Compliance

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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Kicking Off Information Governance – the First 30 Days

Everyone is now on board with the information governance (IG) initiative you’ve championed across the organization and it’s time to get started.  With data volumes growing by the minute, it may feel like you are already behind schedule, and trying to decide where to begin is daunting. We are here to tell you the truth – kicking off an IG initiative is not easy.  With a carefully planned roadmap however, you can strategically roll out the solution with much success. Below is a basic guide to help you map out your first month of implementation, including tips to bolster your success. Week One Select an information governance committee. This group will outline the goals and objectives for the initiative, which will further define the procedures and policies set in place that govern its ongoing progress.   The information governance committee can also help establish a timeframe for rollout and ongoing maintenance. TIP: Ensure that there are key stakeholders from each of the essential business functions on the team to not only represent their respective departments, but also champion the initiative within each group. Week Two Start with small wins.  Information governance is much too large an initiative to implement organization-wide from the start.  Depending on the size and scope of the project, develop a step-by-step plan for information governance rollout that addresses one department at a time, or one project at a time.  Ensure there is a week or two between each rollout to allow room for troubleshooting, before moving on to the next project.  A few small projects to consider as starting points include: Create a training program Begin migration and retirement of old systems Start identifying and implementing technology Create a roadmap TIP: Identify areas or projects that can quickly show results. Week Three Reinforce participation.  One of the most challenging aspects of information governance is ongoing company wide participation.  Building a culture of information governance and compliance is critical for success.  It’s not an overnight process, but it’s important to keep the project top of mind and continue building momentum for the solution so it doesn’t fall off everyone’s radar. TIP: Consider building in an incentive-based reward system that links performance and participation.  Rewards can simply be recognition in the form of highlighting successful users. Week Four Establish some early ROI.  ROI will be it’s own champion for the ongoing success of the project.  Reporting positive results from the beginning will get more and more people on board and not only ease the implementation, but also support your case if and when more budget/resources are needed. TIP: Some good places to look for early ROI include: reduced storage volumes, improved eDiscovery timeframes and increased visibility.

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Why Information is the New Currency

We live in a digital world. A testament to this new reality is the growing value of digital content. People download songs, purchase movies online, exchange emails, and share personal information—all in the form of digital content. Information in its many new forms has become commoditized. In a digital world, information is the new currency. Will it replace the dollar, the Euro, the Yen? Not yet, but as information flows across networks, as it is exchanged and more metadata is collected, it grows in value. New businesses and whole industries are emerging to support the digitization of content. As industry leaders like Google and Facebook have demonstrated, opportunities to monetize information are abundant. Like money, data can be stolen. As information grows in value, so will the need to protect and manage it—and this will be increasingly mandated by governments and regulatory bodies. Many large companies (health care providers, governments, and banks, to name a few) are the gatekeepers of highly confidential, personal information. They are susceptible to information leaks. In a digital world, how will government and regulators monitor and protect the huge amounts of personal data stored in the Cloud?  As society becomes digital and the Internet propagates a faster pace of crime, organizations will need to focus on the development and enforcement of governance policies, standards, and systems to prevent identity theft and online fraud. The mass digitalization of products, services, processes, and overall business models will demand a disciplined approach to managing, governing, and innovating with information. Enter Enterprise Information Management, or EIM. EIM is a set of technologies and practices that maximize the value of information as it flows across networks, supply chains, and organizations. Its core technologies work together to create an end-to-end platform for sharing, collaboration, analysis, and decision-making, based on the effective management of information to harness its potential while mitigating risk through governance, compliance, and security. EIM delivers a long list of benefits for the enterprise, including reduced costs, increased transparency, improved security and compliance, optimized productivity and efficiency—but the overarching benefit that EIM gives to organizations is the ability to simplify their operations, transform their processes and information, and accelerate business and agility to innovate at the speed of digital.  In a digital world, information will play a fundamental role in empowering the enterprise. Digital leaders will differentiate their products and services based on a strategy that maximizes the potential of digital information. They will use EIM technologies to connect information for better performance, greater opportunity, and deeper insight into their customers. I’ll take a closer look at how competitive advantage is created through managing consumer-related information in the following post in this series, “Digital Engagement and the New Consumer”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption.  To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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Digital-First Fridays: Information is the New Currency

