Compliant Public Disclosure Starts with Smart Records Retention

If there’s one message I consistently hear from customers today, it’s how big of a deal public disclosure is for the government and how we need better solutions around it. That being said, you would not believe how many of these organizations don’t feel that they have a good handle on their content.

In Washington State, public disclosure refers to the release of all documents and content to the person making the request. These documents at minimum need to be available for the requestor to view. There are some exemptions to this, such as sealed case files.

Good public disclosure practices really start with one thing: good record-keeping (and destruction). We hear time and time again from customers that they’ve never thrown anything away for fear that the document may be needed at a later date. While they may be thinking that this is the best way to avoid throwing anything away that should be kept, it also means keeping records that should have been destroyed.

Some aren’t aware of the fact that when a public disclosure request comes in, organizations are required by law to turn over any documentation pertaining to the request (as long as it is subject to disclosure). That means that if documents haven’t been destroyed and fall under the specific request, those documents need to be turned over as well, even though they are past the retention period. This poses a huge risk in regards to potential litigations.

Getting your records in order may seem like an overwhelming task, but here are some steps you can take to move toward better practices related to retention and disposition of records.

  1. Understand YOUR Organization’s Requirements for Record Retention and Disposition
    Every organization is different. Certain records have to be kept longer than others, some records might need to be sealed, others may need redaction before they can be turned over, etc. Each organization, each department, even each business process may have different requirements around records. Determine and document what the requirements are so that when you start to do an inventory of content, you have a definitive plan regarding what needs to be kept and for how long. Click here for a link to the Washington State Records Retention Schedules.
  2. Where are my Records?
    Identify where records are kept. Are they stored on a network share? In a file cabinet? In a content management system? Somewhere else? Are they in paper form? Electronic? Are there video files? Regardless of where the documents are kept, the regulations are around how you get the content organized, not the file format or how hard the collection process is. This will help ensure that there are not duplicate documents, and if there are, that only the pertinent copies are kept so as not to be a factor in a potential litigation.
  3. Perform an Analysis and Inventory of Your Records
    Some organizations choose to do this internally, some hire a contractor, and some take a hybrid approach. Regardless of which path you choose, determine what content you have, what needs to be kept, and what can be disposed of before evaluating any technology. This will keep you from bringing content into a solution that will need to be immediately disposed of after the initial analysis.
  4. Choose a Solution that is Flexible and Easy
    95% of organizations I work with are looking for a solution that is easy-to-use yet flexible enough to change with requirements. They want something that can easily set up to work with current retention and disposition schedules, yet can be updated without too much effort if laws or regulations change.
  5. Trust the System
    If you’ve done the prep work correctly, then what you need to do is trust what you’ve put in place is going to work. Choose a good partner with a track record of success to help you.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what can be accomplished around public disclosure, records retention and your content. ImageSource has been assisting customer partners with these types of solutions for the last 20 years. We have done everything from initial consulting through implementation and support. Below is a short list of some of offerings:

  • Expert consulting to determine your “as is” state and develop a plan to get you to your “desired” state using industry best practices
  • Assessment of your current technology and how it can be leveraged
  • Solution evaluation to perfectly match technology with your requirements
  • Solution deployment, configuration, training and rollout
  • Document collection, conversion, scanning, taxonomy definition and automated classification and metadata extraction
  • Data Migration
  • Ongoing partnership for system/process tuning, growth and support
  • Managed applications services

The ILINX platform can assist any organization with getting a handle on their content.

How to get the best bang for your buck!

Why price is not the most important factor
when purchasing imaging hardware

When shopping for new imaging hardware, many customers look at their budget and let that dictate their purchase. Now I understand that budget is an important factor, however over the last 9 years working with imaging customers, many have purchased equipment based mainly on price – only to discover that it did not meet their long term growth needs.

