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.

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)

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What ILINX Has in Common with Two Giants: Alibaba and Apple

I read a post recently titled Customer-centric and easy-to-use is the new business model (The Alibaba story) that really hit home. The author, Gerry McGovern, a customer-centricity guru, points out that Alibaba, the world’s biggest online commerce company, has defined a clear mission of “making it easier to do business across the world”, as founder Jack Ma put it. I think it’s safe to say that this model has merit, as the company claims the biggest IPO in the history of the world.

As a long-term Apple user, (my first Mac had a hard drive with 512 KB memory) I can say that their progressively intuitive interfaces have been a compelling reason for me to continue using their technology. In fact, the Macintosh project started with an Apple employee named Jef Raskin who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer.

Apple has stayed true to this model to present day, according to technology industry analyst Jeff Bajarin. In an article published by Time Magazine, Bajarin outlines six key principals that set Apple apart from the competition, three of which are: Continue reading

Webinars – A great place for free information

On Wednesday, August 20th at 10:00 PST, ImageSource and Fujitsu will be broadcasting a webinar about optimizing your hardware called Proactive Scanner Management. During this webinar you can learn about Fujitsu scanner trade-in programs as well as the latest and greatest models available. Learn about the out-of-the-box software as well as when to consider ILINX Capture for a more robust solution. This particular webinar will be recorded and available for viewing at your convenience if you are unable to attend the live event.

Webinars are a great source of learning usually for no cost. They can provide information on hardware you are considering as well as software solutions. Topics can also include specific verticals and solutions such as the upcoming “Paperless Courtroom” webinar featuring ILINX Capture and IBM FileNet. These topics are typically covered by industry experts that have been involved in successful implementations.

Webinars are a valuable source of information and something the savvy consumer should take advantage of.

Questions or comments:

Richard A. McDermott, ECMp, CDIA+
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
360-943-9273 T
360-943-4449 F
http://www.imagesourceinc.com

ImageSource implements groundbreaking paperless courtroom solution, featuring ILINX® technologies

Stanislaus County Superior Court is a pioneer in digital courtroom document processing, as featured in a recent article in the Modesto Bee. Not mentioned in the article is the fact that their successful solution was implemented by ImageSource and features ILINX technologies.

Stanislaus had the vision, and we helped them get there. The technologies used—ILINX Capture and IBM FileNet—have been designated as a solution of choice by the California Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The addition of ILINX eForms was added to further streamline courtroom processes. The powerful combination of technologies used offers a robust, scalable and easy-to-use option to automate courtroom processes enterprise-wide.

The family court division has been paperless since early spring of 2014 and is being expanded to traffic, civic and criminal cases, and eventually to the entire courthouse. Clerks search for, and organize documents for upcoming cases based on a web calendar. Judges and commissioners access documents during cases on tablets while on the bench, eliminating a daily stack of about 40 paper case files. Legal documents that require completion during a hearing are now electronic and are filled out, reviewed, approved, signed and routed for printing on the spot. Continue reading

Team Unity – Cultivating Productivity on the Field and in the Office

When was the last time your entire organization or department met together before sitting at your desk and going on with your daily work? I’m not talking about those hour long weekly meeting to discuss status on projects or sales reports. I’m talking about a quick and fun, 10-15 minute huddle with your team that sets the stage for each day.

According to a recent Gallup Employee Engagement analysis, when employees don’t feel motivated to participate in the workplace, productivity drops and absenteeism rises. In fact, companies with highly engaged employees showed nearly four times the financial growth rate of companies with lower engagement.