We live in a digital world. A testament to this new reality is the growing value of digital content. People download songs, purchase movies online, exchange emails, and share personal information—all in the form of digital content. Information in its many new forms has become commoditized. In a digital world, information is the new currency. Will it replace the dollar, the Euro, the Yen? Not yet, but as information flows across networks, as it is exchanged and more metadata is collected, it grows in value. New businesses and whole industries are emerging to support the digitization of content. As industry leaders like Google and Facebook have demonstrated, opportunities to monetize information are abundant. Like money, data can be stolen. As information grows in value, so will the need to protect and manage it—and this will be increasingly mandated by governments and regulatory bodies. Many large companies (health care providers, governments, and banks, to name a few) are the gatekeepers of highly confidential, personal information. They are susceptible to information leaks. In a digital world, how will government and regulators monitor and protect the huge amounts of personal data stored in the Cloud? As society becomes digital and the Internet propagates a faster pace of crime, organizations will need to focus on the development and enforcement of governance policies, standards, and systems to prevent identity theft and online fraud. The mass digitalization of products, services, processes, and overall business models will demand a disciplined approach to managing, governing, and innovating with information. Enter Enterprise Information Management, or EIM. EIM is a set of technologies and practices that maximize the value of information as it flows across networks, supply chains, and organizations. Its core technologies work together to create an end-to-end platform for sharing, collaboration, analysis, and decision-making, based on the effective management of information to harness its potential while mitigating risk through governance, compliance, and security. EIM delivers a long list of benefits for the enterprise, including reduced costs, increased transparency, improved security and compliance, optimized productivity and efficiency—but the overarching benefit that EIM gives to organizations is the ability to simplify their operations, transform their processes and information, and accelerate business and agility to innovate at the speed of digital. In a digital world, information will play a fundamental role in empowering the enterprise. Digital leaders will differentiate their products and services based on a strategy that maximizes the potential of digital information. They will use EIM technologies to connect information for better performance, greater opportunity, and deeper insight into their customers. I’ll take a closer look at how competitive advantage is created through managing consumer-related information in the following post in this series, “Digital Engagement and the New Consumer”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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5 Ways to Simplify eDiscovery

CX

Many organizations are failing at keeping up with their unstructured data. Legal and IT are finding themselves dealing with unmanaged data growth, often making eDiscovery a monumental task that eats up valuable resources. With legal and IT budgets being constricted, it can be hard to manage rising and unpredictable eDiscovery costs. Being proactive, rather than reactive is key. Below are five ways you can simplify the eDiscovery process and substantially reduce cost. #1 Avoid Legal Jargon Legal holds are meant to be acted upon by employees. In order to streamline the eDiscovery process, legal and compliance teams need to understand how employees talk and the issues related to their documents. Draft your legal hold notices in a way that everyone can understand so they know what to do, and fully understand expectations. #2 Anticipate Risk While you may be tempted to cross your fingers and simply hope no disputes arise, anticipating and planning for potential risks can prove to be very rewarding. Data and documents can be categorized based on potential risks, such as trademark disputes, with all corporate naming and branding documentation stored in a separate location. If and when litigation arises, your preparedness will pay off. #3 Early Case Assessment Once data is properly preserved and collected, it’s extremely important to condense the information down to a more manageable size. Actively culling the the data during document review will save you more time and money during the eDiscovery Process. #4 Integrate Solutions eDiscovery was formerly a “piecemeal” solution. Separate tools such as early case assessment and document review functioned as software packages which demanded the risky business of information transfer. Integrating all eDiscovery components under one platform is not only the safest route, but the simplest as well. #5 Hire Experts An eDiscovery solution provider can best advise and consultant clients through the assessment, selection and implementation processes. These experts can help you anticipate and plan for issues before they arise, and should essentially become an extension of your internal team. I think what it all boils down is being proactive. eDiscovery costs are substantially reduced when you’re readily prepared for an eDiscovery request by implementing the right tools and team. Asking for advice now and implementing technology might save you headaches and hundreds of thousands if not millions in eDiscovery costs and potential litigation disputes.

