Putting the Horse Before the Cart, Randy Eckel, CEO, ImageTag
KwikTag V6 and the humble mail cart
I’ve been asked recently about how we came up with the idea for our groundbreaking new KwikTag Platform. The spark came via a customer visit almost five years ago, where we did something unique to most software companies… we asked and listened. And, in that moment, the answer literally passed right in front of us.
As I was sitting in the CFO’s office at a customer site, the mail cart, pushed by a very pleasant gentleman, showed up at the door. He dropped off a six inch stack of file folders and picked up a dozen from the CFO’s desk. After he left, the CFO looked at his foot tall stack of folders, then at the departing mail deliver cart and said… “I want to get rid of these” and spread his hands to indicate both the stack of folders and the cart that delivered them.
The burden of manual processes
In reality, it wasn’t JUST the files or the cart that this CFO wanted to replace. It was the PROCESS that required a physical mail cart to be pushed around with all those files and all the problems inherent in that process—inefficiency, lack of visibility, potential for error, etc.
There were existing software solutions on the market that would (mostly) solve this problem. But they cost too much to buy and took too long to deploy. They were software systems built for the enterprise. They were heavily customized, and as such often took years to deploy and cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars once complete.
The CFO I spoke with wanted a solution that was a simple, functional and affordable, relatively speaking, as a mail cart. BUT, without the hidden costs and inherent risks that the mail cart represented.
The opportunity of process automation for the middle market
As I have written before, we saw an opportunity to build a low cost, fast to deploy, easy to learn solution that would have 80% of the feature function of the enterprise systems, at 20% of the cost, and 10% of the deployment time. In effect, we purpose built the system for our existing customers.
As we worked on replacing the file folders in the cart with electronic documents that zipped through the organization we realized the solution was more than just electronic versions of documents and workflow approvals. We had to build a system that automated the entire process those documents were a part of… we had to integrate with the other business systems (like an ERP or HR System) that were part of the process… we had to be very flexible about the way in which documents came into the process. We had to have security, reporting and auditing capabilities, flexible routing and delegation capabilities, and multipart workflows for specific documents in a file. In essence we had to deliver a full case management system, along with integrated transactional content management capabilities and easy to use and deploy business process automation.
KwikTag v6 cross-pollinates the best of case management, with the best of business process automation and transactional content management. I was thinking of naming the new category Business Process Transactional Case Management… or BPTCM. Just kidding. We just call it KwikTag v6.