Compliance

Better Document Accessibility with Customer Communication Suite 5.1.

Whether you are an Accessibility Compliance Officer, an Accessibility Consultant, a Marketing Communications Specialist, or a Document Transform Developer, you will be excited to know that the Document Accessibility solution from Actuate just got much better. Delivered with the release of the Actuate Customer Communication Suite version 5.1, a number of enhancements and features have been added to our robust Document Transform product that streamlines the delivery of Accessible PDF documents, and improves upon their compliance with established PDF for Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA) standards through tighter alignment with the Matterhorn protocol. First and foremost, in the 5.1 release, Actuate has improved the process of managing alternate text for images used in documents through the introduction of the Alternate Text Administration Console. First of its kind for automated document accessibility, the addition of this simple web-based console provides organizations with the ability to effectively separate responsibilities of managing the development of Document Transform processes from the authoring of meaningful alternate text descriptions for images. This effectively provides the means for the Marketing Communications Specialist and Accessibly Consultant to collaborate on the message, while leaving the Document Transform Developer unencumbered with having to import and export text descriptions into the process. The Alternate Text Administration Console is designed to be easy to use, allowing a Marketing Communications Specialist to review images in need of alternate text descriptions, and enter meaningful descriptive text in any number of languages. Descriptions can then be reviewed by an Accessibility Consultant and/or a supervisor for approval as a prerequisite to being made available to the Document Transform engine for use in the production of Accessible PDF output. The console provides ability to add, edit and remove individual descriptions or images, as well as the ability to tag images for effective administrative categorization and enhanced search capability. Updated alternate text descriptions may be approved, after which they are automatically available for use in the production Document Transform environment without the need to involve the Document Transform Developer. This streamlining of responsibilities reduces the likelihood of errors and omissions in the remediation process, and lets each stakeholder focus on what they do best. Actuate has improved its compliance with the PDF/UA standard by aligning its Accessible PDF Generator output more tightly with the Matterhorn Protocol’s set of compliance checkpoints. Additionally, the Accessible PDF Generator now includes an option to preserve the original graphical print order, effectively solving the z-order problem caused when the order of overlapping images is changed, resulting in details being lost. These improvements to our Customer Communication Suite provide peace of mind to an Accessibility Compliance Officer knowing not only that processes to remediate inaccessible documents into standards-compliant Accessible PDF have now been made more robust and flexible for collaboration among stakeholders, but also that the result of these processes produce higher quality Accessible output.  

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PDF in Financial Services: Now and the Future

Contributed by the PDF Association. It’s reasonable to claim that without PDF technology the financial services sector would operate very differently. PDF’s key characteristics are perfect for businesses that generate, share, store and argue over a high volume of records and reports on their activities. For most, the simple fact that PDF is a rendering of some source content is why they use it. Database records are fungible, source-documents are both changeable and harder to share. PDF files are small, they can contain content from any source and the software to view them is free. There’s really no competition for PDF for this mix of features, so it’s the default choice for hardcopy electronic documents. For banks, insurance companies, investors and their associated attorneys, PDF is a critical medium for documenting and reporting on the billions of transactional and other events that underpin the movement of money. Statements, invoices, contracts, reports and many other types of documents are routinely, and on a massive scale, committed to PDF. And yet, modern financial services institutions, and the regulators who oversee them, today leverage only the most rudimentary fraction of PDF’s capabilities. Where will PDF go from here? By replacing paper in so many cases, PDF has already delivered massive cost savings and improved customer service in world of financial sector. Many millions of subscribers, account-holders and others now receive their statements and invoices in electronic form, and in almost all cases, that form is a PDF file. This fact alone saves major institutions hundreds of millions in reduced printing, postal and customer service costs. Although accepted everywhere, PDF remains under-utilized, with unique built-in capabilities that only a few financial services organizations yet leverage. Let’s review just a few ways in which the advanced use of PDF technology is continuing to change the way we do business. Identity and authentication: As a vehicle for self-contained, reliable, authenticated and secured content, PDF really is the complete package. With digital signature technology, PDF provides electronic documents a generic model for several valuable document functions, including tamper-proofing, time-stamping and version control. Digital signatures offer powerful solutions for streamlining workflows, certification origins, facilitating revocation, access control and much more. Transaction automation: Ideally, business processes in the financial sector that require an authoritative printable document would also be easy to process, reducing errors, and the costs of data-capture. With PDF, it’s possible to embed a machine-readable version of that same document, to enable fully-automated capture of relevant content immediately on entry while retaining the formal document in a fixed, human-readable form. Retention practices: The archival standard for PDF is known as PDF/A, and it’s been heavily adopted by government agencies across the world, including in the US. While the SEC’s still a bit behind the times with their EDGAR rules for filings, the National Archives and Records Administration’s new Transfer Guidance recommends PDF/A for archiving electronic records. Designing document workflows with PDF/A in mind reduces risks, and is increasingly seen as a conventional best-practice. Achieving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance: Access to electronic documents is increasingly understood as one of the fundamental civil rights. While only a few banks have begun to deploy accessible documents, tagged PDF technology contributes towards meeting obligations to deliver accessible formal documents.  

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Focus on Industry at Enterprise World 2014

Tuesday at Enterprise World was THE place to be this year for industry perspectives and peer networking. Customers and partners joined our OpenText industry team led sessions for Energy, Resources and Utilities, Financial Services and Insurance, Manufacturing and supply chain, Life Sciences, Media, Entertainment and Telecommunications, and the Public Sector. And we wrapped with a reception and industry meet-and-greet, followed by the OpenText Heroes Awards ceremony! The impact of digital on your industry “The only source of knowledge is experience.” — Albert Einstein What better way to learn about the latest best practices than from peers in your respective vertical industry! Whether it’s Agenda 2020 consumerism, digital disruption or transformative technologies like the Internet of Things, our industry sessions touched on top of mind topics; including: Powering Business Transformation in the Energy Sector Manufacturing Supply Chains of the Future Targeted Digital Marketing and Client Onboarding in Financial Services The M&E Digital Media Supply Chain How Digital is Driving Government Transformation The New Quality Paradigm for Life Sciences Meeting Compliance Objectives in 2014 & Beyond And thats not all Our main stage and keynotes were incredible and our industry discussions continued throughout the week, with solution case studies plus first hand customer success stories and roundtables. And each morning colleagues dialoged at the “Birds of a Feather” industry breakfast tables. Industry topped if off with our Financial Services Advisory Council and our Energy User Group serssions. Thanks to our awesome customers, partners and OpenText colleagues for making #EW2014 a meaningful memorable event. Now stay tuned for Innovation Tour and in the meantime check out our Industry Insights community and Blog!

