Enterprise Content Management

The Innovation Bonanza – can you Harness it?


Everywhere I turn, I see innovations that are proving out how different our future will be – especially in the financial services sector. All I can think about is how my customers can take advantage of these unprecedented changes. Several trends are behind the FinTech innovation bonanza. It’s important to first baseline on these new realities, some of which affect multiple industries. Then, let’s look at what you can do to harness these innovations for your business gain. Three New Realities The way people interact with lenders or investors is already vastly changed from prior generations. No single communication channel is enough – texting, in-app email and bot conversations are the new normal. Customer commitment levels are lower. Personal relationships have given way to convenience and instant gratification needs, creating less opportunity to secure banking loyalty. Feeding into this is a bustling marketplace of apps and vendors distracting your customers, luring them with time-bound deals or newly priced packages. The nature of software has changed and can better deliver on customer needs. Offshore development teams are not always necessary for financial firms, now that off-the-shelf single-function apps, APIs, and connectors are readily available. Software delivered as a service is expected and commonplace, as mint.com and others have proven. What remains consistent, however, is the value and potential of enterprise content. We have all seen the stories describing information as the new gold or oil. In fact, starting with a focus on your crown jewels the first step in harnessing innovation for your enterprise. The Urgency of Content Unification How can you capitalize on ample innovation and burgeoning industry transformation? In our last blog, we talked about first clarifying your digital transformation business objective. Here, I’d like to focus on a technical infrastructure step you can take today – content unification. Not only is this essential for future growth, but organizing your content riches can also help your organization get grounded on identifying those transformation goals. Content unification is what you will need to determine customer needs and prescriptively orient your enterprise. Specifically, unifying several types of content in one archive: Historical information – Content of many vintages is likely living in applications scattered across your enterprise. Together in a single archive, this content might yield new insights. I’ll give an example in just a moment. Current content – Without any meta structure or information hierarchy, your current content may be disconnected, making it harder for bankers to upsell or wealth managers to advise. Worse, your employees may be drawing from outdated content, simply because they can’t find current interest rate documents or customer account information. Real-time data – Instant search and hashtag-led discussions have yielded an entirely new set of content you can leverage. Aggregated with other content, you may uncover new finance offerings to deliver in-the-moment to a targeted segment, location, or imminent need. Let’s look at a related example to help you envision why content in a single scalable archive is so critical. Harnessing Innovation to Deliver Time Savings I first heard about this innovation through Twitter, from an incubator day from Standard Bank in South Africa. I have since seen several companies addressing queuing management. By looking at a collection of data, consolidated from multiple sources, Qber-Queue came up with a smart idea – help people stop waiting in line. Whether requesting a travel visa or getting a business license, a large volume of people were spending substantial amounts of time queuing up (or standing in line, in American English!). Just like Uber made it easy to call up and use a taxi, this idea was to make it simple and painless to keep your place in line. The effort began by consolidating data to test out several ways to embark on a new business: Why are people waiting on line? To do what? (current content) Was the passport office or local city license office slower in servicing constituents? (historical information) Is there anyone currently waiting in line who will never get service, based on the above data, and can we text them to instead secure a slot on Thursday at 7AM? (real-time data) With useful content identified, then brought together in a single information archive, this company found and built out a great new idea! Similarly in any financial services organization, there is wealth in your content. By consolidating it now, you can better think through what problem you can solve for customers – both now and amidst the rapid level of innovation underway. Where do your customers need a better experience? Is your content ready to help you solve important business problems? Was this blog helpful? Please share your comments below.

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Cloud Flexibility Gives Customers the Experience They Want

Cloud flexibility

In today’s consumer market, great companies with high brand equity have one thing in common: they’re using digital innovation to continuously improve upon their already tremendous customer experience. For example, Costco is known for its generous return policy – now it’s been digitalized so that you can still get a refund if you don’t have a receipt. Starbucks lets you order and pay for your beverage with an app so you don’t have to wait in a long line. And Disneyland has an app so that you can see wait times in real time and better plan your day at the park. Enterprise Content Management software is a means to an end. Customers are trying to accomplish something and they’re looking for ways to do it cheaper and easier. Cloud-based solutions enable customers to do both. And they’re ideal for customers with growing or fluctuating bandwidth needs because they’re easy to scale up or scale down when needed. But a public cloud for everything approach doesn’t always provide a great customer experience. Changing enterprise business processes to align with SaaS solutions can be time consuming, expensive and frustrating. Having a flexible solution that can be configured to align with existing business processes reduces total cost of ownership and makes for a better user experience. In fact, according to Gartner¹, “The increased use of multiple public cloud providers, plus growth in various types of private cloud services, will create a multicloud environment in most enterprises and a need to coordinate cloud usage using hybrid scenarios. he increased use of multiple public cloud providers, plus growth in various types of private cloud services, will create a multicloud environment in most enterprises and a need to coordinate cloud usage using hybrid scenarios”. Public, private and hybrid cloud models of our Documentum as a Service or DaaS software are available – and you can mix, match and integrate them. Our Life Sciences customers are working on life-changing innovations to cure disease and help people live longer, better lives. Most prefer to protect their Research & Development content in a private cloud, while creating a public cloud clinical trial data repository that enables easier collaboration. And they don’t want unnecessary patches or upgrades forced upon them smack in the middle of a big clinical trial or new drug launch. Our Energy and Engineering customers are using digital innovations to improve recovery rates and reduce risk. Likewise, they want their Standard Operating Procedures and other propriety information stored in a private cloud, while having their project-specific content such as drawings and memos that need to be viewed by partners and subcontractors in a public cloud. Public cloud is useful when collaborators do their work on smartphones and tablets because they don’t have to get on a corporate VPN to access content. In fact, our mobile solutions integrate with Documentum to give customers the experience of offline access to documents and bi-directional sync. No matter the type of cloud you choose, DaaS gives you all the benefits and flexibility of the cloud, but lets you keep the customizations and integrations you rely on to keep your business running: Economies of scale – 20% – 45% reduction in operational expenses Patches and upgrades included and managed by us SSAE 16 compliance and physical security in our data centers including 24-hour manned security But perhaps the best part about the DaaS is that there are no longer service incidents related to how the software is installed in the customer’s environment – which on average accounts for 81% of the Severity 1 and Severity 2 incidents. Additionally, customers experience an average 16% improvement in application performance, and improved performance and availability over existing self-managed Documentum installations. Is your business leveraging digital innovation to improve customer experience? ¹ Gartner, “Market Trends: Cloud Adoption Trends Favor Public Cloud With a Hybrid Twist,” August 4, 2016.

