What ILINX Has in Common with Two Giants: Alibaba and Apple

I read a post recently titled Customer-centric and easy-to-use is the new business model (The Alibaba story) that really hit home. The author, Gerry McGovern, a customer-centricity guru, points out that Alibaba, the world’s biggest online commerce company, has defined a clear mission of “making it easier to do business across the world”, as founder Jack Ma put it. I think it’s safe to say that this model has merit, as the company claims the biggest IPO in the history of the world.

As a long-term Apple user, (my first Mac had a hard drive with 512 KB memory) I can say that their progressively intuitive interfaces have been a compelling reason for me to continue using their technology. In fact, the Macintosh project started with an Apple employee named Jef Raskin who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer.

Apple has stayed true to this model to present day, according to technology industry analyst Jeff Bajarin. In an article published by Time Magazine, Bajarin outlines six key principals that set Apple apart from the competition, three of which are: Continue reading

Converging Mobility with Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

In a recent report, IDC predicts 87% of connected devices by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.  In the same report, it is predicted that the purchase and use of PCs will drop from 28.7% to 13% by 2017.Worldwide-Smart-Connected-Device-Forecast-Market-Share-by-Product-Category-2012-2017-iCharts

What does this trend data really mean?  Well, for starters, it might mean that more people will be playing Angry Birds than ever before.  From a business point-of-view, tablets and smartphones are both disruptive and viewed like a Swiss Army Knife:  a single device that can do many things.  However, with these mobile devices, there is both the opportunity for rewards and the potential for risks.  It makes no difference if the mobile device is provided by your employer or is a BYOD situation.  On the whole, the same rules apply; however, there are some nuances about BYOD that invite additional risks to be mitigated. Continue reading

Increase in small home-based businesses equates to growth of content to manage

Small businesses are major players in the U.S. Economy. According to Forbes.com, over 50% of the working population (120 million individuals) works in a small business.

With the advancements in technology it has become easier for people to create and run small businesses, without insurmountable operating expenses, out of their homes. In fact, 52% of all small businesses are home-based (Forbes.com). This has led to small business growth nationwide and changes in the way these businesses operate.

How do they manage the increasing inflow of content to their businesses?

How do they search and find information effectively?

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ILINX – the new ECM software kid on the block!

Since my entry into the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry in 2001, the biggest challenge that I see for any company is to turn their ECM investment into one that is utilized across the enterprise, and not just for the benefit of one department. After all, that is the whole point of an enterprise system solution. When the whole enterprise benefits, it reduces total cost of ownership and the promise of a return-on-investment (ROI) is realized.

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ImageSource: A Fujitsu Premier Partner X 9

Fujistsu_PP_2012

Fujitsu Premier Partner of the Year

In June, ImageSource was named Premier Partner of the Year, 2012 for the Western Region by Fujitsu Computer Products of America. This marks a whopping ninth time ImageSource has earned this status.

You could say, without question, that ImageSource likes Fujitsu scanners. We like them because Fujitsu invests in R & D and quality control to ensure an exceptional product line that continually evolves to meet the demands of an ever changing capture landscape.
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Are you “Powered by ILINX?”

Organizations are realizing more and more every day the need to reduce paper, automate labor-intense processes and eliminate duplicate tasks. Since we all know time is money, this is important now more than ever. But how do you choose the right technology to assist with this? We hear quite frequently that users are comfortable working within their line-of-business systems and that bringing in a large, complicated content management system will only confuse them. My response to this is, “Are you Powered by ILINX?”

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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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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.

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ImageSource® Awards Customer Partners for Innovative ECM Solutions

theme imageImageSource recently announced the winners of the 2011 Nexus Customer Partner Awards. The winners all show exceptional and innovative ways of utilizing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies and include San Jose State University, ESCO Corporation and Mira Costa College.

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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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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.

Process Improvements – Leveraging Technology – Content Store

 

ILINX® – Content Store

Simple, Easy, Efficient –

Imagine having information at your fingertips.

The power of a piece of paper?   Often what you need to get your job done exists on a “piece of paper” somewhere other than your very own desk.   Think back to life before working in the Document Imaging world and the amount of time wasted trying to gather information. If that was true for me, even in very high tech companies, imagine how it is for others.    Often the things we need to access are very similar between companies and industries.   We all need access to customer information: invoices, P.O’s, shipping information, approval documentation, etc. etc.

ILINX Content Store provides one place to keep this information and a searching capability  similar to a “google” search for your internal documents.  It is truly one of the most user friendly efficient software that I have seen.   How do you make a decision to begin turning the paper in to “less paper?”   Without a doubt in the long run it will save you time and money.   Two things every company can have more of!

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource 

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.

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.

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

Taking PeopleSoft to New Heights in Higher Ed

The PeopleSoft ERP system you use for Student Information Services (SIS) has been built to support nationwide and world wide applications. As such, it cannot provide unique challenges for each business need.Typically, we see IT shops and business directors working around the deficiencies in the product in an attempt to meet specific business objectives.  We also see universities purchasing complimentary products to try to meet specific needs and requirements.

From an IT perspective, the cost to write custom code to modify PeopleSoft is prohibitive, or the software simply cannot meet the business objectives. With this in mind, ImageSource, a systems integrator for Oracle, has built several modules for higher education that will have a dramatic effect on how universities conduct business. The integration is codeless, so although we “talk back and forward” to PeopleSoft, there is little requirement to have PeopleSoft technical staff supporting the project.

This new module provides true business workflow that can be designed and built by the business unit, allowing work to be pushed out to the specified knowledge workers. The pilot project recently completed at major California University has been deemed a complete success. This solution now allows them to provide critical real time service to students, parents and faculty.  With the initial implementation in Finance and Student Services, this university is ready to implement the program campus-wide and gain substantial ROI.

If you’d like to know more about how this solution works please email Lynne Butler, ImageSource Higher Ed Business Consultant, at lynneb@imagesourceinc.com

Anyone Else Hate Carrying a Wallet Full of Receipts?!

We live in a fast-paced world. This is a time when we want information instantly, at the click of a button, on the tips of our fingers. We want information about the economy, the latest news updates, what our friends are doing Friday night, etc.

