Transactional Content Management – a catalyst for business process improvement

Despite the massive amounts of investments made in information technology there is still a need for businesses and organizations to continually ask the following questions on four main strategic business drivers:

  1. Reduce Costs: How can we complete “X” process in less time and with less cost and less labor?
  2. Increase Revenue: What can be done to improve the customer experience while shortening the sales cycle and improving our gross margins?
  3. Risk & Compliance: What must be in place in order to prevent unauthorized access and/or actions to our systems and data? What ability do we have to audit and report on the activities within the system?
  4. Competitive Advantage: What can be done to give our customers a “WOW” experience? What can be done to reduce the time from sales order-to-cash to improve self-funding our growth?

The strategic business drivers listed above when reduced down to their basic elements often translate into some type of process that is driven by documents and data. There are many systems that help affect this change like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM); however, they can often times fall short because they are great at processing data, they just aren’t equipped to deal with documents like an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.

What is Enterprise Content Management or ECM? The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) Continue reading

Paperless Processes: Capturing Documents of All Types

Paper-Wars2013-Cover

AIIM – Winning the Paper Wars

I found the latest research paper from AIIMWinning the Paper Wars – capture the content and mobilize the process troops.”  to be an interesting read, especially since I have seen many of the points discussed when working with our customers—specifically with growth areas in mobile capture, OCR, BPM/Workflow and AP/AR processes.

I am happy to say that the report addressed not just scanning paper records but also looked at the hundreds/ thousands of external paper documents that flow into a company every day.

At ImageSource we help address capture via ILINX Capture®  Many of our customers have experienced progress towards “paper-free processes” and are achieving payback of their investment. If you are looking at addressing some of the issues that were discussed in the report – feel free to reach out to ImageSource…or me…

Megan Lane
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

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.

Continue reading

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.

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!

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.

Yes, You Need Maintenance on Your Scanner

As budgets get tighter it’s inevitable that the need for hardware maintenance will come into question. It’s like insurance in your own personal life; nobody likes to pay for it but you definitely dont want to get caught without it.

If your equipment is mission critical, you need to keep it covered under a service contract.
If you don’t have the budget to replace it immediately, you need a service contract.
If you are unsure what model it would  be replaced by or where or how to get it you should definately maintain your service contract.

There does come a point in time when it is more practical to put those renewal dollars towards a replacement.  If you’re working with a good company such as ImageSource we will let you know at renewal time that you should be planning for your replacement either this year or the year after. We can help you select a model and also review compatibility.

Upgrades can be tricked and can trigger software upgrades at the sametime, these are best planned for rather than inadvertenly discovered.

If you need assistance planning, renewing or replacing your scanner please give us a call.
Thank you for your time!

Ruben Kerson
Inside 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.

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.

New Year’s Resolution: Document Imaging

We just rounded out the year 2010 and with a New Year, come New Year’s Resolutions! Many people make personal resolutions whether that’s to lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier, etc. But the sad truth of the matter that we all know is that many people don’t keep those resolutions or bail out after a few short months.

So how about choosing a resolution that is going to really stick?

It’s still amazing to me how many organizations are still using paper documents. They have to search for documents, pull files, re-file, look for misfiled documents, recreate lost documents, etc. What if I told you that you could capture that information from the paper and convert it into an electronic image and store it for later retrieval?

This process has the potential to save your organization substantial amounts of time, money, labor, resources, etc.

There are a multitude of reasons organizations look to document imaging for their paper-based information. A few of those reasons include information accessibility, security and compliance, and savings in a variety of areas like storage and resources.  According to AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), it costs $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document. Think about how much you can potentially save with document imaging.

You might be thinking that this process will take loads of time and money. If you consider the long-term benefits of creating electronic files, the investment is worth it, as long as you carefully plan and analyze what needs to be done.

I would highly recommend working with a team who has experience in this endeavor and who can help you with document prep, scanning, indexing and storing the documents.

