In the wake of all of the news coverage about Hurricane Matthew, my "5 Strategies to Avoid a Digital Riptide" is on my mind:
In the wake of all of the news coverage about Hurricane Matthew, my "5 Strategies to Avoid a Digital Riptide" is on my mind:
It seems obvious: In an age of Digital Transformation, the information assets of an organization are increasingly THE defining source of organizational value.
Are your employees using file sharing tools that you don’t want them to use?
If so, you are not alone. In fact, 65 percent of organizations surveyed reported that they are aware that their employees are using unsanctioned file sharing tools, according to a new AIIM research report. And the fact that the other 35 percent said they are “not aware” of employees using unsanctioned tools is not necessarily reassuring, as this is not an indication that it’s not happening.
The issues revealed in this research report are all very real. In order of impact, these are the top concerns organizations have when comes to sharing content:
The top concern – identified by 60 percent of respondents – is a lack of visibility into what users are sharing and accessing.
Unsurprisingly – and likely related to this lack of insight – legal and audit implications were the second largest area of concern, as organizations cannot prove the location of or report on information that they can’t see.
A second major challenge identified in the report is the inability to control who is sharing information outside the organization (i.e. employees signing up for online file sharing tools using personal email accounts, etc.). Indeed 49 percent of respondents identified this as a critical issue.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the EXACT same number of people, 49 percent, cited that they are also concerned about employees retaining access to sensitive or proprietary information after they leave the organization.
That’s a scary prospect, especially when your industry is governed by strict compliance regulations regarding the handling of certain data. Data that potentially disgruntled ex-employees should NOT retain access to include things like patient information, credit card details, customer data, company-owned intellectual property, merger information, financial data and anything else of a proprietary nature.
The third major issue circles around the idea of what happens after a user has shared a link to a document or folder. About 40 percent of respondents expressed concern around the concept of shared links never expiring, increasing risk of compromising data, as well as shared links being accessible to anyone who gains access to these links.Overcome these issues with education
Clearly, there are several good reasons why you can’t ignore issues related to cloud-based document sharing. According to the AIIM study, the top recommendation for addressing this problem can be boiled down to one simple but powerful word: EDUCATION.
By educating your employees on the risks of sharing using unsanctioned tools, you’re taking a giant step toward a safe, secure file sharing strategy.
Get the AIIM Paper today.
I've been doing some research on content management and it's utilization in manufacturing, mass-production companies (like food and pharma), plants, and refineries, and will be going through this research in a series of posts over the next few weeks.
Around the globe these companies are clearly approaching a crossroads. Per Guy Bieber, director of strategy and architecture at Citrix, looming ahead for manufacturers is a revolutionary moment, driven by 3-D printing and the Internet of Things: “The breakthrough moment will come when one customized part costs the same per unit to produce as a million of the same part.”
But between now and that revolutionary moment, there are significant and immediate challenges that must be addressed by executives:
“Lean” principles (standardizing processes, eliminating waste, reducing variants in products and services, and delivering higher qualities) are key to meeting these challenges. Per Wikipedia, Lean Manufacturing is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. Lean takes into account waste created through overburden and waste created through unevenness in workloads. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, Lean is centered on making obvious what adds value (any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for) and reducing everything else.
Many leading edge manufacturers are now taking Lean principles and applying them to their core business processes. This journey almost inevitably leads manufacturers to question all the “unstructured” information that clogs these processes. Manufacturers must distribute, track, and archive countless documents, such as invoices, receipts, planning documents and engineering change order (ECOs) generated throughout the development and manufacturing process for every piece of equipment, part, and assembly. All of these must be integrated with multiple core manufacturing systems (e.g., MRP/ERP Software, Product Lifecycle Management Software, Supply Chain Management Software, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Production Scheduling and Control Systems).
A lot of this is currently done manually and with hybrid digital/paper systems, creating extra work, opportunities for errors, and process interruptions – and creating a major potential barrier on the journey to apply Lean principles to core business processes. InfoTrends estimates that typically between 20% and 30% of organizations use their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to manage the unstructured information associated with many of the core business processes tied to manufacturing. The rest use a combination of their ERP system and paper documentation or use paper only.
