Westpac Bank Automates and Speeds Up Regulatory Reporting with OpenText Analytics


When Westpac Banking Corporation was founded in 1817 in a small waterfront settlement in Australia, banking was rudimentary. Records were kept with quill pens in leather-bound ledgers: Pounds, shillings, and pence into the cashbox; pounds, shillings, and pence out.  (Until a cashier ran off with half the fledgling bank’s capital in 1821, that is.) Now, exactly 200 years after Westpac’s parent company opened its doors, it’s not only the oldest bank in Australia but the second-largest, with 13 million customers worldwide and over A$812 billion under management. Every year it does more and more business in China, Hong Kong, and other Asia-Pacific nations. The downside to this expansion is: More forms to fill out – managing the electronic and physical flow of cash across national borders is highly regulated, requiring prompt and detailed reports of transactions, delivered in different formats for each country and agency that oversees various aspects of Westpac’s business. These reports require information from multiple sources throughout the company. Until recently, pulling out and consolidating all these complex pieces of data was a manual, slow, labor-intensive process that often generated data errors, according to Craig Chu, Westpac’s CIO for Asia.  The bank knew there had to be a better way to meet its regulatory requirements – but one that wouldn’t create its own new IT burden. A successful proof of concept led to Westpac adopting an information management and reporting solution from OpenText™ Analytics. To hear Chu explain how Westpac streamlined and automated its reporting process with OpenText™ iHub and Big Data Analytics, and all the benefits his company has realized, check out this short video showcasing this success story.  (Spoiler alert: Self-service information access empowers customers and employees.) If you’d like to learn more about what the OpenText Analytics Suite could do for your organization, click here.

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A Duty to Safeguard Client Content

safeguard client content

We’ve all read the headlines. Security breaches continue to shock us for their magnitude and reach—from reports on hacking of Democratic National Convention (DNC) email servers during the 2016 presidential election; to the reported theft of more than 1 billion Yahoo account holders in December. The impact of a breach can be significant. And, not just for the clients—whose loss of personal information can make them vulnerable to financial loss—but also for the organizations who have failed to safeguard that information. A Measured, Disciplined Approach Digital security is complex and requires a multi-pronged approach. One part of this approach is provided by Enterprise Content Management (ECM), which many consider a “must have”—a foundational technology to safeguard sensitive digital content, while ensuring it remains readily accessible for day-to-day operations. At the core of every ECM solution is a Document Management repository—providing a secure home and a structured approach for saving, managing, and governing digital content. Content in the repository is protected by system-wide security and varying levels of more granular security. The ability to securely access content anytime, anywhere by mobile devices is key, as is the ability to check out and securely share content externally in the cloud. User Adoption is Essential Solutions for securing content are only as good those who use them—and many choose not to. Hyperion Research tells us that in the average ECM-enabled legal organization, for example, only 70 percent of users actually use the system. The rest store content however and wherever they like—on desktops, in file shares, in unsanctioned, poorly secured cloud file-sharing repositories. Ethical Reasons to Safeguard Client Content Everyone gravitates to what is easy; to the path of least resistance. In the end, however, the decision to safeguard client content can be considered an ethical or moral one. Lawyers, in particular—regardless of whether they are employed by law firms, in government, or in legal departments of organizations across varying industries—have a professional duty to safeguard client content or “property”. The American Bar Association, for example, requires that lawyers safeguard client property in their possession by holding it separate from their own property to prevent co-mingling (ABA, section 1.15). It is generally accepted that files and documents belong to the client, not the firm. In addition, lawyers must maintain client property in a way that is not only secure, but also readily available and retrievable over time. Complying with Regulatory Requirements ECM solutions are purpose-built to meet these fiduciary requirements, as well as applicable regulatory requirements—and not just for legal, but for firms in many industries. If employees don’t effectively maintain client information they may compromise ethical obligations to safeguard client property and also increase their firm’s exposure to compliance risk. In the end, those firms will have a tough time demonstrating compliance with HIPAA. They’ll have difficulty securing documents in compliance with ISO 27001, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and countless other regulations. Client information is a valuable commodity and a growing target for theft. Hacking techniques are constantly evolving. Regulations are growing to protect that information. We all have an obligation to ensure the safe, secure management of client information, and with ECM solutions like eDOCS, securing content is not only possible, but easier than ever. More information is available here.

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Telco Accessibility 101: What’s Now Covered by U.S. Legislation

