A national auto, property, and casualty insurer with more than 50,000 employees had a big problem. The company had established law offices in virtually every jurisdiction in the US, with the primary purpose of defending its clients against litigation. Given the nature of litigation, the individual law offices collectively generated millions of complex legal documents and court forms annually.

In an effort to automate the generation of documents, the company had employed software engineers to design its own document generation system using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). In addition to the complexity and cost of building and maintaining thousands of VB-based process apps (automated Word templates), the VB apps could be deployed only on the desktop, a reality that caused the company to rethink its VBA strategy.

In early 2010, the insurance company began searching for a new document generation system—one that would enable content experts, rather than software engineers, to model and maintain process apps. And it was especially important to this insurance provider that the new system be server-based, enabling centralized maintenance of the company’s enormous library of process applications. To solve its document generation problem, the insurance giant chose HotDocs.

The company set up a HotDocs Server farm inside its corporate firewall. Then the company utilized the HotDocs Technical Services team to design and deploy a custom browser application—a document portal through which legal staff could access the company’s legal document process applications. The company then began the process of transforming its thousands of legal documents into HotDocs process apps.

Now, when a law office staff member wants to generate a new document, he or she goes to the HotDocs Document Portal and selects the appropriate process application. In the background, HotDocs pulls data from the company’s case management system, which pre-populates the interview (a sequence of interactive, data-gathering forms) with some of the information needed. The staff member then keys in additional necessary data. With the interview completed, generating a document is push-button easy and takes just seconds.
Among the company’s 20k+ process applications are complex, text-based documents and graphical PDF forms (fields, check-boxes, etc.), both of which can be profiled into the company’s ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system.

The company has not only streamlined the modeling and maintenance of its document generation process applications, but it has dramatically decreased the time required to generate documents while improving their overall quality.