Enterprise content management in higher education

The Times They Are A Changing

Change. Change on college campuses in administrative systems has historically been slow. Most universities still admit and manage students using a complex web of people, mail, paper, manual routing and data entry. They know it is inefficient and costly. So why is higher education lagging behind when there is a huge opportunity to gain efficiencies, particularly with the technologies and best practices we have today?

Risks. Rolling out many small software projects across a campus can delay addressing the big picture, and give the illusion of avoiding risk. The need for collaboration and the high cost of managing multiple systems with duplicate data sets are not addressed initially. The risk then becomes in controlling the waste. Somebody is eventually going to add that up.

Future. Though higher education is still in its infancy compared to most sectors, a new awareness of the need to manage unstructured content is gaining momentum. Along with that realization are the departmental process reconfigurations and then it can’t happen fast enough. People in an organization touch and re-use information despite their department of origin. The future is to manage a piece of content once and make it available to those who need it. Continue reading

Are you using your checklists in PeopleSoft?

You probably have one or more document imaging systems that enable you to reduce paper files, but how is your staff managing communication with students? Well designed paperless processes include efficient communication with students by the Offices of Admissions, Enrollment and the Registrar. Much of the communication with prospective students during the information gathering process can be system generated based on document types, system checklists, and timely automatic notifications.

That is just one of the many benefits of using PeopleSoft checklists. University administrative staff can also receive automatic notifications when documents are received and files are complete, shortening cycle times for student evaluation, acceptance and enrollment. Is your system set up to provide the following? Continue reading

Meeting today’s competitive challenges: are you maximizing your information?

Enterprise architecture is transforming the way universities manage and access student information. The movement is toward flexible, SOA-based services that result in more adaptable business processes, better collaboration and more manageable systems. Universities are competing more than ever to admit students that meet specific criteria. Expedient access to the right information during the enrollment cycle and beyond is crucial.

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ROI of Document Imaging

Forrester Research analyzed and evaluated ECM technologies and came out with The ROI of Imaging. Forrester Research, Inc. is a global leader in business and technology. They define imaging as software for scanning, capturing, indexing, retrieving, processing and archiving digital images of documents and electronic forms. Many organizations rely on paper intensive business processes and because of that, imaging is a very important component of Enterprise Content Management’s value.

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Save Time and Money With Advanced Capture

Does your organization waste valuable time and resources to manually prep documents? Are you tired of manually typing in data which oftentimes isn’t inputted accurately and error-free? If you want to venture away from these tedious slow processes, there are solutions out there! Advanced capture technologies will streamline and automate the transformation of documents into structured electronic information for your business processes.

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Rule Your Data with IBM Datacap Taskmaster

AIIM’s (Association for Information and Image Management) research reveals that 40% of organizations that implement a Capture Solution will achieve a ROI within 12 months.  AIIM separates capture software into 3 categories: Ad-hoc image, batch image and batch transaction. There are many capture products available but one in particular I would like to discuss is IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture software which is classified as batch transaction.

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Meet the Oracle WebCenter Team: Loren Weinberg, VP of Product Management and Strategy

The Oracle WebCenter team includes some of the best minds in the industry. In its WebCenter newsletter, Oracle is featuring a series of articles introducing readers to some of the team’s key players.

In this edition, the spotlight is on Loren Weinberg, who joined the Oracle WebCenter team last September, following Oracle’s acquisition of FatWire. As vice president of product management and strategy, Weinberg drives product strategy, direction, messaging, and go-to-market execution for Oracle WebCenter, always with a focus on delivering real-world success for customers.

Oracle WebCenter — from Web experience management, to portal, enterprise content management and social collaboration, the technologies can truly deliver unique value for customers and help them drive customer engagement across online channels.

Read the full story at Oracle WebCenter newsletter.

Universities should leverage information to recruit the most qualified students

The ability to gather information and evaluate a potential student in a timely manner is critical for a university to effectively recruit and enroll the most qualified students. When a high school or transfer student identifies a list of universities and colleges they may be interested in attending, so begins the accumulation of information about the student; their identity, academic record and preferences.

This information is coveted and schools that can quickly identify it and use it have a considerable advantage in recruiting.

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300 Million Pounds of Frozen Vegetables

If you haven’t seen our National Frozen Foods customer success video yet, take a break for less than 3 minutes and see how this corporation that produces over 300 million pounds of frozen vegetables a year utilizes their Enterprise Content Management system to increase their business efficiencies.

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What Helps Make IBM’s Watson So Smart? Content Analytics

If you got to see IBM’s Watson compete on Jeopardy a few months ago, you probably thought that it was interesting that a computer could compete (and win) against humans in a game show. What was not as apparent was the technology behind Watson, or how it could be applied to solve business challenges and provide insight into the massive amounts of unstructured information in your organization.