telco accessibility

In a word, everything. Name a telecommunications product or service and chances are it has a legal requirement to comply with federal accessibility laws. Let’s see… Mobile connectivity services for smartphones, tablets, and computers? Check Smartphones, tablets, and computers? Check Internet services (e.g., cable, satellite)? Check Television services (e.g., cable, satellite, broadcast)? Check Televisions, radios, DVD/Blu-ray players, DVRs, and on-demand video devices? Check Email, texting, and other text-based communication? Check VoIP communications and online video conferencing? Check Fixed-line phone services? Check Fixed-line telephones, modems, answering machines, and fax machines? Check Two tin cans attached by a string? Check All of these products and services are covered by U.S. accessibility legislation (except the cans and string). What laws are we talking about here? Mainly Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, for products and services that existed before 1996, and the Twenty-­First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) of 2010, which picked up where Section 255 left off, defining accessibility regulations for broadband-enabled advanced communications services. Web accessibility legislation, while not telco-specific, is also relevant. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t explicitly define commercial websites as “places of public accommodation” (because the ADA predates the Internet), but the courts have increasingly interpreted the law this way. Therefore, as “places of public accommodation,” company websites—and all associated content –must be accessible to people with disabilities. For more insight on this, try searching on “Netflix ADA Title III” or reading this article. (By the way, a web-focused update of the ADA is in the offing.) Last but not least, we come to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which spells out accessibility guidelines for businesses wanting to sell electronic and information technology (EIT) to the federal government. If your company doesn’t do that, then Section 508 doesn’t apply to you. What this means for businesses Not unreasonably, telecommunications companies must ensure that their products and services comply with accessibility regulations and are also usable by people with disabilities. This usability requirement means that telecom service providers must offer contracts, bills, and customer support communications in accessible formats. For product manufacturers, usability means providing customers with a full range of relevant learning resources in accessible formats: installation guides, user manuals, and product support communications. To comply with the legislation, telecommunications companies must find and implement cost-effective technology solutions that will allow them to deliver accessible customer-facing content. Organizations that fail to meet federal accessibility standards could leave themselves open to consumer complaints, lawsuits, and, possibly, stiff FCC fines. Meeting the document challenge with accessible PDF Telecommunications companies looking for ways to comply with federal regulations should consider a solution that can transform their existing document output of contracts, bills, manuals, and customer support communications into accessible PDF format. Why PDF? PDF is already the de facto electronic document standard for high-volume customer communications such as service contracts and monthly bills because it’s portable and provides an unchanging snapshot, a necessity for any kind of recordkeeping. But what about HTML? Why not use that? While HTML is ideal for delivering dynamic web and mobile content such as on-demand, customizable summaries of customer account data, it doesn’t produce discrete, time-locked documents. Plus, HTML doesn’t support archiving or portability, meaning HTML files are not “official” documents that can be stored and distributed as fixed entities. Document content is low-hanging fruit Document inaccessibility is not a problem that organizations need to live with because it can be solved immediately — and economically — with OpenText’s Automated Output Accessibility Solution, the only enterprise PDF accessibility solution on the market for high-volume, template-driven documents. This unique software solution enables telecommunications companies to quickly transform service contracts, monthly bills, product guides, and other electronic documents into WCAG 2.0 Level AA-compliant accessible PDFs. Whatever the data source, our performance numbers are measured in milliseconds so customers will receive their content right when they ask for it. OpenText has successfully deployed this solution at government agencies, 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 of day-to-day business. Fast, reliable, compliant, and affordable, our automated solution can help you serve customers and meet your compliance obligations. Learn more about the OpenText™Automated Output Accessibility solution.

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OpenText Live Webinar Series – Upcoming Schedule

OpenText Live Webinar Series

We are fast approaching the holiday season with the New Year peeking just around the corner, but before you get swept up into the hustle and bustle of this “most wonderful time of the year,” we at OpenText™ Live invite you to check out a few webinars that we have lined up for November and December. With the latest release of OpenText™ Release 16 Enhancement Pack 1 (EP1), our Experience Suite has undergone major changes with the additions of powerful Customer Communications and Experience Management solutions such as TeamSite, Exstream, MediaBin, Qfiniti, Explore and more! These enhancements mark the revolution of customer communications in the digital world, and we want to give you an exclusive first hand look into what these solutions can offer your business. November 15: OpenText™ ECM Content Migration (11:00AM EDT) Need help migrating ECM content? OpenText partner FME demonstrates best practices in this webinar. We’ll show you: – Migration and upgrade best practice pathways to OpenText™ Content Suite 16 – Cost savings with migration-center for your content migration – A short live demo Register here November 29: Convert Correspondence into Engagements with OpenText™ Communications Center (11:00AM EDT) Learn more about OpenText Communications Center and its enhanced interactivity with other OpenText product suites including Content Suite, Process Suite, Business Network and Analytics. Turn engagement into insight. Register here December 1: What’s New in OpenText™ Digital Asset Management? (11:00AM EDT) What’s new for OpenText Digital Asset Management (DAM) and the Enhancement Pack 1 (EP1) release? If you’re using Media Management or MediaBin, you’ll want to check out this session to find out what our Product Management team has in store. Learn about the latest features and product strategy. Register here December 6: The Latest Innovations in Exstream 9.5 and Delivery Manager 3.0 (11:00AM EDT) Join us for an overview of Exstream 9.5 which was announced late September and Delivery Manager announced in October. Product experts will be showing live demonstrations. Register here December 8: Syntergy Content Sentry: The Next Generation of Data Loss Prevention (11:00AM EDT) OpenText partner Syntergy will demonstrate a new Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution for OpenText™ Content Server. The capabilities of this powerful solution allow it to learn what constitutes normal activity for users and what alerts or triggers automated policy reactions when suspicious activity is detected. Register here  December 13: How the Contact Center is Driving the Customer Experience (11:00AM EDT) Attend this session to learn more about OpenText™ Qfiniti and how Workforce Optimization (WFO) solutions are monitoring the customer experience through call recording, coaching employees, measuring the Voice of the Customer (VoC), and leveraging powerful analytics to make every interaction the best it can be. Register here December 15: OpenText™ CEM Strategy Update for WCM Products (11:00AM EDT) We’re creating a powerful new Website Content Management platform, and we want you to learn all about it. With the release of Enhancement Pack 1 (EP1), the WCM platform welcomes OpenText™ TeamSite to the mix, rounding out an effective customer communications program that surpasses the industry standard. Register here The OpenText Live team is committed to delivering content that keeps you updated on the latest OpenText product releases, trends and demands within the digital world as well as demos that exemplify the best solutions features for your business. Communicate directly with the experts and receive the technological know-how for implementing and managing your OpenText products. All of our webinars are recorded and available to registered customers at My Support. Visit our website for more information or sign up to receive weekly invitations to our webinars.