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The Opportunity Ahead

Dell EMC agreement with OpenText

Dell EMC agreement with OpenText – today, we are excited to share that we have reached a definitive agreement with OpenText, a global leader in Enterprise Information Management, to combine the Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division (ECD) portfolio (including the Documentum, InfoArchive and LEAP families of products) with OpenText’s existing portfolio of products. The transaction is expected to close in 90 to 120 days. You can read about the terms of the agreement, in the press release. In determining the best long-term future for ECD, we wanted to create a business with a leading position in Enterprise Information Management, so we looked for a partner that shares our vision for the transformation to digital business, our passion for the role of information in the digital world, and the breadth of capabilities to help our customers realize that vision. We also looked for a partner that shares our commitment to deliver a world-class total customer experience. And, we sought a partner that valued the industry knowledge, innovative mindset and unique skillsets of our team. I am very pleased to say that we found all of that in OpenText, an industry leader with 9,200 professionals worldwide. Today’s announcement, therefore, presents a compelling opportunity for ECD’s loyal customers and partners, as well as our talented people. Our complementary strengths will produce a leader in both ECM and EIM: an organization with the financial strength, talent base, and global go-to-market scale to serve a marquee customer base. As we work toward the close of the transaction, I assure you that we will continue to provide the world-class care our customers have come to expect. To underscore our joint commitment, OpenText and Dell EMC have also announced their intent to enter into a strategic commercial partnership to expand customer offerings and better serve customer needs. Customers and partners can continue to realize value from their ECD investments and gain additional value from a richer portfolio of ECM and EIM solutions. Today’s news is great for all stakeholders, and we hope you are as energized as we are about the opportunity ahead.

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The Electric Impact of the Cloud, Have you Plugged in?


Have you ever considered, when switching on your coffee machine in the morning, where the electricity comes from? I’m guessing not. You probably only expect it to work so that you can have your tasty Colombian coffee. I don’t know where the electricity I use at home is coming from. Last year Spain imported electricity from France. At the same time Spain also exported electricity to Portugal, Andorra, Morocco and…surprise, also back to France. I can’t imagine anyone in Portugal wondering whether the electricity to charge a smartphone comes from Spain, is produced in France and sent to Spain, or is sent from Spain to France and bought back again. Electricity has no accent. It doesn’t matter from where it comes; only that it is always there when you need it! A few years ago, I started to work with customers planning their journey to the cloud. I’m talking about private cloud. There were many questions about the where, the who and the how of the process. It was an incredible cultural change and many people were against it, especially the security guys. It reminded me of 15 years earlier when I was working for an engineering company. We deployed a Document Management System, Documentum, to improve visibility, collaboration and productivity while reducing costs moving to the digital world. But even after a several years, many of the engineers were still locking their drawings in their own personal “map cabinet”. While customer goals were to reduce costs, improve performance and reduce the IT complexity, it was security and compliance that were the main concerns for most. They were changing their IT strategy and facing a cultural barrier. At that same time I was fortunate to meet with another company, one part of a large group, that was very focused on their business and margins. This business had a completely different strategy than its mother company and were eager to consume services rather than build and maintain them. By transitioning to the private cloud using our PaaS offering, the company achieved some things the mother company didn’t attain after 10 years using the same technology: Time to value. The company went on production in less than 1 month, far more quickly than the group average of one year. They were able to enjoy the benefits of the technology almost immediately after they made the decision and not a year later. Elasticity to manage the unpredictable. The business was able to increase resources, as well as add new products and services to support their needs when they needed them, instead of weeks after. High performance without complexity. From the first day and through several years of using the service, I’ve never heard a single complaint. In addition to all of these benefits, the organization dramatically reduced operational costs and achieved unprecedented cost predictability compared to their mother company. Using the same technology but a different strategy, they secured superior results. This proved, once again, that it’s not about the technology, it’s about the strategy. The private cloud is primarily about moving second-generation platforms to the cloud. It is about shifting the workload and the complexity to the vendor. It’s about reducing the cost of operations, enabling customers to free up IT resources to focus on activities with higher impact on their core business. When I talk to these customers now, they recognize they had worry about where data centers were and whether security measures were in compliance with the EU data privacy laws and their internal policies. However, once these issues were settled, they didn’t care if the service was provided from Spain, Germany or Netherlands. Only that it’s always up and running. Just like we all are with electricity. Today I’m more focused on public cloud offerings like LEAP, content apps for the digital era provided under a SaaS model. The more companies I speak with, the more I see not only these same obvious expectations regarding the private cloud, but also many additional that focus on end user productivity and expectations, and their impact on the new business models being rapidly developed in every industry. The cultural change in the last three years has been great. There are many companies already consuming important services like email, ERP, CRM in the cloud. Now they are ready to consume any other always that can justify their business case. Today’s information requires flowing as freely as electricity, and being accessible when it is needed. It is the dynamic digital enterprises that have realized that plugging into the cloud is virtually as easy and secure as plugging into an outlet. Are you using any private or public cloud service? If so what are your key motivations and concerns?

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Take the LEAP: be a Digital Trendsetter


Every year KMWorld, one of the world’s leading knowledge management, content management, and document management publications, evaluates in the industry  to identify companies and products that anticipate the needs of organizations to provide the most useful and innovative solutions for the marketplace. I’m pleased to share that this year LEAP has been recognized as a KMWorld Trend-Setting Product for 2016. The publication awarded us on foresight in developing the LEAP platform, the best source for content apps designed to drive user productivity and solve digital business challenges for the enterprise. This honor is further proof of leadership in creating next-generation applications for the ECM market, highlighted by our groundbreaking cloud-native content platform which empowers customers to get transformational value without the need for migration of content to yet another repository. As KMWorld indicates, they include among their list organizations whose solutions hold promise for the marketplace. As the transition to cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) evolves, many businesses leaders may not yet be fully aware of the need, or may be hesitant to move away from an on-premises system and adopt a new cloud model. However, LEAP applications, in conjunction with existing ECD systems, enable customers to achieve the flexibility of a cloud-first rather than cloud-only solution. In other words, LEAP applications combined with the solid foundation of Documentum and InfoArchive create a better together hybrid solution that can adjust to any organization’s needs. And we are hardly resting on our laurels. Are you ready to be a digital trendsetter?

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Winning Without Migration in a Digitized World

