File Tracking

Robo-advising, the New Steam Engine

THE AUTOMATED AGE

With financial advisors charging hundreds by the hour for investment recommendations, a new, low-cost alternative has been invented. Robo-advising is here to replace traditional wealth management services. Big brands are looking to invest in robo-advising, an automated investment advisor based on algorithms. Robo-advising spans over a wide spectrum, from robo-advice, which pulls information on lifestyle, goals, risk profile and savings to recommend investments, to robo-investing, which refers to cases where algorithms select and a portfolio for the person. The sector for robo-advising and robo-investing is predicted to increase by 68% annually, which adds up to a whopping $2.2 trillion globally by 2020.

In comparison to the investment world, FileTrail has incorporated its own robo-advising into information governance - our auto-classification feature. It is essential for records managers and information governance officers to enforce classification policies and retention schedules to avoid the formidable question all records managers ask: What is safe to destroy and what is safe to keep? 

Just as traditional human-advised investments are becoming obsolete, manual classification is the last thing users want to worry about. At the core, the issue is that the user must understand the information in order to determine how it must be classified, why it must be retained, how long it must be retained, and when it can be disposed. Managing the retention and disposition of information reduces litigation risk, reduces discovery and storage costs, and ensures organizations maintain regulatory compliance. 

Currently, most companies are still struggling with automation. They are using manual classification, which is often inaccurate and inconsistent, leading to increased costs, litigation risks, and productivity loss. Auto-classification eliminates the need for users to classify and sort through an organizations vast database of records while establishing compliancy and consistent protocol for all users to put records on a retention schedule.

In the coming years, companies should move towards reconstructing their ECM and records management systems or migrating their data to new cutting-edge solutions. With the volume of data growing exponentially in the next few years, a modern information management system is vital for a company to stay organized and efficient. 

 

 

 

Operational Agility Through Updates

How has Tesla set itself apart from other auto manufacturers and created its own niche of the electric automobile industry? The answer lies in a simple software update.  Tesla was able to alter the performance of their cars by applying an over the air patch.  This allows them to respond to problems or new situations much quicker than other cars.

OUR NEXT-GENERATION SOLUTION

FileTrail has positioned itself like Tesla in this regard. Our scripted and agile upgrade process allows the client to update their FileTrail software so easily that applying a patch or new release feels as smooth as butter. The process involves simply downloading a file to your server and logging into FileTrail. Because we have streamlined the process, our development team is able to respond immediately to new situations and problems.

Further, because a solution can be distributed quickly, the problem can be solved for all other clients before they even encounter it. We release a series of small incremental changes, making it much easier on the user community, rather than massive changes that accumulate over years. Our consistent and timely updates provide a smooth transition for our users as opposed to jarring changes that make the system feel unfamiliar.

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE USER

Our approach to upgrading is the result of our foundational commitment to the client experience.  Since our founding, we have focused on consistently having a migration path for clients, implementing enhancements based off client feedback. We have made it easy for clients to stay current and benefit from all the latest enhancements.  That is why our software upgrades are available at no extra cost. These results stand in stark contrast to the traditional approach by software companies.  Typically, software releases are few and far between.  The process for applying an upgrade can be a daunting task, and often involves custom work, ranging from $20k – $25k in charges.  The changes are dramatic and create a lot of change management issues in the client organization. 

However, it can be even worse.  Some products never have new releases, even though the clients pay for the product’s maintenance fees year after year.  Or, the releases that come out every 5 years have only minor improvements or are only cosmetic facelifts, like getting to this decade’s color scheme.  But, no matter how much lipstick you apply, the pig is still a pig.

EVOLUTION OF OLD WORLD TECHNOLOGY

The old world approach of planning large and infrequent releases is out of step with the way technology works today and the way releases are planned for modern applications.  Think of all the change that is happening that would be missed or delayed by a long release cycle.  Here is what you would have missed…

Today Touchscreen and High Def technology have become economical alternatives to the traditional screen, making UI design much more important. At FileTrail, we have designed a modern and straightforward user interface for our clients. 

