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:

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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

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How about an attitude of gratitude all year long?

It is that time of year again when we reflect on reasons to be thankful. It’s times like these when I wonder, why can’t we have an attitude of gratitude all year long? When you focus on all the “good” in your life, more “good” comes to you, while the inverse of that is also true. It’s good to ask, not just during the month of November, but often — what are you grateful for? Here are a few of mine in no particular order:

Family, Friends, Food, Shelter, Employment, Life, Love, Health, Pets, Environment, Sunshine, Rain, Transportation, Abundance, Technology, Enlightenment, Peace, Customers, Co-workers, Culture, History, Clothes, Shoes, Forgiveness, Encouragement, Teachers, and of course, our Vendors: Fujitsu, Kodak, IBM, Contex, Oracle, ILINX, Kofax, Altosoft, Canon, and Panasonic.

If you are reading this and times are tough, start by being grateful for eyesight, knowledge and the ability to read.

Let’s resolve to say thank you more often. Stop complaining and focusing on what is perceived as wrong and say thank you for things that are “good”. Thank you to the day-to-day heroes in our lives. Focusing on the things we can affect in our everyday lives and saying thank you to those who are making things better fosters gratitude and makes life all around more enjoyable.

It is my goal and my hope to help you make your imaging and Enterprise Content Management solutions better!

Here to serve!

Thank you for reading,

Richard McDermott
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

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

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.

Fujitsu Announces SCA

If you are planning to manage 700 scanners as mentioned in the previous blog by Ruben, you will want to take a look at Fujitsu’s Scanner Central Admin (SCA).  SCA reduces management costs and increases operational rates by managing up to 1,000 scanners.  The new software allows users to monitor scanner running status, update scanner drivers, check consumable status, and more, all over a network, from one location.

For more information, click here.

Or give us a contact us at ImageSource, Inc

Richard A. McDermott, ECMp, CDIA+
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.

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Enterprise content management in higher education

The Times They Are A Changing

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

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

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

Are you using your checklists in PeopleSoft?

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

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

ImageSource customers are evaluating the Panasonic scanner: KV-S1065C

Panasonic scanner: KV-S1065C

Why my customers choose the Panasonic KV-S1065C:

1. One of my healthcare customers had a requirement for scanning medical cards.   This scanner is specifically designed to work with many different sized identification cards. They also love that the scanner software allows you to view both sides of the card on one image.  This is a great feature in the medical field. Another great feature is the long paper scanning option for scanning unusually long patient records.

2. Many customers in any industry enjoy utilizing the Kofax VRS software to autocorrect their scanned images. This cuts down time on the end-user manually correcting these images. Productivity is increased substantially.

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Universities should leverage information to recruit the most qualified students

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

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

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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

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If content is the king, then portal is the queen

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

Read the full story at Oracle WebCenter blog.

The top 5 mistaken beliefs about content management

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

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

Information management 20% structured 80% unstructured information

University structured v. unstructured content

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

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

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

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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.

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ImageSource® Awards Customer Partners for Innovative ECM Solutions

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

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

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

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Why Imprint Documents?

This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions.  It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.

When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.

Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps.  So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.

Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not.  The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.

Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed.  Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.

Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered.  With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.

So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource,Inc.  

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

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

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

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ImageSource Achieves Fourth Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialization for Public Sector

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

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

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

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

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

4G and Content Management

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

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

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

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

Joshua D. Gilmore
Account Executive
ImageSource Inc.

 

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

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.

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.

NEXUS’11 ECM Solutions Conference

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

AN INVITATION FROM TERRY SUTHERLAND, IMAGESOURCE CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you know:

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

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

The possibilities are endless!

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

Tracy Lim
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Utopia ECM

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

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

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

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

John Smetana
VP, ILINX ECM Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Building an ECMEcosystem™

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

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Business Processes
  • Business Content

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

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

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

Cass Holloway
VP, Oracle Solution Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Oracle ECM 11g and Accounts Payable – Integrating Technologies

Accounts Payable is a document intense department with complicated workflows and approval processes. Although our world today is going digital, AP departments are still bogged down by a majority of documents (purchase orders, invoices and supporting documentation) coming in paper form followed by manual routing and approval processes,  keyed data entry to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and the physical filing and storage of documents.

While ERP systems handle the information they are designed to process very well, they do not have the capacity to manage data and images simultaneously or perform complicated workflows.  By automating the entire AP process organizations can reduce labor requirements, lessen storage costs, decrease late fees, increase early pay discounts and improve vendor satisfaction.  And because Accounts Payable touches almost every department it is a great launch pad for ECM technology providing a large impact on the organizational business processes and substantial ROI.

ImageSource is an ECM integrator with vast experience implementing Accounts Payable Solutions and an industry leader in implementing the Oracle 11g technology.  Most recently we completed a project for a large manufacturing company integrating Oracle 11g ECM technology with the Accounts Payable system, Oracle Enterprise Business Suite.  As a manufacturer poised for growth due to multiple acquisitions, they were looking for a solution that could handle the increase in invoices without increasing staff.

With Oracle EBS already in place, Oracle 11g was the perfect ECM solution. Oracle’s Solution Accelerator enables such a tightly coupled integration that it makes the two technologies ideal for integration. The result is an Accounts Payable system that has provided an efficient system for imaging, processing and viewing documents related to AP with a reduction in overall labor.

