ImageSource was the privately contracted vendor for a California County Assessor’s Office that embarked upon a major project designed to create a paperless work environment. The project processed and imaged 25 million pages of file documents. Documents were scanned at the rate of 125 images per minute, 8 hours a day. The County also implemented day-forward imaging rather than filing incoming paper documents. The entire project was completed in approximately one year.
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.
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:
We just rounded out the year 2010 and with a New Year, come New Year’s Resolutions! Many people make personal resolutions whether that’s to lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier, etc. But the sad truth of the matter that we all know is that many people don’t keep those resolutions or bail out after a few short months.
So how about choosing a resolution that is going to really stick?
It’s still amazing to me how many organizations are still using paper documents. They have to search for documents, pull files, re-file, look for misfiled documents, recreate lost documents, etc. What if I told you that you could capture that information from the paper and convert it into an electronic image and store it for later retrieval?
This process has the potential to save your organization substantial amounts of time, money, labor, resources, etc.
There are a multitude of reasons organizations look to document imaging for their paper-based information. A few of those reasons include information accessibility, security and compliance, and savings in a variety of areas like storage and resources. According to AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), it costs $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document. Think about how much you can potentially save with document imaging.
You might be thinking that this process will take loads of time and money. If you consider the long-term benefits of creating electronic files, the investment is worth it, as long as you carefully plan and analyze what needs to be done.
I would highly recommend working with a team who has experience in this endeavor and who can help you with document prep, scanning, indexing and storing the documents.
Make 2011 count and get working on your “new” New Year’s Resolution: Document Imaging.
Corporate Communications Manager
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.
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.
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
Every day at ImageSource I use the technology that we help implement at other organizations. It helps remind me why our Customer Partners get pretty excited about information processes that get transformed through ECM technology. Instead of printing, shuffling paper, waiting, shuffling some more, waiting, chasing down the paper, copying, shuffling and filing, we can complete a process efficiently, accurately and have a digital record.
It’s time to submit my expense report, so I’ll use that for an example.
I gather a few paper receipts, and scan them on my Fujitsu Scansnap desktop scanner using ILINX Capture software. Using a desktop browser, ILINX Capture allows me to add indexing to this batch of documents, so I can easily search for them.
My other receipts are already PDF images that I captured using the camera functionality on my iPhone and a handy app called ILINX Capture Mobile. It lets me turn my paper receipts to digital images on the fly, and attach keywords to them. (This is especially convenient when traveling.)
I merge my PDFs into one document using Adobe Acrobat, and go to our intranet site for where I find a LiquidOffice eForm designed for ImageSource expense reports. Utilizing pull-downs, pop-up calendars and automatic calculators, I quickly enter essential data about each receipt, attach my PDF with receipt images and hit submit. After the package is automatically routed to my supervisor for approval, ILINX Connect for eForms seamlessly transports it to Oracle Image & Process Management system.
Our Accounting staff views the documents right from within their accounting software system using ILINX Integrate, without having to go into IPM. Should my expense report documents ever need to, they could be sent through an IPM workflow or packaged and migrated out using ILINX Export.
It is liberating to work in an automated environment. Instead of shuffling paper, my time is free to do things that actually require my expertise, of which report submittal is not one.
Creative Director, ImageSource
The three word tagline was chosen because it so accurately describes the critical comments of an effective Enterprise Content Management system.
The more effectively an organization can get information into their system the better they are able to manage that information. Critical content comes into organizations every day. How are you capturing your information? How effectively are you managing all types of content (paper, electronic content, video, pictures, etc)? What technology are you embracing to enable electronic information? Fax machines? MFPs? Desktop scanners? Production scanners? Because Capture is the “on-ramp” to any ECM system, having the right tools (ILINX Capture Products) will enable the success of your ECM system.
Seamless integration with line-of-business systems is essential for user adoption, simple end-user training and overall Change Management. With the use of ILINX Connect products, organizations can access all critical documents from one central ECM repository without ever leaving the LOB system they are familiar with. ILINX successfully integrates ECM systems with SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and others.