Make 2011 count and get working on your “new” New Year’s Resolution: Document Imaging.

Kristina Parma
Corporate Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Knowledge is Power

At an increasing rate, I am getting asked the question “Is SharePoint a good fit for our business”?  I shouldn’t single out SharePoint as the question really is “What XYZ product would be best for my ECM needs?”  Before this question can even be considered, the business processes need to be understood.  Inputs, outputs, systems in place, and platform preferences are all very important to consider.  Is there a workflow process to be considered?  Where and when is data keyed into systems?  Is it keyed into multiple systems?

Talk to similar companies / organizations / departments that have gone through the process.  Go on site visits to see how companies are using technology to solve business problems.  Get educated.  Seek out your local AIIM chapter.  Go to relevant conferences that have a large congregation of people who are using solutions for content management.  Seek out systems integrators that have multiple offerings and address full end to end processes.

When information is gathered from the RFP process, it usually results in software manufacturers responding with one thing in mind – license revenue.  You shouldn’t worry about licenses or product until you have determined your end goal, efficiencies, and points of integration.   Also, keep it simple.  Successful projects don’t need to overly complex, long, and expensive – they need to solve a business problem.

I don’t usually go to the doctor and ask for a prescription until the doctor has done a thorough diagnosis.

Thanks for listening.

Jeff Blissett
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
www.imagesourceinc.com

Centralized, de-centralized or outsourced capture – some surprising results!

In-Process Capture… Centralized Production Scanning… De-Centralized Distributed Capture… the discussions on which strategy is best for a company when addressing their document capture needs can have interesting outcomes.

There seems to be no “right” answer, the technology choices for capture are continuously growing and changing and a company’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) needs can be very specific.   A recent research study by AIIM produced some surprising results when they reviewed the issues and potential benefits of different approaches to document capture.  Document capture encompasses document scanning, image correction, recognition of text, barcodes, form fields etc. and output to an appropriate format for subsequent processing or archive storage. One surprising and interesting outcome that AIIM states in their introduction of the report;

“The report concludes that there is a move back to centralized scanning operations, along with a greater investment in capture and recognition software to automate date capture and indexing processes.”

At ImageSource, we have also seen an increase in companies utilizing the newer model of “distributed scanning” – at the local level to office staff processing the capture documents. The value of capturing something at point of origination and placed into an imaging business process earlier does save time and money.

Allow your business needs to dictate they type of capture solution that makes business sense for your organization.  This may include multiple avenues. Many of our customers utilize both centralized and de-centralized capture – depending on their specific business needs.   We have also seen companies move towards an increase in distributed/ de-centralized capture for their 3 – 5 year strategic ECM plan.

So how do you work out what is the best approach for your needs? And it can vary from department to department within the company!  This is one of the greatest challenges the C-Level and IT staff come across when developing an ECM strategic technology plan. As an independent ECM  Integrator, ImageSource is uniquely qualified to help discover the ideal mix of Capture technology to conquer business challenges.  We help chart a strategic course, whether the business requires in-process capture, production scanning, distributed capture or mailroom solutions.

One other surprising result of the AIIM study was the statistics that shows a very strong return on investment (ROI) and compelling case for scanning and capture investments.  Capture is an enabling process that is a combination of improved user access to information and reduced costs.  The study showed that ROI for capture was reported within 12 months to 18 months! That is a significant and impressive return!  Yet the study shows that justifying ROI is still a huge impediment to adoption -one that many of our customers face when presenting the case to change “how things have been done”.

The greatest benefit of research is that it stimulates all the interested parties into discussion and planning mode.  So what ECM strategies will your company implement – centralized, de-centralized/distributed capture or outsource it!

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

Come Play in the Social Media Sandbox!

Okay, so now I have 30+ days under my belt, in “my” new world of ECM ( Enterprise Content Management).  To say it is a new “world” is the understatement of the year.   So much to learn, so much to know, and so much to share!

