Enterprise Content Management

Face-to-Face vs. Digital: Finding the Right Balance in Customer Experience is an Art

CXDay

I like shopping at Nordstrom. No, I love shopping at Nordstrom. And it recently occurred to me that part of my attraction to Nordstrom is their ability to provide a perfect balance for my shopping experience. One day, I might be in one of their stores, feeling the fabrics and breathing in the joy of a fabulous find. Another day, I might be on the move. But Nordstrom offers an online shopping experience that is practical and effective. Finding that balance between face-to-face and digital engagement is key to providing a quality customer experience in today’s marketplace. Some might argue that salespeople are no longer needed, that people are doing their research up front so there is no need to talk to someone. But is that the case with B2B marketing? I don’t think so. I think the most effective B2B marketers find that right mix of handshakes and digital experience. BY THE NUMBERS A Forbes survey a few years ago found that 85 percent of responders felt that in-person business meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships, and 77 percent said they preferred those meetings because of the ability to read body language and facial expression. 85 percent of responders felt that in-person business meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships. Conversely, 92 percent acknowledged that technology-enabled meetings save time, and 88 percent agreed that they save money. The study found that a majority of the business executives thought the ideal meeting/conference execution strategy combined both in-person and technology-enabled meetings. Face-to-face marketing and virtual communication have definite benefits. Face-to-face interaction helps forge relationships that lead to long-lasting business connections, and digital experience ensures dialogue continues on a more frequent basis. So, before we begin any ECD marketing program we take the time to examine the underlying business objectives, outline clear goals and metrics, and proceed with a strategy that enables the best customer experience outcome. We strongly believe it requires a mix of the two. A TIME OF CELEBRATION So, what better time to celebrate engagement of all types then, CX Day. CXDay is a global celebration of the customer experience and the thousands of customer experience professionals that make it happen. CXDay is a perfect example of utilizing both personal and digital engagement. We will be in NYC at Customer.Next celebrating our customers and hosting a webinar, sharing learnings on our  customer’s experience.  LET’S TALK Has your business found the right balance between face-to-face and digital engagement? Maybe it has – today. But continuing to find that right balance tomorrow – and beyond – is key to the success of your business.

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The Benefits of a Customer-Centric Culture

Customer-Centric

Customer Experience can mean different things to different people. In the Marketing world, there’s a debate about whether a CMO should now be called the Chief Customer Officer. There is also an ongoing discussion about whether today’s organizations actually require this dedicated Chief Customer Officer. There can be arguments both for and against, but in my experience being customer-centric and maintaining a continual focus on improving the customer experience is a necessity for any organization looking to move forward as a digital enterprise. So, assuming that the CCO becomes the newest office in the C-Suite, what qualifications would this person need to possess? The job description can include storyteller, politician, diplomat, digital futurist, customer advocate and human duct tape, just to get started. If this varied definition of skills isn’t enough, there is no shortage of others weighing in on the qualifications. And, while these qualifications are diverse and impressive, much of the CCO or CMO’s real work centers around the culture he or she needs to help nurture and build. Because, it is only through a company-wide commitment that an organization can effectively meet its customers’ increasingly complex needs on the frontline every day. Successful companies create an echo chamber of customer centricity, where everyone from customer service and accounts payable representatives to the C-Level team understands how they influence experiences that will help customers thrive. They recognize that every employee has the opportunity to play a part, to positively influence customer experiences when supported by a culture that allows each person to be the solution, not part of the problem or simply a bottleneck. We continue to proactively engage with our customer base, both digitally and in person. Over the coming months, we will provide a number of opportunities for our customers to interact with both their peers and various team members from ECD. Placing the customer at the heart of what we do is something we take very seriously and focus on every day. We invite you to learn more about how you can engage with us as well as share your feedback and suggestions, by posting on this blog. In our minds, every day is CX Day, and today we want to take an extra moment to pause and say thank you. Your feedback, input and passion around the software and solutions we create is tremendous. We appreciate your trust in us. We take that commitment seriously. And, we look forward to our next chapter and to continuing this journey together.

