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Interview with Marc T. Calello, President and Founder of Caselite Software

October 20, 2008

Linda Schreiber:This afternoon I'm interviewing Marc Calello, the president and founder of Caselite Software. Marc, I interviewed you back in March of 2007. Readers can refer back to our discussion of the amazing scheduling software you created [Link to interview]. In that interview you described th
Linda Schreiber:This afternoon I'm interviewing Marc Calello, the president and founder of Caselite Software. Marc, I interviewed you back in March of 2007. Readers can refer back to our discussion of the amazing scheduling software you created [Link to interview]. In that interview you described the Caselite online scheduling software program created for public school speech-language pathologists. I understand you have a new version with brand-new features.

Marc Calello:Yes. We've been busy! We've definitely expanded our offering. We continue to work with the public schools, as we probably always will. Our latest feature - that's catching quite a bit of attention - is what we call Record Keeping.

The Caselite Record Keeping feature is kind of a reward for those who took the time to plan their workweek using Caselite. The Record Keeping feature makes it much simpler for them to be able to document their intervention sessions, and document when a session was missed and why it was missed.



Linda:This new feature goes beyond scheduling and into different avenues of data organization.

Marc:Yes. When you look across the Special Education space, you will find quite a few products from other companies on the IEP side and for Medicaid billing. But when it comes to service delivery - this is our niche - and scheduling was just the beginning. Now, how do you document when services were actually delivered as planned, or when they weren't?

Linda:You are addressing accountability.

Marc:Yes, the sweet spot that we've focused on is: How can we assist those who are working in the schools without putting such a burden on them? People talk about paperwork, but really the issue is data collection, data gathering, and data entry. It's laborious work.

So how can we make this difficult task rewarding, lightweight, and with low impact? That was really how our team approached creating this feature. We said, "You know Record Keeping shouldn't take several hours a week&#59 when you have a paper checklist, it doesn't take several hours to check off tasks."



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Linda:That's true and you would need to be mindful of that.

Marc:Absolutely. We approached creating this Record Keeping feature by saying, "Let's build this for the speech-language pathologists who are concerned about procedural compliance, but who spend too much time on tasks outside of what they love doing - therapy."

Linda:The Record Keeping feature helps SLPs document hours mandated by the student's IEP, and therefore helps SLPs be accountable. Couldn't this feature also help the SLP document hours for third-party billing and keeping records in that regard?

Marc:I think most of the documentation systems on the market today originally came out of that need for billing. We were trying to address the broader issue of procedural compliance. When you talk about third-party billing, I assume you're referring to Medicaid?

Linda:Yes, that's right.

Marc:Well, our first goal was to make it as easy as possible to document treatment sessions for all students. Now with your Caselite schedule, you can document all of your sessions and add progress notes very quickly. We focused on every click and counted up how long it takes to do it with a pencil versus a mouse, and really spent a lot of time making it as efficient as possible. But what paper and pencil can't give you is the added benefit of reporting - so the SLP and district leaders can see patterns, address issues and access records. The instant attendance is "clicked," you have information at your fingertips.


Linda:That sounds quite handy!

Marc:That was the broader initiative and then it could potentially be used, in the future, for hooking into billing systems.

Linda:A second feature you've added to Caselite is workload analysis. That feature sounds like a dream come true for a supervisor.

Marc:That's what we're hearing. There are really two faces to Caselite: one for the employee and another for the district leader. The district leader gets the byproduct of schedules reported to him or her and if there are any issues with service delivery, the leader knows when services were at least planned to be delivered.

Linda:And from that information, workload analysis ought to be easy to calculate.

Marc:Yes, there's a lot of data that can be pulled from district schedules to identify information like headcount and workload. We have a really interesting workload approach that has been refined by several district leaders. We can analyze workload quantitatively by looking at how much time is spent in treatment sessions, how much time is spent outside of face-to-face sessions, average group size, etc. From this information, district leaders can determine who really has the greater workload without having to survey staff and have them score every single one of their students. As a result, district leaders are better equipped to advocate for and therefore improve retention and recruitment of their service providers.

Linda:That's very impressive.

Marc:You know one of the nice things about the workload analysis dashboard for the district leaders is that it's visual. So they can clearly see patterns of information quickly, without having to sort through all the raw data, as they would in a spreadsheet.



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Linda:And Caselite is still delivered via the web. Correct?

Marc:Correct. We are what the industry calls, a "Software-as-a-Service" company. We provide subscriptions to our system, and delivering via the web means we can always make improvements and those improvements will be available to anyone who has Internet access.

Linda:So what you are saying is as you create new versions, the user will always have access to the current version without any fee for updating.

Marc:Exactly. That is one of the really nice benefits of web delivery or the Software-as-a-Service business model. There's a very low impact on district IT [information technology]. In a time when everyone is focused on budgets, Caselite is very affordable. Other more conventional models of providing new technology to a school district are much more expensive and require districts to invest in new machines and training, and to make sure personnel know how to maintain those systems. When you provide the system over the Internet, districts start up on day one when their subscription is activated. There is no additional cost for the district to incur for upgrades and new versions. Overall, the savings is substantial.

One of the other really nice benefits is that we can deploy enhancements pretty rapidly. As those enhancements go out, the next time someone logs in, they get to enjoy those new features.

Linda:And the new features really aren't dependent on what machine you have - Macintosh, Windows, etc. - you'll always be compatible?

Marc:Yes. We test on all of the latest browsers. We test on Windows. We test on Macintosh. A lot of districts have asked us about Record Keeping and how they can get it added to their current Caselite experience. We explained to them that if they purchased a Caselite subscription, Record Keeping is already part of it. It's standard with all of our subscriptions.

Linda:Do you make small adjustments all the time?

Marc:We have a lot of small enhancements we do on a regular basis. Then we have these larger features that we get really excited about when they launch.

Linda:So can I peek into the future? What will come next in Caselite?

Marc:We are working on Version 4.0 - this is the version number we have in mind for when Caselite rolls out across all disciplines. We've been piloting for all disciplines over the last year, and we've been gathering lots of great information.

We are planning to debut a sneak peek of Version 4.0 this November. Version 4.0 will provide a unique experience for district leaders who are either supervising a specific discipline or supervising all exceptional education services.

Linda:This is really exciting software, Marc!

Marc:Thanks. We are excited. I think everyone on our team is passionate about being a fresh company that's trying to take a new approach, and trying to bring some really fun and useful technology to a place where technology is often cumbersome and heavyweight. Most people we talk to are not in love with the software system they are using. We strive really hard to win fans to Caselite with our approach and in the way we support individuals and districts.

Linda:Marc, your wife was a public school speech-language pathologist and her first-hand experiences in the public schools ensure you create usable and practical features for Caselite.

Marc:Definitely. When we started, we had an ad hoc design team of school-based speech-language pathologists. But as Caselite has grown, we've taken their input and embodied it into our culture. We're pretty aggressive about asking for feedback.

Linda:I noticed on your website at: www.caselitesoftware.com, that readers can request a free district info kit.

Marc:Absolutely. Check us out and take our free tour. If your district is interested in more information about Caselite, request our free district information kit.

Linda:Marc, we all appreciate what your company is doing to reduce time spent on paperwork because that gives us more time for intervention with students. Thanks for chatting with me this afternoon.

Marc:Thank you, Linda.