One of the big things that I hear “buzzing” around is the concept of COMPLIANCE and RISK!   What does that mean?  What does that include? How do we begin to manage that?  As IT/Record Managers in the content management space, how can we keep pace with the many new forms of communication,when the traditional forms of communication and business interactions kept us quite busy.  Now that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Blogs,Wiki’s etc. are all the rage, it has become more challenging than before.

Take a look at this branding, advertising, marketing company’s home page: http://www.exclaimllc.com/  In summary, their client’s customers are demanding to be  reached through many different avenues.  Many companies are choosing some of these communication methods, but I think Exclaim did a brilliant job of showcasing all the options plus their expertise in understanding messaging in these new forms of communications.

Now the question is, what does this mean as far as compliance and risk?  Is your company ready to manage the amount of data that is coming in and out of your organization on a daily basis?   Take a look at this slide provided in a recent AIIM Orgainziation Webinar.   Very interesting percentages to consider.  There are many different approaches to tackling this issue.  Companies are now beginning to evaluate the risk they have while participating in these new communication channels.  We can provide some insight on these different approaches. What are you doing to minimize the risk?

Read : AIIM – White Paper – Enterprise 2.0

Geetha French- ECMP

Account Executive

ImageSource, Inc.

 

AIIM 2010 Awards Nominations Open – ImageSource and the City of Kennewick Win in 2009

AIIM recently announced they are accepting nominations for the AIIM 2010 awards.  The Awards Program recognizes the leaders, the innovators, and the dedicated members of our community. Award nominees test the boundaries of our industry, look to the future, respect the past, take risks, serve their profession, and welcome diversity of thought.

In 2009 ImageSource Customer Partner, the City of Kennewick, was the recipient of the Carl E Nelson Best Practices Award which recognizes excellence in the ECM field by showcasing successful ECM implementations.

The award winning implementation at the City of Kennewick provides a comprehensive system for a variety of business processes. It supplies workflows for the routing, review, approval and distribution of City Council agenda documentation and enterprise repository document storage. Electronic LiquidOffice time cards have been implemented for streamlining the submission of information by employees and payroll processing. Additionally, ImageSource’s ILINX Distributed Indexing was integrated to enable the successful contribution of all content to the City’s Oracle repository through intuitive indexing and validation. The new system has contributed to the City’s existing levels of service, despite the reduction of seven full‐time employees in the current biennium. The City’s new technologies and ensuing processes have the potential to save Kennewick nearly one million‐dollars in storage costs over the next five years.

The 2010 Awards will be presented during the AIIM Exposition and Conference in Philadelphia, April 20-22. ImageSource looks forward to submitting another world-class solution for consideration in 2010.

Debbie Horton
Communication Director

Nexus 2010 ECM Solutions Conference EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT $195

Nexus 2009 ECM Solutions Conference was a resounding SUCCESS!!

First I would like to thank every single attendee and our valuable sponsors for your enthusiastic participation and support.  Nexus2010 registrations continue to be completed by organizations that understand the value and importance that this event has on the strategic planning of ECM initiatives for their businesses.  Nexus2010 will be held at the Meyedenbauer Convention Center on Nov. 4th & 5th – 2010.  We are encouraged of course by the outpouring of positive feedback we have received, we are grateful for each and every comment.  ImageSource will work diligently to again “raise the bar” in all aspects of planning, execution and content delivery.  We are listening on our Nexus Twitter feed for any and all recommendations for speakers, breakouts and special events that you feel would be valuable, so Tweet us!

The Green ECM Video can be found on YouTube so check it out.


We are offering a limited time promotion for early registrations of $195 for a full conference pass. Use discount code NEXUS10SPL.  Register early as we are keeping this event exclusive so seating is limited

Also a reminder of where you can find more information on ECM topics, please add us to your RSS feed and Follow us on Twitter.  Stay tuned for our FaceBook fan sites too.