I’ve explored this theme in The Modern Manufacturer’s Guide to Digitizing 7 Key Business Processes. Download a free copy today and let me know what you think.
This month, we've put together a great line-up of resources from across the AIIM community for you! Our goal is to keep you informed with the latest trends and information from our industry. We've also included an opportunity to participate in our latest research. Add these great pieces to your reading list and stay at the top of your game.
This is the second of three posts on the theme -- CFOs and Finance Directors: Neglected Players in the Drive for Digital Transformation. The first post was HERE.
The core point of the three posts is the financial process automation creates a value stream in two directions. It is a proven source of cost reduction for companies looking for marginal but sustaining competitive advantage, something that Finance Directors can use to "manage up" in their organizations in making the case for resources to drive financial process automation, which is the focus of this post. Financial process automation also creates the foundation for sound analytics and business intelligence, a priority of great concern to the C-Suite, which will be the focus of the third post.
The American Productivity and Quality Center notes that cost reduction is the key business driver for 43% of financial improvement initiatives. Let's think about the role that content and more effective management of unstructured information plays in delivering upon this promise.
The Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2010/05/when-youve-got-to-cut-costs-now) notes the importance of permanent process change in the drive to cut costs, and automating the capture component of processes is a key part of insuring the permanence of change.
“Often, internal administrative processes become frozen—despite the fact that, over time, they may cease to be efficient or effective. Asking questions in four areas can help you understand whether this has occurred in your department and whether you can cut expenses accordingly:
Reduced business requirements. How have the business requirements evolved since you last fundamentally redesigned the process? Perhaps the need for certain data has diminished or disappeared altogether. How would you design the process differently today, to meet today’s needs?
Manual processes. Where do you use people to process forms or information repetitively, rather than do it electronically, with little or no human intervention?
Exceptions to the norm. Do the routine 90% of items cost much less to handle than the exceptional 10%? What would it take to do away with the exceptional ones? At a large health insurer, we found that a 'clean' claim cost 80% less to process than one that required special handling. By redesigning its claim forms and eliminating exceptions that did not matter, the client saved more than half the cost of exceptions.
Timing. Could you save money by shifting the time of day, week, or month that you undertake certain tasks? For example, how about doing the work when activity in your department is otherwise slow? Could it be done more efficiently in batches? Is there a real penalty attached to being available online for fewer hours of the day? Could tasks be completed more efficiently if they were not tackled on a first-in, first-out basis?”
Financial processes have three key characteristics that make them a prime candidate for cost reduction efforts: 1) They represent significant cost to the organization; 2) They are characterized by wide variation in performance; and 3) They are typically very paper intensive.
Consider this data from the American Productivity and Quality Center (http://www.apqc.org). and consider what this means in actual dollars:
Let’s break this down a bit. There are five core processes characteristic of just about any finance department:
What do these have in common? They are all: 1) document-intensive; and 2) must integrate with your broader financial and/or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning Systems). Your ability to automate them and reduce cost – your key to moving from a bottom performing finance organization to a top performing one – rests on putting in place a common document management infrastructure for all of them.
Automation cannot occur without strategy to capture documents that arrive from multiple locations and in widely varying formats
Disconnected and manual contracts, billing, sales order, and dispute resolution processes
Financial close process
Endless, frantic and manual end-of-month spreadsheet reconciliation
Procurement and purchasing
Manual purchase order processes disconnected with finance and ERP systems
Manual vendor onboarding
No central view of relationships with key business partners
Most organizations have not applied the lessons from the digital mailroom to their core financial processes. According to an AIIM unreleased survey of 290 finance executives, there are still many green field transformation opportunities in you core financial processes. Some would argue that most organizations automated their financial processes long ago. Perhaps on the data side, but not on the content and unstructured information side. When we asked, “What is paper usage in the following processes?” here are the percentages answering, “% answering “A lot of documents are processed as paper documents”:
Consider the differences in cost structure associated with invoice processing in top performing vs. bottom performing companies (source: http://cdn.cfo.com/content/uploads/2015/06/Driscoll-June.png):
Information Capture is a proven first step in digitizing information and improving financial processes. According to AIIM’s Paperfree Progress: Measuring Outcomes, 72% agree – “Business at the speed of paper will be unacceptable in a few years’ time.”