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Fighting Fraud Through Better ECM

Fighting Fraud

Headlines these days often point to data security cases such as the breach at Yahoo!, affecting millions of users. But in the financial services industry, including insurance, it’s not just about data theft. It’s about fraud. As we continue to drive implementations of InfoArchive, there is a very positive use case emerging that I think is worth blogging about – fraud detection. In particular, the ability to search many content types to perform forensics and analysis. This can turn up insider employees siphoning funds, or external parties manipulating processes for financial gain. Either way, the ability to digitize content and leverage it to protect yourself seems an essential skill in our digitally-transforming economy. How can you get started? Here are three suggestions:  1 – Capturing Content Take a look at your current methods for capturing content as it comes into your organization. Are applications filled out online? Is there a bot on your web site asking for information? Are you using webcams and video, or online voice collaboration? Don’t forget to consider how and where smart phones or devices can be leveraged for first point of capture. Understanding how your stakeholders naturally communicate with your enterprise may turn up new types of content formats. Assessing these for today’s use, then projecting where you expect interactions to grow – say, more voice-collected information – can solidify your requirements. This can help your architects better align recognition, extraction, and classification technologies to fit your fraud detection use case. 2 – Retaining Content One of many reasons I love the idea of extreme archiving is that the right content is always there when you need it. Nothing is worse than detecting some type of financial fraud, and finding you have no pools of content or history to investigate it and recover damages. Regulatory compliance will require you retain content long-term, so might as well leverage the same effort for multiple benefits and use cases. Start by designing a content retention component into your content management strategy. Consider disaster recovery needs and compliance requirements, and the content formats you discovered in step one above. 3 – Searching Content Perhaps one of the most important considerations for the use case of fraud detection is search and query capabilities. It’s one thing to be smart about what content you can find and save, and quite another to search it quickly when something serious happens. (Just ask Bangladeshi bank officials, who realized only too late they had transferred billions of dollars to hackers). Consider where your investigators may be physically located, and what types of devices they may use to query your content. Of course, run through multiple scenarios to ensure the right combination of content format, syntax, language and other search nuances are available to aid in their investigation. Fortunately the financial services sector is already investing in fraud prevention methods. Considering OpenText as part of your fraud detection strategy can deliver a solid ROI on content management solutions, while reusing the capture, retention and search tools you need anyway for managing regulatory compliance. How are you leveraging OpenText for business benefits such as fraud detection? Share your feedback below.

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Announcing…The First Cloud Fax Solution Built Specifically for Healthcare

cloud fax

Faxing remains one of the top methods of patient information exchange in healthcare. Despite this dominance, healthcare providers continue to use fax solutions – most notably fax machines – that are a security risk, inefficient and disruptive to workflows, and especially aren’t designed for the unique needs of the healthcare industry. Today, OpenText announced the launch of OpenText™ Fax2Mail for Healthcare, the first cloud fax solution built specifically for the US healthcare industry. This new solution, which combines the reliability of OpenText cloud faxing with an easy-to-use, intuitive portal powered by Kno2TM, brings patient information exchange and clinical workflows together in a single solution. Improving patient information exchange, starting with cloud faxing First and foremost, isn’t it time to get rid of fax machines? The first step is to get providers to move away from paper-and-toner faxing to a digital form with cloud fax. The compliance risks, inefficiency and productivity loss with paper-based, manual faxing are well understood, yet the use of standalone fax machines continues to prevail. Cloud faxing with OpenText Fax2Mail is an easy way to start to transform how patient information is exchanged.  Fax2Mail enables the secure and encrypted electronic exchange of clinical documents, reducing compliance risk associated with paper-based faxing. Fax2Mail eliminates all on-site infrastructure, providing the easiest form of faxing available, allowing you to focus on patient care. More than “just another cloud fax solution” With the introduction of OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare, faxing, Direct messaging and other forms of electronic exchange are combined together in a fully compliant, interoperable patient document exchange platform, ultimately, improving patient care.  The new solution includes powerful tools that mirror existing manual workflows and streamlines them, eliminating paper-based and manual patient information exchange to digitize and simplify the document trail and expedite access to patient information. Designed for administrators and clinicians, OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare delivers the right patient information to the right provider at the right time. Combing all forms of patient information exchange while digitizing workflows makes this a cloud fax solution like none other in the industry. OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare is an easy-to-use, interoperable platform that: Reduces the burden of paper-based and manual healthcare workflows and enables digital transformation in the healthcare industry Combines all forms of information exchange and manages healthcare workflows in a single location with built-in integration to external systems, such as EMRs Enables fully electronic, interoperable, digital patient information exchange to connect with other healthcare providers using any form of common exchange such as fax, Direct messages and electronic document exchange Eliminates fax machines and fax-related onsite infrastructure, software fees, telecom charges and capital costs Learn more about OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare.

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Secure Information Exchange – Forgotten in your Digital Transformation Strategy?

