IP firm digitises documentation

Global firm CPA has announced it has begun the rollout of a major enterprise content management (ECM) project to digitise its paper processes.

The legal process outsourcing, intellectual property (IP) and patent management specialist has already rolled an end-to-end, central data repository, content and records management and scanning system out to its UK and Jersey offices.

But the 1.2 million project, initially focused on CPA's patent business, is planned for roll out to some 10,000 users worldwide by 2013, tracking the one million pieces of paper in use at any given time.

Tony Brennand, CPA business change director, told IT PRO that automating the documentation - so critical to its business and customers - would enable more automated workflow, increased customer service responsiveness and greater business continuity flexibility.

"It's about getting the right documents to the right people more quickly by making our processes more real-time and de-risking records management by having that digital backup," he said. "There's also the aspect of the new systems enabling us to increase levels of customer confidence and service."

CPA is working with existing IT partner and systems integrator, Logicalis to implement Kofax document capture and scanning equipment in its 16 offices worldwide, along with IBM ECM components.

"We'd had previous experience of working with Logicalis on more infrastructure led projects around our IBM iSeries and DB2 database, so we knew they would be a safe pair of hands," said Brennand. "But they have also provided that link and, sometimes the language to communicate more effectively too, between IS [information systems] and the various business divisions.

He added that the central document repository would also provide an easier means of monitoring data quality, throughput and response times. While the electronic systems will help the business comply with strict 10-year retention regulations.

The deployment will continue to other divisions in the firm at the same time as the geographic roll out gathers pace in the US, Germany and India.

Logicalis will provide 24-hour ongoing support for CPA's onsite equipment and its ECM systems, which are hosted offsite.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.