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San Jose State University Enrolls Students with Oracle and Peoplesoft SIS

San Jose State University Campus

There is a new way to process students into Universities that are using Peoplesoft SIS. It is called WebCenter Content and it is built by Oracle.  The first installation in the country is in full production at San Jose State University (SJSU).
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If content is the king, then portal is the queen

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle, explores the transition to Web 3.0, which was first defined by Dakota Reese Brown as “The Contextual Web.” Verma states, “It is estimated that by 2020, there would be 4 billion people online; 31 billion connected devices, 25 million applications, 1.3 trillion sensors/tags and 50 trillion gigabytes of content created in networked society.” He believes the focus on the Web experience will grow, and having a portal framework enabling contextual access to content from a unified repository will be at the center of importance during the next decade.

Read the full story at Oracle WebCenter blog.

The top 5 mistaken beliefs about content management

Your university may or may not have a strategy for managing content, the unstructured information streaming in and out of all areas of your campus on a daily basis. It’s likely you at least have a partial strategy where one or more of your departments is capturing and storing some type of unstructured information for later retrieval.

In a world where the use of digital channels is enabling organizations to synthesize large amounts of information in seconds, universities are making it a top priority to gain control of that rogue 80%, which is the approximate amount of unstructured information slipping through the cracks. This information is not easily accessible because it is scattered and isolated in departmental or personal file systems. This is the information employees need to do their jobs.

Information management 20% structured 80% unstructured information

University structured v. unstructured content

Content management services and software technologies have adapted to changing business environments so quickly over the past ten years, it is difficult to keep up with where the capabilities lie today. The following are five mistaken beliefs about content management and the facts that dispel those beliefs.

5. Content management is mostly beneficial for scanning and archiving documents.

Content management covers the lifecycle of information from creation and publication to archival and eventual disposal. One of the largest benefits of content management is enabling workflow automation. A perfect example is when someone in your organization wants to buy something. The individual begins to create documentation such as pricing research, correspondence, a requisition, purchase order, invoice and a contract to name a few. With workflow automation, these supporting documents are captured, routed and accessed interdepartmentally for approval, payment and auditing. Transactions are processed in hours or days instead of weeks.

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The Top 5 Mistaken Beliefs About Content Management

Gain control of unstructured content

Your company may or may not have a strategy for managing content, the unstructured information streaming in and out of all areas of your organization on a daily basis. It’s likely you at least have a partial strategy where one or more of your departments is capturing and storing some type of unstructured information for later retrieval.

In a world where the use of digital channels is enabling companies to synthesize large amounts of information in seconds, organizations are making it a top priority to gain control of that rogue 80%, which is the approximate amount of unstructured information slipping through the cracks. This information is not easily accessible because it is scattered and isolated in departmental or personal file systems. This is the information you should be arming your employees with so they can do their jobs.

Continue reading

Notebooking with ILINX Content Store: You’ll have to come up with another excuse for not working this weekend

With the growing ubiquity of mobile internet, many of us feel nostalgic for the days where logging off of a computer meant escaping our email inboxes.  Indeed, being connected and reachable is not always a welcome concept; it has further complicated the lives of recovering workaholics everywhere.  Still, in the cases where we need the internet the most, it often finds a way to make itself unavailable.This phenomenon is particularly problematic in the world of Enterprise Content Management.

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Don’t just archive your content, use it when you need it

Whether you are dealing with student records, registration forms, accounting files, financial aid or any other departmental processes, the most efficient way to use the information and get it to your main system is to scan the documents at the time they are created or received.

If you wait until the end of the process, many people across your organization will have photocopied, faxed, emailed, sorted, filed and re-filed, creating massive amounts of unnecessary work, expense and wasted resources.

Continue reading

ImageSource Achieves Fourth Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Public Sector

ImageSource is approved for their fourth Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization achieving the Public Sector Knowledge Zone. This distinction highlights a partner’s ability to focus on serving the information and technology needs of the public sector, with a powerful combination of technology and comprehension.

The Public Sector Specialization recognizes Partners that have demonstrated their ability drawn from Oracle’s portfolio of software and hardware solutions to solve unique public sector needs. ImageSource achieved the Public Sector specialization though testing that demonstrated an understanding of Government technology challenges and through validated solutions and customer references.

As a leading integrator for Enterprise Content Management technologies, ImageSource has been providing business efficiencies tools for the public sector since 1995. With extensive ECM experience in city, county and state governments, solutions include imaging and document management, records management, web-content management, workflow solutions, Higher Educaiton solutions, agenda management and much more.

The three previous specializations ImageSource earned were Enterprise Content Management, Service Oriented Architecture and Enterprise Manager.  We are proud to add another specialization to our achievements in the Oracle PartnerNetwork Knowledge Zones and continue working on additional designations.  We look forward to announcing their completion in near future.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

4G and Content Management

With the advent of LTE, HSPA+, and Wi-MAX (collectively referred to as 4G) information can be transferred at speeds never before thought possible. 4G for most of us is old news. However, it occurred to me that organizations rarely consider how this efficiency can actually be utilized. Most of my peers/colleagues utilize one form of a cloud drop box or another.  These tools are great for one or two Power Point presentations and maybe a couple case studies. I remember the first time I turned on my iPad/Mobile HotSpot and opened cloud app. ABC, it was information at my fingertips when and where ever I wanted it—I felt a sense of freedom. As time passed I added more and more “IMPORTANT” content to my personal cloud. Certainly you can all guess what happened next. The pile of paper in my cloud was 10x the size of the stack of paper on my desk at work. 4G connectivity, the cloud and “IMPORTANT” information is a great tool. If you add one more piece to the puzzle (enterprise content management) it can be invaluable to your organization.