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Archiving – Do You Need to Upgrade? [Part 4]

Part 4 – Success Stories In previous blog posts, we asked a question – do you need to upgrade your Archiving system? We examined the drivers for change, the symptoms of an older, outdated system and the features you would want to have in an upgraded system. But what about tangible results? Here are 4 real-world success stories of large, respected organizations that upgraded their ageing archive systems. 1. Repository for Regulatory Compliance A large U.S. insurance and investment management corporation stores 2 terabytes of customer data in the Repository. The company uses integrated scheduling tools to automate content retention and disposition according to rules that help them maintain regulatory compliance. Our system also makes it easier for company agents to view and combine content as they bundle products for their customers. The Repository has reduced content load times by a full two-thirds, a vast performance improvement over the company’s previous repository. 2. Repository for Fast Online Viewing A large European bank stores 43 million statements in the Repository, allowing customers to instantly view their recent account history in a web browser. At peak times, the Repository provides access to 25,000 documents per hour, or about 400 documents per minute. The bank statements are simultaneously loaded into the Repository and IBM® Content Manager OnDemand (CMOD). For the first 13 months, when the statements are more frequently viewed and referenced, users access them in the Repository. After 13 months, the Repository automatically deletes the statements, but users can still access them in the slower, more costly IBM® Content Manager OnDemand (CMOD) archive, which the bank uses for long-term storage. The Repository loads 4 million statements (averaging 10 pages per statement, for a total of 40 million pages) in a five-hour window. The system includes built-in content transformation capabilities that support real-time and batch transformations, so customers can receive content in their format of choice via their preferred communication channel. Using the Repository as high-performance frontline storage, the bank has been able to provide a better customer experience and significantly reduce the cost of operating their existing IBM® CMOD system. 3. Repository for Intermediary Archiving A large Canadian financial services company used the Repository as an intermediary system when migrating 2 terabytes of content (TIFF, RTF, PDF, MPE, and WAV files) from Global 360 ® to an IBM® FileNet® P8 archive. The Repository performed so smoothly and efficiently during the migration that the company continues to operate the system as an “intermediary” archiving solution. 4. Repository for Enterprise-Grade Performance and Seamless Integration An American telecommunications giant chose Actuate Repository to replace an obsolete and unsupported eDocs® repository. The Repository was selected for its exceptional performance and integration capabilities, including excellent compatibility with Oracle® WebLogic® and a built-in connector for IBM® CMOD. The company did not have to change any of its existing architecture. This telecommunications giant loads content from 60 million accounts into Actuate Repository every month, maintaining 18 months’ worth of bills for e-presentment. The system is capable of supporting up to 100 transactions per second as customers request content for real-time e-presentment through an online portal. With the Repository, the company has improved online self-service and enhanced their ability to analyze customer data. The company also uses Document Transform to convert print stream data from AFP to PDF and XML formats. In future, they plan to adopt a PDF Accessibility solution that will make all online statements accessible to reading-disabled customers through screen reader technology.  

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Updating a Classic: Top 3 Reasons to Streamline Your Fax Infrastructure

Faxing may seem outdated, but it became popular in the business world for a reason. It allows organizations to quickly and securely exchange information. In fact, fax is used worldwide millions of times each day to send purchase orders, claim forms, supplier quotes, contracts, and a multitude of other documents. Faxing has a long history as a trusted and secure form of communication, and it’s still at the heart of many business processes and workflows today. If any of your business operations rely on fax, it may be time to consider an enterprise fax server solution that can make your fax infrastructure more efficient and productive. Consider these top three reasons to update your fax solution: Increased Productivity: The latest fax solutions turn formerly paper-based faxing into electronic-based faxing, essentially taking the “paper” out of the process wherever possible. Fax servers integrate with desktop environments and email systems, which allows employees to send and receive fax documents directly from their computer. This greatly improves worker efficiency by letting users work from their preferred environments. Reduced Costs: Companies that rely on paper-based fax machines know how time-consuming, costly, and frustrating they can be. By implementing electronic-based faxing and getting rid of physical fax machines and phone lines, you can reduce both the amount of money and IT support your organization will need. The right fax solution helps you accelerate business processes in a cost-effective manner. Improved Compliance: Businesses face serious risks from noncompliance, with both financial and reputational ramifications. Government regulations and standards are constantly evolving, impacting how businesses around the world secure and manage their information. As pressure grows to more closely manage fax communications and document processes, leading organizations are turning to enterprise fax solutions to help them secure, track, and store information for compliance purposes. Faxing may be a classic, but it can be made more efficient and productive by increasing the speed of transmitting, routing, and processing faxed documents. Let the experts guide you through understanding desktop fax, your solution options, and what matters most when selecting a fax solution. Sign up for the Desktop Fax Solution Webinar Series.

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Safely Bring Your Data out of the Dark

dark data

The idea of “dark data” might sound a bit ominous, but it is simply the information “organizations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes,” according to research firms, who also report that up to 90 percent of our “big data” is dark data. The risks of dark data, according to a CIO magazine article, include: Legal and regulatory risk, if the data contains confidential, financial information (credit card or other account data), patient records or other data covered by mandate or regulation Intelligence risk, if it encompasses proprietary or sensitive business information Reputation risk, which applies to any kind of data breaches Opportunity costs from the lack of analysis and mining of the dark data, by definition Open-ended exposure, since it contains unknown (and therefore unevaluated) sources of intelligence that can be exposed to loss or harm To mitigate such risks, the article suggests an ongoing inventory and assessment, using encryption when possible, establishing retention policies and methods for safe disposal and conducting periodic security audits. But dark data isn’t just about risk. A recent CMSWire post points out that it “may also be viewed as an asset when accessed and protected appropriately.” The article goes on to say that by using compliance technology to not only discover dark data for compliance purposes, but also for knowledge management and data discovery purposes, means that organizations can effectively: Lower overall total cost of ownership Enable business self-service Accelerate data access and collaboration capabilities Adhere to compliance policies and mitigate data risks Whether you see dark data as a risk or opportunity, it’s important to know how to make the most of it. Fred Pulzello, president of ARMA International, suggests some best practices in a TechTarget article that I think are worth sharing here: Define and identify it. Pulzello adds that if dark data is employee generated, it is a less likely candidate for repurposing than system-generated data—with employee-generated data often consisting of working drafts and “just-in-case” copies. Perform a cost-benefit analysis of the data’s potential usefulness. Define a specific purpose for keeping it, with a short retention time frame such as six to nine months. Assign the responsibility of follow-up to an individual or group for accountability purposes. Make the business case for keeping any data that can be useful and for deleting any data that has no apparent value. Map data to the retention and disposition schedule to justify deletion. As needed, create new categories on the retention schedule to address data that is not otherwise addressed in a policy statement. Execute your defensible disposition plan. Make sure the data slated for disposition is actually deleted or destroyed. Keep documentation that cites the “why” and the “when” of deletion. Determine annually whether the repurposed data is bringing value. If not, then it is once again dark data and should be deleted in a proper, defensible manner. Pulzello adds that dark data continues to be such a hot topic in information circles because of the “relentless, immeasurable increase in electronically stored information and the places to store it.” He says, “Dark data might seem like a buzzword, but the reality is that it’s here to stay. … An organization’s best response is to implement an information governance program that properly manages all of its data throughout its life cycle, recognizes the probability of dark data and implements measures to repurpose or properly delete it.” Read more here.