Coming from a sports background and having participated in team sports my whole life, I’ve learned that motivation, unity, morale, communication and feeling loose is key for any team to be successful. I believe you have to be in that mindset every day you step into the office. Every work day should feel like a game day or like you’re going into battle. Everyone on your team should be on the same page and be heading towards the same goal. And yes, every team’s goal may be different depending on what you do, but in the end what really matters is the motivation and mindset of your team while heading towards that common goal. Continue reading

5 Reasons You Need to Meet in Person

I have been with ImageSource for almost 11 years and in the computer industry almost 47. My journey has taken me from field engineer, to systems support engineer to management and finally to sales. To say I have seen it all is an understatement. Anyone who knows me has always heard me say that email, voicemail, Twitter and Facebook are all great sales tools, but that is exactly what they are – tools. There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

Just this past week the ImageSource executive team and I completed our third week of Nexus ’14; a week of personalized, private sessions where we meet with customers to discuss their unique ECM needs. We met with all of our customers face-to-face; listening to them, (I repeat: listening to them), taking notes and presenting the future direction of ImageSource. The results exceeded any of our expectations.

My clients are just like yours: They want to Skype, email and text. But here’s why you still need face time. Continue reading

Moving Content Easily from Email to ECM Repository

Wouldn’t it be nice to contribute content to your Enterprise Content Management system right from Microsoft Outlook? Well, it is possible to accomplish just that with a simple right click of your mouse with ILINX® Capture Email Import.

With ILINX Capture Email Import you can submit single or multiple email messages as well as attachments and complete the indexing in a streamlined and simplified process.

ILINX Capture Email Import capabilities include:

  • Flexible content capture options:
  • Email body only
  • Attachments only
  • Both email body and attachments
  • Automate the capture of the index values:

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Why I Love Electronic Forms!

I love electronic forms!

I love being able to not just fill out, but also submit forms electronically either from my PC or my tablet. It’s easy to change information if I mistype something or need to change information. With paper forms, you typically have to reprint the page and enter in all the information again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve screwed up filling out a paper form and had to redo it. There’s also something nice about being able to click the “Submit” button at the end and not have to print and mail a document in and double-check to make sure it was received on the other end a few days later.

I’ve noticed that more companies and organizations are turning to electronic forms for both consumers and constituents. Users can fill out forms and attach relevant documents or information to the form and in some cases, even sign the form right then and there, no printing necessary! Continue reading

Converging Mobility with Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

In a recent report, IDC predicts 87% of connected devices by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.  In the same report, it is predicted that the purchase and use of PCs will drop from 28.7% to 13% by 2017.Worldwide-Smart-Connected-Device-Forecast-Market-Share-by-Product-Category-2012-2017-iCharts

What does this trend data really mean?  Well, for starters, it might mean that more people will be playing Angry Birds than ever before.  From a business point-of-view, tablets and smartphones are both disruptive and viewed like a Swiss Army Knife:  a single device that can do many things.  However, with these mobile devices, there is both the opportunity for rewards and the potential for risks.  It makes no difference if the mobile device is provided by your employer or is a BYOD situation.  On the whole, the same rules apply; however, there are some nuances about BYOD that invite additional risks to be mitigated. Continue reading

Increase in small home-based businesses equates to growth of content to manage

Small businesses are major players in the U.S. Economy. According to Forbes.com, over 50% of the working population (120 million individuals) works in a small business.

With the advancements in technology it has become easier for people to create and run small businesses, without insurmountable operating expenses, out of their homes. In fact, 52% of all small businesses are home-based (Forbes.com). This has led to small business growth nationwide and changes in the way these businesses operate.

How do they manage the increasing inflow of content to their businesses?

How do they search and find information effectively?

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Tired of entering the same information over and over?

Wouldn’t it be nice to supply your doctors’ office with all your pertinent information only once? And then, after you have entered the information, that information would then automatically be populated into all of the required forms and systems necessary? Now it is possible; by using products that are part of the ILINX Suite offered by ImageSource. ILINX eForms is a user-friendly, web-based software that allows you to easily capture information from a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. It has a lean engine that automates the routing, tracking and approval for data extracted from forms across an enterprise. Imagine the amount of time we could save by entering information only once instead of entering the same information over and over. Want to learn more? Watch this ILINX eForms demonstration to see this tool in action.

April Gentry
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

ILINX – the new ECM software kid on the block!

Since my entry into the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry in 2001, the biggest challenge that I see for any company is to turn their ECM investment into one that is utilized across the enterprise, and not just for the benefit of one department. After all, that is the whole point of an enterprise system solution. When the whole enterprise benefits, it reduces total cost of ownership and the promise of a return-on-investment (ROI) is realized.

