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OnBase gaining ground as document management tool

By Jesse Drake

OnBase by Hyland, an enterprise digital document management system (DMS), is gradually gaining favor at the University.

Mark Curtz, 
Product Manager (USS)

"Hyland is well established in the higher ed space," said Mark Curtz, product manager in University Support Services (USS).

Curtz says OnBase is more than a way to eliminate paper documents moving from desk to desk. It's an end-to-end process toolkit.

"The robust workflow engine allows users to streamline processes and automate workflows around document-centric activities – all of which integrate with PeopleSoft," he said. "Departments using the tool save a lot of time and money."

OnBase was first used by the Office of Admissions for its residency reclassification solution.

"OnBase is a system with a lot of potential uses," said Admissions Database Analyst Julie Hottes. "Overall, the office finds the Unity Client [desktop application] easy to use. We're still learning more about using and configuring the system, [but] workflow is a nice feature that has increased efficiency."

The Office of Admissions’ first OnBase projects in 2016 centered around domestic and international admissions applications, Undergraduate Appeals and Residency Reclassification.

Prior to OnBase, admissions applications and residency reclassification materials were managed as paper forms which, along with printed emails, often ended up bundled in a physical file folder. As the new central repository for such documents, and workflows that trigger various reviews and validations, Curtz said OnBase makes data entry more accurate and e-document routing more efficient.

"Not only is the process smoother institutionally, it makes the student experience better too," Curtz said.

Admissions is closely aligned with the Office of the Registrar and Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid in managing student records via OnBase.

Example of a Financial Aid verification workflow in OnBase.

Tim Despain, associate director of administration in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, appreciates the electronic signature feature on digital verification worksheets.

"It really speeds up our ability to have documents signed quicker ..." Despain said. "It's helped me meet my goal of reducing the amount of paper floating around the office."

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), meanwhile, uses it to manage documents around grants and proposals, and administer the financial verification and appeal review process.  

Other departments/units using OnBase: 

  • School of Medicine: Documents associated with medical students (admissions applications, transcripts, training certifications, and evaluations)
  • Honors College: Screening applicants (i.e., voting on essays)
  • Academic Advising Center: Documents related to student counseling sessions

Curtz provides demonstrations of the system to interested units, explains its capabilities, and conducts a needs assessment to help determine if OnBase is a good fit. Email him for additional product information.

 Key features

  • Electronic forms and automated workflows reduce the time and hassle of routing paper documents.
  • Streamlined approval process helps to eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Keyword-searchable database makes documents easy to retrieve.
  • Users can make line-by-line comparisons during the review process.
  • Groups can set up a retention/lifecycle policy that purges documents as needed.
  • A component allows people to electronically sign documents.
  • PeopleSoft integration allows auto-fill of biographical and demographic information.
  • Fast document indexing increases content capture speeds and eliminates risk of human error from manual entry. 
Last Updated: 5/30/17