Compliance

Banking & PSD2: The Oscars Nominations for Biggest Disruptors are…

Similar to the Academy Awards official nominations, I’m sure you already have a good idea of the personalities that drew everyone’s attention in the Banking and Payments industry. Let’s open the envelope and nominate the most disruptive artefacts of the Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2) from a Bank perspective. And the nominees are… Payments Initiation Services and Account Information Services From a commercial, legal, technical and operational perspective, Payment Initiation Services is introduced as a new obligation for Banks and traditional Payment Services Suppliers. The idea is to allow third-party companies (also regulated under the PSD2) to make payments on behalf of traditional bank clients. This is the result of the growing number of payment outfits in the marketplace, doing─until now─fairly unregulated business and operating within the scope of their own creativity and commercial objectives. PSD2 puts a framework around that, with the consequence of carving out the traditional business of Banks’ Payments and Cash Management, as we know it today. Account Information Services is the corollary of the first concept. It is the second nominee of our ceremony, as it also opens the market for competition and innovation. While Payment Initiation Services is largely “acting on behalf of the ultimate account owner”, Account Information Services is basically allowing third parties to act as aggregators across a number of banks, in terms of transaction visibility, reporting and all the traditional processes. The growing trend with corporates (wholesale banking) is the migration of treasury processes into the cloud with Payment Services Providers (PSPs) and historical treasury technology vendors, to optimize payments and cash management as an overlay to traditional Bank services. Account Information Services now puts a legal framework around this example. PSD2 is also largely designed to cover the same principles and benefits to the retail banking world. Low Hanging Fruits for Transaction Banking Clearly, the PSD2 will have a number of variations in transposed domestic laws, opening the gates to various rules, processes and technical standards. Across all of the impacted Bank functions, Transaction Services will pick up a lot more scope and business logic. I believe that minimizing and “protecting” back-office platforms from direct PSD2 impacts is the first point to consider. The aftereffect to this idea is the introduction of or fully leveraging Digital Banking. For those who still haven’t heard about Digital Banking, the idea is to separate the way Bank clients consume the services electronically from the way banking products, platforms and processes within the Bank are physically deployed. I wrote about Digital Banking in a previous blog. The low hanging fruits to deliver on the Payment Initiation Service as well as Account Information Services are: Digitize the Banking channels, enabling it to normalize client or third party data (payments, reporting, “act on behalf”, message types). This typically includes data normalization, file mapping, enrichment and transformation. Identify where pre-PSD2 processes in the middle and back-office systems can be maintained. The expansion of KYC rules, client-third party relations and reconciliation processes can help normalize all PSD2 flows from the technical foundations of the Bank. Operational client community and reference data management. Above and beyond KYC and sales data, it becomes an imperative to keep track of the entire detailed inventory of client integration reference data, settings, file types and envelopes, certificates, “act on behalf” mandates, etc. The Business As Usual (BAU teams) from Transaction Banking will need to keep track of multi-layered business and technical relationships. Ensure all access controls, identity management; auditing, reconciliations, and transaction management reflect the multi-layered model. Minimum Compliance vs. Commercial Strategy As of today, in early 2015 some European Banks have started to get ahead of the curve by spinning-off their own independent “third-party PI” brand, to compete within and maintain their share of the PSP market. This is very apparent in the Nordics and Germany. On the other end of the spectrum, the majority of banks are “hatching down”, bracing themselves with the minimum compliance approach. Minimum compliance is basically fixing the new gaps opened by PSD2, largely around security, KYC and electronic banking. Entering the “third-party PSP world” as a new or independent brand─a Bank joint venture, a spin-off, or a subsidiary─is the only way to keep or expand one’s market share. A few smart European Banks have chosen the most aggressive strategy, by executing a “land grab” from other Banks who chose minimum compliance. A Final Observation My personal take on PSD2 is that some Banks are wearing the scars of the financial and emotional investment into SEPA, still fresh in everyone’s minds. PSD2 looks like a further tightening of the bolts, when it actually introduces more disruption to the Banking business than SEPA did. When disruption comes, an organization can either do nothing or fully embrace it and ride the waves.

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Healthcare Data Breaches Expected to Increase in 2015

A recent article in Healthcare Informatics titled “ Report: Healthcare Data Breaches Expected to Increase in 2015 ” covered how Personal Healthcare Information’s (PHI) continued shift towards digital formats will increase the potential for electronic data breaches to occur. What makes it more concerning is penalties stemming from these breaches are expected to be over 5 billion dollars. Then to compound the issue, those inside the healthcare sector aren’t necessarily confident about the protection measures in place now for electronic PHI. According to doctors’ offices and clinics cited in the article, the level of security and privacy for PHI shared on health information exchanges needs improvement. As someone familiar with information exchange technology, I think this represents a new opportunity for 2015. I believe healthcare organizations will look to reevaluate the methods and protocols they’re using to exchange digital PHI in order to avoid the pitfalls the article predicted for 2015. This means healthcare organizations will likely investigate and reassess information exchange methods like fax, secure email and managed file transfer to help address critical security and compliance standards in the industry: Fax Solutions help healthcare organizations works smarter by improving the speed, efficiency and accuracy of healthcare data Secure Mail helps minimize, control and manage risks associated with data breaches and vulnerabilities Secure Managed File Transfer (MFT) ensures the safety of the exchange of intellectual properties to help mitigate risks and improve compliance As we continue enhancing these information exchange offerings we fully expect our solutions to be in lockstep with the security and compliance issues possibly awaiting healthcare in 2015.

