The Best NextRequest FOIA Alternative For Your FOIA Needs
Although a relatively new FOIA software solution on the market, NextRequest has spread its wings over a large territory of FOIA agencies.
With about 7,000 users, NextRequest has a span of users larger than half of the more experienced brands and solutions that exist on the market for decades.
That’s what I call a success. And that’s why I decided to talk about NextRequest today.
However, not everything is that simple. In this blog post, I will cover the most significant positive, but also negative things about NextRequest.
I will talk about features, benefits, but also flaws and possible NextRequest FOIA alternatives on the market that level up with this solution, but show greater features and benefits.
Let’s get started.
Everything You Need To Know About NextRequest FOIA
The first thing I want to say is that in March 2018, NextRequest partnered with Smarsh, a leading archiving solution for compliance, e-discovery, and risk management.
NextRequest FOIA software solution uses Smarsh for collecting and archiving valuable email, social, IM, mobile, and web data that is more and more requested under FOIA. While NextRequest works as the vehicle that transports that data from Smarsh to requestors.
Thanks to this partnership with Smarsh, NextRequest FOIA now offers automation of the entire process, from capture to production, something that NextRequest before Smarsh couldn’t do.
This FOIA software solution offers all of those features that most solid FOIA software solutions nowadays have, like:
- Multi-Departmental Tools
- Roles & Permissions
- Document Workflow
- Message Templates
- Automated Routing
- Request Diversion
- Email Automation
- Email Bridge
- Audit Trails, etc.
NextRequest FOIA software solution captures and indexes messages across large amounts of electronic communication, including text messages, emails, social media, and instant messages.
It also offers a full search and review of archived conversations to grasp the context of messages, updates, and comments in more than one consolidated destination.
This FOIA software solution uses a robust workflow and reporting tools to automate processes and efficiently manage, route, redact and fulfill requests. All of this while tracking the time each employee spends on each task.
All of these features contribute to a large number of users this solution gained during the relatively short period it exists on the market.
The unique thing about NextRequest is that the FOIA software solution is more user-centered in comparison to the other solutions on the market.
NextRequest FOIA provides citizens with a public-facing portal to create, track, and pay for FOIA requests. It automatically redirects requesters to information already online, saving time for both requesters and FOIA staff. Also, it shares documents online with specific requesters or releases them to the public at large.
NextRequest FOIA processing encompasses 3 fields of action:
- Automated emails remind support staff so you don’t have to
- Due date notifications ensure nothing is missed
- Summaries of all recent actions
- Identify SSNs, emails, phone numbers and other sensitive information with ease
- Auto-generate exemption logs and reports
- Create custom redaction recipes
- Customize recurring and ad-hoc reports
- Visual dashboards to identify trends
- API end-points for raw data access
As such, this FOIA software solution makes sure that no FOIA request or any detail related to that request is missed and no private information is disclosed.
NextRequest pays special attention to security. They use policies and controls that safeguard the collection, usage, and disclosure of information. Each component undergoes regular and thorough security analysis.
The only serious thing this FOIA solution is missing is the experience. So, the only question here would be:
To Start-up, or Not to Start-up?
There is always that never-ending discussion: Should you trust a start-up that offers much, or should you stay closer to more experienced and established vendors?
If you ask me, I always go for experience. Yes, you learn and grow from fixing your mistakes, but are you as a federal agency in a position of making compromises? I wouldn’t say so.
It’s not only buying the FOIA software solution. There are many factors to consider like migration and maintenance of the software. We’re talking about federal data. No agency can afford to lose or damage this data because of improper migration or maintenance.
However, that is just my opinion which you don’t have to share with me. If you don’t mind trusting your sensitive data to start-ups, you can make more detailed research and see whether NextRequest suits your agency’s needs.
My choice, no matter how solid features a new FOIA solution shows would be someone more experienced and more secure. Just think about what will happen to your data if the start-up goes down. Are you willing to risk it?
If the security of data is of the utmost importance for your FOIA agency, stay with me. I have a richly-featured, experienced FOIA vendor I want to introduce.
The Only NextRequest FOIA Alternative You Should Be Looking For
The only NextRequest FOIA alternative you should be looking for is a FOIA software solution with more experience.
What you need is someone who has been in this business for decades, who you can rely on when it comes to security, migration, and maintenance. Someone like ArkCase.
With an experience of almost 20 years, the ArkCase FOIA software solution is a solution you can rely on.
This NextRequest FOIA alternative includes:
- Document Review and Redaction
- Correspondence Management
- Payment Management
- Request Management
- Data Management
Encompassing these 5 areas, this NextRequest FOIA alternative offers numerous features and benefits. Take a look at some of them:
- Centralized processing from various request channels: fax, web, paper.
- Simplified uploads of documents, photos, and videos.
- Compliance with security and records retention.
- Mobile friendly and Cloud-ready module.
- Automated Business Intelligence.
- Reduced risk of information lost.
- Faster information assembling.
- Automatic records declaration.
- Faster access to information.
- Improved workflow capacity.
- Higher user productivity.
- Faster response rate, etc.
With this NextRequest FOIA alternative, you won’t have to worry about maintenance and migration either.
The ArkCase FOIA uses a data migration tool called Caliente. With Caliente, large migration processes can be done easily. You can migrate any database format into the needed format for ArkCase with 100% data integrity.
To improve the user experience, speed up the time spent in FOIA processing and reduce backlogs, this NextRequest FOIA alternative offers a proactive release of records that were once disclosed.
The feature that makes this NextRequest FOIA alternative unique is the transcription platform.
Thanks to the power of Artificial Intelligence and ArkCase’s collaboration with AWS, this NextRequest FOIA alternative has a transcription platform that works as part of the FOIA solution.
This feature enables federal agencies to make use and derive value from multimedia files. Which is very beneficial since not all information is packed in a textual format.
Another important thing you need to know about this NextRequest FOIA alternative is that it acts as an ECM-agnostic front-end platform. It integrates with just about any backend document management system on the market like Documentum, SharePoint, Alfresco, Oracle, OpenText, IBM, Fabasoft and much more.
From data management features all the way to security, this NextRequest alternative show much greater value than the rest of the FOIA solutions on the market.
On top of that, this industry leader has numerous collaborations with other established vendors on the market like Alfresco, Ephesoft, Snowbound and many others that make sure that the ArkCase FOIA Software Solution continually evolves and improves.
Now, I leave you to go through this article and weight in the pros and the cons of both FOIA software solutions and make your choice.
Let’s Wrap Up
NextRequest FOIA is a solid FOIA software solution. A richly-featured, user-centered FOIA software solution, but with little experience.
I personally would never risk the security of sensitive data by relying it on a new business that can not promise future success or security of data.
I would always go for someone experienced that provides numerous features and benefits and can also promise maintenance, migration, and training for my staff. Someone like ArkCase that provides a vast number of features and it’s cost-effective and secure.
But, that’s only my opinion. What your choice will be, depends solely on your opinions and your FOIA agency’ needs.
I already mentioned that I would always go for an experienced FOIA vendor. What’s your must-have when it comes to FOIA software solution? I would like to hear your thoughts on this subject.
If you have any questions I can help you with, feel free to contact Armedia.
And please, make sure to share this blog post with your peers on social media so I can hear their thoughts on the subject too.