On any given day, I can open up my Internet browser and check out Google News, then head over to the New York Times and CNN to get my fix for what’s going on in our country and the world. Then I pop open Twitter to get the latest happening in the Enterprise Content Management and Document Imaging world, and to get a good laugh from some crazy tweeps I follow. I’ll open up articles and pictures and see what’s been happening for the last few hours. Jump over to Facebook and I can see what my friends did last night, check out new pictures, see who’s gotten married, broken up, or who’s in a “complicated” relationship. I can see which of my friends once again posted too much information or put up sayings or quotes that make you smile.

The cool thing about all this is that I can also do it from my smart phone. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting at my desk, riding in a car, waiting for an airplane or lying in a hammock. I can take this information with me everywhere I go.

Moving off topic for just a second; I’m a compulsive receipt-keeper. I keep every receipt I get, and I’m super crazy about it. I like to keep track of purchases, see which pair of shoes my paycheck may have gone to, or see how much I spent on groceries. In my work life, I keep receipts to show our Accounting Department that I’m not spending company money on weekend getaways or skinny jeans.

However, up until recently, this was a task that I could only take care of at my desk. That’s where my scanner is and where my documents are saved. I would have to save up all my receipts from various trips and then wait to scan them in at the office.

Enter ILINX® Capture Mobile! ILINX Capture Mobile is an app that allows you to capture information anywhere. Traditional capture software requires a desktop installation. But now, I can simply grab my phone and capture the documents I need.

For example, say I’m at a customer dinner and picked up the tab. Now, instead of having to be sure I bring that receipt back to capture at my desk, I can open up ILINX Capture Mobile and capture that receipt after I’ve signed. It converts the image to a PDF, and I can give it
some index values. I can then email it to myself to refer back come expense report time.

So if you’re anything like me and hate carrying around a handful of receipts, I would definitely recommend getting ILINX Capture Mobile. It’s available through the App Store and even better, it’s free! It’s simple, easy to use, and will alleviate the pain our wallets feel from bulging at the seams from being overstuffed with receipts. But more importantly, it allows us to capture that critical information, index it, and send it back to ourselves for later use, all at, well, the click of a button.

Kristina Parma
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Calling All SMBs!

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked into my doctor’s office, my dentist’s office, a community college office and seen rows and rows and rows of file folders filled with information about patients, students, customers, etc.

So let’s take the process at my doctor’s office as an example. I had an appointment not too long ago and my insurance information had changed. The receptionist made a photocopy of my new insurance card and then printed out about half a dozen new pages for me to fill out. Then she input the information into her computer and filed the forms into my folder.

I think about how much paper they use, how much space they need to store all those documents, and how much they’re spending in time and labor.

All small- to medium-sized business – there’s a product that can decrease the time spent on capturing that information, retrieval and can securely store your documents! ILINX® Content Store was designed with SMBs in mind. It captures documents and stores them securely for easy retrieval down the road. What’s awesome about this product is that it installs in a matter of minutes and users can be trained in about 30 minutes!

Kristina Farma
ImageSource, Inc.

Are Your Documents Controlling You?

As your business grows and expands, so does the paper that supports it. Important information can easily be lost or duplicated because the paper has gotten so out of control.  Your employees are spending hours that could be spent on growing your business even more on manually handling, searching and coping that paper mess.

Now there is an economical, paperless way to do business! ILINX® software gives you the ability to scan, securely store, search, send or share all of your business content.  It doesn’t just have to originate from paper either- you can import Microsoft Office files, email, digital media or just about any other type of file.

Another benefit that ILINX offers is that it works hand in hand with your other business applications. You have the ability to be able to click a button and it will instantly pull up any documentation that relates to what’s currently up on your screen. Without ever leaving your business application! Think about how efficient this will make your office- seamlessly joining together your paperless office with paperless processes.

By having a digital office, it also will allow you secure and quick input and access to all business documents- from anywhere. Any computer, any browser. You will be in complete and total control of your documents. ILINX is also very reliable, scalable and manageable. It is designed to have minimal impact on your IT resources, its user friendly and easy to maintain over time.

Interested in learning more about the technology and making your office go paperless? Check out our webinar:

Jennifer Jepson
ImageSource, Inc.

One-Hit Wonders in Enterprise Content Management

Defining Enterprise Content Management One-Hit Wonders

As I go about my every day sales and business development activities to evangelize ImageSource’s ILINX Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software products, I am amazed to see just how common it is for the originally installed ECM software system to be pretty much unchanged.  The use case is the same (e.g. Accounts Payable, Human Resources, Customer Service, etc.) and the system is used by mostly the same people.  Maybe a new application was implemented for Accounts Receivables, but by and large it is still the same system.  In some cases, the software has been up updated only once or twice, the scanners are original, the servers and workstations in use are running older operating systems and databases and the system might still be using a juke box for archival purposes.  This is very similar to what one might call in the music business, a one-hit wonder.  If you were to ask people in the music business, they would say a one-hit wonder is a very common tale.  And, so it seems that we have the same thing happening in businesses when it comes to Enterprise Content Management.

How did we get here?

What I have observed is that enterprise content management has become pervasive; however, it is actually a series of one-hit wonders.  Meaning it is managed and implemented differently by department and/or line-of-business.  For example, the  Accounts Payable department might use the originally installed ECM system, but the Marketing department uses nested shared folders on the network that also requires one to name the files in a certain manner; the Engineering department might be using some document management module that comes with their engineering software, but for imaged engineering drawings they go to the ECM system the Accounts Payable department uses; and the sales department had their CRM software integrated with a different ECM software application that is “cloud based”, as well as, they have become masters at using their network attached multi-function printer (a.k.a. MFP) to scan-to-email and ad-hoc scanning for imaging.  And, when things don’t work as they are expected to or malfunctions, the information technology department is supposed to pick up the pieces, work some magic (and fast) and “ta-dah” everything is back in working order.

What needs to change?

So how did we get to the point where we have so many different ways to image, file, store, retrieve and process documents and content in our businesses?  More importantly, what can be done about it to improve the situation to drive out duplication, increase efficiency and lower operating costs and risks?  First of all, let’s cover how we got here or better yet, what needed to happen first keeping in mind there is no one to really blame.  A large part of why businesses have not centered their businesses on a single ECM software system is that some evolution needed to take place.  First and foremost, the ECM applications themselves had to evolve from client-server and thick clients to be being truly web-based built on Web 2.0 technology and architecture; it is important to note that not every ECM software company has taken this step.  Secondly, the internet had to become as pervasive as the telephone (land line and/or mobile) and the bandwidth to support business use.  Thirdly, the ECM applications had to become less specialized in just performing one thing, such as, imaging, web content management, digital asset management, etc.  Fourth, the computing platform from which we access the information had to become a non-factor; this means that I can access my information from any device:  a PC workstation in the office, a laptop in a hotel, a tablet device like the Apple iPad and/or a smartphones.  Lastly, the investment of ECM software systems needed to scale to based upon the size of the business to actually be affordable and cost-effective which has largely not been a reality.

