Tackling ECM in Higher Education – Part Two

In Part One we talked about the problems encountered in Higher Education with departmental solutions, now let’s talk about how to fix it or more importantly how to prevent it from happening. The answer actually is pretty simple, if your thinking about implementing an Enterprise Content Management Solution then narrow your search to those companies that provide these products.  The term Enterprise Content Management is used very loosely today but by true definition is defined as:

the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists”.

This new term is intended to completely encompass the legacy problem domains (i.e. “Islands of Information”) that have traditionally been addressed by records management and document management. It also includes all of the additional problems involved in converting to and from digital content, as well as to and from the traditional media of those problem domains (such as physical and computerized filing and retrieval systems, often involving paper and microforms).

Finally ECM has employed the technologies and strategies of (digital) content management to address business process issues, such as records and auditing, knowledge sharing, personalization and standardization of content. These products are also built on n Tier Architecture which is very scalable and provides easy integration into ERP products and supporting products mixes such as Enterprise Fax Solutions, Electronic Form Products and so on. Here at ImageSource we have built a plethora of tools under the ILINX Products Family that ties all the pieces together both effectively and transparently to provide a seamless solution.

Finally let’s talk about the cost, one of the questions I always hear regarding ECM is how much will this cost? There is no question a true ECM Solution will be more costly than a Departmental Solution, how much more really depends on the customer and how widely across the Enterprise they choose to deploy it. The good news is, you don’t have to do it all at once, and here lies the real attraction of a true ECM Solution, you can start small and eventually grow it to the Enterprise and not worry if this will meet my needs in two years. So ask yourself a simple question when evaluating Content Management Solutions, should I pay a little more upfront or pay less only to find out it will not meet ones needs in a couple of years and finally, think about the costs associated with migration of all that content you already have stored that will need to be moved over when your current solution can no longer support your organization.

Tackling ECM in Higher Education Part One

It seems whenever I meet with prospects in Higher Education I keep hearing the same thing over and over again, we have a system in this department we have another system in this department but we don’t think what they have will work for our needs. How did this scenario come to be? The answer is pretty simple, in the past, many systems in Higher Education that were chosen focused on specific departments, primarily Admission & Records and the Financial Aid Departments which were prime targets due to the large volumes of content each generated. Thus the beginnings of what we commonly refer to today as “Islands of Information” began to take place,  with each department doing their own thing or nothing at all. Today the business paradigm has shifted with departments such as AP, AR, HR, Student Services, Campus Police, Housing and the above mentioned departments now all requiring Content Management. Each department has its own unique requirements with integration into one or more ERP type of systems being quite common. Tackling all these requirements can be a challenge since the answer lies outside the traditional school of thought and requires us to  look beyond the department and expand our vision around Enterprise Content Management. How we go about doing that will be in discussed in part 2 of my next blog.

Bob Garrido
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

 

Using ILINX to Integrate with ERP Systems

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) integrate all data and processes of an organization into a unified system. A typical ERP system will use multiple components of computer software and hardware to achieve the integration. A key ingredient of most ERP Systems is the use of a unified database to store data for the various system modules. Most ERP Systems implementation require the standardization of business processes to match the system modules. Although this standardization is difficult during the first implementation, upgrades are quick and relatively inexpensive because of the standardized processes and modules. The process improvements this type of standardization enables are substantial. An imaging system allows you to bring this standardization of processes to your document handling.

ILINX Integrate is designed to complement a wide variety of enterprise systems. One of the biggest uses of ILINX is to provide imaging or document management functionality as a ‘bolt-on’ to existing ERP platforms. When the system integration is done right, most users do not even know they are using ILINX Integrate.  It simply appears as if every needed document is stored right in the ERP system.

In addition to the ROI provided by the imaging itself, it also allows the most basic business processes to be enhanced through workflow applications. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provides financial software that facilitates sharing information within the company whereby all departments or divisions can see what is transpiring elsewhere in the company. ERP provides transparent information management so that every division is apprised of events as they happen.

Integrating ERP with document imaging technologies using ILINX power and transform a business into a dynamic enterprise.  To learn more about how ILINX products can enhance your current solution, please register for Nexus.

Andrea Latham, CDIA+

Inside Sales

ImageSource, Inc.

Phone 360.943.9273

www.imagesourceinc.com

 

ECM Best Practices: Document Capture

We are going to start a series of blogs called the “ECM Best Practices” series. This series will cover a range of topics for the next six weeks, including ECM Training, Hot Trends in ECM, Document Scanning, Document Capture, Green Solutions and Integration with ERP.

This week, I am going to focus on Document Capture. Document capture makes life easier and allows us to get more done with less time and fewer resources. Manual processes are both labor intensive and time consuming. Document capture allows employees to perform tasks with speed and accuracy.

Companies today need to look at utilizing Distributed Capture in addition to Centralized Capture. Distributed capture gives organizations the freedom to scan and capture information at remote locations, instead of mailing documents to one central location. Having a central hub is important in scanning, but having distributed capture in addition is necessary to reduce costs, improve accuracy and save time.

One of the hottest capture products on the market today is ILINX Capture. ILINX Capture is a web-based capture product that allows you to capture information anywhere, anytime, any place. Compared to traditional capture products, ILINX Capture costs significantly less and takes less time to deploy and train users. This thin-client application is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses who are looking to improve efficiencies, or for large businesses who are in need of a capture product that can handle large volumes of documents.ILINX Capture

On November 2nd and 3rd, ILINX Capture will be showcased at ImageSource’ s annual ECM Solutions Conference, Nexus, in Bellevue, Wash. This conference is a great opportunity for anyone who is looking for educational content and industry-specific training. The conference will have speakers from Microsoft, Oracle, Cardiff, Bowe Bell & Howell, as well as from ImageSource. There will be a breakout session on Distributed Capture, a two-part session on the new ILINX products, including ILINX Capture, as well as a keynote on the importance of capture.

To register for Nexus, or to learn more about the conference, visit www.NexusECM.com.

To learn more about ILINX Capture, visit www.ilinxcapture.com. For additional information, read this blog post about ILINX Capture.

Kristina Parma
Corporate Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Share on LinkedIn   Share on Twitter