Before COVID-19, global mobility was on the rise. More and more employees sought international assignments, and companies facilitated them, understanding that they are a great way to keep employees happy, encourage professional development, and attract new talent.

And while international movement has largely come to a halt due to COVID-19, it will eventually get back into full-swing, which means that the down time we’re experiencing today is the perfect time to survey and upgrade industry technology.

Well, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing at INSZoom. On the heels of launching INSZoom’s case manager mobile app, we are incredibly excited to announce our shift toward utilizing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to connect our immigration case management platform with other platforms in the industry!

Overall, the immigration and global mobility industry has a number of great technology platforms – from immigration case management and forms automation tools to relocation trackers and more – but they are, for the most part, separate from each other, require multiple log-ins and often even require entering the same data over and over.

And that’s where APIs come in.

So let’s dive briefly into what APIs are, how we believe they will positively impact our industry, and then shed some light on our very first API integration with Crown World Mobility.

APIs: What are they and how do they work?

Let’s start with the basics: what is an API? An API — Application Programming Interface — creates access between different applications and allows each app to share functionality or data between one another. When applied, the connection created by the API is often called an integration. Here’s an example: When you read an article on Forbes and click the “Share on Twitter” button, an API communicates with your Twitter account without you having to do anything more than click your mouse.

APIs are incredibly important to developers. Rather than build something entirely from scratch, developers are able to use an API to borrow functionality from other apps. For example, vendors or service providers use Stripe, an online payments platform, to process payments safely and securely without having to build their own.

With APIs, the possibilities are endless for developers, but perhaps more importantly, for the end users, enabling, say, access to multiple services at the same time through one app that connects them all and delivers the data in one place.

Take personal banking as an example: if you’ve ever used the financial software Mint, you’ve experienced this firsthand. Mint connects to all your bank accounts and credit cards and, using one piece of software, Mint users can view and manage all their banking data across multiple external accounts on one interface.

In the immigration industry, lawyers use case management platforms like INSZoom to manage files, draft and put together visa petitions, and communicate with clients or, in the employment immigration context, clients as well as the individuals actually moving to the US. But what happens after the visa is approved and the individual, and perhaps their family, begins their cross-border journey?

The answer is: a lot. In fact, that’s when the work really begins. But this work isn’t handled by immigration lawyers, it’s handled by companies like Crown World Mobility, who help coordinate, manage and actually carry out the physical move. And guess what? Crown World Mobility has its own tech platform that tracks the very same individual that just received their visa.

So doesn’t it make sense for relevant data that’s already in INSZoom to also be shared with their platform? We thought so, and so did Crown World Mobility, and thus, our API integration was born.

The Crown World Mobility And INSZoom API Integration

Crown World Mobility, headquartered in Hong Kong, provides household goods shipments, immigration assistance, and other move management services. Crown employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and, when it comes to immigration, is implementing INSZoom globally to manage client work permit and visa processes.

Creating employee profiles manually in both the INSZoom system and Crown’s in-house HR system was tedious and time-consuming, so we partnered up and built an INSZoom integration as a way to easily capture immigration progress, status and documents for their Immigration Consultants.

The integration allows Crown World Mobility to sync their employee data management platform with INSZoom, making it easy for their case managers to make immigration-related updates in INSZoom and automatically see the updates in their in-house system. Updating employee data in multiple systems is inefficient. So, with this API integration, there are no concerns about syncing important client data to INSZoom anymore.

Crown has established a close working relationship with INSZoom, and now their team can more easily manage their clients and client data with greater ease and speed, and an enhanced user experience!

INSZoom and the future of global mobility

As the world continues to become more and more digital, APIs are going to play a powerful role in the growth of the immigration and global mobility industry. As new companies come up and existing platforms like INSZoom continue to grow, APIs will allow users and end clients to leverage the power of all these products and services without the headache of repeated data entry, hundreds of different log-ins and more.

With this successful API integration, we are excited to work with more companies in the industry’s pursuit of collaboration, enhanced user experience and innovation.

Want to learn more about INSZoom APIs or interested in exploring whether your company can integrate with our platform? Reach out to an INSZoom representative at sales@inszoom.com or contact me directly to discuss!

