Compliance

How to Play Nice with Compliance

Compliance is a little like the big, scary kid at the playground. No one wants to make direct eye contact, no one wants to get too close, and no one thinks any good can come of the situation. Unfortunately, no one considers what that big kid can do for them. Oh, poor, lonely, ostracized compliance… sigh… It’s true that you don’t want to mess around with compliance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t roll with it. After all, it’s key to any enterprise: an organization cannot operate if it does not adhere to the laws, regulations, guidelines, and standards relevant to its business. So, how can you play nice with this big, scary kid? 1. Step back and take a good look. What do you need to be aware of? Content and process are at the heart of Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC), and there are many different regulations and standards around the world. Which ones affect you? Take a look at this Regulatory Compliance & EIM Matrix. It’s a convenient, at-a-glance table of key regulations and standards from across the globe, and it also lists the associated EIM requirements. Download it to keep for quick reference! 2. Listen to what the other kids are saying. What should you pay close attention to and what do you feel confident about? According to a recent white paper from AIIM® and OpenText, Managing GRC with ECM and BPM, the top driver of Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) for organizations is avoiding reputational risk. In fact, we found that protecting the reputation was twice as big of a driver as avoiding fines and penalties. (It always comes back to the playground.) Other highlights from the survey include the following: The most common GRC complaints: Multiple, disparate systems to manage compliance documentation Manual, inefficient GRC processes Homegrown systems and tools 40% surveyed say policy management is their biggest challenge with regulatory compliance, and only 9% are confident their policies are up-to-date. 85% believe ECM would help them meet their compliance requirements. The top 5 ECM functionalities deemed most important for GRC: RM, DM, Email Management, Audit Trails, and BPM/Workflow. Get the highlights of the survey in this infographic. For those of you particularly interested in data privacy cloud compliance, another new paper, Data Privacy in the Cloud – Guidance for the IT Professional, from 451 Research®, delves into today’s five biggest issues: The Microsoft Dublin Warrant controversy International eDiscovery and eDisclosure The US-EU Safe Harbor framework The EU General Data Protection regulation Expansion of data privacy laws around the world 3. And play fair. As Former Deputy US Attorney General Paul McNulty said, “If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance.” Plus, once you are compliant, you’ll have a big advantage over your competitors—it’s not just a necessary evil. And, of course, you can’t be messed with. Not with Compliance behind you.  

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Direct Messaging: Better Health Outcomes

Recently, Direct messaging has surfaced as the new technology for the electronic exchange of patient information. Think of Direct messaging as “email” for healthcare, with a healthy dose of prescribed steroids. Direct is like regular email but with additional security measures for healthcare ensuring that messages and information are only accessible to the intended recipient, as specified by the protection regulations of HIPAA. Direct Messaging is a standards-based, secure method of exchanging patient information and transitioning patient care between care providers. Not only does Direct provide electronic exchange of patient information, it can provide rich data derived from the content – in other words, it’s not just a flat “picture” of the content but includes metadata that makes the content meaningful and actionable. The metadata of a Direct message can include elements such as patient name, DOB, gender and other identifying elements that make a Direct message a healthier communication method. There are many benefits to adopting Direct messaging, all of which lead back to improving the quality of care for patients. SAVES YOU TIME Less time spent with paper records, more time spent caring for patients Better transition of patient care, closing the care gap between providers Avoids delays waiting for delivery of patient information via other delivery methods SAVES YOU MONEY Replaces fax machines with a more efficient, more secure communication method Comprehensive information sharing eliminates unnecessary or duplicate testing Meaningful Use 2 offers incentives to those providers who can attest to electronically transmitting between providers and avoid penalties for non-attestation INCREASES YOUR EFFICIENCY Assures a more complete communication between providers Aligns all members of a patient’s care team, across all care providers Enables more efficient structured, standards-based communication Expansion of Direct messaging has been identified as one of the top trends for 2016:  “Reliance on Direct exchange for secure, interoperable transfers of patient health information between and among providers for the purposes of care coordination will continue to grow.” As healthcare organizations turn to Direct messaging to electronically exchange patient information, they will look to do so in the most efficient manner possible, with as little disruption to their organization as possible. What if there was a single solution that provided Direct messaging whenever possible and faxing only when you need it? RightFax Healthcare Direct is the first fax server to combine fax and Direct messaging in a single solution: Direct messaging whenever possible and faxing only when you need it. This innovative solution leverages integrations between RightFax and your EMR systems to send and receive Direct messages, making patient information exchange an electronic, secure part of the continuity of care. Watch the webinar to learn more about RightFax Healthcare Direct.

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5 Information Governance Budgeting Pitfalls to Avoid

Managing an organization’s digital assets is a growing priority that can cost even the savviest CIO their job.  Budgeting for information governance can be tricky when it comes to determining how and where to find the necessary resources. Below are some common budgeting pitfalls to avoid when deciding on an information governance solution. #1 Top-down planning Companies often view budgeting as a top-down process where one person owns the entire process.  The reality is that everyone needs to be involved so that the entire company’s resources are accounted for.  The management of information governance doesn’t just rely on IT or compliance departments; the entire organization is involved and benefits from the solution. To make an information governance budget a reality, make sure you involve key stakeholders from every department and have each entity take ownership for their parts of the budget.  Once each department identifies the resources they need to allocate, the project leader can roll it up into a single plan. #2 Difficulty budgeting When you don’t have reliable access to spending data, it can be challenging to actualize what has been invested in the information governance initiatives currently running.  This in turn makes it difficult to justify additional spending with executives.  It can also be difficult to know where to allocate the information governance budget if it’s unclear how much funds are available. Whether you’re using a spreadsheet or have advanced budgeting software to track your spend, it’s important to constantly be reviewing what’s working and what’s not and identify where the organization is seeing the most ROI. #3 Biting off more than you can chew Once an information governance roadmap is approved, obtaining sign off can be daunting.  While the solution may sound straightforward, this is rarely a reality.  Many organizations still struggle with implementing information governance and instead of seeking budget approval for the entire initiative, it’s often best to break it off into smaller projects and seek approval for each project at a time.  Some examples of smaller projects include: Selection and implementation of archiving tools Training program for employees Migration to a new email platform Information governance assessment The key is to align each individual project with your goals, and keep track of the investment so per-project ROI can be obtained. #4 Bowing to internal politics Internal politics exist at most companies, and discussions often get heated when valuable resources are involved.  With a number of different departments and budgets, it can be tempting to divide the resources evenly to avoid disagreements.  While this avoids conflict, it typically rewards those that are the loudest. If you’re considering individual information governance proposals, measure each based on their strategic return, economic value, and payback window.  This will better guide how resources are split. #5 Struggling to Prove ROI Proving ROI is critical to the success of any information governance initiative, and there is growing pressure to do so.  Similar to the efforts of public relations or corporate social responsibility departments, it can be difficult to prove the ROI of budget based on intangible initiatives. Consider demonstrating the ROI of information governance via more quantitative means such as: decreased overtime hours, quicker eDiscovery turnaround times, less spending on storage, or fewer litigation issues.