Content migration

An executive is scheduled to travel to a customer meeting at the last minute. He quickly makes flight arrangements, books a place to stay with Airbnb and makes sure the Uber app is on his mobile phone. Then he does one last thing. He finds a big box and stuffs it full with his all the information he’ll need for his meeting. He tapes it closed and lugs it to UPS shipment across country. The story is a little preposterous, isn’t it? With all the technology available, the idea of users hauling physical data around is from a previous age. We leverage all the advances that digital-focused companies offer, yet, while various access tools are available in this new era, many organizations still accept limitations in managing their own content. Uber doesn’t require you to bring your car with you to use its service. Airbnb doesn’t need your furniture. Why should a business need to shuttle around its content in order to use it? Despite the claims of some industry vendors, the hybrid world of content will thrive for many years. Organizations continue to store and access content of all types, including files, media and more, using both on-premises and cloud repositories. However, to create real business value, this content has to be brought to life and used in a way that solves key business challenges like invoice processing, loan processing, claims processing, employee onboarding etc. Two fundamentally different approaches can address this goal: The first option is to shuttle all content into a single repository, hand over the keys to the content kingdom and then pray that it’s secure and meets all compliance and regulatory requirements. There can be advantages to migration, including in the ease of managing, indexing and sorting content. However, in order to achieve this result, an often time-consuming and costly migration process is required (migrating meta data, roles, schemas for billions of objects is not an automated task – it does require PS and a few aspirins on hand). In addition, a single repository solution can both create a choke point that may lead to security and compliance issues and effectively render data that has not been stored or updated into that sole location as virtually useless to a business. Companies who offer this sort of solution have, to their credit, realized these limitations and attempted to develop supporting products to ease the forklifting of data to their specific repository. But this really serves as not much more than a Band-Aid option, eventually requiring the additional steps of classifying incoming documents, indexing them, maintaining the meta data models and relationships and toiling through the arduous job of getting security and compliance certifications on an ever changing content set – not just at the infrastructure, but also at an application level. The second option is to manage the content in place without migration and develop context of the content via a smart access service built on top of all repositories.  Today’s users don’t care so much about where the content they need comes from. A field worker in an energy company doesn’t care as much as where the SOP (standard operating procedures doc) comes from – but rather that he can access it on his mobile device, review and approve it and let his manager know that he has done the job. Content for this simple, but very frequent use case can reside in many different repositories. Why move the content from all those repositories when you can manage it in place?  With our open approach of repository flexibility, whether using Documentum, SharePoint, SAP, Google or even call center operations or email marketing software content can remain in place and be located and leveraged without the complex, time consuming step of migration. We understand that as the world changes around us, repositories will become table-stakes. They can be anywhere. They are simply a means to an end. The key for success will be rather to provide value on top, with solutions such as collaboration across content, easy review and approval of tasks requiring documents from across locations. The heavy lifting of connecting with these repositories is done behind the scenes, enabling customers get an out of the box way to connect all repositories to purpose-driven apps that solve specific business problems. This is what we have accomplished with LEAP.

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The Importance of Data Democratization for the Digital Enterprise

Data Democratization

Democratization in business means more transparency and fluidity in the workplace. Formerly defined roles of the subordinate and the executive are becoming more fuzzy and malleable especially in the age of millennials. And in no area of business are these changes more apparent than in the area of data and content – our Digital Information and Assets. Data democratization in the digital age is an interesting and important anomaly that should be embraced rather than combated against. In the new digital age of business, everything that was traditionally known and done in the business world has been called into question. Back in the days before the digital age, the hierarchy within a business was very pronounced with clear levels and discernment regarding what each participant in a business could do and have access to. The digital age has turned this former monarchical hierarchy on its head leading to an age of data democratization in the business world. More Data and Content Than We Could Have Imagined Once upon a time, the data that a business collected was limited and had to be carefully mined, sought out, and processed and managed. Only a select few people had access to that data including the uppermost executives and the analysts who processed and gathered the data. The rest of the employees in a company were kept largely out of the loop. However, with the rise of computers and the digital age, businesses are faced with an entirely new working environments. Today, businesses have access to more data than they could have even imagined in the past. The vast amount of information available at any given time is quite simply mind-boggling and demands data democratization. Because so much information is so readily available, there is also more of a need to include staff members outside of the select few elite that would have previously been allowed to access the information before. Transparency and democratization has become more important in the business world than ever before, and many “old-school” executives may have a hard time with this concept.   However, it is vital to understand the importance of data democratization for the digital enterprise so that you can learn to embrace this change rather than fight against it. There is a notion that if more of your staff and employees have access to the vast amount of data available, that they will not know how to properly interpret or use the data in the context of their job function within the company. Greater Access to Digital Information is an Advantage Fears that your employees may misinterpret the data or apply it incorrectly can lead you to try to limit or control access to a select few. This decision, while understandable, will only lead to frustrations within your organization as people who need access to information may not be able to get it and is against the principles of data democratization. What you can do is provide employees with gradually building levels of access to the data based on their needs and levels of training and competencies in the interpretation of data. Implementing brief training programs and providing easy-use analytics tools to sift through and filter the digital data available will help your staff to be able to do their jobs more effectively and feel as if they have fair access to business information within the firm. The democratization of data in the digital age is something that should not be feared and should not be cause for counter-measures. Instead, it should be embraced as a part of the inevitable changes that the digital age has brought about in the business world. The key is to ensure that you have eliminated your legacy data silos, provide user focused and flexible access to your data and content and a well-trained staff that is capable of using the available data to your business’s advantage.

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Surprise! No More Solution Customizations


Things are not always what they seem, as the earliest of Roman writers pointed out, and the same is true today in our content management-driven world. As every enterprise seeks its own digital transformation strategy, ironically, there is a tendency to revert back to accepted truths or how things have always been done. One of the first comments I hear from customers in solution discussions goes something along the lines of this: “Our company works in unique ways and we have an accumulation of different technologies, so we will have to heavily customize any content management solution.” What I notice, however, is what else the ancients knew: “The first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” (Source: Phaedrus, c. 15 BC – c. 50 AD). While customers start out thinking they want to customize a solution, they sometimes take a surprisingly different approach in the end. Here are three considerations for anyone assuming content management solution customization is the only way to succeed. 1 – Technology has caught up More rapid software development approaches have shortened product update cycles throughout the technology industry. More capabilities are delivered more often through existing solutions. It used to be acceptable to evaluate content management solutions once every 18 months. Today, a solution you reviewed just 6 months ago may have already packed in far more capabilities. In Documentum Capital Projects Express, for example, common user requirements (like the ability to provide graphical annotations during a review task, or to automate workflow recipients from a pre-defined distribution matrix) are already built in. It’s highly possible these types of ongoing updates can save you custom development work, while still meeting your business or technical requirements — and overcoming user concerns. 2 – Work is Work, and Humans are Humans Certainly every company culture is different. But there is simply no getting away from project milestones, deadlines, and approvals. If anything, project collaboration has become more rapid and commonplace amidst mobile and social technology uptake. As vendors like OpenText accumulate decades of refinements into their solutions, it becomes far more unusual to uncover process phases that the world has never seen before. This is evident in a very common reaction I hear from customers: “I thought we were the only ones who did that.” They are often quite relieved to know an existing solution can, for example, readily handle five different plant design reviewers working on a document globally – including employees and three different contractors with varied security requirements. Another common myth is that their organization is the most unorthodox because different teams don’t talk to each other. For better or worse, humans are humans, and this is why automation and standardized tools are so valuable. Transparency and accountability through a content management system helps documents moving forward, despite potentially segregated roles like Field Inspection Engineer and Project Manager. Similarly for companies amidst M&A or reorganizing, requirements gathering across the newly added teams can uncover “hidden” project commonalities that can be addressed without heavy customization. In Toshiba’s case, for example, embracing standardization across newly organized divisions helped them meet requirements for faster project roll-outs. 3 – Disruption is the perfect time to let go of bad habits If you are still facing monumental customization requirements and complex integrations, consider if you want that to be the case for the foreseeable future. Most executive leadership teams now understand the urgency around digital transformation. The ability to automate, standardize, and digitize workflows might be more important than the reasons your company is holding on to so many customizations. Most importantly, the strategic agility and speed you gain while meeting the bulk of your technical requirements could outweigh the expense and time involved in custom development work. A recent case in point: A Fortune 500 power generator and distributor in the US implemented a Documentum Asset Operations solution, primarily to manage their controlled documents in the Nuclear Power division. They now have a series of new capital projects to start this year. As their experience is typically to build custom solutions, they originally overlooked the cloud-based Documentum Capital Projects Express solution as an option for their project document control system. However, while they were evaluating Supplier Exchange, based on another customer’s recommendation, they also reviewed the Documentum Capital Projects Express (SaaS) solution and realized it was the perfect force factor to break their company’s excessive customization habit. Long custom development times had slowed their application roll-outs and impacted projects repeatedly. Rather than allowing inefficiencies to flourish, this customer is instead looking at the latest, cloud based content management solutions for a sound reason to simplify requirements. This is a significant culture change for the company, and I think it represents a challenge most larger organizations have when looking at SaaS based solutions rather than traditional enterprise software. The balance of lower cost and more price flexibility (due to subscription pricing) from cloud is only possible if companies accept that they cannot customize solutions. They can still gain additional functionality, but will need to wait for it from the cloud solution ‘roadmap’ rather than trying to build it at their own pace and schedule. Are these considerations for your organization?

