The Paper and Digital Challenge

Paper files appeared to be taking over much of the office space at Center for Clergy Excellence in Lakeland, FL.

“Originally, I had 14 four-drawer filing cabinets full of personnel files in my office, and the count was continuing to grow,” said David Dodge, executive director. "It was clear that we were running out of space."

Their first attempt at going paperless was with an in-house system requiring a dedicated on-site server. That went bust when the software was sold to another company that discontinued support of the system. Their second attempt had issues with security and effective backups.

How eBridge Helped

Dodge heard about eBridge from one of the center’s current clients. After a few phone calls and online demo, Dodge had made his decision. “eBridge was affordable and scalable, but more importantly with their system, we weren’t going to lose any of the documents we had already digitized,” he said.

The Center had already scanned much of the paperwork from Dodge's 14 file cabinets into their previous imaging system. eBridge’s implementations team was able to upload those scanned files into their web-based system so when the staff logged in for the first time, they could immediately see five years’ worth of information online.

The Center for Clergy Excellence has been using eBridge since 2007. “We’ve found the support at eBridge to be excellent,” Dodge said. “Very few problems have occurred, and any that did were resolved quickly and professionally.”

The first-rate level of security combined with the fact that all of the center’s documents are scanned and stored online with eBridge, creates a powerful backup or disaster recovery tool. Lakeland is right in the middle of Florida, and is always a target during hurricane season. Since the center’s documents are stored in the cloud now, however, there is no chance of data loss. “Being in Florida, there is always the threat of hurricane damage,” Dodge said. “eBridge provides us with the security of knowing our files are always safe.”

The fact that eBridge is accessible from any computer with Internet access is also important to Dodge and his staff.

It would be hard to say, however, whether the increased security, backup plan or access is as important to Dodge as the space that eBridge’s solution has freed up. “I no longer have 14 file cabinets in my office,” Dodge laughed.

The system has been rolled out to other departments within the Florida Conference, including the Bishop’s Office, Financial Services, New Church Development and Ministry Protection. Currently, the Gulf Central, South Central and Southeast districts of Florida are also using eBridge in their offices.

Learn more about eBridge.