I recently watched a segment on King 5 News around how some government agencies are using legacy systems for their day-to-day work. The article was highlighting the software program used at the Department of Licensing to process vehicle registrations, however, there are a number of additional agencies that are using legacy programs and platforms for their day-to-day processes. The segment went on to discuss how expensive it would be to update all of those systems. Continue reading
The Times They Are A Changing
Change. Change on college campuses in administrative systems has historically been slow. Most universities still admit and manage students using a complex web of people, mail, paper, manual routing and data entry. They know it is inefficient and costly. So why is higher education lagging behind when there is a huge opportunity to gain efficiencies, particularly with the technologies and best practices we have today?
Risks. Rolling out many small software projects across a campus can delay addressing the big picture, and give the illusion of avoiding risk. The need for collaboration and the high cost of managing multiple systems with duplicate data sets are not addressed initially. The risk then becomes in controlling the waste. Somebody is eventually going to add that up.
Future. Though higher education is still in its infancy compared to most sectors, a new awareness of the need to manage unstructured content is gaining momentum. Along with that realization are the departmental process reconfigurations and then it can’t happen fast enough. People in an organization touch and re-use information despite their department of origin. The future is to manage a piece of content once and make it available to those who need it. Continue reading
Organizations are realizing more and more every day the need to reduce paper, automate labor-intense processes and eliminate duplicate tasks. Since we all know time is money, this is important now more than ever. But how do you choose the right technology to assist with this? We hear quite frequently that users are comfortable working within their line-of-business systems and that bringing in a large, complicated content management system will only confuse them. My response to this is, “Are you Powered by ILINX?”
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.
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
Senior Account Executive