AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

Finding the 'Weak Links' in Your ECM Ecosystem - Alix Kneifel

Mar 10, 2015 2:21:11 PM by John Mancini

[ This is a guest post from Alix Kneifel, President and Principal Consultant of A.Kneifel and Associates. Alix will be speaking at The AIIM Conference in San Diego on how to assess your ECM status. ]

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Topics: ecm, aiim15

If I had 30 seconds with Satya Nadella, what would I tell him about the future of #SharePoint?

Mar 2, 2015 2:13:00 PM by John Mancini

In my post SharePoint Lover? Partner? Skeptic? - 20 Data Points You Need to Know I took a look at some of the highlights of our just announced SharePoint Industry Watch.  

The core conclusion of the research was this:  SharePoint is still being adopted -- but rather chaotically, with mixed results, and with a lot of confusion re Office365 and the cloud.

In the post, I encouraged readers to respond to this question:

If I had 30 seconds with Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO), what would I tell him about the future of SharePoint?

So here are a few of the answers...Thanks for the input...

  1. Don't add more features. Focus instead on making it smart, simple, secure, and sexy. And don't forget Mac users.  
  2. There will be a REALLY long on-premise tail to SharePoint no matter how fast people would like to go to the cloud, and thus hybrid information governance -- not an easy task -- will be with us for many years.
  3. Don't forget your customers who don't want to move to the cloud. Will we still be your customers in 2 years? In 5 years?
  4. I know SharePoint wants us all in the cloud ASAP, but moving to the cloud isn't the answer to everything for everyone. I'd love to see more focus on the hybrid customers.
  5. It seems (from recent posts and dropped hints) that there is a renewed level of interest and commitment from Microsoft to hybrid scenarios, which is good to know. Hybrid or blended solutions will have to be the new normal for most customers for the next 2 to 6 (or more!) years as the feature sets evolve, get retired, or are matured on each of the platform levels. Counting on that commitment will be critical for customers, but it needs to be accompanied by clear and articulated visions and guidelines so that customers can deploy the right solutions in the right ways on the right platforms. Some capabilities are clearly strong in the cloud (i.e., video content), while other features seem to be unavailable or disappearing as cloud options (i.e., branded UI, custom code, public sites, etc.). As cloud features are dropped, please have in place viable alternatives (perhaps through partners?) and guidelines on how to transition. Also, tightly integrated/blended/hybrid solutions will be required until valid and reliable 3rd party add-ons can run as completely in the cloud as they currently do on-premises. Most fall well short currently, so the on-premises parts of the overall SharePoint solution for many customers will have to continue to be supported for quite some time.
  6. Organizations that have embraced a true, robust Enterprise Content Management (ECM)/Business Process Management (BPM) strategy understand that there is not a single, magic solution. Many of these successful organizations leverage the strengths of SharePoint's content repository and federated search within an infrastructure that includes complimentary software that is best in class for workflow, RM, case management, etc. It would be great if Microsoft focused on making SharePoint spectacular at its strengths and stop trying to rebuild the wheel in the areas that are not strengths. I've seen too many cases where SharePoint was sold as the end-all and be-all for ECM, and the IT staff spent too much time and money building bespoke systems that could have been point-and-click configured with off-the shelf software.
  7. From the report you can see one of the major issues is user adoption and training. I've heard this for years. Not to pitch a solution but more of a interesting concept, these guys at Content Panda have built a pretty robust plug-in for SharePoint that enhances the built in help to offer tutorials from around the web. I can only see training concepts like this helping with user adoption. 
  8. Make it easy to integrate Sharepoint with any other enterprise systems, and don't try to make it into a solution that can solve all enterprise needs, focus on its core capabilities. When it comes to the cloud, make sure that all security concerns are addressed and understood.
  9. SharePoint is great if you need flexibility and little structure (e.g., collaboration). But a lot of companies have complex requirements related to case/claim management, workflow, RM where other solutions provide standard functionalities. Combining the strength of various solutions increases the user acceptance but also increases the complexity for managing these solutions for IT. Making this bit easier would be nice. This means among other things good monitoring, upgrade processes, professional transport systems from development systems to Quality and Productive Systems, and audit trails.
  10. Remember your customers and what they actually need. Get out and see how people are actually using your technologies then use that insight as you develop the next generation of products.

Good stuff!  Post additional comments and join the conversation.  Here's the link to download the (free) survey results if you need it.