For a moment try to imagine where organized, “MOBILE” and secure content could add value to your organization. Content that is safely tucked away behind your firewall yet still available to the appropriate men and women in the trenches. The applications begin to seem endless. As you know almost any type of files can be managed inside an ECM solution.

In one scenario a construction manager is remodeling the third floor in a local university building. It becomes immediately apparent that the plumbing was modified at some point to accommodate for an additional bathroom. The CM only has the original blue prints in his/her possession. What he/she needs are the updated “As-Is” drawings. These documents have of course been printed, folded and filed away back at HQ. It is obvious now that dollars are about to be spent on the recovery of these drawings. The only question that remains now is; how many dollars could be saved?

Decision makers and labor workers alike can all benefit from the innovation of fast mobile internet. However, the content being sought after or delivered must be organized and secure. I challenge anyone who reads this post to add a comment below: How can high speed mobile internet and content management be effectively combined to reduce cost or increase an organization’s bottom line?

Joshua D. Gilmore
Account Executive
ImageSource Inc.

 

Stuck in a Trade Show Whirlwind

This year’s Fall trade show season seemed to blow in and out like a tornado. It is no joke that time flies when you are having fun. We’ve seemed to go from September to December in a blink of a eye. Our whirlwind of a tour started  back when the leaves were just starting to change with multiple local PMI and AIIM events and only picked up speed from there….

For a week we blew into OracleOpen World in San Francisco, CA . If you’ve never attended Oracle OpenWorld, be ready for quite a technology experience. As an Oracle Platinum Partner there is no way we would have missed it!  As a systems integrator for Oracle Middleware, we were eager to help attendees learn how to run more efficient business processes by implementing Oracle IPM and UCM solutions.  There was a lot of interest in our recent implementations of Oracle Webcenter Content 11g. We look forward to going back in 2012 and hope to see you there.

While many of us were at OOW, our ECM expert, John Smetana was attending the AIIM ECM Bootcamp in Minneapolis, MN on October 4.  AIIM members and attendees collaborated on ways to minimize paper and manual processes in core backend activities and discussed better ways to engage social technologies to reach customers.

Next stop landed us in Vegas, Baby! We were a proud exhibitor of the IBM Information on Demand Conference that happens annually at the Mandalay Bay. And we are hoping what you saw there, doesn’t stay there. Take back what you learned from our IBM ECM team to get started on automating processes or to expand your current solution, enterprise-wide. We can wait to get back to IOD in 2012

Next up, we couldn’t have been more excited or proud to host Nexus ’11, our annual ECM Solutions Conference on November 3-4.  With over 28 breakout sessions, world-class Keynote speakers and peer-to-peer networking, this event has become the best education ECM technolgoy event on the West Coast!  Pre-conference training for AIIM certifications and other continuing education credit were provided in the days leading to the conference. Our vendor partners, including Fujitsu, Panasonic, IBM, Kodak and other industry leaders were on hand to show their latest product offerings and answer questions in our Expo Hall. This year’s hot topics included planning your ECMECOSYSTEM™,  Capture solutions from ILINX and Kofax, and implementing mobile and social technologies. You can check out presentations and video from this year’s event or register for what’s in store for Nexus ’13!

And finally, we wrapped up our tour in Sacramento, CA at the Kofax Connect event where we presented with our customer partner, Sacramento County, to share how their are utilizing Kofax KTM to clasify, separate, extract and transform documents.  We were excited to be a part of this valuable event and have the chance to discuss capture solutions with the many Kofax users who attended. If they hold this complimentary seminar again in the Spring you won’t want to miss it.

As frost began to form and the breeze began to slow, it was finally time to click our heels and head home for the holidays. But it won’t be long till we are back out on the road to talk with all of you about implementing your ECMECOSYSTEM and making your information work for you!  Make sure to keep checking our Events calendar to see if we will be blowing into a location near you.

Are You Realizing the “E” in Your ECM Projects

I’ve  worked in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry and sold software solutions in this space for over 12 years now. Since then I’ve been involved in hundreds of transactions and sales cycles with many Fortune 1000 companies. One thing that stands out very clearly  in my time in this industry is the fact that I’ve never worked with a single organization that had a plan to realize the “Enterprise” part of Enterprise Content Management software.

One story that vividly sticks out in my mind is an engagement we were called into back in 2002 with a Global 1000 company that was evaluating ECM software to solve their invoice processing challenge. After an evaluation period that lasted about two months, we were selected as the vendor of choice and went into the contracts phase of this engagement. One of the things we wrote into the contract was a clause that stated this company retained the right to execute on an enterprise license for everything in our ECM product suite for a specified dollar amount within 365 days of the signed contract.