secure information exchange

Regardless of the widget your organization makes or service it provides, at the very core of every organization is the information that fuels its decisions and ultimately, its success. And that information exchange between an ecosystem of connected customers, suppliers, and business partners must be secure With information as the currency of the digital economy, organizations don’t succeed just based on size, scale, access to resources, or geographic presence—it’s the degree to which they can take advantage of information to innovate and grow. It’s critical that organizations connect business processes across their ecosystem, and secure the information flows that support those processes. Not only is this essential for business continuity, it’s a must for efficiency and productivity in a hyper-competitive digital economy. As more and more organizations adopt a digital transformation strategy, a key component to remember is the transformation of how information is securely exchanged. Digitization must include tools for secure information exchange that support operational gains while improving agility, employee productivity, and higher levels of compliance to reduce risk. While many organizations have sophisticated systems in place to exchange raw data, large files, and many forms of content, there is one technology that continues to persist in every corner of the world: fax. Despite being a 150+ year old technology (yes, it’s true!), faxing has remained a steadfast communication method that provides a direct and secure path for exchanging information. Organizations which do not have a digital transformation strategy that includes a secure information exchange component stand the risk of inefficiency, higher costs, slower gains and lower productivity, as well as security and compliance risks. As an integral part of secure information exchange solutions, electronic fax servers and services are designed to integrate with back-end systems to facilitate the secure exchange of content to and from those applications. Some considerations when choosing an electronic fax solution include determining the needs of the business, process or workflows and evaluating vendor capabilities that fit your needs. While most electronic fax solutions are alike in their core functionality (sending/receiving from email, centralized fax management, tracking and reporting), be sure to choose a vendor that your organization can truly consider a trusted partner, vested in your success as much as you are. Not all vendors are alike, in both capabilities and vision. Seek vendors with advanced, proven functionality, and those which are able to demonstrate a vision that supports your goals and aligns with your digital transformation journey. Ideally, seek a vendor that has capabilities that include but are broader than secure information exchange solutions:  a vendor that can ultimately help you transform your organization to support a fully integrated Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform to help you on your journey to digital transformation and create a better way to work. Base your secure information exchange strategy on digital, enterprise-grade fax solutions. Then build a robust communication ecosystem that is integrated and automated to reduce risk, enable compliance, and accelerated time to revenue. Whether you choose an on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid model, secure information exchange can transform your business.

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ECM Show and Tell at Enterprise World 2016

Enterprise World

We’re closing in on two months since we unveiled the most significant release in the history of OpenText, including, of course, a powerful new version of OpenText™ Content Suite 16. After a busy few months with the ECM product team doing the ‘CS16 show and tell’ via the OT Live webinar series, our next stop is in-the-flesh in Nashville at Enterprise World 2016. Following so closely on the heels of the Release 16 launch, this year’s event is going to have a special vibe: There’ll be less, “Let’s talk about what’s coming!” and a lot more, “Let see how to leverage what’s here!” But, of course, we aren’t the only ones participating in a little ‘show and tell’ at Enterprise World. This conference is truly a gathering of the top minds in ECM—including those of you who work with the OpenText ECM solutions every day! Here are a few things on the ‘not to be missed’ list: On the more formal side, we have a wealth of Customer Panel Breakouts this year including ECM-232, A Discussion on Upgrading to Content Suite 16; ECM-233 Real World Stories of Transforming through ECM; and ECM-226, Harnessing the Cloud to Amplify the Value of ECM. Upgrading to Release 16 and Content Suite 16 is a strategic move to fast-track your digital transformation. To set you off on the right path, the OpenText Services Experts will be on hand helping you leave the event with a concrete plan of action specific to your organization. Read Bob Schindelar’s recent blog post on making the most of the OpenText Professional Services resources on hand at the event. If there’s one thing I hear every year when we ask you about the best part of the conference, it’s the opportunity to spend face-time with your peers exchanging ideas and experiences. As with previous events, the ECM product experts will be your hosts in the Content Theater where we’ll help you experience and test drive the new features. The kicker, there’s really no better place for firing up an impromptu conversation on the topic than the Content Theater. The cross-pollination of ideas here is priceless! So, to kick off the build-up to Enterprise World and help drive home that, by attending, you are also taking a driver’s seat in defining the future of ECM, I’m going to suggest we all do a little homework to bump up our knowledge of the rapidly evolving ECM landscape. I encourage you to read a few of the most recent reports by the respected industry analysts who spend their careers scrutinizing what we all mean when we talk about how digital disruption is transforming information management. Here are a few findings from key ECM analysts’ latest reports: In 2015, Forrester split their ECM Wave into two distinct reports to better address the use cases most organizations are adopting for ECM. Supporting the ECM value of process productivity, the Forrester Wave: ECM Transactional Content Services, Q3 2015 cited OpenText for having the broadest backbone for embedding ECM in enterprise applications. In this report Forrester commented “We also like OpenText’s vision for the ‘connected workspace,’ which organizes unstructured information, folders, tasks, and milestones. This allows transactional workers to swarm a customer exception with social, collaboration, and ECM capabilities.” And on the personal productivity side of the house, the Forrester Wave: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015 commended OpenText for investing in secure file-sharing, synchronization, and team collaboration. Gartner sees a similar shift in the use cases for enterprise content management with transactional content management, compliance, and digital workplace scenarios taking precedence amongst their clients. In the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM our efforts in both process productivity and control are lauded with Gartner calling our offering “a strong option for businesses looking for solid ECM functionality to address information governance requirements,” while highlighting our strong technical partnerships with SAP®, Microsoft®, and Oracle®. And in the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Content Management: Compliance and Records Management OpenText scored the highest of any vendor on Trusted System of Record, Regulatory Compliance, and Long-Term Digital Preservation. Other analysts also are weighing in on the role of ECM in the path to digital transformation. Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution, 2015–16 our ECM portfolio was called “one of the most comprehensive” with capabilities in every category of ECM. Nucleus Research ECM Technology Value Matrix 2015: Liked our “wide range of functionality with tight integration, making the transfer of information between different products or applications much smoother.” Info Tech Content and Email Archiving Vendor Landscape states that OpenText has the “most comprehensive solution in the landscape due largely to the traditional content management strengths of the vendor” and particularly called out our “wide set of deployment and management settings to deal with complex data sovereignty and compliance issues.” Does that get you in the mood for a trip to the music city? Don’t worry about packing those cowboy boots, we know it’s kind of hot in July so come see us in the Content Theater and we’ll dress you up right for the week. We’re all excited to talk more with you about the new roster of OpenText Content Suite solutions so remember to pack light, register to attend Enterprise World and we’ll see you in a few weeks!