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Archiving – Do You Need to Upgrade? [Part 3]

Part 3 – Popular Requirements At some point, an organization must determine whether it is more sensible to augment their existing archive system or rip out everything and replace it with a totally new solution. Admittedly, there is no set formula. Optimal solutions must be devised on a case-by-case basis. That said, many large organizations still share the same concerns and thus have similar requirements to an upgraded archive system. In a recent survey, we asked key business/strategy leaders at prominent financial institutions, insurance companies, government organizations, telecommunications companies, and other large organizations about their current (and foreseeable future) requirements for an archive system. The survey results revealed the top 10 must-haves in an archive system: Single View of the Customer – Combine data/content from disparate sources into a coherent, searchable, presentable view of the customer. System Consolidation – Reduce the number of individual repositories in an archive system (ideally to one), thus increasing speed, performance, robustness, and extensibility, and decreasing licensing and storage costs. Customer Experience – Make it easier and more enjoyable for customers to interact with the organization by providing all users with a faster, more accessible user interface. Advanced Search – Use metadata, prioritization, patterns, context, page-level searches, full-text searches, automatic completion, etc. to make all content easy to find. Analytics, Reporting, and Visualization – Integrate with analytics/business intelligence software so the business can predict individual customer behavior, identify trends, and produce other actionable insights. Multi-Channel Delivery – Support file formats and performance levels needed to serve modern communication channels such as social, mobile, and tablets. Flexible Data Access – Have the option to retrieve data in several different ways. For example, through a web interface or application programming interfaces (APIs). Case Management – Provide tools for storing, accessing, and managing all current and historical content related to a case. Control of All Content Assets – Establish proper auditing processes, define content retention/disposal rules, and schedule automated tasks to help maintain compliance with government regulations. The Social Aspect – Configure the archive system to serve social media channels and foster collaboration. While these findings are by no means definitive, they are consistent with our own observations and experience to date. In the next post, we will take a look at a few success stories of organizations using modern archiving technology. To learn more, download a free white paper, How to Recognize When Archiving Has Become a Problem.

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Cloud508: A Cloud Solution for Federal Government that Automates Document Accessibility

A unique collaboration designed to build accessibility into the U.S. federal government’s most important and most distributed documents, Cloud508 is Actuate Corporation’s newest endeavor. A joint project with partners Braille Works and Venatôre, the cloud-based service works with documents such as tax, health, and benefits notices, statements and other personalized communications, automatically converting them on demand into accessible, Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant PDF format. Cloud508 is not only unique, but is the first of its kind on the market. It is no secret that federal government produces and distributes enormous amounts of personalized notices to tax payers and beneficiaries, creating a significant challenge in meeting mandated Section 508 compliance allowing the documents to be accessible and usable by the blind and visually impaired recipients agencies serve. This service has been designed to eliminate the costly and laborious manual remediation efforts typically required to produce compliant accessible electronic documents. Until now, to make a PDF document accessible, human operators would use special software and manually remediate each and every page of a personalized notice. Not only is it costly and labor intensive, but with the sheer volume of documents it also slows the delivery time to the recipient. Now with Cloud508, each personalized document can be automatically remediated, on-demand, on the fly, nearly instantly! When these documents are electronically delivered via the web, blind and visually impaired recipients can receive their notices and statements at the same time as sighted recipients. The documents generated by this automation service are output as PDF/UA format meeting WCAG 2.0 Level AA and Section 508 accessibility standards. The Cloud508 Collaboration Partners To create this cloud-based accessibility solution, Actuate collaborated with two commercial and federal government experienced partners: Braille Works International is a Section 508 and accessibility expert and leading provider of reading materials for the visually impaired serving the federal government. Venatôre provides data center and cloud engineering services delivering mission critical solutions to federal government customers. Each has entered the partnership with their own area of expertise; Braille Works providing its subject-matter experience to ensure the documents meet accessibility and usability standards, and Venatôre bringing its secure cloud infrastructure required by government agencies. Actuate is contributing its patented document remediation software, designed to convert high volumes of personalized statements, notices and other communication documents into accessible PDFs. We are excited to bring this unique service to market, and Hunter Trice, President/ CEO of Venatôre, expressed it perfectly: “What excites us about this service is that it takes an innovative approach to addressing federally mandated accessibility requirements. The Cloud508 offering changes the rules by taking the industry from a mostly manual, time intensive remediation process to a largely automated, workflow-driven SaaS model. Cloud technology is enabling innovation in customer segments that have been traditionally underserved. Specifically, Actuate’s Cloud508 service makes it much easier for government agencies to deliver the same level of service, utility and convenience to the visually impaired. It makes providing accessible content a part of the standard operating procedure instead of something delivered as an exception or accommodation.” The Details Cloud508 is highly scalable and reliable, with accessible output that has been tested and approved by The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Not only that, but its cloud infrastructure supports the U.S. federal government’s Cloud First Policy and its built-in security and encryption features meet strict government regulations. It delivers benefits to both the government agencies it services and the visually impaired individuals it is designed to help, including: Software-based automation for document remediation Secure and efficient delivery in the cloud Compliance support with U.S. accessibility legislation, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act WCAG 2.0 – Level AA and PDF/UA compliance for documents Equal access to government services for those with visual, cognitive, and print disabilities Along the collaborative partnership path an unexpected outcome was realized, and born from that was yet another unique and compelling advantage of Cloud508 – the automation of traditional print formats. With some clever programming and utilization of the rich accessible output, a streamlined and more efficient process for creating braille, large print, and audio formats was developed! This brings lower costs, and for those preferring these more traditional formats, an expedited delivery time – even with higher volumes. Lou Fioritto, Founder of Braille Works International, said: “The concept of an automated process for the creation of accessible documents was largely dismissed due to the complexity of the process. Cloud508 is a game-changer. It not only automates the creation of 508 compliant PDF documents, but in the process allows for the automation of a portion of the work to create traditional formats such as braille, large print and audio. With Cloud508, a Federal Agency can reduce the cost and time needed to deliver compliant documents to their visually impaired constituents.” A true wealth of knowledge, experience, services, and unique patented product have been combined to create Cloud508 as a full-service, flexible solution with unmatched accuracy in its performance, speed, and accessible output. Together this is a powerful combination!  