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Getting Executives On Board: 4 CEO-Worthy Benefits of Information Governance

So you’re the champion of information governance in your organization. How do you get buy-in from C-level executives? How do you raise the importance of data preservation without a current crisis that demands resolution? Fear of compliance and litigation should not be a major consideration to kick-start your IG journey. Below is a list of CEO-worthy benefits that will help keep executives and the organization focused on business opportunity, rather than simply risk avoidance. #1 Increased productivity Research shows that the average employee spends 208 hours per year (26 working days or 5.2 weeks) looking for information. Employees lose work hours searching for documents, as well as recreating documents they are unable to find. Recouping those hours allows them to focus on their work, including such tasks as seeking new revenue opportunities. The potential cost savings from implementing an information governance solution for a company with 1,000 employees is $9.75 million. That’s a number to which most C-level executives will pay attention. #2 Reduction in storage costs This may not be at the top of the agenda for a CEO, but it’s a place where organizations can see immediate tangible results and ROI. Data volumes are growing exponentially and saving everything is complicated and costly. Information governance allows organizations to defensibly delete information, thereby substantially reducing storage needs and costs, and also decreasing the amount of data that needs to be managed. An Australian mining company reduced its mailbox storage by up to 75% for end users by implementing a solution to better manage its digital information assets. #3 Improved visibility The sheer volume of data organizations hold and the variety of content can make searching for data a daunting task. “Assuming a work force of 1000 employees…the total annual cost of searching is $7.5 million… a 50% increase in search productivity gives us an estimated $3.75 million savings from recovered employee productivity.” Giving the most relevant assets to employees, business intelligence tools, and departments can make the difference between making an ill-informed decision and a strategic business decision. A proper information governance initiative will not only improve the visibility of relevant and valuable information within an organization, but also drastically reduce lost time and money on these processes. #4 Improved top-line growth With information governance in place, organizations can quickly identify pertinent information about, and for, a customer. This information can be used for customer service or to find new cross selling opportunities. Sales and marketing can share information within the proper context, allowing them to draw meaning, shorten the sales cycle, and close more business with less effort. This can have an immediate impact on top-line growth for an organization. In conclusion C-level executives often respond best to tangible cost savings and productivity metrics when making decisions about organization-wide solutions. Information governance, with its many benefits and cost savings, certainly has more than its fair share of supporting data. When touting the benefits of digital asset management, be sure to know the pain points of your audience so you can speak their language and gain their support.

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Why EIM Should be Central to Your Information Security Strategy

Every function in the organization — from human resources to operations to marketing — is creating, acquiring, processing, storing and sharing more information than ever before. Innovations in technology coupled with unprecedented data volumes are pushing the limits of privacy and security well beyond current regulatory standards and legal requirements, making it easier for data to get into the wrong hands. Security incidents are on the rise. The year 2014 will be bring to mind several high-profile breaches, such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Home Depot and Target. While these attacks stole the headlines, thousands more took place around the world, resulting in the theft or loss of more than 1 billion data records, up 76% from 2013. The threat is coming from inside the house We know that organizations need to protect their most sensitive information from cyber criminals on the outside who are trying to get in, but there has been significant research indicating that it is the individuals operating inside the “trusted” network who are the biggest threat – whether with malicious intent or unintended, employees are the primary cause of data breaches. PWC Turnaround and transformation in cybersecurity: Key findings from The Global State of Information Survey 2016 (n=10,000 CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, CISOs, CSOs, VPs and directors of IT and security) Why are employees cited as the biggest risk to information security? • Inadequate access and permissions controls for shared repositories • Lack of secure file sharing and transfer practices So what can organizations do to prevent data loss and protect intellectual property while optimizing productivity and speed to market? Enterprise Information Management (EIM) are the strategies and tools that help organizations maximize the value of their information while minimizing its risks…and it should be a foundational component of your Information Security strategy. Here’s why: Access and permissions – control who’s allowed to do what Your first line of defense is to limit information access to only those employees whose job function requires it. The “wild west” of unfettered data access to shared repositories to the vast majority of your employees puts organizations at risk. Also, you must monitor those with permissions for proper information access behavior. Effective EIM systems have complex access and permission structures to ensure users only have access to what they need and what they are permitted to see and do. From intellectual property to client information and personnel matters, EIM systems help ensure that content is retrievable and usable for those who need it and protected against unauthorized access and alteration from those who don’t. Audit trails – know who did what and when When an incident does occur or a suspected incident is being investigated, it’s critical to be able to understand the full history of activity that has taken place and reconstruct the content’s forensic trail. EIM solutions offer customers the ability to view the full information lifecycle, all of the actions that have been performed on it, by whom and when, including: • When and by whom an asset is accessed or viewed • When it is downloaded or copied • When it is deleted or moved • When a version is added, viewed, edited • When administrative settings or access has changed Information audit capabilities are an additional layer designed to help you manage and assess threats around your information. Secure information exchange – preventing data loss Data leakage and loss from negligent file sharing and information collaboration practices is becoming just as significant a risk as data theft. • 84% of employees are using personal email accounts to send sensitive files, 51.5% at least daily • 52% expose company files or data by uploading to a non-secure, public cloud-based service • 30% of employees have lost a USB drive containing confidential information Comprehensive EIM solutions offer secure file sharing tools to safely exchange files and keep proprietary, confidential, and sensitive content safe. Capabilities you should be looking for include: • Data encryption during file transfer and information exchanges – both inside and outside the enterprise — ensuring superior protection of sensitive data • Notifications are date and time-stamped when messages are received and files are downloaded, allowing for easier tracking, auditing, and more efficient workflows • Full control over file and data download availability • Secure messaging that integrates directly with your existing email system to provide enhanced encryption, tracking, protection and control of email • Secure and efficient exchange of very large files inside and outside the organization • Compliance with privacy regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, HITECH Act and PCI-DSS Records disposition – keeping volumes manageable The more content you have, the more difficult it is to get your arms around it. Information security becomes more manageable and realistic when you reduce data volumes. If your organization stopped hoarding every piece of information it acquires or creates and adhered to compliant records disposition rules to archive or destroy records when retention schedules expire, this would make discovering, analyzing, and defending your sensitive information much easier. Perhaps the most important component of EIM is effective records management. These capabilities help organizations secure information through legal and records holds and sound information lifecycle management, ensuring that information can’t be accessed or destroyed when doing so would be contradictory to company needs or regulatory obligations. System of record – know where your information is and classify it The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to information security is the lack of understanding of where their sensitive data resides because they have not set policies to systematically and routinely classify their data. Consequently, they don’t have controls in place to ensure that all information types are handled appropriately. At the heart of EIM is a central secure repository for unstructured information. Here, content can have security classifications applied such as Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, Restricted, and Public. Without a formal data classification scheme, information that is considered highly valuable by third parties may not be viewed as such internally, thus may not be managed and secured accordingly. Without a tool to help identify where sensitive data is, an organization likely does not have a handle on it. If you don’t know what you have, where it is, and why you have it, you can’t expect to apply the appropriate policies and controls to protect it. EIM and information security – the balance between productivity and protection High-profile data breaches should be a wake-up call to enterprises everywhere. According to IDC, by 2016, security will be a top three business priority for 70 per cent of CEOs of global enterprises. Make EIM a core component of your Information Security Strategy. These solutions provide your employees with collaborative access to sensitive data and intellectual property within an approved access control model while preventing data loss and ensuring data privacy and client confidentiality to maintain regulatory compliance.