The manufacturer receives over 8,000 invoices a month, 80% in paper form and the other 20% through email and fax.  All are now processed by Oracle Document Capture and Oracle Forms Recognition (OFR) when received.  Oracle Document Capture scans the document and Oracle Forms Recognition automatically extracts relevant data and does some basic validation. The document is then automatically sent to Oracle ECM for more validation and storing of the image. Due to the sophisticated logic with code and BPEL workflows, the system performs all kinds of checks, and is able to move information  from Oracle ECM to Oracle EBS without human assistance. Knowledge workers can stay in their familiar EBS system and reference any invoice they need by clicking on the recognizable paper-clip.  EBS pushes the parameters to the ECM repository and brings back the search results in a web link.

The ease of processing invoices has been improved dramatically. What used to be a manual process of keying in information is now completely automated. The only time an invoice needs any type of processing, barring exceptions, is the physical act of scanning it in. After it’s scanned the Oracle OCR technology adds the appropriate index fields and the Solution Accelerator automatically moves it through the system for validation and storage until it is available to view through Oracle EBS.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

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.

 

Northwest County Goes Live with Oracle ECM 11g and Automated Records Management

A sizable county in the Northwest recently partnered with ImageSource on a major Universal Records Management solution. Implementing Oracle’s latest technology – Oracle ECM Suite 11g – the county’s Public Works and Utilities (PWU) led the shift to an automated system for managing records. By putting a state-of-art records management system in place, PWU is blazing the way for the county to effectively manage records and retention policies county-wide.

The impetus to automate records management at the County included a variety of challenges.  They were working from an electronic digital vault for storing documents that had been developed internally and operated with antiquated architecture and technology. The indexing structure was extremely complicated so they had difficulty finding and storing information and the vault had zero records management capabilities. There was no official File Plan in place and content was kept in multiple formats and several locations; paper files, network file system and the vault.

The starting point for the project was to perform a Policy and Procedure review.  From that ImageSource Professional Services delivered several reports including eDiscovery and Public Disclosure recommendations, a vault migration strategy, a metadata model and an official File Plan for automating records management with government mandates and regulations.

Once the structural foundation for records management was analyzed, evaluated and a governance plan put in place by ImageSource, the technology implementation was the next step. Oracle 11g was selected as the infrastructure for several reasons. Recently redesigned, Oracle ECM utilizes JAVA programming technology for its ECM suite, providing the most recent Oracle technology and a solid foundation for years to come.  11g also provides a tighter integration between vertical components, which at the end of the day, provides a wider range of choices and more flexibility in architecting and designing solutions.  Oracle 11g also provides a host of benefits in the context of the broader Oracle line-of-business platforms – weather its Siebel, CRM on demand, JD Edwards or PeopleSoft – the integrations will be tight. The other Oracle products used to support this implementation are Oracle AutoVue, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search and URM Adaptors for SharePoint and the Network File System.

Utilizing Oracle ECM 11g and its Universal Records Management (URM) module, records management policies are now in place for three workgroups within Public Works and Utilities. A system was designed around the core concept of contribution folders. In order to ease transition, the Oracle software was designed and set up to mimic the folder structures that the County was using on their network file system. The contribution folders have a hierarchal structure and content contribution to the folders is extremely easy with drag-and-drop functionality. The hierarchal structure enables automatic assignment of metadata and records management policies without ever having to key index values.  Direct contribution capabilities into the file structure are also available from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

The County went live with this new Records Management solution a few weeks ago and is now moving toward a completely automated records management system in PWU. This solution also provided the County with the infrastructure to facilitate Public Disclosure Requests and to automate records management County-wide. The benefits will be far reaching as the County moves into full production and later expands the many enterprise capabilities of Oracle 11g.

Debbie Horton
ImageSource
Communications Director

AACRAO Presentation You Can’t Miss

The team at ImageSource is looking forward to meeting Admissions personnel from across the country to get input on a brand new way of helping students with the enrollment process.

At booth #106, you will see how a student can use their home page as a portal into the progress of their application. On Tuesday evening at 5 pm, Dave MacWatters will be explaining the entire process.

Terry Butler
Chief Solutions Officer
ImageSource, Inc.

Where’s My College Application?

A foreign student has applied to four different schools across the US. She spent two years in a community college where she received her Associate of Arts degree. She applied online at all four schools where she hopes to be accepted into a School of Engineering.

It has been three weeks and she and her family have not yet heard from any of the schools as to the status of the enrollment process.

In the meantime, hundreds, if not thousands, of new applications are being handled by enrollment services. Documents, including letters of recommendation, visas, foreign document permits, health records and transcripts are pouring into these universities. Additionally, there are automated transmissions imported into these schools in an attempt to reduce the workload of already overworked university staff.

Phones are constantly ringing with calls  from concerned applicants and parents. Emails are accumulating and can no longer be answered due to volume and reduced staffing requirements.

At most institutions, this happens to be standard practice during the enrollment time period, and universities are looking at better ways to service their applicants and to help break the bottleneck in the work process.

At AACRAO in Seattle next week, ImageSource will present the answer – a view of how the student services operation will look. A major university on the west coast has accepted the challenge and is determined to change the process through true Enterprise Content Management. It should be made clear that this is not document imaging. This university will continue to use their student information system, but documents entering the university will be processed immediately and will be sent to various workflow queues where they will be pushed through the system. As information is processed, it will be uploaded to the student information system, work packages will be distributed automatically to knowledge workers, and plans are being considered to update information to student portals for self-service.

Terry Butler
Chief Solutions Officer
ImageSource, Inc.