A new reality is possible today!

It is from ImageSources’ collective experiences of its employees and the 17 years of being in the Enterprise Content Management business that it can confidently and successfully assist companies and organizations of all types create a new paradigm.   Simply put, we make it possible to take disparate ways and systems of managing documents and content into a single system that serves every department and line-of-business of the enterprise.  It first starts with making document capture so simple and so accessible from any device.  ILINX Capture works with any TWAIN compliant scanner and can be configured to work with virtually any network attached multi-function printer (MFP).  ILINX Capture Mobile and the ILINX Tablet make it possible to capture documents and content in the palm of your hand.  ILINX Content Store  is ideally positioned for those companies that need a complete, full functioning, user pleasing and straight-forward approach to Enterprise Content Management.  It must also have the option to be integrated with business applications (ILINX Integrate) and does not burden the IT department with system management and administration tasks.  Mainly because it is built on Microsoft’s .NET web-based architecture; therefore, updates, changes and new applications can be deployed from a single-administration console and users can receive those updates via their intranet or internet.  If the existing content, documents, images and data in your current “dot.90’s” ECM system is a concern for you, ImageSource has the services and the tools (ILINX Export) to make this all important and critical step of migrating your information into ILINX Content Store.  The remaining question that you might have is this:  is it really affordable and cost-effective to consolidate disparate ways and systems, migrate the information and implement a new ECM software system?  And my answer to that is, “ImageSource’s approach and ILINX has proven to be so for many others, I have no reason why to think the same is possible for you and your company!”

 

ECM Moves to Simplicity

A trend worthy of mention in the ECM industry is the move to simpler-to-use products. ImageSource is answering the demand for these streamlined products, not only from an integration point of view, but also by developing our ILINX product line. What is really worth noting is that the products mentioned below are streamlined without sacrificing performance. Let’s explore what simple ECM means for organizations.
Users
From a user’s perspective, ECM is becoming more intuitive, accessible and affordable. Heavyweight capture players like Kofax are applying their expertise to products like Kofax Express, geared for small to mid-sized organizations. It is functional without requiring a lot of training or know-how. Another capture application, ILINX Capture, is web-based, enabling capture at any desktop browser. It has a mobile app, ILINX Capture Mobile for capture without the desktop or laptop. In yet another mobile development, ImageSource recently announced the launch of their ILINX Tablet, the first business-centric tablet to hit the market. Users also appreciate ILINX Integrate, which image enables their line-of-business systems. They can view content from within their primary application without having to open a content repository.

Administrators and IT Professionals
Thin client apps, like ILINX Capture, allow for administration, deployment and maintenance from a central source. Graphical user interfaces allow workflows to be created effortlessly, automating rules and decisions. ILINX Content Store is a supercharged, yet streamlined content repository that is as easy manage as it is to master—and it’s also a web app. The simplicity of all of the products mentioned above mean fewer resources are spent on training and administration.

Organizations
Simple ECM benefits the enterprise on many levels. First, fewer resources are used to deploy and manage information systems. Secondly, as complexity decreases, user adoption improves. Lastly, as ECM is distributed, organizations are able to ingest content from a much wider variety of sources, sooner, so information is available more immediately.

Carol Carbone Jellison
Creative Director, ImageSource

Eating Our Own (Yummy) Dog Food

Every day at ImageSource I use the technology that we help implement at other organizations. It helps remind me why our Customer Partners get pretty excited about information processes that get transformed through ECM technology. Instead of printing, shuffling paper, waiting, shuffling some more, waiting, chasing down the paper, copying, shuffling and filing, we can complete a process efficiently, accurately and have a digital record.

It’s time to submit my expense report, so I’ll use that for an example.

I gather a few paper receipts, and scan them on my Fujitsu Scansnap desktop scanner using ILINX Capture software. Using a desktop browser, ILINX Capture allows me to add indexing to this batch of documents, so I can easily search for them.

My other receipts are already PDF images that I captured using the camera functionality on my iPhone and a handy app called ILINX Capture Mobile. It lets me turn my paper receipts to digital images on the fly, and attach keywords to them. (This is especially convenient when traveling.)

I merge my PDFs into one document using Adobe Acrobat, and go to our intranet site for where I find a LiquidOffice eForm designed for ImageSource expense reports. Utilizing pull-downs, pop-up calendars and automatic calculators, I quickly enter essential data about each receipt, attach my PDF with receipt images and hit submit. After the package is automatically routed to my supervisor for approval, ILINX Connect for eForms seamlessly transports it to Oracle Image & Process Management system.

Our Accounting staff views the documents right from within their accounting software system using ILINX Integrate, without having to go into IPM. Should my expense report documents ever need to, they could be sent through an IPM workflow or packaged and migrated out using ILINX Export.

It is liberating to work in an automated environment. Instead of shuffling paper, my time is free to do things that actually require my expertise, of which report submittal is not one.

Carol Jellison
Creative Director, ImageSource

 

In the News: Streamlining ImageSource News Delivery

About a year ago, the ImageSource Marketing team decided to give your email inbox a break and consolidate the news we push out into a quarterly eNewsletter called In the News.
It’s a great source for condensed version of ECM case studies, new hardware and software developments and cool things that are cooking at ImageSource, with links to more information. Of course we always include information about the Nexus ECM Solutions Conference, ImageSource training and other events we are hosting or participating in.
If are not currently receiving In the News, and would like to, please opt in here:
Add me to your list!
We look forward to having you be part of our In the News network!

Carol Jellison
Creative Director
ImageSource, Inc.

Browser-Based ILINX® Capture Technology Integrates With Canon Workgroup Scanners

Canon ScanFront 220 & 220P Embedded with ILINX Capture provides seamless and secure, all-in-one solution to scan, index and route documents across an entire operation for advanced information exchange and maximized coordination

Companies are always looking at how they can run more efficiently and one way to accomplish this is to provide end-users with the ability to scan, index, send and store documents regardless of physical location. The integration between ILINX Capture and the ScanFront 220/220P gives organizations the opportunity to capture information at the source and direct it to the next process, significantly reducing employee error and the amount of time needed to route documents and information.