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Accessibility in Telecom: Thriving in a Customer-Centric World

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules under Section 255 of the Communications Act require telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities if such access is readily achievable. While this regulation has been around since 1996, telecom companies and device manufacturers are now starting to view accessibility as a competitive advantage vs. just a regulation that needs to be met. Take the example of Samsung, a telecommunications equipment manufacturer that has decided to place a greater strategic focus on creating an inclusionary environment for individuals with disabilities. The video below, “Hearing Hands,” from earlier this year is more than just a touching advertisement – it is an example of the proactive measures being taken in this industry to create superior and inclusive customer experiences as the next opportunity for retention and growth. As per a recent report on 2015 Telecommunications Trends by Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) “Wired and wireless carriers confront a rapidly shifting technology landscape in which small steps toward digitization are no longer enough.” I would add to this by saying that digitization is also not going to be enough unless customers of all abilities are taken into account and included. With customer retention being a key challenge faced by telecoms and baby boomers retiring and aging, providing accessible services will be an important opportunity for telecoms to boost loyalty and overcome market challenges such as rate wars, the rise of the social customer and the constant inflow of new players in the market. There are many types of disabilities for which accessibility is implemented in different ways, and I’ll focus on accessibility for individuals with visual impairments in this blog post. Visually impaired individuals are very much a digital population. They have several types of assistive technologies at their disposal, such as desktop and mobile screen readers on Windows, Apple, Android, iOS and other operating systems to help them gain access to content. In fact, a recent 2014 study from Web AIM Screen Reader User Survey indicates that visually impaired individuals use advanced technology available to the sighted population, with the use of mobile on the rise from 61 percent in 2012 to 72 percent in 2014. With baby boomers aging and retiring, the demand for these technologies and information in formats compatible with them is growing, along with the expectation for a comparable user experience as provided to sighted users. No longer are these individuals willing to go through long-winded request processes for alternative formats – they want on-demand and real-time access to their information in digitally accessible formats, just as anyone else would. Telecommunication companies currently address requests for accessible monthly statements and communications for visually impaired individuals by providing these documents in braille, large print or audio formats. Requesting alternative formats is a laborious process in itself, and converting the documents is both expensive and time-consuming due to the manual effort involved. This approach requires individuals with visual impairments to self-identify, which defeats the very purpose of regulations like Section 255 that aim to create an inclusionary environment for people of all abilities. The OpenText Solution OpenText has an automated solution that enables organizations such as large telecommunications companies to automatically generate accessible PDF statements without requiring customers to self-identify. The solution can take existing high-volume documents such as statements stored in archives, or even bolt on to composition systems that generate statements and transform them to WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant PDFs quickly and easily. This approach is fast, inexpensive and dramatically reduces the effort required in providing accessible formats to customers. Today over 20.6 million Americans over the age of 18 are reporting vision loss, and that number is growing. Prevent Blindness America estimates that the population of people experiencing blindness and visual impairment will double by 2030 unless corrective actions are taken. The traditional customer profile is changing, and so must organizations that wish to thrive in a customer-centric world. Learn more about the OpenText Automated Output Accessibility solution. Featured image courtesy of Joseph Morris.

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Accessibility Deadlines Loom for Airline Industry

Air travel has become one of the most digitized forms of transportation. Most people check airline fares and book airline reservations online, provide personal preferences for seating, meals, etc. online, and finalize their travel at kiosks at the airport. So, it is no surprise that the Department of Transport in the United States would make amendments to their legislation mandating the same level of digital service and access for Individuals with disabilities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) amended the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) on November 12, 2013 to include web and kiosk accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The amendments take effect starting December 2015, and impact both domestic and international airlines with flights in and out of the United States. Under the new deadlines, websites must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance standards by December 12, 2015 for 7 core functions performed by passengers online, including: Booking or changing a reservation (including all flight amenities) Checking in for a flight Accessing a personal travel itinerary Accessing the status of a flight Accessing a personal frequent flyer account Accessing flight schedules Accessing carrier contact information Meeting these requirements will be considered phase 1 compliance to the legislation. Phase 2 compliance covers all other content and tasks on the airlines’ websites, including any documents that are available as online content. The compliance deadline for the entire website is December 12, 2016, almost exactly a year from now. Domestic and foreign airlines exceeding 10,000 passengers must also ensure accessibility of all kiosks installed after December 12, 2016, and 25 percent of kiosks in each location must meet the specified accessibility standards by December 12, 2021. These amendments also apply to ticket agents who are not small businesses e.g. kayak.com, cheaptickets.com, orbitz.com, etc. Why is this legislation important? In the U.S. alone, there are more than 21 million adults with visual impairments. These individuals access digital content on their assistive technology such as screen readers and apps available on their mobile phones. An inaccessible website means restrictions to their abilities to book, modify or access travel information online. They are left with a much slower and more expensive alternative such as calling into a customer service desk to book travel. In this day of 24×7, instantaneous access to information, this growing population segment- expected to double in the next 35 years- with significant disposable income would be left behind if not for this legislation. Airlines would be under risk for litigation and also lose the opportunity to retain their customer base. In a highly competitive industry, it wouldn’t take much for customers to switch to another airline that offers appropriate accessibility facilities. OpenText has been the pioneer in developing and providing an automated solution for making online electronic documents (PDFs) accessible. This solution generates WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant output that has been tested and validated by prominent organizations and advocacy groups for visually impaired individuals. OpenText has successfully implemented this solution for government agencies and associated organizations, as well as large commercial organizations, giving them the experience and expertise required to deliver accessible documents within a short time-frame, with minimal disruption to day-to-day business. Contact us today to learn more about how OpenText can help you achieve your accessibility goals and full compliance for documents by the required Department of Transportation ACAA deadline of December 2016.    

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Looking for ECM Inspiration? Enterprise World Elite Award Winners are the place to start!

