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assessment of the business context

Another way to look at this is that businesses and agencies develop long-term relationships with their customers, citizens or subscribers will be judged by the accuracy of the records they hold, the consistency of the communications that take place, and the speed, efficiency and fairness with which each case, claim, or contract is processed. Delivery of customer service has never been more challenging. Customers are more mobile in their addresses, jobs and family relationships.

Communication channels seem to multiply overnight, with customers switching between them at will. Customer interfaces may be dealt with in a CRM or help-desk system. Multiple relationships may be required, as any one case, contract or claim may involve more than one customer, knowledge worker or other contributor.

A customer-centric CRM system may be at a disadvantage compared to a document-centric process management system. A general purpose ECM and DM system may even lack the functionality and flexibility needed to deal with case management. There are differences between “regular” content management and case management most notably the inclusion of functions like incident reporting and investigation management. These capabilities involve entire processes unto themselves and can encompass living documents of all kinds that ultimately will need to have content management principles applied to them. As such, they require specialty care-and-feeding not only up front as information is captured and analyzed, but after the fact as well, when remediation steps are taken. So they represent a distinctly different, if related, breed of cat.

Document management repositories provide a more secure and compliant method of managing case documents. However, these systems take a single-document view, rather than focusing on a case file, frequently requiring customization or procedural changes to manage case-based scenarios. Case processing has very specific needs in terms of adaptive or dynamic workflows able to accommodate ad-hoc routings and rapid process change. Cases may involve collaboration with others outside the organization and these relationships may vary case-by-case. Case managers need to be able to monitor and manage progress.