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Enterprise immigration and records management software for a corp?
June 24, 2014 7:39 PM   Subscribe

I work for a Fortune 500 company with global offices, and we need to switch to an enterprise-level immigration tracking and records management software that's global-friendly (supports foreign characters, data fields that are non-US specific). PROBLEM: We are not a law firm, and every immigration case management software I've seen caters to law firm needs and not our needs.

We use outside counsel, so we do not use any of the tasks and forms-related features of an immigration case management software, but it looks like forms-related features make up the vast majority of offerings I've seen thus far. Our company's primary use for this software is to manage emails, store file attachments for employee records, and to track expiration dates in an easy-to-spot format. It seems everything is moving to cloud, which we've resisted for a very long time and are not looking forward to now, but it could work out if the functionality (and security) is good.

Unfortunately, our IT policy does not allow in-house creation of enterprise applications. *sigh*

We need:

(1) Storage of Outlook unicode messages, preferably in original .MSG format for forensic purposes (Outlook plugin)

(2) Ability to quickly preview stored Outlook messages to find necessary conversations (one cloud solution failed for us in that it required 4-5 clicks to preview each individual email, basically unusable for our work)

(3) Ability to easily search stored email messages

(4) Flexible employee name fields like alias that are fully searchable

(5) Easily upload/download batches of files (PDF documents, image scans, etc.)

(6) Ability to preview file uploads, if possible (PDF, JPG, etc.)

(7) Front-loaded immigration expiration dates (easily found from employee record front page or a click)

(8) Flexible and powerful reporting functionality; export to Excel

(9) For international use, having 'work authorization' and 'residency permit' expiration date fields or allowing custom fields that are reportable. Current software is limited to US-only immigration document types in a drop-down list.

(10) Full double-byte language support

(11) Fee structure by user/time and NOT by file size stored on 3rd party server, as the latter will always be to our disadvantage unless we stay with our current local-server solution.

(12) Secure to highest standards. I wish there was a private cloud option because I don't like the idea of sharing our private data, but it seems like everything these days requires storage on 3rd party servers.

I had a thought at some point that maybe a generic email records management software would be more flexible, but there's probably no way to meaningfully track expiration dates in that. Agh.
posted by Ky to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
You're looking for a pretty niche product, which may not exist.

Given that you work at a large company the best solution in these cases is usually to present a rigorous business case for your needs to your boss, your boss's boss, etc., up the line until someone with the power/authority to override corporate IT policies is convinced of the need for this. Then you get a custom-developed software package done by your internal team or else outside consultants.
posted by dfriedman at 6:18 AM on June 25

I'd build something custom. You can host it on your own physical box that lives in your own data center or somesuch. You also wouldn't be buying a much bigger/more robust piece of software and hacking it to fit your needs or changing your existing process in order to adhere to its limitations.

If the scope is what you say, I could imagine a custom solution being built for a few million dollars.

Disclaimer:I'm a PM for a custom dev software firm so I'm probably biased.
posted by MjrMjr at 5:31 PM on June 25

I wanted to push for a custom project as well, but leadership doesn't want that because of "maintenance issues" (i.e. they'd want to hire contractor developers and cut them, but they wouldn't be able to do that for an in-house project, and supposedly a vendor solution is cheaper). Well, I'll report back if we find something, anyway.
posted by Ky at 9:48 PM on June 25

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