Administrators can customize the scanning experience for the users and create buttons that send data through Email, FTP, to a file folder, or they can choose to store the documents on a USB memory stick. Once released from the scanner, documents enter the ILINX Capture workflow system, which is fully customizable and extensible, allowing access to documents and batches from a web browser.

The Canon imageFORMULA ScanFront 220/220P, a powerful network scanner with a small footprint, provides customizable Job Buttons that allow for one-touch access to routine scanning tasks. The scanning process can be as simple as pressing a single button, but can also provide the power and flexibility of a fully functional scan station. Once a document is scanned, ILINX Capture allows index values to be entered at the scanner interface, auto-filled or input at a later time.

The ILINX Capture and imageFORMULA ScanFront 220/220P integration provides secure distribution of documents across a network, improves company wide information dissemination, eliminates information handling errors, mitigates records management risks and a reduces costs associated with sharing information.

Debbie Horton
Communications Director
ImageSource

Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution

DEFINE THE BUSINESS GOALS

Your ECM initiative must begin with the identification of clearly defined measurable goals. These goals must emerge from cross‐functional planning groups. Too many efforts begin with a list of requirements for the ECM Solution, but these requirements cannot be defined accurately at such an early stage. The goals themselves will typically number between five and 10, and require agreement from all business units before you begin
constructing shortlists of vendors. This will help you avoid lengthier discussions at an inappropriate stage of the ECM effort. The goals should be strategic in nature, reflecting your objectives over two or three years. The overall business goals should succinctly and quantitatively summarize the essence of the required ECM solution, and they should be linked to the overall strategy of your organization. They should also be clearly phrased so that the benefits are clearly understood and actively supported by the executive sponsors and stakeholders. These objectives will form the basis for all requirements of the ECM project and will be the tool that allows irrelevant features to be quickly identified. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Faster short listing of suitable vendors.
  • Reduced expenditure in the selection phase.
  • Increased clarity about the solution components necessary for the appropriate solution.
  • Greater project transparency and more support from high‐level sponsors as a result.
  • Easier building of business case for the initiative.
  • Accurate listing of requirements.

APPLY AN ECM MATURITY MODEL

The adoption of maturity models is inhibited by the perception that they are abstract and theoretical, with little connection to the real world. Yet the appropriate maturity model can provide the basis for practical decisions, cost savings and the mitigation of many risks. A maturity model is a tabular representation of solution areas such as Capture, Workflow, Search and Retrieval, Web Content, or Records Management, together with a rating of how “mature” or developed that solution area can be. A simple thick client capture technology would have a low rating, while a sophisticated, thin client capture technology would score higher. The model can therefore be used to assess the level of maturity a future ECM Solution should have. It also assists in the articulation of a strategic vision and permits insight into the complexities of reaching that vision. A complete and realistic evaluation of all aspects of your current environment is necessary to assess the maturity level of your current system. Without this initial assessment you will be unable to determine what future levels of maturity are achievable, or how much effort is required to exact the corresponding changes. Such analyses also help to simplify buying decisions, and clarify whether the products on which your existing solution is based require upgrading or replacement. Benefits from applying maturity model analysis include:

  • The creation of a succinct, easily communicable summary of status of the ECM Solution to executive sponsorship and stakeholders.
  • The difficulty and cost of moving an ECM Solution to the desired level can easily be underestimated. A maturity model helps expose these difficulties and costs, and provides valuable input to the design of another indispensable tool — the road map.

BUILD A ROAD MAP TO PROMOTE LONG-TERM SUCCESS

A road map is a high‐level representation of the planned changes against the chosen timeline for those changes. Road maps are commonly represented as Gant charts, with the overall effort typically divided into overlapping phases. Each phase represents the changes required to raise the maturity of the ECM Solution to a higher level on the maturity model. The complexity of the required change will determine whether multiple steps for a particular solution area are taken in any one phase. (A phase typically ranges from three to six months.) This approach helps mitigate the risks associated with lengthier endeavors, such as attrition of key staff and budget reallocation away from the project.

Use a road map‐based approach to:

  • Ensure that the order in which you deploy the ECM Solution components matches the priorities of your overall business strategy.
  • Help organization leaders avoid deploying short-sighted point solutions and silos. Easy win can be considered, but not at the expense of higher‐order goals.
  • Permit a more thorough assessment of vendors and filter out those that can’t support your vision of your solution.
  • Allow a careful assessment of how long it will take for your ECM Solution to provide business value.

IDENTIFY AND FOLLOW THE RELEVANT INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICES

Choose a Solution‐Deployment Methodology: ECM programs which diligently apply a project management office (PMO) and solution‐deployment methodology have a significantly higher chance of succeeding. The methodology will provide focus, optimize time to value and help reduce potential risks. Discuss the most appropriate methodology with your vendor. The methodology that your organization primarily endorses may
not provide the full benefits. An intelligent mix of your existing practices and those extolled by the vendor for its products is usually optimal. Choose the Right Team: The right mix of staff will ensure that the right strategy and designs are established, that costs for core‐development phases are reduced and that on‐the‐job training for in‐house staff is provided. Apply a Form of Requirements Tracing: Requirements tracing is a method by which the requirements of the individual phases are aligned with the goals identified and selected for that phase. This provides focus and helps ensure the exclusion of costly and unnecessary features. It can also prevent, or reduce, scope creep. Collaborate With Your Vendor: Involve your main vendor in the selection of the appropriate products and the design of the ECM solution architecture. Some of these changes are likely to involve third‐party products and will require a firm statement of compatibility from your main vendor.

SELECTING A SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR

When implementing an ECM Solution you should set your sights on a full‐service Enterprise Content Management integrator that provides infrastructure and services that streamline information processes. The vendor should help your organization leverage your information assets through document imaging, distributed capture, workflow and integration with existing business software systems. A true ECM vendor will have a comprehensive approach, including analysis, training and support; will advance efficiencies, security, compliance and competition through your entire organization. Teaming with Experience: Your organization should work with a vendor that can bring several years of ECM experience to the table. This results in well‐defined, long‐term goals that are enlightened and effective. Let the Problem Drive the Solution: Work with a Vendor that does not come to you with a specific idea of what product you need, but instead concentrate on specifically defining business challenges that you face. This process leads to business solutions that integrate with your standing technology investment and result in real returns for your organization. The vendor’s services should provide an independent and objective approach. Many vendors use a one size fits all philosophy. Find a vendor that is flexible and has proven methodologies to help you define a truly suitable solution. Best Practices: In each industry there are recognized best practices and leading tools that are used by organizations based on their size and demographics. Seek a vendor that has a breadth of experience to draw upon, so that you can leverage their best practices and apply them.