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We Love Our Customer Partners!

Here at ImageSource, we are ecstatic about our Customer Partners! We call them Customer Partners because we believe that they are all truly partners of ImageSource. Together, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty awesome things.

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AP and Government: Explore Your ECM Solutions

Join ImageSource’s VP of Product Development, Randy Weakly, as he presents solutions for automating and improving your processing methods.

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Paperless Processes: Capturing Documents of All Types

Paper-Wars2013-Cover

AIIM – Winning the Paper Wars

I found the latest research paper from AIIMWinning the Paper Wars – capture the content and mobilize the process troops.”  to be an interesting read, especially since I have seen many of the points discussed when working with our customers—specifically with growth areas in mobile capture, OCR, BPM/Workflow and AP/AR processes.

I am happy to say that the report addressed not just scanning paper records but also looked at the hundreds/ thousands of external paper documents that flow into a company every day.

At ImageSource we help address capture via ILINX Capture®  Many of our customers have experienced progress towards “paper-free processes” and are achieving payback of their investment. If you are looking at addressing some of the issues that were discussed in the report – feel free to reach out to ImageSource…or me…

Megan Lane
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

ImageSource: A Fujitsu Premier Partner X 9

Fujistsu_PP_2012

Fujitsu Premier Partner of the Year

In June, ImageSource was named Premier Partner of the Year, 2012 for the Western Region by Fujitsu Computer Products of America. This marks a whopping ninth time ImageSource has earned this status.

You could say, without question, that ImageSource likes Fujitsu scanners. We like them because Fujitsu invests in R & D and quality control to ensure an exceptional product line that continually evolves to meet the demands of an ever changing capture landscape.
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ILINX Capture 5 – Do you need to capture information anywhere, anytime?

ILINX Capture 5 upcoming Webinar

The ILINX suite of products are flexible, lean, and highly adoptable web based tools. You can capture information whether electronic or paper on a desktop, multifunction device, scanner or mobile device. Capture anywhere, anytime!

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ILINX eForms—For those who like to do 2 things at once, like walk and capture!

ILINX has yet another tool to enable capture anywhere your work takes you. ILINX eForms is a flexible, user-friendly electronic forms software for the capture, processing and delivery of data, images, even signatures. It can do so in a variety of ways, by using a keyboard, a finger or stylus on a touchscreen (using Intelligent Character Recognition or ICR) and even a database lookup. It allows you to add an attachment, or take a picture and embed it in the form. And ILINX eForms can be accessed on a variety of devices, from desktop to tablet to smartphone. Did I mention it is flexible?

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Are you “Powered by ILINX?”

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?”

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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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300 Million Pounds of Frozen Vegetables

If you haven’t seen our National Frozen Foods customer success video yet, take a break for less than 3 minutes and see how this corporation that produces over 300 million pounds of frozen vegetables a year utilizes their Enterprise Content Management system to increase their business efficiencies.

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What Helps Make IBM’s Watson So Smart? Content Analytics

If you got to see IBM’s Watson compete on Jeopardy a few months ago, you probably thought that it was interesting that a computer could compete (and win) against humans in a game show. What was not as apparent was the technology behind Watson, or how it could be applied to solve business challenges and provide insight into the massive amounts of unstructured information in your organization.

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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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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.

 

Stuck in a Trade Show Whirlwind

This year’s Fall trade show season seemed to blow in and out like a tornado. It is no joke that time flies when you are having fun. We’ve seemed to go from September to December in a blink of a eye. Our whirlwind of a tour started  back when the leaves were just starting to change with multiple local PMI and AIIM events and only picked up speed from there….

For a week we blew into OracleOpen World in San Francisco, CA . If you’ve never attended Oracle OpenWorld, be ready for quite a technology experience. As an Oracle Platinum Partner there is no way we would have missed it!  As a systems integrator for Oracle Middleware, we were eager to help attendees learn how to run more efficient business processes by implementing Oracle IPM and UCM solutions.  There was a lot of interest in our recent implementations of Oracle Webcenter Content 11g. We look forward to going back in 2012 and hope to see you there.