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Getting Started With Digital Asset Management

digital asset management

All too often knowledge workers find themselves spending valuable time sifting through poorly organized content on shared network drives to find the assets that they need to do their jobs. An IDC report quantified the problem a couple of years back: Knowledge workers typically waste about 2.3 hours per week fruitlessly searching for information. I’m sure that this problem is not limited to marketing organizations, but I can speak from personal experience here. Without a clear digital asset management (DAM) plan in place, finding that screen shot I took a few months ago, say, or that report I meant to review a while back, is far too difficult—and sometimes impossible. Studies have shown that having a DAM solution can mean an annual savings of close to $40,000 annually. Other benefits include being able to find files quickly, avoiding the interruption of having to ask coworkers for images or documents, being able to reuse and repurpose content rather than redoing projects and providing access to content to offsite partners and teams. It’s time to consider building a DAM. In my quest for practical advice, I found a good overview at CMSWire. According to DAM expert Jeff Lawrence, the steps are fairly straightforward. Step 1, build a team. You’ll want to include stakeholders from IT, Marketing, Art, Records Management, and so on. I especially like his advice to recruit “that person who is the loudest in the crowd.” Step 2, define the vision. Before you roll up your sleeves, you and the team need to establish the project scope and define business goals. Step 3, be a cheerleader—get everyone excited. It makes good sense to get people involved early and keep them engaged so they are invested in the project. Rolling out new policies and procedures is always tough, and getting buy-in from the troops is key. Steps 4 and 5, performing a content inventory and making a migration plan, need no explanation. You need to know what assets you’ve already got on hand and figure out how to move them to the new DAM system before you can move forward. Step 6 moves into information governance territory. It’s essential to establish well-defined governance strategies and policies that define what assets will be moved into the DAM, a metadata policy and more. For an exploration of the relationship between information governance and DAM, read “The Greatness of Information Governance.” Step 7, work with your IT security team to define a secure infrastructure and establish clear policies for use of the system. Step 8, consider employing a content management system. As Lawrence writes, “automation helps.” An enterprise content management (ECM) system can provide useful automation and universal viewing/annotation tools that make it easier to find and collaborate with content. Finally, invest in ongoing maintenance. DAM is not a “set it and forget it” endeavor. And if it saves you time and money in the long run, doesn’t it make sense to have it operating at its best?

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It’s not Just Harry Potter Casting a Spell at Enterprise World This Year!

We are just a few weeks away from Enterprise World, OpenText’s premier conference for customers and partners from around the world. This year’s conference will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Now there are many reasons why we think you should attend this event but if you want to learn how Enterprise Information Management (EIM) can remove some of the digital disruption facing your business in the near future then this is the event for you. My role at OpenText is to define and drive the global strategy for the manufacturing industry (covering the automotive, high tech and industrial sectors) and to help companies embrace our EIM solutions. I have attended numerous GXS conferences over the years but this will be my first visit to Enterprise World since OpenText acquired GXS earlier this year. I am looking forward to casting some magical spells during the various sessions that I will be hosting and helping companies to embrace our solutions for their journey into the fast moving digital world! So why the magical references I hear you ask?, well for the simple reason that on the Thursday evening of the event, OpenText will be taking over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida®. Should be quite an evening, but of course the main reason to register for this conference is to attend the many breakout sessions that will be available and to network with industry peers. Now we could just let Hogwart’s ‘Sorting Hat’ decide which of the many sessions, listed here , you should attend during the conference, however I have decided to provide some guidance in terms of the key manufacturing sessions that will be taking place, each session is 45 minutes long. Tuesday 11th November 1:55pm – How Panasonic is Modernizing their B2B Network to a Consolidated, Cloud Based B2B infrastructure – This session, hosted by Panasonic Europe will discuss how the company is modernizing and consolidating their European B2B infrastructure onto a single, cloud based platform, OpenText™ Managed Services. The session will discuss some of the business challenges faced by Panasonic and how a cloud approach to managing their B2B platform is helping to streamline their supply chain operations. 4:05pm – How Digital Disruption will Impact Manufacturing Supply Chains of the Future – 2014 will be remembered as the year when digital transformation projects went mainstream. Many companies are undertaking such projects, but how will new technologies such as 3D printing, wearable devices and the Internet of Things impact these projects? This session will take a look at these new technologies and how they are likely to disrupt manufacturing operations and supply chains in the future. Wednesday 12th November 1:55pm – Best Practices for Electronically Exchanging Information with Trading Partners – OpenText recently sponsored a new research study that was conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights. The study, entitled, How B2B Integration Drives Superior Supply Chain Performance, surveyed 270 global manufacturers to understand how companies were using B2B integration technologies today and how this helps to drive improved supply chain performance. This session will review key findings from the study and tests the hypothesis of how B2B integration directly impacts supply chain performance. Thursday 13th November 11:15am – Working Together to Drive Improved B2B Innovation – This session, hosted by Michelin, will discuss how the company is taking a partnership approach with OpenText to deploy their B2B Managed Services platform in Europe. Michelin discusses how the partnership approach has benefitted both companies in terms of driving product innovation and providing a way to jointly explore new opportunities for deploying other OpenText B2B solutions across their business. 3:10pm – Collaboration & Information Governance with Your Supply Chain Partners/Vendors – Managing trading partner communities is an important part of today’s supply chain environments. Ensuring that companies can work collaboratively with trading partners anywhere in the world helps to significantly improve operational efficiencies. OpenText™ Active Community provides a collaborative community management platform that allows companies to work seamlessly with their global trading partners. This session will briefly introduce Active Community and how it can be used to manage a relatively new regulatory compliance initiative relating to the removal of conflict minerals from global supply chains. 4:10pm – Roundtable Discussion with Panasonic – This last session that I will be hosting provides a forum for a select group of conference attendees to meet with Panasonic and ask more detailed questions about their B2B implementation. These types of sessions are normally beneficial for all involved as they provide a perfect opportunity to network with industry peers who have a shared interest in a specific area of B2B integration. In this case learn more about how an outsourced B2B approach benefitted Panasonic’s business. So there you have it, a fairly busy week for me, but I am looking forward to it. My colleagues in our industry marketing team will be equally busy, so if you have an interest in Life Sciences, Energy / Oil & Gas, Government and Public Sector, Financial Services or Media and Entertainment then take a look at our dedicated conference website, via the banner graphic below, for further information. With breakfast roundtables, one to one meetings and many other networking sessions, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet our industry team here at OpenText. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando between 9th and 14th November. If you are unable to attend our conference then please remember that you can follow our industry team on our dedicated blog, click here