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It’s Not About the Pill. It’s About the Patient

digital transformation

“Digital transformation”is one of today’s common buzzwords. What does that really mean? After all, in the content management world, we’ve been digitizing paper and automating business processes for years. So, what’s new? We know that digital transformation is about business strategy , not just technology. We’ve all seen the examples of “disruptive business models” like Uber, Amazon and Airbnb. Great, but they all used digital mediums to engage with the customers and provide a better customer experience. So, if technology does matter, where does it fit in? Today’s digital transformation is about connecting the dots and it’s based on content that is available throughout the organization and beyond. It’s about moving away from paper-based decision making to real-time decision making. It’s about leveraging both existing and real-time information to gain insight, make better decisions and to engage with customers in a way that drives business value and customer loyalty. So I was curious—what does digital transformation mean in Life Sciences today? Patents are expiring, competition is intense, and organizations are compelled to continually speed time-to-market for new medicines. Organizational responses vary, but most are adopting new business models, expanding globally, entering into alliances and partnerships, outsourcing, pursuing acquisitions—or all of these. Companies are executing on these initiatives against a backdrop of regulations and government reforms that are not only in a state of constant flux, but shift from one market to the next. How do organizations that are dealing with all these challenges, transform? It comes down to a single focus, the patient. The business strategy needs to shift to put the patient at the center of everything an organization does. It’s no longer about the pill, device, or medicine. It’s about Life Sciences organizations orienting themselves to bring safe, high-quality drugs to market faster at a lower cost. But that’s not all. It’s also about engaging with and educating doctors, patients, their families and caregivers to improve health and well-being in material ways. It’s not about the pill. It’s about the patient. Let’s look at three ways companies are shifting their focus and embracing technology to help drive transformation. 1. Patient Outcomes: According to McKinsey, “Payors and governments have an ever sharper focus on managing costs while delivering improved patient outcomes, putting an even greater onus on pharmaceutical companies to demonstrate the value of their drugs in the real world – not just in randomized controlled trials – if they are to retain market access and premium pricing.” The CEO of Novartis, sums it up well in this article where he says that companies must shift from a transactional approach to an outcomes-based approach. “Transactional means, for example, just selling a pill. An outcome approach focuses on delivering a positive patient outcome, of which that pill is one piece.” 2. Patient Monitoring: For Life Sciences companies to prove real-world health improvements, technology can be leveraged to gain insight. “…digitally enabled, ‘beyond the pill’ solutions, which include not only drugs but also sensors to collect and analyze data to monitor a patient’s condition between visits to healthcare providers. These are becoming critical to serving both parties’ needs. Such solutions drive the adherence to treatment and outcomes that payors and governments seek, and they generate the data that pharma companies need to demonstrate their drugs’ superior efficacy.” 3. Patient Engagement: Today, access to information is easily available. We can search out information at home and from our laptops, tablets and phones. Who among us hasn’t searched for health information on sites like WebMD at one time or another? In one survey, more than 85 percent of patient said they were confident in their ability to take responsibility for their health and knew how to access online resources to help them do so. Because of this, Life Sciences companies are expanding their use of websites to communicate information and engage with patients via chat and callback features. They are also embracing social media to engage and drive both peer-to-peer communication and communication between doctors and patients. These three things are just the start of what digital transformation means in Life Sciences. Today, Life Sciences organizations must find new ways to identify, prioritize and develop promising therapies more quickly; to leverage their existing (and rapidly growing) data to derive meaningful insight; and to maximize efficiency across the full drug lifecycle. They must also engage and communicate with patients, doctors and others to enable them to treat the whole patient and drive better outcomes. In short, it requires a business transformation that parallels the radical changes in the industry.

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Glimpse #1: A Sneak Peek at the New ECD Education Services

Education Services

In a relatively short period, based on human standards of time, we have dramatically changed the way we acquire information and the methods by which we learn. There are resources like Wikipedia and the Khan Academy that have fundamentally changed the way that learners, of all ages, can find, acquire, and interact along their path to learning. So, it should come as no surprise that ECD Education Services is not insulated from the need to adapt to these changing requirements. You are already familiar with the changes in the delivery availability of courses from classroom-based instructor-led courses to now include live on-line courses and pre-recorded virtual instructor-led courses. But, these are just the tip of the iceberg. We are beginning the changes to more fully adapt and respond to the needs of our customers, partners, and internal team members. The team is actively working to redefine itself in the face of these new needs. Our solution is to give you more. You will continue to be able to get all the training content, in the training formats, that you have always received PLUS we will be announcing new offerings, new bundles, and new services that will add to what we already provide. To start your sneak peek, take a look at the Training Insights playlist. There will be more announcements coming over the next several months. Be sure to follow us to stay up-to-date on all the changes. You can also leave a comment on this post.

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The Future of Information: It’s Time to Rethink ECM

ECM has evolved. It’s about more than just information governance. A new way to work means that ECM should foster collaboration, increase productivity, and deliver insights based on enterprise information. With new capabilities and improved features, Content Suite 16 is ECM reimagined. Rethinking ECM We’ve added new capabilities to OpenText™ Content Suite 16, including: Connected Workspaces: Workspaces connect content management to business processes and fundamentally change the way ECM is planned, resulting in unified information silos and better collaboration for true connectivity gains. New Content Server User Interface (UI): A new intuitive UI for OpenText Content Suite and Extended ECM has responsive capabilities, role-based views, access to most recent documents, and many more new features to make users more productive and collaborative. Our new UI delivers deeper engagement with connected and consistent experiences and increased security via role-based access to information. Analytics Integration: Suite-wide integration of analytics for real-time query or batch download of data from OpenText ECM solutions results in cognitive abilities for richer layers of business insight. Integrated Social Capabilities: End-to-end lifecycle management of new disruptive content formats (like social) with added capabilities for users to interact with content improves collaboration and enriches search, deepening engagement and helping to ensure the security and protection of corporate IP/information. Enterprise Search with InfoFusion: Conduct scalable, secure, permissions-based searches for content from multiple enterprise systems by leveraging content analytics and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) identification. Additional features and capabilities in this release of OpenText Content Suite include auto classification for massive archiving projects, a built-in HTML 5 viewer, drag-and-drop email support, dashboard reporting, enhanced compliance and security, and integration with OpenText CORE, making file sharing and external collaboration in the Cloud a natural extension of the OpenText Content Suite environment. It’s time to rethink ECM. OpenText Content Suite 16 offers so much more above and beyond robust information governance. With enterprise search, deep ERP and analytics integration, and availability in the Cloud, our customers will be able to increase productivity while lowering costs. OpenText Content Suite 16 has everything an information company needs to control and protect their information. Once this is accomplished, information processes can be effectively digitized. This is the topic of my next blog in this series. Find out more: www.opentext.com/16.  