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InfoArchive – From Information to Knowledge

InfoArchive

Recently I traveled to Pleasanton to work with the InfoArchive team. I arrived late and checked into my hotel. While relaxing and flipping through the TV I stumbled onto an early 90’s Robert Redford movie called Sneakers (by Universal Pictures). Taking place in Silicon Valley, the movie focuses on NSA sponsored technological espionage. Essentially, steal technology that can decode, monitor and listen to any kind of communication. The premise made me chuckle in an ironic way! After all, this is, what, twenty years before Snowden? Beyond the plotline, what really grabbed my attention was a line spoken by Redford’s character, which I found rather pertinent to today. He talked about a war, a world war, that wasn’t about who has the most bullets, but about who controls the information. When I think about InfoArchive, I always focus on information, both content and data. The multitude of data types and large amounts of information that can be ingested into the archiving platform takes precedent. Yet, the real power of InfoArchive is what you can do with this information after ingestion. To unleash this power, you’ll need access to this information to use it. Despite this, we still need to fight against the corporate philosophy of information control that limits access. Nevertheless, innovative companies are developing strategies not to hide or restrict access to information in silos but to provide information as quickly as possible to business units, analysts and individuals. These companies are transforming more rapidly than their siloed competitors by allowing greater access to structured data and unstructured content. The recent release of InfoArchive 4.1 and it’s healthcare version – Clinical Archiving – has made accessing and leveraging information easier than ever before. Risks There are inherent risks to providing open access to information. However, I believe informed employees can see the difference between right and wrong. Naturally, mistakes can happen with access to unfiltered information and some may attempt to exploit information for their personal gain. Thankfully, we have the ability to decide for ourselves how to use information, which can empower employees and provide great strategic value to the company. The recent release of InfoArchive 4.1 and it’s healthcare version, Clinical Archiving, provides greater access to helpful information while simultaneously allowing governance controls. Currently, InfoArchive delivers retention and disposition, masking of PII, litigation hold, chain of custody, user based access and access logs. This way, companies can maintain compliance and monitor access logs. So providing access to information via InfoArchive poises much less risk than providing direct access to production or legacy applications. InfoArchive New Features With InfoArchive 4.1, customers have more accessibility options: Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) Support for Elastic Cloud Storage, which enables greater accessibility by intelligent devices, provides analytics ready storage and infinite scalability. Synchronous Ingestion With Synchronous Ingestion, data and records are instantly ingested upon completion, providing knowledge workers with the ability to access static data and content immediately. Wait times for ingestion cycles are now gone, improving employee productivity thanks instant data recall. Data Export The data export capabilities of InfoArchive are enhanced, offering greater flexibility for producing reports and content sets. Selected information can be displayed and exported in common formats, including PDF, CSV, XML, JSON or HTML. Clinical Archiving Provides several enhancements for greater accessibility, flexibility and control. The features in Clinical Archiving 2.0 include: HIMVision A new user interface application designed for HIM organization. It provides a view of patient archived with the ability to amend information within the archive. HIMVision includes a “Release of Information” mechanism so all or a part of the patient’s archived information can be exported or printed. ArchiveVision Enhancements ArchiveVision, the clinician user interface application, offers two new perspectives that enhance the user experience. These perspectives are: Snapshot – which offers a simple a quick overview of medications, allergies, history, etc. and Timeline – which presents the patient’s record in a chronological order. Patient Privacy Patient records may contain sensitive information specific to an individual’s condition. Clinical Archiving 2.0 offers a means to configure and enforce the patient’s preferences for privacy. For example, the patient may wish to set limits on which providers are allowed to view the patient’s psychiatric documents. Single Item Archiving Occasionally, a single document may need to be added to a patient’s archive. This feature allows IT to do so without waiting for the next official archiving session. Knowledge is Power In the modern world of business, the saying “knowledge is power” bodes more true than ever before. With the absorption of more information, hospitals can provide greater care for patients, businesses can address a client’s needs faster and customers can identify self-service access to their information. However, as Robert Redford in Sneakers suggested, it isn’t about who has the most ammunition, it is what information we have and how it is used. With the help of InfoArchive and its medical sibling Clinical Archiving, businesses around the world can maintain vital information easily, offer greater protection to their clients, patients and customers, while ensuring information governance. This should help everyone breathe just a little bit easier. To learn more about InfoArchive and its medical sibling Clinical Archiving please visit our InfoArchive page.