PITFALLS TO AVOID IN ECM PROJECTS

  • Primary causes of excessive deliberation and consequent budget overruns in ECM projects include:
  • Disagreements while building a business case for the required investment.
  • Poor selection criteria leading to difficulties in selecting a vendor.
  • Difficulties in recognizing products to match the solution components.
  • Business users rushing to install ECM products to gain short‐term benefits.
  • Underestimation of the importance of change management.
  • Inconsistencies between the requirements cited and those which govern the deployed solution.

Shon D. Mueller
Senior Account Manager

City of Kennewick Launches ECM Solution by Streamlining City Clerk & Payroll Processes

The City of Kennewick, Washington, looked to an ECM solution to help streamline processes. Because of changing economic conditions and a shrinking tax base, Kennewick needed their business processes to enable them to do more with their current resources. As one of Washington’s most progressive cities, Kennewick recognized that implementing a core Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system would help them meet this goal.

To read the entire case study, visit http://imagesourceinc.com.

Organization:
City of Kennewick
www.ci.kennewick.wa.us

Industry:
City Government

Solution:

  • Workflows for Agenda & Payroll
  • eForms

Challenge

  • Required to do more with current resources
  • Paper-intensive processes
  • Manual routing for approvals laborious & expensive
  • Documents difficult to locate
  • Duplication of documents
  • Payroll process labor intensive & error-prone
  • Excessive storage space required

Key Benefits

  • Flexible workflow allowing various approvers depending on need
  • Documents easy to locate and always available
  • Changes are easily accommodated
  • Agenda ePackets are easy to build, distribute to Council & public
  • Most current version of documents accessible across all departments
  • Reduction in storage
  • Infrastructure for storage & electronic workflow can be leveraged city-wide
  • Integration with existing Payroll system improves accuracy
  • Intuitive indexing & validation
  • Automated data entry
  • Payroll processing reduced 90%, or more

Products

Kristina Parma
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Higher Ed Institutions Learn to Bridge Information University Wide

On May 12, ImageSource hosted a webinar titled “Information Management for Higher Ed: Bridge All of the Information Across your University”

The Webinar looked at how Universities are experiencing an explosion of information and how the need to control it, even leverage it, has never been greater. From registration to transcripts to financial aid and more, today’s students expect online services and electronic forms facilitating faster decisions and timely responses. Ensuing departmental document management solutions result in silos of information, and redundancy in content, technology and processes.

In the webinar, we explored how Enterprise Content Management (ECM) allows institutions to optimize specific, departmental business processes while providing a common platform for all information processes across the enterprise. We discussed how ECM provides a reliable way for all departments to securely access the same, current, accurate information. And when content is managed by a common platform, Universities share more than information. Sharing the cost for implementation and ongoing IT resources can provide big benefits to their bottom line.

Enterprise Content Management Solutions for Higher Ed are:
Extensible
Although it may originally be implemented in any department, an Enterprise Content Management system is designed to be expanded to include the entire organization.
Secure
ECM systems allow for control of access to sensitive information, protecting student confidentiality and University liability.
Compliant
Access records completely and immediately. Automated retention schedules allow for effective storage.
Efficient
Immediate access to critical information means Higher Ed organizations can do their job better and faster. This can improve the competitive edge through improved service to applicants and enrollees.
Economical
Reduce the footprint and expense of storing and accessing paper records. And when distributed across the entire enterprise, cost savings are realized through shared IT resources, hardware and software investments.

To view the Webinar please visit our Website: ECM Solutions for Higher Ed

To learn more about ECM solutions in Higher Ed and the many benefits it provides consider attending our ECM Solutions Conference, Nexus 2010.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

 

ProStor InfiniVault – storage taken to the next level

ProStor InfiniVault– storage taken to the next level

InfiniVault is a data preservation and protection system which allows you to optimize how you manage/handle your data.  It combines sophisticated software with industry endorsed removable hard drive technology.  It is the leading data preservation storage system that retains data as long as required at the lowest possible power profile.  It provides a low cost and low power alternative to tape, disk or optical storage in a variety of IT solution areas such as online archiving, disaster recovery, management of data, regulatory compliance, and legal storage.  The InifiVault fits ideally within the industry ImageSource specializes and excels in – Enterprise Content Management.

The InfiniVault attaches to any storage network and includes three integrated components:  network disk, a data preservation operating system and removable RDX disks.  As a whole, the system combines all tiers of storage into one and then manages the preservation and retention of the data for the desired length of time and to any compliance or legal requirement.

The RDX Disks that ProStor incorporates into its system are pretty unique.  RDX Disks are removable and help make this storage system extremely scalable.  Need more storage?  Add more disks.  Other advantages of the RDX drives include infinite capacity (add more cartridges), they have a 30-year archive life (validated by Percept, Inc.), both the drives and media are backward and forward compatible, and the industry-standard RDX cartridges are available from multiple manufacturers.

In terms of choices for the InfiniVault, it is very simple.  There are only three products in the product line – the Model 3, the Model 30, and the Model 100 with online removable disk capacity ranging from 1.5 TB all the way up to 50 TB.  (This is based on 500GB native capacity RDX cartridges with 2:1 compression.)

The ProStor InfiniVault is a system that is easy to install and simple to use.  Installation can take as little as 30 minutes and is addressed as simple NAS storage coupled with a “set it and walk away” user interface.  The rest is handled automatically.

Stay tuned for more information on the ProStor InfiniVault.  If you can’t wait, contact Inside Sales at ImageSource – we would happy to assist you.

Ian Hundtofte

Inside Sales

ImageSource

Beyond the cool factor: show me the value

Although I have always worked in the IT industry, I have never been what people call an early adopter. As an example, I was still one of those people with a standard cellphone (you remember? the type that only lets you place a call and receive a call) until last week when I received an iPhone for my new job at ImageSource.

