Quadrant Updates Forms Package, Content Management System
Published: May 1, 2007
by Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software made two separate but related product announcements this week at the COMMON conference in Anaheim, California. The first concerns the unveiling of a new electronic payment module to Formtastic, the company's forms management software for i5/OS. The second involves the addition of customizable workflow functionality to IntelliChief, its new Windows-based document and content management system, which is being aimed squarely at medium- to large-size System i shops, in addition to existing Formtastic users.
With Formtastic version 5.4, Quadrant has added a new Electronic Payments Module that allows System i users to send money electronically using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank network. The software lets users send payments electronically in much less time that it would take to cut a check.
Here's how the new payment module works: Formtastic takes the i5/OS spool data, converts the information to an electronic check, and then sends the ACH file out to the network after ensuring it complies with regulations. These steps can be set in motion directly from a System i screen.
In addition to the new ACH capability, Formtastic 5.4 brings support for two-dimensional barcodes, using With BarDIMM or BarSTORM plug-ins, which allows Formtastic users to include more data in their 2D barcodes. Another new feature, designed for check-printing operations, simplifies the printing of check remittance information when it spills over onto a second i5/OS spool file, called a spool file overflow. With this release, remittance information from multiple spool files can be automatically merged, ensuring that all the information gets printed on one check.
Formtastic version 5.4 is available now. Pricing starts at $8,400 for Formtastic. Pricing for the new Electronic Payments Module starts at $3,495.
Quadrant also updated IntelliChief, which it first unveiled at the Fall 2005 COMMON show in Orlando, Florida. This paperless process management, or PPM, suite is designed to addresses many of the problems companies face while trying to do business with paper-based documents, including capturing existing documents, creating new documents, distributing documents, retrieving documents, automating workflow, and archiving documents.
Quadrant has added a slew of enhancements with IntelliChief version 1.5. Chief among these is the new capability to recycle previously created workflow components and functions. Now, when a user creates a series of similar workflows for different departments, or if a previously created workflow needs to be modified to fit another process, it's an easy matter to clone or add to the workflows.
This release also gets new e-mail notification. Now, users can set up notifications that can be sent to any e-mail address to notify recipients of document status, including pending approvals, routing events, and expiring deadlines. Quadrant says the new e-mail notification functionality will lead to faster resolution of issues.
Another time-saving device on the client-side is the group workflow inbox capability, which is used to send and receive workflow notifications and which functions similarly to e-mail inboxes. With this release, workers who use several workflow inboxes, such as managers overseeing several business processes, can arrange their inboxes in groups, using the familiar tree-like structure that enables them to expand or collapse the view as needed.
A new folder-monitoring feature Quadrant has added should also keep documents and business processes in motion, particularly in high volume environments. By setting up folders that IntelliChief continually monitors, users can be assured that newly captured documents arriving in the system via document imaging, e-mail, or fax, will be automatically attached to the correct workflow process, and that a notification will be sent to the person responsible for the documents.
Quadrant has also developed a new print-capture driver that can automatically capture and index output from any PC document, such as a Word or Excel file, while maintaining profiles and security features. A new automated re-indexing feature has also been added, which will be handy when batches of related documents need to be updated, such as when a check is cut and indexes for invoices and purchase orders need to be updated, Quadrant says. A new automated index propagation feature has also been added with this release.
An improvement to IntelliChief's document separation features should help users keep big documents from becoming big headaches. With this release, users can break big documents into smaller documents that have their own links. For example, if an organization received an invoice with multiple line items related to different purchase orders, the user can use the document separation feature to link the invoice to individual purchase orders, which will each have its own index and can be part of different workflow processes, Quadrant says.
When problems do arise, troubleshooting them will be easier thanks to new system diagnostic tools included in IntelliChief version 1.5. Quadrant says the tools will let administrators know when an element of the system, like a service on the server or a hardware component, has a problem and needs attention.
Other new features include support for full text search, which should speed searches for particular documents hidden in large databases, and support for remote clients signing onto the IntelliChief server over a wide area network (WAN).
IntelliChief version 1.5 is available now. Pricing starts at $4,995 per module, with fully configured systems averaging about $50,000 per installation, including software, scanning hardware, installation, and training. For more information, visit www.quadrantsoftware.com.
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