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Regulatory Information Management – Where are you on the Journey?

Regulatory Information Management

Life Sciences companies are under pressure to reduce the costs of regulatory operations and speed up health agency approval to accelerate time to market. However, this is no easy task! Each organization is in a unique place on the Regulatory Information Management (RIM) continuum – some need to put a foundational content management system in place, others are trying to unify processes with affiliates or shrink their dependency on spreadsheets and yet, others are trying to rationalize myriad and duplicative systems to streamline processes and drive down costs. Fortunately, I have a bevy of regulatory experts ready to share their knowledge and experience to help you meet your RIM goals regardless of where your company falls on the continuum. Regulatory Information Management is Complex! First, the regulatory landscape is complex and always changing so just keeping up with regulatory requirements across global markets is challenging. Second, organizations are often in varying degrees of maturity when it comes to regulatory processes. Some organizations do not have a content management system in place to help manage all their controlled documentation including how documents are created, reviewed, approved, trained on, distributed for use, revised and retired. On the other end of the spectrum, some companies manage multiple content management systems and are striving to rationalize them in a way that streamlines operations and reduces costs yet ensures information accessibility and compliance. For most companies, regulatory processes span a myriad of disjointed systems and processes. Operational complexity reigns and accessibility and usability are problematic. Due to these challenges, regulatory organizations struggle to efficiently submit to regulatory agencies. They struggle to know which of their products are registered in specific markets. Sponsors often lack visibility into the exact contents of submissions within each country or region. And keeping track of agency interactions brings yet another collection of systems and applications into the mix. Changes clearly need to happen to achieve the goal of accelerating time to market when it comes to RIM.  Life Sciences organizations must improve efficiency and productivity, as well as, data quality, accuracy and compliance. Where Do I Start? If your company is one that doesn’t currently have a content management system in place, let’s look at two fundamental capabilities outlined by Gens and Associates in their Drug Information Association (DIA) presentation, “Measuring and Achieving World Class RIM”, that companies must do very efficiently when pursuing an effective (and world class) RIM strategy. R&D Document Management: Organizations must have a streamlined process for the creation, review and management of submission documentation. By leveraging industry-standard dictionaries, taxonomies and object models combined with a template-based authoring process and collaborative review process, the speed, accuracy and completeness of submission-ready documentation can be improved. Documentum Research and Development  helps ensure the efficient creation of accurate and complete submission documentation. Health Authority Interactions (Q&A, correspondence): On-going communications with Health Authorities continue throughout the drug lifecycle. Organizations need easy access to regulatory submissions and the associated regulatory correspondence to enable a complete view of regulatory activity. Submission Store and View simplifies the search and retrieval of archived submissions and their associated correspondence, while improving security and compliance. The solution links regulatory correspondence and communications to submission files, enabling a full view of regulatory activity within a scalable, secure Documentum repository. If your organization falls into the second camp where you are trying to rationalize multiple and often duplicative systems, let’s look at another key consideration – the need for a single source of truth for regulated content. While most Life Sciences organizations operate in silos; content follows the lifecycle of the drug. Therefore, having a single authoritative source across all functional areas breaks down information silos and enables documents in one domain to be used by key stakeholders in another. This approach minimizes discrepancies and uncontrolled copies, ensuring that information is accurate, timely and accessible. Organizations can respond faster to product changes, compliance concerns or health authority requests. How Can I Ensure Success? Regardless of where you are in terms of your Regulatory Information Management initiatives, there is certainly lots to figure out. RIM is not easy but it’s essential to driving more efficient regulatory processes and accelerating time to market. Where does your company fall on the RIM continuum? What challenges are your experiencing that we can help you with? Do you have some best practices to share based on your own success? Read more on Life Sciences and how we are helping here.

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The RFP Process and You – A Relationship Guide (Webinar)

