I’m sitting in the local IBM ECM UserNet conference in Irvine and David Caldera, Product Marketing, is speaking about the IBM/FileNet road-map. He has communicated, and it is proven, that there is huge ROI in deploying ECM solutions in an enterprise. Many companies have jumped on the ECM bandwagon and have implemented storage and retrieval in their enterprise. But, how many have taken the initiative to actually truncate content at its source? What does this mean: truncate content at its source?
To truncate content at its source, I am referencing an initiative to keep electronic documents as electronic documents (i.e. not printing out the Word Document or Excel Spreadsheet for review), utilize fax server technology and ingest faxes as images (ingesting faxes directly in to a capture application so meta data can be attached to it and accessed through a repository), take in outside content as EDI and leave it as EDI (by utilizing COLD technology and storing it with users being able to view the content with template overlays), and leave email messages and their attachments in their electronic format (by capturing the email, ingest the email’s content and strip off the attachment so that it can be preserved in the repository in electronic form). A truly GREEN organization.
How can we help enterprises achieve this? One method is to simplify the process that content is captured at the end user. This may include embedding capture technology in every day applications like Word and Excel. A simple to use “button” placed in the application that evokes a simple window that allows the user to fill in one or two key meta data fields – like Kofax currently offers with Kofax Desktop and ImageSource offers with ILINX ® Capture. Another option is to leverage existing multifunction devices, having a capture application sweep the directory and push some light indexing or not, back to the submitter or sending it to a central data processing center. Most importantly, capturing the content in-process!
In-Process Capture through thin client applications is the most consistent and efficient way to truncate content at its source. Enabling knowledge workers to submit content as part of their process, versus at the end of their process. All knowledge workers, not just high volume workers, having this capability. Leveraging ad-hoc, highly distributed capture processes throughout an enterprise. For example, the executive assistant who has contracts, high dollar Purchase Orders, NDA’s, HR documents, or regulatory submissions being able to commit these documents right in to the repository or workflow. Another example, to enable agents or sales people in the field to submit claims, reports or expenses from their automobile, prior to leaving the customers parking lot, so that financial transaction can be processed immediately.
Some organizations “think green.” Its time now for these companies to go to the next step and put their IT projects behind these eco-friendly initiatives.