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Yes, We Really Mean Change – Case Study in Digital Transformation

digital transformation

When I think of digital transformation, two quotes come to mind: “the light bulb was not invented by continuously improving the candle,” and Henry Ford’s famous statement, “if I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” While these two sayings are simple, they are profound in the sense that they show how change requires out-of-the-box thinking and strong leadership with a clear vision. Digital transformation is a business-led transformation that ultimately targets the underlying business model of an organization. True transformation, to me, is really a horizontal play that means significant change across all verticals or industries. Internally within organizations, its impact is equally broad, affecting multiple lines of business and divisions. From my perspective in the enterprise content management world, it is content that can make or break digital transformation. Poor content hygiene, the inability to share customer information amidst data isolation, and enterprise-wide data dumping are just a few content issues that can hold companies back from transformational change. I’d like to share four thoughts on approaching your digital changes, by grounding them in sound content management practices. Setting Objectives In a report published a year ago, Bain & Company stated that the insurance industry has “been slow to adopt digital tools and business models, relative to other industries.” Competition is relentless, and the industry is changing with increased activity by opportunistic start-ups. For one of our insurance customers, new competition drove the focus of their digital transformation, centered upon the experience of their customers. Leveraging advances in analytics, mobility and social media, this customer has already seen a change in how its own customers interact with their services and people. In their case, they defined several transformation objectives to guide what aspects of people, business and IT would need to be addressed. Objectives included directives like “drive growth through lifetime relationships with customers and acquisition of new customers,” and “drive efficiencies to improve customer value and margins.” Clearly defining your objectives is a solid first step. As we all know from the content management world, it’s not one sudden big bang change that is most impactful, especially for enterprises with heavy legacy investments. Digital transformation success is driven by prioritizing what matters most to the business, then setting objectives that responsibly change everything else to center upon reaching these objectives. Finding a Use Case When we look at business drivers for digital transformation, these can include improving your customer experience, refining your operational processes, and adapting new business models that meet the market requirements of your industry. For this customer focusing on improving customer experience, they started by gaining a better understanding of their customer specific wants and needs. A key step was to define a use case for customers. They identified prospects who want to educate themselves about financial plan options, and who need help choosing between different offerings their company provides. These users expect to resolve their questions by visiting the company Web site from any digital device, and interacting with company representatives and content across different channels. Starting with this use case view ensured the technological shifts required would tie back nicely to overall objectives. Defining a use case overall helps decision making to avoid what AIIM President John Mancini calls a “digital landfill.” Content starts to become prioritized based on who will use it, how, and most importantly, why. Drawing from ECM Experience The next part is exciting for me — helping customers apply our 25 years of industry leadership to bring their use cases to life. This is when our enterprise content management (ECM) frameworks provide the strategy, governance, and steps that are the “secret sauce” to making transformation successful. For this customer case, through our experience set and tools, we homed in a few pragmatic principles: Make ECM Transparent Connect Content and Process Fuel Adoption by Delighting Users Securing Sharing with Outside Users Your Own Pace of Change to Improve Operations What’s important to note is that no single recipe fits everyone. It is a known fact that the pace of digital transformation varies from company to company. This is largely attributed to the pace of change and level of maturity within an organization from a digital perspective. That said, new agile development practices and mobile app designs can help any enterprise trial prototypes faster to find the right solutions. Some companies are still doing the basics, and others have already transformed various aspects of their business. An assessment of your digital maturity is critical to clearly map out a path for your transformation. Working with experienced professionals can expedite and simplify your transformation, as well as help you leverage investments you have already made in existing infrastructure or technology. What are your digital transformation objectives? Where does content fit to enable those objectives? Share your feedback below.

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Mobile is Easier Than You Think: 3 Real-Life Lessons Learned


An overwhelming consensus of companies trying to extend their reach and increase engagement with customers, employees and staff, agree that mobile is – or will be – critical to their success as an organization. Bringing the business closer to where work is actually performed is a foundational theme within today’s digital business strategies. Exchanging information, interacting with processes, and making decisions could all be more effective through mobile. But many large enterprises face a quandary – where and how to start? I am fortunate to work every day at exactly this key intersection between the important vision of digital and the pragmatic need to deliver improvements now. Just this month, our Mobile Practice is busy delivering on a use case that helps customers deliver similar solutions for their content management pain points. Here are three high lessons learned from our efforts prototyping and delivering an app to a Documentum customer in a month. I hope this helps you think about where and how you can get started. 1 – Align with your company’s core objectives Our customer has been at the forefront of green initiatives and has a core objective to eliminate paper. As the property assessment division for a major US county, moving away from physical documents was no small task. Yet from the top down, the group stayed aligned on stopping waste, inaccuracies, and the time delays brought on by paper-based content management. When looking for a mobile solution, we first discussed what else could help drive to their environmentally-friendly objective. Our customer’s first approach to institute Documentum some years ago covered the bulk of their going green requirements. Adding D2 helped as well. But there are still opportunities to drive further efficiencies and reduce cost as they digitize their workflows and capture new information. 2 – Find the end user pain point Through conversations with key stakeholders, we began helping the customer identify end user experiences. Why are some still using paper? Where could work get done better, faster, or cheaper? Where do problems with data quality start? It quickly became clear that assessors sent out to view properties were feeling pain. We took a look at their day-to-day workload: To determine a land lot, subdivision or house value, the assessors must collect case files that include architecture diagrams, permit requests and other key documents On property sites, sometimes hours away, they need to capture notes, photographs, and observations Back at county offices, the field content must be merged with system case files, whether copy/pasting from digital device notes, uploading photos, etc. That is a lot of work! We identified this as a potential mobile use case — to make it fast, secure, and easy for these assessors to do their job more efficiently. With the app user defined, we could then optimize for this specific job role. We developed and shared an interactive prototype that the customer’s end users can touch and feel, to try out functionality and adjust as needed. Most importantly, we tied all the end user mobile app functionality right back into the customer’s business process, to avoid delays or manual work. 3 – Marry mobility with revenue streams For this customer use case, the end user base of assessors has a very real impact on the department’s business. The faster and more effectively homes can be appraised, the more quickly property improvements can be made. The end result is faster time-to-tax-income on the newly appraised properties. As you consider your company’s core objectives and content management end user pain points, look for opportunities to streamline revenue streams while improving your customer service. A faster turnaround on a loan application or a power plant transformer review may ultimately increase efficiencies that are positively felt throughout your value chain. Consider as well how to get more from your technology investments. We were able to build segregated user profiles on this customer’s iPads so the devices could be shared across many team members. As each assessor heads out for the day, a county-owned device is brought with, but only that assessor’s content and apps are portrayed once they login. This approach reuses existing hardware, and the new app taps into existing Documentum instances, to leverage the most from the customer’s investments. It also saves end users time, as work ‘appears’ when they login, and ‘disappears’ as they check back in at the office. A complete audit trail is maintained and record integrity is protected through Documentum automatically. As you can see, going mobile for content management is actually much easier than many people think. If you are looking for digital transformation, finding the right mobile app use case can be a straightforward and impactful place to start. What’s holding you back from applying mobile to solve your content management challenges? What sector are you in and what’s your use case? Are these “lessons learned” helpful? Share your feedback below.

