencies come online and as the state provides county employees with access to the system to enable critical information sharing between agencies at both the state and local levels.
“Those who use IBM Software today want more, and those that don’t are waiting in line to get it,” says Picard. “More users and applications are constantly coming on board.”
As a result of its work with IBM, North Dakota enjoys increased operating efficiencies, improved services and a reduction in overhead expenses. For example, the payback for implementing IBM Software in the Public Employees Retirement System was achieved in only six months. The Tax Department eliminated the need for a second shift during the income tax processing season. And traffic citations are automatically indexed and stored in the IBM platform and work objects routed, as information is passed from the court to the assigned worker in the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s Driver Improvement Service division for processing.
“With IBM Software, we realize significant economies of scale—a critical requirement for a state operating on a limited budget,” says Picard. “Files and content can be shared across departments and agencies without the requirement for additional systems integration. For example, Tax Department staff has direct access to Department of Motor Vehicle records to help ensure compliance with sales tax requirements.”
Improving outcomes with greater insight
With a solid foundation in place, the state plans to take case management to the next level by applying content analytics and rule-based engines to help staff better identify patterns, assess case progress and confirm citizen eligibility for services.
For example, once implemented, the state’s Food Stamp program will be able to deliver benefits more quickly and detect fraud so that only citizens who are eligible for these services receive them. “There are eight regional Human Service centers, and they all rely on silos of information to provide assistance in their regions,” explains Picard. “With advanced case management capabilities, we have the flexibility to house those documents in a repository, automatically route applications to the proper case worker, and run analytics against them to find patterns where fraud might exist.”
Likewise, by using content analytics to analyze trends in prison incident reports, the Department of Corrections will have new insight into prisoner behavior that can be used to better train officers and improve inmate safety.
“Today prison incident reports are handwritten and kept in a file,” says Picard. “In the future, we’ll have the ability to easily pull that information off the forms, run analytics against it, and use it as a training tool for correctional officers, thus improving safety for the correctional officers and for the prison system.”
For more information
To learn more, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/data/advanced-case-management
You can get even more out of IBM Software by participating in independently run IBM Software User Groups around the world. Learn about opportunities near you at: ibm.com/software/data/content-management/usernet.html
For more information on State of North Dakota, visit: www.nd.gov
- IBM® Content Collector for File Systems
- IBM FileNet® Business Process Manager
- IBM FileNet Content Manager
- IBM FileNet eForms
- IBM FileNet Records Manager (now IBM Enterprise Records)
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America August 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and FileNet are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. IMC14304-USEN-01