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ECM Success in the Real World, Part 1: Document Management

ECM

With everyone turning their attention back to work after enjoying the hazy days of summer, I thought it would be a good time for a series of blogs that rekindle the discussion around success with ECM, what it means, and how to achieve it. The reason: Regardless of your type of organization, positioning your ECM environment to drive digital transformation and generate the most value for the enterprise has to be a priority over the rest of the decade. For many, it will mean the difference between competitive triumph and faded irrelevance. For starters, let’s head back to July, where our annual Enterprise World conference offered a wide variety of business and technical insights into the why and how of ECM success. As is always the case, some of the best came from sessions featuring OpenText customers. These are the folks who have already integrated elements of OpenText™ Content Suite into their existing infrastructure and made tangible progress toward realizing their ECM goals. They’ve experienced the real-world opportunities, challenges, and gains first-hand. Integrated real estate company DDR Corp. is a perfect example. Headquartered just outside of Cleveland, DDR owns and manages over 113 million square feet of retail space across the US. Efficiently servicing their large pool of tenants means managing a sizable amount of legally binding documents, as well as coordinating the physical and electronic triggers related to each. In addition, as a publicly traded, self-administered REIT, DDR has extensive compliance requirements. Their road to ECM success through digital document management is textbook. IT VP Kim Scharf has been visionary in driving process productivity through ECM technology. She’s spearheaded a multi-year initiative that’s transformed the company from literally chasing folders full of paper around the office to a finely tuned digital environment that meets the needs of executives, sales, legal, record managers, and the back-office support functions that work with the data. For DDR, ECM success is defined as a paperless document management environment that promotes efficiency and optimal customer service while meeting compliance obligations. And Kim believes it was achieved because—yes—they partnered with OpenText, but more importantly, because they put people, not technology, first. From executive sponsorship through needs assessment, change management, and training, stakeholders across the company were integral to defining and implementing every stage. That’s just one of their innovative approaches. Explore their story and find out more about digital transformation and Enterprise Content Management.

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Delivering Innovation in the First City of Innovation

Innovation

In my opinion we couldn’t have picked a better city than Barcelona to host the return of the Momentum Conference to Europe. Why do I have this opinion? There are many reasons. First and foremost, Barcelona is a city that has always embraced transformation and innovation. It became the first European Capital of Innovation when it delivered on its promise to introduce new technology to foster economic growth and better the welfare of its citizens. The First City of Innovation Barcelona continues to innovate for the benefit of its citizens. When I look at the innovations that the Enterprise Content Division has delivered over the past three years with LEAP, InfoArchive and our hosting services I am inspired by what Barcelona is doing. By providing open data initiatives, the city is providing its citizens with valuable information and doing it in an open and continuous way. At Momentum Europe we are going to showcase our innovations that focus on data and information and how new methods of access and availability help organizations, business units and individuals transform the way they do business.In particular, I want to extend an invitation to those who have registered and to those thinking of attending. Consider attending the InfoArchive sessions and labs. InfoArchive is a solution that is helping all types of organizations move beyond the silos of data and information that stifle innovation and cast aside the legacy applications that thwart adoption of modern, flexible, open technology. The InfoArchive sessions will provide our Momentum guests with real-life scenarios and hands-on-experiences showcasing how companies are retiring legacy applications while leveraging the data and content these applications contained for strategic and customer-focused initiatives. We will provide examples of how InfoArchive not only has a rapid return on investment but can actually fund new initiatives. InfoArchive at Momentum Our InfoArchive sessions during Momentum Europe are intended to present attendees with an overview of our accomplishments and take them into the future of InfoArchive. We will give those present a glimpse into some of our largest projects, including: Our FinServ offerings that reduce the burden of regulatory compliance such as MiFID, surveillance and anti-money laundering Clinical archiving that eases HIM implementations like Epic InfoArchive for SAP that reduces the cost and burden of SAP HANA and SAP migration and consolidation In all these sessions we will show how unlocking data and content from siloed and Legacy applications provides valuable information to individuals and business units in a controlled and compliant manner. I look forward to seeing you in Barcelona, the first City of Innovation, for Momentum Europe 2016. Olé Infoarchive!

