Quadrant Unveils IntelliChief for Paperless Process Management
September 27, 2005 Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software pulled out the stops at the COMMON conference last week to unveil IntelliChief, a new suite of document and content management software designed to help iSeries shops break their reliance on paper-based processes and make the move to electronic documents and workflow. The new product has been a long time in coming for Quadrant, which celebrated the occasion by welcoming several hundred conference attendees to an open-bar party and a chance to win a $90,000 Porsche 911 Carrera.
While nobody won the Porsche (or, more correctly, nobody won a chance to win the sports car), Quadrant generated plenty of excitement at the Orlando, Florida, computer conference last week with lots of other prizes, and, of course, the unveiling of IntelliChief, the company’s next-generation document and content management software. Quadrant has spent years and millions of dollars on IntelliChief, which is based in part on technology it acquired from another company, and officials with the company think they have come up with the right mix of technology and products to help customers save money by getting rid of manual paper-based processes.
Paperless Process Management
Officials say IntelliChief provides a “soup to nuts” solution that unites an alphabet-soup mix of related concepts, including enterprise content management (ECM), electronic document management (EDM), business process management (BPM), electronic records management (ERM), electronic document distribution (EDD), and information life cycle management (ILM). The technology that unites this all is paperless process management, or PPM, the company says.
Documents are “born” into a PPM system like IntelliChief either internally, through an ERP or a CRM application, or externally, in which case they may already be in a digital format, as a fax or an e-mail attachment, or they are paper-based and must be scanned and indexed into the PPM system.
Once a document is in the IntelliChief PPM system, it automatically enters the document archive and workflow cycle. This means it can be prioritized, routed, retrieved, edited, processed, protected, reviewed, and have other activities performed on it based on a flexible, centrally managed workflow map, the company says. Users can also assign deadlines for each stage of a document’s progress, and have it generate notifications for different stages.
One of the key advantages of a PPM system like IntelliChief, Quadrant says, is that documents are stored in a central location (on a SQL Server database, in IntelliChief’s case), which makes it easier for administrators to secure and keep available. Having a single document repository also makes it easier to track who is accessing documents, which is important for complying with new laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, the company says.
There are five new pieces of software in Quadrant’s IntelliChief offering, including ScanChief, PortalChief, WorkflowChief, ViewChief, and StorageChief. Also finding a seat on the IntelliChief PPM platform are Quadrant’s existing fax and document management products, including FastFax, Formtastic, Formatter, and Email Gateway. Together, these eight products satisfy the six states of PPM as Quadrant sees them, including capture, create, distribute, retrieve, workflow, and archive.
ScanChief will provide integration with popular document scanners, such as Fujitsu (with whom Quadrant has entered into a partnership), as well as Kofax‘s popular scanning solutions. FastFax and Email Gateway are the other parts of the IntelliChief solution that will satisfy the need to capture documents into a PPM solution.
Quadrant’s Formtastic and Formatter products satisfy the document creation portion of IntelliChief. Quadrant has more than a decade of experience working with the output of the major OS/400 ERP systems, and that knowledge and expertise is now brought forward into IntelliChief through the integration of its existing technology. Likewise, Quadrant’s existing solutions, including the Email Gateway, Fastfax, and Formtastic, will satisfy the distribution component of PPM.
Document retrieval has been bolstered with IntelliChief through the ViewChief and PortalChief offerings. These products provide users with a choice of thick client or Web-based interfaces, and offer an array of features, including search capabilities, thumbnail views, authentication and encryption, and customizable views.
StorageChief is the archive portion of IntelliChief, and resides in the SQL Server database. This is where administrators enforce document retention policies, and handle the “virtual links” that enable documents to appear in multiple folders. But the heart of IntelliChief resides in WorkflowChief. This is where administrators define how the paperless documents will flow within an organization, where supervisors will be required to review or approve certain documents, how deadlines will be enacted an enforced, and how notifications will be handled.
Windows Server and SQL Server were chosen as the core platform for the StorageChief and WorkflowChief components because this platform provides the most flexibility for IntelliChief users, who will be mostly iSeries shops, says Gary Langton, president of Quadrant Software. While IntelliChief will leverage Quadrant’s experience with the OS/400 server and its expertise in connecting to the platform’s major ERP systems, IntelliChief will also be applicable in non-iSeries shops. “IntelliChief fully supports the iSeries, but an iSeries 400 is not required,” Langton says. “This product is architected to be able to handle any platform.”
Officials with Quadrant, which recently moved its headquarters from New England to Tampa, Florida, sees regulatory compliance as one of the primary drivers for IntelliChief sales. Since paper-based processes are prevalent in a variety of industries, the software will find use at many different types of businesses, company officials say. Medium to large companies will the primary users of the software, they say.
IntelliChief is still in development and should become available in November, company officials said. Customers will typically pay about $50,000 for the software, which will also include professional services from Quadrant. Quadrant will recommend users rely on its expertise to install and implement the system. For more information, visit www.quadrantsoftware.com.