George Harot

George Harot
George is a Product Marketing Director for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, based in London, UK.

ECM Success in the Real World, Part 2: Email Management

email management

Welcome to the second in a series of blogs highlighting real-world enterprises that have adopted innovative, new approaches to generating measurable success with ECM. This blog turns the spotlight on an organization that’s effectively managing massively growing volumes of email to mitigate risk and cost. As we all know, unabated email growth has become a thorn in the side of most organizations. Annual growth rates of 500 – 1000% are common. Consequently, the traditional “keep it forever” mentality just doesn’t fly anymore; company after company has discovered it’s a one-way ticket to harried records managers, irritated legal staff, and runaway storage costs. What’s the recipe for success, though? One of my favorite customer panels from Enterprise World this year featured pipeline and terminal operator NuStar Energy sharing their journey to optimal email management. Their back-story is fairly conventional. As a relatively young company, NuStar had devoted most of their early operational efforts to fundamental, “keep the lights on” activities; there wasn’t the resources or bandwidth available for developing and implementing Records and Information Management (RIM) policies. In my experience, that’s actually a pretty common refrain for many organizations, regardless of their maturity. And the outcome was predictable, as well. Leaving the end users to manage their own email footprint resulted in rapidly rising storage costs and concerns from Legal and Records Management (RM) about locating information for litigation and compliance purposes. Simplifying is the Key to Success Time was of the essence for NuStar, and the management team’s strategy for bringing their email challenge under control embodied a novel, new way of thinking about implementing ECM. Rather than attempt a traditional ECM integration that blanketed every facet of the enterprise, they identified a specific, tangible issue—email management—and set about sourcing and implementing the appropriate technology and best practices to solve it. Everything, from policy development to change management to user training, was directed toward that defined goal. And, honestly, the results reflect that singular, focused mission. NuStar has been able to realize optimal governance by integrating ECM deep into the email process. They also enhanced productivity by providing a new generation of employees with the options to work the way that’s best for them. There’s much more, behind the success of NuStar’s story—including the OpenText technology that enabled them to achieve a light-touch, multi-tiered email management program and lay an ECM foundation that’s being systematically extended throughout the organization. Take a few minutes to read all about NuStar’s dramatic advances here. As an aside, it’s interaction like this that has me so excited about Enterprise World every year. Being able to experience first-hand how one organization has addressed and conquered email challenges with a solution that makes RM, legal, and business users happy is worth its weight in gold. If you weren’t at Enterprise World this year, start by exploring the NuStar story above, then mark your calendar and plan on attending Enterprise World 2017 in Toronto next July. There’s plenty more where this came from! Also, read the blog on ECM Success in the Real World, Part 1: Document Management.

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ECM Success in the Real World, Part 1: Document Management

ECM

With everyone turning their attention back to work after enjoying the hazy days of summer, I thought it would be a good time for a series of blogs that rekindle the discussion around success with ECM, what it means, and how to achieve it. The reason: Regardless of your type of organization, positioning your ECM environment to drive digital transformation and generate the most value for the enterprise has to be a priority over the rest of the decade. For many, it will mean the difference between competitive triumph and faded irrelevance. For starters, let’s head back to July, where our annual Enterprise World conference offered a wide variety of business and technical insights into the why and how of ECM success. As is always the case, some of the best came from sessions featuring OpenText customers. These are the folks who have already integrated elements of OpenText™ Content Suite into their existing infrastructure and made tangible progress toward realizing their ECM goals. They’ve experienced the real-world opportunities, challenges, and gains first-hand. Integrated real estate company DDR Corp. is a perfect example. Headquartered just outside of Cleveland, DDR owns and manages over 113 million square feet of retail space across the US. Efficiently servicing their large pool of tenants means managing a sizable amount of legally binding documents, as well as coordinating the physical and electronic triggers related to each. In addition, as a publicly traded, self-administered REIT, DDR has extensive compliance requirements. Their road to ECM success through digital document management is textbook. IT VP Kim Scharf has been visionary in driving process productivity through ECM technology. She’s spearheaded a multi-year initiative that’s transformed the company from literally chasing folders full of paper around the office to a finely tuned digital environment that meets the needs of executives, sales, legal, record managers, and the back-office support functions that work with the data. For DDR, ECM success is defined as a paperless document management environment that promotes efficiency and optimal customer service while meeting compliance obligations. And Kim believes it was achieved because—yes—they partnered with OpenText, but more importantly, because they put people, not technology, first. From executive sponsorship through needs assessment, change management, and training, stakeholders across the company were integral to defining and implementing every stage. That’s just one of their innovative approaches. Explore their story and find out more about digital transformation and Enterprise Content Management.