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Top 10 News Stories from Actuate for 2014

This has been a huge year at Actuate. Between new products, acquisitions, and growth in our community, we’ve been busy providing great software across all of our divisions that help our customers meet their challenges in novel ways. Today, as 2014 winds down,  we’re highlighting ten of our biggest news stories of the year.     January 21: Actuate Patents PDF Accessibility Solution for Automated Tagging and Delivery of High Volume Content to the Visually Impaired. We were proud to kick off the year by receiving U.S. Patent 8619272, called “Automated Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired,” for our PDF Accessibility Solution. This software integrates with an organization’s existing document management system to capture high volume print streams and automatically create properly tagged, accessible documents. February 5: Actuate Acquires legodo ag to Expand its Accessible Customer Communications Management Solution. The company develops software for generation of personalized customer correspondence via any communication channel, including mobile devices, and its software allows organizations to tap into their existing ERP, CRM, and other applications when creating customer communications. February 6: Actuate Launches New Generation of BIRT Content Services to Streamline End-to-End Accessible Customer Communications Management. Called BIRT Content Services 5.0, this new version of Actuate’s CCM product is now integrated with the BIRT iHub 3 deployment platform to enable end-to-end management of high volume customer communications. April 9: Actuate Introduces Document Accessibility Appliance to Automate Remediation of High Volumes of e-Delivered Customer Communications for Access by Vision-Impaired Customers. This virtual software appliance converts high volumes of electronically delivered documents into universally accessible PDF files (PDF/UA). Complying with WCAG 2.0 standards, the appliance helps organizations format and tag statements, bills, invoices, explanation of benefits and policy documents. May 7: BIRT Gains 500,000 New Developer Customers in Six Months; Community Grows to More than 3.5 Million BIRT Developers Worldwide. A quarterly survey by an independent, global developer research firm found that the community of BIRT developers keeps growing. “[T]he growth in the number of developers following Actuate is clearly reflected in the surge in our social media engagement levels,” said Nobby Akiha, Actuate’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Actuate’s BIRT social media profile continues to grow organically, with new followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, indicating a vibrant and active BIRT community. We have also observed a 50% increase in the number of visitors to our new developer.actuate.com site since its introduction last fall.” July 10:Actuate Launches BIRT iHub F-Type – Free Server for Over 3.5 Million BIRT Developers Building Data-driven Reports, Visualizations and Applications. A freemium version of our enterprise deployment platform, BIRT iHub F-Type has metered output capacity that can be expanded with an in-app purchase. Within 15 minutes of downloading BIRT iHub F-Type, a developer can import a BIRT report, schedule secure distribution, and export their report as a full-function Excel spreadsheet. Interactive personalization capabilities are automatically enabled, and developers can use BIRT iHub F-Type to embed dynamic reports and visualizations in applications. July 21: Actuate Announces BIRT Analytics 4.4 for Even Easier and Faster Big Data Advanced Analytics for Business Professionals. Our upgraded big data analytics platform for business analysts and users got powerful new algorithms and functionalities. “BIRT Analytics allows the business professional a way to easily explore and pivot billions of rows of data in seconds, while gaining immediate insights though visual representations of statistical models and advanced analytic techniques,” said Peter Hoopes, General Manager of Actuate’s BIRT Analytics Group. August 11: BIRT PowerDocs from Actuate is Now Available for the Salesforce1 Mobile App – Empowering Companies to Run their Businesses from Their Phones. Available in 10+ languages, BIRT PowerDocs is a cloud-based app designed to automatically incorporate ERP and CRM data and simplify generation of customer sales quotations and other correspondence within Salesforce1. It’s available for test drive and deployment on the Salesforce AppExchange. October 21: Actuate, Braille Works and Venatôre Collaborate to Deliver Industry’s First Cloud-Based Document Accessibility Service. Through key partnerships we expanded our offerings for the visually impaired community and for organizations that must comply with regulations such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. “Equal access to information is a basic right that every government agency must afford to individuals with vision loss,” said Paul Schroeder, vice president of Programs and Policy for the American Foundation for the Blind. “The Cloud508 service makes it possible to generate information in accessible formats to meet the access needs of people who are blind or visually impaired.” December 5: Actuate Signs Agreement to be Acquired by OpenText. The next chapter in Actuate’s story should begin within a few weeks. From the press release: “The addition of Actuate enables OpenText to enhance their products with embedded analytics as well as enter a growing market. Together Actuate and OpenText will seek to extend the benefits of embedded analytics to more geographies and industries.” We had to make some tough choices to whittle this list down to just ten entries. While we haven’t noted them all here, we’re also proud of our increasing profile among analysts and experts including Conformit, Dresner Advisory Services and Forrester; our growing profile in developer, open source, and social media communities; and our satisfied customers and partners like Phototype, IDS, and New York City Transit Authority who step up share their success stories. And we’re very proud of our Data Driven Summits, so we’re sharing videos of many great demos and panel discussions on the Actuate blog. With all of this in mind, 2015 promises to be another banner year for Actuate. We’re glad to have you – our customers, partners and prospects – with us during this exciting time. Subscribe to our blog (at left) and you’ll be the first to know when the next big things happen. Calendar image by Dafne Cholet.   