So in light of these discussions, here is bits of wisdom that can be used as a checklist when considering new purchases:

  • Color or Black & White (B & W) scanning? The majority of scanners automatically come with color option but can also provide B & W scanning for smaller document size files.
  • Is Speed important – scanners are classed by Pages per Minute (PPM). How fast do you need the scanner to scan?
  • How much volume are you expecting to scan per day, week or month? Volume and speed is determined by the manufacturer when they develop the scanner.
  • Manufacturers group their scanners into categories based on PPM and the Daily Duty Cycle (DDC). DDC is how many images the scanner can handle on a daily basis. So if you have a large volume of scanning to be completed on a daily basis, a small desktop workgroup scanner will not be sufficient for the volume – it would break down all the time. Here are the general groupings that manufacturers use:

Continue reading

Why Courts Need Document Management AND Case Management Systems

Document Management System (DMS) needs should be identified holistically, not just for the needs of the courtroom processes. A successful implementation will be gained through a well thought out plan and a DMS solution that can not only integrate with a courts Case Management System (CMS), but also with Fiscal, HR, Procurement, and other department’s line-of-business systems.

To accomplish a successful implementation of an electronic environment there has to be an overall vision and buy-in from all the key individuals of the court system.

  • Culture and vision which incorporates technology as part of the business strategy
  • Identify areas to integrate technology with the courts business strategies
  • Implementation of an electronic DMS to be used by all departments
  • Integration of the DMS with CMS and other line-of-business systems
  • Provide public access to documents via a web portal (e-Access)

    Puzzle_arrows

Continue reading

City Agenda Packet Solution with ECM

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 10.09.08 AMPutting together City Agenda Packets can be a laborious process. Check out how the City of Kennewick, Washington used their Enterprise Content Management solution to make this process more efficient in this short video.

Kristina Linehan (Parma)
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

I Am Not a Fan of the Cliché

I am not a fan of the cliché “Best Business Practices”. It is a very over used term and seems to imply there is some magic solution out there that will make everything better. The truth be known, best business practice is leveraging knowledge gained through experience at someone else’s expense. Why would you reinvent the wheel if someone has already figured it out? You wouldn’t. Many times I see companies selling software to customers for the sake of selling something, only to have it sit on a shelf and collect dust.

Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve Capture OCR and Indexing

The recognition phase of capture may seem to be the most important step relevant to automated indexing – since it is, after all, the phase where OCR is performed. But at least half of the factors relevant to successful indexing occur during the pre-recognition steps, particularly in obtaining appropriate image quality for OCR and indexing.

Continue reading

Busyness is killing Business

People seem to be busier than they ever have been. One result we have experienced due to the decrease in hiring over the last few years is that employees are taking on more work and working longer hours. Some people are doing the work of two people.
Continue reading

Leadership: It’s Not All About You

As a 46 year veteran of the Electronics/Computer Industry, I wanted to share this article I came across from two of the most respected people in business. No matter what you do in your career, at some point we are all faced with role of providing leadership. Whether it is a promotion to management or just mentoring someone with lesser experience, trust me,  it’s not always going to be about you.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130708115451-86541065-how-to-think-like-a-leader

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Shar Pei, Weimaraner, or Rotweiler…Which Breed Are You?

Whenever I hear the word “breed” in any context, my mind automatically goes to dog breed for some reason. I can’t help it, but my mind starts to wander and think of Miniature Pinschers and Bloodhounds. At my company, we tend to use the term “best-of-breed” to describe the types of systems and solutions that we implement for our Customer Partners. This simply means that we determine what their needs and goals are, where their pains lie, and decide what the best technology is to fit those needs and goals and to hopefully reduce a number of their pain points.

Continue reading

5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

I have been with ImageSource now going on 9 years, any of my peers that know me have always heard me say at various meetings: e mail, Voicemail, Tweeting, Facebook are all great sales tools, but that is exactly what they are – TOOLS. There is no substitute for Face-to-Face meetings. I recently came across this article that I wanted to share in my blog with my peers. I think you will find it helpful and practice it in the future.