Along with making superficial changes, technology has become more efficient and reliable through the invention of the Cloud. Not only have we beautified the face of traditional records management software, but we have revolutionized its inner workings as well. Here is a brief overview of the evolution of the Cloud:

In 1 year, Organizations started using the Cloud, resulting in sales growth approaching 50% annually for Cloud solutions.

In 2 years, people started using their smart phones for work much more than ever before. 

In 3 years, the tablet became a viable alternative to the laptop or notebook PC in the office.

In 4 years, businesses started using cloud document solutions like Office 365, Google Docs, etc.

In 5 years, Windows applications became history as browser-based applications became commonplace.

Given the pace of change for the business organization today, how can a software vendor provide value to their clients when releases happen every 5 to 7 years?

The New Silk Road

Imagine what it would be like to go from LA to SF in 35 minutes, London to Paris in 15, or Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 20?

Well the Hyperloop One team is taking us all one step closer to achieving the luxury of traveling faster than a jet plane, that is, over 760 mph on the ground. Hyperloop One took a trip to the Nevada desert last week for the Hyperloop Propulsion Open Air Test, where they built a track to test high-speed electric motors.

The Hyperloop technology was invented out of frustration with California’s plan to build a bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which would have been the slowest and most expensive bullet train per mile. Travel between two major California cities requires a quick and efficient mode of transportation, making Hyperloop One’s test run last week a major milestone in technology.

FILETRAIL'S SILK ROAD

FileTrail has changed the face of records management in the same way Hyperloop One has revolutionized transportation FileTrail was started in 2000 out of the frustration of implementing Windows software that had to be installed on every desktop and big-stack software companies that made it difficult for their customers to select the best of breed. 

Because of this, we vowed to put the customer before profits.  That meant that every process had to be easy to use so that we didn’t need a thick manual. Improvement would be continual, using customer feedback. Every client would have an easy migration path so they can stay current with the latest enhancements, and integration would be built with any vendors who delivered the best value to the customer in their area. 

THE STANDARD FOR AM 250 LAW FIRMS

The result is a powerful and modern browser-based solution that works both on-premise and in the Cloud, which has tools to integrate with best of breed systems in DM, Intake, Conflicts, Holds, and more.  Our focus on the customer has led the FileTrail product to a place where Records Management staff provide better services to the firm, management has access to on-demand graphical reporting to support decisions, and IT no longer bears the burden of desktop installation and support.

Because of this start, FileTrail is the new Records Management standard for the top 250 AM Law firms. While Hyperloop One is achieving great improvements in transportation, we are achieving great things for large law firms.

Read about how you can test drive the FileTrail solution at no cost in the FileTrail Sandbox blog below.

Your Next Test Drive May Not Run on Gas or Batteries

 

WOULD YOU BUY A CAR WITHOUT DOING A TEST DRIVE?

One great thing about Tesla that sets it apart from other automotive companies, is that they allow customers to take a private test drive their Model S. If you’re looking to buy a car with a hefty price tag, you probably want to get a feel for what it’s like before you make the decision to purchase. The Model S receives all sorts of rants and raves as the best electric car on the market, but with a $90,000 price tag, you still want to get behind the wheel rather than relying on reviews from Tesla fanatics.

FILETRAIL'S TEST DRIVE EXPERIENCE

FileTrail offers their own version of a test drive by providing a sandbox system.  The FileTrail Sandbox is an actual running system – not a demo – that is set up for your private experience.  The FileTrail Sandbox is currently available at no cost to AM Law 250 Law Firms, and can be available in as little as 24 hours.  Serious buyers can even test drive FileTrail in a sandbox pre-loaded with their data for a more realistic experience.

Normally when you install software, bits and pieces of it are installed all over your computer’s hard drive, leaving orphaned files even after the software is uninstalled. Because the FileTrail Sandbox is in the Cloud you can safely test drive the system without any changes being made to your servers or desktop computers.  Once you select FileTrail you can determine whether to implement the Cloud solution or install on-premise with your IT department.

