Quadrant Refines PPM Offering with IntelliChief 2.0
November 6, 2007 Alex Woodie
A potpourri of improvements were delivered last week by Quadrant Software for IntelliChief, the paperless process management, or PPM system, aimed at improving the workflow of documents at medium- and large-size System i shops. With IntelliChief version 2.0, users should be able to pull documents from a wider variety of computer systems, verify the accuracy of the data more quickly, and route it within their organization more effectively than with previous releases.
From new Web services interfaces and an audit log to more intelligent workflow processes and batch scanning capabilities that use barcodes, IntelliChief version 2.0 provides more refined ways of handling the documents that are the lifeblood of a business.
It’s been about two years since Quadrant unveiled the Windows-based IntelliChief suite to the world at a COMMON conference in Florida. At that time, Quadrant saw the combination of the suite’s five modules–ScanChief, PortalChief, WorkflowChief, ViewChief, and StorageChief, in addition to the company’s existing FastFax and Formtastic fax and document management offerings–satisfying the six states of PPM as Quadrant sees them, including capture, create, distribute, retrieve, workflow, and archive.
Since then, the company has issued a steady stream of enhancements and certifications enabling IntelliChief to work with applications and business machines commonly found in the workplace, including specific i5/OS-based ERP suites (for inputting internally created content into the system), and production-strength scanners, for inputting externally created content. With last week’s release of IntelliChief 2.0, Quadrant has once again delivered a wide swath of new functionality aimed at easing its customers’ transition from paper-based processes to paperless processes.
Chief among these new enhancements is the new Web services interface that’s designed to bring IntelliChief into a service-oriented architecture (SOA). By supporting Web services standards, Quadrant is trying to make it easier for its customers to hook up their other Web-based applications directly to IntelliChief. This way, documents and content generated by Web-based apps can be automatically input directly into the IntelliChief repository, thereby eliminating the need to make source-code level modifications to IntelliChief, according to company spokesman. The Web services interface is accomplished using Microsoft‘s .NET environment.
The workflow processing capabilities of IntelliChief–one of the core features separating it from basic archiving products–have also been enhanced. In prior releases, users could take various actions against a document, such as prioritizing it, routing it to another user for further processing, editing it, or protecting it, among other capabilities. With version 2.0, actions can be automatically performed based on several factors, including the presence of specific data contained in a document, how users have set up their personal settings, using timers, or based on a user’s response to another event. According to Quadrant, these enhancements make the workflow environment behave “more like a high-level programming language,” adding that the software can be “tailored to work the way users need, and not the other way around.”
Similarly, IntelliChief 2.0 brings a new “rubberstamp” capability that should speed the handling of documents. Users can stamp documents with common phrases like “important,” “approved,” and “urgent,” or can add specific information like general ledger number or department name, according to Quadrant. The rubberstamp function is customizable, can be restricted for use only by certain users, and can be included or excluded when users e-mail or fax documents.
Quadrant has also improved the way IntelliChief processes batches of documents in high-volume scanning environments. By using barcodes and a batch processing profile, IntelliChief can automatically identify the type of document being scanned, load the correct scan settings, and create indexes and workflow associated with those documents, the company says.
IntelliChief 2.0 asks users to perform more verifications than previous releases. With this release, the system can be set up to ask users to verify the status of batch scans. If a problem occurs during the scanning or importing of documents from a multifunction printer, a network folder, or a fax interface, it’s easier now for a user to restart the job where it went wrong.
Likewise, IntelliChief now sports a new audit log that will help troubleshoot PPM’s little hiccups, especially when the software is being used in conjunction with Quadrant’s e-mail and fax distribution offerings. There is also a new field verification function to make sure that critical fields, such as social security numbers or check numbers, are correctly scanned into the system. This new function works by prompting the user to re-key the field after scanning, but before the document is uploaded into the system.
Enhancements were also made to IntelliChief’s search capability, including improvements to the Windows-based GUI that makes it easier to perform advanced searches, and better connectivity to the System i for executing “advanced search queries,” Quadrant says.
IntelliChief version 2 is available now. Pricing has not changed, and starts at $5,000 for individual modules, ranging up to $50,000 for a fully configured PPM solution. For more information, check out www.quadrantsoftware.com.