Enterprise Content Management

Top 10 Ways to Fail at Information Governance

A successful information governance program helps organizations effectively use and manage their assets to drive maximum value, while minimizing information-related risks and costs. While many organizations see information governance as a difficult undertaking, it’s actually easier than they may think. In a recent webinar, Barclay Blair, an expert in the field and president of ViaLumina, a consulting firm that helps companies build information governance programs, discussed the keys to successfully implementing information governance. Here are his top ten pitfalls to avoid: Pitfall No. 1 : Create a records management department of one Best-in-class organizations know that records management—an important part of information governance—requires the right support. “Many companies that I go into today say, ‘Yes, we’re doing records management as part of information governance,’” said Blair. “[But] it’s one person. That’s not a recipe for success.” When setting your goals for information governance, be sure to consider how much time and effort an ongoing, successful system will entail. Pitfall No. 2 : Set perfection as a goal It’s as true in information governance as it is in life: If you set the bar too high, you’ll always fail. Before getting started, sit down with business leaders and decide on realistic information governance goals for your organization. Even if the system you implement is not 100 percent perfect, it will be a vast improvement from your current state. Pitfall No. 3 : Implement technology before policy “We did this with email about 20 years ago, and look where we are today,” said Blair. “Email is at the root of billions and billions of dollars of costs.” Choosing the right information governance technology is paramount, but without effective policies and guidelines in place, it can only go so far. Pitfall No. 4 : Forgo formal planning To make information governance work for your organization, you need to carefully consider all the requirements. When business leaders sit back and let this phase evolve organically, said Blair, they run into problems down the road. Pitfall No. 5 : Don’t get senior management commitment At the root of many information governance pains and failures is a lack of support from senior management. As you implement information governance, get buy-in from C-level executives. “Make sure your program has fundamental support, accountability, and mandate from the most senior levels,” said Blair. Pitfall No. 6 : Don’t adapt corporate governance to information governance If your organization is like many others and doesn’t have the right senior executives in place to sustain information governance, you may need to adapt roles to support the program. For example, said Blair, “The vast majority of CIOs in fact are not responsible for information: They’re responsible for information technology or infrastructure. And that’s a problem. But an even bigger problem is that the other C-level executives think that the CIO is in fact responsible for information.” Many organizations don’t have a C-level executive with authority over information in the enterprise, said Blair. “Unless and until that gap is filled, we will never achieve our goals of information governance, and we will never see the full value that information governance can provide.” Pitfall No. 7 : Treat information governance as a project Information governance is an ongoing program that needs constant support. Treating it like a one-off project will ensure that “once all of the fanfare has died down, there’s nobody to take the mantle and run it as part of your everyday enterprise,” said Blair. Pitfall No. 8 : Don’t realistically estimate costs and benefits Guessing in the dark at costs and benefits means you won’t be able to measure success or failure down the road. Spend the time to realistically estimate what your organization needs to do to build successful information governance before you move forward with building the system. Pitfall No. 9 : Assume that all users will want information governance Not all departments will see the importance of better information management or how it can help them. “The value of information governance is different for every group and department,” said Blair. “You need to articulate that and provide that value, otherwise you will fail.” Pitfall No. 10: Set unrealistic timelines and arbitrary deadlines According to Blair, the importance of being realistic cannot be underestimated: Organizations need to understand that information governance cannot be implemented overnight. Know that success takes time and effort—and remember that your mother was right when she said anything worth doing is worth doing well. Want to learn more about information governance? Find out how to start your own information governance program at www.OpenText.com/InfoGov.

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The Secret Sauce of the Document Migration Process

What does it take to migrate a document from one ECM (Enterprise Content Management) system to another? Careful planning, the right technology components, and experienced personnel are all integral to the process. A proven methodology is also key, such as the and 6-step process referred to as DETAIL™. Step 1: Discovery. The process starts with studying the source of the data and getting to know the documents themselves, as well as the current ECM system(s) in which those documents are stored. That means looking at the types of documents in question and the metadata or indexes used to describe them, as well as understanding how documents relate to each other, how they’re physically collected and how the related metadata is stored. Knowing all of this will help the entire migration process move more smoothly. Step 2: Extraction. Extracting document data and metadata from your ECM system can be a challenge. While ECM systems are typically set up to extract individual documents one at a time, that’s not very efficient during the migration process: batch tools, application programming interface (API) and direct database/storage access can all help. Step 3: Transformation. Content may need to be converted or repurposed from one format to another before loading it into your new ECM system. To do that it must be prepared properly, as ECM systems generally require document content streams and all associated resources and metadata to be in a specific format prior to loading. Embedded resources must be extracted and catalogued as well, so that the retrieval process can accurately recreate the original document. Step 4: Auditing. Once the migration is complete, organizations need to know that it’s been done successfully and correctly. An audit trail maintained throughout the conversion process can help achieve that, with checks and balances built into each phase. This will leave companies with a higher level of confidence that everything has been done successfully. Step 5: Indexing. Key information about content – which varies depending on the type of data in question – is stored in indexes and metadata. During the migration process, it may be necessary to add new indexes, for efficient new ways to access content and meet business and regulatory requirements. Step 6: Loading. As the final step in the sequence, content data, metadata indexes and related document resources are loaded into the new ECM system, often as a single stacked file – a file that contains hundreds or thousands of content files. Metadata that describes this content goes into a separate index file, pointing to the location of individual documents. For more information on the document migration process, and to help ensure that your document migration is well-planned and non-disruptive to your business, read ECM Content Migration: Best Practices in Document Archive Convergence, co-authored by Actuate and AIIM, a global community of information professionals dedicated to sharing thought leadership content.

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ECM Migrations – Working with PDF Format

Today, PDF is the go-to format for viewing transactional documents (such as bills, policies, and statements) online. There are reasons why this format is preferred for presenting electronic documents. For the ultimate viewer, the benefits are obvious – PDF documents are generally nicely formatted, can seamlessly incorporate all kinds of visuals to support text information, and can be easily saved or shared via email. From the technical standpoint, in PDF format, text is represented as strings, separated from images and other objects, making documents in this format searchable. The PDF standard also has features such as bookmarks and links, which allow for easy document navigation. In general, PDF provides an opportunity to make static documents more useful, and dynamic. Additionally, in regards to document storage, there has also been a standard introduced for the long term archiving of PDF documents called PDF/A. This standard defines the structure of a PDF document that will ensure it remains supported and viewable in the future. Organizations that produce transactional documents (banks, telecommunications, insurance companies, or utilities) have to manage high-volume content environments with extensive storage and presentment needs. And in that environment, PDF storage requirements need to be considered. That’s where experienced service providers come in, helping organizations keep storage to a minimum for high-volume document batches. This can be achieved by separating and capturing individual components such as logos and formatting information, and sharing them among files. In addition, numerous technical details related to PDF documents must be taken into account when planning and executing an ECM migration or consolidation projects. To address common challenges of organizations with high-volume document output, during the ECM Migrations Technical Training, Sufyaan Kazi, a Senior Sales Engineer from Actuate, answered many questions related to how PDF format is being handled. Q: What does Actuate do in situations where the logos aren’t included in the PDF file? That’s actually not uncommon. Often, we’ll encounter cases where the logo is missing because the documents were originally formatted for pre-printed corporate letterhead. In that scenario, Actuate can easily add overlays and images to the PDF when someone needs to retrieve them. Q: Can Actuate work with the PDF/A format? We’ve been huge supporters of the PDF/A format. But a PDF/A file, as compared to something like an Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) document or normal metacode, has a huge overhead in terms of the file size. Actuate’s Document Storage Reduction (DSR) for ECM has been known to reduce the footprint of a PDF by up to 95%. We can reduce the footprint, without changing that document in any way. When a user requests access to that PDF we’ll rebuild it dynamically on the fly, and it will be byte for byte exactly the same as the original document that we processed in the first place. Q: What do you do when you encounter a document that’s not a PDF, but simple line data instead? We come across line data a lot. It’s very typical for document archives to contain reports in this type of format: very simple text, never intended to be presented as online rich web content. We can handle it in many ways. We can natively interpret line data reports, we can handle reports that are encoded in ASCII using Actuate Transformation Services for Documents, and we can convert these reports into PDF format to store in a new archive. Alternatively, we can use a combination of Transformation Services for Documents and Transformation Services for Data to pull out the raw data inside the reports, then extract that as XML or CSV files and put this information into a database to be used by a Business Intelligence system such as Actuate BIRT. Using BIRT, we can help designers compose a statement to be delivered to customers online or on tablets, or as printed collateral. And we can allow them to transform those very basic documents into more rich, interactive charting and HTML5-based content. Learn more about the methodology and technical aspects of ECM migration: ECM Migrations Technical Training with Sufyaan Kazi.

