“Innovative Policing Practices That Have Positive Impacts On The Community” A Conversation With Chris Wacker, CEO Of Laserfiche
“By linking patrol cars to the department’s records repository at headquarters, the LBPD gives officers instant access to information about existing gang injunctions. This enables officers to arrest gang members and get them off the streets much quicker than when they relied on phone calls back to staff at headquarters, who then had to track down paperwork buried in filing cabinets. “
I had the pleasure to have a conversation with Chris Wacker the CEO Of Laserfiche
What is your backstory?
I co-founded Laserfiche 30 years ago with Nien-Ling Wacker, building on the vision of the paperless office. She oversaw the programming and I managed the business side of the company, specifically sales and marketing. We began selling our software through a channel of resellers to increase our presence, and now, with our headquarters in Southern California, we have resellers, partners and users across the globe.
The technology, too, has evolved tremendously, going far beyond enabling the paperless office. Today, our software empowers organizations to digitally transform, using Laserfiche tools like process automation and data analytics to gain valuable insight into operations and create digital workplaces of the future. As CEO, I set the strategic vision and drive business growth, while maintaining the company’s laser focus on the user experience. Since the beginning, our customers — who have used our product to do everything from save millions of dollars on overhead costs to improve in-home care for children with autism and their families — have been the inspiration behind every innovation.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
One of the most interesting projects Laserfiche has been involved with is the Long Beach Police Department’s gang injunction program. By linking patrol cars to the department’s Laserfiche records repository at headquarters, the LBPD gives officers instant access to information about existing gang injunctions. This enables officers to arrest gang members and get them off the streets much quicker than when they relied on phone calls back to staff at headquarters, who then had to track down paperwork buried in filing cabinets.
In just one year, the initiative led to a 52 percent decrease in gang murders. I have always been proud to know that our software empowers employees and organizations to work smarter and achieve more. Now, we can say that Laserfiche is driving innovative policing practices that have great, positive impacts on the community.
How exactly does your company help people?
In the digital economy, organizations need the ability to pivot quickly to respond to changes in their industries, in technology and in the marketplace. Our software gives organizations’ leaders the data and insight into operations that they need to make those decisions.
Our space has been called many different things over the years, most recently “enterprise content management” and “content services platforms.” The bottom line, however, is that people and organizations are creating more content than ever before, with the proliferation of that content showing no signs of slowing. Laserfiche empowers organizations to gain control of their content and processes — through tools like electronic records management, business process automation and analytics — and use it strategically to meet their goals, whether those include boosting revenue, improving the customer experience or outpacing the competition.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
The company and I donate to local and global causes every year, and it’s a cornerstone of our organization to empower employees to give back to the community of which we are a part. This includes participating in volunteer opportunities, food and supply drives, and fundraising.
The most significant contribution we make, however, is through Laserfiche itself. We founded the company on the idea that we could help the world work smarter. The technology we develop evolves constantly, but the vision endures. At its core, Laserfiche is about helping people do more of the work that matters. Many often think about business software as something they have to use — I’m constantly inspired by the fact that Laserfiche enables people to make a real difference in the world. Elite universities use it to raise retention rates; police departments use it to quickly hire only the most qualified candidates; and nonprofits leverage it to collaborate with organizations and volunteers who are on the ground, working in remote locations.
We host Empower, a global conference, every year where I get the opportunity to hear new user stories and interact with the wider Laserfiche community face-to-face. It’s energizing and inspiring to see firsthand how much people love our software, and I love that aspect of my job, more than any other.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.
Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working closely with governments and government agencies around the world. I have personally seen public employees’ day-to-day operations and understand their big-picture challenges as they seek to serve the public. Many of these clerks, IT managers, CIOs and other government employees could easily take roles in the private sector for higher pay, but they dedicate their lives to making a difference in their communities and the world.
This choice of putting service above self, and belief in working for the greater good makes public servants my heroes. One great example of this is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who I find fascinating. I would love to hear his perspective on leadership and public service, especially on how he empowers his staff to embody and promote the idea of “service above self.”