While many of us were at OOW, our ECM expert, John Smetana was attending the AIIM ECM Bootcamp in Minneapolis, MN on October 4.  AIIM members and attendees collaborated on ways to minimize paper and manual processes in core backend activities and discussed better ways to engage social technologies to reach customers.

Next stop landed us in Vegas, Baby! We were a proud exhibitor of the IBM Information on Demand Conference that happens annually at the Mandalay Bay. And we are hoping what you saw there, doesn’t stay there. Take back what you learned from our IBM ECM team to get started on automating processes or to expand your current solution, enterprise-wide. We can wait to get back to IOD in 2012

Next up, we couldn’t have been more excited or proud to host Nexus ’11, our annual ECM Solutions Conference on November 3-4.  With over 28 breakout sessions, world-class Keynote speakers and peer-to-peer networking, this event has become the best education ECM technolgoy event on the West Coast!  Pre-conference training for AIIM certifications and other continuing education credit were provided in the days leading to the conference. Our vendor partners, including Fujitsu, Panasonic, IBM, Kodak and other industry leaders were on hand to show their latest product offerings and answer questions in our Expo Hall. This year’s hot topics included planning your ECMECOSYSTEM™,  Capture solutions from ILINX and Kofax, and implementing mobile and social technologies. You can check out presentations and video from this year’s event or register for what’s in store for Nexus ’13!

And finally, we wrapped up our tour in Sacramento, CA at the Kofax Connect event where we presented with our customer partner, Sacramento County, to share how their are utilizing Kofax KTM to clasify, separate, extract and transform documents.  We were excited to be a part of this valuable event and have the chance to discuss capture solutions with the many Kofax users who attended. If they hold this complimentary seminar again in the Spring you won’t want to miss it.

As frost began to form and the breeze began to slow, it was finally time to click our heels and head home for the holidays. But it won’t be long till we are back out on the road to talk with all of you about implementing your ECMECOSYSTEM and making your information work for you!  Make sure to keep checking our Events calendar to see if we will be blowing into a location near you.

Learn How to Save Your Business Processes at Nexus

If you’ve got paper, mismanaged files, labor-intense and risk-prone processes that you want to fix, you NEED to come to Nexus! Nexus is a two-day Content Management Solutions conference held in Bellevue. This year’s conference is Nov. 3-4.

As the host of the conference, ImageSource brings industry professionals to Bellevue to discuss a variety of topics from scanning and capture to workflow and business process management to storage and records management. A number of organizations like Oracle, IBM, Fujitsu, Kodak and many others will be exhibiting at the conference.

Also this year, there is a session on the ECM Ecosystem. The ECM Ecosystem is a process that explores your current “As Is” business state, and based on a series of interview and prioritization, allows us to make a recommendation on the future state. You don’t want to miss this session!

This two-day conference has four keynote sessions and more than 25 breakout sessions jam-packed with valuable information. There are three tracks – ECM Fast Track for those just starting their ECM journey, Management for management-specific sessions, and Technical for those looking for a more hands-on experience and a deeper look into the technology.

You also don’t want to miss our fabulous evening event Thursday night at Lucky Strike Lanes. There will be food and bowling and you won’t want to miss this!

For a complete look at the conference, visit http://NexusECM.com. Contact the ImageSource Nexus Team at (360) 943-9273 to secure your spot and get a special $100 off discount code!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Kristina Parma
Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

Process Improvements – Leveraging Technology – Content Store

 

ILINX® – Content Store

Simple, Easy, Efficient –

Imagine having information at your fingertips.

The power of a piece of paper?   Often what you need to get your job done exists on a “piece of paper” somewhere other than your very own desk.   Think back to life before working in the Document Imaging world and the amount of time wasted trying to gather information. If that was true for me, even in very high tech companies, imagine how it is for others.    Often the things we need to access are very similar between companies and industries.   We all need access to customer information: invoices, P.O’s, shipping information, approval documentation, etc. etc.