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Know Your Cloud Fax Service Provider’s Strengths

A cloud fax service provider usually has many unique capabilities. There are some questions we should ask EVERY cloud services provider. For example what is the service level agreement they provide? What about their track record with regards to customer base, on-going infrastructure investment and network capacity? But even these questions aren’t enough. When vetting an enterprise-class cloud fax service provider “capable” isn’t enough; you want strength in these areas. Some of the specific strengths to look for are: company finances – if the cloud fax provider is a publicly traded company – you can investigate their financial health. Research overall company reputation and position in the market. whether the cloud fax provider’s clients include a significant portion of Fortune 500 companies – proves they possess the ability to interact, consult and service large organizations that typically operate on a global scale if on-going investment in their cloud network and platform infrastructure is a strategic imperative – confirms a commitment to keeping their network optimized and aligned with the latest cloud technology standards and protocols number of users of the service – if they’ve served millions of customers it shows the cloud fax provider has a proven track record of successfully handling customer inquiries, implementations and deployments, as well as discrepancies issues number of transactions annually – millions or billions of transmitted messages each year indicate scalability, meaning the cloud fax provider possesses the necessary pedigree and capacity to support large data transmissions, including peak periods Many vendors offer several cloud fax solutions to address various information management issues; most are very capable at it too. However OpenText’s history of offering enterprise-class cloud fax services across a multitude of industry verticals, spans over 20 years. During that time it’s allowed us to become not just “capable“, but the leader in cloud fax services. NOTE: This is an installment of a Blog post series on enterprise-class cloud fax services. To view other posts in the series please refer to the following links: What Makes Cloud Fax Services Enterprise Class Assessing Cloud Architecture and Fax Performance Recovering from Fax Disaster Fax Compliance in an Ever Changing World Cloud Fax Takes Information Management to the Next Level Cloud Fax Services Make Administration Easy Simplify Global IT Support with Cloud Fax

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Archiving – Do You Need to Upgrade? [Part 2]

Part 2 – Symptoms As an archive system falls behind the times, the symptoms of its failure show up in the organization with increasing frequency and virulence, frustrating users and negatively impacting the bottom line until a tipping point is reached and action is taken. Let’s take a look at symptoms of an outdated Archiving System. An uptick in certain business, governance, and technical problems within an organization could be symptomatic of an outdated archive system. Here are some tell-tale signs to watch out for. Business Symptoms When an organization finds it increasingly difficult to meet important business deadlines or fulfill Service Level Agreements (SLAs), one of the root causes could be a poorly performing archive system. More obviously, a spike in user complaints about system availability or content accessibility suggests that an archive system is no longer meeting users’ needs and expectations. Users may also complain of an inability to extract content or data for targeted messaging, transpromotional marketing (transpromo), next best offer, analytics, and other sales and marketing functions. Another symptom of an outdated archive system is users’ increasing frustration with the lack of basic and advanced search functionality, something that many people now take for granted in modern business applications. Finally, from a cost point of view, when the total annual cost of an archive system increases out of proportion to usage rates or functionality, it’s probably time for a change. Governance Symptoms If an organization is unable to reliably store or locate content that it has a legal responsibility to retain, the archive system should be carefully re-evaluated. Likewise if an organization finds that its ability to mount a vigorous defense against a lawsuit is compromised because it either doesn’t have or can’t find relevant internal documents. An archive system that’s incapable of automatically destroying old or outdated content, as per government-mandated retention guidelines, should also be evaluated for an upgrade because manual destruction of obsolete content is fraught with error. Old content is often left to clog up the system resulting in additional risk of eDiscovery while current content periodically gets prematurely deleted, violating records retention regulations. The most extreme governance-related symptoms are compliance infractions leading to investigations, fines, license revocations, or lawsuits. Technical Symptoms One of the most common (and obvious) indications that an archive system needs an upgrade is the official termination of support by the vendor of a major system component. Without vendor support, the burden of maintaining an aging legacy system—and making it work with newer business systems—falls squarely on the shoulders of the organization itself. Over time, this maintenance burden will increase even as the archive system yields diminishing returns. The system will be superseded throughout industry by newer technology so the pool of IT personnel qualified to maintain it will shrink, making it increasingly difficult and expensive to operate. At some point, the IT department may become unwilling to commit valuable resources to propping up a labor-intensive legacy system built on old technology. Another symptom of an outdated archive system is slow performance, relative to either the system’s past performance or current technology benchmarks. If performance has degraded over time, the system might not be flexible or scalable enough to keep up with the organization’s changing needs. When it becomes prohibitively expensive to boost performance or add new capabilities/features, an archive system should definitely be evaluated for an upgrade. If an archive system has excessive storage requirements because, for example, it retains multiple copies of a logo image that appears in many documents, perhaps it should be upgraded to optimize storage methods and redistribute content to less expensive storage media, thus reducing storage costs. Still on the topic of storage, another symptom of an outdated archive system is the inability to transfer, store, and deliver content in multiple different formats. This technical limitation places unnecessary constraints on what and how organizations serve their customers in a modern, multi-channel environment. Other restrictions on content or data usage can also be symptomatic of an outdated archive system. For instance, an inability to: Combine content into logical groupings or packages Use or combine content from business systems, including other repositories Use content in new business flows or modern channels such as email, mobile, and tablet Integrate data-oriented systems such as analytics and visualization. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, perhaps the most easily recognizable symptom of an outdated archive system is the inability to connect with social media. An archive with social media integration can store customer comments and feedback, providing consumers with additional information and context for the content they are viewing. In the next blog post, we will take a look at the modern features you want when evaluating an archive. To learn more, download a free white paper, How to Recognize When Archiving Has Become a Problem.