Another Enterprise World has come and gone. For me, the biggest pleasure is always found in the chance to meet and connect with the actual people that make up our customer base. Yes, announcing massive product launches is a thrill, and hearing industry experts provide perspective on a rapidly changing landscape always provides its share of “aha!” moments, but it would all be kind of hollow if the real reason we do this wasn’t there to experience it with us and offer their feedback. That relationship with our customers is special. And, like an extended family reunion, Enterprise World is where we all get together and catch up on how everyone is progressing. There’s nothing better than hearing from an organization that’s utilized some combination of our product, our services, and/or our guidance to create a solution that has truly changed their operation for the better. Sometimes the impact is stunning, and the place to witness those shining stars is at Enterprise World’s annual Elite Awards celebration. And the Winners are… This year there were a number of winners who have implemented a wide variety of OpenText ECM solutions to amplify transformation within their enterprise. Congratulations to one and all! In the spirit of learning from the best, here are a few organizations that have definitely gone above and beyond in the ECM world: Alcatel-Lucent Global telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent is leading the charge in creating an ultra-connected, networked world; so it only stands to reason that their internal document management systems would set a benchmark for compliance, security, and accessibility. A combination of OpenText products achieved that, integrating seamlessly with their existing SAP environment. Almac Clinical Services Operating in the global pharma sector brings its own special kind of regulatory complexity. By implementing a single source of truth built around OpenText Content Server and Regulated Documents, Almac took control of their documentation with a solution that has been praised by external auditors and is powering international expansion. BNSF Railway OpenText Content Suite provides BNSF Railway with a solid enterprise content management platform that easily integrates with its other systems. Content Suite is used to manage and preserve historical legacy records, while also facilitating a robust records management platform to support search, retention and disposition requirements for enhanced corporate accountability.  Currently, over five million records, both digital and physical, are managed by Content Suite, supporting 1,000+ users across the enterprise. BNSF continues to build and develop further integrations to the platform to leverage and manage its critical business content. Continental Resources Using integrated solutions from OpenText, SAP, and other systems, Continental Resources is realizing end-to-end business value for substantial organizational efficiencies and cost savings. The automated processes improve business performance and have resulted in significant and measurable time savings. Business content is captured, managed, stored, preserved and delivered to the right user, at the right time, streamlining systems and processes throughout the company. DDR Owning and managing 130 million square feet of retail floor space requires a highly streamlined process for handling the huge volume of leasing activity documents. DDR went all in, implementing a diverse array of OpenText products to create a custom document management system that’s fast, organized, and fully integrated with Salesforce®. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) NZTA embarked on its digital transformation journey by building a solid foundation for its ‘InfoHub’ Enterprise Content Management as a Service solution from OpenText. The cloud-based solution offers users anytime, anywhere access to information assets, enhancing the ability to share and collaborate, internally and externally with partners and alliances. InfoHub has transformed the way NZTA harnesses its knowledge. The benefits include improved quality of service and performance and process efficiencies. SBB (Swiss Federated Railways) As operators of the most heavily used rail network in the world, SBB know a thing or two about efficiency, timeliness, and accuracy. That’s why they integrated OpenText solutions into their SAP®-based vendor management infrastructure to drive remarkable gains in digitalization, centralization, and productivity. And there’s a lot more where that came from These are just some of the highlights from an incredible year of customer participation in our new Elite Program. Taking part in it is a singular opportunity for customers and partners to share their story and be recognized as industry leaders. Truth is, though, all of our customers have an intriguing story that makes them champions in their own right. Their dedication to furthering their enterprises with progressive thinking and innovative solutions never ceases to amaze. I invite you to spend some time perusing our larger library of Customer Success Stories, as well. It’s an excellent resource of best practices, winning combinations, and digital reinvention that has something for everyone, regardless of their role or industry. It’s worth a look. You just never know when inspiration will strike.

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Compliance – Not Just a Necessary Evil, It’s Good for Business

Compliance gets a bad rap because it is immediately associated with laws, constraints, inspections, audits and penalties for those who don’t follow the rules. Most organizations understand the importance of regulatory compliance in preventing unethical conduct and violations of the law. It’s the necessary evil that is mandatory, but it also sucks up valuable time, effort and resources from folks who would much rather be working on projects that innovate, inspire, and motivate. The word compliance in itself often conjures up thoughts of what organizations must do rather than what they want to do.  And let’s be honest – doing the right thing isn’t always fun. Compliance, in truth, is about as much fun as going on a diet. Although eating healthy is an important part of a long and vigorous life, sometimes you just want to have that one cupcake and stray from the intended plan…even though the long-term consequences of repeated bad behaviour can result in an abandoned diet altogether. Well, it’s not all bad news and there are ways to resist temptation. Regulatory compliance means much more than just eating your greens. It can allow your organization to become a lean, mean, high-performance machine. In other words, having an effective Compliance Program is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Establish Customer Trust and Brand Loyalty Reputation matters. Gaining a reputation as an organization that fails to meet its compliance obligations can jeopardize customer trust and loyalty. In fact, reputational risk was cited as the #1 main driver for regulatory compliance in a recent AIIM survey, and twice as big a driver as avoiding fines and penalties. Reputational risk is so important that being transparent—even about your faults—will improve customer perception and can lead to increased stakeholder engagement. Having a clear, effective compliance program makes it apparent to stakeholders that compliance is a top priority for your company. It shows your commitment to doing business the right way and to the highest ethical standards. According to Deloitte, top performing CSR (corporate social responsibility) organizations do not view ethical, social, and environmental initiatives as something that can be layered on to the organization. Instead, they make sustainability an integral part of their organization by integrating it into their brand. Many consumers seek out and want to do business with vendors and suppliers who share their values and compliance principles. For example, when a company can demonstrate a conflict-free supply chain, stakeholders are reassured that the company is compliant and will impart confidence among suppliers, customers and partners, which c an help establish lasting and trusted business relationships. Further, in addition to building a reputation as a good corporate citizen, having a well-documented and effective compliance program demonstrates your company’s expertise related to all relevant laws and regulations. Improve Operational Processes Regulatory compliance should not be viewed as simply a checkbox exercise but, rather, as something that can have significant, positive, secondary benefits on business operations: Foster Best Practice —Compliance can be used as a means of encouraging businesses to adopt rigour and best practice in areas where the inclination may be to cut costs and corners, such as privacy protection, good recordkeeping, and IT processes. There’s nothing like an upcoming audit or the possibility of a hefty fine to motivate an organization to review and improve its practices. Increase Supply Chain Awareness —Third-party compliance risk management is the most challenging aspect of an organization’s program for managing compliance risk, according to the 2015 Compliance Week Trends Survey . Regulations that mandate compliant supply chains force firms to take a hard look at their third-party community, which is a good thing. For example, KPMG points out that the Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals rule could yield significant business benefits for companies that use it as an opportunity to better manage their supply chain ecosystem. Establish Better Information Governance —Good record-keeping is central to a strong compliance program. Business records provide the evidence to demonstrate compliance to regulators, auditors and the public. Having an effective Information Governance program means a company’s information assets are consolidated, categorized, and analyzed, leading to better strategic decision-making. Attract and Keep the Right Talent —An effective compliance program can improve a business’ ability to attract and retain highly principled and higher quality employees, improving employee morale, job satisfaction and retention rates. Job seekers are not keen on working for companies that do not take ethics and compliance seriously. Boosts the Bottom Line A number of studies have found that companies with strong governance and compliance cultures perform better than their counterparts. That’s a bold statement, and if you are skeptical check out these compelling studies: Businesses with above average IT governance—that is, processes, procedures, and controls associated with how their IT systems and personnel comply with privacy and security regulations—realized 25 percent more profits than those with poor governance. On the day Apple announced it was 100% tantalum-conflict-free, the media was quick to jump on the story, featuring Apple on popular tech blogs, the New York Times and many other media outlets. What did this mean for its bottom line? At the opening bell, Apple’s stock price was $535 and come market close, it was $544. At the time, Apple had 892 million shares outstanding. Thus, the resultant increase in market cap was (892 million x $9 =)~ $8 billion! Companies that are able to link business risks with their strategic imperatives are more likely to achieve an annual profit margin of greater than 10 percent over three years, and better profit margin growth. Ten companies with the highest five-year returns were juxtaposed with the S&P 500 (chosen as the benchmark). In an analysis of the five year period, the top ten companies using compliance software had an average total return of 247%, equating to a 28% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Over the same five year period, the S&P 500 had a total return of 85%, which equated to a CAGR of only 13%. Presumably, an organization that spends less time dealing with regulatory infractions has more time to focus on initiatives that improve competitive positioning and help gain market share. Another and perhaps more obvious conclusion to be drawn is that avoiding compliance penalties simply leads to a healthier bottom line. In the area of data privacy and protection, for example, it’s estimated that non-compliance costs 2.65 times what compliance costs. One study found that the average cost of data privacy compliance is $3.5 million per organization, whereas the average cost of non-compliance-related issues was $9.4 million which included penalties, business disruption, lost productivity, and legal and non-legal fees. Conclusion  It is all too evident to most organizations that, like it or not, ensuring regulatory compliance is not only a mandated requirement but getting more and more challenging. The regulatory landscape is constantly changing and compliance requirements are becoming more stringent. Like a strict diet, maintaining and following a compliance program can sometimes leave one yearning for more carefree (and tasty) days of past. However, there are many reasons why compliance is not only necessary but can also help ensure the longevity of the business. Because much like the adoption of a new diet regime, it seems that investing in a compliance program can be the start of an entirely new outlook on success.  