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Join Santa Claus on his Journey to the Digital First World!

When OpenText acquired GXS in January 2014, little did the company know that they would also be acquiring a customer widely regarded as having one of the most secretive businesses in the world. Over the years, many companies have decided to outsource the management of their B2B environment and in 2008, GXS signed a Managed Services contract with its most high profile customer, Santa Claus Enterprises in the North Pole. Over the years I have kept in close contact with this particular customer as they have been a shining example of how to deploy the full portfolio of B2B solutions from OpenText. Each year, just before Santa’s busiest period, I have provided a summary of the enhancements to their B2B environment. The evolution of Santa’s B2B environment is documented via the blogs below, feel free to take a look through as they will also provide some interesting insights into what it takes to deliver millions of Christmas presents on just one night of the year. 2013 – Santa deploys the Internet of Things across his North Pole Operations 2012 – Santa begins to evaluate the information flowing across SantaNet and implements a Big Data strategy 2011 – OpenText Active Community gets rolled out across Santa’s trading partner community to improve day to day collaboration across his Present Delivery Network and he also gets nominated for B2B Heroes award 2010 – Santa evaluates how cloud computing and mobile devices could improve North Pole operations 2009 – Santa completes deployment of OpenText Managed Services and begins to embrace social media tools 2008 – OpenText Managed Services chosen to support Santa’s new B2B hub, OpenText Intelligent Web Forms deployed to create SantaNet Santa’s little helpers, namely his army of elves, were asked by Santa to review the portfolio of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions from OpenText to see where further benefits could be made by automating manual business processes and digitising the remainder of his business operations. Many companies are embarking on a digital journey to improve the way in which different departments manage and get access to their corporate information. In fact ‘Digital Transformation’ projects are high on the agenda of many CIOs around the world at the moment and OpenText is in a unique position to provide a one stop shop to transform companies into a digital business. In August I received an email from Sonja Lundström, Santa’s trusted advisor and executive assistant, inviting me to go up to the North Pole to provide a digital business briefing for Santa and his executive board. Santa’s board members comprise of senior executives from some of the world’s leading toy manufacturers including Mattel, Hasbro and Lego. As with previous trips up to the North Pole, I was asked to check in at the Elf Air desk at a secret terminal at Schipol Airport just outside Amsterdam. This year I had the privilege of travelling on one of Santa’s new Airbus A380’s, a converted passenger plane that allows Santa, when required, to expedite the shipment of thousands of parcels to any one of his Present Distribution Hubs located in strategic locations around the world. The plane I travelled on, call sign ELF020, was one of a fleet of ten aircraft that Santa had chartered for the 2014 holiday season. 16 hours after leaving the UK I was checking into the North Pole Ice Hotel, a stone’s throw from the entrance to Santa’s primary toy manufacturing and distribution facility. I decided to get an early night as I knew the following day would be quite busy! The next day I walked across to Santa’s factory and I was whisked up to the executive briefing centre where I was introduced to Santa’s board members. Five minutes later and the main man himself walked through the frosted glass doors to the board room. Following introductions, Santa’s Chief Elf Information Officer provided an update on their current IT and B2B related projects. I have documented many of these projects quite extensively in the earlier articles which I listed at the beginning of this blog. Needless to say I was very impressed by the ROI that Santa had obtained by deploying OpenText Managed Services. Santa’s core B2B platform, the Present Delivery Network (shown above), processes billions of transactions each year and over the last five years, Santa had seen a 40% growth in new present orders through SantaNet, a web form based toy ordering environment that our company setup in 2008. The growth in new orders had come from the so called omni-channel effect with children placing toy orders through PCs, mobiles and tablet based devices. In addition to deploying a world leading B2B platform, Santa’s team rolled out their ‘Internet of Santa’s Things’ infrastructure, a high profile initiative to provide improved visibility across Santa’s Present Delivery Network. The Internet of Things has become one of the most talked about disruptive digital technologies of 2014, and Santa had no concerns about deploying his IoST environment and he certainly proved to be a digital trail blazer in this particular area. In addition, Santa had embraced a number of other disruptive technologies during 2014. Last year I discussed how Santa’s elves were using Google Glass in their warehouses to improve their toy pick rates. In addition to Glass, Santa had tested some other high profile disruptive technologies. A few years ago Santa invited Steve Jobs to his factory and following lengthy discussions Santa Claus Enterprises became a leading member of Apple’s beta test program. As soon as the early iWatch wearable devices were revealed to the world’s media in 2014, Apple despatched a shipment of iWatches for every elf in the factory. These came pre-loaded with a number of festive mobile apps to help improve the day to day efficiency of Santa’s team of elves. 3D printing was rolled out across Santa’s production department, not just for manufacturing proof of concept toy designs but to build scale models of new sleigh designs that would then be refined in Santa’s onsite wind tunnel. Sleigh research budgets have increased significantly over the years and 3D printing was helping to develop the most aerodynamically refined sleigh in the world. The final area of digital disruption that Santa embraced in 2014 was advanced robotics. Santa had heard that Foxconn, a leading contract manufacturer to Apple, was deploying up to a million ‘Foxbots’ across their manufacturing operations. Santa decided that he wanted to deploy ‘Elfbots’ to bring similar efficiencies to his own production operations. Santa is now working with Andy Rubin, head of Google’s newly formed robotics division, to define a development plan for his network of 2,000 Elfbots. Santa has done a great job of ensuring that he can seamlessly connect with the little children around the world. So in many ways Santa’s operations were already significantly digitally enabled but now that GXS had been acquired by OpenText there was scope for the deployment of further digital information tools. After all, many of the new disruptive technologies such as connected IoST devices were producing high volumes of unstructured data that would need to be archived, analysed and acted upon as required. After the CEIO had provided his updates it was time for me to take to the floor. I provided Santa and the board with a high level introduction to OpenText and they were very impressed with the joint customer base and the opportunities available to embrace new Enterprise Information Management solutions. Even though Santa had consolidated many back end business systems, such as his Elf Resources Platform (ERP), there were still many different information silos located within the various departments of his operations. Just finding the right information at the right time proved to be a challenge on occasions. To gain further efficiencies across Santa’s operations it would be important to ensure that all departments could feed off of a centralised digital information hub. This hub would be accessible any time, any place or anywhere, useful considering the global nature and complexity of Santa’s operations. OpenText solutions are divided across five key ‘pillars’, shown by way of the chart below, Santa’s B2B solutions are under