A view of Long Beach. Source: longbeach.gov

Speed Read

The city's deployment of an Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS) is expected to help it get off paper.

The shift should also create a foundation for work in artificial intelligence and robotic process automation.

The new technology should streamline permitting and law enforcement processes.

Long Beach, a longtime Laserfiche customer, is increasing its use under terms of a new contract — helping the state’s seventh-largest city get off paper, automate its processes and deepen its digital institutional knowledge.

The Long Beach City Council approved the five-year pact, at an amount not to exceed slightly more than $4.3 million, in August, but Laserfiche officially announced it on Tuesday, ahead of the Long Beach company’s internal April 29 project kickoff — and the city’s move-in this summer to the new Long Beach City Hall. Among the takeaways from the contract and its announcement:

• The city has deployed Laserfiche technology at least since 2009, primarily “for storage,” CIO Lea Eriksen said via email. Now, Long Beach has retained Laserfiche to stand up an Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS). The goal is “automating business processes and greatly reducing paper files and storage,” according to the Aug. 21 Technology and Innovation Department staff report recommending approval of the new contract. The agreement, which has the option of one five-year renewal, is the result of a 2017 RFP.

“The new City Hall will not have as much room for paper storage, so it is important that we stop generating paper and automate our workflows,” Eriksen said.

• While facilitating the City Hall move, the deployment’s ultimate impact will likely be much larger, Laserfiche CEO Chris Wacker said, as Long Beach has far more of its information digitized and centralized.

“So, they can use it to form the basis of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation (RPA) whereby you automatically process the ... output from one application to another with little or no human intervention. Now the systems can learn from the information in the data and they can begin to make decisions and to implement even greater efficiency. We’re really excited about this,” Wacker said, describing the company as “honored and privileged to have been selected.”

Eriksen affirmed, writing: “Yes, this will have a transformative impact on the City’s digitalization initiative.”

• The process should be visible to residents as more interactions are made increasingly digital. Permitting processes should be more electronic, Wacker said, increasing the likelihood that even significant construction permits may be handled remotely, reducing City Hall wait times by an estimated 80 percent. The Long Beach Police Department, the CEO said, should be able to use Laserfiche technology to facilitate gang injunctions, checking in electronically rather than by phone.

• The deployment should elevate a variety of processes for the city and its constituents, driving efficiency and streamlining, said Brigitte Meiselman, Laserfiche solutions manager.

“The ability to apply things like machine learning to an enterprise repository will be able to identify relationships between document types, departments and business processes that aren’t currently easily identified," Meiselman said. "The development of standardized digital processes will help, honestly, every department become more efficient. The collection of institutional knowledge as discussions related to business processes will simplify the way residents and people doing business in LB utilize services.”