Fort Docs

SaaS ECM Increases Revenues and Simplifies Business Growth for Fort Docs



PROBLEM: To find a non-proprietary ECM system to offer customers more flexible document management options while growing their business

SOLUTION: PaperFlow™, PaperVision® Enterprise and ImageSilo®

Simple yet sophisticated ECM technology improves sales, creates recurring revenue and contributed to a 500% revenue increase


Recognizing the growth potential for the document management marketplace, John Becker purchased Fort Docs in June 2000. Mr. Becker was attracted to the company because of its diverse range of document management services including physical storage, electronic conversion services, shredding and destruction. However, he had concerns about the stability of the existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system and its related scanning software, since both were proprietary systems without strong manufacturer support.

John formed a partnership with Digitech Systems in 2001. Since then his customer base has grown, he has been able to expand offerings to include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ECM and the company’s revenues have increased more than five-fold.

Key Benefits

  • Recognized a five-fold revenue growth over an eight year period after the partnership formed
  • Offers their customers online or on-premise document management
  • Eliminates customer churn
  • Stabilizes the company through recurring revenues


Business Goal

Founded 1991 in Santa Rosa, CA, Fort Docs has become a respected leader in developing custom document management solutions and advanced archiving systems for businesses of all sizes. Their unique consultative approach ensures long-lasting customer relationships that continuously deliver significant value. The company offers document management services for the entire document lifecycle. Their 30,000 square foot warehouse stores over one million items for customers who prefer hardcopy document storage. Fort Docs’ service bureau can convert paper to electronic records for clients who require more frequent access to their information. Twenty employees offer document retrieval twenty-four hours a day to meet all their customers’ needs.

John purchased Fort Docs in June 2000. While investigating the company’s existing software technologies, he identified a number of concerns. Their existing ECM system was proprietary, meaning that they were not able to import or export documents to different, industry-standard formats. In addition, the software vendor was a “one-man show” that was unable to provide the total business support Mr. Becker wanted.

They were using well-known scanning software to convert paper documents to a digital format in their service bureau, but John found the system to be complicated and difficult to use. He also wanted a system that offered a better value for his customers.

Fort Docs needed a business partner who supported their unique sales approach. As John puts it, “We focus on a few good customers and really add value through consultative selling. Building long-term customer relationships requires exceptional service, and we needed a partner who would help us deliver.”

The Digitech Systems Solution

Mr. Becker first saw Digitech Systems at the AIIM Service Bureau Executive Forum. While there, he examined several other leading ECM offerings, but found them to be costly and non-intuitive—requiring a lengthy implementation timeframe and deep pockets. He chose to partner with Digitech Systems in 2001 to sell PaperVision Enterprise for on-premise ECM implementations and ImageSilo, for online, or SaaS ECM.

In addition to the easy-to-use interface, he was attracted to the shorter implementation cycle and the exceptional sales and technical support Digitech Systems offered. “I felt that Digitech Systems supported our goals to offer customers choices about where their data is stored, while also giving us the flexibility to use PaperFlow for our service bureau. The open architecture was important to us, since we integrate our ECM systems to fit seamlessly in our customer’s environments.”

Business Value to Fort Docs

Since making the decision to partner with Digitech Systems, Fort Docs has continued to grow. The partnership allows Fort Docs to extend their consultative approach. Customers can scan paper documents into an electronic format or physically store information. Businesses choose what makes sense for them based on repeated uses of a document. More frequent usage usually means the customer should choose online access via ImageSilo. Customers can even choose to scan-on-demand, where information is scanned as it is pulled from the archive and new records are digitized as they come in.

Fort Docs has benefited from the easy startup and outsourced management model of ImageSilo. “We offer our customers document retrieval in two flavors. You manage your own information on-premise with PaperVision Enterprise or you can “rent” the storage space on ImageSilo, and we will manage it for you.” The SaaS model means that no IT or capital budget is required for either Fort Docs or their customers to begin benefiting from ECM.

“We are also excited by the possibilities represented by the growing market demand for SaaS solutions. Four years ago no one wanted to let their data go. Today, no one wants another application to manage. The combination of PaperVision Enterprise and ImageSilo allows us to flexibly respond to changing market demands.”

– John Becker, President, Fort Docs

Recurring revenue from ImageSilo has stabilized Fort Docs making them an even better long-term partner.“ImageSilo has greatly added to our profitability. It is a consistent revenue source. Box storage plus ImageSilo gives customers the peace of mind they want,” said Becker. The company has grown revenues more than five-fold in the eight years since partnering with Digitech Systems. The relationship has also eliminated customer churn. “We have never lost a customer unless they went out of business, and we’ve never lost an ImageSilo client.”

As a Digitech Systems reseller, Fort Docs has access to legendary support to help their business succeed. For example, Mr. Becker is active in PRISM International, an association for document storage companies. When asked to preside as chair over PRISM’s Imaging 101 conference in the fall of 2008, John, an international speaker, turned to Digitech Systems. He utilized many of the tools and techniques taught at the reseller sales training to help fellow business owners see the opportunity in ECM services. His address discussed how easy it can be for document storage companies to expand their business to include imaging and ECM when they partner with a flexible software manufacturer like Digitech Systems.

Having built a business around long-term customer relationships, Mr. Becker understands the importance of extraordinary service. He partners with the Digitech Systems’ technical support department to ensure all customer concerns are immediately resolved. “My customers tell me they’re awesome!” said John, who feels that Digitech Systems’ technical support has helped grow his business.


“We love ImageSilo,” said John. “ImageSilo allows us to keep it simple and get it going for our customers. They’re online, accessing their documents within two days. That’s almost instant return on investment (ROI), and the solution continues to add value year after year. The bottom line is, we invest in long-term customer relationships, and so does Digitech Systems.”

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