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3 Reasons You Can’t Miss This Year’s Momentum Europe

Momentum Europe

It seems hard to believe, but October 31 is just a little more than a month away. Our team is busy putting the finishing touches on Momentum Europe and we are preparing to welcome both business and IT decision-makers from across a number of different industries and from around the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and beyond. After a four-year hiatus, we’re excited to bring you all the activities you’ve come to expect, as well as some exciting new opportunities for you to engage with other customers, partners and the ECD team, and to get hands on with our technology. With so many interesting events and sessions to choose from, it seems there’s no good reason to miss this event. However, in case you need some additional motivation, I thought I’d share my top three reasons why, wherever you may live, you’ve got to attend this year’s Momentum Europe: The content and information management markets are hot again! According to MarketsandMarkets, the ECM market size is expected to grow from USD 28.10 billion in 2016 to 66.27 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.7% during the forecast period. At Momentum Europe, you can learn why there’s growth in these and other areas from IDC analysts, and get sound advice on how to be prepared for what’s on the horizon. You’ll find out how you can tap into the power of new approaches that work better together with your existing solutions. And, you’ll hear from our partners who have new solutions to address new challenges. The more, the better. We’ve packed more into three days than you can imagine. More customer sessions and panels, more keynotes, and more technical deep dives. We’ve also expanded our Hackathons, Hands On Labs, product and solution demos, and “Genius” time with our Services organization. And, this year, we’ll share more information on digital transformation, and explore new business and IT strategies that will help your organization to become more digital, more quickly. But it’s not just about quantity; it’s also about quality. We’ve listened to your input and requests and, this year, we’ll bring you even more of what you’ve been looking for. The future is bright. Now, more than ever, you need to know about our vision for what’s next, both for the ECM/EIM markets and for our Enterprise Content Division. IDC analysts, ECD executives and our special guest speaker, Muhi Majzoub, Executive Vice President, Engineering & Information Technology for OpenText will be on hand with information to help you shape and accelerate your business. Beyond attending our information-packed sessions, learning more about exciting market opportunities, and charting the future of our division, if you still need a reason to attend Momentum Europe, it’s this…it’s in Barcelona – an enchanting seaside city with a fabulous culture, unbelievable architecture, and an unbeatable combination of history and innovation. So, please, register today and don’t let FOMO haunt you. My colleagues and I look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

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Striving for Operational Excellence in Europe

Aging assets

Over the past couple of years, we’ve written several posts regarding the emergence of operational excellence in the Energy industry. While the benefits of operational excellence programs have been well understood for some time – greater productivity, improved safety, extended asset lifespans – the current low gas price economy is driving organizations to increase their focus on operational excellence as key to remaining viable during these times. To further emphasize this importance, conferences like Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas are being held to help the industry share various approaches to and successes in addressing operational excellence challenges. Speakers generally addressed these challenges from one of three approaches: people, process, or technology. People Any operational excellence initiative requires strong adoption throughout the organization. Unfortunately, this is nearly always easier to say than achieve. The reality is that most companies find that without a focus on company culture and strong leadership throughout your management teams is necessary to develop the culture required for success. Surprisingly, one of the more interesting discussions was given by an industry outsider. Ernie Spence, retired Commander from the US Navy. The Navy commander talked about the strategies that he successfully employees to retool and turnaround a struggling squadron. While his story has nothing to do with the processes or technologies that will drive operational excellence initiatives, his insight into the human factor had clear parallels to the struggles that oil and gas companies face implementing new programs today. Process Improving operational processes receive the most focus during the two-day conference, with several customers speaking about the results of their process improvement projects. From my perspective, the most interesting sessions had a common theme: demonstrating how improved governance over operational processes yielded increased safety or operational readiness. While the solutions to these issues tends to be very complex and requires a consultative approach to address each organization’s unique requirements, there were common pillars in each success story: Being able to communicate the status of your operations and/or individual processes is a key objective for any operational excellence program. Several customers pointed to simple, easy-to-understand dashboards as a critical success for factor sharing results both up to the executive leadership and down to the entire organization. Collaboration is also very important, eliminating unnecessary delays, especially with the global network of suppliers and contractors supporting your operations. Technology The final area of focus during the conference was on technology, and the highlighted management systems focused on improved management of two key pieces of information: 1. Structured data A very popular investment that was discussed throughout the conference was leveraging data analytics to improve operations. While some critical parts have long provided at least some relevant data, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data technologies have driven new technologies that promise to dramatically increase the ability for organizations to monitor not only asset productivity but predictive maintenance. 2. Unstructured Data While improved collection and analysis on structured data has some pretty clear benefits, companies often overlook the value that improved management and control of unstructured benefits provides fundamental benefits for operations and maintenance activities. This is a conversation that is going to continue to happen over the remainder of the year. In early November, the Enterprise Content Division will be holding its Momentum Conference in Barcelona, Spain.  At this conference a number of its customers, will be discussing a variety of Energy industry topics related to information management, including Operational Excellence. And while the European conference highlighted the challenges across Europe and the Middle East, the conversation will move to the United States later in November, where IQPC will host a very similar conference in Houston, Texas: Operational Excellence in Oil and Gas. I’m looking forward to exploring both the similarities and differences between North American and European markets, companies, and operational excellence program focus. I hope that we will see you at one or both of these conferences. What are your experiences and expectations for Operational Excellence? Let’s discuss it below.