the Information Exchange pillar. Before I had even explained each of the five solution pillars, Santa could immediately see that there was a significant opportunity to increase the footprint of OpenText solutions across his business. Santa said that he would like OpenText to become his trusted guide during his journey into the digital first world. But first he wanted me to highlight how OpenText could manage different types of information from the key stages of a toy’s lifecycle. I created the chart below to help illustrate some of the key process stages across Santa’s manufacturing operations. I have also overlaid, where appropriate the five key solution pillars as they apply to each stage of the lifecycle of a toy (which in reality could represent any manufactured product). Now I could go into detail around how OpenText can help manage information across each of these twelve process steps, but for the purposes of this article, let me just expand on five of these. Toy Design & Engineering – At this phase of a toy’s lifecycle, any information associated with the design of a toy will need to be centrally managed and archived in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. Typical files managed at this stage include 3D CADCAM models, 3D printer files, 2D drawings, production related information and high quality rendered images and 3D animations. A Digital Asset Management solution from OpenText would allow Santa’s marketing elves and outside PR agencies to review and download high quality rendered images and videos for use in promotional materials. Information Exchange (IX), solutions such as Managed File Transfer, allows Santa’s design elves to send large file size design information anywhere across the external enterprise, including contract manufacturers. Procurement / Supplier Onboarding – This is part of the toy’s lifecycle that GXS, now Information Exchange, has been supporting over the past few years, from on-boarding suppliers and ensuring they can exchange B2B transactions electronically to providing back end integration to Santa’s ERP platform. In addition, it is important for a procurement team to work collaboratively with their suppliers and all proposal, contract and contact information will need to be centrally managed. The procurement elves may need to undertake some form of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) assessments across their trading partner community. The area of GRC is becoming an increasingly important area for many companies and new regulations such as conflict minerals compliance needs to be adhered to and managed in an effective way. Just as an aside, Santa takes Corporate Social Responsibility really seriously, so much so that he would like to setup an Elf Information Management System (EIMS) to help with the day to day management of his elves and ensure the quality of their welfare whilst working in the toy factory. Plant Maintenance and Asset Management – Santa has an army of elves conducting proactive maintenance on shop floor related manufacturing and assembly equipment. Given the tight production schedule that Santa has each year, his elves ideally need quick access to maintenance and machine test procedures, 2D maintenance drawings and equipment test and compliance certificates. Even ensuring that Santa’s elves adhere to the latest Elf and Safety procedures has become a challenge over the years. The elves already have access to ruggedized tablet devices for use on the shop floor. Using Appworks, OpenText’s mobile app development platform, Santa’s elves would be able to get remote access to any information archived in the central content management system. In addition, the elves need to follow a standard process for maintaining each piece of equipment and OpenText’s Business Process Management (BPM) solution would be able to more effectively manage all the process steps involved with maintaining Santa’s production equipment. Can you imagine what would happen on the 24th December each year if the toy production lines are halted due to a malfunctioning assembly robot? Online Customer Experience – The SantaNet portal had worked well over the years and allowed the little children of the world to login to a portal and submit their present wish lists! At this stage of the toy’s lifecycle, various web related assets will need to be created and managed, eg product brochures, toy promotion videos and animations will need to be accessed by different elves across the extended enterprise and outside video production agencies. OpenText Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions are ideal for this purpose. Given the connected nature of today’s children, Santa would be able to setup a best in class ‘Young Person Experience Management’ offering that would leverage OpenText’s Web Experience Management offering. In addition, all other internal websites used by his elves could be upgraded with the latest portal technologies offered by OpenText. Recalls and Warranty Repair – The final stage of a toy’s lifecycle relates to the potential recall or repair of toys. Unfortunately not every toy delivered via the chimney makes it safely down to the fireplace and breakages can occur. Santa established a toy repair and recall centre ten years ago however many of the processes used to recover broken toys from the world’s children are quite lengthy and prone to delays due to the amount of manual paperwork that needs to be processed. In addition to repairs, sometimes toys have to be recalled, perhaps due to poor quality workmanship by Santa’s elves. Whether repairing broken toys or recalling faulty toys, Santa’s elves could significantly improve operational efficiencies by deploying OpenText’s Business Process Management (BPM) solution. BPM will ensure that every toy that needs to be repaired or recalled follows a strict series of process steps. This ensures that a consistent and repeatable repair/recall process can be established and this helps to improve Child Satisfaction Levels, a key metric used by Santa to keep the world’s children happy with their toys. In addition to providing an overview of these five solution areas, I explained to Santa that OpenText was looking at how the different pillar solutions could be integrated together. I also showed a new fast moving video which helps to describe the OpenText Cloud. To wrap up my presentation to Santa and the board I also discussed new development areas and highlighted a recent announcement concerning OpenText’s intention to acquire the business intelligence company, Actuate. Last year when I visited Santa Claus Enterprises HQ, I was shown the latest beta version of SantaPad, a Big Data analytics engine for processing toy consumption trends across the little boys and girls of the world. Actuate could potentially provide the business intelligence platform to significantly improve the big data analytics capabilities across Santa’s operations. Santa was so excited by this news that he requested a briefing of Actuate’s capabilities, as and when it was convenient for OpenText to do so. We had just gone over our two hour presentation slot with Santa and I decided to summarise how OpenText helps businesses move to a 100% digital business. Firstly OpenText can help to Simplify Santa’s back end platforms to manage enterprise wide business information, irrespective of which application the information was originally created in. Secondly, OpenText can help to Transform information from literally any format to another and ensure that digital information can be exchanged both internally across the elf community and externally across third party contract manufacturers and logistics providers. Thirdly, OpenText can help to Accelerate the adoption of digital technologies, which would allow faster business decisions to be made. Santa’s operations would ultimately become more responsive to changing consumer demand and increased competition from new emerging toy markets. This brought our meeting to a close and I had a number of actions to follow up on with my colleagues back at OpenText! In closing, Santa wished OpenText and our global customers Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year and he said he was looking forward to working closely with OpenText during 2015 and beyond. So it just leaves me to say season’s greetings and best of luck for 2015!  