It’s that time again! Time for a new blog! The next blog in the series of Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency is going to be on using the immigration forms within INSZoom. In my last blog we discussed the importance and benefits of using the INSZoom questionnaires to improve efficiency within your firm. This blog is going to show you how you can use the data captured with questionnaires to populate immigration forms!

We are in the midst of H-1B cap season. This is the busiest and most insane time of the year for many practitioners. Employees are working late, working on the weekends and are stressed out trying to keep up. If you are not using INSZoom or the forms feature now is the time to make a change!

Let me help you paint a picture: you are so busy you don’t know how to even start your day. You have so many applications that need to be completed and you are getting more cases every day. You need to keep track of your foreign nationals, reach out to them, capture data, request documents, and complete applications forms. By using INSZoom you can add the foreign national into INSZoom, add a new case for them, link documents (Docs Check List), link questionnaires, and email both to the foreign national with a few clicks of the mouse. You can start a new case in a few minutes. Once the information comes back you create the form with another few clicks of the mouse. To be quite honest with you, you can’t afford to NOT use INSZoom!

INSZoom has an extensive database of immigration forms and if you are providing immigration into the USA look no further! INSZoom has everything you need to provide fast and efficient immigration services to your foreign nationals and clients.

INSZoom has a forms team that is led by an experienced US Immigration Attorney to ensure that as soon as the USCIS updates an immigration form we get it updated in our system, that the data fields get mapped and questionnaires get updated. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the forms and being able to use them to submit your applications to the government and we know that!

Many of the blogs I have drafted speak to the efficiency that can be had by using the various functions within INSZoom. All of those functions are in place to capture the data needed to populate the forms. If you are sending out the questionnaires to capture data then you need to get that information onto the forms. The wonderful part of using an immigration case management system to manage your case load is that once you have the data in INSZoom you simply link the form and create it. Creating the form pushes all of the data in the system onto the form in the correct data field so all you need to do is review the form, save it and send it to your foreign nationals. Gone are the days of Word or Adobe questionnaires and you having to retype the information on the form. We are in the midst of H-1B cap season. This is the busiest and most insane time of the year for many practitioners. Employees are working late, working on the weekends and are stressed out trying to keep up. If you are not using INSZoom or the forms feature now is the time to make a change!

If you would like more information on using INSZoom or forms please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.

Christen Gause, MBA

Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@localhost

Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

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INSZoom’s annual user conference – ZoomPower 2017 is scheduled for January 19-20, 2017 in San Ramon (San Francisco Bay Area), California.

San Ramon, California – INSZoom.com Inc. announces ZoomPower 2017 – the annual user conference.

INSZoom’s annual user conference – ZoomPower 2017, is scheduled for January 19 and 20, 2017 in the beautiful city of San Ramon amidst the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

“Our annual user conference is designed for our customers and will empower them to learn, network and have fun,” said Umesh Vaidyamath, CEO and Founder of INSZoom.com Inc. “The highlight of the conference is the hands-on training we offer to our customers where they can implement their learning on the spot, working directly with Zoom consultants. They can then execute the same knowledge in their daily practice of INSZoom.”

ZoomPower 2017 will be held at the Roundhouse Market and Conference Center in San Ramon, California. The conference is all set to offer two high-energy days of learning, networking and fun. Attendees will receive hands-on training, learn from industry best practices, utilize INSZoom to their best advantage, exchange ideas with other INSZoom customers and discover what INSZoom has planned for the next year through their product roadmap. “I went into the conference not feeling like a “power user” but came out feeling as if I had a greater knowledge and understanding of INSZoom,” stated April Peck, Senior Immigration Paralegal at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP who attended the user conference last year. She further added, “I also learned how other firms and users were utilizing INSZoom to make their practices more efficient and we have implemented some of their ideas and practices into our daily practice.”

ZoomPower 2017 is a great conference to help INSZoom customers increase their efficiency with INSZoom and maximize profitability. Users can take back learnings from the conference and greatly improve their firm’s immigration case management processes by making it more efficient, productive and better utilize the INSZoom immigration case management software.