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Asia First Impressions: Hungry to Excel

Digital transformation Asia

I recently moved from Silicon Valley, California to Australia in a new role supporting ECD customers across Japan and Asia Pacific. What has struck me to date is the number of high caliber customers in this region who are leveraging enterprise content management (ECM) solutions, and their eagerness to learn and excel. Here are a few first such impressions, which may be somewhat biased as a reflection of my new arrival status. I hope they are nonetheless helpful to other customers, since we are all likely to learn from our similarities and differences. What’s Different – Learning & Cloud Adoption It’s no surprise that when viewed on a per capita basis, one finds the university-to-population ratios of Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia-New Zealand higher than those of the US and France (Source: Shorelight Education). The willingness to try new things and absorb new ideas is palpable here. Our customers in this region are already adept at partnering with multinationals  like OpenText to collaborate and learn quickly. This is something I personally appreciate, since I have always believed the way to become successful in any region and any business is for a provider and customer to partner together. What’s also different here, compared to the US for example, is the pace of cloud adoption. It feels faster here than in other markets. Perhaps it is industries with less regulated content, but it seems that many enterprises are ready to migrate data to a private or public cloud. I think this is driven, in part, by the growing volume of content, as well as target market compliance regulations that require retaining and managing content for longer periods of time. What’s very exciting to me is knowing that our Enterprise Content Division (ECD) is pursuing a strategy that directly aligns with these customer needs. We can tap into our global consultants or specialists to help on compliance issues, and our InfoArchive solution handles extreme levels of data. Our partners here in this diverse and broad region are helping tremendously to support our customers’ growth. Some Commonalities – Digital Transformation & Compliance As I meet with local business leaders, their focus is clear — business growth and how to adopt best practices that deliver competitive advantage (back to our observation about eagerness to learn). Digital transformation is a common topic of conversation as a powerful concept that can be studied and mastered as a tool for driving growth. It’s no wonder Forrester principal analyst Cheryl McKinnon in her report, “Five Key Trends That Are Shaping How We Manage Enterprise Content” identified digital business as the first of its trends, emphasizing the need to share content across the extended enterprise. This seems to be a universal phenomenon that will fuel the world’s most powerful future economics. This seems to be a universal phenomenon that will fuel the world’s most powerful future economics. For some in the region, business growth is occurring through expansion into America and Europe. Regulatory compliance in those markets is more complex and embedded in business systems. Through technical innovations in content management, these customers can deliver to state or national legislative bodies, while still keeping their enterprise profitable. This is a balance that many companies worldwide have mastered, with the help of our technologies and services. In India, it is the government forging ahead with Digital India to “transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” Much of this effort engages proven concepts and best practices we use consistently with customers worldwide. Also in India, major pharmaceutical companies are looking at digital transformation to expedite compliance with drug manufacturing requirements abroad. We can partner with these Indian organizations to grow their business, as they aim to supply key drugs globally. We have addressed these challenges before, as Middle East-based manufacturers entered the US, or American pharma targeted key European markets, all using Documentum. Forrester principal analyst Tim Sheedy, writing about the Australian tech sector, (Australian Tech Market Outlook, 2016 To 2017 ”, notes that business units are spending more of their budgets on technology.  This is consistent with Silicon Valley’s ongoing drive for innovation.  I have had numerous conversations across the Asia Pacific region in the Life Sciences sector and manufacturing about helping optimize content submissions and how ECM workflows can be made more efficient – all through technical innovations. Like many of our customers, some enterprises I have met with view the road ahead to realize digital transformation as full of unknowns. They are talking to us about how to make key decisions on what to take to the cloud and what to keep on mainframes, for example. Another common issue is how to decommission applications while ensuring the data is managed accordingly to laws and regulations. These are the moments where I realize that the long journey over oceans and land was worth it, because we have solved these kinds of problems before. Having the experience of working with some of the world’s largest banks and manufacturers makes it far easier for me to find common ground, despite the differences. Does your enterprise face any of the issues I have shared? Are you using OpenText ECD solutions to increase efficiencies or handle regulations? What’s unique about your region or use case? Share your comments below.

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Enterprise World Highlights: ECM Evolves and Heads Into the Cloud


And, we’re back in 3…2…1: Happy August! After a few crazy months book-ended by the most extensive product release in OpenText history and a truly insightful, inspiring week at Enterprise World 2016, I’ve been able to make the most of a nice vacation and reflect a bit on how our annual flagship event both summarized and expanded on the happenings of the first half of the year. Interest in the Cloud is Exploding While it’s no secret that the cloud is becoming a priority for many organizations, I was amazed to see just how much interest in it had mushroomed from last Enterprise World to this one. Cloud-based breakout sessions such as Enterprise Managed Services in the OpenText Cloud and Top Questions you need to ask when Upgrading ECM to the Cloud were standing room only in Nashville. A marked increase from last year and a remarkable progression from two years ago when cloud breakouts were more of a curiosity than a must-see. My main observation from talking with the attendees at this year’s cloud-focused sessions? It’s clear that, while many organizations are still just getting their feet wet, most see an ECM future that involves fully harnessing the power of cloud-based solutions. Furthermore, the current and proposed use cases I had the pleasure of hearing about are as endless as, well, a cloud-dotted sky. Organizations are utilizing the cloud to focus on everything from the tactical—freeing up ECM administration resources—to enterprise-level strategic initiatives designed to push innovation on new business solutions. It was also noteworthy that these discussions were consistently peppered with the sort of benefit statements CFOs like to hear; things like lowering capital costs and shifting to more economical SaaS-structured payment models. The cloud devotees have really been doing their homework! Re-Thinking ECM is Definitely a “Thing” The role of ECM is changing and organizations are successfully shifting to viewing ECM in a new light. This year, I had strikingly fewer discussions devoted to traditional ECM terms like storage, compliance, governance, and records management. Customer emphasis is now on how to best elevate ECM solutions to enhance productivity for processes and people. Optimal governance is just expected. My take on this: ECM has matured and many organizations are comfortable with the baseline management of the content currently under the purview of their ECM platforms. Existing ECM implementations are doing their job storing content and ensuring that information is following the appropriate governance path throughout its lifecycle. The general feeling is, that’s fine, but not enough. Most of the customers that I spoke to are now looking for ECM to do more as they target digital transformation in a post-analog world. The reasons? They’re bang-on in envisioning a new competitive and customer service landscape where ALL the digital data in an organization has to be easily accessible to play a symbiotic role in success. And they’re not exactly eager to approach the powers that be with capital requests for new platforms and technologies to try and achieve it. Hence, questions revolved around accomplishing this by extending the reach of their tried-and-true ECM platforms further into business processes and collaborative activities. At times I felt like a hi-tech relationship counsellor as discussions delved into methods to facilitate better communication between Oracle and Salesforce or why it’s critical for structured and unstructured information to come together to contribute to a common goal. Bottom line: all this, and much more, is possible with new advances in ECM capabilities. We can show you how. Of course, Enterprise World made for the perfect forum to host these discussions. A host of product experts, customer roundtables, demo pods, and over 200 breakout sessions provided ample opportunity to gain a better understanding of extending the value of ECM to transform your organization. If you couldn’t make it, we’ve got that covered, too. Kick off your journey into re-thinking the role of ECM while exploring the possibilities.