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Fighting the ROT in your Company with Information Governance

It’s there, lurking beneath the scaffolding of every organization. It is growing, spreading out of control. And, companies are paying dearly to keep it. It’s ROT—information that is redundant, obsolete, and trivial. The battle with ROT is a common challenge in today’s business environment, given the explosion of information and the failure of many organizations to properly classify and manage it. In a recent AIIM survey, respondents provide some interesting insights: Two-thirds say their content is growing annually at a rate of 30% or more. The average estimate is 35%. Thirteen percent (13%) of respondents store over one petabyte of data. Only 7% delete information based on its business value. Seventy-three percent (73%) admit half of their content probably has no business value, but they don’t know which half. Thirty-two percent (32%) have a “keep everything” approach to deletion. One in five spend more than 25% of their IT budget adding and maintaining storage. The average is 16%. Companies are unable to address ROT in their organization because they can’t identify it. They can’t distinguish the good information from the bad. As a result, the ROT continues to grow and costs continue to accumulate. Poorly managed information hurts the business on many fronts. It’s not just the cost of maintaining exploding volumes of information. It is the damage to productivity and customer service that occurs when employees can’t find the information they need to do their job. It is the failure to manage and secure information in compliance with regulation and the increased risk posed in terms of non-compliance, security breaches, and lost business. Progressive organizations are formalizing their records policies and looking to Records Management (RM) systems to protect, organize, and manage the entire lifecycle of their critical content. Solutions such as OpenText™ Records Management, eDOCS Edition (eDOCS RM) eliminate redundant information of all types, reduce time spent locating records, and mitigate the risk of litigation, fines, and other penalties. eDOCS RM provides a completely secure, feature-rich records management solution from within the eDOCS DM library and integrates seamlessly with other products in the OpenText™ eDOCS Solution. Together, they provide effective and easy-to-use capabilities for electronic filing, managing information assets deemed to have value, and eliminating ROT within the organization.  

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Accessibility in a Digital-First World

With the term “accessibility”, the first thing that usually comes to mind is physical accessibility e.g. accessible washrooms, wheelchair ramps, accessible road crossings, etc. This perspective completely ignores another realm that most people exist in, i.e. the digital world. Today it is extremely common for individuals to spend 11+ hours a day on their electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, so we simply cannot afford to ignore accessibility in the context of the digital interactions. Digital accessibility encompasses a variety of virtual interactions, including those made on websites, on personal electronic devices as well as via digital or electronic communications and documents. Taking a closer look at the numbers, we quickly realize that the population of individuals requiring accessible communications is quite large. More than 285 million individuals across the world have some form of visual impairment – that’s nearly 5% of the global population. This number is not static either; it is rapidly growing, with people living longer lives, and thereby increasing the population of aging individuals. In the United States alone, there are over 21 million adults reporting some form of vision loss, out of which over 6 million are completely blind and 2.5 million require large print to be able to read. Governments around the world have recognized accessibility as a global issue and have acted on the need to mandate accessible communications in an increasingly digital-first world. This is not about limiting accessible communications to traditional formats such as braille, large print and spoken word audio that are time consuming and expensive to produce, but about making all forms of communications accessible on-demand, in digital or electronic formats, without the need to self-identify. Governments have addressed the information accessibility issue through legislation that applies to both the public and commercial sectors, for example, Section 508 and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States, often going to the extent of being industry-specific, such as Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. While some of the legislation is brand new, others are amendments to existing regulations to include accessibility in the context of digital or electronic communications via e.g. websites, online documents, etc. Many organizations around the world have begun working towards compliance to their country’s respective laws and making their websites, electronic communications such as PDF invoices, statements, notifications, tax forms, etc. available in formats that can be meaningfully navigated and read by screen reader technology on computers and mobile devices. What is your organization doing to meet this legal requirement and create an inclusionary environment for its customers? Join us on Thursday, November 12 for a special educational session on providing equal and timely access to information by implementing digital accessibility. “ALX-112 Reaching All Data Consumers – the State of Output Accessibility” will include an overview of accessibility drivers, the end-user perspective on accessible communications, what creating accessible content entails as well as a demonstration on how automation can result in dramatic time and cost savings in creating accessible content. Learn what you can do to help your organization comply with legislation, expand their business footprint to a growing but previously ignored segment of the population and retain loyalty from their existing, aging customer base.

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Spotlight On! Ted Parkinson

Meet Ted Ted Parkinson is a Senior Training Consultant with Learning Services in Waterloo, Ontario. As a seasoned OpenText Enterprise World (EW) instructor and former university teacher, Ted has a wealth of information and knowledge to share with students enrolled in his courses and workshops. This year marks Ted’s 16th year as an instructor at EW, and he couldn’t be more excited to be heading to Las Vegas this November. Q: What courses or workshops will you be leading this year? I will likely be teaching OpenText™ Application Governance & Archiving for Microsoft® SharePoint® (running from Nov 8-10), but I can teach any of the Content Server courses. Q: What’s your favorite part about being an instructor? I enjoy teaching and talking with customers from around the world and who are in many different industries. I like to learn about their content and processes and the challenges they face, and then give them some ideas about how to manage their information. One thing I have found with corporate technical training is how engaged most of the students are because our software really affects their work. Q: What part of EW are you most looking forward to this year? There are three things I will look forward to: Meeting former students, hanging out with the other instructors—it is one of the few times we meet in person—and playing some poker! Q: What’s your favorite book and why? The Diviners by Margaret Laurence. I taught it in university and it manages to be sprawling, sentimental, historical and engaging, all at the same time. Q: What was your favorite thing to do as a child? I loved to read because you could explore different worlds and see other possibilities. I grew up in Whitehorse in the Yukon, and while it is an exotic place, at the time I kept looking “outside” to see what else was going on in the world. Q: What are some of your other passions? When I’m not delivering training, I am often playing the guitar or keyboard—in fact, I’m working on an album of original songs I am releasing this fall. I’m also active in our Kitchener Neighbourhood Association and am president of NUMUS, a new music organization in Ontario. Meet up with Ted and take his courses at Enterprise World 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada from November 8-10. Plus, if you play your cards right, you might just get to hear more about Ted’s many musical talents. To find out more information about the training program, or to register for Enterprise World training, visit our website.