5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

Continue reading

The Top 5 Mistaken Beliefs About Content Management

Gain control of unstructured content

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

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

Continue reading

If You Don’t Have Time to do it Right the First Time, When Will You Have Time to do it Over?

Growing up, we learn that it’s important to plan for certain events. We plan for moving, vacations, presentations, and even certain disasters. Planning for an IT project is just as important. I recently saw a statistic that said 62% of all IT projects fail to meet their stated goals, and that more than 50% of all Enterprise Content Management projects fail. This means that it’s more important than ever to make planning your Enterprise Content Management projects top priority.

Continue reading

Are You Realizing the “E” in Your ECM Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cass Holloway
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

ImageSource Achieves Third Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Enterprise Manager

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

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

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

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

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

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

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

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

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

Less is MORE

I have a challenge for the readers of this blog.  Are you ready?   Take deep breath.   I want to challenge you to, DO MORE WITH LESS.   I think we are often taught to want more, that we “need more”.   I am challenging you to someone that can do MORE with Less.  I am sure you are wondering how this relates to content management, the topic I was asked to write about.   Well I think I can bring you to that reality, so continue reading.   Today we face an economic reality that is forcing us to do more with less.   It makes you think long and hard about what is important and what is needed.  This concept can be taken all the way to the documents that we deal with for our business processes.  Often we create business process around what we have “always” done.   I think it is time to stop and relook at your business.   How can capturing data as it is created and making it electronic increase productivity as well as reduce costs overall?   Many studies share the ROI of this fact.   Do more with Less.  Stop making more paper, and make Less.  Stop doing more work and do less.   If this is something you are ready to talk about, I know that our team of consultants are the right people to help you conquer that task.  It is a daunting one, but it must be done and you want the right people to lead you through the challenge.   We have done this for many years and have proven to be true professionals and experts at the task.

Please take a minute to read a Case Study done for the City of Kennewick .

“We’ve comfortably taken the leap to a paperless environment. Departments are much more self-sufficient in finding content. I no longer spend countless hours making copies & distributing them.”

– Valerie Loffler, City Clerk, City of Kennewick

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.  

Is Curiosity Enough to Attend a Conference?

On Nov 3rd & 4th there is an industry educational conference coming up called “NEXUS’11  – Where ideas emerge” being held locally in Bellevue WA.  I am often asked by customers what is the value and benefits of attending a conference.  So instead of me listing what I think the benefits and values are I decided to check out what other people said on the web and see others justifying ROI for attending – this is a summary of what was listed on the first few pages:

  • An abundance of new information to be revealed
  • Networking value amongst peers –learn from others in your profession. Share with others your experience and thoughts. Meeting folks who do what you do. Gain insight. Ask questions, get free consultations.
  • Where else can you find so many industry contacts facing the same issues as your organization?
  • Direct conversations with vendors and manufacturers – are there solutions and products that you are not aware of?
  • Conferences demonstrate new ideas, how products work and how other organizations have implemented them into their environments to solve challenges that your organization is experiencing.
  • When else do you have the opportunity to remove yourself from the daily grind and take a more strategic planning viewpoint? Step back and reflect on your job and the bigger picture.
  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment – Session Content, tools, technologies, processes, vendor contacts, best practices, training, have a benefits worksheet for the conference. Source: Writing Assistance
  • Justify your Return on Investment – make sure you have session worksheets to summarize what you have learned, what major takeaways you gained from it, action items identified and the estimated impact the idea could make.  What business goals do you have before attending the conference and were they answered by the sessions you attended etc. Source: Gartner Justification Toolkit
  •  Attending a conference provides an opportunity to learn from experts, share ideas with others, and identify new knowledge and techniques. It is a productive experience given the knowledge explosion in the current information-rich era.
  • The information is already “digested’ and given to you in an easy to understand way. Practical examples/ case studies are given and questions clarified.

So hopefully this has increased your curiosity about this conference – take a look and see if you can justify an ROI on attending NEXUS’11. One thing I know for sure – as an attendee and also someone working at this conference every year, the ROI I gain is a HUGE payback for the company and my customers.