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Simplifying the Conflict Minerals Reporting Process

Earlier this year many North American based companies were filing their conflict minerals reports for the first time. The Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Law was introduced to help understand the source of conflict minerals across global supply chains, primarily in the high tech, automotive and CPG manufacturing sectors. This is an area that I have blogged about before, click here & here, however this blog will provide an update on how this year’s reporting process went. I will also be covering this subject in more detail during one of my presentation sessions at our Enterprise World conference next month. This new law was introduced by the US Senate and applies to any North American based company filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC. Companies have to provide evidence that their supply chains are not using conflict minerals. Even though it was just North American based companies that had to report to the SEC, suppliers located in other countries would have to provide evidence to their respective customers in North America of where potential conflict minerals were sourced from. Conflict minerals, namely Tin, Tungsten, Tantalum and Gold (collectively known as the 3TG minerals) are mined all over the world however this new regulation specifically relates to the sourcing of 3TG minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa. Many mines in this region are owned by militia groups and the proceeds from the sale of 3TG minerals are used to fund their military operations. 3TG minerals are used in a range of every day products: The new law aims to check the source of these minerals before they enter the smelter process. In December 2010 the International Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) produced a document describing a five stage process which provides due diligence guidance for sourcing minerals from conflict affected and high risk areas around the world. Stage two of this framework specifically relates to the assessment and reporting process for identifying the source of conflict minerals. To assist with the reporting process, the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) was established to help companies implement a process for assessing their supply chain and to find out where 3TG minerals were sourced from. CFSI devised a SEC approved reporting Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that companies could use for assessing their supply chains. All of the major industry analysts have produced reports offering their own analysis on the sourcing of conflict minerals, however Deloitte succinctly summarised the issues as follows, “The complexity of today’s supply chains combined with the lack of visibility into sourcing practices will be one of the key challenges of ensuring that Dodd-Frank can be adhered to”. So how did companies do during the first reporting period and what were the challenges that they faced during the assessment process? Initial estimates of the number of companies that would be impacted by this new ruling were 6000, however a study conducted by Ernst and Young in June 2014, just after the 2014 reporting process had been completed, showed that the actual number of companies that completed a standard disclosure form to the SEC was just over 1300 and of these just 1000 completed a conflict minerals report as they had reason to believe that 3TG minerals had been sourced from the DRC. The Ernst and Young report went on to say that: Average number of suppliers surveyed was 2500, but ranged from just 5 to over 40,000 suppliers 49% of respondents came from the technology, industrial and CPG sectors 43% of respondents showed sourcing of some portion of minerals from the DRC 52% of companies did not disclose supplier response rates, of those that did respond only 15% of companies had supplier response rate greater than 90% Only 27% were able to provide a list of smelters and refiners After reviewing some of the conflict minerals disclosures on the SEC website it became clear that many companies had struggled to engage with their entire supply chain and in fact there were some remarkably similar issues faced by reporting companies, namely: Ensuring that supplier contact information was up to date to allow reporting template to be sent to them Some companies received no response from their direct and sub-tier materials suppliers, partly due to the complexity of their respective supply chains Information provided by suppliers was often incomplete or inaccurate Suppliers had to be chased up for report submissions to meet SEC’s May 31st deadline Part of the problem related to acquiring information from suppliers is the reporting tool itself, even though it is relatively easy to complete, the main challenge is the distribution of the spreadsheet to a supplier community and then tracking all responses. If a company for example has more than ten thousand trading partners located all over the world then this problem becomes even more complex. OpenText™ Active Community is a cloud based community management platform that is used to manage day to day interactions with a supply chain community. Using a centrally managed archive of supplier contact information combined with comprehensive email management and reporting tools, Active Community can help remove the complexities of managing the distribution of information to a trading partner community. OpenText has re-created the CFSI reporting template within Active Community’s survey module. This means that companies can simply send an email to all their suppliers with a link to a reporting web form and all responses can be tracked and reported on. Using Active Community for the conflict minerals reporting process offers a number of key benefits: Provides an effective cloud based platform for distributing and tracking responses to conflict minerals based assessments Offers a simple and efficient reporting environment to encourage 100% participation from trading partners Ensures trading partner information is accurately maintained within a centralized environment Allows a company to meet an important corporate social responsibility objective and allow a conflict minerals report to be filed on time Even though the reporting process is only mandated by law in North America at the moment, other regions around the world are closely monitoring the US reporting process. The European Union passed a ruling earlier this year that it would allow companies located in member countries to self-certify their supply chains for conflict minerals. The EU ruling currently applies to importers of raw materials and does not include manufacturers and companies importing finished goods. The US and EU rules are intended to introduce more transparency into global supply chains, companies will therefore be ethically compelled to find out what is in their supply chains. Moving forwards it is expected that conflict minerals sourcing will become a core part of a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, which of course has board level support in most companies. OpenText has developed a number of resources to explain how we can help companies simplify their reporting process, these resources include an executive briefing document, a short webinar providing more details on the conflict minerals ruling and how Active Community can help and finally a twenty minute demonstration of the CFSI template within Active Community and how it can be used to quickly survey a supplier community. If you would like to see a short introductory video which introduces the conflict minerals ruling then please see the video below. To access our conflict minerals resources, please CLICK HERE. If you would like to learn more about our Conflict Minerals solution or any other solution that OpenText offers then why not register to attend our Enterprise World event in November? I will be presenting a number of manufacturing focused presentations at this event and you will be able to hear case study presentations from Panasonic and Michelin on how they are using B2B solutions from OpenText. Click on the link below for more information. The post Simplifying the Conflict Minerals Reporting Process appeared first on All About B2B.

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Redaction isn’t a Good Place for a DIY Approach

redaction

I’ve been covering redaction mishaps for a while now, and happily, the number of high profile snafus has really gone down, but they still happen. So I’m not surprised that groups like TransCelerate BioPharma Inc., a nonprofit consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, are offering guidance on ways to keep private information secure. TransCelerate released a document detailing how organizations should protect the personal data of patients and others involved in clinical study reports (CSRs). It advocates that personal information, investigator names, non-sponsor company names, addresses, patient or subject ID numbers and individual outcomes be redacted.  An explanation of why each item has been redacted should also be provided. “Increasing transparency of clinical trial information by making clinical study reports more widely available is a goal we all share,” said Andrew Freeman, Director and Head of Medical Policy at GlaxoSmithKline, and TransCelerate Clinical Data Transparency initiative co-lead in a press release. “This must be done in ways that protect the privacy of those involved, and the adoption of a consistent approach is an important step forward.” Part of that consistent approach includes the use of professional tools, according to the TransCelerate document: “For documents existing in an electronic format, we recommend redaction utilizing a professional redaction tool that prevents the ability to revert content and unmask redacted information.” Open formats, like TIFF and PDF, can make it easy to share data—but there are also many software programs that can edit the files and even open password-protected files. “Quality control measures must be employed before the redactions are applied and the CSR is rendered as a Portable Document Format (PDF) that cannot be edited,” according to the document. Redaction should completely remove, rather than cover, sensitive content so it can’t be copied or compromised. This is actually the most common redaction mistake made, with very costy consequences, including: Identity theft, which affects more than 9 million people and costs more than $56 billion to the economy every year Non-compliance with regulations such as the Freedom of Information Act or Sarbanes-Oxley Loss of competitive advantage Compromised security and loss of intellectual property as vulnerable content leaves your organization Embarrassing press and possible litigation It is easy to see why redaction is so important, but without a “professional redaction tool” as recommended by TransCelerate, the process can be challenging and time consuming. A survey found that more than 25% of respondents were still doing redaction manually, with markers or redaction tape. This generally means printing out the document, using a black marker to block out confidential material, then making a copy (and often a copy of that copy to ensure the text is fully obscured), and then scanning it back to electronic form. Performing electronic redaction can greatly reduce the amount of time (and money) spent redacting. Read more about a solution here.