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The more things change…Enterprise World’s ECM Message has remained Remarkably Consistent through the Years

It’s that time of year again, Enterprise World 2015 is fast approaching and the entire company is buzzing. Everyone is busy prepping their presentations, finalizing agendas, booking meetings with customers, and, ahem, checking out what else is happening in Las Vegas that week. Yes, we’re moving the whole event to Vegas this year! Personally, I’m excited about the change in venue; Las Vegas has an electrifying energy which will only amplify the impact of Enterprise World. Having been at OpenText for almost 15 years, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve attended our annual flagship event, but I do recall attending back when it was called “LiveLinkUp” to support our Livelink products. Then it evolved to “Content World,” then came the change to “Enterprise World.” Over those 15 years, a lot more has changed then just the name of the event. We’ve seen a true shift in how organizations do business and the role of digital data in that landscape: Communication channels have widened from phone to email to Twitter and dozens of other possibilities; the rise of mobile devices introduced the concept of being “always on;” offices are more global and virtual, yet manage to be more interconnected; and, of course, there is the monumental explosion in the growth of content. According to IDC, 92% of the world’s data was created in just the past two years. But interestingly enough, with all this change, our ECM message has remained remarkably consistent when I look back at the themes of our annual get-together over the last 15 years. Here are a few examples: LiveLinkUp (Phoenix, 2004): ECM is mission critical LiveLinkUp (Phoenix, 2006): Enterprise transparency reflects the evolution of content management from simply tracking and controlling information to leveraging it for business advantage Content World (Orlando, 2008): ECM is strategic to efficiency, cost management, and compliance As you can see, a pair of constants hold true over the years…Content is still king, and ECM is the key to unlocking its potential. The only difference is that topics we were first broaching in 2006 have grown to become critical business issues in 2015. Namely, it’s now vitally important to be able to access and extract value from all the information your organization controls. The age of the digital enterprise has arrived, and information is the currency and lifeblood of organizational success. This year, Enterprise World continues its mission of helping you effectively and efficiently manage your enterprise information to increase productivity, agility, and competitive positioning. There’s a new way of thinking about ECM’s role in enabling all this, and Enterprise World 2015 is where the OpenText universe is gathering to experience it. Get ready for a host of new product announcements that will accelerate ECM’s integration into back-office systems and the cloud, training sessions designed to help you maximize your investment, and insightful keynotes and analyst panels that will help us all visualize a tomorrow of endless possibilities. The sessions I’m most excited about also focus on this progression of ECM as a fundamental enterprise cornerstone. It’ll be interesting to connect with both experts and attendees on the evolution of content management from simply organizing information to its next chapter of facilitating, aggregating, bridging, and governing enterprise-wide information flows. These are the sessions on my ECM can’t-miss list: ECM-406 Product Update: Transform your Organization by Putting the X in ECM ECM-402 Panel Discussion: Digital Transformation – Another Buzzword or Essential to Survival? ECM-412 Simplify Your Organization’s Digital Transformation with These Proven Steps I look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas in November!

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Call Security! Addressing Internal and External Breaches at Legal Firms

Data breaches don’t just affect banks and retailers, legal organizations are being hacked too. While legal organizations aren’t required to disclose cybercrimes, it is estimated that 80 of the 100 biggest law firms have experienced some sort of data breach since 2011. And legal firms remain an attractive target. Citigroup’s Cyber Intelligence Unit warns that legal organizations are at high risk for data breaches because they deal with highly valuable matters such as mergers and acquisitions and patent applications. In addition, digital security at many law firms, despite improvements, generally remains below the standards for other industries. The role of the legal security professional is expanding in scope and complexity, out of sheer necessity. Security threats emanate from many directions—both internal and external. And while security issues range from malware to various forms of external hacking, it’s interesting to note that ‘staff’ are considered the most likely source of a security breach. Staff leaving the firm, for example, may attempt to print or download client information, matter files, or other valuable records. Faced with this scenario, over one third of organizations have no way to detect or prevent an internal leak before it occurs or to pinpoint those responsible. And for 60% of these organizations, a security leak of this nature would have high impact; for 13% it would be disastrous. The consequences of a data breach can be severe—from reputational damage and lost business, to hefty fines that can reach into the millions. Given today’s technology landscape, legal firms must take action to protect themselves. This means not only monitoring for internal breaches, but also addressing external security vulnerabilities introduced by the growing use of consumer technologies. Cloud, mobile, and social technologies increase the complexity of data security and expand the volumes and varieties of content that need to be managed and secured. Unfortunately, while legal organizations want to protect all their information from every possible risk, this does not mesh well with the nature of today’s business operations. Information flows in and out of firms at a rapid pace, often engaging multiple processes and applications along the way. Communications are highly interactive and stem from a variety of sources. Here in lies the dilemma. The challenge in today’s business environment is to balance the benefits of freely flowing information with the potential risk of theft—to provide a security framework that offers high levels of protection without stifling the needs of individuals or the agility of processes. Solutions like OpenText eDOCS help legal and other highly regulated organizations strike this balance. Security measures are at the foundation of each product module, so users can rest assured their mission-critical information is managed and secure, yet easily accessible. eDOCS also offers specific security modules for more targeted activities. Guardian for eDOCS monitors the document repository usage, reports on excessive end user activities, and prevents information security leaks from inside the organization. Wireless DMS for eDOCS enables legal professionals to access their document repository confidently, while on the go, in ways that are both flexible and highly secure. To learn more about eDOCS security, visit our website or contact us.