Financial process automation has been one of the bread and butter content management applications for years. But I think these initiatives need to be viewed not only through the prism of cost reduction, but also in terms of how back-end process automation and efficiency are now Digital Transformation table stakes. In a world in which customers and suppliers are being drawn further and further into our organizations, no smooth and beautiful front end customer experience can compensate for weak supporting processes that are inevitably the next step in a customer experience. Finance Directors need to understand this critical linkage and use it to "manage up" in their organizations in making the case for resources to drive financial process automation.
Free white paper -- 9 Ways to Reduce Costs in Your Accounting Processes.
Upcoming Information@Work events in your area...
Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club
New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse
Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre
I find the auto-complete functionality in Google fascinating.
What I am referring to is when you type in a few words, and the Google algorithm predicts what you might be interested in based on your own behaviors and that of the universe at large. It’s actually more fun if you log out of your own Google account first, to get less biased result so that you can get a true sense of what is on the mind of your fellow citizens.
For example, if I start typing “I have a problem with” Google promptly offers this assistance:
This is a rather fun game. Try it. Here are the results for “John Mancini.” I am glad for the 3rd result, and also pleased to note that I have never been to Youngstown, OH.
The reason I bring this up is that the algorithm is essentially offering up words and phrases that go together, based on a huge pool of data and interactions.
In everyday life, sometimes this is useful – it creates a shorthand that allows us to speed communication. However, at other times – especially when terms and language are changing rapidly – it is reactive – backward looking – rather than predictive.
I think about this often as I talk with “capture” vendors and customers for “capture” products. Because we all have used the term “capture” for so long, the phrase is almost always with automatically or implicitly expanded to be “scanning and document capture.”
Now in some ways that’s OK. Because while traditional “capture” technologies have been around a long time, this is still a relatively immature market with lots of opportunity, especially among small and medium-sized organizations. At AIIM, I am constantly amazed at the demand for what I would call “Document Capture 101” content. At times it feels like I’ve fallen into a black hole and arrived back in 2002.
But the term “capture” now needs a makeover to take the next step. “Capture” – or some other descriptor -- needs to assume a much wider meaning in the disruptive world into which we are headed.
A world in which not only documents, but all kinds of information are being captured.
A world in which all the information we capture – or have captured in the past – is put into motion and becomes a rich source of intelligence, insight, and potential customer value.
A world in which customer and process information is being captured closer and closer to the point of its creation.
A world in which the “image” being captured is the least important part of the value equation.
A world in which information capture – intelligent information capture – becomes the key enabling technology for digital transformation, and sets the stage for the machine learning revolution.
We'll be exploring some of these concepts on our webinar on October 5th, 5 Ways to Turn Your Information into Assets with Capture. Join us.
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Well, the other shoe called Documentum dropped (haha - wrote this lead before finding Cheryl's post below) that everyone was expecting once Dell and EMC got together. And in somewhat record speed.
AIIM does not take positions on things like acquisitions, but obviously the extended AIIM community is buzzing about this. I thought I would find as many articles as I could and put them in one place and let folks form their own opinions. If I've missed any, just put this link in the comments section and I'll add the link to the original article.
[Note: After having watched/interacted/evangelized this weird content management space for 20+ years, I obviously have personal opinions on all of this, but this is not the right forum. Maybe after a few drinks in a local pub. Let me know.]