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The Rise of the Machines

EDI

Terminator’s Skynet and OpenText Core: I’ve recently identified some striking similarities between the two……the question is should we be concerned? I love the Terminator films and their depiction of technology running amok in the future. Of course, it’s horrifying to think about what could happen if physical machines controlled by one central system turned against humans, but – as a tech-head – it’s also fascinating to consider the technology behind it, and compare that to where we sit today. Just for fun, in this blog let’s explore some of the parallels between the fictitious Skynet and OpenText Core. Skynet vs. OpenText Core In the Terminator films, Skynet is a Global Digital Defence Network, one which eventually achieves self-awareness and begins a nuclear war. Yes, markedly different from OpenText Core, which allows business users to manage, access, and share information and collaborate from any device..….unless, that is, you consider it from a pure “knowledge is power” perspective. With hundreds of thousands of people uploading critical business information into one central system, imagine the combined knowledge that’s stored in OpenText Core. What secrets could it hold? What power could it give anyone, or anything that’s capable of mining it for its value? Ok, and back in the real world now, we call this capability “Analytics”, and it’s a big focus for us and our customers today, and likely to be even more so in the future. Constantly Evolving Like the liquid metal T1000 Terminator, which learned from the previous generation of Arnie-style T800 Terminators, OpenText Core is evolving. Built on 25 years of OpenText leadership in information governance and compliance, Core is seamlessly integrated with OpenText Content Suite. It has been built from the ground up to function as a next generation, cloud-based ECM service and is continually evolving – partly based on feedback in user forums to ensure it keeps getting better and better. After being available for only a year, Core has already had 12 updates to enhance its power. Difficult to Destroy If human resistance fighters (or, perhaps more likely, a natural disaster) were able to locate the source of OpenText Core and destroy it, they’d be sorely disappointed to find that Core would just carry on as normal. If you destroy one node it will instantly “heal” (just like the liquid metal Terminators!). With Core, physical hardware duplication in multiple hosting sites would simply and seamlessly route the information and administration through another node. Core has never gone offline. Core is self-healing and always available. Postscript – to save you the effort of leaving a comment to highlight the flaws in my arguments here, I’ll point out a few inconsistencies now below: To allay fears, it is indeed impossible for any one source to access all the information stored in Core. It’s securely encrypted and managed in completely separate tenants for each customer, so, in truth, it wouldn’t form the best source of centralized human knowledge for AI to farm. Besides, we all know the internet itself would be an easier source of information for AI to turn machines against humans. Core is built for business, so the information it holds would be more about corporate knowledge and intellectual property than matters of national defence. Truth is, I can’t see the collaborative efforts of Company X’s marketing department being all that detrimental to mankind’s survival. In the film series, it all started to go wrong for humans on August 29, 2003, when Skynet became self-aware. I’m not sure when Core will become self-aware and it’s currently not on the development roadmap, but who knows – maybe that feature is being held back for a big announcement at Enterprise World in July. So, yes, there are a few leaps in both faith and logic in my argument – but this was all just a bit of fun. We all know this could never really happen. Right?