Exactly 364 days from the date we put that clause in the contract and the CIO of this particular company executed the option for our ECM software suite, and paid a significant sum to do it. When I met with this CIO a couple of weeks later to discuss his roll out plan he informed me that he didn’t have a plan to roll out the software and what he purchased was a “tool” for his “tool kit”. As I left the meeting I thought that was a rather odd statement for him to make and I filed the information away in my memory bank. As the days turned to weeks, then months and finally years, the “tool” that this particular CIO bought never left his tool kit. The sad conclusion to this story is that 5 years later this same CIO went through another ECM vendor evaluation and spent millions of dollars more on another enterprise license with another company. The challenge here wasn’t the software because the software (FileNet) at the time was a leader in the ECM space, the challenge was that this CIO didn’t have a deployment plan or a method to help him create one. Because of a lack of planning this CIO wasted millions of shareholders dollars in direct, indirect and opportunity costs because of his lack of foresight in planning.

The ImageSource ECMEcosystem™ consulting methodology was created with this dilemma in mind, the dilemma that companies don’t have the resources, expertise and time to strategically plan for successful project rollouts. Our ECMEcosystem can help organizations:

  • Create an appropriate strategy to help them rationalize their current ECM infrastructure
  • Assess the organizational maturity level and responsiveness to change
  • Monetize ECM in a way that is meaningful to C-Level executives
  • Accurately capture requirements and use cases to develop an accurate road map
  • Put together cost / benefits analysis to justify the payback and ROI of an ECM investment

One of the key questions every project team should ask themselves before engaging in ECM initiatives should be, “Wouldn’t it make more business sense for us to invest in some ECM planning before engaging in the complexity of ECM acquisition and project roll-outs?”

As someone once said, “If we never take the time to do something right, when are we ever going to find the time to do it over?” Those are words that ECM project teams should live by!!

Cass Holloway
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

ImageSource Achieves Third Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Enterprise Manager

ImageSource is approved for their third Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization achieving the Enterprise Manager Knowledge Zone. This distinction focuses on the use of Enterprise Manager to manage and monitor the Oracle technology stack. Oracle Enterprise Manager’s unique top-down approach to application management enables organizations to reduce complexity and increase efficiencies in their IT environments and optimally run their enterprise applications.

Oracle Specializations are designed to recognize distinguished Partners that have experience and knowledge in one or more product pillars. ImageSource achieved the Enterprise Manager specialization by showing proficiency with the product though testing in sales, support and implementation. Validated solutions and customer references required, demonstrate ImageSource’s expertise in Oracle WebCenter Content and as a leading integrator for Enterprise Content Management technologies. The two previous specializations ImageSource earned were for Enterprise Content Management and Service Oriented Architecture.

We are proud to add another specialization to our achievements in the Oracle PartnerNetwork Knowledge Zones and are currently working on two additional designations.  We look forward to announcing their completion in near future.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

ImageSource Achieves Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

ImageSource was recently approved for the Service Oriented Architecture, Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization. The SOA specialization provides insight to Oracle’s newly released SOA 11g platform, a foundation for innovation. This platform is composed of many products like Adapters, B2B, ODI, OSB, BPEL, HWF, Rules, CEP, BAM and Governance, which work together to provide the benefits of SOA.

This is the second ImageSource Oracle Specialization which are designed to recognize distinguished Partners that have experience and knowledge in one or more product pillars. The first specialization ImageSource received was for Enterprise Content Management.  As a leading provider of Enterprise Content Management technologies and integration experts for Oracle WebCenter Content, ImageSource proved their high level of SOA expertise though testing in sales, support and implementation. ImageSource also demonstrated their experience with validated solutions and customer references.

We are proud to announce this specialization and look forward to announcing more certifications in the near future. We are also proud to share our latest video which showcases a successful Oracle WebCenter Content solution. Enjoy!

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

N.E.X.U.S. 2011

Nexus our ECM Solutions Conference is less than a week away. Our pre-conference training starts this Monday, October 31st at the Bellevue Westin Hotel. The  training is kicked off with the AIIM ECM Practitioner Certification, as well as the AIIM Capture Practitioner Certification, Conflict Management Course with James Brown and Oracle ECM 11g.

On November 2nd 2011 at 7:00PM come meet us at the Cypress Lounge in the Bellevue Westin for some light appetizers and cocktails to start the conference off right. Come mix and mingle with people in and out of the ECM industry.

We have a number of great organizations such as Fujitsu, IBM, Oracle, Kofax, AIIM, Kodak and many others which help make this an outstanding conference.

If you want to attend our conference register online http://www.nexusecm.com and don’t’ miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

Learn How to Save Your Business Processes at Nexus

If you’ve got paper, mismanaged files, labor-intense and risk-prone processes that you want to fix, you NEED to come to Nexus! Nexus is a two-day Content Management Solutions conference held in Bellevue. This year’s conference is Nov. 3-4.

As the host of the conference, ImageSource brings industry professionals to Bellevue to discuss a variety of topics from scanning and capture to workflow and business process management to storage and records management. A number of organizations like Oracle, IBM, Fujitsu, Kodak and many others will be exhibiting at the conference.