I will adopt a technology when I can easily and quickly identify the benefits it will bring me, which usually means it has to be affordable to begin with. The cool factor wears off after a while… I have to say that within the last 10 years, we became spoiled with an abundance of “freebies.” With the advent of freemium business models, it is now easier to find free applications, services or products over the Internet. Need free email?  Sign up for Gmail. You need more storage? Just pay for it. That is why I will always spend some time trying to find a free solution to my problem first. Only when I can’t seem to find a good enough solution for free will I explore the possibility of paying for it. Call me cheap, I call this common sense!

With an initial cost of zero dollars, you might be tempted to think that Return on Investment (ROI) would be infinite. However, you have to factor in time and switching costs in the equation. If I realize it will take a long time to find what I want, or learn how to operate a free application in comparison to the benefits a non-free solution can bring me, I will gladly pay for it. However, if I can’t find a free or reasonably priced solution, I will choose the status-quo solution and will wait until the switching costs decrease. As an example, I recently paid $15 for a video screen scraping solution after I spent 30 minutes trying to find a free solution that would be good enough. I am still not fully satisfied with Jing, the solution I eventually purchased from the makers of Camtasia, but it was good enough as a solution to my problem for the financial and time investments I made.

Every day, we are discovering new ways to do old things that may not change our life dramatically but definitely contribute to making it easier and more enjoyable. I was among the people who were reticent about the idea of going digital when it came to photography back in the early 2000s. I felt like I needed to have printed photos in order to enjoy them. To me, if not on paper, they could not be called photos to begin with. Fast forward to a few years later, and I probably became the biggest proponent of digital photography. When I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2008, I scanned all of my older photos from the 90s and disposed of all of them as I realized it was easier to access them on a computer rather than having to access and sort through them in stored boxes. I used the move event as an excuse to go all digital. When you think about it, there are probably more chances of my pictures fading, getting destroyed, misplaced or lost in these boxes than if stored digitally. Obviously, those precious photos (most of them taken at the time when I had hair) are now scrupulously stored on (1) my external hard drive for easy access, (2) DVDs for backup, (3) a (very inexpensive) external backup service for disaster recovery. Welcome to the digital age!

As we all know, paper will not go away any time soon and the volume of physical content even continues to grow. However, the volume of electronic content grows at a faster pace than paper content. With ubiquitous capture devices such as digital cameras, smartphones, as well as desktop scanners, everyone is now a contributor to the explosion of rich media, including photos and videos.

ImageSource just released the first version of a free iPhone app (you should know I like freebies by now) for distributed capture called ILINX Capture. It is a very simple and intuitive, yet very powerful application that allows users to capture a photo with their iPhone, index it and have it sent to their email in a PDF format. The enterprise version of this distributed capture solution is obviously more advanced but we can imagine future versions of the iPhone app that would complement the enterprise version and allow users to send the photos of scanned documents to particular server locations, repositories or send them in formats other than PDF. What is interesting about this is that we are slowly but surely covering the “last mile of digital distribution.” What I mean by that is that the distribution of content had traditionally and historically been addressed by larger operations such as newspaper editorial staff or broadcasters. The largest staff in the world will never be able to cover every event and breaking news at the time they occur. We are now putting all the tools and applications in the hands of the consumers so that everyone is potentially a content contributor, be it text, photo or video content.

You can imagine all sorts of use cases with an application such as ILINX Capture for iPhone. On the Menuism website, for example, users can not only write reviews of the restaurants they frequent, but also upload photos of the establishment as well as the menus. With applications such as ILINX Capture for iPhone, it is easy to imagine all sorts of other real business or consumer applications, including expense receipt submission that would allow users to store and index receipts at time of purchase before they are consolidated and submitted as part of an expense report. Consumer-oriented companies such as Shoeboxed built a service business around scanning, indexing and validation of receipts and business cards to make it easier for end users to retrieve this type of information after it is categorized. Can you think of other business-oriented or consumer use cases for ILINX Capture for iPhone?

Michael Benayoun
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Top Reasons to Capture Data from an 11-Year-Old’s Perspective!

I am new to the world of Document Imaging and Capture in general.  As of this year it has been one of the things I think and talk about most. Over dinner with my family and in the car I often share things about what I do and how it helps people.   My 11-year-old daughter shares some of her ideas on why capture is important and helpful in her life.

1. Art work and keep sakes from over the years can be scanned and kept forever!

2. Art work and photos can be scanned and shared with grandparents, family, and friends with ease and speed.

3. She doesn’t have to make multiple copies she can make one piece of art and share it with endless people.

4. She can upload pictures and art to her blog and Facebook.

5. If she captures art and uploads it to our family blog, we will have it forever from anywhere she has access to the internet all over the world.

6. She can scan things she works on that parents would make her throw away. i.e.( Homemade I Love Justin Bieber Posters)

7. It helps make space in her room

8. It is green and “everyone” is doing it!

9. She can scan something and email it her parents for our approval in a matter of seconds instead of waiting till we get home to read the document on the fridge (or forget to read it at all)

10.  She can look at memories from second grade school work when she wants vs, having to ask if Dad if he will get the 2nd Grade Memory Box out of the garage ?   (The answer is always “not today”)

10. If we ever had a flood in the garage she would still have the memories that are precious to all of us.

After thinking about the things that are important to an 11-year-old, I realized that these same things carry over to the business world.

Capturing Data is important for these reasons:

  1. Archiving
  2. Save’s Money and Save’s Time
  3. Save’s Space
  4. Disaster Recovery
  5. Productivity Gains
  6. Security
  7. Collaboration
  8. Customer Satisfaction
  9. Regulatory Compliance
  10. Green Initiatives

Sometimes thinking of things through a child’s eyes simplifies the process.  Children help us to see things much clearer.

“The complex develops out of the simple.” – Collin Wilson

Check Out the new i-phone app for ILINX ® Capture

Geetha French- ECMP

Account Executive

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

An Innovative Blend…ILINX® Capture with Canon ScanFront 220 / 220P

This week I wanted to highlight a great ImageSource combo that delivers an All-IN-ONE system that is perfect for Workgroup Capture.  This blended technology provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art scanning solution for any organization, regardless of size.

ILINX® Capture is a powerful web based application that allows you to capture information any place, any time.  It can be used for ad hoc and production scanning and indexing.  All you need is access to a browser and you can capture documents from anywhere in the world!

