Conarc, Inc. – iChannel by Conarc
From the May 2012 review of Document Management systems.
Best Firm Fit:
The value of iChannel increases with the size of the firm as a result of all of the functionality that enables it to be used across the entire enterprise. The system is designed to be deployed in many different types of industries, it offers a wide range of features to configure the system to meet your unique requirements.
- The fact that it is 100% browser-enabled simplifies your deployment to end users
- You have the three deployment options; hosting, on-premise, or managed server option
- The integrated portal option provides client activity and discussion tracking to enhance your ability to service your clients in a virtual environment
- The CRM application offers you the potential to report and manage on an extended array of client information to enhance your client relationships.
- Integration with Windows Active Directory provides single sign-on support
- Limited pre-configured integration with tax and accounting software may require additional costs to optimize the setup of iChannel in your practice
Conarc offers a suite of document management related applications including: Content Manager, Scan Station, Extranet (portal), Email Management and CRM (client relationship manager.) This collection of integrated applications can provide a strong foundation to a paperless practice model.
Some of the more notable features of iChannel include:
- 100% browser based and is available in three configurations; hosted, traditional on-premise model and a “Black Box” option whereby Conarc delivers a fully pre-configured server that is managed remotely.
- Configurable dashboard that contains various portlets of information, i.e., client list, project assignment list, recent client and document activity
- Multitude of optional methods for uploading files into iChanel including drag and drop from Windows Explorer
- Direct integration with CCH ProFx Tax, Practice and Scan software, Engagement, Lacerte tax preparation software, Caseware working papers and more
- Outlook integration facilitates dragging and dropping emails and attached files into iChannel
- Ability to track discussion thread tied directly to a specific document
- Integration with Windows Active Directory provides for single sign-on
- Documents can be checked out to your local PC for processing when you are disconnected from the network.
- Document versioning is supported
- Integrated portal can be setup with different configurations based on client type.
- Documents and files can be published to the portal with one click. Published files are identified with a green “P”
- Portal activity notifications are sent to and from the client
- The integrated CRM application tracks all portal activity by a client or third party
- Firms can communicate with clients through a secure blog on the portal
- Remote access via iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices is now supported
- Customized workflows can be setup for tax and audit processes that will guide the engagement through the entire process
- The CRM module now offers engagement / project based reporting
- ScanStation application continually monitors specified network file folders and uploads them into the appropriate user’s inbox in iChannel
- All files are stored in their native formats
- Security permissions can be established at the group level
Executive Summary & Pricing
iChannel provides you with the opportunity to deploy a suite of paperless applications with their bundle of content management, portal, scanning, workflow and CRM tools. The system can be configured to integrate with various tax and accounting software applications. This gives you the ability to pursue a “best of breed” approach with your core software applications.
All of the iChannel applications are bundled for a single price of $540 per user for up to 30 users, volume discounts are provided after that. The annual maintenance fee is 30%. There is also a onetime fee of $12k for a third party scanning engine and PDF compressor.
- Core Product Functions/Features: 4.75
- Document Workflow: 4.75
- Document Control: 5
- Special Features: 5
Overall Rating: 5 Stars