ZoomPower 2017 is planned by keeping the users in the center. The conference will prepare the attendees to make the most out of INSZoom, explore features they never have and utilize them to maximize results from their immigration case management processes with INSZoom. Register for the conference here ZoomPowerRegister

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About INSZoom: INSZoom, Inc. (http://localhost/inszoom), is the world’s largest immigration software company, with offices in San Ramon, CA, USA and Bangalore, India. Founded in 1999, the company provides immigration case management solutions for immigration lawyers, corporations, universities, healthcare organizations, non-profit groups, enterprises, law firms, and immigration consultants. As a Microsoft Certified partner, INSZoom provides a comprehensive platform that allows clients to share and process valuable information online, process immigration applications quickly and stay compliant while doing so. For more information, please contact pr@localhost.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada continues to introduce new technologies to streamline the processing of immigration cases. Introduction of barcodes in many of the widely used forms is an important step in that direction. INSZoom.com, Inc., the world’s leading immigration technology company, has updated its system and provides these forms with the barcode functionality.

When a user enters data on the form, the barcodes reflects this data. On submitting the forms to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, these barcodes are scanned and the data uploaded into their systems. INSZoom has updated the following barcoded forms in our immigration case management system.

  • Generic Application form for Canada (IMM0008E)
  • Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada (IMM1294E)
  • Application for Work Permit made outside of Canada (IMM1295E)
  • Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM1344E)
  • Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM5257E)
  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder (IMM5708E)
  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Student (IMM5709E)
  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710E)

“INSZoom’s technology teams focus on making responsive updates to our immigration case management system, especially in cases in which Citizenship and Immigration Canada has made substantial upgrades or administrative changes,” said Umesh Vaidyamath – CEO – INSZoom. “We have updated our system to reflect these new barcoded forms to ensure our clients have access to the latest and most up-to-date forms within our system. INSZoom prides itself on providing as comprehensive assistance as possible to users of immigration forms, using technology to empower productivity.”

By Anuj Sarin

Hope my earlier blog helped you in the process of preparing yourself and your organization to file for the H-1B’s. In this blog I shall focus on activities that involve compliance but are intrinsic to the H-1B process.

  1. Ensure identified resources are eligible for the H-1B based on specialty occupation requirements, 16 years of equivalent US education, and / or any other internal criteria and provide the Units with the list.
  2. Determine the wages to be paid; you need to consider the following before determining the wage to be paid
    • Union (Collective Bargaining) Agreement (if any)
    • Wage Survey
    • Wage paid to similarly employed workers in the geographic area
  3. Ensure that the Wage survey, used is the latest.
  4. Let your Compensation team know of the wages that need to be paid to these H-1B employees.
  5. Once LCA requirements are identified (refer comments in my earlier blog) make sure to send out the Posting notices to the locations for which they are being procured.
  6. Start procuring the LCA’s. You may want to put a future start date on these LCA’s to maximize the time that you can get.
  7. If 3rd party placement of resources is involved, work with the Sales or Client Engagement or concerned teams to have valid and updated Client letters, SoW’s or Contracts.
  8. Follow up on LCA postings and once posting period is completed ensure that you receive the posting notices back.
  9. Update the Public access files with the posting notices and the LCA’s once certified by the DOL.
  10. Check your Public Access files to ensure that they contain the updated documents such as benefits, compensation structure, relevant policies and process documents, etc.
  11. Ensure that the form versions you have are the latest.

By when should all the activities be started and/or completed? This would depend upon the volume of H-1B’s that you need to file. You could look calculating these dates keeping in mind the filing window of 1st 5 working days in April 2014 and back working based on your volume and processing capability.

The time to process has begun folks, forget about the holiday season, roll up your sleeves and get to work. The rewards for the effort that you are going to be putting in, will be visible in the smiles and thank you notes you would get from employees on intimating them about the approval of their H-1B’s probably starting June 2014 or earlier if the case is filed under premium processing.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.

By Anuj Sarin

As everyone welcome’s the New Year Immigration professionals working on US immigration have to brace themselves for the onslaught of the H-1B cap filing that opens on April 01, 2014.

With only 65,000 H-1B’s available, of which 5800 are reserved for Nationals of Singapore and Chile and an additional 20,000 for people with Masters degree from a US university all that can be done is to file the application with the USCIS within 5 working days of the H-1B quota opening. Selection of the applications through the lottery is something that we can’t do anything about.

