n my first post in this series, I made the case for ECM. A successful court Electronic Content Management System (ECMS) includes lots more than its hardware, software (read more in the blog post in this series dedicated to technology), and network components. From the first serious consideration of implementing ECM, through planning and implementation itself, and continuing after the system becomes established, the court must devote substantial care, consideration, and effort to management of the People, the Politics, and the Governance of ECM.
When making the business case for Electronic Content management, rarely does Process Improvement rise to the top of the financial justifications. But any court manager who has implemented ECM with workflow will tell you that ECM Workflow has generated far and away the greatest financial savings the court has ever experienced. Although an ECM system without workflow can provide a court with some real benefits and savings, fully leveraging ECM requires taking advantage of the power of configurable automated workflow.
With robust ECM, that means being able to receive/acquire any file type from any physical location. Courts have to be able to capture documents filed from litigants, attorneys and other agencies such as prosecutors, law enforcement, service agencies, etc. The documents may be filed at the court, received through standard mail, emailed or e-filed. Non-digital objects - paper documents - must be converted to digital objects. Paper documents are typically captured into the ECM through scanning. They arrive in various different forms.