With ILINX Capture you can import and process emails, faxes and business documents and it is easily integrated with third-party and legacy systems. Once released from the scanner, the documents enter the ILINX Capture workflow system; allowing access to documents and batches from a thin web client.  ILINX Capture was a winner of the 2010 Product Innovation Awards –  Network Products Guide.

Now blending ILINX Capture with Canon ScanFront 220 / ScanFront 220P scanner, this allows you to plug your captured information directly into your office network.  With the user-friendly touch screen, you can scan directly to e-mail, FTP, shared folders or USB memory and it releases to a comprehensive workflow system that is assessable from any browser.

Worried about security and access to your network? The Canon ScanFront 220 / ScanFront 220P has robust security features offering fingerprint authentication with easy remote management.

Check out the demo of how it works on You Tube – you will see how easy it is to apply innovation in your workflow processes!

For more information see the PDF below.

Dynamic Duo – ILINX Capture & Canon ScanFront 220P

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
iPhone 360.481.5946
www.imagesourceinc.com

  

How Many Organizations Have Initiatives to Truncate Content at its Source?

I’m sitting in the local IBM ECM UserNet conference in Irvine and David Caldera, Product Marketing,  is speaking about the IBM/FileNet road-map.  He has communicated, and it is proven, that there is huge ROI in deploying ECM solutions in an enterprise.   Many companies have jumped on the ECM bandwagon and have implemented storage and retrieval in their enterprise.  But, how many have taken the initiative to actually truncate content at its source?  What does this mean: truncate content at its source?

To truncate content at its source,  I am referencing an initiative to keep electronic documents as electronic documents (i.e. not printing out the Word Document or Excel Spreadsheet for review), utilize fax server technology and ingest faxes as images (ingesting faxes directly in to a capture application so meta data can be attached to it and accessed through a repository),  take in outside content as EDI and leave it as EDI (by utilizing COLD technology and storing it with users being able to view the content with template overlays),  and leave email messages and their attachments in their electronic format (by capturing the email, ingest the email’s content and strip off the attachment so that it can be preserved in the repository in electronic form).  A truly GREEN organization.

How can we help enterprises achieve this?  One method is to simplify the process that content is captured at the end user.  This may include embedding capture technology in every day applications like Word and Excel.  A simple to use “button” placed in the application that evokes a simple window that allows the user to fill in one or two key meta data fields – like Kofax currently offers with Kofax Desktop and ImageSource offers with ILINX ® Capture.  Another option is to leverage existing multifunction devices, having a capture application sweep the directory and push some light indexing or not, back to the submitter or sending it to a central data processing center.  Most importantly, capturing the content in-process!

In-Process Capture through thin client applications is the most consistent and efficient way to truncate content at its source.  Enabling knowledge workers to submit content as part of their process, versus at the end of their process.  All knowledge workers, not just high volume workers, having this capability.  Leveraging ad-hoc, highly distributed capture processes throughout an enterprise.   For example, the executive assistant who has contracts, high dollar Purchase Orders, NDA’s, HR documents, or regulatory submissions being able to commit these documents right in to the repository or workflow.  Another example, to enable agents or sales people in the field to submit claims, reports or expenses from their automobile, prior to leaving the customers parking lot, so that financial transaction can be processed immediately.

Some organizations “think green.”  Its time now for these companies to go to the next step and put their IT projects behind these eco-friendly initiatives.

“Today’s Trends in Capture”

Are you manually processing documents? How much time are you spending on this? How many employees does it take? How much is it costing you in paper, ink and other supplies? Have you ever thought about implementing a solution to automate your processes through document capture and workflow processing?

ImageSource recently held a webinar titled “Today’s Trends in Capture” that highlighted different aspects of document capture, including centralized capture, distributed capture, real use cases, benefits and challenges as well. The webinar also discussed how there are a variety of capture products available depending on what you’re looking for and what business challenges you are looking to solve. If you would like to view this webinar, please visit our website. ImageSource will be hosting additional webinars, so please stay tuned for dates and topics. If there is a topic you would like to see discussed, please let us know.

One product that was highlighted was ILINX© Capture. ILINX Capture is a web-based capture product that allows users to access it from anywhere in the world wherever there is an Internet connection. ILINX Capture is a perfect example of a product that is great for distributed capture. ILINX Capture provides businesses with a variety of different benefits, including the following:

  • Requires minimal training
  • Supports distributed and centralized environments
  • Streamlines business processes
  • Reduces costs associated with paper (shipping, printing and copying, tracking lost documents)
  • Configurable based on user needs

Document capture has proven to be a success in many organizations world-wide. Nexus ’10, ImageSource’s annual ECM Solutions Conference, offers a variety of tracks on capture. Nexus ’10 will be held in Bellevue, Washington at the Meydenbauer Center November 4-5. To learn more about Nexus or to register for the ECM Conference, visit http://NexusECM.com.

Kristina Parma
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.
@KristinaParma

 

The Future Direction of ECM – Oracle 11g

Today I participated in a very interesting webinar today by Andy MacMillan, VP Product Management, Oracle, regarding the release of the much anticipated latest ECM offering from Oracle – 11g.   The speculation is over and it is upon us.  Contrary to popular buzz, they haven’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater and alienated their current clients of the previous IPM versions.  Yes, you can still use a SQL database.  The product is well thought out, clean, and is a true platform play for enterprise deployments.  It is refreshing to see a vendor make a stand against the lower tier, point solutions and talk about extensible architecture that can be used against multiple business processes and span applications.

The workflow / BPM might take a bit of time for clients to get their arms around, but I do believe, once they do, it will be embraced.  The concept of using the BPM platform for imaging across all applications should simplify the implementation of workflow and replication across multiple business processes much easier.  Also, the open integration to MANY line of business applications, in a loosely-coupled manner is a good change from the hard coded integration of the past.  This should make upgrades in the future much easier.

At first glance, and from what I have seen from our test lab, 11g is a complete solution, open and integrated, and a cost effective solution that is well thought out.  There will still be a period where the previous version makes sense to deploy from an experience and proven technology basis, but I’m confident that 11g will be a solid foundation for the future.

As mentioned, ImageSource has 11g installed in a test lab and has been putting it through the paces.  We will be helping clients determine the best strategy and timing for migrations.  We have already developed tools, such as ILINX Export to help in the migration of data.  Please let us know how we can help you in your go-forward strategy.