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Accessible Communications Deadlines Looming for Public & Private Sectors in Ontario

Do you communicate with your customers electronically? An important deadline is looming for businesses that operate in Ontario. If your organization uses PDF documents in its Customer Communications strategy, then you should be concerned about the deadline for providing accessible communication supports in those PDF documents. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was established in 2005 to help fight discrimination against people with disabilities in Ontario. Since then, in 2010, the Ontario Government enacted the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA. The IASR has deadlines for organizations to provide accessible communication supports which are prescribed based on type and size of organization. The Ontario Government and Legislative Assembly are already on the hook to meet this requirement as of January 1st, 2014. The Public and Private sectors are expected to comply according to the following schedule: Large Public Sector Organizations as of January 1st, 2015; Small Public Sector Organizations and Large Private Organizations as of January 1st, 2016; and Small Private Organizations as of January 1st, 2017. A large organization is one which employs 50 or more people. Programs such as paperless billing, which may involve electronic delivery of PDF-based statements, invoices and bills, are almost ubiquitous in industry today, due to their cost savings advantages and various corporate green initiatives. People with disabilities such as blindness, partial vision loss and cognitive disabilities interfering with reading ability, should be as much able to take advantage of these socially-responsible programs as anybody else. Not having communication supports built into these documents creates barriers to their participation and violates their rights under the law. Accessible Communication Supports for PDFs are provided by adhering to the PDF for Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA) standard which requires including a tag structure and other metadata within the file. PDF/UA compliant documents provide information to assistive technologies such as screen readers with regards to what is the meaningful content, and in what order it is to be read. It includes such information as language specification, identification of document hierarchy and alternate text for images used as content. Without these, screen readers see a PDF document as essentially empty. Many organizations take a manual approach to providing accessible formats, by responding to customer requests and sending documents to service providers at tremendous cost (from $5 to $35 per page) to be converted on-demand. However this is an exclusionary approach, requiring people with disabilities to inform these organizations of their disability, which to them is private information. In addition, delays in having documents made accessible by hand can disadvantage the consumer, especially when the information requested is time-sensitive in nature. An automated transformation approach, as provided by Actuate’s Document Accessibility Solution, can solve this problem by providing consumers with virtually instant access to accessible versions of their statements, allowing them the same timely access to information enjoyed by their sighted compatriots. Because of its ease of integration with an organization’s existing Customer Communications Management (CCM) systems, it can be provided inclusively eliminating the need for consumers to divulge private information. This can all be done at a small fraction of the per-page cost as compared with the labor-intensive manual remediation approach. This not only improves an organization’s public image, but also reduces expenses improving the bottom line. Organizations facing these deadlines under the IASR should already be thinking about how they will comply. To find out more about Actuate’s Document Accessibility Solution, simply send your request for information to ccminfo@actuate.com, and we would be delighted to start that discussion with you.