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ECM Migrations – Technical Details to Consider

Larger organizations often rely on multiple archives and repositories, a sometimes costly practice brought on through acquisitions or normal business growth. Actuate’s ECM migration services help consolidate those archives, combining multiple IDARS /ECM repositories and converting legacy content from disparate formats. When it comes to content migration or consolidation, we ensure success by following a proven methodology. On the technical level, there are numerous details that our customers enquire about and have to take into account when starting the project. For example, here’s a recent question Actuate received during the ECM Migrations Technical Training Webinar about the functionality. Q: Does Actuate have built-in adaptors to extract content and metadata from legacy ECM systems like FileNet Content Services? Yes, we have pre-built connectors for the FileNet family. We have handled image services and FileNet systems for organizations worldwide. For example, a leading global telecommunications provider brought us in to decommission one of their systems. Overall, they achieved over $5 million in savings by being able to turn off that system, which they no longer needed. We completed the project within the timeframe they suggested and it was a huge success. To view the complete on-demand webinar and learn more about the methodology and technical aspects of Actuate’s migration process, visit ECM Migrations Technical Training Webinar.

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Back to School on InfoGov

Asstudents hit the books again this fall, many teachers, at least in theprimary grades, will start off the year running through reviewexercises. Reviews not only help the teacher get a read on the class,evaluating the students’ level of understanding, but they also help thestudents start shaking off the slumber of summer—hitting their ‘reset’buttons so to speak. I wasthinking about this ‘reset’ button the other day while packing my son upfor his first year of university, the biggest step we’ve taken since heentered kindergarten (something that seems like two years ago). Whetheryou have kids or not, the back-to-school vibe permeates many aspects ofour lives, and for me, the September reset factor is even stronger thanthe one at the beginning of the calendar year. Fall is an extremely busy time for those of us here at OpenText. We’re slipping into high-gear planning for Enterprise World 2013. As our team’s been working on designing session content to ensure this is the best conference ever, I’ve been revisiting many of the Information Governance knowledge pieces we’ve published this year. With so many valuableconversations on the topic, I thought I’d share a review list I’mdubbing “Back-to-School on Information Governance.” Information Governance 101: Your Reading List We’ve published some extremely valuable whitepapers so far this year. One you shouldn’t miss, a “primer” so-to-speak, is titled Information Governance is Good Business. OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea discusses what successful Information Governance looks like and strategies to deploy a holistic Information Governance program within the context of EIM. Conversation around data security and the cloud is a hot one. In her blog Whose Data is it Anyway, Lynn Elwood discusses the security risks inherent in off-site cloud storage of enterprise information and the related concerns around data sovereignty, the concept that enterprise information is subject to the laws of the country where it physically resides. In the Information Security for the Modern Enterprise whitepaper, we explore (together with AIIM) the dichotomy of modern security approaches – information lock-down vs. sharing and collaboration. Of course, integral to successful InfoGov is an effective records management program. In a recent independent analyst report from IDC, OpenText Records Management was named a top solution for government agencies. The IDC report focused on vendors that specialize in the distinctive challenges and stringent requirements of the government sector. Further exploring the topic of records management, Liz Kofsky explains why Records Management is the Information Governance Superhero-in-Waiting. Diving in deeper to take a look at how it all works, this ECM demo delves into Information Governance through the “Capture to Archive” flow. This excellent video is one in a series and wonderfully complements the eleventh CEO whitepaper, Information Flows and The Journey: Optimizing Value Chains with EIM. Both are designed to help you discover and optimize information flows across your enterprise. Further Your Information Governance Knowledge at Enterprise World 2013 Andwhile we’re talking back-to-school, don’t forget about the OpenTextequivalent of Homecoming…our annual user conference Enterprise World. Ipromise it will be jam packed with some very exciting announcements,including details around the launch of OpenText Enterprise Content Management 10.5. Thisyear’s Enterprise World is all about helping our customers prepare forthe future and, in fact, we’d like you to take main stage with us! We’relooking for customers who’ve been participating in the Content Server10.5 Beta Program to join us and share your experiences with your peers.If you haven’t signed up for the CS 10.5 Beta yet, it’s running tillOct. 31 and you can sign-up here. Lotsmore to come this fall as we prepare for the launch so I urge you tostay tuned to this blog‑and all our OpenText social channels‑for thelatest on Enterprise World. Like every good student, we should nevertire of learning and expanding our knowledge base. We’re here to helpyou do just that. For the latest in the world of InfoGov and OpenText ECM follow our experts: @alimclarke @l_elwood @JamesStorm @CameronLBrennan @GeorgeH2 @byGregClark @marcdalsole @lizkofsky @ludlow_at_work And OpenText Enterprise World @OpenText and @OTCC as well as the event hashtag #OTEW2013

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Dr. Seuss and the Internet of Things