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Getting More Than You Bargained For

matketing optimization

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and I’ve ended up buying in to a new gaming platform. Last year on Cyber Monday I bought a 50″ Sony Bravia TV. It wasn’t the latest model or top of the range, no 3D glasses or 4K – just a normal 50″ TV. But, as I was setting it up, I discovered USB ports at the back which allow me to connect a webcam to make video Skype calls, and also record HD movies and TV directly onto a USB stick.  Both those capabilities were unadvertised when I bought the TV, so as a piece of hardware it’s already exceeded all expectations. But, it gets better.  Last night, an over the air software update added a new ‘PlayStation Now’ menu button on the TV home screen. This gives me access to hundreds of PlayStation games online. The TV that I bought 1 year ago has added new functionality that offers me a new way to consume gaming content. I already subscribe to Spotify for Music and Netflix for films. So now I’m being tempted to subscribe to play PS3 games, even though I haven’t got a PlayStation. For gaming, I’ve already bought into the Nintendo Wii U platform because it has the best family friendly multiplayer games, and I’ve got two children, 7 and 10 years old. I had to make an upfront investment in that Wii U gaming hardware and, up until now, I’ve been tied to buying games released on the Nintendo Platform. Now with the software update that appeared on my TV last night, I get to play Sony PS3 games. My only up-front investment in hardware is a Dualshock4 controller. So the up-front investment in hardware and long term commitment to one supplier (Nintendo) has been broken by Sony’s introduction of PlayStation Gaming as a Service, delivered unbidden into to my living room direct onto my TV. And, they’re making it really easy for me to try before I buy (1 week subscription free).  This is a great example of consumer software developing and innovating at high-speed and disrupting the market. What happens in consumer software also has a knock-on effect for Enterprise Software. When consumers go to work they’re now expecting to see the same speed of innovation in their Enterprise Software. They expect the software tools they use in their day to day jobs to get better and better over time. They expect new features and capabilities to appear and just start working in an intuitive way. Often they don’t even know they need those features until they appear on the screen one day, offering them a better way to work. OpenText Core is currently an Enterprise-ready Document Management and collaboration service in the cloud. The ability to constantly add new capabilities is one of the great advantages of SaaS versus traditional on-premises software installations. And, over the last year, Core subscribers have seen many new capabilities added – and it’s going to get even better. I’ve seen what’s planned for Core between now and March 2016 and it’s really exciting. Existing Core users will be delighted. If you subscribe now you can get a free trial with no commitment or credit card details required. – Hint: subscribe to the Enterprise version free for 90 days – it’s got more features and capabilities than the other versions, and that’s where the best features are coming over the next 3 months. So what did I buy this Cyber Monday? A PlayStation Dualshock4 Controller.

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A Great First Impression as Travellers Arrive at Las Vegas

I was delighted to see the OpenText Core banners in the arrivals area as I came through Las Vegas airport today. It certainly elevates the OpenText brand and spreads the good word about Core. The OpenText banners manage to make a memorable impression at an airport where the sheer number of other brands competing for mind-space is mind boggling. We’re competing with rows of screens depicting beautiful airbrushed models enjoying luxury brands with the colour contrast turned up to max. The OpenText banner campaign uses blanket coverage at every baggage reclaim carousel at Las Vegas airport, and I think that’s more effective than having a dispersed advertising campaign across the airport. It’s like a concentrated triple hit of espresso versus a long skinny late diluted with milky froth and it makes a great first Impression as travellers arrive at Las Vegas. OpenText also has only one chance to make a good first impression when it comes to Core itself. In a world where gratification is immediate, you have mere seconds to captivate someone and demonstrate how a product or service can be of use to them. Core is instantly usable and that will become immediately apparent at Enterprise World, because it’s the platform being used to share all the presentations with the attendees. Core allows Enterprise World attendees who see presentations which captures their imagination (and there will be many) to share them with colleagues and friends who weren’t able to be there in person. They will be able to then share, comment and collaborate on presentations using Core. And did I mention that Core looks good too? But that’s a story for another day.