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Accessibility and Government-Produced PDFs

First published on G3ict.org Government agencies are huge creators of high-volume personal communications. Tax documents, benefits and health statements, and other critical information is distributed everyday – and the U.S. federal government aims to deliver more and more of these digitally, cutting costs and making them easier for citizens to obtain. Yet, to reach all citizens, they need to ensure these digital documents are accessible to everyone – including the visually impaired. Through the accessibility conferences and events I’ve attended – including Freedom Scientific’s recent Annual Accessibility Showcase – I’ve had a chance to speak to many government audiences. They’re wrestling with how to best create equal access in the digital documents they distribute – as well as meet compliance with their own Section 508 accessibility standards – which is why I wanted to address the issue here. Government accessibility, after all, is about to become even more important, as the U.S. federal government initiates its ICT Refresh – an update of the Section 508 Standards and Guidelines, issued under the amended Rehabilitation Act. What will the changes to Section 508 cover? Section 508 standards mandate federal government agencies on how they procure, use, develop or maintain information and electronic technology – and aims to make this information accessible to people with disabilities. The update is expected to tighten accessibility regulations further, bringing them up to standards outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It’s also expected to include a full scope of communications not currently specified including: Public-facing content Content that is broadly disseminated within the agency Letters adjudicating any cause within the jurisdiction of the agency Internal and external program and policy announcements Notices of benefits, forms, questionnaires and surveys Emergency notifications Formal acknowledgements Educational and training materials What is expected to be exempt from covered content would include: Archival copies stored or retained solely for archival purposes to preserve an exact image of a hard copy Draft versions of documents Although Section 508 is a mandate for federal government, it has had a trickle-down effect into the private sector as well. That is solely due to the procurement regulations. With federal government constituting the largest consumer of electronic and information technology, those supplying that technology must make their products, including their documents and documentation, meet Section 508 standards in order to sell it to government. So, the new refresh will apply equally to government agencies, and to companies in all industries and of all sizes that supply to them. How can government meet these needs? In my opinion, meeting the need for accessible digital content means two things: creating the right types of documents, and finding the most cost-saving and least invasive way to build accessibility in. With that in mind, consider two things: 1. Many of these government communication documents – from tax notices to health and benefits statements – need to be offered in a digital format that’s accessible as well as portable and secure, in order to be archived for official purposes. While HTML has become a popular way of providing many types of documentation, and has its uses in government as well, it doesn’t meet these criteria. PDFs do. 2. High-volume, personalized communications such as the ones government agencies produce aren’t created by individuals. They’re created by applications that can handle those large volumes. Individually building in accessibility manually after the fact can be expensive and time-consuming – often with extended delivery times versus the instant access through secure web portals afforded to those who don’t require an accessible digital format. The right technology, though, can help get around these challenges. And it’s why Actuate introduced Cloud508 for federal government. Cloud508 To meet the needs of government, Actuate recently announced Cloud508 – a collaborative partnership between Actuate, Braille Works and Venatôre – which was specifically designed to meet the stringent security requirements of federal government. Cloud508 automates the generation and remediation of accessible PDF documents on demand and meets Section 508 requirements and WCAG 2.0 standards for accessibility. What’s more, Cloud508, powered with Actuate technology, allows for the automation of traditional formats like Braille, large print and audio, all while reducing costs and significantly speeding up delivery time. Highlights include: Automates generation/remediation of accessible PDF documents Cloud-based service First and only on the market, patented technology Secure – meets federal government’s stringent security requirements Real time conversion service Designed for high volume personalized communications such as tax, health, and benefits notices Section 508, WCAG 2.0 Level AA, PDF/UA compliant formats Automates and streamlines production of Braille, large print and audio formats I think it’s the answer a lot of government agencies are looking for as they search for ways to save time, resources, money, and comply with Section 508, all while providing a comparable experience to the blind and visually impaired. For more information on Cloud508, visit www.cloud508.com.

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Choosing the right fax server: Telephony Compatibility