ILINX Content Store provides one place to keep this information and a searching capability  similar to a “google” search for your internal documents.  It is truly one of the most user friendly efficient software that I have seen.   How do you make a decision to begin turning the paper in to “less paper?”   Without a doubt in the long run it will save you time and money.   Two things every company can have more of!

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource 

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.

As Easy as One, Two, Capture

Enterprise. Content. Management (ECM)— “Enterprise content what… Enterprise rental cars?”

People who are not in the ECM/ technology industry are most likely unfamiliar with this three- word term. Just watch our hilarious Street Smarts Video to hear the various answers. This is a phrase that can sound a little intimidating and jarring. I, myself am new to this industry, and I’m not going to lie—right before working at ImageSource I was intimidated. Prior to my start date, I had repetitive thoughts running through my head, “How am I going to learn and master the Enterprise Content Management industry?” But luckily when I began working at ImageSource these thoughts soon disappeared.

Don’t be fooled by the ECM term, a broad description will make understanding this industry possible. ImageSource is a full service Enterprise Content Management solutions provider and integrator. This means we offer services and infrastructure using paperless technology. Everyone has tons of papers, documents and files. This can range from a small doctor’s office that needs to keep track and organize their patient’s health charts, medical history, insurance, etc. to a larger scale such as an entire city in California: organizing, processing and recording thousands of papers a day. ECM comes in by capturing (such as scanning), organizing and storing all these papers which can be easily retrieved even from a remote location.

Real Life Snippet:
Just yesterday I went to the car dealership to pick up our company car after getting it serviced. Like any other business, you receive services, pay for the services, and then get a receipt.  Upon receiving the receipt my first thought was, “I need to make a copy so I have one for my expense report and so that our accountants have a copy as well.” BUT this is where ImageSource comes in. ImageSource offers a product called ILINX®. And keeping up with the times, we have a smart phone app called ILINX® Capture Mobile. All I had to do was grab my iPhone, open up the app, and capture the receipt by taking a picture. I then typed in some data to index the receipt such as the date, location, and name of the company. The image then converted to a pdf and was immediately e-mailed to my own address. Now when I send in my expense report, I have the receipt ready to go.

My brief personal experience shows that we can even hone down to the individual such as you or me to explore the benefits of ECM and its services– all of which makes our daily lives a bit easier.

Tracy Lim
Communications Manager
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.

 

The Beauty of Dealing with Colleges

It has only been a few years since I was in college, and I can still remember those days like it was yesterday. I can remember the warm sunshine, cramming for finals, hanging out with friends, football games, and everything that comes with the college experience.

I went to college out of state and ended up taking some summer and winter courses at local community colleges near my hometown when I was home from school. Naturally I got grades in those classes and wanted those grades sent to my university so they could be counted toward my graduation requirements. However, the process to find out if my grades actually were
transferred over involved multiple phone calls and lots of waiting.

I took some online summer classes at a well-known community college in the area where I’m from. I wanted to have the grades I received in my classes sent to the university I was attending in a different state. I went online, filled out a form, input my credit card information and hit “Submit.” That was the end of it.

After a few weeks, the phone calls started. I called the registrar at my university at least once a week for at least six weeks trying to figure out if they’d received the transcripts in the first place and where they were in the process. After a number of weeks, I checked my unofficial transcripts from my university and the grades from the community college were there.

It would have been nice to have gotten some kind of notification when the university received my transcripts and at various other points in the process. An email would have sufficed.

I know I’m not the only person who has experienced this. There are numerous other universities who handle their transcripts this way. However, there is a solution that I believe will satisfy both the student and the university.

The solution looks at transcripts in a whole new way, processing information when the transcripts arrive at the school. Information is captured off the transcript and a calculator looks at credits earned and automatically performs the calculation. At any point, a student can log into the system and see where their transcripts are in the process. It’s beneficial for universities because they can now process more information, faster, and they can move transcripts more quickly through the queue.

A major California University has implemented this solution at their campus. They are processing more transcripts now than ever before. Their process is automated and students can now be moved throught the queue much faster. Students who are applying as freshmen can now find out faster if they have been accepted to the university. Students who may have attended a community college in the summer (as I did) can now have their grades trasnfered over with ease and be notified where the school is in the process.

