Perceptive Software, Inc., announced that Education Services Foundation (ESF) is using ImageNow® for its document management, document imaging and workflow needs. ESF is a Mississippi-based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to make college accessible to students through free college planning assistance, $60,000 in scholarships annually, ZERO Fee Stafford loans for students, low-cost PLUS Loans for parents, and student loan consolidation with industry-leading borrower benefits.
When ESF started its loan originations services in 1999, the company's complex manual filing system was overwhelmed by the influx of 750,000 documents annually, and productivity suffered. ESF executives knew that a powerful electronic document management application was needed to provide better customer service to its 33,000 borrowers. The company considered several vendors, but decided that Perceptive Software's ImageNow was the best fit for its business.
"ImageNow's ability to totally integrate with any application was a big selling point," said Michael Ruffin, loan originations manager. "Because ImageNow is completely customizable and is easily and cost-effectively expanded to any department, it has no limitations."
ImageNow was first implemented in ESF's loan originations department, and has since been adopted in consolidations. The company also plans to extend the reach of ImageNow to its accounting and administration departments.
"ImageNow is so flexible that it blends right into all our business processes," Ruffin said. "The only changes have been improvements in productivity and efficiency."
Most organizations handle a fairly steady flow of incoming documents, but ESF receives 60 percent of its annual document load at the start of each new academic year. Manually filing a huge volume of loan applications, notices of loan guarantee and other documents that arrived in August and September often took until the following spring. ImageNow automatically captures and indexes all ESF's incoming paperwork, ensuring that it is processed in a timely manner, while instant, single-click document access improves customer service.
"When a school calls us with a financial aid question, we input the borrower's social security number and ImageNow immediately pulls up all relevant documents," Ruffin said. "We then e-mail information to the school while the person is still on the phone. It's so much quicker than dealing with paper records."
As part of a timely deployment that gave ESF a rapid return on their investment, ImageNow seamlessly integrated with the company's HELMS application (from Charter Account Systems, Inc.) enabling users to view information in a familiar setting. As ESF grows ImageNow enterprise-wide, the product features will rapidly integrate with all their proprietary and legacy software.
The intuitive ImageNow interface helped ESF's user base quickly accept the solution. Administrators were initially unsure how smooth the transition to ImageNow would be, but were pleasantly surprised when they found employees using ImageNow for their daily tasks just days after deployment.
"ImageNow is extremely user-friendly," Ruffin said. "It gives us the ability to do useful things you can't do with paper, such as making notes and annotations to any document, any time. ImageNow is so good that we sometimes wonder how we functioned before implementing it."
About Perceptive Software
Founded in 1988, Perceptive Software, Inc., develops integrated document management, imaging and workflow software solutions that simplify business processes by delivering secure, digitized versions of paper and other electronic documents while leveraging existing applications. Customers in a broad range of industries worldwide have taken advantage of ImageNow, Perceptive Software's flagship software offering.