We can however, plan for the oncoming H-1B filing to ensure the Organization’s resource requirements are met.

Planning for the H-1B filing cycle can be complex and arduous. Given the different stakeholders that need to be involved in the process, to decrease the complexity we can look at a two-prong approach. The first being what we need to do internally within the organization and the 2nd being activities where compliance is involved. In this blog I shall focus on the activities to be done internally and follow it up with the 2nd blog on steps / aspects that involve compliance.

  1. Work with different Business units / departments (Units) to assess their H-1B requirements. Provide them with information such as availability of US work authorized personnel, expiration of work authorizations through October 2015, attrition figures, offshore resources with US work authorizations.
  2. Identify resources for who H-1B’s can be filed include employees working in the US on EAD’s pursuant to a student visa also.
  3. Go through existing templates such as Support letters and or documents to ensure that they are updated and the latest.
  4. Gear up to start procuring LCA’s. Historic data can help to a great extend in assessing / identifying your LCA requirements. Work with the Units to identify the work locations and number of employees per location, to see how many LCA slots you would require.
  5. Get the final list of employees from the Units for whom H-1’s are to be filed.
  6. Send the necessary information to the identified employees on processing of their H-1B’s along with the document list, questionnaires to collect information etc.
  7. Work along with your Facilities Management team / Admin Team / Procurement team for
    • Additional Work Space
    • Additional IT equipment (PC’s, Printers, Scanners, Photocopiers etc.)
    • Stationary (Paper, binder clips, correction tapes / fluid, Letterheads, toner for printers etc.)
    • Additional storage space
    • Food and transportation if working late into the night.
  8. Hire any temp staff that you may need to process the load and ensure that they are appropriately and adequately trained.
  9. Work with your Education Evaluators to establish a process to support you with your Evaluation requirements.
  10. Work out logistics if any with your Courier vendor so that they can plan for the shipping of such large volume of documents and make sure that they are delivered on time.
  11. Start following up with employees for the information and documentation that they need to give.
  12. Publish a metrics of information / documentation received / not received from employees and publish the same to Business Units / Departments
  13. Create a method / process to allocate cases to your team.
  14. Set processing targets for your team and make them aware about the same.
  15. Create and publish metrics on the processing of the cases by your Team. If need be update this on an hourly basis.

Completing the above would take you one notch forward on preparedness for filing the H-1B’s.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.

We are cruising right along with this blog series! Thanks for following along and educating yourself on how you can improve efficiency at your firm. The next blog in the series of Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency is going to be on the corporation portal also known as the HR Portal. In my last blog we discussed the importance and benefits of using the INSZoom Foreign National Portal to help improve efficiency within your firm. This blog is going to show you how using the HR Portal (Client Portal) can help you improve efficiency and productivity.

The foreign national portal is for your clients/assignees/foreign nationals/employees so they can login to check the status of their immigration cases. The HR Portal is for the global mobility managers/ HR managers/immigration specialists so they can login and check the status of the immigration cases for their global mobility population. This blog will be geared towards those who provide corporate immigration services along with those who work for a corporation.

I write this blog from the perspective of the law firm who is providing access to the HR Portal so those of you who work for a corporation and have an immigration provider using INSZoom, you can see what is available to you for your use. The HR Portal is available to all INSZoom clients who are using Enterprise and Professional Editions.

Benefits of using the HR Portal
  • Customize the portal to show only the information that you want the global mobility professional to see.
  • Provide access to create, upload and edit corporation travel policies and guidelines.
  • Provide access to create, upload and edit corporation related updates, news or travel alerts.
  • Allow the global mobility professional to upload corporate digital documents that could be needed for immigration purposes such as block visa approvals, proof of company origins in a host country, etc.
  • The global mobility professional can view their entire global mobility population, their cases, their info, emails, notes, expiration dates, etc.
  • Ability to run their own reports! You can create Adhoc reports specifically for a client and grant access to the report so the global mobility professional can run it themselves. You can also grant access to INSZoom created reports.
  • Grant access rights that are specific to the global mobility professional. For example, if the global mobility professional is responsible for foreign nationals going to AsiaPAC you can grant them access to only those individuals and they won’t be able to see anything else.
  • Set appointments with the global mobility professional that will appear on a calendar in the HR Portal.
  • Allow the global mobility professional to request a new case for a foreign national directly with you. They can upload the PPT, CV, Job Description or any other available document that they might have when submitting the request. This means the documents are already uploaded into INSZoom and the foreign nationals profile has been created saving you the time of doing this yourself!
  • Initiate a new request directly to the foreign national with the case manager in cc on the email.