Stay current by monitoring the ImageSource website for helpful hints and information on our blogs and twitter posts. For more information, please take a look at www.oracle.com/goto/IPM  and also http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E15523_01/ecm.htm

Jeff Blissett
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

jeffb@imagesourceinc.com
www.imagesourceinc.com

  

The Next Killer App for ECM

Enterprise Content Management for the most part has become mainstream business.  The ability to scan documents from remote locations has been made increasingly easier by applications such as ILINX Capture and other web based scanning applications.  Indexing documents has been simplified with ODBC compliance and the maturity of systems integrators capabilities of integrating with ERP table structures.  System standards have allowed for ECM repositories to interface with ERP sessions where the users can work heads down in their legacy application and retrieve / view images from their desktop with little to no knowledge of the ECM application – see ILINX Integrate.

Accounts Payable has been the traditional starting point for most organizations in testing the waters for document imaging because it has a definable process, set business rules, and shows a reasonable ROI depending on the number of received images, discrepancies, and time it takes knowledge workers to process invoices.  Other repeatable processes include Contracts, Sales Order Processing, Legal, Shipping / Receiving, and HR Personnel Files.

What will be the next Killer App?  In the past 2 years we at ImageSource have seen a great deal of consideration in HR on-Boarding process.   Understandably, it costs a lot of money to bring in new employees and involves a great deal of resources.  From the application process, to the processing of I-9 information, setting up payroll and direct deposit, insurance, issuance of equipment (laptop, cell phone, scanner) it is no slight undertaking.  Standard ECM solutions as well as products from Autonomy (see Liquid Office), this process can become automated and affordable for most organizations.

From there, where do we go?  With the adoption of smart phones, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times.  This can allow for the capturing of data – snapshot of a document, whiteboard drawing, and presentations can be captured immediately and then fed into the indexing process for ECM.  This expands the reach of content capture and protects the loss of important information.  Technical architecture is now compatible and flexible to allow for almost anything.  Nexus 2010 will provide some great ideas and visions for upcoming solutions.

What is next?  Feedback is welcome.

Jeff Blissett

Senior Account Executive

ImageSource, Inc.

jeffb@imagesourceinc.com

Three Essential Components of ECM – Capture, Connect and Share

At our recent ECM Solutions Conference, Nexus, ImageSource announced the new brand strategy for our ILINX product line – Capture | Connect | Share.

The three word tagline was chosen because it so accurately describes the critical comments of an effective Enterprise Content Management system.

Capture:
The more effectively an organization can get information into their system the better they are able to manage that information. Critical content comes into organizations every day. How are you capturing your information? How effectively are you managing all types of content (paper, electronic content, video, pictures, etc)? What technology are you embracing to enable electronic information? Fax machines? MFPs? Desktop scanners? Production scanners? Because Capture is the “on-ramp” to any ECM system, having the right tools (ILINX Capture Products) will enable the success of your ECM system.

Connect:
Seamless integration with line-of-business systems is essential for user adoption, simple end-user training and overall Change Management. With the use of ILINX Connect products, organizations can access all critical documents from one central ECM repository without ever leaving the LOB system they are familiar with. ILINX successfully integrates ECM systems with SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and others.

Connectivity between different ECM systems is also essential in order to maximize the benefits of all the various technologies. ILINX integrates technologies such as SharePoint, Oracle, LiquidOffice, Kofax, and more.

Share:
Business operations depend on getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Having the right tools to access that information easily is the functionality built into the ILINX Share products. Organizations must be able to export targeted information effectively for public disclosure requests, specific agenda items, invoices, and much, much more. Having that information easy to retrieve in a well organized, usable format is essential.

ILINX products are the cornerstone of many successful ECM solutions. Visit the customer success stories page on our website and see how organizations, both public and private, are creating effective ECM solutions utilizing ILINX technologies.

Debbie Horton
Corporate Communications Director
ImageSource, Inc.

 

How ECM Solutions can help Reduce Your Organization’s Cost and Carbon Footprint.

Happy New Year! Let’s go to work on Monday and save some trees and the environment! With the New Year upon us, it is a good time to review the way your organization manages its manual paper processes, i.e., Invoice Workflow, HR documentation, etc.

It has been my experience that once an organization has made the decision to investment into an Enterprise Content Management solution, they have significantly reduced the amount of manual processes, which in turn reduces cost and streamlines a once slow manual process. While this is a great thing and usually the main reason organizations make this investment, many have not considered the environmental benefit that an ECM solution can bring. I reflect back to the time that I worked in an office, that did not employ such technologies, and I remember all the paper that I used in order to share information. Did you know that the average American office worker is estimated to use a sheet of paper every 12 minutes—a ream per person every two and a half working weeks—and to dispose of 100-200 pounds of paper every year? Think about that statistic!  That is just one employee. Studies have also shown that the number of pages consumed in U.S. offices is growing by about 20% each year. This is huge when you think about this on a national and global scale. Because of this unnecessary paper creation, forests are being depleted and there is more pollution due to the creation and disposal of this paper. Over the years we have all gotten a little more conscious about recycling, however, only about 45% of the paper generated in the U.S. is recovered.

So with all of this said… what the solution is? One solution is to capture documentation when the document enters the organization. One can do this by using ILINX Capture to scan the document, once this is done the document no longer needs to be copied or recreated, it is now in electronic format. Better yet, if the document is email or faxed, ILINX can pull right from the source, electronically, and it never has to be printed at all, viola you have already saved a tree. That handles the capture aspect, but what about sharing information. Instead of a having a 200 page document copied five times to reviewed in a meeting, through ECM it can be easliy scanned an distributed electronically with our Image/Process Management Software. Now, I can write about many other bad habits that are due to not have having information electronically, but let’s talk about some real numbers. A Global Manufacture estimates an up to $10 billion cost reduction in the coming years through digitizing many of its processes. This company also has identified approximately $1.5 billion in potential cost-savings, WOW! A large Gas Company has saved 100 tons of paper and $320,000 through the use of making their processes electronic. A Global Aerospace company estimates savings of 8 million sheets of paper and $250,000 by digitizing one of its 100-page manuals.

So, when we all get back to the office from the holiday season, rethink what you do and what your organization does when it comes to collecting and sharing information. If you feel like you would like to learn more feel free to contact us ImageSource.

Happy New Year!

Shon D. Mueller
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
www.imagesourceinc.com