The FileTrail Sandbox includes all the configuration tools. This allows you to make configuration changes to adjust the fit or confirm how easy adjustments are to accommodate future change.

SOLUTIONS FOR AM 250 LAW FIRMS

Many of our current clients, including Jackson Lewis and Husch Blackwell, started with a test drive in the FileTrail Sandbox before selecting FileTrail as their Records Management solution. 

Before starting the test drive in the FileTrail Sandbox many organizations create a checklist of features and capabilities they want to see.  This typically includes processes like file creation, printing labels, searching, reporting, applying retention, managing holds, and more.  The test drive usually kicks off with a brief training on the checklist items, and includes help desk support during the test. 

Some organizations begin with a week of testing against the checklist without any training.  The purpose of this is to test how intuitive the FileTrail software is for a new user with no knowledge of FileTrail, and really kick the ‘user experience tires’ hard.  We actually love this kind of test drive, and have incorporated this feedback into the software to improve the UI and streamline processes.

 

Shared Drives are Big Investments

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Corporate Shared Drives: > $2k per Terabyte

From startups to giant enterprises, the quick and easy way to save and share information has always been with shared drives. From the floppy disk to portable thumb drive, employees would pass on information like documents and files, from one hand to another. Employees on a daily level won’t even think twice about their shared drives creating duplicates, or documents that aren’t version controlled, and how much storage space they’re using.

However the question today is: How much are we paying for the convenience of shared drives?

As an organization, are you wondering where your money is going for the convenience of your employees using shared drives? Let’s take a look.

Storing Information Cost $$$

Whether your company is hosting an on premise solution, or paying monthly for their cloud service, data storage is expensive. The going rate for shared drive storage will run a company about $2 a gb. When thinking in terms of terabytes, that’s going to run you $2,000. The equation is simple here, the more data you have equals the more storage you’ll need.

The issue with shared drives is that they’re inherently difficult to control on a management level. They tend to belong to the individuals that use them and those individuals dictate what information is stored.  Also, there are no technical restrictions as to what can be stored onto a shared drive thus corporate regulations are difficult to apply. What this leaves your company with is a drove of data that is likely to be a duplication of other duplications.

If your employees are loading these duplications up into your server, next thing you know, you’ll have whole terabytes full of unmanageable files and documents. The more regularly your company utilizes personal shared drives, the more you’ll have to pay for storing all of that bad data.

Reduced Productivity Cuts into Profits

With shared drives, there’s no confirmation that what you find, is the latest version of the file or documents you need. The lack of version control reduces productivity when an employee has to double check or even triple check to make sure the file is correct. This waste of time cuts into productivity which cuts into the profits that an employee is bringing in, either through sales or support.

Without regulating and managing the information that gets stored, shared drives not only create duplications, they save unfinished files or older versions of the file. When an employee is looking for Mr. John Doe’s files, they might very well pull up a half finished report.

Not controlling duplications and versions being stored, make it nearly impossible for document searches to be done. Employees will spend a significant amount of time on company dime, searching for the correct and most up to date version of a file.

Better Save Up for Litigation Risks

The use of shared drives is an extremely high risks practice. Legal issues of any manner are costly and having an inadequate data management practice could result in numerous fees, failed audits and litigation risks.

With each and every item that comes from a shared drive going into your server, compliance and retention policies must be applied. In order to be legally compliant, this data must then be managed through its entire lifecycle and defensibly disposed. If your employees are storing important information on their personal shared drives and those records or files never make it up into your servers, then critical information can be lost at any moment. If your employees are storing redundant information files, then legally, your organization must apply compliance, retention, and manage the lifecycle of all redundant files.

Whether your organization is being proactive by setting corporate rules and steps to minimize shared drive risks, that time spent is costing money. If your organization loses information, that will cost money. If your organization fails to manage the data stored in and from shared drives, the cost of fees, failed audits and litigation risks will add up. This is cash that’s just flying out the front door.

From storage costs, to loss profits and litigation fees, shared drives are racking up a major bill within organizations. Don’t let their convenience fool you into thinking that this is a manageable practice because it’s not and everyday, organizations are forking over big bucks.