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October OpenText Live Webinars

Introducing OpenText™ Extended ECM for Oracle® EBS (xECM for EBS) 10.5 SP2. With new features like E-Business Suite 12.2 support, Records Management (RM) enhancements, advanced archiving and our new Manufacturing Management solution accelerator, xECM for EBS is better than ever at synchronizing content, metadata and permissions across both systems. It also provides a deep integration between OpenText and Oracle systems that ensures transactional and business content is consolidated and managed for integrity, cost reduction and regulatory compliance. Join us to not only learn about what we’re doing, but how our customers are using xECM for EBS to accomplish their business goals. We’ll also preview how xECM for EBS fits into the OpenText Blue Carbon project, set for launch at Enterprise World 2015 this November. Register » Project & Program Management for OpenText™ Content Server Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4) Project data is growing exponentially, but is often stored out of context or disconnected to project Gantts. Project managers require project management tools integrated with enterprise content, helping the enterprise to optimize Information Governance. Enterprises need a central database for all their project data. Join us to learn more about how Project & Program Management (PPM) for Content Server provides this on your existing ECM system, presented by OpenText partner KineMatik. This webinar will also discuss the latest features available for PPM 10.5.3. Register » Records Disposition Simplified Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4) Driven by actual customer need, the Cassia Records Disposition Approval module (RDA) was built to make it easy for users to sign-off on records as well as to reduce the time it takes for records managers to process the records once they receive the approvals. RDA simplifies the sign-off process for approvers, simplifies records disposition support, simplifies the review process and includes a reporting framework. Join us to learn how RDA can simplify your records management. Register » The Next Wave of Advanced Analytics Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4) Are you ready for the next wave of Analytics? Join us for a fast paced Webinar showcasing OpenText™ Actuate Big Data Analytics, Cloud Edition, an advanced Analytics-as-a-Service solution that brings the power of Big Data to everyday business analysts. Learn about the advantages of “Big Data Analytics” in the cloud, including our convenient capacity-based pricing and easy-to-use predictive algorithms. Plus we’ll provide a quick-hit demo of the coolest features and share how easy it is to blend, explore and visualize your data. Gain a top-level understanding of the analytics lifecycle Learn about the emerging requirements for Analytics-as-a-Service See Big Data Analytics, Cloud Edition in action Register » What’s New in OpenText™ RightFax 10.6 Feature Pack 2 Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4) The latest release of OpenText™ RightFax is packed with exciting new features for the user and administrator. Join Mike Stover, Product Manager, as he unveils the new functionality for RightFax that focuses on: User Experience: Designed with the user in mind, the latest release of RightFax includes several enhancements to the end user experience, including newly redesigned tools and additional features. Compatibility: The latest releases of RightFax provide updated and new interoperability between RightFax and other industry software. Enterprise-Grade: OpenText has developed several new improvements that will increase the performance and scalability of the RightFax fax server. These enhancements help increase the productivity, throughput, and workload efficiency in the toughest enterprise environments. Compliance and Security: New features and functionality enhance the security and compliance-grade capabilities of a RightFax server environment. Administration and Use: New functionality makes it easier to manage and use RightFax. New tools allow for managing the environment more efficiently, resulting in demonstrable time-savings for administrators. Register » Increase Your OpenText™ eDOCS DM User Adoption Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (UTC -4) OpenText™ eDOCS DM is a feature rich product with different types of functionality for creating, saving, searching, and interacting with day-to-day content. This OpenText Live webinar session will focus on how you can help your end users get the most out of existing functionality and increase adoption. How often have we heard “it’s the little things that count”? Well, this session will cover some of the basic features that are often overlooked, provide tips and tricks for working with Dynamic Views, more efficient email management using Email Filing, and more. All this will be presented with simplified DM profile forms—making it easier for users to save or search for their documents. Register »  

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Want to Test-Drive OpenText Content Suite 16? Join the Beta Program

Our vision is simple—create ECM solutions focused on user adoption and enterprise success.  And to continue accelerating our products forward, we need input from you—our customers and partners. The OpenText Content Suite 16 Beta Program offers early access to the exciting updates coming in this innovative, new release. ECM is a foundational technology in the Digital Workplace. Content Suite 16 is all about personal productivity, seamless collaboration and integration with business process. This is your chance to try out new features like the role-based user interface designed to boost end user adoption and team collaboration; desktop client advances to help users work more effectively; enhancements to ensure regulatory compliance and data security; search advancements; and a wide variety of updates to improve the operational efficiency of your deployment. And, taking a spin on this next release has become so much easier now that you can participate via the beta hosted in the OpenText Cloud. Learn more and register at www.opentext.com/CS16Beta then come share your thoughts with our Product Managers and other Content Suite experts at the ECM Demo Theater on the Expo Hall floor at OpenText Enterprise World 2015. Note: The OpenText Beta Program is open to OpenText customers and partners who accept the OpenText Beta Program Agreement during the sign-up process.

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Data Driven Digest for September 18: Money and Finance

This week marks the 133 anniversary of the opening of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. The establishment was created to serve the interest of businesses that struck it rich mining for gold during the California Gold Rush. Nowadays, businesses mine for data hoping to strike it rich by analyzing that data for clues about how to best serve their customers, streamline their operations, or gain a competitive advantage. In honor of those financial pioneers, this week we offer three different visualizations of financial data. Eureka! U.S. Fiscal Responsibility   In 1789, the United States established its first loan to pay salaries of the existing and future presidents and the Congress. As our friend Katy French (@katyifrench) posted in Visual News this week, bean counters in Washington kept great records and even produced stunning visualizations to represent trends. The graphic above represents the Fiscal Chart of Debt and Expenditures by the U.S. Government between 1789 and 1870. Note the spikes in military spending during the War of 1812 and Civil War as well as the first major accumulation of debt in 1861.   Euro Spending How do Europeans spend their paychecks? That was the premise of a recent data plot developed by The Economist (@TheEconomist). Based on data sets from Eurostat entitled Final consumption expenditure of households by consumption purpose, The Economist found life in the Euro zone is quite diverse. Living in Lithuania? Your budget is dominated by food and clothes. Lithuanians also spend more per capita on alcohol and tobacco than the rest of Europe. Meeting in Malta? Forget about eating at home. Nearly 20 percent of Maltese spending goes toward restaurants and hotels. Spaniards spend the least on their transportation. Germans spend more on their furnishings than their E.U. neighbors   World Population Based on Income Our friends over at Pew Research Center (@PewResearch) have come up with an interactive visualization based around the paradigms of income and how it relates to world population. For example, the map above shows the density of people living under what they term as a middle income. By middle income, that means your daily wages are between $10.01 and $20. According to the map, 13 percent of the 7+ billion people in the world are middle income. The map has a second option that reveals the percentage point change in that population between 2000 and 2011. It’s a fascinating study on both financial statistics as well as data maps. The income groups are defined as follows: The poor live on $2 or less daily, low income on $2.01-10, middle-income on $10.01-20, upper-middle income on $20.01-50, and high income on more than $50; figures expressed in 2011 purchasing power parities in 2011 prices.