Many organizations can provide a unified communications strategy that includes FAX – an often forgotten form of communication with UC strategies. Organizations can leverage existing network resources to help speed investment returns on IP equipment and applications. Some additional benefits include: · Improved document and communication security · Reduced document delivery costs · Resource consolidation · Simplified IT management · Bridge data and voice networks · Enhanced compliance in regulated industries Depending on your existing telephony infrastructure, you may choose to connect via TDM, Fax over IP (in VoIP environments), SIP Trunk, or by converting fax traffic with a media gateway. Consider these options, depending on your existing infrastructure: · Support for intelligent fax boards – Support for TDM (analog, DID, BRI, T1/PRI, E1/PRI) o The fax server should natively support the latest Dialogic® Brooktrout® TruFax® and TR1034 products in scalable densities · Support for software-based Fax over IP (FoIP) o Supports Dialogic SR140 FoIP middleware o Supports T.38, T.37, H.323 and SIP · Sip Trunking – SIP Trunking vendors like AT&T, babyTEL, CenturyLink®, Level 3®, Verizon, and XO® Communications should supported. · UC/UM equipment compatibility – Integrates seamlessly with UM/UC systems, including Voice over IP (VoIP) networks. Review interoperability guides to ensure interoperability with your UM/UC or VoIP networks. · Media gateway support – Choose a media gateway vendor that supports integration to the fax server. · Cloud/Outsourced telephony – Choose a fax server that can seamlessly interconnect to a cloud-based telephony solution (this is a hybrid deployment of on-premises fax server and cloud-based telephony). Make sure when choosing a cloud provider that it is one offered by the fax server company and not a third-party cloud provider for the best service and continuity with software. This last option, the hybrid deployment, is becoming more and more popular. It is transmitting faxes via the cloud. This option is considered a hybrid option because it is a single deployment that uses on-premises fax server with cloud fax services to send and receive faxes. It completely removes the burden of connecting, troubleshooting, maintaining and managing the connection of the fax server to on-premises telephony by outsourcing the telephony connection to the cloud. This implementation typically provides unlimited capacity and built-in failover/redundancy of connectivity. However, a second type of hybrid deployment uses both cloud-based transmission and a fax server connected to in-house telephony. Some companies elect to connect their fax server by combining on-premises telephony and cloud-based telephony. This implementation allows complete failover and redundancy of fax transmission capabilities for your fax server. This implementation can easily handle spikes in fax traffic by using the cloud’s unlimited capacity to handle large volumes and eliminate congestion over in-house telephony. Finally, choose a fax server that is designed as a flexible, centralized document delivery hub which can support the telephony network that’s best for your environment. Check out the other articles that will help you choose the right fax server for your organization: 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Time for a new Laptop

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

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Choosing the right fax server: Ease of administration and administrative tools

Key to the success of any fax server implementation is the administration and management of the system. Choose a fax server which provides comprehensive guides and tools to make the administration of the fax server as successful as possible. Here are some of the things to look for in a fax server provider: · Enterprise Administration Tools : These tools are designed to ease the burden of managing the fax server and provide platforms to easily manage updates and activities. · Enterprise Management: Seek a solution that allows administrators the ability to manage all fax servers on the network from a single client application. The ability to manage users, groups, forms, coversheets, billing codes, printers, signatures, and frequently used documents (among other key functions) is a must. · Reporting tools: A fax server must include a variety of system reports that can be generated by schedule or ad hoc by users or administrators. Useful reports include server analysis reports, inbound or outbound fax reports, fax printing reports, volume reports, viewed/unviewed reports, channel utilization reports, and many others. · Administrative Tools: A fax server should include a comprehensive set of utilities for managing all aspects of the fax the database. These include server diagnostics, database backups, fax aging, fax purging, and many more. A web edition of the administration utility should be available or the tool should be web-based to allow for remote access. · Notifications: Make sure you can be notified by the system when you need to. System failure? Connectivity issue? Don’t let minutes tick by without knowing if something needs your immediate attention. Find out immediately with notifications so that the issue can be addressed as soon as possible. · Robust synchronization capabilities : Fax servers typically maintain a database of users and user-specific information like permissions, preferences, logon information, etc. Look for various ways to interface and synchronize the fax server data with company phone books and directories. Active Directory, ODBC and LDAP-compliant data sources support are a must. · Support for latest OS and productivity software : Ensure that the fax solution meets requirements to support the latest editions. From a business perspective, your fax server shouldn’t be a constant struggle to monitor, manage and maintain. Enterprise fax servers should have tools that allow you to easily asses the health of your systems and monitor traffic at a glance. You can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Telephony Compatibility. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: Building a fax deployment for business continuity and disaster recovery

So many organizations rely on fax as part of a critical business process or workflow. When these workflows are interrupted, it can cost an organization for every minute of the interruption. How much would a lapse in fax services cost your organization? How much business can you afford to lose if faxing operations are shut down for any reason? Interruptions in faxing can happen at various layers of the fax server system. These business disruptions can be planned or unplanned such as telephone equipment failures, network server failures or reboots, communication outages, electric power interruptions, or even a software application failure. To mitigate this, it is important to devise a fax server implementation that can be redundant at every necessary layer. It is important to determine the business continuity strategy of your faxing operations in the event of an unplanned disaster or planned outage. The more critical fax is to your business, the more important business continuity of faxing is to the implementation. It is recommended that you review your architecture and business continuity plans with the experts of your chosen fax server company–they can often recommend architecture and failover options that could benefit your needs. Here is a short list of deployment scenarios that can provide business continuity in the event of a planned or unplanned outage: · Shared Database for High Availability – A fax server that can load balance and share its internal services and images for high-availability. This is a scenario in which a fax server shares its database of users, groups, printers, etc. It also shares various server services and fax images across a network. The fax server database resources are shared such that the application is providing a centralized location for all company users, groups, and other data objects. · Cold Spare – A cold spare configuration is intended for use in the event of a long-term system shut down, a failure, or any other system interruption that may take more time to repair. · Active-Passive Cluster – In the case where a primary fax server had a failure, the business would revert to the secondary server to continue fax processing. Cluster environments protect against an application/service failure, system/hardware failure, site failure and downtime due to planned maintenance. · Virtualization – Among the many benefits of virtualization is the ability to consolidate multiple physical machines onto a single traditional server and do so in a remarkably expeditious fashion. The net result equals a significant reduction in expenditures (less hardware and energy costs) and a new centralized point of administration that streamlines server management and increases the agility and efficiency of your IT organization. From a business perspective, your fax services must have high availability and business continuity. The consequences of interruptions to document-based communications can put your business at risk. Developing a business continuity strategy that encompasses best practices of shared services, high availability and a fault-tolerant topology can help safeguard your business. Fax server redundancy options provide reliable solutions that ensure business process continuity, improve record keeping and support compliance goals. You can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Self-Service: Joining the Dots with Digital Wholesale Banking?