This is a cmswire cross-post by Deb Miller. What ever happened to the Internet as a social phenomenon? You know the Internet where peopleare connecting, investigating, collaborating, envisioning and creating. Oh that’s so yesterday. Now what’s trending is the Internet of Things(IoT), with machines talking to machines. Here is my take on the IoT and how it will impact the world of enterprise information management. In the spirit of Dr. Seuss, we’ll look at ‘what a CIO should do if a CIO only knew’ to get things under control. Our World is becoming an information system TheInternet of Things is very much in the news these days and seems tohave captured the imagination of academics, consultants, businessleaders, technologists and investors alike. I too am intrigued by theIoT and, it won’t surprise readers of my CMSWire article series, particularly interested in what it might mean to CIOs and information management professionals. Tofully appreciate what the IoT is all about, it’s important to considerboth its history and its context in today’s technology ecosystem. The term itself was coined in 1999 and there is a fascinating IoT timeline that runs all the way from the era of the Victorian Internet(telegraph) to the recent creation of the IoT-GSI (Global StandardsInitiative). Gartner describes IoT as “the network of physical objectsthat contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interactwith their internal states or the external environment.” A moreaspirational view comes from McKinsey who tell us that with the IoT,“the world becomes a type of information system through sensors andactuators embedded in physical objects and linked through wired andwireless networks via the Internet Protocol.” Gartner has the IoT approaching the peak in their hype cycle for emerging technologies, but according to market watchers like Matt Turck, the IoT is quite real and not just an over-hyped concept destined to fade with time. In fact, the IoT is already being applied; examples range from whimsical to global impact. There are creative applications from Makey Makey like “Cloud Server BLT”(not a typo – check out the video) that have the serious purpose ofmaking everyone experience what it means to be an engineer. At the otherend of the spectrum, GE envisions the IoT as the next industrialrevolution,a new Industrial Internetwhere the major industries save more than $270 billion over the next 15years by improving their efficiency by just one percent: “By connectingintelligent machines to each other and ultimately to people to changethe way the world works.” I like to think of the IoT as “seriousfun,” the kind that promises exciting possibilities if we know how toget it under control. From Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hatwe learn, “It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.” So with anod to two of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2, whoare “released from the box” to wreak havoc until brought back undercontrol, here are my “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. That is, two things Ithink will be important for CIOs to get under control if they plan toeffectively deal with the IoT in the future. THING 1: With the IoT, information and physical flows will be inextricably tied together Withthe Internet of Things, physical devices and flows are inextricablyunited with their information. As Dr. Seuss would say, “This may notseem very important, I know, but it is, so I’m bothering telling youso.” It turns out that this tight coupling, along with a concomitantconvergence of operational and business systems, raises some very biggovernance and risk challenges for those in the enterprise concernedwith information management. We have certainly had to learn todeal with and orchestrate multiple flows (materials, financials andinformation) over our supply chains for some time. With the IoT or“fourth industrial revolution,” there will be a new sets of informationgenerated in new ways that must become a part of the enterprisegovernance plan. Imagine the somewhat futuristic scenario that is sharedin McKinsey’s “Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing”: “Mostcompanies think of physical flows—meaning the flow of materialcomponents through the supply chain—as separate from information flowsand then consider how and where to coordinate and synchronize them.After the fourth industrial revolution, there will no longer be adifference between information and materials, because products will beinextricably linked to “their” information. For example, unfinishedmaterial already knows for which customer it is intended and carrieswith it all the information about where and when it will be processed.Once the material is in the machine, the material itself records anydeviations from the standard process, determines when it’s “done,” andknows how to get to its customer.“ Future scenarios like this willrequire a platform for information governance much like the enterpriseinformation management (EIM) technologies that I work with today. Aplatform that can combine structured and unstructured data – includingdata from the IoT and its related systems – with a content managementconstruct to capture all the information for regulatory and auditcompliance and for archiving governance. The CIO is going to need toensure that this platform is implemented across the enterprise toachieve an effective customer-centric information approach that can be used in context for critical business decisions. Inaddition, CIOs are going to need to be especially attuned to theconvergence aspects of the IoT that raise critical infrastructureprotection requirements. I did some early work around cyber securitychallenges with the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC)that provides the President with advice on the security of the criticalinfrastructure sectors and their information systems. At the time, our Convergence of Physical and Cyber Technologiesreport looked at the emerging trend of critical physical infrastructurecontrol systems being interconnected with business systems and therisks this presented. By way of background, industrial control systemslike SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems haveevolved through at least three generations. At first, these systems werehighly independent with no connectivity to other systems. Then systemprocessing was distributed across multiple stations which were connectedthrough a LAN and they shared information in real time with networkprotocols that were still mostly proprietary. Today the systemsare being integrated and also interconnected with business systems usingInternet protocols. We hear from engineers like Johnny Doin about the evolution of standalone embedded systemsinto “massive and powerful networks of devices that deliverunprecedented amounts of data over the Internet.” As this reaches acritical mass stage, new applications will emerge like monitoring ofmicro-weather and seismic activity from data extracted from sensorsdistributed across multiple industrial grids. As we move thenfrom relatively disconnected grids to a highly interconnectedinfrastructure, new IoT enabled applications will raise the stakes forCIOs. To get things under control, best to begin now with an informationmanagement strategy that considers all data in its purview forgovernance, risk management and compliance. THING 2: With the IoT business processes will change in revolutionary waysNetworkinggiant CISCO sees an “Internet of Everything” that is not only aboutdevices and infrastructure, but also about how to change businessprocesses related to those connected devices and linked to humans. The Cisco visionforesees this change will drive trillions in cost savings and revenueover the coming decade through better automation based on informationderived from those sensors. As Dr. Seuss tells us, “It’s not aboutwhat it is, it’s about what it can become.” In this new world ofinternet-enabled devices that can sense their environment andcommunicate with each other and with us, we will need both informationmanagement and process improvement professionals to realize the fullpotential. CIOs will need to ensure that the discipline and technology of business process management is a part of their strategic view of the enterprise. And where do humans figure in this narrative? It turns out that people are alive and well in the Internet of Things. The very notion of ‘embedded’ is really a continuum that tracks from wearable devicesto human machine interfaces. Further, we have learned that the purposeof process improvement is not only automation where humans are removedfrom the process. Itis also about human machine collaborationwhere CIOs can employ an adaptive case management construct andtechnology to drive the productivity of the knowledge workers andcustomers involved in those processes. The sky may be the limit in this aspect of the IoT, but will we need to beware? In his recent, excellent post “How the Internet of Things will Think,” Brian Proffitt considers what might happen when devices can talk to each other: “Thevision of a machine-learning knowledge fabric is a compelling one… solong as machines don’t learn too much and form their owntoo-clever-by-half ideas about what to do with these humans runningaround the planet. As economist Andrew McAfee noted sardonically in a recent Ted talk … I’m going to start worrying about those the day my computer becomes aware of my printer.” You’re off to great places, so get on your way Thoughthere certainly will be technical, business, and yes even ethicalchallenges ahead for the Internet of Things, I see mostly excitingpossibilities for the future. One question that CIOs must face is whowill be responsible for the IoT within the enterprise. In her recentpost, Stacey Higginbotham aptly comments: “Even as the internet of things is being driven by marketingdepartments who in turn are working with product engineers, it’s alsocreating another headache inside companies. When enterprises deploysensors in cars and workplaces, or when executives bring their ownconnected devices (BYOIoT anyone?), IT departments are called on tosupport them.” In my view, not only will IT need to support theIoT, strategic CIOs will want to be a part of leveraging the technologyfor enterprise innovation, efficiency, and growth. So just when CIOsthought they were perhaps getting a handle on putting the Internet towork as a collaborative human network and social phenomena, there arenew IoT challenges and exciting opportunities emerging. My advice to theCIO is to embrace this. Gain inspiration from Dr. Seuss who in hisfinal book issues the challenge: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So . . . get on your way!”

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Just the Facts: Contract Management, A Single Point of Truth

Having been born and raised in western Canada, the recent devastating floods in the province of Alberta have really hit home with me. Unfortunately,unforeseen circumstances such as this will always be a factor inbusiness operations: the spring flooding in Central Europe, HurricaneSandy, political upheavals in the Middle East, the earthquake in Japan.Even (and, yes, this is a stretch!) my recent vacation to the ruins ofPompeii. As an information management professional, I’ve also been imagining what it must be like for thelocal business community to maintain some semblance of operations underthese conditions. The potential for breach-of-contract consequences issignificant. Take Calgary, for example. It’s well-known as Canada’s energy-sector HQ,home to the head offices of the country’s largest energy companies aswell as regional offices for a number of major multi-nationals. Theseenterprises are part of a complex, truly global industry. And they allhave contractual obligations to partners, clients, vendors andregulatory bodies around the world. Now, when you add in the myriad ofother local businesses and government service bodies that haven’t beenable to deliver against their respective contractual commitments, andyou can begin to grasp the legal and financial scope of the situation. Ican’t help but wonder how many of these entities adequately accountedfor scenarios such as this when they were negotiating the contracts,developing a force majeure clause that would effectively negate or delaycontractual obligations until regular operations can resume. The fact is, if a significant service disruption like this can happen in a relatively stable environment such as Calgary, it can happen, in some form, anywhere. It could as large as a geo-political upheaval; it could be as seemingly small as a key employee resigning. Helping companies clarify and meet their obligations in unanticipated circumstances such as these is just one benefit of a contract management solution. In today’s business climate, all organizations should have an enterprise-wide, structured process to manage the legal agreements that underpin their operations, safeguard their financial health, detail regulatory compliance, and protect their brand. Thinking about this inspired me to go back and reread a contract management whitepaper we here at OpenText recently co-authored with highly respected energy-sector analyst group PennEnergy.While the paper primarily focuses on contract lifecycle managementwithin the energy sector, it shouldn’t be surprising that all thefactors and challenges driving the need for increased contractmanagement awareness are universal: The growing complexity of projects with multi-jurisdictional reach and expanded partnerships Increased risk due to costly litigation and regulatory compliance demands Cost-saving measures resulting in junior staff administering the contract management process Intensified collaboration across business units and departments requiring optimal information sharing Thesolution, as it is for most things in business, is found inorganization and structure. In this case, a centrally controlled contract repository that’s custom-developed to serve as a holistic storehouse andsearchable library for an organization’s agreements and legally bindingdocuments. The benefits are immediate and impactful. Everyone, fromprocurement to marketing to finance, has instant, permission-basedaccess to accurate, version-controlled documents. Automaticnotifications are generated for upcoming renewals, expirations, andamendments. Pre-populated templates ensure enterprise-wide consistencyin language and terms. There’s so much more an effective contract management solution offers, as well. It’s the consummate opportunity to consolidate yoursingle point of truth that one port in a storm you can trust to providethe vital information necessary to quickly respond to and recover fromthe unanticipated. It’s well worth investigating as part of an overall information governance program because, even amidst all the uncertainty and chaos in this crazy world,one constant endures: The unexpected will happen again.