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Digital Engagement: A New Business Requirement

Digital engagement isn’t an option anymore, it’s a requirement. Today’s consumers are savvy and fickle, and companies must work to earn their loyalty. They’re demanding more from the brands they love, and their tolerance for anything but a seamless, engaging, and compelling experience is flagging. In a digital world, organizations must digitize their customer journeys, from initial interest through to purchase and follow-on service or support. The best way to do this is to shift to a digital marketing strategy. One that creates consistent and compelling customer experiences at every touchpoint through omni-channel delivery, responsive design, and targeted communications and information. Digital technologies have introduced new customer touchpoints and increased opportunities to engage. Since consumers often use more than one channel to interact with a brand (in some instances they use five or six), delivering uniform and relevant messages across all channels is crucial for return on marketing investments and customer satisfaction. Omni-channel focuses on meeting consumer needs by pulling together programs to provide a cohesive brand experience across channels, platforms, and devices. To borrow from Bruce Lee, digital design should “be like water”. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. The same holds true for digital experiences. The transition from desktop to device to point-of-sale should be fluid. This is achieved through responsive design. Customers don’t see individual devices or channels; they look for a consistent and familiar brand experience that delivers relevant content. Nirvana on the customer journey is realized when a company anticipates the needs and wants of a customer and serves up targeted and tailored content, products, or services, in the moment of need, wherever the customer is. Organizations that can predict customer behavior have a better chance at fulfilling consumer needs. Analytics—or analyzing data collected across various touchpoints of the customer journey (transactions, interactions, social media sites, and devices) helps organizations discover valuable customer insights so that they can offer more personalized and satisfying experiences. The most effective way to target different audiences is to use messages that focus on products and services with the greatest appeal for each segment. Using dynamically generated customer communications, organizations can create and automate their marketing campaigns. When correspondence is part of a digitized process, end results are gains in efficiency and the ability to create superior customer experiences. As one of the foundational suites for Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Customer Experience Management (CEM) aims to create a richer, more interactive online experience across multiple channels without sacrificing requirements for compliance and information governance. CEM brings together all of the technologies required to re-architect back-office systems, consolidate customer data, and create digitized front-end experiences. Digital engagement starts inside the firewall and extends outside the enterprise and all along the supply chain. In the next post in this series, I’ll explore how the supply chain is being disrupted and how enterprises can digitize key processes for greater collaboration, information exchange, and business agility. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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9 Information Governance Mistakes to Avoid

Reliable data preservation, eased regulatory compliance, streamlined eDiscovery processes, and business continuity. With such great benefits, it makes sense that you want to get started with an archiving solution right away. Don’t dive in yet, though.. Information governance (IG) will change your way of doing business, but defining how it will be rolled out can prove challenging. Many organizations may have good intentions, but they can end up doing more harm than good. Instead of diving in head first, it’s often best to first test the information governance waters and properly ready yourself. Below are 9 of the most common mistakes to avoid when rolling out an IG program: #1 Treating IG as a one-off project Many organizations make a big deal over the launch of an information governance solution. But what happens after the initial kick-off? They often forget that an IG solution will need to be maintained and supported long after the party’s over. #2 Ignoring data quality and relevancy One of the biggest benefits of a strong IG program is increased data quality and relevancy. Too many companies implement IG technology, but don’t spend the time to manage information that is Redundant, Obsolete, or Trivial (ROT). Part of IG is giving higher visibility to the critical business data and getting rid of the ROT. #3 Not deleting ROT While instant messages with colleagues over a particular legal matter can be crucial to litigation matters, those that painstakingly plan the upcoming corporate picnic are not. Organizations often make the costly mistake of saving all of their data. This fear-driven approach can cost organizations substantial amounts of money in storage, and can create a whole lot of clutter. Having a deletion strategy is an essential part of an IG program. #4 Deleting when you should be archiving While defensible deletion is an important part of information governance, so is archiving. Often times, as data volumes get maxed, organizations start to become more “choosy” about what they keep and can start to overlook things. Ensure that the IG solution is scalable and can accommodate growing volumes. #5 Lack of executive buy-in Any information governance program impacts an entire organization, making executive buy-in an essential component for success. By implementing below C-level, the solution may not have the support, budget, or visibility it truly needs to flourish. #6 Excluding experts You wouldn’t hire an electrician to fix your plumbing, so why cause such complications in the workplace? Designing and implementing an IG solution can be daunting, so leave it to the experts. Hire consultants who are well versed in your industry and understand the compliance issues you’re facing. Typically this is money well spent. #7 Making it about compliance only While information governance is partially focused on keeping an organization in regulatory and legal compliance, making it the main focus of your program can be limiting – and boring. Get users invested in the new solution by demonstrating how it affects them individually: show how sales can close more deals, marketing can deliver products to market quicker, and how legal can proactively respond to litigation. #8 Implement technology before policy This is where testing the IG waters is crucial. If you implement technology, but don’t have the proper policies or company culture in place then organizations can see valuable resources wasted. #9 Believing you’re too small for IG All IG solutions are not created equal, but organizations of all sizes can benefit from one. While enterprise-size companies have massive amounts of data that can be overwhelming to manage without the necessary technology, smaller companies have fewer resources to manage data. All it takes is one lawsuit or rogue employee to cause irreversible damage. Instead of viewing IG adoption as a race to the finish, try to envision the process as creating culture change across the company and properly prepare yourself for the journey.

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ROI: Defining the Return on Investment for Information Governance Software

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Without hard revenues or growth statistics, it’s often challenging to define the ROI for implementing an information governance solution.  Organizations often struggle to quantify the results, leaving executives skeptical about the investment. An inherent challenge is the variety of different components that can comprise an overall information governance solution, and thus, the corresponding investment.Some of the key variables that determine your information governance expenses include: Project Management & Planning:  Who will manage the project?  Will all departments be giving input and feedback with the software solution? Number of Users: Typically the more users, the higher the cost. Programming:  Does your organization require any special features or usability requirements? Training – Training will incur additional expenses and staff time, and depend on the depth of necessary onboarding. Support – Costs related to support can vary greatly depending on whether support is 100 percent outsourced, 100 percent internal, or a combination of the two. Storage – Cost per GB may be a small initial investment, but expect data volumes and the associated cost for storage to grow. After the costs are defined, many executives want a clear picture of ROI.  The results from your information governance efforts can vary.  The ROI might actually be negative in some instances if you develop the wrong plan or implement the wrong software.  On the other hand, ROI from an information governance solution can be millions of dollars in either direct revenue from finding critical business documents, or in cost savings by avoiding damaging litigation. Below are seven of the leading places to look for information governance ROI: Implementation & Maintaining:  The upfront cost and hours spent during implementation plus the cost of on-going expenses such as hosting fees, and staffing give you a break even point for your ROI.  The lower these costs are the faster you’ll start seeing positive ROI. Storage Reduction:  The fastest way organizations start seeing ROI from their information governance efforts is an ability to stop using off-site storage, costly back-ups, and the ability to defensibly delete information. eDiscovery:  eDiscovery is a substantial financial burden, and one case can cost millions in discovery costs.  Implementing information governance can substantially reduce these costs by decreasing review times, helping you avoid legal expenses, and costly unfavorable outcomes. Productivity:  Employees spend countless hours a week trying to locate and re-create documents they are unable to find.  The time savings can have an immediate impact on ROI and effect top-line growth. Litigation: More organized and thorough data can result in higher litigation success rates. IT Resources: Information governance practices can free up the time and cost of using internal resources for archiving, eDiscovery, and overall information management. Security: Information governance can reduce additional spending on security.  It can also reduce data breaches and theft. With so many variables to consider, it’s a difficult market for buyers to determine the best solution.  Everyone knows someone who made a bad investment in the wrong technology. Even so, an archive is not a place to save money.  The difference between a $50k and $100k investment in the right technology might seem substantial, but one might translate into hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars actualized over time.  Your information governance partner should help identify where spending needs to be made and where savings can be realized, so that ROI is not only clear, but substantial.

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