There are many benefits of providing access to the HR Portal but the biggest benefit comes from empowering your global mobility professional’s to access they data they need when they need it. They can login and complete a number of tasks or view information without sending you emails asking for updates or copies of a document.

A few of the benefits from using the HR Portal are:

  • Reduce the amount of emails that come from your global mobility professional asking for an update on immigration petitions. If you built the case steps that I taught you about 2 blogs ago and they match the immigration process then the global mobility professional can login to the portal, check the status of the cases for their foreign nationals and easily see the status of an immigration process.
  • Track and view the expiration dates of many documents from passports, visas, cases, I-94, I797, EAD, Green Card, and anything else you could possibly want to track! This will greatly help to reduce the emails from your global mobility professional asking for this information.
  • Upload documents in a secure manner! Not only is it safer but it is faster. Many email servers have limits on the size of the documents that can be sent and received. The global mobility professional can upload documents at the time of the case request. This ensures you are able to review these items right away and they are already in the system with the profile created! This is a huge help and a major time saver to you and your team. (documents can also be uploaded at time)
  • You are empowering your global mobility professional by providing them 24/7 access to their data. Global mobility professionals are kind of stuck in the middle. They need to keep their company costs down, they need to ensure the happiness of their employees and they need to work with their immigration provider in an efficient manner. Most global mobility professional wear a lot of hats and have to keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time. I personally would prefer to have access to information so I did not have to ask for it and I can assure you that they would want the same thing.
  • The global mobility professional can run their own reports! This is my favorite benefit! How many hours are spent running reports for clients on a weekly basis? Create company specific reports and grant them access to them so they can run them themselves! The only thing you need to do is ensure you are keeping INSZoom updated at all times…but you should be doing this anyways…right?

To get started using the HR Portal, if you have not used it before, is to review how you are using INSZoom. Analyze the features that you are using and what information you would like to provide to your global mobility professionals. Then review the needs of your corporate clients and discuss this option with them. You will need to teach them how to use the portal but it is easy and straight forward to use so it should be fairly simple. I recommend creating a cheat sheet for your clients and if you customize the HR Portal make sure it is specific to them.

In my last blog I mentioned how using the FNP will help you with RFP’s. Well, the HR Portal is more important for you to understand as this will seal the deal on those RFP’s. Corporate clients want to have access to their data! Not only do they want it, they demand it and you need to make sure you can provide it. INSZoom provides the HR Portal to you and it is part of your subscription so there is no reason not to harness the power of this tool.

This is a screen shot of the HR Portal that has information populated in it and all of the features available. Remember, for items that you don’t use or don’t want the global mobility professional to be able to view, you can hide them.

image1
(click image to enlarge)

If you would like more information on using the HR Portal please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.

Christen Gause, MBA

Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@localhost

Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

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Welcome back! Thank you for following along with the series of Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency. In my last blog we covered case steps/reminders (commonly called case steps) and also known as work flows – Maximize Firm Productivity with Case Steps. For this blog I will discuss the importance and benefits of using the INSZoom Foreign National Portal to help improve efficiency within your firm. This blog will also help you see why it is useful to use those case steps/reminders!

Are you wondering what the Foreign National Portal (FNP) is? If you are unsure and never heard of it then shame, shame! The FNP is a valuable tool that all clients who use Enterprise and Professional Editions have access to and you can grant access to your clients/assignees/foreign nationals/employees. For purposes of this blog we are going to refer to them as foreign nationals.