Here’s the official press release -- OpenText Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division, including Documentum
New! - Here are some thoughts from Adlib Software Senior Vice President Cengiz Satir -- Disruption in ECM Market, Leads to Market Invention
The creation of content has always been easy, maybe too easy. If you think about it, this has been one of the key contributors as to why the ECM Industry continues to repeat itself and it is also why it is not really solving the root problem around the management of unstructured content. What do you say we stop talking about Volume, Velocity and Variety and start talking about how this market needs to re-invent itself? The industry’s inability to find, filter, focus and most importantly act on the business information that matters is why we continue to have these market consolidation aftershocks –the OpenText acquisition of Documentum being the latest.
New! -- From Brent Bussell, former IBM exec and a partner in the Undrstnd Group -- and said with passion! -- ECM INDUSTRY: IT’S TIME TO STAND UP AND DEFEND OUR BIRTHRIGHT!
It seems to me that the voice of the ECM industry is ceding the high ground of delivering complete high value solutions. We all know ECM is more than just an easy to deploy and use scalable repository in the Cloud – that’s the easy bit – and as we as an industry rush to address our long standing Achilles heel of deployment and usability challenges while also catching the Cloud wave we should not cede the ground of delivering real business solutions, especially in the growing market of transforming the digital customer experience as described by McKinsey. And yes, I’m fully lathered up now and I hope a few of you other ECMers are as well!
New! From the always interesting and provocative MARKO SILLANPÄÄ -- Why OpenText will not Lead ECM
In my opinion, OpenText won’t be “The leader.” I’ve pointed out the headaches ahead. These will not be simple to overcome. The real question is at this point in the evolution of ECM does it really matter? So where will the leader come from? When I discussed the acquisition of Documentum by OpenText, I pointed out that the new leader will come from one of four areas. I’ve narrowed that list to three: Open Source Solutions, Low-Code Solutions, and Content Enabled Solutions.
New! More future of the industry-focused rather Documentum/OpenText, but still very interesting from Docuware's Thomas Schneck -- Enterprise Content Management: Dead or Alive?
Let’s face it. ECM or Enterprise Content Management – the technologies focused on helping organizations control, manage, store, preserve, and deliver information tied to complex and mission-critical, document-intensive processes– has been around the block a few times. And the future of ECM has certainly been in the headlines the past week with the acquisition of Documentum by OpenText....Cloud and mobile technologies are revolutionizing what ECM is, what it can do, and increasing the number of organizations for whom ECM can deliver real and tangible value. ECM capabilities are now available to a host of new companies – at exactly the same moment that they are realizing that broken and paper-clogged business processes stand in the way of their journey to Digital Transformation.
Some thoughts from the Technology Services Group -- Documentum sold to OpenText – Detailed Analysis and Predictions.
OpenText does not have a history of investing in their acquisitions. The revenue streams seem to be there if OpenText chooses to invest in Documentum. Unfortunately, a somewhat distrusting user base needs proof and more than just an announcement. With 90 to 120 days of quiet before any announcement and then waiting to see any investment come to fruition, it might take a year or more to confirm the investment in innovation. Would clients wait that long given newer, cheaper and innovative alternatives? OpenText doesn’t necessarily bring the brand or clients that they could introduce to Documentum for some easy sales (think Oracle, SAP or Salesforce). OpenText does bring other positives, particularly knowledge of ECM and of how to run a software company (something EMC was never able to understand). With one less competitor on the field, the combination of OpenText/Documentum does position the combined company better in the ECM market. Can they hold off upstart competitors and new technology?
From Documentum and Alfresco co-founder John Newton -- OpenText swallows the Documentum pill.
It is just a sad outcome for those of us who built Documentum all those years ago. Although I sold off my stock a long time ago, because I knew nothing about the hardware business of EMC, doesn’t mean I don’t care. Even though just about every single person I ever knew in Documentum is gone, doesn’t mean I don’t care. It has been fun competing with what was once a competitive company. Now it is just time to help pick up the pieces.
From Sean Silcoff, The Globe and Mail -- Open Text bulks up on enterprise content with $1.62-billion Dell deal.