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Compliance violations for faxing and Windows Server 2003 users

If your organization or users are still using Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015, be prepared for the consequences. Since Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 this month, anyone still using Windows Server 2003 is at risk of a security and exposure breach. Malware and cyber threats can go undetected in unsupported operating systems, which alone is a huge risk for organizations. However, did you know that these risks also put an organization in danger of non-compliance with several regulations such as HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and others? Running unsupported operating systems, such as Windows XP, might be enough to make the Federal government take a closer look at organizations which are bound by these important regulations. This non-compliance translates to any fax server infrastructure that may be running on Windows Server 2003. If you have a fax server deployed with Windows Server 2003, take a deep breath, and call OpenText. If you need an on-premises fax server running on either Windows 2008 or Windows 2012, we’ve got you covered. Or eliminate the need for any operating system for your faxing by using OpenText Fax2Mail, an enterprise-grade, 100% cloud fax service. We can do that, too. Either way, don’t let your operating system put your faxing operations at risk of non-compliance. For more about the end of support for Windows Server 2003, find more information here!

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Expanding the Banking Universe with a Mobile-Only Play

Mobile phones continue to help break new ground in the world of Banking. A very interesting example is called Atom Bank, which is in the United Kingdom today, or is it everywhere? Atom Bank was recently awarded a banking license and plans to commence their operations later this year. They have already raised around 25 million pounds (about $39 million). So why is this so interesting and different? Atom Bank will operate only through a mobile app. That is right, they just have an app. Of course there will be no branches, and they will not have a website initially. This is a strange strategy as how will customers be able to find them unless they read my blogs? They claim that customers will be able to open accounts and carry out all their banking activity using only a smartphone. The also said they want to “set new standards for the banking sector” when it comes to technology. Well this matches quite well to what Millennials are thinking about innovation in banking coming from technology companies, not from banks. Viacom Media Networks did research and came up with the Millennial Disruption Index, which is copied below. Notice that 33 percent of Millennials do not think they will ever need a bank, and nearly half are counting on technology start-ups to overhaul the way banks work. Talk about supply meeting demand, and here comes Atom Bank. Or maybe they should be called Atom Software, the smartphone technology company with an app. Banking on Mobile Source: Viacom Media Research Atom is the latest in a string of technology companies shaking up the banking industry. Who would have thought that Apple would create a payment service a la PayPal? It has certainly done well so far. Anybody know a user or two of Venmo, the under 30 set’s current favorite to make small payments to each other? This is not futuristic; they already exist and work well today. So, will Atom Bank be what Millennials are longing for? Well there are a few challenges, or what we might call complexities. They will need to work with a regular retail bank for mundane things like checking and cash deposits. I don’t know if they will be responsible for Know your Customer (KYC) or will have deposit limits or concern themselves about anti-money laundering and SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports). Perhaps the brick-and-mortar bank they plan to partner with will do the heavy compliance lifting for them. Since Atom Bank is all about a high quality customer experience with a smartphone, they are certainly addressing what Millennials are looking for. They are not yet sharing all aspects of what they plan to do, as they said they do not want to assist potential competitors. They did announce that they will have biometric security, 3D visualizations and gaming technology. Sounds like fun! An app on your smart phone will do all of that? Mobile phones, now smartphones, have come a long way. Even if all of this works as planned and Atom Bank is very successful, they will have fierce competitors from startups as well as established organizations. But if they capture the hearts, minds and bank accounts of the Millennials before others do, they will be very successful and the reality of the Millennial Disruption Index will become even more obvious.

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Achieving Equal Access in Health Care Information

As per a report published by the Equal Rights Center in 2011, blind and visually impaired individuals routinely face barriers in receiving information regarding their health care including documents such as test results, prescriptions, etc., benefits information such as Explanation of Benefits, eligibility and termination information and e-delivered communications such as billing statements, summary of benefits and more in accessible formats. This includes information received by visually impaired Americans being covered by Medicare and Medicaid. These individuals are often presented with work-around solutions, such as relying on friends, family or healthcare practitioners to read their private medical information to them. Not only is this a breach of the individual’s privacy, but also leads to outcomes that could result in poor health and loss of benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest single payer for health care in the United States. As per data from the CMS: 90 Million Americans receive healthcare coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Approximately 4.3 million individuals over the age of 65 report some form of visual impairment. There are also approximately 700,000 Medicare beneficiaries between the ages of 21 and 64 who have some form of visual impairment. Private healthcare insurers have been contracted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer Medicare and Medicaid programs, and these insurance providers must meet federal regulation i.e. Section 508, requiring that they ensure access to and use of their websites and digital documentation to people with disabilities, including the blind or visually impaired individuals. Non-compliance could lead to penalties and the loss of lucrative contracts for insurers. It is therefore no surprise that document (e.g. PDF) accessibility is a hot-button issue for government and even private healthcare insurers contracted by the CMS. As “public accommodations” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), healthcare insurers are generally well aware of their legal responsibility to customers with disabilities such as visual impairment, and are quite used to complying with these regulations. But now that accessibility requirements are expanding into cyberspace, healthcare insurers need to find appropriate technology solutions for this new challenge. Until a couple of years ago, it simply had not been possible for healthcare insurers to create high-volume, communications and documents in accessible PDF format. The sheer scale of production, with documents numbering in the thousands or millions, precludes manual remediation because of several limiting factors: Costs of manually remediating documents Delivery time due to the laborious nature of manual remediation Stringent accessibility tagging requirements OpenText has created an automated, software-based solution to address these very limitations. The OpenText Automated Output Accessibility solution can generate accessible PDFs from any high-volume, system-generated input print stream or other formats quickly and efficiently, while keeping storage size at bay. The solution was designed using thousands of man-hours worth of very specific experience and expertise in the system-generated document accessibility space, and our industry-leading transformation engine enables generating accessible output in the milliseconds. In fact, the output generated from this solution has been reviewed by the National Federation of the Blind and other prominent organizations for the visually impaired. Learn more about the OpenText Automated Output Accessibility solution at http://ccm.actuate.com/solutions/document-accessibility.