The retail banking space is currently dominating headlines when it comes to the topic of self-service. In their market segment, everything is about “omnichannel,” personal convenience. It is challenging to transpose what self-service could look like in the world of wholesale banking. This post is designed to join the dots and provoke initial thoughts for transaction banking. Corporate, institutional and investment clients are driven by a number of factors, creating a compelling case for self-service. These factors include: Digitization of the Financial Supply Chain: Corporates consume banking services as part of their integrated processes, instead of separate data integration silos. Standardization of Business Processes and Technology: Each bank tries to differentiate themselves from a product and services perspective, therefore creating standardization “loose ends” for the corporate to deal with. Self-service is perceived as an area of flexibility corporates can leverage to bridge that gap with their business processes. Increased “consumerization” Culture: While straight-through processing and host-to-host integration are cornerstones of a banking relationship, corporates still require key individuals in their organization to have liquidity and transactional visibility, together with approval controls. The world of mobile banking in retail is setting high expectations with these individuals. Downwards Segmentation of Corporate Banking: Upper mid-market companies are increasingly adopting host-to-host channels, as opposed to business online banking. Every wholesale bank I’ve spoken to in the last two years has a growth of mid-market companies adopting corporate channels, leaving behind the realm of online business banking. How could these compelling drivers manifest themselves, and what could “self-service” look like for each case? Digitization of Business On-Boarding : Collecting business information, structured and unstructured, is usually the first hurdle on both sides. “Know Your Customer” (KYC) data—such as signatories’ passport information, reference information, and contractual artifacts—are gathered and maintained over time through a manual process. A content management repository is only half of the solution; the biggest opportunity for client self-service is to enable customers to share business and personal information in a nimble, automated, scalable, and user-friendly manner. T echnical On-Boarding Automation : The collection of connectivity, API, digital certificates, and other IT reference data is something done manually nowadays, with a bank’s client implementations team having to both educate and collect information with spreadsheets and email. Self-service is about on-boarding workflow portals, which validate the structure and quality of the information share by the customer, automating a huge part of the mundane on-boarding tasks. If you add a provisioning facility that leverages that data to prepare the channel and front-office technology, self-service provides the banks with exponential scale, ensuring the on-boarding teams are able to focus on high-value activities. Readiness & Compliance Testing : Historically, banks maintain expensive and complex “staging environments” (also known as pre-production CAT, or Client Acceptance Testing, setups). This effectively duplicates their entire banking architecture and staffing to flush out any issues with the client’s data and processes during on-boarding. Replace all of this with a smart, partly unattended self-test tool, with channels and front office rules replicating the production environments, and you get a digital self-service experience that can achieve tremendous business outcomes for both clients and banks. Unattended Relationship Housekeeping : Over time, people, processes, and technologies change on both sides. Client information becomes outdated; people change roles and contact details; digital certificates may expire or become revoked; the client may lose track of the bank’s decommissioning notice for their FTP backup connection; and so forth: The list goes on forever. Self-service comes with a number of artifacts such as collaborative workspaces and community management tools. It may start with simple things such as regularly prompting clients to validate or repopulate their contact details, or to revisit their reference documents and important correspondence. Is everything and anything good for a “self-serve” model? Self-Provisioning: Enabling clients to manage and change their integration setup sounds great on paper, but it could cause a lot of disruptions if left unsupervised. To use an analogy: The Engine Order Telegraph (also known as “chadburn”) was a communications device used on ship s. The pilot or captain would move a lever from “stop” to “full ahead,” which would in turn move a needle on a dial in the engine room. This way, the captain never actuates the engine components (what we would call “provisioning” in terms of banking technology), but instead provides a prompt to the engine room’s crew to act upon. I believe the “self-serve” client tools should be largely based on a web or mobile version of this device, together with “engine room SLAs” at the bank. Exposed Data Normalization Tools: While readiness and compliance “self-tests” are great value-adds for both clients and banks, I have also heard terrible ideas that would enable clients to cause chaos during an on-boarding. Just to share a few: Clients should never be allowed to develop their mapping algorithms on their own on an application exposed by the bank. Equally bad, clients should not be granted visibility into middle-office systems (I was told once clients should see their full AML hits details). And last but not least, clients should not be given control over amending their submissions after the Bank has received it in the payment processing chain (fix/repair functionality in middle-office exposed to clients). So, what stands in the bank’s way to achieve self-service? Two words: Digital Transformation. Self-service has to be part of a consistent and coordinated strategy, executed in conjunction with other areas of transformation. For instance, it takes a consolidated and smart channel to build self-service for “any product over any channel,” a degree of customer centricity awareness, as well as further IT automation. My personal take on the whole topic is that not everything should be “self service”.

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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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