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Accessible Documents: 4 Important Reasons Why Your Organization Needs Them

In today’s digital age, creating accessible transactional documents that are available online and on-demand is more important than ever. Your visually impaired customers want to be able to access their bills and statements using the same methods everyone else does, and federal regulations give them exactly that right. However, those regulations aren’t the only reason financial institutions and other companies with high-volume content should be considering on-demand accessibility for statements, bills and other PDF documents. Here are 4 reasons why your organization needs accessible documents: It differentiates your company. If your organization offers accessible online transactional documents, you will become the organization of choice for the visually impaired community who require those options – and by others who want to support companies that make accessibility a priority. It helps avoid lawsuits. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that organizations offer accessible digital content. For some major financial institutions, –that has led to expensive claims, in the range of $10 million and over. Embracing accessibility can save your company from that kind of pricey litigation. It helps cut costs. Besides eliminating the costs of those potential lawsuits, providing accessible online documents through a solution that’s integrated with your company’s existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM)infrastructure eliminates the need for manual tagging on a case-by-case basis – a time-intensive and potentially expensive process. In addition, it reduces the costs of providing documents in other alternative formats such as Braille, large print, or audio. It makes for satisfied customers. When transaction-oriented PDF documents are accessible, visually impaired customers are offered the same opportunities that sighted customers have: the ability to access their transactional data online, efficiently and immediately. Visually impaired customers no longer need to identify themselves or submit requests for alternative formats, which makes accessing their documents easier, and leads to happier customers. Actuate works with companies to create accessible PDF documents for high-volume print streams. To find out more about the Actuate’s PDF Accessibility Solution, view the video.

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Whose Data is it Anyway?

In light of recent headlines that have turned the spotlight on digital information storage andaccess rights—news stories that have touched on everything from securityclearances to End User Licence Agreements (EULA) to regulatorycompliance with the Patriot Act—I thought this would be greatopportunity to give a quick overview of a related subject that’s nearand dear to me: Corporate data sovereignty and how it’s affected by the cloud storage of enterprise information. Datasovereignty, the concept that enterprise information is subject to thelaws of the country where it physically resides—laws that may define whohas access to (and even ownership of) that information—is a growingconcern. With the rise of cloud deployments, this topic is one manyorganizations now need to focus on. Multi-national customers I talk toare coming to grips with the fact that data they’ve stored in the cloudis subject to a myriad of privacy, security, and usage regulations thatvary greatly depending on where the servers that house it are located(known as geo-location). And, most importantly, they are beginning torealize there are repercussions inherent in not developing acomprehensive, well-thought-out Information Governance program that ranks the sensitivity of various types of corporate data and dictates how and where it’s stored. Needproof? Let’s start with “how” the data is stored. In the oft-pursuedpath of least resistance, many organizations have opted to look theother way when it comes to employees using public file sharing servicesto manage, distribute, and collaborate on corporate information. Intruth, there are many substantial concerns with this practice, but oneof the most serious is right there in eye-opening black and white foranyone who reads the EULA of many of these providers.They state very clearly that the host has the right to access and useyour information for a variety of reasons without notifying you. Hereare a couple of prominent examples: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use,host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as thoseresulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make sothat your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish,publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. Section 5, Paragraph 2: “Your Content in our Services”. http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/ We may disclose to parties outside Dropbox files stored in your Dropbox and information about you that we collect when we have a good faithbelief that disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) comply with a law,regulation or compulsory legal request; (b) protect the safety of anyperson from death or serious bodily injury; (c) prevent fraud or abuseof Dropbox or its users; or (d) to protect Dropbox’s property rights. Section 3, Paragraph 4: “Dropbox Privacy Policy”. https://www.dropbox.com/privacy#privacy Moreover,some providers go on to state that these usage rights remain in placeeven after you’ve removed said information from their service. Yes, it’snow permanently theirs to use for assorted purposes. Sound like you’vestill got ownership and control of your corporate information? Can You Find Your Enterprise Information on a Map? The“where” data is stored is equally disconcerting. Because of its veryname, cloud storage has developed this connotation of great masses ofdata hovering nebulously in cyberspace. The reality is that all thatdata is stored on servers that are physically situated somewhere. Andexactly where influences the legal position of that data. It’sa detail organizations must know when it comes to each and everyindividual piece of enterprise information stored in the cloud. Almostevery jurisdiction around the world has imposed, to varying degrees,data export controls, information security regulations, and electronicsurveillance policies. And more information security policies are being developed every year. Organizations must be up to date on: Data examination and ownership statutes in the geographical territory where their data is generated and/or stored Regulations concerning data exchange across borders for every territory in which they have operations The applicable laws of the territories their data passes through when being transferred Overlooking or ignoring any of the above jeopardizes regulatory compliance, eDiscovery conditions and possibly the ownership of your information. Totie it all together, a well-informed information governance policy isnot only aware of the regulations of relevant industries and territoriesbut also how they mesh with your in-house IT architecture and the SLA’sof potential cloud storage providers. It’s worth the effort to performyour due diligence here. Developing a matrix that encapsulates all thesedetails will provide clear direction on which geographical territoriesand cloud media should, and should not, play a role in your informationstorage. Enterprise Information is Your Organization’s Most Valuable AssetWhile there is great consideration given to the privacy of personal information in most countries through initiatives like the Safe Harbor framework,surprisingly little attention is devoted to the ownership and controlof corporate data. My responses to those customers who ask alwayscircles back to the same singular point: Every company that operates in more than one country (or in some cases more than one province or region) should have crystal clear insight into the storage of their enterprise data as part of a comprehensive Information Governance program. To flip a common cliché, there is a potential dark lining around that silver “cloud”. However, carefully considered attention to detail will ensure data sovereignty issues don’t derail the many positives of cloud storage.