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Big Data Is Still a Game Changer, but the Game has Changed. Here’s How.

Not long ago, organizations bragged about the large volume of data in their databases. The implied message from IT leaders who boasted about their terabytes and petabytes and exabytes was that company data was like a mountain of gold ore, waiting to be refined. The more ore they had, the more gold – that is, business value – they could get out of it. But the “bigness” of Big Data isn’t the game changer anymore. The real competitive advantage from Big Data lies in two areas: how you use the data, and how you provide access to the data. The way you address both of those goals can make or break an application – and, in some cases, even make or break your entire organization. Allow me to explain why, and tell you what you can do about it – because mastering this important change is vital to enabling the digital world. How Big Data Has Changed Each of us – and the devices we carry, wear, drive, and use every day – generate a surge of data. This information is different from Big Data of just a few years ago, because today’s data is both about us and created by us. Websites, phones, tablets, wearables and even cars are constantly collecting and transmitting data – our vital stats, location, shopping habits, schedules, contacts, you name it. Companies salivate over this smorgasbord of Big Data because they know that harnessing it is key to business success. They want to analyze this data to predict customer behavior and likely outcomes, which should enable them to sell better (and, of course, sell more) to us. That’s the “how you use data” part of the equation – the part that has remained pretty consistent since market research was invented more than 100 years ago, but that has improved greatly (both in speed and precision) with the advent of analytics software. Then comes the “how you provide access to data” part of the equation – the part that highlights how today’s user-generated Big Data is different. Smart, customer-obsessed businesses understand that the data relationship with their consumers is a two-way street. They know that there is tremendous value in providing individuals with direct, secure access to their own data, often through the use of embedded analytics. Put another way: the consumers created the data, and they want it back. Why else do you think financial institutions tout how easily you can check balances and complete transactions on smartphones, and healthcare companies boast about enabling you to check test results and schedule appointments online? Making your data instantly available to you – and only to you – builds trust and loyalty, and deepens the bond between businesses and consumers. And like I said earlier, doing so is vital to enabling the digital world. The New Keys to Success But when a business decides to enable customers to access their data online and explore it with embedded analytics, that business must give top priority to customers’ security and privacy concerns. In a blog post, “Privacy Professor” Rebecca Herold notes that data breaches, anonymization and discrimination rank among the Top 10 Big Data Analytics Privacy Problems. Her post is a must-read for organizations that plan to provide data analytics to customers. To underline Herold’s point, Bank Info Security says that personal data for more than 391.5 million people was compromised in the top six security breach incidents in 2014 – and that number does not include the Sony breach that made headlines. Security and privacy must be a primary consideration for any organization harnessing Big Data analytics. Remember what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Meeting the privacy and security challenges of today’s user-generated Big Data requires a comprehensive approach that spans the lifecycle of customer data, from generation through distribution. If you want guidance in creating such an approach, check out the replay of a webinar I presented on June 23, Analytics in a Secure World. My colleague Katharina Streater and I discussed: The drivers and trends in the market What top businesses today do to ensure Big Data protection How you can secure data during content generation, access, manipulation and distribution Strategies for complying with data security regulations in any industry If you watch the replay, you’ll come away with great ideas for securing data from the point of access all the way through to deployment and display of analytic results. We explained why a comprehensive approach minimizes the risk of security breaches, while simultaneously providing a personalized data experience for each individual user. We closed the program by explaining how OpenText Analytics and Reporting products have the horsepower required to handle immense volumes of data securely. We showed how the OpenText Analytics platform scales to serve millions of users, and explained why its industrial-strength security can integrate directly into any existing infrastructure. Please check out Analytics in a Secure World today. Privacy Please image by Josh Hallett, via Flickr.