Download new SharePoint Research


Lots of SharePoint and non-SharePoint content at AIIM15, with a focus on the challenges of Digital Transformation.  Check out the agenda...


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Topics: industry watch, sharepoint, aiim15

5 Disruptive Books You Should Read -- and then come meet the authors at #AIIM15

Feb 24, 2015 5:45:00 PM by John Mancini

5 Great Reads to Challenge Your Assumptions

Here are 5 great books to help create a framework to understand the disruptive times that are ahead. As consumerization, mobile and cloud, and the Internet of Things sweep through our organizations over the next few years, some organizations will be prepared, agile, and thrive, and others will be left in the dust by competitors they never event imagined. 

The authors of these books will all also be speaking at AIIM15.  Here’s the official #AIIM15 must-read list:

The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation
by Charlene Li

Technology has revolutionized the very idea and nature of relationships between leaders and their followers. The Engaged Leader is meant as a guide for business leaders needing to adapt to the demands, and opportunities of digital leadership.

The Engaged Leader addresses why leaders need to master a new way of developing relationships, which begins by stepping out of traditional hierarchies; how to listen at scale, share to shape, and engage to transform; the art of making this transformative mind shift; and the science of applying the right tools to meet your strategic goals.

About the Author
Charlene Li is CEO and Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, and author of The New York Times bestseller Open Leadership and coauthor of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell. She is one of the foremost experts on social media, and a consultant and independent thought leader on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media, and marketing. Formerly, Charlene was vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

See Charlene’s keynote address at AIIM15.

The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business
by Thomas Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen

One of the most profound changes in business and society is the emergence of the post-Millennial generation, Gen Z. While every new generation has faced its share of disruption in technology, economics, politics and society, no other generation in the history of mankind has had the ability to connect every human being on the planet to each other and in the process to provide the opportunity for each person to be fully educated, socially and economically engaged.

In The Gen Z Effect, the Tom and Dan explore what this might mean for business, markets, and educational institutions in the future.

About the Author
Tom Koulopoulos is the author of nine books and founder of Delphi Group, a 20-year-old Boston-based think tank, which was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the US by Inc. Magazine. Named one of the industry’s most influential consultants by InformationWeek magazine, his articles and market insights appear frequently in national and international print and broadcast media such as BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Economist, CNBC, CNN and NPR. Geoff James of CBS Interactive Media called Tom “one of the truly deep thinkers in the arena of technology and culture.”

See Tom’s keynote address at AIIM15.

Fierce Loyalty: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities
by Sarah Robinson

Fierce Loyalty is a practical guide with actionable tips for understanding, building and fostering a fiercely loyal community of clients, customers and raving fans. Doing so is critical for success in today's turbulent marketplace. Sarah lays out a clear model that any organization of any size can follow. She helps you break down the process and gives you clear, specific steps for creating and maintaining a fiercely loyal, wildly successful community and put it squarely in the center of your business plan.

About the Author
Sarah Robinson is a business strategist advising international clients on how to build thriving, successful communities and set their companies apart from the pack. She is a regular guest expert at MSNBC and is ranked by both Forbes and Dun and Bradstreet as a top Twitter expert on entrepreneurship and small business. Sarah has also been a featured business expert at,,, The DEX Entrepreneur’s Summit, LOHAS, Social Media Marketing World and The National Press Club.

See Sarah speak at AIIM15.

Data Crush
by Chris Surdak

The Internet used to be a tool for telling your customers about your business. Now its real value lies in what it tells you about them. Every move your customers make online can be tracked, catalogued, and analyzed to better understand their preferences and predict their future behavior. And with mobile technology like smartphones, customers are online almost every second of every day. The companies that succeed going forward will be those that learn to leverage this torrent of information-without being drowned by it. Data Crush examines the forces behind the explosive growth in data and reveals how the most innovative companies are responding to this challenge. [I wrote the forward to this one!]

About the Author
Christopher Surdak is an information technology expert with over 20 years of experience. He has held roles with companies such as HP, Accenture, Siemens and Citibank. He began his career with Lockheed Martin as a rocket scientist.

See Chris speak at AIIM15.

Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design
by Lisa Welchman

Few organizations realize a return on their digital investment. They re distracted by political infighting and technology-first solutions. To reach the next level, organizations must realign their assets people, content, and technology by practicing the discipline of digital governance. Managing Chaos inspires new and necessary conversations about digital governance and its transformative power to support creativity, real collaboration, digital quality, and online growth.