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Content Collection and eDiscovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archie Horton
Regional Sales Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

Unsure Economy Holding Your Business Back from ECM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kyle Miller
Corporate Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Why a good ECM Integrator is important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

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.

The Power of Partnerships

Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience.  I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.

The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:

  • The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
  • Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
  • The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of  the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
  • The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)

The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;

  • From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
  • From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
  • From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.

It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Building an ECMEcosystem™

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

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Business Processes
  • Business Content

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

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

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

Cass Holloway
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

ImageSource Achieves Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Enterprise Content Management

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

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

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

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

What value does Virtual ReScan Software (VRS) provide with my scanner?

When purchasing a scanner for document imaging, software is bundled with the scanner that automatically examines documents and applies the correct settings to deliver high quality scanned images. Or in simple terms – it enables image clean-up and clarity to occur automatically at the point of scanning the document.  This software SAVES a great deal of TIME and is EASY to use…This little piece of magical software is called Virtual ReScan or VRS.

Many scanner manufacturers include the Kofax VRS software in the scanner purchase price. Fujitsu includes Kofax VRS Professional software with their scanners and Panasonic includes the latest version of Kofax VRS called Kofax VRS Elite bundled with their scanners.  Other manufacturers do offer the software at an additional cost (Canon, Kodak etc.).

Some of the features in Kofax VRS Elite software:

  • Auto-rotation
  • Auto-cleanup
  • Hole punch removal
  • Blank page deletion
  • Color detection
  • Color smoothing
  • Automatic crop and deskew
  • Improved recognition (increases the accuracy of OCR & ICR software)
  • Scan at the scanner’s rated scanning speed
  • Network-friendly images

Take a look at the Image Processing video on Kofax VRS Elite to get a visual on some of the functionality. I have customers that use the software and will not purchase another scanner without it!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

The Importance of Relationships

The more I work with customers, the more I’m learning about the importance of building strong, lasting relationships based on honesty and a mutual trust. Since I started at ImageSource, these are the relationships that I have found to be the most rewarding, both on a professional and a personal level.

I believe there are some key points that I have found to help with building the kinds of relationships that we all strive for in business.

  1. Be Real. Nobody likes a person who is fake. I believe customers appreciate someone who can sit down and have an honest conversation with them and be legitimate. We all know the kind of people I’m talking about when I say “fake.”
  2. Share Your Knowledge. I’ve been in a number of instances where customers have asked for my opinion on certain topics or products. Even if it’s not a product we sell, I have tried to educate myself and inform them of what I believe to be the pros and cons, as well as my recommendation based on what they’re looking for. Sometimes it’s not even that. Sometimes they’re asking about industry trends or what other customers are doing. I try to be open and share my knowledge with them.
  3. Be honest. I truly believe that customers appreciate vendors that are honest with them and give them a straightforward answer, without the runaround. Vendors that aren’t honest about offerings or product capabilities will damage the trust and relationship with the customer. It’s important to be truthful or you risk losing future business with the customer.

If we follow those three basic points I outlined above, I believe that our customer relationships will be stronger and more fulfilling in the end.

Kristina Parma 
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

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.

 

Higher Ed Automates Transcript Processes With ECM Technology

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can provide a host of benefits to Higher Ed Institutions. Efficiencies can be found in Admissions & Registrar, Financial Aid, Accounting & Reporting, Human Resources, Marketing & Communications and more.

ImageSource Customer Partner, San Jose State University, is utilizing ECM technology for creative automation solutions in several departments, with plans to expand university-wide. Besides automating Finance’s requisition to PO process, a unique solution in Enrollment Services has created one of the most advanced transcript automation processes available.  Utilizing PeopleSoft as the core engine, ECM technology automatically extracts almost all data from paper and electronic transcripts and uploads the data to PeopleSoft.  The system provides coordinators, evaluators and auditors with concise, consolidated information, allowing them to calculate credits at the touch of a button and make enrollment decisions quicker.