Connectivity between different ECM systems is also essential in order to maximize the benefits of all the various technologies. ILINX integrates technologies such as SharePoint, Oracle, LiquidOffice, Kofax, and more.
Business operations depend on getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Having the right tools to access that information easily is the functionality built into the ILINX Share products. Organizations must be able to export targeted information effectively for public disclosure requests, specific agenda items, invoices, and much, much more. Having that information easy to retrieve in a well organized, usable format is essential.
ILINX products are the cornerstone of many successful ECM solutions. Visit the customer success stories page on our website and see how organizations, both public and private, are creating effective ECM solutions utilizing ILINX technologies.
Corporate Communications Director
Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) gave excellent presentations on how they have adopted SharePoint solutions. Each took different approaches in deploying the platform. Kraft focused on Web Content Management and CCE deployed using Business Product Online Services BPOS for employee team sites, collaboration, search, calendar shares and business intellegence.
In both cases the organizations selected SharePoint as not only a technology but a platform to enable their employees to engage more collaboratively. Both organizations are eager to continue building out cutting edge ECM, WCM, BI and Social media applications on SharePoint 2010.
Kraft Foods Digital Marketing group led by Rose Moda worked with Blackwell Consulting and Razorfish to deliver an extensbile, flexible and highly scalable web content management platform. The customer facing websites are crisp, easily updated, brand flexible and powered by SharePoint.
Kraft is the second largest domestic food manufacturer and distributor with an annual revenues of 42B. They have some of the best known brands that you find in your refrigerator or pantry everyday. Including Maxwell House, Oscar Meyer, Oreo, Philedelphia Cream Cheese and Nabisco. 40 of the Kraft brands are over 100 years old. Kraft has 168 manufacturing and food distribution facilities worldwide.
With 270 sites globally and 3 different (web) Content Management Systems, Kraft forcasts a $2.2M cost saving over 2 years using the SharePoint ECM platform. They are currently running 64-bit versions of MS SharePoint 07 (MOSS) and MS Commerce Server 07.
Kraft wanted the new platform to provide fast, easy publishing. In order give the sites clean brand awareness – reusable rich media web parts were developed that could be skinned to provide flexibility and uniquness across specific brand sites. The platform had to be scalable and bullet proof, Frank Perkins from the technical team was part of the team that helped make sure the infrastructure was rock solid.
Maria DeLuna, Technical Director at Razorfish (a Microsoft company), was responsible for leading the design effort. Key objectives were driven by the fact that each brand wanted flexibility ‘no strict templating‘. This is not an easy task considering the re-usability goal that was necessary to gain ROI. Out of the box skins & web parts were used to provide key internet marketing tools for polling, customer registration, product rating/reviews and newsletter functions. By doing this each brand’s marketing group attained feature rich integration with no backend development work needed, this speeds deployment by not having to wait for development to code standard functions. They achieved full creative layout control over were these webparts could be placed, this gave them more flexibility to what marketing does best, ‘create a vision’.
Web Parts Generate XML -> Apply XSLT -> Add Form Ctrls -> Render HTML
You can have one web part for navigation but present it differently on a brand’s site by using CSS. For instance one recipe webpart by all brands don’t look the same. Besides who wants to go to a Cool Whip recipe and have it presented the same way an A-1 Steak Sauce recipe is presented.
Kraft used a flexible template model that could incorporate standard content items but seperate them from presentation UI to let each brand have its own identity. This cuts way down on what I call excessive wheel building. Functional content items are bundled in a content group so they can be shared across sites and customized using CSS and XHTML to give them a unique look and feel. Gene Hong from Blackwell gave a technical overview of the web part properties and content publishing process.
Coca-Cola Enterprises has 75K employees, spread across 431 facilities worldwide. 23 – 30K of those employees are knowledge workers connected by PC’s, Laptops and Mobile computing devices. They have 4 distinct lines of drinks, Sparkling (coke), Energy (monster), Juice, Water (dasani) and Tea. Brett Kirkland (Priniciple Architect), Shahira Elsohy and Jonathan Phillips (Public Affairs) presented “The Sky’s the Limit – Journey to the Cloud”
CCE decided in 2008 to that it needed a 21st century communications platform. They wanted to consolidate the communications infrastructure to reduce the number of vendors providing those services, this drives ROI. They needed real world collaboration for employees, thus increasing the social networking culture between groups. The vision was to establish digital communications as the key enabler to engage employees to drive sustainably collaboration and ongoing innovation. Employees have good ideas and valuable knowledge, connecting them better would give CCE a competitive advantage.