The latest acquisition marks a satisfying outcome for both buyer and seller. It offers Open Text a significant opportunity to consolidate the enterprise content management sector, whose vendors sell software that help business and government customers digitally store and access vast amounts of corporate information. It is a relatively modestly sized ($11.2-billion U.S. in 2015 revenue) but growing subsector of the enterprise software market, and Open Text has been a determined consolidator for years.
From Alan Pelz-Sharpe of the Digital Clarity Group -- OpenText acquires Documentum.
We wish the folks at Documentum well in their new home at OpenText. For the first time in over a decade, they will be in a place that understands what they do and appreciates both their technology and the strength of the Documentum brand. Hopefully Documentum will remain semi-autonomous within OpenText and be provided the support needed to return to strong growth. Of course only time will tell how it all works out but if nothing else a period of worrying uncertainty is over for Documentum and the real battle for supremecy in the ECM world can get underway.
From Mike Alsup, The Gimmal Group, on CMSWire -- So OpenText Buys Documentum: Making Sense of the Aftershocks
So when OpenText tries to convert Documentum users to Content Server, in many cases, they are just opening the door to a review of migration to an alternative ECM platform. All Documentum customers have SharePoint and Office 365. I expect that many of them will use this acquisition to accelerate toward the Microsoft stack a1s opposed to the OpenText visions of ECM. I also expect many of these customers will continue to use Documentum. And by harvesting the maintenance and subscription revenue streams, OpenText can still make this a winning acquisition. Overall, I think Box and OpenText suffer from not having their own equivalent of the Azure and Office 365 cloud, so that they are dependent on others. OpenText has bought and built some cloud scale. And Box has partnered with Amazon Web Services and IBM, and is arguing that they are more of a layer above the dominant clouds. My bet here is that we get to the same sort of market consolidation as Microsoft Office in the 1990’s. One big winner. Guess who.
From Craig LeClair at Forrester -- Top Reasons The OpenText Acquisition Of EMC’s ECD Will End Up As A Positive For Customers
OpenText needs to be careful. It does not want to trigger shopping events for Documentum customers, and many are already in that process. Newer cloud-based content services, like Box and Drop Box are slowly becoming the next-gen repositories for content. And this means keeping the pedal on the floor for EMC’s Project Horizon, a platform-as-a-service offering for content services, it critical. Independently consumable capabilities, like secure collaborative document authoring and digital document exchange, which firms can use standalone or integrate into other consumable services, is the future.
From Lee Dallas, one of the Big Men on Content -- Strange Days
I have read many things this week written by friends in the ECM world, some lamenting, some celebrating the decline of the first generation of ECM vendors. Interesting inside drama, which I’m not above participating in, but as I look at the landscape, talk to partners and customers, and look for new problems to solve I don’t want to waste any more time than necessary emotionally processing the change. With the combined portfolio, customers have access to a broader range of potential solutions to their challenges in the enterprise information management space from a single source. This has real benefits for customers. It simplifies acquisition of commoditized capability and concentrates differentiation against the real competition. New business and delivery models.
From Greg Milliken at M-Files, a bit of a broader look at the ECM Space -- The End of the Beginning for ECM
There is a famous speech by Winston Churchill, Britain’s war time prime minister, to the House of Commons in London in 1942 after the Second Battle of El Alamein in Egypt in World War II. In this speech, he utters one of his more famous lines, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” The announcement of the acquisition of Documentum by OpenText earlier this week brought this historic statement to mind, as it sheds light on how we at M-Files perceive this milestone in the enterprise content management (ECM) market.
From Patricia Ames at Workflow -- OpenText Buys Dell-EMC’s ECD Division: The Market Continues to Consolidate Despite a Growing Global Market
Now the company [OpenText] has the complete picture: a portfolio that can accommodate small, growing businesses that desire scalability, SMB businesses that only want to buy what they need, and large, global enterprises with thousands of users and millions of documents across a broad range of vertical markets. OpenText can now market themselves as an end-to-end document solutions provider.