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How many Clouds are enough to Archive Effectively? At Enterprise World, you’ll see the Answer is…One

Imagine if your IT department announced that it had launched an automatic new cloud archiving system to house all your business emails in the cloud and let you to access them from your email program of choice. No more “mailbox is full” messages. No need to delete large attachments to stay within memory limits. Less drama when you lose your laptop or your laptop needs upgrading. All your emails will be instantly available on your new hardware. Then picture the following month your IT admin announces that they’ve created a second cloud archive system. This time for the files and documents you use to conduct day-to-day business. You’ll have access to all your files and documents across multiple devices–complete with version control so that you can recover an old version, if needed. Pretty sweet! But hold on…the next month, those industrious IT folks delight you further with a third archive repository. This one dedicated to your SAP related data and documents. It introduces new and useful features such as displaying thumbnail views of documents right in your SAP application, and all relevant documents are dynamically presented exactly where and when you need them in your business process. In the fourth month (why is this starting sound like a Christmas carol?), your prolific IT admin team announce an archive cloud which operates behind the scenes to tighten security and governance for your BPM data and documents. Each cloud archive system on its own is fantastic in its own right, but when you put them together, you’ve got four separate systems in the cloud; four logins, four places to search to find what you want, four siloes of information not integrated with each other. You can search them from their native apps, but wouldn’t it be great to have a central place to archive? That’s the thinking behind OpenText Archive Center, Cloud Edition. It’s an enterprise archiving service running in the OpenText Cloud as a public cloud service. Best of all, it draws on our extensive experience in archiving methodologies and technologies to be fully enterprise-class and scalable to meet your needs. You can start archiving SAP content today; expand to email and files tomorrow; and, when you’re ready, expand your enterprise archiving further by connecting to other file types in other systems using open standards. All your enterprise content–in one archive system in the cloud. I’m hoping you’ll be able to join me at Enterprise World 2015 as I present a breakout session ECM-405 Product Update: OpenText Archive Center Has Launched! – specifically about the archiving challenges that businesses face, and how the introduction of Archive Center Cloud Edition helps alleviate these issues.

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Enterprise World Training: Prepare Yourself for the Next Five Years

customer experience

A long, long time ago, someone told me that everything you know now will be useless in five years. I remember it distinctly because I, in my youthful naiveté, just couldn’t believe it to be true. While it still seems a tad over-simplistic, as the years have rolled by and I look back on my own career, I can see that maybe it wasn’t that far wide of the mark. Way back in the ‘80s, I trained for four years to become a fully certified draughtsman. With Rotring pen and stencils in hand, I learned a vocational skill that surely would serve me for a lifetime. But within a year, the skills that I had spent so long honing were rendered superfluous with the introduction of AutoCAD. I had just been introduced to digital disruption and had to re-learn my trade on software to remain in the game. Jump to the ‘90s and I was working in Telecoms, where wave after wave of new technology replaced previous versions within a few years: E&M to DASS, ISDN to ADSL, pagers to cell phones. Then to the 2000s, when the teams I worked with at Canon were constantly driving new cycles of innovation to remain competitive in an evolving business landscape: cameras jumped from film to digital, standalone photocopiers became connected MFPs, paper shuffling morphed to digital processes. You often don’t even see it when you’re caught up in the momentum of an era, but the bottom line is: You have to keep moving to stay ahead. At Enterprise World 2015, an all-encompassing program of training and education is available to those seeking to stay ahead of the digital disruption curve. There’s something for everyone, from end users to developers to LOB leaders to executives interested in best practices in Enterprise Information Management strategy and driving user adoption. Looking for insight on the nuts and bolts of extending ECM into back-office lead applications? We’ve got that. Developing an architecture to maximize web and social user experiences? That’s here, too. The list goes on and on. Personally, I’m looking forward to attending the full-day training session on Auto-Classification, a technology that I believe will have an exponential impact over the next few years as enterprises strive to organize and extract value from the massive amounts of content they control. But that may not be your cup of tea. Take a few moments to ask yourself where you want to be in five years. I’ll almost guarantee there’s a training session to help bring it one step closer at Enterprise World 2015.

