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.


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 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.


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?

#ControltheChaos with Records Management Software

Over the past few years, we have focused quite a bit on how to control electronic content. Many organizations have purchased robust e-discovery, email archive and document management solutions, hoping to #ControltheChaos. However, it hasn’t worked and quite frankly the situation has just gotten worse. Now, many organizations are facing an information explosion of content across multiple repositories, including electronic contents evil twin, physical content. That’s right paper documents still exist and continue to grow at a rapid rate! It’s hard enough for end users to find content in a timely manner, never mind dispose of it in the normal course of business. So how can we #ControltheChaos? The answer is ….. Records Management Software!

Top 5 Key “Must Have” Records Management Software Features

Integrated View of both physical and electronic content in one interface. Users want access to all information important to them at their fingertips. They should not have to waste time searching through multiple repositories to try and find the information important to them.

Tracking & Auditing enables organizations to know the entire chain of custody process for a specific piece of content. Where the content is located, Who viewed the content, When the content is edited, etc. It’s GPS for Records Management.

Security Access & Control enables organizations to restrict specific users from accessing specific content. This feature is crucial when complying with ethical wall obligations. It protects the integrity of the content and associated metadata.

Defensible Disposition & Legal Holds enables organizations to dispose of content when it has satisfied its retention requirements in the normal course of business. Should a lawsuit arise, the retention period can be suspended to insure the content is not destroyed. The disposition process is completely automated. Organizations import its document retention schedule into a workflow and rely on the software to do the rest. When a piece of content is eligible for disposition, the Records Manager (or appointed equivalent) will receive an email alert prompting them to take action.

Easy To Use & Configure enables organizations to easily customize the software to fit their unique needs and requirements. For example, organizations should not be limited on the amount of categories and/or fields available for use. Users should not have to contact the “Help Desk” to make minor changes; the software should be easy enough for the user to configure. Software needs to be both easy on the eyes and highly configurable adapting to any environment.

As discussed, Records Management software can indeed help organizations #ControltheChaos. No other software product can manage, control and defensibly dispose of content better. It plain and simply gets the job done!

Jim Merrifield, Director of Information Governance at FileTrail, Inc.

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