Leverage an Omnichannel Communications Archive for Better Customer Service
Decades ago, document management was largely about recordkeeping. Microfiche was a popular technology for large companies that needed to store large volumes of documents for long periods of time. Later, as digital technologies came into widespread use, Adobe’s PDF technology became a mainstay of document management, providing universal access to any user, without the need to buy or install a wide array of different software products.
In the early 2000s, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technology arrived on the scene, providing a large-scale mechanism for managing documents throughout their entire lifecycle. Although these systems were large and complex, they served an important purpose, bringing order to a constantly growing body of important documentation.
Today’s document management needs have evolved even further. It is more important than ever that companies have the capacity to efficiently store, access, share, and manage a wide array of different documents and communications types at an omnichannel scale. This capability has become an essential component of the customer experience, affecting everything from digital self-service to the quality of call center interactions.
It is in this context that the next stage in document management has emerged, the electronic vault, powered by digital archiving software.
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EngageOne Vault is ideal for telecommunications, utilities, financial services, and other industries that generate high volumes of recurring communications. Electronic vaults can ingest millions of pages per hour, making bills and statements ready for online viewing much faster than they can be printed and mailed. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from a high-performance electronic vault, download our free white paper.
What is an Electronic Vault?
An electronic vault is a high-speed repository that stores documents and other communication types, like emails and videos, exactly as they were originally created. Communications can be transformed to web viewable formats at runtime. A good electronic vault can also store print streams in their native formats, making the handling of reprint requests efficient and simple as well.
An electronic vault is designed to work seamlessly with your organization’s existing systems and portals, providing a number of advantages including ease of deployment and fast, efficient access.
Electronic vaults are built to address multiple use cases and to be flexible enough to support new organizational requirements as they emerge. Rather than focusing on specific domains such as legal, marketing, billing, operations, or customer service; an electronic vault is intended to address all of the above, with the understanding that each domain has unique requirements, and that they all have overlapping needs with respect to the documents and content they need to access.
Billing documents, for example, are important for customer self-service, call center operations, A/R collections, legal, and sales. In the event that doubtful accounts are sold to a collection agency, an electronic vault provides the flexibility to deliver those billing documents, along with any relevant notices and customer agreements, to a third-party agency.
How is an Electronic Vault different from an ECM?
Although ECMs are generally very powerful, they tend to also be complex. That means they require a considerable investment in both time and money. ECMs tend to do some things very well, but can often fall short in other respects.
While ECMs generally accommodate a range of different document types and workflows, but they fall short in some areas. Web content management systems (WCMS), for instance, are optimized to handle HTML, XML, and images. Authoring is performed using a browser, with the intention of publishing information on the Internet. An electronic vault, in contrast, is agnostic as to the original format and authoring tools used.
ECMs are also designed for internal use only. They can get very expensive when they’re implemented in a way that provides access to a broad audience that includes customers. They’re generally designed with an emphasis on managing documents in current use, rather than archiving and retrieving past customer communications. As a result, they’re typically not built to handle high-volume print streams and other outbound communications such as email.
An electronic vault, in contrast, can perform multiple functions effectively. When attorneys need to access historical documents, an electronic vault enables eDiscovery. Electronic documents can be searched, retrieved, and delivered quickly and efficiently, dramatically reducing litigation costs. Insurance field agents can securely access a customer’s policy, quotes, and other communications to provide answers on the spot, wherever they may be. Call center agents can immediately access customers’ documents, in the same format the customer sees. This provides a smoother, more satisfying customer interaction.
An electronic vault is faster and easier to deploy than an ECM. It provides fast, efficient access to communications, complementing existing technologies and eliminating special-purpose solutions that provide overlapping functionality. For organizations that already use ECMs, an electronic vault extends the reach and value of document management while bringing a new level of agility to the organization. Finally, an electronic vault offers a low total cost of ownership (TCO), delivering a rapid return on investment.
What To Look for in an Electronic Vault Solution
There are six “must-have” attributes to look for in any electronic vault solution. These are:
- Integration with enterprise applications, including CRM, billing, ECM, digital self-service, and mobile apps.
- Open standards, enabling the solution to fit well into your IT landscape, regardless of the platforms or programming languages you choose.
- Agility to adapt to changing requirements, explore new use cases, and scale the solution effortlessly.
- Compatibility with existing portals, ECMs, CRM systems, and customer service applications.
- Anytime/anywhere reach, providing secure communication access within and outside your organization from a single solution.
- Simple, rapid deployment for quick time to value, going live in weeks rather than months, and without disrupting operations.
EngageOne Vault from Precisely
Precisely’s EngageOne Vault enables companies to store, organize, and retrieve communications quickly and efficiently. Unlike ECMs, which are internally oriented and document-centric, EngageOne Vault enables users to easily search for a customer and browse that individual’s entire communication list. Its Content Management Interoperability Service Connector provides seamless integration between EngageOne Vault and your existing Enterprise Content Management system.
Vault’s high-speed rendering engine allows users to integrate its communication display features into an existing web server environment, providing secure visibility to any document via a corporate web environment, eliminating the need to switch back and forth between applications and websites. No client software or browser plug-ins are required.
EngageOne Vault is ideal for telecommunications, utilities, financial services, and other industries that generate high volumes of recurring communications. Electronic vaults can ingest millions of pages per hour, making bills and statements ready for online viewing much faster than they can be printed and mailed. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from a high-performance electronic vault, download our free white paper, The Electronic Vault Advantage.