By using the Foreign National Portal you can:

  • Customize the portal to show only the information that you want the foreign national to see.
  • Assign tasks, also known as “To Do” to your foreign national’s.
  • Questionnaires that need to be completed.
  • Forms that need to be reviewed and signed.
  • Documents that need to be uploaded.
  • Provide access to corporation travel policies and guidelines.
  • Provide access to corporation related updates, news or travel alerts.
  • Allow the foreign national to upload documents so they don’t need to be sent via email. This method is much more secure for the foreign national and it saves you time because once uploaded they are in INSZoom and you don’t need to upload them.
  • Provide access to cases along with the status of the case so the foreign national can check on the case status without sending you an email.
  • Allow them to view the case related emails and notes.
  • View documents that you are tracking so they can see the expiration dates.
  • If you track their international travel they can view information that is commonly needed for visa applications such as the country, arrival date, departure date, and departure city.
  • View and see if their Status Documents are valid or expired and what the validity dates are.
  • Set appointments with the foreign national that will appear on a calendar in the FNP.
  • Allow the foreign national to check the status and the profile of their dependents.
  • Depending on whether or not your firm subscribes to the “Advanced Case Request” you can grant access and allow the foreign national to request a new case from you.

As you can see from the lengthy list above, there is a lot that can be done with the Foreign National Portal. The wonderful thing is that each firm (this would be you) can customize the FNP to meet their needs and the needs of their clients. You can hide functions and areas you don’t want the foreign national to see and you can do it per corporation.

If you are using INSZoom and populating information in the system about each foreign national then it only makes sense to grant access to the foreign national’s. There are many benefits that result from granting access to the FNP and teaching your clients to use it.

A few of the benefits that result from using the FNP are:

  • Reduce the amount of emails that come from the foreign national asking for an update on their immigration case. If you built the case steps that I taught you about in my last blog and they match the immigration process then the foreign national can login to the portal, check the status of their case and easily see where they are in the immigration process.
  • Assign tasks to the foreign national so they know what is expected of them. Once the items have been completed they no longer show up in the FNP as “To Do” items. This helps to keep the foreign national on track and ensures that you have the info that you need in a timely manner.
  • Track the expiration dates of their many documents from passports, visas, cases, I-94, I797, EAD, Green Card, and anything else you could possibly want to track! This will greatly help to reduce the emails that the foreign national will send to you asking for this information.
  • Upload documents in a secure manner! Not only is it safer but it is faster. Many email servers have limits on the size of the documents that can be sent and received. If the foreign national is uploading documents directly into INSZoom then you don’t need to worry about the email getting bounced due to size limits. This also saves you a lot of time because you don’t need to upload their documents from your email into INSZoom.
  • You are empowering your foreign national’s and they will feel more in control of their immigration process and aware of the status of their immigration case. Moving to a new country, packing up their household goods, finding schools for their children, obtaining passports, visas, work permits, residence permits, taking language classes among a host of other things is very stressful and overwhelming. This window into their immigration case might seem small but it goes a long way in reducing the stress to the foreign national. They can easily see what is going on and that you have everything immigration related taken care of.

To get started using the FNP if you have not used it before is to review how you are using INSZoom. Analyze the features that you are using and what information you would like to provide to your foreign national’s. Then review the needs of your corporate clients and discuss this option with them. You will need the support and approval of your corporate clients but if you think this would help you then by all means have a discussion with them. You have access to this fantastic tool and you should use it. If you do family law you will want to review the needs of your clients and if they will have access to the internet.

Once you have figured out what the needs of your clients are and how you want to use the FNP you will then want to customize it. If you only want to grant access to view case status then you can simply hide all of the features or sections that you don’t want the foreign national to see. Before you roll this out to your clients I recommend that you detail internally how you will grant access to the FNP, inform the foreign national and have hammered out all of your internal processes. I then recommend creating a guide or cheat sheet for the foreign national’s. Not everyone is tech savvy and having something drafted and available to send out will be helpful and much appreciated by your clients.

One important item I would like to mention before I close is that the FNP and the use of it will really help you if you competing in an RFP (Request for Proposal). Every single RFP that I have ever seen from a corporate client had a lot of questions about security and access to a portal for their employees. If you want to be able to compete in an RFP you will need to understand the FNP and how you are going to use it.

This is a screen shot of the Foreign National Portal that has information populated in it and all of the features available. Remember, for items that you don’t use or don’t want the foreign national to be able to view, you can hide them.