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Making Your ECM Worry-Free

ECM worry free

Back in 2005 I worked at a Software as a service (or SaaS) startup in the human capital management space. Large enterprise customers were worried about purchasing SaaS – because of data security risks, compliance with employee data privacy laws, and general wariness about the long-term sustainability of the SaaS model and therefore, our company in general. I spent countless hours responding to in-depth technical security questionnaires – some longer than 20 pages. Customers basically wanted to know, “Is my data going to be safe? Really? Can you prove it?” Fast-forward to 2016 and companies like Salesforce.com and NetSuite have over a decade of success under their belt, so most people agree SaaS is here to stay. Customers in compliance-driven verticals like healthcare and financial services have come to trust Software as a service with their data. In fact, according to Forrester’s 2015 Global Business Technographics software survey, 51% of global software decision makers have made it a high or critical priority to increase their use of SaaS¹. And as for sustainability – nowadays you probably wouldn’t want to do business with a software company that doesn’t have a cloud offering. If you run a large enterprise content management system, data security – even in your on-premises systems – is just one of many things keeping you up at night. But even if the cloud is a lock-box for your data, is it really worth moving to the cloud? With Documentum as a Service or DaaS – the answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, transferring your traditional on-premise ECM to DaaS will help you rest easy. Here’s how: We provide transition services that ensure everything gets moved correctly into your new SaaS instance of the software with minimal business disruption – and you keep the same features, functionality, customizations and integrations you have today. Our transition team is ready to keep up with the pace of change that you’re comfortable with. Instead of different teams pointing fingers at each other when things don’t work – we are responsible for the success of our technology – with Service Level Agreements. On average DaaS customers experience an 81% reduction with Severity 1 and Severity 2 incidents, and a 16% improvement in application performance. But the best thing about moving to DaaS is the operational and economic impact it will have on your business. Customers who have switched to Documentum Cloud have reported operational cost savings of 20% – 40%. And no longer do you need to worry about budgeting money and resources for upgrades – with DaaS – that’s all handled by us. DaaS frees up your IT resources for adapting Documentum to the needs of your business instead of keeping your system up and running. And yes the data is secure – I won’t give you the 20 page version, but DaaS is SSAE 16 compliant and physical security in our data centers includes 24-hour manned security, dedicated concrete-walled data center rooms, equipment in access-controlled steels cages, and video surveillance. ¹”TechRadar™: Software-As-A-Service, Q3 2016”, Forrester Research, Inc., July 13, 2016

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It’s not About the Technology; It’s About the Strategy


No matter what the industry, any company that deals with customers has reached a critical point in the evolution of their organization. Transformation to a new way of doing business is happening faster than ever before. Those who have denied or failed to prepare for this evolution are left behind, scrambling to catch up or keep up. In the ever-evolving digital age, I don’t see a single industry free of the disruption risk. It’s a risk borne not so much out of the business models of companies such as Uber, but rather in the industry invading strategy being skillfully executed by one of the digital world’s leading players. I’ve personally grown a bit tired with the example of Uber and the taxi industry. In my opinion, the most relevant current illustration of digital transformation is the ubiquitous Amazon. Not only because Amazon was born, by the measure of the business technology timeline, ages ago (1994 to be exact), but primarily because of the company’s ability to regularly and consistently reach in and disrupt a vast range of industries. Amazon, as we all know, started with Books, then CDs and DVDs. Later, they added software, furniture, jewelry and almost everything you could think to buy to their offering. Recently, they’ve started competing in the food supermarket space with an online grocery delivery option. However, who would have thought that Amazon was going to be a star during this year’s Cannes festival presenting 5 movies? This might not come as a surprise for those who closely follow this medium and know  Amazon recently acquired the rights to stream big budget drama “Manchester by the Sea,” outbidding industry giants as Universal, Sony and Fox in an auction early this year. These companies can now be numbered among the many across industries that Amazon has surprised. Let’s look at the example of my friend who owns and operates a city tour company that focuses on visiting historical buildings and locations around Spain. His is unlike the tourist bus tours you can find in almost every city, but a more personalized experience, spending a full day with a group of 40-50 people. We were discussing the impact of disruption in every market and he told me, “We will not suffer any impact in the next 20 years…we do something different.” This answer has become all too typical, with businesses in denial about transition in their industry because “We are unique and these are my customers.” As it turns out, two days later I found an interesting article that gained my attention “Airbnb begins testing City Hosts program to give guests guided one-of-a-kind experiences.” Of course, I immediately shared the link with my friend and received a one word response: “Interesting.” I’m sure he now may be beginning to feel now his business could be in danger. With Airbnb running their beta programs in San Francisco, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo, it’s only a matter of time before Madrid will be added to that list. For my friend, the time to react is now. Sure enough, this week he called to ask me which technology he should use to transform his business. My answer to him was as follows: Technology is not the solution; it’s only the enabler. You see, during the last 15 years, I‘ve seen many customers use the same Documentum technology and get completely different results based on one key factor: strategy. Further, I’ve witnessed the same company follow a renewed strategy using Documentum technology on-premises and in the cloud, thanks to our “Documentum as a Service” offering, and achieve vastly enhanced results and benefits, something I will talk about in future posts. So in the end, or perhaps more accurately, at the beginning, it is primarily about strategy. For my friend, strategy centers on understanding who his digital customers are, where he can engage with them and how he can develop a different type of relationship to provide a great experience. Once he understands this, we will discuss the technology can support his new strategy. Do you know companies who are focusing on the technology and forget about the strategy?  Where is your business on the transformation journey?