BLOGS
Nexus ECM: http://nexusecmsolutionsconference.wordpress.com/
ECM Project Managers: http://ProjectManagementForECM.wordpress.com
ECM Systems Engineers: http://ECMTechnicalExpertise.wordpress.com
ECM Solutions: http://IndependentIntegratorsOfECM.wordpress.com
ECM Developers: http://SoftwareDevelopmentForECM.wordpress.com

Twitter
Nexus ECM Twitter feed http://twitter.com/nexusecm
ImageSource Twitter feed http://twitter.com/imagesourceinc
ILINX Capture Twitter feed http://twitter.com/ilinxcapture
ECM Support Twitter feed http://twitter.com/ecmsupport

Shadrach White
ImageSource, Inc.

Nexus 09 Recap

For those of you who attended Nexus 09, you know how awesome it was. For those of you who didn’t, here is a little recap for you.

The opening event at the Twisted Cork at the Hyatt in Bellevue was a great way to kick off the conference and bring together attendees, vendors and ImageSource staff. There were appetizers and cocktails, and it was just a fun way to mingle with everyone.

The first day of the conference was very eventful. It kicked off with Atle Skjekkeland, Vice President of AIIM as the keynote speaker. He discussed new worker models, Enterprise 2.0 and social media. The second keynote presentation that day was a case study panel. Each panelist discussed his solution and the benefits it brought each organization, as well as answered questions.

The breakouts for the first day were packed with information ranging from SharePoint, to ILINX Capture, to Social Media.

The evening event was held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Bellevue. This was an awesome event. It was not your typical bowling alley. It was chic and modern. The food was fabulous and the music was great.

Day two of the conference boasted Shadrach White, CTO of ImageSource and John Isaza from Howett Isaza Law Group as the keynotes. Breakouts were centered around records management, enterprise planning, and more.

If you haven’t registered for Nexus 2010, you need to! Space is limited and right now, the price is only $195! Use code NEXUS10SPL. The dates are Nov. 4-5 at the Meydenbauer Center.

If you would like additional information on ECM topics, please add us to your RSS feed and Follow us on Twitter. Stay tuned for our Facebook Fan Page and Profile as well.

BLOGS
Nexus ECM: http://nexusecmsolutionsconference.wordpress.com/
ECM Project Managers: http://ProjectManagementForECM.wordpress.com
ECM Systems Engineers: http://ECMTechnicalExpertise.wordpress.com
ECM Developers: http://SoftwareDevelopmentForECM.wordpress.com
ECM Products: http://ProductsAndSolutionsForECM.wordpress.com

Twitter
Nexus ECM Twitter feed http://twitter.com/nexusecm
ImageSource Twitter feed http://twitter.com/imagesourceinc
ILINX Capture Twitter feed http://twitter.com/ilinxcapture
ECM Support Twitter feed http://twitter.com/ecmsupport

Kristina Parma
Corporate Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Is ECM a Green Technology?

Going green is getting easier as technology develops.  The “paperless office” utopia is still being developed but the amount of paper can be, and is being dramatically reduced due to document imaging and content management solutions.  It is a fairly straightforward concept – if a business process begins with physical paper, why not scan it, index it, and store it where multiple people can access, it is secure, traceable and auditable, and it adheres to your corporate records policy?  This concept does not only save your organization money, but it does reduce the environmental impact of doing business.

It is easy to see the savings in industries such as Health Care and Financial Services.  In Health Care the green factor and carbon footprint reduction relates to the courier cost, fax cost, copying cost of duplicating patient records and insurance correspondence.  This is a huge magnitude when you consider the general health of the population.   Financial Services green footprint is also correlated with courier and copying but also in the workflow process to route documents.

There is great information published on this topic at various sites such as AIIM , and also at AIIM.  There is also interesting case examples at  New and Good in ECM.