Also this year, there is a session on the ECM Ecosystem. The ECM Ecosystem is a process that explores your current “As Is” business state, and based on a series of interview and prioritization, allows us to make a recommendation on the future state. You don’t want to miss this session!

This two-day conference has four keynote sessions and more than 25 breakout sessions jam-packed with valuable information. There are three tracks – ECM Fast Track for those just starting their ECM journey, Management for management-specific sessions, and Technical for those looking for a more hands-on experience and a deeper look into the technology.

You also don’t want to miss our fabulous evening event Thursday night at Lucky Strike Lanes. There will be food and bowling and you won’t want to miss this!

For a complete look at the conference, visit http://NexusECM.com. Contact the ImageSource Nexus Team at (360) 943-9273 to secure your spot and get a special $100 off discount code!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Kristina Parma
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Looking at Your Organization as a Whole

Most departments are looking at ways to solve their individual needs and challenges.  They have a hard time looking at the organization as a whole to consider how their issues are similar to those in other departments.

While budgets often direct the decisions of each department, the cost effective way to look at a project is to consider the entire organization.  Putting a finger in a leak is a short term solution. Enterprise Content Management demands that the needs of the entire institution or organization is considered before a decision is made.  Point solutions that address a single application result in the implementation of three, four and even five products that dramatically increase the cost of support, hardware requirements and implementation.

Terry Butler
Chief Solutions Officer
ImageSource, Inc.

Content Collection and eDiscovery

If your organization is like many others, a call from legal or human resources to produce evidence for an electronic discovery (eDiscovery) request can turn into a time consuming and expensive endeavor.  Searching through and analyzing emails, electronic files, SharePoint, and other content is an arduous task, especially if all of that information is contained in silos, with no common repository.

We have helped customers, at the very least, from a cost savings perspective; realize savings from de-duplication of content.  In many cases, customers can see a return on investment in less than one year!

ImageSource can implement enterprise content management solutions that can collect all of the data in you environment, according to your policies, and make it available for legal search and discovery.

We can advise you on best practice for implementing a “content collection, archiving and eDiscovery” infrastructure that will utilize your file plans, and make sure you address these legal concerns:

  • “We don’t want to keep too much content”
  • “We want to keep the right content”
  • “We want to meet the government’s requirement that consistent, repeatable processes are in place”

We’d love to discuss your specific situation, and leverage our expertise to help solve your challenge.  There’s no reason why, with the technology available, that organizations should still be struggling with the same problems from the ‘90s.

Archie Horton
Regional Sales Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Decentralized Scanning: Evolving Thought

Doctors, for a long time, assumed our brains (like so many other complex machines) had a “top down” structure for how we process and store data. Historically, medical scholars thought that there must have been an overpowering component within the brain (hippocampus) that would call on certain brain neurons for information. If you needed to recall when your wedding anniversary was, the hippocampus would call on neuron 56352.2, for example. If it needed to recall how to jump start your car battery, it would call neuron 7362.3. To prove this theory, doctors in the 60’s hooked up test subjects to various sensory equipment and would ask them a series of questions. They thought, if you asked the test subjects certain things, very specific neurons would fire. So, they began monitoring these specific neurons in the brain… And they wound up waiting and waiting and waiting. Unfortunately for the doctors, instead of a neat, logical correlation between particular memories and particular neurons, they found a hodgepodge of neurons being called. With each question, many different neurons lit up… What was going on?? Surely, memories resided in a specific location in the brain. As much as doctors wanted to find a hierarchy in the brain, it just didn’t exist.

Eventually, doctors began to realize that various memories were actually stored across numerous parts of the brain. At first, scientists thought this theory to be somewhat primitive and disorganized. As counterintuitive as they thought this might be, this brain model theory would make one’s memories far more resilient. In the old model, if the specific brain neuron was damaged, we’d have lost that memory forever. With the more modern understanding, however, the loss of a single brain neuron doesn’t amount to a sudden vanishing of data.

Within the business world (very much like our brains), we constantly try to find hierarchal structure when building companies and organizing business processes. In my review of how companies around the world are adapting within this highly competitive landscape, more and more operations are decentralizing various processes and procedures. They are accommodating new consumer expectations, as opposed to forcing the centralized “brick and mortar” approach to work. The older centralized approach ultimately has become too slow, too costly, and too inconvenient for this modern fast pace demanding and competitive economy. This model creates a single point of failure, which can be detrimental in the grand scope of a business. In the world of imaging (or information capture), more organizations are placing their ingestion gateways out on the web, or simply closer to the consumers themselves. Take a look at the Wikipedia, Ebay or Craigslist business models. Why burden the consumer with complex ordering processes and procedures? Why not empower them with a “24/7” means of ordering services, on their whim or demand? For banks, more new and existing customers are opening accounts online, and more loans are being executed right away as a result of branches being able to capture critical consumer information in “real time”. An insurance adjuster with a hand held capture device like an iPhone can snap a picture in the field and deliver that content directly to a claim file instantaneously. The demands placed on business in this technology age are unmerciful. Business practices should strive to meet the consumer’s needs at new levels and understanding “how” to do this via technology is a step in the right direction. It is possible to utilize all of our business “neurons”. We can branch out and capture more data and accomplish more of our goals.

