After a decade of using specialized software to help attorneys search records, Pam Barnes, president of eDocsAlaska Inc., realized most businesses would benefit from the technology. She started eDocsAlaska in 2000, offering document-management consulting and analysis, especially for firms transitioning to electronic-document use and storage. Within two years, at a client's urging, she became a reseller of the Laserfiche software application, exclusively implementing Laserfiche solutions across the state.
At eDocs, software sales tend to double every four years. The firm has enjoyed 10 percent to 15 percent client growth annually.
After receiving a degree in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Barnes spent four years exploring for precious metals in Southeast Alaska before moving into geologic modeling, volumetrics (measuring oil reserves in a reservoir), and software development at BP Exploration. When she was assigned to create a content-searchable document database for litigation purposes, her career took its last major turn.
Besides this work, she owned a guiding business, Llama Buddies Expeditions, for 18 years, and designed and built a ranch in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. A few years ago, she completed an ultramarathon in Iceland.
ABM: How's the view from the top there? Why do people need what you do?
Barnes: There are compelling reasons to change, and despite the challenging economy, our niche demand is growing. Businesses face major challenges in managing huge quantities of information, effectively protecting, securing, integrating and sharing data essential for decision-making.
Another challenge is using resources well enough to remain competitive. As costs to manage information soar, firms must keep finding ways to better manage people, information, and network and systems costs. Electronic-document management allows them to do more with less, reducing costs, for a rapid and impressive return on investment. A well-implemented transition simplifies many things, so an organization can quickly and effectively respond to requests for information.
Regulations also are mandating change. Especially in the medical and financial industries, firms face an imposing array of regulatory compliance requirements, forcing them to do business differently. Document management and software tools are a necessity now, not a luxury. Fortunately, the costs of the technology have dropped...