About the Author
Lisa Welchman is a leading authority on digital governance. Her core strength is helping to resolve differences of opinion among digital stakeholders and maturing digital operations. She works closely with organizations to understand why there are challenges around managing the organization’s digital presence and then works collaboratively with her clients to create solutions to resolve those challenges.

See Lisa speak at AIIM15.

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Topics: ecm, infochaos, aiim15

5 Document Management Practices That Make Companies Less Competitive

Feb 24, 2015 3:27:11 PM by John Mancini

5 Document Management Practices That Make Companies Less Competitive

For companies without effective document management solutions in place, it will be increasingly difficult to remain competitive. We are in a disruptive environment where there are going to be a lot of unexpected winners and losers.

I recently did an interview focused on the five document management practices that make companies less competitive and three tips on how to avoid these traps. The three tips?

  1. The first probably sounds somewhat basic: Figure out where your real, intensive paper pain-points are.
  2. The second thing — and this will sound really obvious — is that you need to start somewhere.
  3. The third thing is to get smart about content management. 


Check out the full interview HERE.  Let me know what you think...

John Mancini Interview


Interested in Process Automation and Document Management? Check out our tutorials...

Show me the 100+ tutorials in the membership toolkit

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Topics: ecm, document management, aiim15, docuware

The results are in! The envelope please! AIIM #Oscars

Feb 20, 2015 3:18:00 PM by John Mancini

AIIM ECM Oscar Winners

Given that it's the season for the Oscars, I thought I would take a look at some of the top performing areas of the AIIM web site over the past year.

I find the results interesting in that they suggest a community that is trying to get ahead of the curve (after all, Embrace the Chaos is the theme of AIIM15, coming up next month), and yet struggling at the same time to sustain and optimize legacy investments (and also minimize ongoing spending on them).

Get More Info on AIIM15




Most Popular 2014 Digital Landfill Blog Posts

  1. THE WINNER -- Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

  2. What does the next generation of information leaders look like?
  3. 16 questions (and answers) about SharePoint and Office365
  4. 14 Must Knows About Information Governance
  5. New Free Video – How Do You Convince the C-Suite to Care About Information Governance?

Most Popular 2014 AIIM White Papers/eBooks

  1. THE WINNER -- Information Chaos Versus Information Opportunity

  2. Successful Taxonomy: Nine Keys to Success
  3. Enterprise Content Management: 14 Steps to Success
  4. How to Achieve Best Practices for Records Management
  5. 21 Tips for Turning Chaos into Opportunity

Most Popular Content Pages on 

  1. THE WINNER -- What is Collaboration?

  2. All About the CIP
  3. What is Information Management?
  4. What is Document Management?
  5. What is SharePoint?

Most Popular AIIM Resource Centers

  1. THE WINNER -- Enterprise Content Management

  2. SharePoint
  3. Electronic Records Management
  4. Information Governance
  5. Business Process Management

Most Popular Company Listings (by page views) in the AIIM Buyers Guide

By the way, if you work for a solution provider and your company is not listed in this Buyers Guide, what the heck are you waiting for?  Are you in the content and document space, or not?

  1. THE WINNER -- EDM Group

  2. Perforce Software UK
  3. Feith Systems & Software Inc.
  4. Nuix Technology UK
  5. Canon

Top AIIM Expert Blogger (based on 2014 page views of most popular article)

A big thank you to these people.  They share their expertise and talents with the AIIM Community, and we are very grateful for that.

  1. THE WINNER -- Errin O’Connor

  2. Christian Buckley
  3. Greg Clark
  4. Michael Doyle
  5. Serge Huber

Top 2014 Webinars

  1. THE WINNER -- When Nobody Cares About Records and Information Management: Changing Minds and Practices in the Business

  2. Take the FUD Out of Implementing SharePoint – Just ask the folks at Microsoft
  3. What Best-in-Class Organizations Know about Document Imaging and Capture (And You Should Too!)
  4. Automating Information Governance: AIIM Research Findings and Industry Trends
  5. Microsoft Practices What They Preach: Rethinking Records Management with SharePoint

My Top Slideshare Presentations

  1. THE WINNER -- How do I get rid of paper in my business?

  2. Turning Information Chaos into Information Opportunity
  3. 29 Warning Signs of Digital Disruption
  4. Information Governance -- Necessary Evil or a Bridge to the Future?
  5. Warning C-Suite -- InfoChaos is Approaching


You might also be interested in 23 Things I Wish I Knew When I Implemented My First Content Management Project.