Just like neuroscience, we need to evolve our thinking in the world of business operations. Distributed Capture, or providing consumers a simple means to interact and request services or products, is the not the wave of the future… It is the demand of the present.

Ed Figueroa
ImageSource, Inc.

When Free Isn’t Free… Details as to Why!

Have you been offered free capture/imaging software lately?  Or are you competing against someone who is offering free imaging software?  I’m sure most of us in ECM have come across this scenario. This blog isn’t about generalities about why free isn’t free, but specifics of why these solutions are not ready for prime time and may not be your best investment.   Here are things we’ve learned about to ask those vendors when considering their technology:

  • Will they do a POC (Proof of Concept) for you? Or even a custom demo?
  •  Will it cost you to put in the POC?
  •  What amount of time does it take the vendor to set that up for you?
  •  Does the application have the ability to be configured easily?
  • Are there wizards for configuration?  How long will it take to set up the software?
  • Can you set up data base look ups through wizards?
  • How do you search and retrieve existing batches to make modifications?
  • How many of the references they provide were given “free” software?
  • What does it cost year after year once its installed?
  • What are the recognition rates, once set up?
  • How much does it cost to pay for services to install the software and configure it?
  • How many staff do they have to support you once the product is installed and there are issues?
  • Have you ever been installed in financial services, retail, transportation? Or what are your references?

This blog is to arm you with things to look out for, so you get the best solution for your enterprise.  Good luck with evaluations!

Michelle Semple
Vice President ILINX Capture and IBM/FileNet Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Unsure Economy Holding Your Business Back from ECM?

There’s no question that the US economy is still troubled.  Whispers of a double-dip recession have been heard from Wall Street to Main Street, and it has some business leaders hiding their wallets under their mattresses.  The market nosedive of 2008 is still fresh in our minds, and every business is hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

A common management response to a potential downturn is short-term cost cutting.  Though it’s important to watch cash flows carefully, being financially prepared does not necessarily mean a spending freeze.  This mindset ignores long-term financial prospects, and does little to safeguard a business from future economic slumps.

Some of the best defensive measures a business can take are forward-looking investments.  A carefully executed Enterprise Content Management System is a perfect example of this.  On face value, ECM seems like an expensive route to financial prosperity, meant only for large corporations with almost limitless cash.  But the long-term (and even short-term) benefits of an ECM system far outweigh these initial costs, and there are systems available that fit almost any size company and business need.

Stripping a company of its valuable employees or other key assets should always be a last resort for cost savings.  A savvy manager will look to business processes first, and ECM streamlines this practice.  ECM allows business leaders to take a close look at their information management, and pinpoint inefficiencies.  Sometimes these inefficiencies present themselves as nickels and dimes on a micro-level.  But, in the larger scheme of things, the removal of these small costs across an entire organization could mean the difference between net profit and net loss.

Getting started with Enterprise Content Management is all about having the right information.  Attending an ECM conference such as Nexus is often the best way of finding the solution that fits your business’ needs.  Whether you’re an ECM pro, or even if this is the first time you’ve encountered the acronym, Nexus ’11 has sessions that will deliver any of the information you want or need.

So go to www.NexusECM.com and find out how to save your business money while keeping your focus on the long-term.

Kyle Miller
Corporate Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Maintenance Over Management: A Survey of Business Officers

The sky has not fallen — but pieces of it could soon be hitting a campus near you.

That is one way of summing up the findings of Inside Higher Ed’s first-ever Survey of College and University Business Officers, released today in advance of the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The survey, the second of a series in which Inside Higher Ed is gauging the views of key higher education constituents, reveals a surprisingly upbeat assessment about the financial state of American college campuses (especially private nonprofit ones), as seen through the eyes of their chief finance and business officials, 606 of whom responded to the survey.

About one in six business officers at both public and private nonprofit colleges described the financial health of their respective institutions as “excellent,” and another 57 percent of public-college CFOs and 47 percent of private-college CFOs characterized their respective institutions’ financial health as “good.” Business officers at public and private institutions alike also generally rebuffed the notion that the budget cuts their institutions have suffered so far have damaged the quality of their academic programs or academic support for students — opinions that many other people on their campuses are unlikely to share.

Read the full story at Inside Higher Ed News.

Why a good ECM Integrator is important?

I am a big fan of HGTV, especially one particular show “Holmes on Homes.”  For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is about a general contractor who is on a crusade to weed out bad contractors who take short cuts when performing the job they were hired to do. Because the “bad contractors” took short cuts and didn’t do the job right in the first place, they created more problems over and above those which they were originally hired to fix in the first place. “Doing it Right the First Time” has become the mantra of the show.

By now, you may be asking yourself what one of my favorite TV shows has to do with ECM…well, frankly, everything. After 43 years in the computer industry and having worked in many aspects both in the technical and sales side of the business, it will still continue to amaze me that I see as many failed implementations as I do.

