By Heidi Smith
Right here in Olympia, home-grown company ImageSource Inc. has moved into the software development industry and everyone from Washington’s Department of Transportation to superior courts in California are using their ILINX products. “We have a great development team and we realized that we can actually build our own software and make it better,” says ImageSource Marketing Director Carol Carbone Jellison.
After years providing integration services for software from industry giants like Oracle and IBM, ImageSource developed their own line of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools, based on principles of speed, ease of use and flexibility. Their main areas of focus include capture, workflow, content management and eForms. “It brings a whole new tool kit to enterprise services,” says Richard Norrell, Senior ECM Systems Engineer at the DOT. “They’ve got their own interfaces, they’ve got their workflows, and their retention management is one of the easier that I’ve ever seen.”
“We’ve seen many other vendors, what they can do well and what they can’t,” says Randy Weakly, Vice President of Software Development at ImageSource. “Our unique perspective when we talk to a customer is the understanding that we need to deliver the best solution we can. Rather than pushing a product, it’s more about what problem are we trying to solve and what we can deliver for you.”
That means making things more efficient for their clients. In California, ILINX has helped the superior courts go paperless. “They’re using our suite in conjunction with their case management system, capturing information that is coming in electronically and scanned in paper documents,” says Jellison. “We’ve integrated with their web calendar so that a judge at the bench can see all of the hearings that they have for that day. It pulls case related documents from a repository in the way they want to see it, so they can customize how they’re viewing it. Eventually it’s going to let them process cases more quickly. And just as importantly, our solution prevents courts from losing or misplacing essential documentation.”
Financial institutions also benefit from ILINX’s speedy delivery, Jellison says. “We have an ILINX solution in place at a large Alaska credit union that’s used for consumer lending for automobiles. When an auto dealer has a potential buyer apply for financing, they immediately fax that application to several financial institutions and the fastest to respond are most likely to win the business. Several ILINX products work in conjunction to inject the applications from faxes, emails and scanned paper into a workflow to process the applications electronically. This allows them to get an extremely quick response back to the auto dealer. A senior level executive at this credit union recently remarked that this automation project helped them gain about 160 hours of processing time through increases in efficiency.”
“What’s innovative about ImageSource is that when we see that there’s a hole or a niche or a need, we respond to that,” says Jellison. “Ease of use has always been our mantra for everything, not only from an administrator or implementation point of view but also for our users.”
As a result, they’ve developed long term relationships with many of their clients. “As their business grows and changes, we can help them adapt and solve business problems as they arise,” she says. “You’re not starting from scratch and you don’t have a manufacturer coming in and peddling a product without the knowledge about how to actually integrate it with your existing systems.”
For Randy Weakly, delivering that level of service is an ongoing source of satisfaction. “I came from the second largest software company in the world,” he says. “It is so refreshing to be in an environment where we can satisfy customers easily – not painlessly, but with a lot less pain than much of what’s out there.”
A key to the company’s success is its culture, says CEO and co-founder Terry Sutherland. “It’s really about the people. Our vision has always been to hire and retain a great staff – people who have freedom to grow and expand,” he says. “We’re not a micromanaged company – we’re a company of people that are entrepreneurs.”
Jellison agrees. “It’s very collaborative environment,” she says. “There’s a culture here where it doesn’t matter what level you are, people are happy to help you and jump in and assist. There’s no fear of going to find information or a resource when you need it.”
While Seattle might be a more obvious place to base a tech company, there are reasons ImageSource remains in Olympia. “There’s always been a good work/life balance here and because we’ve attracted a good core of people, they want to stay,” says Jellison. “People like this community. It’s an educated city but it’s not too big and it’s a great place to raise families.”
For Sutherland, the reason is closer to home. Both he and ImageSource co-founder Victor Zvirzdys were born and raised in Olympia. “This area is part of our company culture and DNA,” he says. “It has so much potential.”
To learn more about ImageSource, click here.