RFP process

Do you have a love-hate relationship with the RFP (Request for Proposal) process? Does it elicit warm feelings that the acronym could also stand for “Reliable, Fair, Pleasant” process? Or is it more like “Really Freaking Painful?” The RFP process began in the Government sector as a way of ensuring fairness to suppliers – all competing vendors get the same information and deadline requirements, evaluate proposals against stated criteria, and select the “winner” in a transparent, defensible way.  Today the RFP process is used in most industry sectors, where organizations see it as a useful method to collect competing bids. However, for many procurement professionals, bid management can be time consuming and labor-intensive. Processes are often manual, paper-based and inconsistent. Large volumes of information with multiple versions must be collected, coordinated and distributed. Vendors, both known and new, need to be evaluated and multiple stakeholders must work together. Smart organizations know that the relationship with the RFP process can be fulfilling, productive and yes, even, satisfying. Below is our Relationship Guide which contains best practice advice on how to improve your bond with this sometimes misunderstood process. Enough with the spreadsheets If you are wondering why your procurement processes are slow, error-prone, and costly, it is probably because of the M-word – most RFP processes are manual. This results in inconsistent execution and vendor engagement, and potentially compliance risk. Moving your bid process online facilitates the efficient flow of work, while enabling the capture of KPIs and process metrics. Automating workflows provides decision makers and management with real-time visibility into procurement operations and enables sound strategic decisions. Difficult-to-manage emails become a thing of the past by moving all vendor and buyer interactions and communications to a single, central portal. According to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the most successful procurement leaders “are fully automated – with real-time access to data.” It’s the 21st century. It is time to automate and join the digital world. Know your suppliers Large organizations often interact with hundreds or thousands of vendors and partners. Sifting through corporate memory to identify the best vendor(s) to fulfill a particular requirement can be time and effort-consuming — if not impossible. Intelligent tools are needed to keep track of suppliers’ capabilities, as well as how well they have performed in the past. Choosing the wrong vendor can have a host of impacts ranging from delayed projects and bleeding budgets, to business disruptions and public relations nightmares. A bid management solution with strong vendor management capabilities can ensure that all relevant vendors are included in the evaluation and that past vendor performance is taken into account when executing new procurements. Follow the rules Like in any relationship, there are rules. And if rules are broken sometimes someone gets hurt, usually in the form of a fine or reputational loss. In one extreme case a few years back, the Government of Canada was ordered to pay almost $30 million in lost profits to a losing bidder for intentionally favoring the incumbent. There are numerous policies that govern sourcing activities. Organizations must ensure they spend money judiciously and eliminate waste; and in the case of government, protect against abuse of public dollars. According to the US Office of Management and Budget, more than one out of every six dollars of federal government spending goes to contractors, making it essential that all sourcing result in the best value for the taxpayer. Legislation such as the US Federal Acquisition Regulation, Federal Accountability Act in Canada, and the Public Contracts Directive in Europe, mandate that business is conducted with integrity, fairness, and openness. Protect the information The RFP lifecycle generates many business records that must be managed. When processes are manual, there is no central repository for communication and collaboration between the numerous stakeholders, jeopardizing information integrity and efficiency. Choose a solution with a secure back-end system of record, enabling the indexing of documents for easy search, full audit trail of actions that have been taken, sophisticated access controls, and automated records retention and disposition. These features play a key role in demonstrating the trustworthiness of the bid process and protecting important records per regulatory requirements. Rekindle the passion In large organizations, an RFP can be worth millions of dollars to a supplier and represent a strategic effort for business, procurement and IT organizations. Business leaders want to know they are getting the best solution for their dollar, and suppliers want to compete fairly for the business. You don’t need to have a strained relationship with the RFP process. A strong bid management solution will make you look at the sourcing in a whole new way. Introducing OpenText™ RFx Center OpenText RFx Center is an application targeted at automating and improving the efficiency of bid management. Built on OpenText™ Process Suite with integrations into OpenText™ Content Server and OpenText™ Contract Center, RFx Center combines industry-leading process automation, content management, and contract functionality in a single solution. Automate RFP, RFQ, RFI, Framework, and sole source processes Enforce regulatory compliance and increase transparency though audit history and tracking of all procurement actions, documents, and artifacts Manage procurement documents in secure centralized content repository Empower business users to rapidly configure workflows and business rules with intuitive, easy to use interface – no coding required Improve efficiencies and integrity for all vendor and buyer interactions using a single, central portal – no more emailing documents Take advantage of powerful Analytics capabilities that provide deep insight into procurement performance Ensure fairness to vendors with increased internal auditability, visibility, and accountability For more information on OpenText RFx Center, visit here. To learn about more OpenText compliance solutions, visit here.

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Next Generation OpenText Content Suite is Here…You Won’t Look at ECM the Same Way Again