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Sharing Experiences in the Energy Industry

Energy industry

Over the past couple of months, we have had some great opportunities to bring customers together and share experiences. Talking with customers, hearing about their challenges, and working to better understand the value that our solutions and technologies deliver is one of the best parts of my job, but providing a forum for customers to talk to one another is a completely different experience. It Started in Vegas No, this isn’t another sequel to The Hangover. Our few months of watching customers interact with one another started at Momentum 2016. While there was plenty of discussion throughout the entire week, the highlight was on Monday, when we kicked off our Energy & Engineering track with an industry panel discussion. This year’s industry panel featured several customers and partners, as well as a few industry veterans. While we started off with some planned discussion topics around digital transformation, the conversation quickly moved to being driven by the customers in attendance, both on the panel and in the audience. The customers discussed how they are managing to keep their businesses profitable in today’s economy, how Operational Excellence programs are more important today than ever to reduce costs and maximize efficiencies, and the role of IT enabling their businesses to succeed. Let’s Meet in Houston Last month, we reinstituted an event that used to be a regular tradition with Documentum customers in Houston, the Momentum User Group meeting. With an agenda driven by – you guessed it – customers, we met for an entire morning last month to give our customers a chance to learn, share, and ask questions. In addition to a couple of customer-led presentations, sharing their information management strategies and initiatives, we again featured a customer and partner industry panel to discuss many of the same topics that we covered in Las Vegas. Like Momentum, the conversation quickly became driven by our customers, with familiar topics like digital transformation, cloud initiatives, and operational excellence dominating the discussion. The feedback we received from our customers at this event was excellent! In fact, a few folks mentioned that it would be nice to extend the meeting by another hour or two for even more interaction and networking. We will be helping our customers “continue the conversation” by working with them to schedule future events for this community. This meeting was a great start! It’s a Global Economy, so Virtual Meet-ups Were Next The reality is that not all customers are able to join us in Las Vegas or in Houston, so we kicked off a series of virtual roundtables last month as well. During these sessions we met up, Google Hangout-style with a select number of customers. The format worked, enabling customers to both share and listen to others experiencing the same challenges. A special shout-out to these customers, as they were extremely open and provided great detail about their operational excellence initiatives. Helping customers share experiences and best practices remains an important part of our role as a solution and technology provider. Our industry solutions represent this collaboration, but I really appreciate the interaction, the shared experiences, and the new learnings directly. And no, we’re not done with these initiatives. Momentum Barcelona is October 31st – November 3rd There are several Customer.NEXT events scheduled in the U.S. throughout October (for those in the Oil & Gas industry, please plan to join us in Austin, Texas). For those that weren’t able to join us in person, let’s continue the conversation here (leave a comment).

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3 Misperceptions About Content Management and FinTech


One particular section of my Momentum presentation seems to have deeply resonated with the audience – how our perceptions can hold back progress. In many institutions and enterprises, I have noticed a way of thinking that, unless swiftly altered, might bring down the greatest of brands or the largest of banks. Much of it centers around the FinTech phenomena, but it is also intertwined with recent trends toward evolving IT to become more business-centric.Here are three misconceptions of digital transformation that I encounter across the banking sector, and how one might think differently to carve out a lucrative future: 1 – It is just a new tech revolution For any technology to be successful, it needs to begin with addressing business requirements. Digital transformation may involve technologies to implement upon a strategy, but first it is about creating new business models. This means adapting to new or different needs of your customers – especially customer segments you expect to increase in volume or revenue percentage. (As I noted in my presentation, Millennials are key to future growth). Start to identify new business opportunities by breaking down your value chain and creating greater customer pools and engagements. Only after that is clear, begin finding innovative and/or reliable technologies to implement your plan. 2 – It’s just a new way to introduce mobile channels to existing platforms — in other words, just a new way to do old things! Certainly mobile users are important, and the ability to serve functionality through devices is a new baseline (“mobile first”). But this misses the bigger opportunity mentioned in the first misperception above — that transformation is about you finding new ways to do new things. In today’s app-centric, fast-moving, time-sensitive world, customers evaluate you against their latest experience. This may not be another bank providing a mortgage approval in two weeks. It may, in fact, be an Alibaba or PayPal offering lines of credit at the touch of a button. They may have powerful capabilities to offer these services because they already eliminated customer charges and banking branch costs when they crafted their business model to begin with. Mobile functionality is important, but again, only after you understand customer segments and your role in the value chain. 3 – It’s a threat against our core business and we need to protect against it As with any market disruptive activity, the effects are not all negative or all positive. Yes, customer-centric FinTech start-ups can quickly tear down your revenue streams. But simply defending against such competitors can miss your grand opportunity to reinvent your business for the better. Specifically, digital transformation can open up new cost efficiencies. As you reposition yourself in your customer’s value chain, consider how to implement: Automated processes to expedite customer services while reducing staffing and overhead costs (how about that mortgage approval process?) Third party service plug-ins or partnerships that negate the need to perform in house development and testing, while helping retain your most lucrative customers or deliver exciting innovations Infrastructure cost reduction, perhaps by moving some applications to a cloud model or decommissioning legacy apps and migrating data to regulatory-compliant systems Looking at digital transformation as a way to catalyze your content management efforts is a step in the right direction. It is precisely this movement to the digital transformation wave that offers an opportunity to change your relationship with customers and the technologies that solidify that relationship.

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Digital Transformation in Training and Change Management


As software moves to the cloud, as technology accelerates the pace of change yet again, as new solutions to old problems are implemented, there is still one critical factor that has changed very little, and because of this can disappear into the background … the user. Humans, despite cultural tags like millennials or baby boomers, are surprisingly similar. We like those tags for noting cultural differences, but the humans along with those tags continue to prove, research study after research study, to share a lot of similarities. With software in the cloud, complexity is being moved out of the data centers and out of the customer’s business, but it is having an increasing impact on the user community. In the older on-premises software model, it was possible for end-user training and change management to slowly evolve over time. Internal knowledge resources would be developed, circulated, and continuously improved. But modern on-premises and cloud-based models do not allow for this slow evolution, distribution, and passing of knowledge. Even with on-premise solutions, the complexity of the software and the security threats inherent in the modern internet require a nearly constant stream of updates. The major difference between modern on-premise and cloud-based software is whose technical team is applying the updates, not whether or not the updates are being done. All of this creates uncertainty in the end-user communities. The enterprise applications that they depend upon to do their jobs are often changing right out from under them. This requires a dramatic rethinking of training and change management. We are facing the same challenges in Education Services. One major consideration is the need to evolve from a training as an event to training as a process mindset. A critical component to any learning is repetition. In the slower models, repetition was built into the very work that users did on a daily basis. They didn’t really consider repeating training, because by the time the next upgrade was due, the system would be dramatically different. It simply isn’t so. Training is no longer the component that could be pulled from the plan without significant risk. Training is becoming a cost of doing business. It is good to remember the meme, “CFO: What happens if we train people and they leave? CEO: Yeah, but what happens if we don’t train people and they stay?” Do you engage in regular training, or encourage your team to continuously add to their skill sets? Share comments below.

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