Allow-Clients

(click image to enlarge)

If you would like more information on using the Foreign National Portal please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.

Christen Gause, MBA

Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@localhost

Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

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Welcome back! All of my blogs so far have focused on steps that you can take to increase efficiency within your firm. Every business owner wants to have a business that runs efficiently and effectively because that is how money is made. Processes that have repetitive and redundant steps are annoying and tend to get skipped when employees are busy. For my next installment on Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency we are going to address reports!

Without good reports it is very difficult for a firm, or any business for that matter, to evaluate how they are doing, to hold employees accountable and to fulfill client requirements. Every client wants to be able to see that you are doing what you are paid to do and can prove it by providing effective reports. Corporate clients with a large global & mobile population are going to be very demanding when it comes to having access to reports so they can manage and ensure their immigration matters are on target. Can you blame them? They must manage their employees, the immigration vendor, the moving company, and internal expectations among other items. The home goods can’t be delivered in the destination country until the employee has the proper work authorization. Global mobility moves cost corporations millions of dollars a year so there is very little room for error. Reports help everyone stay on track!

The first step in being able to obtain and run good reports is making sure everyone is using INSZoom the exact same way and putting data in all of the required fields to meet your business needs and the needs of your clients. To do that you must take the time to evaluate the system, figure out exactly how you want to use it, take the time to customize INSZoom to match your internal processes, document your processes (training manuals), and train your staff. Why is it important to take all these steps? Because in order to obtain good reports that are useful to you and your clients you need to ensure you are capturing the data. Reports are not helpful if data is missing from fields and someone has to spend hours looking for the missing information.

I occasionally hear that businesses use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their cases and the work that they do. When asked why, they say it is easier to add the info to the spreadsheet because they don’t get the information they need on INSZoom reports. Gasp! There is no reason for this! This is extra work and usually the result of not knowing how to create Adhoc reports within INSZoom. If information is entered into the data fields you require by your staff there is no reason to duplicate efforts and also use an Excel spreadsheet. Let go of the crutch that is Excel spreadsheets, you do not need to duplicate efforts and keep a spreadsheet. You need to push your staff to use INSZoom completely, enter the data, keep it updated at all times and create reports that meet your needs.

Adhoc reports are an excellent tool and depending on which edition of INSZoom you use, can be created with minimal effort. They are easy to use and quick to create once you understand the basics of inputs and outputs.

What is an input? When creating a report input fields are the bits of information that you want the system to go pull. For example: you want a case manager case load report. So your inputs would be: Case Manager Name (so you can choose the case manager), Case Active (so you pull only active cases), Case Status (so you can pull open cases). These inputs tell the system to go pull all the open and active cases for a specific case manager.

What are outputs? Outputs are the data fields that you want to see once the system grabs your info (inputs). So, going back to the above case manager case load report, the system has pulled all open and active cases for a case manager and you want to view what info. Outputs are what make up the actual report. For a case manager case load report you would possibly want to see Corporation/ Foreign National First Name/ Foreign National Last Name/ Destination Country/ Petition Name/ Case Status/ Last Case Step Completed. This report would allow a case manager to view all of their open/active cases.

It seems fairly simple and straight forward and it is! It might take a few tries to ensure you are capturing the information that you need but Adhoc reports can be updated very easily. My one tip for any beginner is to be careful with the inputs. If you have too many or are too specific you will greatly limit the information the system goes to grab and you might get no results for your outputs. For example: if you use petition name as an input then you are telling the system to only pull a report for petitions with that exact name.

Here is an example of how to create an Expiration Adhoc report.

1. In the popup window give your template a name and choose who will have access to run this report. *Be mindful of using client specific names if granting access to clients to run reports through the Corporation Portal.

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2. Now choose the input and output columns. The Input columns tell the system what data to go pull. The output columns tell the system how you want to view the information.

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3. Click on Link/Unlink Columns and in the popup window chose the info you want the system to go look for. For an expiration report you want to be able to choose by Corporation (or case manager) and then you want Active Cases and Approved Cases. The items below will provide you with those options. Click on Save when done.