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Problems Become Solutions: Actuate for CCM

In our last post, we explained how Actuate’s CCM solution was designed to address the problems that have traditionally plagued Customer Communications Management (CCM). We designed it to be different, which means that instead of a hodgepodge of disparate technologies cobbled together, it’s a single solution that covers the entire process. How exactly does it stand out? Let’s count the ways: It’s a holistic solution.It’s designed and built to promote a seamless flow across the CCM lifecycle, from data acquisition to multi-channel delivery, while at the same time providing centralized management and audit capabilities. It’s also developed and supported by a single provider, promoting seamless integration across the disparate areas of CCM. It offers analytics for consumers and businesses.Data acquisition and translation technology integrates well with analytics components, letting organizations gain insight into their data at both the consumer and business level. Organizations can use this analysis to promote personalized customer messages at the composition stage or next best offer programs within online customer portals. Analysis at the business level can highlight trends across aggregate consumer patterns, or help gain insight into the macro usage patterns of consumers. It has integrated repositories.Repositories are included and integrated within the system. They continue to promote the traditional archiving values of records management and rapid document discovery, but also provide extensive integration capabilities through Web Services and API to promote back office document integration and online customer self-service channel integration. These repositories offer abstracted storage layers that can connect with a variety of devices, including standard SAN/NAS/hard disk, WORM technology and Hadoop. Complex storage reduction techniques are also used to reduce operational costs. It provides central management.The entire CCM process is managed centrally, meaning that business process rules are designed using graphical utilities that define how content is acquired, processed, stored and delivered. But that’s not all: Processes are run atop engines that are optimized for performance, scalability and availability while accounting for error handling and recovery processes. Central logging provides business insight into system utilization, workflow scheduling, execution and audit information against content as it is processed, stored, accessed, and delivered across the CCM lifecycle. Integrated transformation utilities allow organizations to handle multiple inbound content formats and transform output in batch or on-demand to meet the requirements of internal or external consumer delivery. Transformation engines can also be utilized to extract index or metadata information that is ultimately stored in databases to promote rapid search and discovery. Instead of looking to see how it’s always been done, Actuate has successfully streamlined CCM with a singular system. Learn more about Actuate’s Customer Communications Solution.

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RM: Information Governance Superhero-in-Waiting

Ahhh, good ol’ Records Management.If, like me, you’ve been working in large corporate environments for 10years or more, just saying the phrase undoubtedly conjures up theclassic records management stereotypes you picked up in your early days:Windowless basements stacked with banker’s boxes and rows of filingcabinets. Obsessive crews of process-oriented quasi-librariansmeticulously assigning a file number to “official” corporate documentsthat may never be needed again. Yes, it was all necessary, but it wasalso all seen as somewhat inconsequential and certainly not as a keybusiness driver. DILBERT © 2004 Scott Adams. Used by permission of Universal Uclick. All rights reserved. Well,guess what, folks. Turns out there was something to all thatdetail-driven classification, retention scheduling and archiving. Theregulatory and legal climate of the business world has changeddrastically: The systematic management of corporate records has become acore element of compliant, defensible Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Accordingly, the practice of records management has evolved frommarginalized afterthought to essential survival tool: An organization’svery existence can hinge on its ability to provide timely, accurateresponses to compliance, regulatory or discovery obligations. Talk aboutgoing from zero to hero in the span of a decade! Yet it still amazes me that the generations of thought-leadership, technology and best-practices development that have gone into managing thelifecycle of official corporate records is often not being applied tothe vast volumes of additional unstructured data organizations nowpossess. Think about it: It’s the aforementioned traditional businessrecords that have historically been most likely to be targeted incompliance and discovery reporting. It only makes sense to expand the time-tested, rigorous principles applied tothe most scrutinized corner of the business to the enterprise as awhole. Theconcept of information archiving is a perfect example. Organizationshave become extremely proficient at generating and collectinginformation. From emails to marketing collateral to financial statementsand beyond, it’s growing at staggering rates. But what are manyorganizations doing with it once it’s served its purpose? In the absenceof having a thorough information governance program, they’ve defaultedto dumping it en masse into an archive. Now, they can compress,de-duplicate and encrypt to their heart’s content but, in very shortorder, they’re going to want to cost-effectively access and retrievepieces of that information in its original context–something that’s nextto impossible unless well-planned information governance policies werein place beforehand. Chancesare the optimal solution could already be roaming your hallways. Bybringing your records manager and their knowledge base into the loop andhaving them collaborate with IT, legal, and compliance on acomprehensive information governance program, your organization canextend pre-existing best practices to all its enterprise information anddefine classification, retention, preservation, and dispositionparameters in an easily accessible, defensible structure. Optimal InfoGov Adds Value Across an Enterprise EnterpriseArchiving is just one of the areas where this cross-functionalcollaboration can be hugely beneficial to an organization. In the modernbusiness environment, compliance and legal requirements obviously play ahuge role, but effective information management also adds significantvalue to product development, process improvement, disaster recovery andmore. To achieve this, every email, every R&D report, everyaccounting ledger, every HR comment, every piece of unstructured contentneeds to be subject to the same fastidious processes as the most formalorganizational business record. If you’re a CIO, information architect, or IT strategist, a great first step to developing a comprehensive Enterprise Information Management (EIM) strategy is thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the practice of records management and the principles behind it.Yes, you may have barely noticed records management specialists at thecompany Holiday party all those years ago, but times have changed. Greatthings are waiting for those who think outside the (banker’s) box.

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Big Data and Information Governance in Life Sciences

The clamor around big data’s applications and how best to tame them was one of the key themes which emerged at this year’s BIO International Convention, held in Chicago. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO), the event drew 13,594 industry leaders from 47 states, theDistrict of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and 62 countries. I was there and fortunate to have the opportunity to gain first-handinsight into the industry’s challenges and opportunities, as well as thestrategies and tactics that forward thinking companies are utilizing toextract value from Big Data and improve the therapeutic options ofpatients. The volume of datagenerated by all aspects of life sciences is staggering. Estimated to bearound 150 exabytes in 2011, this almost inconceivable aggregate ofinformation has been increasing at a rate of 1.2-2.4 exabytes per year.To put this in context, one estimate holds that all words ever spoken byhuman beings could be stored in five exabytes of data. And just howmuch is an Exabyte? An exabyte is 10^18 bytes, or one million terabytes. Truly staggering! Theincredible vastness of this information presents an unprecedented set ofopportunities for the biopharma enterprise, particularly aroundpersonalized medicine and companion diagnostics. It also presents somestiff challenges regarding information governance: All this data must becaptured, curated, stored, searched, shared, transferred, analyzed, andvisualized while maintaining 21 CFR Part 11 compliance. The scene at BIO was set in the first day’s Personalized Medicine and Diagnostics Forum. One of the sessions, Big Problems Need Big Solutions–Fixing the Health Care System Using Big Data, addressed the potential value biopharmaceutical companies could realizethrough exploring the databases of payers, hospital groups, and CROs,in addition to their own datasets. An integration of these datasetswould allow researchers to determine which patients will benefit fromcertain drugs and which could experience side effects. It would alsoassist in identifying patterns and causality in complex diseases,potentially feeding back into the drug development process. How might an integration, synthesis, and governance of data such as this be achieved? OpenText specializes in providing Enterprise Information Management(EIM) solutions that can help life sciences organizations deal with thechallenges of Big Data. From Electronic Lab Notebooks and LIMS to FDAfilings, OpenText Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences solutions ensure compliance with federal regulations for data governance while helping solve critical process challenges. What about the future? New ways of delivering solutions are being explored. Is innovation in the cloudthe answer – might it be the new “space” to accelerate scientificdiscovery and development? Subsequent sessions at BIO delved into thisquestion and others, exploring the trends, challenges, and bestpractices of drug development in the cloud as it relates to ecosystempartnerships, data analytics, and compliance. Aswe work to implement current capabilities and aim toward futurestandards-based collaboration, the conclusion is clear: Collaborationacross biopharma, technology providers, and regulatory agencies will beessential to develop the standards, technology, and approaches necessaryto critically evaluate data and generate useful information forimproved health outcomes in patients. The taming of Big Data is not asimple task for Life Sciences, but the innovation that can flow fromthat is well worth the effort! Now is the time to get on board and explore the possibilities.