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Time for a new Laptop

I’m in the market for a new laptop. My current home model is six years old and the Windows XP OS runs like an old dog. It’s got a 250 GB HDD that is so full I can’t even defrag it. It’s only used for personal email, Office documents and surfing the net, so I guess I could spend a bit of time and effort going through six years-worth of old documents, files and emails, deleting those that are no longer needed, backing up, wiping, reinstalling Windows, and give the thing a fresh start. But that requires effort and, like most people, I’ll take the path of least resistance. It’s far easier for me to buy a new laptop on Amazon. With a faster processor and a 1 TB HDD I can solve my storage problems instantly for the reasonable cost of £300. What’s more, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up, which makes it perfect timing. I could easily transfer everything from the old 250 GB drive on to my new, much more spacious one in a folder called ‘Old Laptop’. Heck, that’s what I did when I upgraded from my old 80 GB model to the 250 GB one! Then I could back it all up to the cloud. 250 GB of ‘old stuff’ that may or may not be useful to me, stored somewhere in the cloud for as long as I keep paying the annual fee. Keep everything and buy more storage, or de-clutter existing hardware. Sound familiar? On a much bigger scale, companies everywhere are struggling with a similar choice to mine so that they can cope with the ever-increasing amount of electronically stored information that has proliferated across their business. The average employee creates around 1 GB of data annually, and the Compliance, Governance and Oversight Counsel found that typically only 25 percent of that information has real business value, 5 percent must be kept as business records, and 1 percent is retained due to litigation holds. For companies examining, and looking to optimize, their information governance strategy, that means that nearly 70 percent of information in most companies has no tangible business, legal or regulatory value.So, just like most of the stuff on my 250 GB drive, if it is pretty much useless, why keep it? For those looking to improve their information governance strategies, I encourage you to sit in on Real Customer Successes: Business Transformation Through Information Governance, on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 1pm EDT. Guest speaker Barclay Blair, Executive Director and Founder of the Information Governance Initiative and Stephen Ludlow, Director of Product Marketing for OpenText, will share tips and stories to help businesses increase productivity and reduce costs through effective information management. If companies can identify and dispose of the ‘information debris’ that’s in their business, they can use more of their budgets for strategic investment rather than needless storage and backup. Applying that logic, if I just spend the time to clean up my home laptop, I’ll save £300 and be able to buy a new TV on Black Friday instead!

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Top 5 ECM Activities at Enterprise World

Enterprise World brings people together and sparks off planned and unplanned opportunities. It’s a place where new acquaintances, friends and mentors can be made because at Enterprise World, everyone there shares a commonality of purpose and interest. Face to face networking connects you with new people and ideas that will expand your thinking and your social networks in the months and years to come. The keynotes and breakout sessions enable you to learn what you know you need to know – but additionally the chance encounters and conversations will allow you learn things you didn’t even know you needed to know, leading you in new directions. Immerse yourself in a new way of thinking at Enterprise World. There are 99 ECM and Discovery sessions in addition to BPM, CEM, Cloud and Industry sessions. So which ones are they key ones you don’t want to miss? Here are my top 5 ECM choices. ECM Keynote. Wednesday, Nov 12th 10:50 AM – 12:00 PM. The ECM Keynote includes Cheryl McKinnon Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. identifying the top trends shaping ECM today. Also hear about new product enhancements, product roadmaps, customer stories and more… Real Customers Speak : Business Transformation through Information Governance. Thursday, Nov 13th 1pm – 1:45pm. This Interactive Customer Panel, moderated by Barclay Blair of the Information Governance Initiative, will draw out the real world experiences of 3 customers with live Information Governance Program in play in the Energy Sector, Local Government and a national railway. ECM-213 Tech Talk: Best Practices – Upgrading to Content Server 10.5. Wednesday, Nov 12th, 1:55 PM – 2:40 PM. The latest release of Content Suite Platform simplifies the upgrade process for administrators by providing many new tools and dashboards. Join the development team to learn about golden copies, cluster management, upgrade companion and tips from the field. ECM Lab. Tuesday, Nov 11th and Wednesday, Nov 12th 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM. The ECM Lab in the Expo hall is the go to place to get to know all the latest innovations that are being added to the Content Suite Platform in December . Customer Roundtables. Register for these exclusive opportunities to ask questions of customers who have implemented ECM.  I’m looking forward to Enterprise World because it brings everything and everyone together. Thousands of OpenText customers, employees and partners immersing themselves in today’s greatest technologies and sharing ideas to simplify, transform and accelerate the journey to their digital future.