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Simplify Global IT Support with Cloud Fax

Enterprises operating centrally-based IT organizations are usually challenged when it comes to managing that infrastructure across continents. It’s a lot to handle because of all the requirements associated with multiple IT resources located in different regions, each with their own hardware, software, telecom and telephone services. Supporting all these variables increases IT budgets while adding management complexity. When enterprise service upgrades are scheduled, this complex mix creates a logistical nightmare that can lead to regional management problems and lost productivity. A cloud fax service provider can help circumvent this. They provide enterprises with one external resource for service operation and technical support. For example, issues around dealing with multiple telecom providers in various geographic regions are resolved. Instead these enterprises rely on one vendor to support service delivery to any continent or country. Taken further, enterprises requiring “around the clock” customer service and technical support can trust an enterprise cloud fax service provider’s network operations centers to manage their services 24/7/365. These operations centers have staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge necessary for identifying and preventing technical issues before they get serious. The staff is basically one central resource for all global support and functions including: network monitoring setup and configuration usage training notification case tracking prioritization self-service According to a national survey by Rackspace Hosting, a segment of the findings stated “by a three to one ratio (75% to 25%), IT decision makers prefer a cloud provider with strong technical support.” I think what the research really indicates is that there’s an expectation among today’s IT decision makers that cloud fax service providers can maximize their resources to support its customers’ new-revenue generating activities around the globe. NOTE: This is an installment of a Blog post series on enterprise-class cloud fax services. To view other posts in the series please refer to the following links: What Makes Cloud Fax Services Enterprise Class Assessing Cloud Architecture and Fax Performance Recovering from Fax Disaster Fax Compliance in an Ever Changing World Cloud Fax Takes Information Management to the Next Level Cloud Fax Services Make Administration Easy Know Your Cloud Fax Service Provider’s Strengths

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Accessibility on All Fronts: Creating Accessible Web Content

How are companies today faring when it comes to creating accessible environments for their customers? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Because if you visit a modern office building, or even take a look at corporate websites, accessibility has obviously become a key ingredient for most businesses today. Companies want all of their customers to be able to reach them, whether that means adding wheelchair ramps to their offices, or accessibility tags to their websites. Those that don’t make the efforts have quickly found that there are hefty legal repercussions and lawsuits waiting for them if they don’t comply. But to truly be able to access services, information, etc., individuals with disabilities must have a comparable opportunity to go everywhere customers without disabilities can. And that means businesses need more than wheelchair ramps and accessible websites – they need accessible web content as well. I wrote about exactly this issue in a recent article for Business Solutions magazine, entitled “Creating Fully Accessible Web Content: The Industrial Approach.” The article looked at the changing face of accessible content – from a time when companies required the visually impaired to identify themselves as disabled, and then wait for content to be sent to them in accessible paper formats like Braille, to now, when the visually impaired require and demand immediately available online content, just like everybody else. To stay compliant – and to keep all of their customers happy – companies need to build new options into all of their online content, including PDF statements, account notices and bills. For that to become the norm, though, companies need to embrace technology, specifically automation. They need a technology that’s scalable to their customers’ needs—because building accessibility into these PDF documents manually is too cost and time intensive and simply cannot provide an equivalent or even comparable experience. That means introducing automation with intelligence to maintain standards compliant accessibility rules and formats, to generate these statements, bills and notices accessibly on-demand so that they and readable and usable by those using screen readers. It’s only once that content becomes easily accessible and usable that companies start to come close to true accessibility – and actual regulatory compliance. But they’ll be one step closer to something else, too: customer loyalty. And that can be a hard thing to find in today’s competitive environment. If you want to know more about creating accessible web content, read my original article published by Business Solutions Magazine.

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Cloud Fax Services Make Administration Easy

Administering enterprise cloud faxing in simple fashion is another one of the messaging service’s benefits. In fact a leading enterprise-class cloud fax service provider should offer a set of unique features that make administration easy to implement and conduct. Let’s say you’re an administrator for an organization that’s decided to incorporate cloud fax into its messaging strategy. Obviously you’re going to spell out the unique fax feature requirements according to your enterprise’s standard communication architecture. Once confirmed, the cloud fax service provider deploys a professional services team that uses web technology to implement those requirements. The team usually consists of project management, sales engineering, account management, customer support and telecom. Once implementation is complete, you’ll become the cloud fax administrator. You’ll be able to log into a secure web portal that gives you the ability to perform the following: Add, change or delete cloud fax users as needed Manage group properties including options to add, edit and re-assign fax users to specific groups Track the overall success of fax message delivery Increase or decrease time users can access archived faxes Establish detailed reports on fax message transmission from the company to the user level Reallocate IT costs to specific departments or groups according to fax volume Self-provision new fax numbers from a pool of providers Other administrative features include number porting as well as blocking.This helps maintain service continuity and avoid disruptions with key customers or stakeholders. I could go on; however the point is there are many administrative functions for onboarding and managing enterprise cloud faxing to add strategic value across your organization. NOTE: This is an installment of a Blog post series on enterprise-class cloud fax services. To view other posts in the series please refer to the following links: What Makes Cloud Fax Services Enterprise Class Assessing Cloud Architecture and Fax Performance Recovering from Fax Disaster Fax Compliance in an Ever Changing World Cloud Fax Takes Information Management to the Next Level Simplify Global IT Support with Cloud Fax Know Your Cloud Fax Service Provider’s Strengths

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Archiving – Do You Need to Upgrade? [Part 1]

