The first step in Folksam’s digital journey was taken together with Apendo already in 2007. Then it was about handling incoming documents, such as claims notifications and photographs, in a digital flow. Then built an input platform that brings in, interprets and classifies different types of content. With the platform in place, there was the conditions to take the next step – to streamline and improve information sharing within, for example, the CEO staff.
Christina Blomkvist is a lawyer at Folksam that entered the digitization process for a couple years ago from a business perspective. Different departments at Folksam had at that time built their own solutions and it had become more difficult to share, search and collaborate around common, internal documents.
“We needed a solution where we could work together over the functional limits.” – Christina Blomkvist says
Flexibility was important; it had to manage everything from basic user needs to complex document management with version management and meta tagging.
A common surface – a truth
Many different needs had to be covered to be able to support efficient collaboration between both business areas and different professional roles at Folksam. The goal was to create a common digital space where all documentation concerning a specific case – such as agreements, e-mail, working documents, checklists and investigations – would be saved. In this way, everyone involved would have access to both current and archived documents in real time.
“I usually say that it is about daring to drop their own bookshelf and make the processes less dependent on people, with increase information security and traceability as a consequence.” – Christina Blomkvist says
The CEO staff was up and running
In the summer of 2015, the system was launched and after an initial education implemented by Apendo, Folksam now handles the solution itself. At the actual CEO staff, 130 people are affected, but the number of users is potentially considerably more and is increasing continuously. Much is about changing habits and getting over the threshold.
“Then we don’t have to waste time searching for certain information using complicated version management or on finding lost documents.” – Christina Blomkvist says
In the long term, there are large efficiency gains if information sharing is implemented well in the organization. The solution is ultimately a collaboration tool, but it can also work for contract management and to keep track of internal regulations and other internal control documents. The solution can also be further developed and integrated with other systems that deal with structured information.
Culture is A and O, not technology
Edok is Folksam’s internal name of the entire document management platform, a platform based on IBM FileNet which consists of a number of different components. The backbone of the CEO’s solution is IBM Content Navigator. Though really it’s not so much about technology, Christina Blomkvist deems.
“It is easy to get caught in technology discussions, but more importantly it’s with culture that work changes. There must be understanding in the management of the cultural challenges that an increased transparency of information entails, together with a support to get through the challenges.” – Christina Blomkvist says
Collaboration between IT and operations
Effectively getting a good, basic system in place also requires close collaboration between developers and users – an agile way of working. Here Apendo has done well, according to Christina Blomkvist.
“Put together a team early on with developers and some selected users who get to work together to create something that will be as good as possible. Developers, who in dialogue with the business, can familiarize themselves with the needs and then find suitable solutions, create an efficient way of working with the greatest possible added value.” – Christina Blomkvist says