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Meet OpenText at Gartner PCC in London, 15-16th September

OpenText is proud to be a premier sponsor of the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, 15-16th September. We are ready to fully embrace this year’s theme, “Engage, Collaborate, Innovate – Thriving in a Digital Enterprise.” OpenText will be talking about digital transformation – how companies can create a “Digital First World” and transform their business to accelerate innovation and generate competitive advantage. On the main stage following the keynotes, Lubor Ptacek, VP Product Marketing at OpenText, will take part in a panel discussion centered on the impact of new technologies and the emergence of the digital workplace. OpenText customer Will Smart will also present at the event on how The Royal Free NHS Trust turned digital disruption into opportunity. He’ll discuss how the digital transformation journey combined compliant patient record management with the ease of access that a tablet provides to drive efficiency and productivity. Meanwhile, at the OpenText booth (#P1), delegates can experience a walkthrough of their very own digital transformation with our digital caricature artist at the ready to digitize and capture the moment. For me, the theme of the whole event, “Thriving in a Digital Enterprise”, reminds me that it’s something that many of us strive to achieve every day. We make the best use of the technology available to us, whether that be provided by our company, using our own set of hardware and software, or in most cases a combination of the two. Whatever it takes to get the job done! OpenText’s theme of Digital Transformation is a call to companies to embrace the inevitable. It’s more than just converting paper documents into searchable PDFs, or replicating existing paper workflows with electronic formats (although in many cases that can be the start of the transformation journey). The opportunities are much more exciting than that. It’s about the new ways of working that become possible once things have “gone digital.” It’s about deciding on the outcome that you want and then working back to reimagine the internal processes that allow that outcome to become a reality. Imagine being able to provide new levels of customer service and customer experience that exceed expectations. What about having the agility to respond to disruptive technologies and take advantage of sudden opportunities that arise? What would it mean to your business if it had the ability to share information easily across channels and geographies while remaining secure and compliant? What about having a real-time centralized view of all information across the enterprise… In short, by starting out on a digital transformation journey, you’ll soon discover that the possibilities are endless! Stop by and meet OpenText at Gartner PCC, the most important annual gathering of business and IT leaders responsible for collaboration and engagement between employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. This summit will give you the vision and future trends, as well as the practical advice for immediate implementation. Connect with us on Twitter @OpenText and be sure to follow to #OpenText and #GartnerPCC hashtags through the conference.

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Top 5 reasons you don’t need Information Governance

Enterprise Information Management companies like OpenText are pushing information governance as something that is imperative for business, but do you really need it in your life? Here are the top 5 reasons that your organisation doesn’t need an information governance program. All your content and business information is stored and managed. Your IT department has a large and ever increasing budget, so it can afford to keep all of your enterprise content and information forever – especially the duplicate and transient varieties. The more copies the better… Your employees all follow company procedure to the letter. Your team is the best – they never fail to follow standard procedures because they have time to read and memorise them, and regularly review them in case company policy changes. So, they understand that information is the most valuable asset in your organisation; and they’d never use their USB sticks or unsecure public file sharing sites to store and share content… Your industry is immune to oversight and regulation. There’s really no need to put legal holds on information if there is a case brought against you; the law does not apply to you, and you can afford the huge fines anyway, right? Your employees don’t BYOD and they never use social media. There is no one under 60 in your company, and what’s wrong with phoning people up on landlines if you want to talk to them? Mobile phones and tablets are just a fad and would only encourage employees to play angry birds all day. Your business runs best when you are completely uninformed. In your industry, it pays not to know what’s going on; that way you can’t be blamed for making bad decisions, yes? For the rest of us who do need information governance, there is a wealth of videos, white papers, and other resources aimed at helping you understand how it helps minimize risk, ensure compliance, and maximize the value of information in your organization.