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The Problems with Most CCM Systems Today

When Actuate decided to develop a solution for Customer Communications Management (CCM), we didn’t want to stay stuck in the past. Historically, problems have existed in CCM, and we wanted to create something that would address them. But first we had to identify what those problems were. The main issue, of course, has always been that each step in the CCM process has been supported by a different toolset from a different technology vendor. That equals up to five or six applications, all cobbled together to try to construct a cohesive system. But we all know that technologies that weren’t designed to work together can never truly be cohesive. So issues emerged: The system couldn’t keep up with new business needs and new demands. Today, most organizations need solutions that can scale dynamically and work within any cloud configuration (public, private or hybrid). Also, the output format for statements is changing: consumers expect to access their information online or through mobile devices, and to interact with it once they do. In order to keep up with changes like these, all components of a CCM system must be scalable. However, when relying on multiple technology providers, you’re always likely to get one that falls behind or prioritizes different upgrades and features from the ones you require. The CCM system doesn’t work in unison. By using components that come from separate vendors, organizations are forced to learn, work with and maintain the varying capacities of different technologies, piecing them together as best as possible. Hand-offs break, data gets lost in translation and IT scrambles to create custom code in order to process content seamlessly. Nothing is in synch, because nothing was designed to work in unison. Accountability is difficult to determine. If a problem emerges, it’s challenging to find out where blame falls: is it with the Data solution or the Document Composition tool, for example? Each may work fine independently, but fail when used together. Too much time and effort is spent running diagnostics and troubleshooting instead of optimizing the system’s features and performance to stay competitive. It’s impossible to audit data as it moves through the process. As data moves from processing to content storage and delivery, organizations want, and are often required, to keep track for auditing purposes. However, today’s systems aren’t integrated, which makes an end-to-end audit trail virtually impossible. All of these issues make it difficult for companies to make effective use of their CCM solution or to rely on it completely. As a holistic solution, Actuate’s CCM solution moves past all of those problems, since it was designed to be a single system that encompasses the whole CCM process. The historic problems of CCM become just that: history. Learn more about Actuate’s Customer Communications Solution.

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Customer Communications Management: The Rundown

Here at Actuate, we get asked this question a lot: What exactly is Customer Communications Management (CCM)? Consider organizations that handle vast amounts of information for millions of customers: cell phone bills, credit card statements or insurance policies. They need to ensure that the process that gets those statements to their customers runs smoothly, while managing every step in the data flow. The process also has to be flexible enough to respond to changing business, IT and customer requirements. For that to happen, organizations rely on the six steps of CCM: Data Acquisition and Analytics. To make it useable for transactional documents, raw data is captured, normalized and augmented to ensure accuracy and completeness. Document Composition. Data is formatted in a way that’s visually appealing and user friendly, adhering to corporate brand standards and accommodating personalized advertising with intelligent, targeted trans-promo offers. Document Processing and Transformation. Business rules are defined that outline how content will be processed, how and when data will be acquired, what composition templates will be used to format the data, where the resulting documents will be delivered, what repository the content will be stored within, what format will be used to store it and what index or metadata information should accompany that content. Multi-Channel Delivery. Everything is formatted so that customers can receive their information in the way that works best for them, whether that means print distribution, online, smart phone or tablet access. Electronic Archiving. Data is archived to satisfy regulatory requirements, provide high-speed search and retrieval for internal discovery and analysis, reduce internal helpdesk costs and improve information availability. Portal Technology. CCM portals connect customer-facing applications with relevant content to increase information availability and reduce manual processing. Portals deliver communications in traditional static formats, like PDF, for simple statement review, as well as in interactive HTML formats that provide insight through rich graphical visualizations and allow users to interact directly with the transactional content. Getting the CCM process right helps organizations use data effectively and efficiently. That’s where Actuate comes in. Learn more about Actuate’s Customer Communications Solution. Learn more about our Customer Communications Solution.

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Next Gen File Transfer Enhances Transmittal Management

Until now, transferring largefiles to points outside the corporate firewall has been an exercise ininconvenience, irritation, and risk. Believe me, as a technologyprofessional working out of a home office, I can’t tell you the hoursI’ve spent managing the movement of multi-GB files to colleagues andcustomers–either electronically through FTP and its ilk, or (shudder)physically through the shipping of storage media. The fact is, we’ve all had to make do with inadequate large-file transfer options over the past decade: Email is a no-go if your attachment is larger than 10MB or so. FTP, USB drives and DVDs are time-intensive, unreliable and present sizable security and compliance risks. Public file-sharing services?Don’t even go there, friend. Aside from the ever-present threat ofhacking and uncontrolled distribution, I’ll bet you didn’t know that theservice providers themselves generally reserve the right to access yourdata at any time, for a wide variety of reasons. The Future of Large File Transfer is Already Here Thetechnology exists for a better way, though. I’ve seen it every time myson effortlessly downloads a multi-GB video game from an online retailerwith a simple click. And I finally had the opportunity to experiencethe same convenience in a B2B setting with the recent introduction ofthe OpenText Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution. Howeasy is it to use? Transferring a 3.9GB file from head office to myremote laptop involved simply receiving an email informing me there was afile waiting, clicking on a link in the email so I could direct MFTwhere to put the file on my hard drive, and going back to work. That’sit, that’s all. The download finished seamlessly in a few minutesand I had no reason to worry about the transfer at all. Not only is MFTfast and user friendly, it will auto-resume if the connection hangs andit encrypts the data during transmission. The genius behind thesolution–and the reason we have patents pending on it–can be explored herebut, in plain user-speak, I saved a nice chunk of time, worked with afamiliar email-based interface, and securely received a complete,non-corrupted file with an auditable trail. What more could you ask for? Howabout the fact that OpenText is now integrating the progressivecapabilities of our new file transfer solution with our existing Transmittal Management application? It’s all part of our commitment to providing optimal value to our customers through a comprehensive, cross-pillar Enterprise Information Management (EIM) strategy. Thinking about this combination in action really got the wheels in my head turning! A Step-Change in Seamless, Secure Transmittal Management Theengineering sector is my specialty. And I know from listening toDocument Controllers across the industry that the process of efficientlymanaging project transmittal informationaround the world has become a major issue. In recent years, the scopeand complexity of these transmittals has increased in lock step withtheir financial and legal implications. Document Controllers nowregularly spend stress-filled hours struggling with inefficient methodsof transferring contracts, drawings, specifications, and othertime-sensitive, mission-critical information. What’s more, thesetransmittals are often destined for remotely located engineeringprojects utilizing networks of varying quality and stability. Theintegration of OpenText Transmittal Management with OpenText ManagedFile Transfer will be all they need to adapt to these fluctuatingenvironments while ensuring that essential files are deliveredcompletely, securely, and in full compliance with corporate policies andindustry regulations. Granted, not everyone’s daily activitiesinvolve transmitting the blueprints for a hydro-electric dam to thejungles of Borneo, but if the new OpenText Managed File Transferintegration with OpenText Transmittal Management is designed to excel insome of the most demanding environments in cyberspace, think of thestability, security and efficiency it can add to your organization.