The sad part is that it does not have to be if customers would take more care in the evaluation process and place more focus on the integrator who understands solutions and less on the software vendor who provides a tool.

First let’s define an expert. An “expert” is someone who does 12 things, 12 thousand times, not 12 thousand things 12 times.  A good integrator is just that, they are” good” and can be an asset to the customer looking to implement any ECM solution.  Many times a customer will focus on the software vendor to provide this expertise. Software vendors sell software. The problem with this is the software vendor is interested in selling their software or selling you additional software and possibly ignoring the fact you already have what you need or supplying you with the incorrect software for the solution you need.

I have witnessed this many times and to say it can create a messy situation is quite an understatement.  In one such case, the customer purchased well over a million dollars in software, but the software vendor and his reseller never understood the requirements of the implementation and certain costly components were left out of the solution. Worse yet, false expectations were set for the customer regarding professional services and implementation costs.

How does this happen? First and foremost, neither the software vendor or reseller had any actual experience with ECM nor the costs associated with implementation. Neither understood the solutions requirements and they purposely deflated the services costs fearing they would jeopardize the software sale. Using an “expert” integrator would have provided the necessary solution, protected the customers’ interests and a positive experience would have been the outcome for the customer.

Another unfortunate circumstance we all share is the state of our economy. Economic times like the one we find ourselves in have a way of bringing out all kinds of new so called “experts.”  In this environment the customer must make sure they are able to separate “the contenders from the pretenders”.

I am a firm believer you get what you pay for. It continually irritates me to see a customer pay for the same real estate multiple times because they hired someone unqualified to implement their solution.  Following a few simple steps can prevent this from happening.

  • Remember the definition of an expert
  • Check  multiple references
  • Ask for a list of customers with similar solutions and have honest and open conversations with these customers about their experiences
  • Beware of the integrator who tells you they can have someone on site in just a couple of days to begin work. Any integrator worth working with will be worth the wait.  An expert integrator will typically have a 30 – 90 day interval before project start date.
  • You get what you pay for

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

NEXUS’11 ECM Solutions Conference

Attend Nexus 2011 and learn how to maximize student success using ECM integrated with your student information systems. Find out more information and register here.

AN INVITATION FROM TERRY SUTHERLAND, IMAGESOURCE CEO

If there was ever a year to attend an Enterprise Content Management Solutions Conference, this is it! Higher education institutions are being challenged financially now more than ever before. Becoming operationally efficient and serving student populations more effectively are critical imperatives.

Nexus is a forum that has matured into one of the most valuable information technology conferences anywhere. Our goal is to help you understand how your students, faculty and administrative staff across the campus can benefit from an enterprise class content management platform. Continue reading

Do You Know Where Your Records Are? Are They Safe?

Just recently I attended a thought provoking round table discussion involving records management. I, being directly immersed in enterprise content management, have bypassed the times when people stored physical records in an outside storage facility or in cabinets upon filing cabinets solely for records. Oh wait, that still exists!

One topic of discussion was what to do during a disaster. What do you do to save all the paper records when there is a flood or a fire? The various answers ranged from putting them in a trash bag if it involved flooding or putting your records in a freezer if there is a fire. These do seem like practical solutions but I’m not sure how efficient this would be when you are racing against a fire or flood and there are thousands upon thousands of papers that need to be saved for a million dollar corporation.

I do understand the physical storage of paper and it is a practice that has been around forever, but now there are alternative solutions that will not only bring a great return on investment but also you do not have to stress about these “what if” situations. The solution is going paperless with Enterprise Content Management.

Did you know:

  • The cost to manage a 4 drawer filing cabinet costs $25,000 on average. (futurelawoffice.com)
  • It costs $20 to file a document
  • It costs $120 to search for a misfiled document
  • 7.5% of all documents get lost and 3% of the remainder get misfiled (Inc. Magazine)
  • Companies misfile up to 20% of their records (ARMA International)

If you implement an Enterprise Content Management system, these systems are designed to capture, manage, store, deliver and preserve structured and unstructured content.
If you are worried about who will have access to these records and documents, ECM is the answer. You can create restrictions so only certain people are allowed to access certain content.
If you are worried about the retention schedule of your records, ECM is the answer. ECM enables automation of records management so after the 5 year retention period comes up you will get a notification to dispose those records.
If you are worried about your files getting ruined from water or fire, ECM is the answer because you no longer  have to worry about maintaining physical copies.
And an ECM system can allow you to access your information from remote locations with multiple people accessing that info at the same time.

The possibilities are endless!

If you think Enterprise Content Management and going paperless sounds like the ideal solution then you are right. So come and explore the possibilities and capabilities of the various ECM technologies at our Nexus ’11 ECM Solutions Conference in Bellevue, Washington and we will help you get on the right track.