Distributed scanning  can also have a directly positive impact on a green initiative.  Capturing documents and data at the point of creation or receipt will save on shipping and courier services which also impacts the environment by reducing the oil consumption in transportation.

The digitizing of documents greatly reduces off-site storage costs which also has a direct effect on oil consumption used in the transportation to and from the storage facilities.

Much of the transition from paper to electronic comes with the paradigm shift from physically handling paper to viewing documents and data and routing them from the computer.  This takes time and facilitates true change management disciplines but the amount of money, efficiencies, and resources saved can be tremendous.  To be successful, you need to plan for the initial pushback from the knowledge workers.  In the beginning, they might even print more than what they were before the implementation.  If change is managed correctly, the users will adopt and embrace the efficiencies.

The going green concept is growing and is a focal point of the upcoming Nexus ECM Conference held on Nov 2-3 in Bellevue, WA.  Take a look at the Nexus Agenda for some of the “green” sessions.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Jeff Blissett
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
www.imagesourceinc.com

Going Green with Document Imaging

Green business isn’t just talk anymore!  Many companies today are working on Green Initiatives to make them more environmentally friendly.  One popular initiative is to go “paperless” and implement a document imaging system.  What could be more environmentally friendly than saving some paper, hence saving trees?  Document management reduces paper creation, storage requirements, and travel costs.  Online forms and signature eliminate paper at the source.  There are many resources on Green Initiatives in the document imaging world provided by participating in groups such as AIIM, ARMA, and attending conferences that discuss these initiatives such as the ImageSource conference, “Nexus.”

When it comes to deciding what kind of scanners you need for your document imaging system, many companies are taking a harder look at which manufactures are producing environmentally friendly equipment.  Some concerns include what type of chemicals used in the products, energy-saving modes, duplexing options, and if the manufacture recycles.  Compared to other office equipment, (According to the EPA)  a scanner consumes significantly less energy than a photocopier, resulting in lower green house gases.

American office workers use four million tons of copy paper annually, equivalent to 10,000 sheets of copy paper per worker.  If the United States were to reduce office paper by 10%, 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases could be eliminated, the same as removing 280,000 cars from the road.  As more companies implement document management systems, their paper creation and use goes down and therefore create less greenhouse gases.  Although our world is far from being completely paperless, we are surely making great strides in that direction and lessening our footprint on the environment in the process.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

Infonomics Article ECM

Dan Hooper of Integrated Services Inc. recently contributed and article to the July.August issue of Infonomics Magazine.

July.August 2009 Cover

July.August 2009 Cover

The article focuses on the importance of developing a strategy for managing information and content.  So often organizations focus on the technological features of an ECM platform or software solution and not the business processes and people that will need to adopt change in order to successfuly implement a new ECM system.  Whether your looking to implement a Document Management, Content Management, Document Capture, eForms, Web Content Management, Business Process Automation or Document Imaging solution it is important to understand that a key difference between success and failure is user adoption through effective change management and executive leadership.  You can dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s on the technical front evaluating a software solution but if you don’t understand how it will affect the user community, what policies and procedures you will need to revise and how you will market the solution internally you could end up winning the battle and loosing the war.

Another key element to a successful ECM strategy is a committment to future upgrades, enhancements, technical support and ongoing training.  A well managed ECM strategy should constantly evolve over time.  Many organizations who invest in an ECM solution from an initial purchase and implementation standpoint do manage to meet many of the goals and objectives of the original project.  The challenge comes when the project is complete, users are working with the new solution and the implementation partner has fulfilled its obligations.  At this point many ECM solutions are not upgraded consistently, new employees don’t recieve the same level of training and new technologies are not incorporated to enhance the functionality of the solution.