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The Weight of Information

When I get on the train each morning I’m carrying a Windows laptop, an Apple iPad, an iPhone (personal phone) and a Blackberry (workphone). In the course of a 50 minute train ride I’ll normally end up using 2 or 3 of those devices, because each holds some information, app or some ability that the other doesn’t. The phones have network capability, the iPad has a bigger screen for reading from, the laptop has all my work in progress stored locally. So I swap and change between devices as needed, using cloud services and various apps to sync between the devices. But wouldn’t it be great to have one device that could do it all? Is that even possible? There are several products already on the market that try to do just that: The ASUS Padfone is a smartphone that slots into tablet format. The NEC has a fold out screen which doubles in size. Microsoft Surface Tablets blur the edges between tablets and notebooks. So here is a request to the Apple and Samsung R&D folk: Please release an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, which docks into a tablet, which docks into a full size keyboard. The 64 bit processor in the current iPhone 5Gs has easily enough power to run a tablet and a laptop. With laptop, tablet and smartphone running off the 1 processor, I’d then have one ecosystem for apps, one place for central storage, one device to charge, and one modular device to carry. In reality it’s unlikely that this ultimate singular device will ever exist. Lucky for me then, OpenText Content Suite allows me to access and edited my documents from multiple mobile devices in a secure and governable way. There’s also an added benefit to lugging around a heavy rucksack with 4 devices and associated accessories every day: It’s good exercise.

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I Know It’s Here Somewhere: The Downside of Data Hoarding

There’s a show on TV called Secret Hoarders, where a shamefaced member of the public will open their home to the cameras reveal themselves to be an ‘enthusiastic saver’ of items. The reality is that their house is full of junk because they can’t bring themselves to throw anything away. The gist of each episode is that a psychologist analyses the situation and usually discovers the subject’s behaviour is a direct reaction to some past traumatic event that’s made them believe that, by hanging on to everything, they’re safe and secure. In our professional environment there are hoarders of a different kind. I’m talking about data hoarders, the office pack rats who have a deep-seated need to keep everythingevery brief, every email, every draft of every documenttucked away somewhere in the off-chance they may need it one day. Like their house-bound comrades, these stockpilers are most likely reacting to some distressing event from their past. Maybe a server crashed just as they needed an important document. Maybe they found themselves under the bus as a result of a broken message trail. Maybe they accidently erased vital information that wasn’t backed up. Whatever the reason, they’ve vowed “never again” and now, secure in the knowledge that they have 3TB of possibly relevant company data stashed away on a hard drive, they’re prepared for any eventuality. They may even believe they’re going to be more efficient because of thisand it may have – started out that waybut, left to their own devices, I’m willing to bet their file-naming conventions are now closer to “latest_latest_latest_version.doc” than those specified by a proper information governance platform that includes versioning. And that’s just the beginning of the security and productivity issues: Privacy and security stakeholders should be cringing at the thought of an unsecured repository of undefined enterprise information sitting off on its own outside the firewall. The development of ideas and initiatives will be slowed or even derailed by someone whose own records don’t synch with the rest of team. Ever been part of an approval chain that has multiple versions of the same document circulating? Good times! Remote and mobile access to the data will probably be limited; ironic considering the hoarder probably started their squirrelling in an attempt to have everything at their fingertips. The Doctor Prescribes… Fact is, data hoarding is a learned trait (and, as a side note, one that can manifest itself across entire departments and divisions) driven by lack of trust, accessibility, and structure. The cure is a strong dose of an information governance program that instils these qualities, and additionally ensures a proper security and governance framework. Treatment begins with the formulation of a comprehensive, enterprise-wide information governance policy. Note here that development should involve consultation (I found a medical dictionary online!) with all appropriate specialists; legal, IT, records management, and more. Next, embed a best-in-class Enterprise Content Management (ECM) suite to facilitate the management and administration of the policy. As an additional step, address the symptoms specific to your situation: Is lack of mobile access to vital info a contributor to the hoarding? Relief can be found with ECM Everywhere, an easily integrated solution that provides seamless access to mission-critical information through mobile devices while extending your permission, security, and vigilance policies beyond the firewall. Data hoarding is a treatable condition. It can be un-learned, and the irrational fear of not being able to get to the right information eradicated. If IT departments and system architects offer end users a better way of working, together we can start data hoarders on the road to recovery.

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