Content Server

Re-thinking ECM Drives Personal and Process Productivity as well as Control It’s happened. Last month saw the release of major upgrades to the OpenText product line, including an incredible new version of OpenText™ Content Suite. Together they represent the most ambitious, extensive launch in OpenText history. Nothing has even come close to this in my eight years with the company and I have to say, it’s a pretty exciting milestone! Of course, I’m most excited about the powerful new edition of Content Suite. Its most important innovations — huge advances in functionality and usability — are inspired by a whole new way of thinking about ECM, its role in the enterprise, and the way knowledge workers interact with, and use information. What’s led to this step change? Take a look around your own office and the answers become clear. People Processes Governance The demographic make-up of our co-workers is tilting toward the digital-native generation, a cohort that’s come of age with simple, instant access to the information they want, whenever and wherever they want it. And they expect to work the same way; they’re mobile, agile, and instantly responsive. As you’ve probably experienced, most organizations are poorly equipped to meet this new approach to sharing, collaborating, and innovating. Used to be, phone calls, faxes, and eventually email provided 99% of the information flow you needed to do your job. Not any more. Digital information is flooding the enterprise in exploding volumes, from ever-diversifying sources. Data generated by everything from social media to the supply chain constitutes an organization’s most valuable asset, if they can use it properly. There’s a critical need to seamlessly integrate, aggregate, and correlate this information to extract full value from it, as well as the people and processes that create it. Unfortunately, working with huge pools of data has a dark side. Digital information’s key strength — mobility— has led to regular data breach headlines. Countless employees put employers at risk every day by transferring intellectual property to unsanctioned, ungoverned apps for easy access. In a world of increasingly complex and far-reaching security, privacy, and compliance requirements, organizations struggle to maintain control over their information with outdated tools, inadequate oversight, and labor-intensive practices.   Content Suite 16 is purpose-built to help organizations solve all these problems. It’s not just a re-launch of our ECM platform, it’s a complete re-think of the purpose and function of ECM within enterprises as they transform to become fully digital. By building on its traditional strengths as guardian, bond, and organizer of information with new usability and integration functionality, Content Suite shifts the focus of ECM toward creating an enterprise-wide information backbone that places people before technology. It can now bridge previously isolated silos and distribute information effortlessly to drive productivity and oversight in three inter-connected areas: Personal Productivity Users want to access, share, and collaborate on business content in the same seamless, simple ways they connect with each other in their private lives. Content Suite 16 creates this environment. With OpenText™ Tempo Box and OpenText™ Core, organizations can finally foster frictionless synch-and-share collaboration on both sides of the firewall in a fully governed ECM environment. Users work the way they want, on their own terms, anytime, anywhere, underpinned by an ECM safety net that manages everything from version control to auditing to application of meta-tags. Content Suite 16 also introduces a new user interface, one that provides a cohesive personal experience tailored to each individual user. Everything related to a subject can be personalized and presented in a simple format based on the user’s role and device. As an example, here’s an insurance industry use case: Through one easy-to-master interface, users can see everything they need to in relation to a claim — account information, completed claim form, feeds from the adjustor in the field, in-line communication from across the company, task lists, and more. All compiled, connected, and shared through Content Suite. Process Productivity In the digital era, we’ve digitized enterprise processes but not done a very good job of connecting them to each other. The information they produce is usually stored in a siloed repository aligned to the process. It’s usually hard to access, difficult to govern, and almost impossible for the business to use effectively. The Extended ECM capabilities of Content Suite eliminate this. They integrate ECM into the lead applications that produce this data (SAP®, Oracle®, Microsoft® and others), connecting silos to aggregate related information and present the full picture of any instance. With ECM fully embedded in the process, governance policies and classification tags can now be automatically applied right at the source. Users are spared from doing the dirty work, yet benefit from the results. Imagine a use case where a user with a decision to make doesn’t even leave the application they’re working in to access the contract, inventory reports, sales figures, and email communication related to a supplier. Think of the increased efficiency, insight, and throughput. It’s all possible now. Control Having all this newly accessible information available to be usedin innovative, far-reaching ways actually creates more risk and inefficiency if proper governance and control isn’t consistently applied at all points. Analysts have always considered information governance to be one of Content Suite’s competitive strengths and Content Suite 16 improves on that. The key is in the ability to integrate governance best practices into both personal and process information flows without impeding productivity. Personal Productivity content — the high-volume, wildly unpredictable result of day-to-day collaboration and creation — is notorious for being high-risk while resisting oversight. Content Suite 16 introduces new capabilities to transparently capture content as it’s created in applications like file synch and share, email, and SharePoint® and automatically apply retention and security policies based on machine learning. Process Productivity data — critical to continuity and records management — can now be automatically classified, tagged, and aggregated behind the scenes as soon as it’s generated. It’s inducted into the enterprise information lifecycle for effortless discovery and use by records managers, legal teams, and LOB leaders. OpenText Content Suite is the Future of ECM Content Suite redefines the role of ECM in the digital enterprise. It creates a seamless cross-enterprise information grid that provides the Personal and Process Productivity gains enterprises need within a framework of Control. Available on premise, as a subscription in the OpenText™ Cloud, or as a managed service, today it stands as the only comprehensive, fully integrated ECM suite in the industry. Take a few minutes to find out more about what we have in store for you in Content Suite 16. Start by erasing your preconceived notions and perceptions of ECM. Then, visualize what transforming to become “digital inside” means to your organization. Chances are, OpenText Content Suite’s innovative new approach to implementing, extending, and using ECM can get you where you want to be.

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Can a Global Regulatory Index (GRI) Transform Communications with Regulatory Affiliates?

Global Regulatory Index

Streamlining the regulatory submission process is essential to getting products to market faster today. And yet, for most Life Sciences organizations, this process is time consuming, inefficient and complex – even more so when partnering with Regulatory Affiliates worldwide. While sponsors are ultimately responsible for the safety of the products available in global markets, they struggle to gain visibility into regulatory activities. On the flipside, Affiliates struggle to get access to critical submission documentation in a timely manner and to create an efficient process while using a whole host of local tools (spreadsheets, network drives, email, paper, etc.) to manage their work. The result is a disjointed process that lacks efficiency, traceability and streamlined communication. Next week, the Drug Information Association (DIA) is hosting their Regulatory Submissions, Information and Document Management Forum in Bethesda, MD. On Tuesday we are speaking on “Managing Global Submissions – From Identifying Core Content to what is Actually Submitted.” Here’s a Q&A on the presentation below.  Question: When you say “Core Content” or “Global Regulatory Index” what do you mean? Answer: We are working with several clients on the concept of a Global Regulatory Index (GRI). (Some clients also refer to this as a Core Dossier or Corporate Package.) The objective is to create a package of all sponsor approved submission content for a given product at any point in time. This content would be created and approved by the Sponsor and could be used anywhere in the world for submissions. Local Operating Companies (LOCs) / Regulatory Affiliates could then create local health authority submissions based on the approved GRI. Question: What is driving the need for something like this in the industry? Answer: The underlying driver is the desire to reduce risk and improve efficiency. Sponsors are ultimately responsible for all health authority submissions and yet there is a real lack of visibility of what Affiliates are submitting as well as concerns about accuracy. In Gens & Associates’ 2015 RIM and affiliate benchmark study, it found that 40% of affiliate time is spent coordinating and managing regulatory information, with approximately 25% of that time spent on non-value-added activities, such as data re-entry. In our interactions with clients, there seems to be a lack of confidence in the quality of product registration information maintained in global systems. Companies are looking for ways to ensure accurate information and a single source of the truth yet ensuring that Affiliates have the information and easy access they need to unify both the process and ensure timely, bi-directional communication. Question: What would be required to utilize a GRI? Answer: First, a process would need to be defined that takes the needs of both the Sponsor and the Affiliates into account. The goal should be to define a process that works for both parties and reduces non-value add activities and rework. Obviously, it also needs to be flexible and adaptable to manage global regulatory requirements while helping to ensure compliance. Another thing that is necessary is that the business process needs to be intuitive requiring minimal training and limited oversight of affiliates who have limited time and resources. Question: How would the GRI be structured? Answer: Ideally, we would recommend creating it by using a Virtual Document (VDoc) in Documentum. For those unfamiliar with the term, a virtual document is basically a document composed of other documents. It’s a way to organize (and “granularize”) complex documents or submissions, which are authored by multiple authors, sometimes in different functional areas. Virtual Documents also boost efficiency by enabling certain functions to be performed on a large number of documents in a single action (such as sending a task to a user to have them work on a virtual document instead of having to send and track multiple documents individually.) Question: Who would “own” the GRI and how would it be kept current? Answer: There are numerous people and systems involved in creating a regulatory submission. From a process perspective, the Product Portfolio Management team would be involved as they determine where new products will be marketed and create the overall product marketing strategy. From an ownership perspective, the Submission (GRI) Manager would define the content and timeline of the GRI releases. This person would also communicate with the content authors, LOCs/Affiliates and ensure that everyone has the tools they need to meet the required timelines. When there is a change to the GRI, Affiliates / LOCs can be notified via email with a link to the GRI (and a read receipt for compliance tracking purposes) or via a task in their Regulatory Submission planning tool. Question: When talking about access, what kinds of security concerns need to be addressed? Answer: Ideally, the GRI would be posted in a secure location such as a Sponsor’s content management system. LOCs / Affiliates would have access directly to the GRI. However, due to the availability of very granular security, access permissions can be set so that Affiliates only have access to approved content and only content relevant for the products sold in their market. In addition, Affiliates would only have permission to read and copy the content – they could not edit and revision the content. This provides the Affiliate with easy access to relevant content but ensures Sponsor control over the content itself. Question: This all sounds like a much more efficient way to work. What additional advice would you give Sponsors and Affiliates? Answer: There are multiple questions that need to be answered when defining a GRI and the associated processes. In addition there are numerous tools and systems involved in the Regulatory Submission process and they can help facilitate information sharing and increase efficiency. We encourage any company struggling with this process to talk with their content management vendor and also their registration management and publishing vendors. By working together, companies can develop a process that enables end-to-end visibility, ensures a comprehensive single source of truth for both Sponsors and Affiliates, facilitates communication and (hopefully) speeds time to market. How does your organization handle this process today? Do you experience any of the challenges discussed? Let us know about your experience and goals!