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Five Common ECM Wins…and the Straightforward Cloud Solution

As cloud-based Enterprise Content Management (ECM)implementations become increasingly commonplace, I’m seeing a growingnumber of noteworthy client success stories. The kind that overcomesubstantial hurdles to literally transform a client’s content managementinfrastructure from non-existent to world class in one seamless,magnificent leap. The really intriguing element in the vast majority of them is witnessing the tangible, quantifiable benefits the cloudbrings to information management. For me, it’s one thing to discuss thepractice of cloud-based content management as a theoretical talkingpoint, it’s quite another to see it in action, elevating contentsolutions from great to how-did-we-ever-operate-without-this throughadditional functionality, security and efficiency. The OpenText team has collaborated on yet another exampleof this recently; designing and implementing a cloud-based ECM platformfor a non-profit, clinical research firm. The core challenges and goalsof this organization are remarkably similar to most large enterprises,namely, an extensive, remote workforce all generating and collaboratingon vast amounts of mission-critical data that’s highly sensitive andstringently regulated. Sound familiar? What’s more, you may alsorecognize the environment that sparked this particular initiative:Essential data stored in isolated network drives and filing cabinets,email serving as the principal means of collaboration, security andgovernance tools struggling with oversight of highly mobile staff. (As aside note, did you just mentally give your organization one, two, orthree checkmarks? That’s what I thought!) In short, thisparticular enterprise was at the mercy of the disjointed and exceedinglymanual processes resulting from the lack of an integrated contentmanagement solution. For participants, the frustration factor wassetting in with the inefficiencies posing challenges to meet deadlinesand an overall lack of confidence around the information being used tofuel decision making. On top of this, every day was like rolling thedice with potentially catastrophic implications for data security,financial stability, regulatory compliance, and reporting credibility. Tobe sure, these were considerable issues that permeated right to thecore of the enterprise. Yet the solution was relatively, evensurprisingly, straightforward: A tailored version of OpenText Content Serverprovided the centralized and standardized data management structurethey needed to ensure optimal security, management, and compliance. Whatput it over the top (and into my personal business hit parade) was theastute decision to utilize an OpenText Cloudsolution to host the application – ensuring easy, real-time access forfar-flung contributors, both those internal and external to theorganization, and collaborators through a custom-designed web interface. Voila…One undemanding yet multi-faceted suite of ECM tools solving five common issues: A secure repository for storage and distribution of version-controlled documents Increased adoption, efficiency, and collaboration via a user-friendly, web-based interface Comprehensive auditing and reporting functions from one, centralized source Full compliance with all applicable government and industry regulations Simplified system management that exceeds security requirements thanks to OpenText Hosting Services It’s a beautiful thing. And I invite you to read through their entire success storyto get the full story. For us here at OpenText, these contentmanagement successes are both rewarding and invigorating. Not only dothey fulfill our mission of contributing to our customers’ success – youcan literally see the stress from years of legacy inefficiencies fallaway as velocity, security and adoption skyrocket – they also serve asnotice that we, as an organization, are on the right path. Cloud-basedservices, be they ECM or broader-based Enterprise Information Management (EIM) initiatives, are the future. There’s just too much to be gained with them. It’stime to start considering the benefits of cloud services. I know theycontinue to change my perception of what’s possible in the world ofenterprise content management.

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Putting the “Super” in QSuper

Submitted by Michelle Dufty on May 17, 2013 We’re Talking Smart Process Applications for Financial Services We have all heard the story before: organizations trying to become more customer-centric but can’t because they are held back by ageing applications and siloed operations that leave them unable to keep up with the demands of the modern customer. I have been working a lot recently with customers in the Financial Services industry where this issue is extremely prevalent. The good news is that there are alternatives to legacy systems that no longer fit the bill, and at OpenText we call them Smart Process Applications. Smart Process Apps combine the power of Business Process Management or Case Management, with ECM, capture, analytics, collaboration, and customer communications management to allow organizations to be more collaborative and support the dynamic and demanding customer environment that exists today. Smart Process Apps break down the barriers of application silos while still referencing the legacy applications as the system of record. I am really pleased to announce a new case study we did with QSuper, one of Australia’s largest superannuation (aka retirement) funds that service government employees, related entity workers, and their spouses. Like many financial services organizations, QSuper operates in a highly competitive and dynamic environment, where legacy applications with limited functionality and no central view of the customer could limit their ability to open new accounts, provide stellar customer service, and ensure consistence execution of operations. QSuper used to rely on a workflow system that was embedded within one part of their organization. The system had limited functionality, no disaster recovery capabilities, and experienced frequent downtime – that led to disruptions in their business. In addition to these issues, eight different systems were used by operations staff with numerous repositories for customer information, which included a mixture of paper and electronic documents. Like many other financial services organizations, QSuper realized that they needed to modernize their application infrastructure to provide a single view of their customer in order to become more efficient and improve the customer experience. This new system, workQ, is a Smart Process Application that now handles 78 percent of customer administration processes and is used across QSuper, from knowledge workers processing claims to business operations and IT staff to mid-and senior-level management. They have also been able to decommission 5 of the 8 former customer systems, which has significantly reduced business operations costs and improved employee responsiveness to customer inquiries. The advanced analytics and reporting in the new system has reduced the manual effort to create reports by 99% and provides a much clearer view of overall business performance. QSuper is just one example of numerous customers who are providing better customer service with a modern, Smart Process Application infrastructure. To learn more about Smart Process Apps and other customer success stories, follow me here.

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Driving simple, powerful, extensible and visual ECM

On March 6, Mark Barrenechea posted a blog about the recent OpenText Resonate KT acquisition. This blog post will explore more about how these new ECM additions can help customers of ECM and Extended ECM for SAP. ECM Made Easy Oneof the biggest challenges every organization faces as they implemententerprise software is user adoption. While the VP of ApplicationDevelopment and the Business Architect seek to bring the highest levelof functionality they can to drive business processes and applications,they are faced with the issue of how well the system will be adopted bythe people that use it. How much training will be required? Will theusers be happy with how the systems fit into their daily work or willthey find a way to minimize use of it? Some of the most common things we see customers do in order to make the experience simple for casual users include: • simplifying content views and choice lists to ensure users aren’t faced with long menus of options • customizing the interface so that common information is clearly presented in a simple, uncluttered view • driving business processes through forms and workflows • providing simple, interactive dashboard views containing information that is relevant and in context • providing reports, notifications and lists of critical information to support business operations UsingWebReports and ActiveView, customers are now able toprovide theseuser-driven views and operations through simple customization of the Content Server interface and workflows. IT groups implementing ECM can easily simplify the interface for a user, change the view by their role and deliver views tailored to the device they are working from. In addition to this they can create dashboards with report driven content for the user and business situation, and create powerful workflow processes and forms to drive critical business operations in user-centered ways. Custom dashboards present real time information in context Power with Simplicity Inevery organization there are situations and users that demand both easeof use and the flexibility to work in different ways. Power-usersdrive productivity through creative use of systems and customizing theiroperation to best meet their own personal needs. While theseindividuals can provide challenges to the application development group,they can also be the system’s strongest supporters and those that gainthe most from working with it. For thesesituations WebReports and ActiveView turn ECM into an adaptableenvironment that simplifies business processes by utilizing commoninterface paradigms such as tabbed and tree views of content, inlineediting of metadata, and mouse-over ability to see more about content. These tools also provide the ability to work differently on differentdevices, providing a mobile experience that brings the power of ECM to aconsumer-like mobile experience. This is easily managed by IT withrole and device based views. Tabbed View provides quick access to common sets of data A Picture is worth a thousand words Sometimesthe best way to analyze content is to see it in action, to look at itin a visual way. Charts, graphs and KPI indicators are well recognizedas ways to quickly provide a snapshot of information that can then bedrilled into for more detail. With OT ECM it is now simple to embedvisualization of information, charts, graphs and KPI’s into views forall types of users. Understanding content and metrics has never beeneasier. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) provide simple view of status against targets Delighting Developers Someof the requests we hear most often come from IT groups and applicationdevelopers. These people work with all types of enterprise software andthey want to have easy and standard ways to extend their system; costeffective deployment and maintenance; and the ability to buildapplications that meet their industry and business needs while gaininguser acceptance. Add to that the concept of making working with thesystem fun, and you have the winning combination we now provide withOpenText ECM. The WebReports engine uses a simple Tag andTemplate concept which should be familiar to any web savvy developer. Its standard HTML templates provide the interface, while the tags enableinsertion of data into the layout or actions to be performed oncontent. When put together with WebReports WorkFlow Extensions,developing an interface built around business processes is easily done,all without requiring any knowledge of OScript. This powerful engineallows for easy creation of custom deployment and development ofbusiness applications, and provides a level of insulation from coresystem changes that reduces the time and cost of upgrading. Develop using standard HTML templates ITconcerns in using any add-on to a core system include how well it isintegrated, does it keep pace with core product changes and does it addto the size or complexity of the infrastructure. As a long time OTpartner, RKT has always been focused exclusively on additions to ContentServer and core ECM, developed to meet the latest Content Serversecurity standards. All of these products are tightly integrated,optimized for performance, and do not require extra hardware. Releasesof these modules have always closely followed core product releases andnow that the RKT team is part of OpenText these add-on modules will bereleased coincident with core product releases. WebReports hasbeen a commonly used ECM and xECM extension for a number of years andsupports over 500 customers in 20 countries. The driving force behindthe usage of this module has often been requests from solutionconsultants, services teams and partners because they find increasedflexibility with a reduced amount of development resulting in faster,less expensive deployment and maintenance of business specific ECMimplementations. The addition of WebReports Workflow Extensions andActiveView expands this benefit further still. We invite you to learn more and see product demonstrations. For more information about the Resonate KT acquisition, visit our CEO blog or see the press release.