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Capture Evolves From the Mailroom to Enhance Customer Experience

mailroom

It’s summer, but I’m thinking about the holidays later this year. When they roll around, I can’t wait to watch Elf. You remember the scene when Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) was sent to the mailroom to work so he would stay out of trouble? It was a dark, dusty place filled with miscreants. As uninspiring as it is,  the mailroom has been a vital component in  running any paper-intensive business. In fact, the mailroom is often compared to an assembly line that digitizes paper and automates manual processes. That’s where digital capture technologies originated, and they are still primarily used there today. High-volume mailroom processing has been around for 20-25 years – like grandpa’s old truck. It gets the job done, and we’ve become extremely competent and efficient at it. But it’s time to showcase innovation and bring capture into the forefront by powering knowledge workers and capture-enabling customer-facing applications. Craig Le Clair from Forrester discusses these trends in our recent analyst chat. The first step out of the mailroom for capture is clearly remote capture and mobile-enabled apps. These technologies allow your business to speed up turnaround times for customer-facing processes for a faster response and greater volume of documents processed. Say you’re an insurance company who has a branch office in Topeka. An agent working in that office can go to the scene of a car accident, take a picture of the damage to the insured’s car, and use capture to send the photo and any related paperwork to headquarters for real-time processing.  Or, you can integrate this same functionality into an app that the client can submit directly from a cellphone. Insurance companies can use capture to replace the fax machines and legacy applications that used to be required to process these claims. Discover more capture-enabled use cases in this webinar. Mobile or customer-facing capture apps and real-time document delivery allow businesses to engage with customers at their first point of contact, dramatically enhancing your customers’ experience. Everyone is busy, and no one likes delayed gratification. Customers no longer need to wait days or weeks after they’ve sent in documents required as part of a process, only to be told that they sent the wrong one, or needed to provide more or different information. With capture the document can be validated instantly and reconciled with other business systems in place. By allowing customers to interact with your services conveniently from their mobile device and making that experience seamless and easy, you create a connection with your customer that they will remember. By making interaction with your business easy, you can turn a dreaded task into a convenient and engaging experience. There are also direct business benefits realized by moving document capture out of the mailroom. By being able to deliver and process documents in real time and even automate some of the processes by validating against existing systems, you can streamline processing and turnaround time, and delight customers with quick results. Speedier processing and better data quality save resources, and money. Your business can benefit from capture’s increased quality of service, real-time processing, improved customer experience, and cost savings. Captiva continues to drive innovation in the arena of document capture. If you are an existing customer who has been using Captiva as part of your mailroom or field services, you can easily plug in the mobile application to extend capture services to your customers. Enterprises that are new to Captiva have more options to innovate with capture. You can embed capture as a service seamlessly into your customer-facing app to create awesome customer experiences. In addition, organizations can add ECD’s CaaS (Capture as a Service) solution, LEAP Snap to capture enable specific applications and communicate directly with customers. Captiva offers many opportunities to streamline and move business forward. One leading insurance company improved classification accuracy by 55% and was able to increase the number of transactions it processes  without adding additional resources. What’s more, a Top 10 financial organization was able to quickly add LOB and customer apps by leveraging their existing shared services team. Just like Buddy the Elf was able to turn that dusty mailroom into a festive place, we’ve come a long way to extend the value of capture from the mailroom—delivering remote, mobile, and real-time solutions to support your goals in engaging directly with customers anywhere, anytime.

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The Innovation Bonanza – can you Harness it?

Innovation

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?

Cloud

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

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

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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