Meeting today’s competitive challenges: are you maximizing your information?

Enterprise architecture is transforming the way universities manage and access student information. The movement is toward flexible, SOA-based services that result in more adaptable business processes, better collaboration and more manageable systems. Universities are competing more than ever to admit students that meet specific criteria. Expedient access to the right information during the enrollment cycle and beyond is crucial.

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Meet the Oracle WebCenter Team: Loren Weinberg, VP of Product Management and Strategy

The Oracle WebCenter team includes some of the best minds in the industry. In its WebCenter newsletter, Oracle is featuring a series of articles introducing readers to some of the team’s key players.

In this edition, the spotlight is on Loren Weinberg, who joined the Oracle WebCenter team last September, following Oracle’s acquisition of FatWire. As vice president of product management and strategy, Weinberg drives product strategy, direction, messaging, and go-to-market execution for Oracle WebCenter, always with a focus on delivering real-world success for customers.

Oracle WebCenter — from Web experience management, to portal, enterprise content management and social collaboration, the technologies can truly deliver unique value for customers and help them drive customer engagement across online channels.

Read the full story at Oracle WebCenter newsletter.

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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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 Next Killer App for ECM

Enterprise Content Management for the most part has become mainstream business.  The ability to scan documents from remote locations has been made increasingly easier by applications such as ILINX Capture and other web based scanning applications.  Indexing documents has been simplified with ODBC compliance and the maturity of systems integrators capabilities of integrating with ERP table structures.  System standards have allowed for ECM repositories to interface with ERP sessions where the users can work heads down in their legacy application and retrieve / view images from their desktop with little to no knowledge of the ECM application – see ILINX Integrate.

Accounts Payable has been the traditional starting point for most organizations in testing the waters for document imaging because it has a definable process, set business rules, and shows a reasonable ROI depending on the number of received images, discrepancies, and time it takes knowledge workers to process invoices.  Other repeatable processes include Contracts, Sales Order Processing, Legal, Shipping / Receiving, and HR Personnel Files.

What will be the next Killer App?  In the past 2 years we at ImageSource have seen a great deal of consideration in HR on-Boarding process.   Understandably, it costs a lot of money to bring in new employees and involves a great deal of resources.  From the application process, to the processing of I-9 information, setting up payroll and direct deposit, insurance, issuance of equipment (laptop, cell phone, scanner) it is no slight undertaking.  Standard ECM solutions as well as products from Autonomy (see Liquid Office), this process can become automated and affordable for most organizations.

From there, where do we go?  With the adoption of smart phones, almost everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times.  This can allow for the capturing of data – snapshot of a document, whiteboard drawing, and presentations can be captured immediately and then fed into the indexing process for ECM.  This expands the reach of content capture and protects the loss of important information.  Technical architecture is now compatible and flexible to allow for almost anything.  Nexus 2010 will provide some great ideas and visions for upcoming solutions.

What is next?  Feedback is welcome.

Jeff Blissett

Senior Account Executive

ImageSource, Inc.

jeffb@imagesourceinc.com

Infonomics Article ECM

Dan Hooper of Integrated Services Inc. recently contributed and article to the July.August issue of Infonomics Magazine.

July.August 2009 Cover

July.August 2009 Cover

The article focuses on the importance of developing a strategy for managing information and content.  So often organizations focus on the technological features of an ECM platform or software solution and not the business processes and people that will need to adopt change in order to successfuly implement a new ECM system.  Whether your looking to implement a Document Management, Content Management, Document Capture, eForms, Web Content Management, Business Process Automation or Document Imaging solution it is important to understand that a key difference between success and failure is user adoption through effective change management and executive leadership.  You can dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s on the technical front evaluating a software solution but if you don’t understand how it will affect the user community, what policies and procedures you will need to revise and how you will market the solution internally you could end up winning the battle and loosing the war.

Another key element to a successful ECM strategy is a committment to future upgrades, enhancements, technical support and ongoing training.  A well managed ECM strategy should constantly evolve over time.  Many organizations who invest in an ECM solution from an initial purchase and implementation standpoint do manage to meet many of the goals and objectives of the original project.  The challenge comes when the project is complete, users are working with the new solution and the implementation partner has fulfilled its obligations.  At this point many ECM solutions are not upgraded consistently, new employees don’t recieve the same level of training and new technologies are not incorporated to enhance the functionality of the solution.

I look forward to reading the next column’s on this topic.  Thanks to Dan Hooper and AIIM for publishing this article.  Many of these topics will be explored and discussed during Nexus 2009 held in Bellevue, WA. November 2,3

Shadrach White
Chief Technology Officer
ImageSource, Inc.
ILINX Capture

Build vs. Buy

Over the course of my last 12 years in the Enterprise Content Management space, I have seen many progressions and changes.  When the industry was in its infancy stages, we relied on specialized PCI cards to drive the scanners at rated speeds, high resolution graphics cards to display clear images on a monitor, and every system installation needed holy water sprinkled on it to ensure that there weren’t any compatibility issues or conflicts with the operating system.  There were hundreds of software vendors that claimed to be the premier document imaging / document management / scanning / (whatever new term that AIIM came out with) system.  Systems were sold, installed, and many failed.  We have seen progressions where the hundreds of vendors have consolidated to a few leaders that are recognized as true ECM platforms.  We have seen Microsoft enter the market with SharePoint which has driven the need for a new wave of products and services to bridge the gaps in its functionality.  Along with these progressions and changes with the vendors, we have also seen how internal IT departments look at ECM.

In the beginning, there was many components, many moving parts, and technology that the IT staff wasn’t readily familiar with.  As the first and second generation systems were installed, the product sets matured where the IT staff technology professionals could be trained in a platform that was sustainable.  As this progressed software vendors could switch their focus from making the systems work in a rudimentary sense, and switch the focus to the development of features and functionality that led credence to aspects such as compliance, accountability, governance, and security.  The successful Tier 1 vendors (see Gartner report for leaders) now have scalable products that address all aspects of ECM – document imaging / document management / web content management / forms management / records management / workflow – Business Process Management.  With this, training is now readily available to equip any IT staff with the tools and resources to maintain and build upon systems where compliance, accountability, governance, and security are all part of the core.  Knowledge and education are now key determinants for success.

With this knowledge and education comes empowerment to the IT staff.  In the industry today, I am seeing an increasing number of corporate IT staffs choosing to forego their existing systems and internally build components that allow them to store, retrieve, maintain, and manage scanned images and data.   I understand that there are many talented programmers and systems architects in the workplace that are capable of building database management functionality and that can build user interfaces that allow for searching file structures.  What I don’t totally understand is the value to organizations when a top resource is consumed in developing a product / system and maintaining and supporting the product / system.  It has taken Oracle Stellent, IBM FileNET, EMC Documentum, OpenText (to name a few) each over 15 years to come up with a product offering that is stable and that meets 85% of most organization needs without customization.  Why reinvent the wheel when there are cost effective, proven solutions that can automate business processes that will show efficiencies and pay for themselves over time?  There are many technology focused companies that have invested multi-millions of dollars, and many years  in developing methodology and products.   I don’t know how an organization that is focused on their specific expertise – retail, manufacturing, healthcare, banking, can morph into a software development / systems delivery organization.

Build vs. Buy – no correct answer, but definitely worth discussing.

Feedback welcome.

Jeff Blissett
Senior Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.
www.imagesourceinc.com

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