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DoJ Delays Accessibility Rules for Document Publishers

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) announced in November that it’s holding off until the 2018 fiscal year on publishing the proposed rules to make commercial websites accessible under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This announcement, published in the department’s Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fall 2015, comes roughly four years after the DoJ first said it would issue rules for how companies and other providers of “public accommodations” have to make their websites accessible to visitors with disabilities. Even though the DoJ is delaying requirements that apply to commercial websites, covered under Title III of the ADA, it will proceed with publishing Title II amendments (applying to state and local government websites) this month, January 2016. The DoJ believes the smaller Title II project will give it valuable insights and create the necessary infrastructure for broad commercial website accessibility under Title III. Whenever the Title III changes do go into effect, any company with a website will have to carefully review its content to make sure it’s accessible to the widest possible range of readers. What is the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title III Amendment? As a refresher, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life and in the activities of places of public accommodation, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. It became law in 1990. The ADA revisions are to establish requirements for making the goods, services, facilities, privileges, accommodations, or advantages offered by public accommodations via the Internet accessible to individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA Title III amendment, achieving website accessibility is defined as being compliant with Level AA guidelines of the WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standard. Title III applies to websites of commercial businesses and non-profit service providers – privately operated entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation, such as large corporations, restaurants, movie theaters, schools, retail stores, doctor’s offices, recreation facilities, etc. as well as commercial facilities such as factories, warehouses or office buildings. The Federal Rulemaking Process To provide some context around the delay to the Title III amendment NPRM being published, let’s review the US Federal Government rulemaking process. The federal rulemaking process is a detailed, often multi-year endeavor that is used to establish new regulations or updates to regulations with the help of public participation. Following are the key stages of the process: Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM): Preliminary stages of rulemaking that publishes the agency’s initial analysis and provides the public with an opportunity to provide comments and participate in rule-making. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): Publishes actual language of proposed rule in the Federal Register, addresses comments made during the NPRM stage and solicits further comments from the public. Final Rule: Usually the proposed rule becomes the final rule with some minor adjustments. Judicial Review: This is when the courts review the rule in greater detail to address any lawsuits filed by the public and to ensure the agency has not exceeded its rulemaking authority and has followed the proper process for public comments. Effective Date: The rule generally does not become effective for some time after its publication to allow affected parties to come into compliance. The ADA Title III amendment is currently at the “ANPRM published” stage, with the comment period for the ANPRM closed. The next step is to publish the NPRM after taking into account comments received for the ANPRM, which is now expected to occur sometime in 2018. History of the ADA Title III Amendment Timelines The Title III NPRM publication date has been extended 7 times since the ANPRM was published in 2011. Original Date of NPRM Publication Changed To Update Made In January 2012 December 2012  – December 2012 December 2013  – December 2013 March 2014 Spring 2013 March 2014 April 2014 Fall 2013 April 2014 March 2015 Spring 2014 March 2015 June 2015 Fall 2014 June 2015 2018 – month TBD Fall 2015 While the NPRM publication has been delayed, there is no indication that the DoJ will stop monitoring and addressing litigation against commercial organizations for website accessibility. In fact, the DoJ continues to formulate settlement agreements and issue penalties of up to $150,000 for web and web content accessibility violations and order compensation to complainants as required. Therefore, large commercial organizations must continue to plan for and execute on implementing accessibility for websites and web content. OpenText provides a software-based automated solution for generating accessible documents in high volumes, e.g. for statements, bills, notices and more. The OpenText Automated Output Accessibility solution enables companies to generate accessible PDFs in WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant PDF/UA format, eliminating the need for traditional costly and time-consuming manual remediation processes. Learn more about the solution and contact us today to book a demo.  

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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.,,, 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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