From Cheryl McKinnon at Forrester -- The Documentum Shoe Finally Drops...As ECM Undergoes a Changing of the Guard
Enterprises need to take a long, hard look at their ECM roadmaps and understand how content services will help them in their own customer experience and growth plans. The old guard is consolidating and the pace of innovation in those acquired portfolios remains to be seen. New vendors are working quickly to fill feature gaps, attract new customers, and demonstrate success in the regulated industries that rely most heavily on ECM. The new players - architected in THIS century, not the last one - are stepping up. Understand the role of cloud in your own content strategy and dig under the covers to understand which vendors have designed to exploit these elastic, flexible architectures, and which ones are just hosting their own legacy products. ECM is not a dead or stale market - but is one that will look quite different by 2020.
From Noreen Seebacher, CMSWire -- OpenText Acquires Dell EMC's Enterprise Content Division, Including Documentum.
From Jesse Scardina, Search Content Management -- Questions arise for Documentum customers after OpenText acquisition.
OpenText's purchase of Dell EMC's Enterprise Content Division is the latest example of the company buying up maintenance streams, consolidating the support and sales teams, and gaining profit.
From Craig Wentworth, The Advisor -- OpenText buys Documentum, but will LEAP be squashed or polished?
Right from when the shape of the new Dell Technologies (with EMC) became apparent, it was obvious that the Enterprise Content Division (ECD) would be hard-pressed to maintain core business relevance – and therefore secure enough attention and R&D investment to move forwards. Documentum helped the ECD post around $600M revenue last year, but that’s down on 2014’s $640M. So even as a cash cow, it was starting to lose its appeal. The Documentum customer base has become increasingly lured away, with many investing in newer cloud-based and hybrid information management solutions from competitors that are better-suited to today’s digital transformation agendas.
From Gavin Clark, The Register (and winner of the best article title) -- Kneel before Zod! OpenText claims mighty Documentum from Dell
For OpenText, Documentum is the motherlode: a customer base of marquee names in government and the private sector. Importantly, it’s a “stable, loyal and diverse” customer base” – so not ready to escape en masse any time soon.
From Apoorv Durga, Real Story Group – OpenText to Acquire Documentum.
If you are an existing customer of either OpenText or ECD, don’t expect anything to change in near future. Over the long run — and history tells us too — OpenText will not be able to focus equally on two big and complex product families. So eventually, one will decline.
From Laurence Hart, Word of Pie – Saying Goodbye to Documentum.
Well, it happened. OpenText acquired Documentum. This brings to end the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) wars that began almost 20 years ago. Back then, the leaders were FileNet, Documentum, Oracle, and OpenText. FileNet is buried at IBM who is flirting with Box. Oracle is struggling to reestablish itself after bringing on former Documentum leaders but they are fading away.
From Chris Preimesberger, eWeek -- Why Co-Founder Thinks Documentum Is Doomed Under OpenText
John Newton fears the new owner will promise customers new investment in their products but that the product lines eventually will wither away.
I'm sure a lot of folks will still be talking about all of this at our upcoming Information@Work Seminars. Join us.
Have you seen my new white paper on apply "Lean" concepts to core business processes? I think you'll like it.
This is a guest post by Paul Cleverley, a geoscientist and practitioner by background and is now an information scientist and researcher in the Department of Information Management with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
One of the core issues for manufacturing companies – or for that matter, any physical asset intensive industry -- is managing the technical information associated with the vast array of physical equipment that is needed to make the business run. It is here that the physical world (which drives the Internet of Things) truly connects with the digital world (information and content assets).
Manufacturers refer to this “asset change management” and the information management solution set associated with it is called “Asset Lifecycle Information Management.” Because the information intersection between the physical and digital worlds is: a) changing rapidly; b) directly tied to health and safety; c) critical to compliance; and d) critical to security in an age of natural disasters and terrorism, it is fraught with content management challenges.
What are the 6 steps that must be addressed in any Asset Lifecycle Information Management Initiative?
Check out this Tip Sheet for 6 Tips on Asset Lifecycle Information Management. It's a concept of direct relevance to any industry with lots of physical equipment that must be managed, but also one that I think can be expanded as we think about the implications of the Internet of Things.