In March of 2008 CCE announced that it had selected Microsoft for its integrated communication and collaboration platform using Online Services for SharePoint, Exchange and Office. By moving these technologies to the Cloud and taking advantage of a SaaS licensing model they gained ROI and efficiency by off loading support, ongoing hardware and software upgrades and daily maintenance.
- Key success factors included:
Active and Visible Executive Support – critical
- Market as an ongoing change management campaign well before launch
- Simplified Integration
- Created two-way communications
Chief Technology Officer
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.
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.
Corporate Communications Manager
Is ECM for me? This is the question each organization needs to ask themselves before implementing a Enterprise Content Management solution. I came across an interesting post by Ian Llado of Optical Image Technology titled “Six Considerations in Choosing an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Solution for your Legal Practice” that addressed this. His descriptions were more specific to legal offices and legal documents, but they can really be applied to any organization. Below are a few ideas he presented, as well as a few of my own.
1. Ease of the System
The easier, the better. Customers are going to want something that is easy to use. If employees have to learn a whole new process and new technology, it better be as simple as possible. Change in an organization can be very stressful and difficult for some employees, especially if the new technology is complicated. It’s good to provide customers with a solutions that is simple, as well as offer training and instruction about the system they are receiving.
2. Leveraging Existing Software
In today’s economy, everyone is looking for ways to cut back where they can. Many companies already have some technology in place, they just don’t know how to use it. Or, if they have multiple technologies, they don’t know how to use them together. This is where hiring an ECM integrator can be very valuable. It’s good to hire an integrator who is knowledgeable in many different technologies so that if you have Microsoft, Oracle and Kofaxproducts, the integrator will be able to help you decide how best to utilize each of those, as well as how to use them together. In many cases, there is no need for a complete ECM makeover. Many companies already have the necessary technology in place.
The amount of functionality customers need will vary depending on their needs and situation. Some of the examples Llado presented were indexing and retrieval, workflow, Web-based systems, scalability, and retention and destruction schedules. All of these are important and can be applied. It really just depends what companies are looking for in an ECM solution.
ECM training is one of the most crucial components of implementing an Enterprise Content Management solution. Choosing a vendor that offers extensive training of your new system is always valuable. Some vendors will even train customers at their own sites.
6. Customer Needs
You as a customer need to evaluate what your company’s needs are. The more precise you can be, the better. If you can tell the vendor exactly what your company is looking for, they will be able to give you a more specific solution that can satisfy your needs. Llado discusses security as one of the things to consider, but again, it’s all based on customer needs.
7. The Bottom Line
The whole idea behind implementing an ECM system is to streamline your business processes and make everything much easier and compliant. Other benefits could be saved staff time, reduction in employees, etc. However, may companies measure success through their return on investment (ROI). The faster you can see a return, the better.
If you’re still having trouble deciding if Enterprise Content Management is for you, attending an ECM conference can sometimes be very valuable. NEXUS ’09 will be offering a breakout session titled “What You Need to Evaluate Before Installing an ECM System.” To register for this event or to get more information about NEXUS ’09, visit www.NexusECM.com.
Corporate Communications Manager
The Department of Health and Human Services officials announced last week that they will commit sizable resources to help state and local governments, families and healthcare organizations prepare for the fall flu season in light of the ongoing H1N1 flu outbreak.
Some of the grant funds will be used toward systems and functions that will help improve how state hospitals and public health departments are able to investigate and track information.
Implementing the right tools can help in gaining immediate access to data and distribution of facts.
Now, with ILINX Capture a simple click of a button can capture any type of critical information about H1N1 at any desktop–from paper electronic documents, from email to faxes–and deliver it where ever you need it to go.
And when we say simple, we really mean it. A web-based capture application, ILINX Capture is simple to administer.