I know as a student in college at one point, I definitely would have appreciated a system like this in place.

For additional information on this higher ed solution, check out this link: http://www.imagesourceinc.com/Solutions/Industry/Education/index.htm.

Kristina Parma
Communications Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Calling All SMBs!

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked into my doctor’s office, my dentist’s office, a community college office and seen rows and rows and rows of file folders filled with information about patients, students, customers, etc.

So let’s take the process at my doctor’s office as an example. I had an appointment not too long ago and my insurance information had changed. The receptionist made a photocopy of my new insurance card and then printed out about half a dozen new pages for me to fill out. Then she input the information into her computer and filed the forms into my folder.

I think about how much paper they use, how much space they need to store all those documents, and how much they’re spending in time and labor.

All small- to medium-sized business – there’s a product that can decrease the time spent on capturing that information, retrieval and can securely store your documents! ILINX® Content Store was designed with SMBs in mind. It captures documents and stores them securely for easy retrieval down the road. What’s awesome about this product is that it installs in a matter of minutes and users can be trained in about 30 minutes!

Kristina Farma
ImageSource, Inc.

Are Your Documents Controlling You?

As your business grows and expands, so does the paper that supports it. Important information can easily be lost or duplicated because the paper has gotten so out of control.  Your employees are spending hours that could be spent on growing your business even more on manually handling, searching and coping that paper mess.

Now there is an economical, paperless way to do business! ILINX® software gives you the ability to scan, securely store, search, send or share all of your business content.  It doesn’t just have to originate from paper either- you can import Microsoft Office files, email, digital media or just about any other type of file.

Another benefit that ILINX offers is that it works hand in hand with your other business applications. You have the ability to be able to click a button and it will instantly pull up any documentation that relates to what’s currently up on your screen. Without ever leaving your business application! Think about how efficient this will make your office- seamlessly joining together your paperless office with paperless processes.

By having a digital office, it also will allow you secure and quick input and access to all business documents- from anywhere. Any computer, any browser. You will be in complete and total control of your documents. ILINX is also very reliable, scalable and manageable. It is designed to have minimal impact on your IT resources, its user friendly and easy to maintain over time.

Interested in learning more about the technology and making your office go paperless? Check out our webinar:

Jennifer Jepson
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!”

 

ECM Moves to Simplicity

A trend worthy of mention in the ECM industry is the move to simpler-to-use products. ImageSource is answering the demand for these streamlined products, not only from an integration point of view, but also by developing our ILINX product line. What is really worth noting is that the products mentioned below are streamlined without sacrificing performance. Let’s explore what simple ECM means for organizations.
Users
From a user’s perspective, ECM is becoming more intuitive, accessible and affordable. Heavyweight capture players like Kofax are applying their expertise to products like Kofax Express, geared for small to mid-sized organizations. It is functional without requiring a lot of training or know-how. Another capture application, ILINX Capture, is web-based, enabling capture at any desktop browser. It has a mobile app, ILINX Capture Mobile for capture without the desktop or laptop. In yet another mobile development, ImageSource recently announced the launch of their ILINX Tablet, the first business-centric tablet to hit the market. Users also appreciate ILINX Integrate, which image enables their line-of-business systems. They can view content from within their primary application without having to open a content repository.

Administrators and IT Professionals
Thin client apps, like ILINX Capture, allow for administration, deployment and maintenance from a central source. Graphical user interfaces allow workflows to be created effortlessly, automating rules and decisions. ILINX Content Store is a supercharged, yet streamlined content repository that is as easy manage as it is to master—and it’s also a web app. The simplicity of all of the products mentioned above mean fewer resources are spent on training and administration.

Organizations
Simple ECM benefits the enterprise on many levels. First, fewer resources are used to deploy and manage information systems. Secondly, as complexity decreases, user adoption improves. Lastly, as ECM is distributed, organizations are able to ingest content from a much wider variety of sources, sooner, so information is available more immediately.

Carol Carbone Jellison
Creative Director, ImageSource