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8 Top Considerations for a Successful Cloud Partnership

As your organization embarks on creating a cloud strategy, there are many things to consider. What are the top benefits you are looking to achieve by moving workloads into the cloud? What areas of your business are you willing to consider as cloud or hybrid cloud implementations? Most of all, as you move into the cloud you are faced with extending your infrastructure and IT team to include your cloud provider. What are the key things you should consider as you determine the key cloud partnerships you will embrace? One Size Does Not Fit All Developing a cloud strategy is an exercise in understanding your business process, workloads, security rules, compliance requirements, and user adoption–just to name a few. Not a simple task, moving business to the cloud might mean a combination of both deployment and costing strategies. Options for on-premises, public cloud, private cloud (both on and off site), Hybrid cloud, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS all offer organizations flexibility but can also be confusing. What offering is ideal for which business process to generate the highest efficiency and cost benefit? There is no one-size-fits-all solution, which means IT leaders need to be prudent about cloud options and work with their vendors to ensure they get the most value for their investment. Information Matters As we live in the digital age, many organizations recognize the value of information and place significant priority on protecting it. Information Governance, knowing what information you have, where it is and what you need to do with it, has never been more important. When organizations look at moving information to the cloud they need to be extra vigilant to ensure that their information policies and compliance regulations are both understood and upheld by their cloud partner. The value and level of control required over information should play a part in an organization’s decision of what applications and what data will reside in the cloud, on premises or as part of a hybrid cloud implementation.

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Upcoming Accessibility Deadlines for Federal Student Loan Statement Servicers

Section 508 and WCAG compliance has been an important mandate for the U.S. Federal Government, and the Department of Education is one of the government agencies actively working towards meeting these requirements for visually impaired students receiving federal loans. The Department of Education has now issued time frames and deadlines for WCAG compliance to student loan servicers that generate and distribute federal Direct Loan Program (DLP) statements, notices and communications. Accordingly, all loan statements, notices and communications, forms and websites need to be made available to borrowers in accessible read-only HTML format or non-proprietary equivalent (e.g. accessible PDF), complying with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and WCAG 2.0, within a few short months. The Federal Government has also established additional time frames for testing and verification of accessibility compliance before the actual deadline, for making accessible content available to borrowers. Loan service providers typically generate statements, notices and communications in print stream or PDF formats. Making these accessible using traditional methods is manual, laborious, time-consuming and expensive. Visually impaired students therefore typically experience a lag in receiving critical information included in their statements, notices and communications in formats they can access due to the time lines and delays involved in generating manually tagged accessible PDFs, Braille, Large Print, Audio or HTML formats. This is far from ideal, and visually impaired students are now expecting to be treated the same as anyone else would be with regards to the timely availability of important information. Most Federal Student Loan Statement Servicers are still struggling to find a solution that meets compliance and can be made operational before the required deadlines. While building a new solution from scratch is often how IT departments approach technology challenges, given the tight timelines involved and the level of accuracy, expertise, testing capabilities and technological know-how required in building a solution, it is not an efficient way of addressing this particular requirement. Key points for Federal Loan Service Providers to consider when implementing an automated accessibility solution: The solution should be easy to implement and should not require management of multiple formats Storage costs should not increase as a result of the solution The solution should be infinitely scalable and be able to support the demands of generating millions of documents without performance issues The OpenText Automated Output Accessibility solution addresses each of these requirements, and can generate accessible PDFs from any input print stream format quickly and efficiently, while keeping storage size at bay. The solution was designed using thousands of man-hours worth of very specific experience and expertise in the system-generated document accessibility space, and our industry-leading transformation engine enables generating accessible output in the milliseconds. In fact, the output generated from this solution has been reviewed by the National Federation of the Blind as well as the Department of Education. Using best-of-breed technology and accessibility-specific expertise is the only fool-proof way of meeting the tight time frames and deadlines defined by the Department of Education. Learn more about our solution here.

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