Tracy Lim
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Utopia ECM

Utopia ECM (Enterprise Content Management) can be defined many different ways.  My definition is when the ECM system is so intertwined with the business process and business software applications that one really can’t exist without the others.  The users of the systems don’t even think about the fact that they are using ECM technology. Here are some examples:

  1. The sales rep submitting an expense report and scanning their receipts into an electronic workflow, doesn’t even think of the technology that they are using to start a business process.
  2. Traveling executives can retrieve, review and approve invoices and expenses from their laptop computer in a hotel room anywhere there is an internet connection.
  3. The employee on the order fulfillment line pulls up the supporting documents for the order details and instructions directly from their business application, but the source of documents were really from an integrated ECM system.

Remember how things like this used to happen without imaging, document management, workflow and system integration?
This concept of Utopia ECM became very apparent to me recently in an upgrade and migration project for an existing customer who is moving from an antiquated ECM application to ILINX.  It made me actually stop and wonder how they went from the simple concept of creating an electronic file cabinet, to a system that is virtually integrated into every department and many of their business processes throughout the company.  What I found out is that they took things one step at a time and have been sticklers about the following: 1) You get what you plan for, not what you pay for and 2) select vendor/supplier partners who have your best interests at heart.  The rest is just details.

Utopia ECM, isn’t that what we all want for our businesses?

John Smetana
VP, ILINX ECM Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Building an ECMEcosystem™

The goal of any Enterprise Content Management initiative should be to provide business value that aligns with the overall business strategy of your organization. Our goal with our customer engagements is to help them become more operationally sound by implementing application solutions which enable our customers to serve their customers better. We recognize that the four most important aspects of any business are:

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Business Processes
  • Business Content

The last three on the list service the first one and if a company’s customers are dealt with in an effective manner that company will grow and prosper and everyone will share in the rewards of that effort.

Over the last 17 years, the biggest challenge we’ve seen our customers and potential customers face is figuring out where to begin in initiating content and process related projects. It is for that reason that we have developed the ECMEcosystem™ methodology and service offering to help eliminate the complexity associated with that task. The objective of our ECMEcosystem service offering is to provide your organization with a road map outlining the hi-value content and processes that either drive revenue or incur cost so that you can make the most informed decision on which projects to initiate first and how to go about executing those projects.

The final report we generate from our ECMEcosystem engagement will outline current processes and also provide recommendations for improvement based on industry best practices and benchmarking, a business case is also included which is almost always necessary for ECM project justification. The final document can be used to identify which departments and processes to target for operational improvement first and / or used as a Request for Proposal (RFP) template to engage software and services vendors.

Cass Holloway
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

ImageSource Achieves Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Enterprise Content Management

This week ImageSource was approved for the Enterprise Content Management Specialization from Oracle. Oracle Specializations are designed to recognize distinguished Partners that have experience and knowledge in one or more product pillars. As a leading provider of Enterprise Content Management technologies, consulting, and integration services ImageSource proved their high level of expertise though testing in sales, support and implementation. ImageSource also demonstrated their experience with validated solutions and customer references.

ImageSource has been implementing ECM technologies since 1994 working with Optika, Stellent and now Oracle Enterprise Content Management, recently renamed Oracle WebCenter Content.  We have a vast customer partner network where ECM solutions have greatly improved business processes and created efficiencies for government, higher education, finance, healthcare and many other industries. Our Website hosts multiple case-studies showcasing our Oracle solutions for Costco, Mazda, Suzuki, Swedish Medical Center, San Jose State University and more.

Oracle WebCenter Content provides organizations with a unified repository to house unstructured content, and deliver it to business users in the proper format, and within context of familiar applications to fit the way they work.  It provides strategic content infrastructure for managing documents, images, and rich media files, End-to-End content lifecycle management from creation to archiving and contextual enterprise application integration.  ImageSource has certified staff and extensive experience implementing this technology. We are proud to announce this specialization and look forward to announcing more certifications in the near future.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

If only I were as Popular as the Nexus Conference

I am a newcomer to the world of ImageSource and ECM; having never attended Nexus, I know no more about the conference than what can be transmitted through words.   So, naturally, I’ve been tasked with calling past attendees of Nexus to tell them why they should return this year.

Wait, What?

Over these last 8 weeks at ImageSource I’ve completed a wide variety of tasks.  But, I have to admit, I was quite rattled by this assignment at first.  How was I to tell people about a conference which even I had yet to attend?  I was convinced that my ignorance would have me written off immediately.

I could not have been more wrong.

My background in retail primed me for the hard sell; I was certain that I would have to push the conference relentlessly to drive registrations.  However, to say that my calls have been met with warm reception would be a drastic understatement.  Past attendees have stopped me mid-sentence, reminding me that their previous experience was more than enough to make them want to come back.  One individual stayed silent through my entire pitch, and at the end he confessed that during my rambling, he had registered online and was excited to meet me there.

After a week of calling, I’m fairly certain that all I have to say to get people to register are two words:  ImageSource and Nexus.

My coworkers have been trying to convince me that this event was great for months, and I have had no reservations.  Still, simply hearing the excitement from past attendees has inspired that confidence in me.  When it comes to the value of attending Nexus, I no longer have trouble counting my chickens before they hatch.

Kyle Miller
Corporate Communications Manager