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The Value of Information

There is a lot written about Value of Information andthe conclusion of almost everyone is that you need information beforeyou make your decision for it to be of any use. Can we act quickly basedon historical information? What happens with the information thatcompanies have gathered on their customers? Is it easy to access theinformation? Do companies use the information to build profiles and thenconnect with them in a more efficient, personal way, either directly orthrough an intermediary? Mostcompanies still have an “Archive all” policy where all recordsbeingarchived. And whether that is in cabinets or electronically, itisstored in an archive to be there for any given period, exposing a compliancy risk when being audited not to mention the cost of storage. Companies that want to reduce that risk and especially enterprise businesses that create billions of records may have applied Records Management in their Enterprise Content Management system and offload records that would no longer be needed for compliance purposes through a defined set of rules. Very internal driven to reduce risk and cost which is very good, I am sure we all agree. However, as said in general most of the records are stored in (several) legacy archive systems, either on-premises, off-premises or nowadays in the cloud. Records that contain information. Information that can be of much value when it is used in a proper way. Today EnterpriseContent Management technologies allow organizations to take fulladvantage of enterprise information and gain better business insight,create a positive business impact, increase process velocity, reducerisks related to information governance, and protect intellectualproperty from internal leaks and external threats. But it takes a goodstrategy to really take advantage of valuable (historical) information. I amsure that it must be difficult for organizations to take advantage ofall that unstructured data. The volume of unstructured data is huge andjust growing and growing anyway. But can we somehow start using theinformation we archive and unleash that information? Information that isstored in many different repositories or business applications where itis hard to access and use the information. For internal purposes, yesof course but a customer should also to be able to access informationthat concerns them, old or new information, on any device they preferand update information where needed and/or required. Then businessesshould use the information to target their customers in a moreeffective, personal way, through all communication channels, also whenusing social media. All the valuable historical information must givethem the possibility to build a profile of their customers, right? Yet,I still see another challenge for CIO’s and business managers to findthe right balance in unleashing the information in a secure environmentand on every required device. How much information can be shared andused? Allowing business operations departments using information tobuild profiles to target and communicate with customers on a morepersonal way and still remain compliant with regulations that have beenput in place over the years and those to follow. Not to mention theirchallenge in finding one vendor that can offer solutions in all areasbecause that would be ideal. OpenText customer DDR Corp. DDR Real Estate Investment Trust,is one of those companies where their internal business can alreadyview the history of previous lease contracts. They applied severalOpenText solutions and continue to look for new ways of developing Mobilizing Enterprise Content,like using the Content Server for property managers, depositing moreinformation in their Content Server and exposing it via web access.Another OpenText customer Blokker plans to store a profile of each shopkeeper and wholesale customer inthe OpenText system using it to preferences on how they want to receiveinformation. Are these companies done? I don’t think so but they see thevalue of information. The challenge is on;finding the perfect balance in reducing legal risk and IT cost tounleashing valuable information and do more business while remainingcompliant. Yes, there is a lot to consider and a long way to go but onething I am sure about is that once an organization forms an informationgovernance strategy that includes using valuable information it can overtime gain better business insight, take the right decisions andcapitalize on opportunities to positively impact the business. I mean,all that historical information and new information that is created on adaily basis gives companies the perfect opportunity to build customerprofiles based on the most important pieces of information. Thenconstantly refresh those profiles based on new information. And why notmake information available to the customer in an environment thatremains compliant and managed so they can update and influence theirprofile? Don’t you think it will get companies closer to the customersand vice versa? Don’t wait, start using the valueable information andmake it part of your information governance strategy.

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Information does matter

In recent years there have been manyhorror stories about the mismanagement of information, whether itpertains to personal, private or public data in the form of lostlaptops, discs, files and briefcases etc. How should information bemanaged? Could anything have been done to avoid the loss or minimise therisk of human error? Is there an easy answer? The HM Government released a whitepaper entitled“Information Matters: Building Governments Capability in ManagingKnowledge and Information” this highlights an extension of‘Transformational Government into data, information and knowledgemanagement where there is a need for best practice policy supported bytechnology’. Ithas been said before that this is the century or age of information.More information is being created every day, this in turn means thatmore information is being stored every day too. Businesses, Services,Governments and other Organisations all need this ‘lifeblood’ ofinformation to be accessible, useable, safe and accountable. Thegovernment is committed to addressing specific aspects of informationmanagement and information security (BS10012 and BS27001). This is allvery well, but having just information management on its own is notenough. Good information management needs to be aligned with goodknowledge management. Well, what use is information if it is not usedcorrectly? If you go to an ATM to withdraw money, you expect that thebank has used the information about you correctly, to ensure that youget your money from the correct account when you need it. But what ifthis information was not managed properly and you were abroad andneeding to access your funds and were unable to? This is a simplescenario but think about how information is used when you renew your cartax online, at passport control or to ensure you have the correct taxcode etc. It is not just about having the information but using iteffectively. Recently Knowledge Management and Information Managementhave been formally recognised as functions of government, in the sameway that finance, IT and communications are. With more and moreinformation being created, how long should you keep certain pieces ofinformation before it loses its usefulness or becomes dangerous? Whodecides what parameters are set for this? How does this impact on dataprotection laws? These are just a few of the many important questionsraised. Each organisation will have differing requirements on thismatter. There are guidelines online for organisations which help them tomeet the necessary regulations required by law, but you still need tomanage this effectively. So what do Governments and Businessesneed to do in order to deploy an effective information management andknowledge management strategy? The government, here in the UK, has setout guidelines highlighted in their Information Matters whitepaper and have organised a committee to help manage this. Many businesseshave done the same, but some are not seeing the bigger picture yet.People are talking about big data and the age of information but whatare they doing about it? Many of their current systems andprocess have been in place for many years and a lot of the informationis paper based. Technology is moving forward at an exponential rate,particularly with smart phones and tablet devices. Many businessprocesses nowadays are handled electronically with little or no actualpaperwork involved, but how is this information tracked and handled?Electronic document and records management software (EDRMS) appears tobe the answer. Many vendors will offer this at a departmental level orin some cases at enterprise level. Having an EDRMS system in place willensure that your business or government department meets the necessarylegislations and ensure that you have an effective informationmanagement strategy. However, there is a relatively new approach called Enterprise Information Management(EIM). In effect what EIM does is brings structure to the unstructured by unleashing the power of information to the organisation. With the growth of information coupled with the myriad of differentformats,only one organisation is standing up to be the leader in thisfield,with the goal of becoming recognised as the #1 EIM vendor. This organisation is already demonstrating leadership, according toanalystsGartner and Forrester, and is well on its way to being leaderin allfive pillars of EIM, namely Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Experience Management(CEM),Information Exchange and Discovery. If I were a CIO of a majororganisation or government department, I know full well what I would bedoing. I would contact my local OpenText office and ask for guidance. By acting now, I would hope to avoid any mishapsor issues around information management, compliance and legislationwithin my organisation.

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