Part 1 – Drivers for Change Large organizations such as banks, credit card, insurance, telecommunications companies, and government agencies use electronic archive systems to efficiently maintain a comprehensive historical record of their activities, content, and customer data. In this blog post, we will examine the drivers for change that cause many organizations to modernize their archive systems. In future blogs, we will identify the telltale signs of an aging system, and suggest decision-making criteria for a major upgrade. Finally, we will discuss how several organizations have successfully upgraded their archiving systems. Why an Electronic Archive? Corporate content assets such as documents, statements, bills, invoices, insurance policies, and scanned images are essential to the survival and growth of an organization. It is vitally important for these assets to be retained intact and in an orderly fashion so organizations can use them whenever they are needed. Modern organizations have largely abandoned paper-based archives in favor of electronic archive systems. These systems typically comprise one or more enterprise-class software applications for storing, managing, and retrieving electronic versions of ad hoc and high-volume content, allowing organizations to maintain a comprehensive, historical record of their activities, content, and customer data. In that capacity, an archive system simultaneously supports a number of business functions: Customer Service To properly address customer inquiries, complaints, and requests Research and Planning To support ongoing activities and prepare for future projects Analysis To predict customer behavior and identify trends Regulatory Compliance To satisfy government recordkeeping regulations Legal Defense To protect their interests in a legal dispute. Like all information technology, archive systems need to be upgraded from time to time. Depending on an organization’s requirements, an upgrade could mean replacing the entire system with a brand new solution or simply integrating a modern repository into the existing infrastructure. Either way, the first step toward an effective solution is identifying the problem. Drivers for Change The decision to upgrade an archive system can be made for any number of reasons, in response to both internal and external drivers. Some of the factors that commonly influence large organizations to make a change are: Evolving Customer Expectations – Ongoing advances in web and mobile technology have made customer expectations a fast-moving target. Service providers that want to remain competitive need to put systems in place that will allow them to continually improve customer experience across all communication channels. Superior Technology – When the performance of an existing archive system is significantly lower than that of the latest technology, organizations naturally consider an upgrade that will bridge the gap. Reduced Support – Over time, vendors consolidate due to market pressures, and their product and support policies change. If a vendor is decreasing their support, it may be a sign that the product is becoming less important to them, and that you should start looking at your upgrade options. Cheaper Storage – The decreasing cost of some storage media gives large organizations an incentive to adopt archive systems with management tools that can make the best use of cheaper storage options and minimize the use of more expensive media. Organizational Growth – As organizations grow larger and more geographically dispersed, with more customers and a broader range of activities, some existing archive systems cannot be scaled up to meet new requirements so an upgrade becomes necessary. New Customer Channels – Modern organizations must have an archive system capable of receiving and serving up content to a multitude of customer channels, including web, social, mobile, tablet, text messages, email, print, and others. Changing Regulatory Requirements – Legislation is constantly evolving to keep pace with significant industry developments. New regulations are routinely introduced while old ones are repealed or modified. To maintain regulatory compliance, organizations must have an archive system that is flexible enough to address these concerns. Financial Belt-Tightening – Some organizations decide to upgrade their archive system as part of a larger effort to cut costs, find efficiencies, increase profits, or squeeze more value from current assets, including content and IT systems. Of course, few of these drivers arrive suddenly on the doorstep, clearly labeled and immediately actionable. Rather, they exert gradually mounting pressure on an organization. In the next post, we will look at the symptoms of an archiving system that may need to be upgraded. If your organization is considering an archiving system upgrade, what are the drivers for change? To learn more, download free white paper, How to Recognize When Archiving Has Become a Problem.

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8 Reasons Why Customers Benefit from Online Document Delivery

Companies today are seeing the advantages of offering bills, notices, and account statements through secure customer portals. But it is clear that businesses are not the only ones who benefit from offering important content online. We are all customers, so we can probably relate to 8 things customers can do with online data and documents:  1.  View Data In the Way That’s Best For Them. With tools available to manage, sort, graph, chart and export data, customers can arrange their information in a way that makes the best sense and allows them to understand it better. 2. Set Reminders. Life is busy and sometimes it’s easy for people to forget what day it is, never mind which bills are due. Email alerts can remind when payments are due or if the account balance is low, making lives a little bit easier. 3. Access The Account at Any Time. With online statements customers can check their most recent statement or balance no matter where they are or what time of day it is, using whichever device is most convenient to them –from their desktop or laptop to their tablet or mobile phone. 4. Easily Access Archived Information. Hard copies can be easy to lose or misplace, but account information online will be there for as long as the average customer needs it – and it’s legislated to be available. A U.S. financial institution, for example, is required to keep account histories for seven years, to exceed typical IRS periods of limitations for income tax returns. 5. Say No to Clutter and Simplify Their Lives. By going paperless, and managing accounts online instead, customers are reducing their potential for clutter. 6. Improve Environmental Stewardship. Paperless also means less waste, which makes the online option more sustainable – a plus for environmentally conscious customers. 7. Ensure Better Security. Printed statements sent by mail can easily be opened by anyone, while online account information is protected by a secure login. 8. Get Accessible Content On Demand. Many organizations today – to keep up with the needs of their visually impaired customers and ensure they remain compliant with regulations – are driven to offer website content, including documents such as bank statements or bills, that’s accessible on demand with the use of screen reader technology. This helps create inclusionary environment where all digital customer communications are available to everyone. More and more customers are setting aside their paper copies and getting on board with online customer communications. Gaining their loyalty and keeping their business means companies need to keep up with those demands—offering the best online environment they can. If you are switching to online document delivery – what are your reasons to do this? 

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Improving Compliance with Information Governance

The Financial Services industry has seen risks and, notably, costs change a lot in the past year. The costs of not being in compliance have increased exponentially. Fines that were considered incredibly high at several hundred million dollars have now crossed the multibillion dollar mark. In one instance, this number raised doubts about the adequacy of one bank’s capital level after they paid the fine. Financial Services is the industry most impacted by the worldwide increase in regulatory compliance. Better Information Governance can position every financial services firm to meet this challenge successfully. The need for it has never been greater and that need will continue to grow with the expansion of compliance regulations. Granted, Dodd-Frank, FATCA, Basel II & III, Solvency II, the Patriot Act, et. al. are very important. The risks of losing a banking license, reputational risk from negative publicity and even inability to conduct basic business like US dollar clearing are now on the line. Will your customers leave you if this occurs? The value that Information Governance brings to prevent these problems is immeasurable. It helps to minimize legal liability, secure sensitive information, improve regulatory compliance and reduce expenses and, most importantly, treat information as a strategic asset. It can be used to show regulators that positive action has been taken and that regulatory compliance is of paramount importance. Kahn Consulting wrote a whitepaper titled, “ 7 Essential Steps for Taking Control of Digital Data Debris ”, which will help you to build a strong Information Governance strategy, while improving compliance. Beyond regulatory compliance, there are other areas where Information Governance can add a lot of value. This includes the security of information and the ability to use information assets to maximize value while minimizing information-related risks. Other important areas are addressed by Records Management, eDiscovery and the defensible disposition of information. This whitepaper will address all of this and more, while helping you gain a much better understanding of the value. Every financial service firm should have a strong Information Governance strategy, process and technology to manage risks better, avoid regulatory compliance problems and maximize the value of your information. At OpenText, we provide a strong platform for Information Governance, which strives to balance value the risks and costs associated with corporate information. Register and join us at Enterprise World, November 9-14, 2014 to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

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