Debbie Horton
Communications Director
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!”

 

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

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

Vote to See These Valuable ImageSource Presentations at OpenWorld

ImageSource has proposed 3 presentation ideas for Oracle OpenWorld. Please take the time to go to the Oracle Mix website and vote for the ImageSource presentations.

Best Practices for Upgrading to Oracle IPM 11g
This session will explore opportunities for organizations looking to upgrade to Oracle IPM 11g. Expert integrators who have worked with this product from its inception will examine best practices when moving to 11g. We’ll explore how IPM 11g offers a true platform for enterprise deployments. Learn the best way to transition, how you can still use SQL databases and about exciting new features. Explore the extensible architecture, the BPM platform and understand how the open integration to MANY lines of business applications, in a loosely-coupled manner is a good change from the hard coded integration of the past & how it will affect future upgrades.

The Future Direction of ECM – Oracle IPM 11g
The speculation is over and Oracle IPM 11g is upon us. Independent expert integrators will present a case study example on a new implementation and explore how IPM 11g offers a true platform for enterprise deployments. Discover the best way to transition, how you can still use SQL databases and about exciting new features like wizards, searches, inputs & connections to external data sources. Explore why an extensible architecture benefits multiple business processes and how the BPM platform simplifies the implementation of workflow. Understand why the open integration to MANY lines of business applications, in a loosely-coupled manner is a good change from the hard coded integration of the past & how it will affect future upgrades.

Oracle ECM in Higher Ed – Conquering Registration, Transcripts & Financial Aid
Universities are experiencing an explosion of information. 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. This session will explore how Oracle Enterprise Content Management allows institutions to optimize specific, departmental business processes while providing a common platform for all information processes across the enterprise. Higher Ed experts will show how Oracle ECM provides a reliable way for all departments to securely access the same, current, accurate information.

You must become an Oracle Mix member to vote. Please sign up and vote to see ImageSource present at OpenWorld.

To vote:

  1. Click on this link: https://mix.oracle.com/
  2. Register as an Oracle Mix member
  3. Go to the right side of the screen and link on “Suggest A Session 2010”
  4. Sort by title
  5. You must vote for at least three sessions for your vote to count. Please vote for the above three presentations.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

 

 

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

 

Selling is an Act of Respect!

“First I believe that selling anything to anybody, if it’s done with integrity, is actually an act of respect. It acknowledges that the person you’re trying to win over is freethinking and autonomous”

– Bruce Philp, The Orange Code

When I read this statement by Bruce Philp, I smiled. For over 16 years I have been selling as a profession – this statement above sums up nicely how integrity and respect is possible in a sale. The key component from the selling standpoint is you MUST have respect for your customer (or potential customer) and be willing to see them as “freethinking”. Especially when you are questioned and challenged. By having an uncompromising focus on the customer through the whole process – listening and understanding their perspective is imperative in a Enterprise Content Management Project.

Every day we are challenged as professionals to listen and understand someone else’s perspective, as well as add our opinion and expertise to the mix. Seeing customers and colleagues as partners (with their own level of expertise) is a key component to success, especially if it is practiced from both perspectives.

Looking at how we as a company communicate to our customers and talk about our customer partnerships does display many of these elements;

  •  “ImageSource works relentlessly with our Customer Partners to build a relationship of ongoing success and trust. The collaborative approach…”
  • “What has followed has been an extremely successful business venture that has its spirit deeply rooted in a love for entrepreneurship and innovation”
  • “We take pride in our ability to overcome business challenges with integrity and sincerity. Our success is testament…”
  • “… This standard results in strong and collaborative customer relationships that are ongoing.”

Do we walk our talk? Some days better than others.

Do our customers walk their talk? Some days better than others…

In the long run the best measurement of success of a sale is long-term customer partnerships and successful ECM projects…from both perspectives!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.
Phone 360.943.9273
iPhone 360.481.5946
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