I look forward to reading the next column’s on this topic.  Thanks to Dan Hooper and AIIM for publishing this article.  Many of these topics will be explored and discussed during Nexus 2009 held in Bellevue, WA. November 2,3

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.
ILINX Capture

Build vs. Buy

Over the course of my last 12 years in the Enterprise Content Management space, I have seen many progressions and changes.  When the industry was in its infancy stages, we relied on specialized PCI cards to drive the scanners at rated speeds, high resolution graphics cards to display clear images on a monitor, and every system installation needed holy water sprinkled on it to ensure that there weren’t any compatibility issues or conflicts with the operating system.  There were hundreds of software vendors that claimed to be the premier document imaging / document management / scanning / (whatever new term that AIIM came out with) system.  Systems were sold, installed, and many failed.  We have seen progressions where the hundreds of vendors have consolidated to a few leaders that are recognized as true ECM platforms.  We have seen Microsoft enter the market with SharePoint which has driven the need for a new wave of products and services to bridge the gaps in its functionality.  Along with these progressions and changes with the vendors, we have also seen how internal IT departments look at ECM.

In the beginning, there was many components, many moving parts, and technology that the IT staff wasn’t readily familiar with.  As the first and second generation systems were installed, the product sets matured where the IT staff technology professionals could be trained in a platform that was sustainable.  As this progressed software vendors could switch their focus from making the systems work in a rudimentary sense, and switch the focus to the development of features and functionality that led credence to aspects such as compliance, accountability, governance, and security.  The successful Tier 1 vendors (see Gartner report for leaders) now have scalable products that address all aspects of ECM – document imaging / document management / web content management / forms management / records management / workflow – Business Process Management.  With this, training is now readily available to equip any IT staff with the tools and resources to maintain and build upon systems where compliance, accountability, governance, and security are all part of the core.  Knowledge and education are now key determinants for success.

With this knowledge and education comes empowerment to the IT staff.  In the industry today, I am seeing an increasing number of corporate IT staffs choosing to forego their existing systems and internally build components that allow them to store, retrieve, maintain, and manage scanned images and data.   I understand that there are many talented programmers and systems architects in the workplace that are capable of building database management functionality and that can build user interfaces that allow for searching file structures.  What I don’t totally understand is the value to organizations when a top resource is consumed in developing a product / system and maintaining and supporting the product / system.  It has taken Oracle Stellent, IBM FileNET, EMC Documentum, OpenText (to name a few) each over 15 years to come up with a product offering that is stable and that meets 85% of most organization needs without customization.  Why reinvent the wheel when there are cost effective, proven solutions that can automate business processes that will show efficiencies and pay for themselves over time?  There are many technology focused companies that have invested multi-millions of dollars, and many years  in developing methodology and products.   I don’t know how an organization that is focused on their specific expertise – retail, manufacturing, healthcare, banking, can morph into a software development / systems delivery organization.

Build vs. Buy – no correct answer, but definitely worth discussing.

Feedback welcome.

Jeff Blissett
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
www.imagesourceinc.com

Share on Twitter

ECM Essentials – Governance

Do you have the proper governance in your plans to deploy an ECM Solution for your organization? There are so many organizations now deploying ECM Solutions and so few of them are paying attention to the Governance aspects of the project. It is not surprising to me to see so many of our friends run into more problems with expensive system deployments that cost more than budgeted and have slow results on benefits. Without planned, clearly defined Governance structure and processes your organization may run into the same problems.

There are some Solution Providers , including ImageSource, Inc., that specialize in assisting organizations plan and structure appropriate Governance to assure measured success of their project initiatives. It is very important to plan ECM Governance in the very early stages of a project. These plans should include prioritizing strong IT project management with constant executive management involvement. Make sure you spend the time to identify clear ways to benefit your business with ECM.

A Global Chip Manufacturer used the lessons learned on Governance from an experience solutution provider and found great success with organizational correspondence, an effective reporting system and the ability to use existing technology. If you are serious about deploying a successful ECM solution then you need to plan appropriate Governance from the beginning and use the experiance of a qualified solution provider.

Written by an ECM Specialist currently serving on the AIIM National PAC – Professional Advisory Council.