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4. Now you want to click on Link/Unlink Columns for the output fields. Below is an example of items that you would want to see. Click Save when you are done.*Please note the difference in calling your Foreign Nationals either Clients or Beneficiaries or Foreign Nationals. This is customizable in the system so don’t let the terminology confuse you. **You can rearrange the items by moving them up or down.

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5. You will now see the input and output columns. Click on View Report to run the report.

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As you can see from the above example, it really is very easy to create Adhoc reports. The real work comes from ensuring your staff is using the system in a consistent manner and entering the data. Once you have done this you can create reports to meet your needs and those of your clients.

If you would like more information on creating Adhoc Reports please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.

Christen Gause, MBA

Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@localhost

Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

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I hope everyone enjoyed reading about email templates, why you should use them, the benefits of using them, what types of emails can be turned into templates, and quick glance at how they look. For my next installment on Customizing Your Case Management System to Improve Efficiency we are going to dive into case steps/reminders (commonly called case steps) and also known as work flows.

If you learn anything from reading my blogs on how to improve efficiency this is the blog where I want you to sit back and really digest what I am going to tell you. Of all the things you can do with INSZoom’s Knowledge Base, this one is the most powerful.

By using case steps you enable your firm to:

  • Create case steps that mirror your internal processes and how you process cases
  • Capture key dates (case initiated/documents received/application filed/application approved, etc.…)
  • Ensure accountability within your team as you capture key dates when case steps are marked as completed
  • Ensure that all team members are processing cases the same way
  • Report on case steps and case status
  • Provide case status to the foreign national, HR and Global Mobility through the portals (foreign national and corporation)
  • Add “events”
  • Add reminders
  • Add court dates
  • Provide quick email updates on each case step
  • Start a case timer

When case steps are created in the Knowledge Base you can add an “event”. An event in INSZoom is an action that occurs automatically. You can choose when the event will occur. For example: it can occur when a case step is deleted, when a case step is changed to completed, when a case step is changed to not started, and when the case step is changed to a work in progress.

Once you decide to add an event and when the event will occur you will then need to choose what you want the event to do. Do you want to send an email, update a custom case status or update data? An email event is a robust tool that can be used to optimize efficiency so we will continue our discussion focusing on them. After you choose to send an email then you must choose to do it in background mode (where it goes out without you seeing it) or in interface mode (where it pops up and you see the email).

The email event can be set up so that when it is activated the email can be set up in its’ entirety and the user will have very little to do other than click “send”.

Items that can be added to an email event so they automatically occur are:

  • Who the email is addressed to. This can be the foreign national, HR, Global Mobility, Case Manager, Vendor, Supervisor, etc. You can even choose if they will be in the “To, Cc, and Bcc fields”.
  • You can create the subject line using keywords.
  • You can pull an email template from one already created in your Knowledge Base.
  • You can choose who will have access to the email in the portals (foreign national & corporation portals).
  • You can choose if the client can upload documents
  • You can add email case receipts
  • You can add questionnaires for the client and/or relative
  • You can link forms for the client and/or relative
  • You can link a docs check list

When you review all of the above options just imagine the intro email that you can create to your clients by simply marking a case step as completed. You mark the case step complete, the email pops up, it is addressed to your clients with the “To” field, subject line, and body of the email completed using keywords, with the questionnaire and docs check list that you need attached. All with the click of a button! It’s a beautiful thing!

If you want to greatly improve the efficiency and accountability of your team, capture key dates, and be able to properly report on case status; then case steps are the one thing you must master within INSZoom. You will no longer need to link questionnaires, forms, and docs check lists to emails.

Take the time to create well thought out and effective case steps and you will see a return on your investment in no time. A new case can be opened and initiated with your client in a matter of minutes. Your clients will think you are amazing at how fast you accept new cases and reach out to the foreign nationals.

Here is a quick glance at how case steps/reminders appear in the Knowledge Base

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This is how the above case steps/reminders appear when you open the case.

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If you would like more information on creating case steps in the Knowledge Base please reach out to me, Christen Gause, for more information. I am happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.

Christen Gause, MBA

Manager, Business Development & Solutions | INSZoom.com, Inc. | christen.gause@localhost

Main: 925 244-0600 Ext 285

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