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Topics: information governance, erm, ecm, sharepoint, aiim15

6 Information Management Trends from @DataCrush author @CSurdak

Feb 10, 2015 3:05:00 PM by John Mancini

What are the 6 Information Management Trends That Will Redefine the New Normal?

The six trends below are by AIIM15 Speaker and Data Crush author Chris Surdak.  Get over 50 pages of simliar insights about the future in our new e-book, Embrace the Chaos, A Comprehensive Preview of #AIIM15.

Download the free AIIM15 ebook. `

1 -- QUALITY: Consumers simply expect perfection. Deliver anything less, and your customers will immediately abandon you for someone else.

2 -- UBIQUITY: Globalization and just-in-time logistics have made it possible to have nearly anything, anywhere at any time. And now, for most of us anything less than this is simply not acceptable.

3 -- IMMEDIACY: Globalization, Logistics and smartphones with apps have also created the expectation of immediate gratification. Customers want their needs fulfilled instantly, and now predictively.

4 -- DISENGAGEMENT: Customers will only care about obtaining a result; how they get there will become less and less important and more and more difficult to discern in any event.

5 -- INTIMACY: Conversely, customers’ increasing disengagement with how they obtain products and services will leave them hungering for other forms of connectedness. Feeling like part of a community will be even more important as our needs are met more anonymously.

6 -- PURPOSE: Ultimately, these trends will leave many people feeling adrift in their lives. They will hunger for a sense of purpose, for a reason for being, for something to feel passionate about.

You might also be interested in these posts...
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Topics: predictions, trends, aiim15

@tkspeaks -- 5 Predictions for the Next 20 Years

Feb 9, 2015 7:52:00 PM by John Mancini

5 Technology Predictions for the Next 20 Years

OK, 20 years is a LONG time.  But getting ahead of the curve -- and helping your organization get ahead of the curve -- is what AIIM15 is all about.  

The five predictions below are by AIIM15 Keynoter Tom Koulopoulos from the Delphi Group.  Get over 50 pages of simliar insights about the future in our new e-book, Embrace the Chaos, A Comprehensive Preview of #AIIM15.

From Tom: -- "As a child I couldn’t grasp the concept gravity. If you drop an object from twice as high it doesn’t take twice as long to reach the ground. It only takes 1.4 times as long. The reason is that the higher the object the more time it has to accelerate. (Yes, for those of you who did pay attention in physics class, I’m leaving out air resistance, distance from sea level, and terminal velocity.) The simplest analogy is to think of pulling onto a highway. When you accelerate from 0-105 KPH in ten seconds you are actually covering more ground with each passing second."

So what does this have to do with the future? Well, the future has its own form of gravity that pulls us to it faster and faster, it’s called technology, and we simply cannot project technology change at the same rate going forward as it has occurred in the past.

Here are 5 examples of trends that will shape the future of business:

1 -- Open sourcing patents. The days of winning through protecting IP are numbered.

2 -- The Death of Retirement. 50% of all Millenials and Gen Zers plan to be self employed. Retirement is history. Every Knowledge worker will need to build their own brand to sustain themselves for life.

3 -- Higher Education will crumble under its own weight. Trillion dollar debt load on students and their parents. Open classrooms for anyone with a mobile device anywhere on the planet. Research funded by the crowd.

4 -- We will no longer understand how computers work. The promise of artificial intelligence has always been measured against how well a computer can think like a human. The real shift will occur when computers think in ways we can’t even begin to understand.

5 -- Half of all new cars will be self-driving. We fear them and chuckle at them as a curiosity today. But, self-driving cars are like dishwashers or washing machines; once you get another month of your life handed over to you you’ll never, ever think of giving it back.

Stretch your “getting ready for the future” chops.  Join us at AIIM15.  Check out the full AGENDA.

And check out the (free to all) Conference e-book.

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

Check out -- 23 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE My First ECM/Content Management Project.


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Topics: future workplace, aiim15

Why Should You Worry About Collaboration?

Feb 9, 2015 9:46:00 AM by John Mancini

Why Should You Worry About Collaboration?

In this new world of rapidly changing information technologies our ability to engage is the key to success.

According to Gallup, in AVERAGE organizations, 33 percent of workers are engaged in their jobs, 49 percent are not engaged, and 18 percent are actively disengaged. On the other hand, in WORLD-CLASS organizations, the numbers are vastly different: 67 percent of workers are engaged in their jobs, 26 percent are not engaged, and only 7 percent are actively disengaged.

Unfortunately, most organizations still look like the fictional company Dunder Mifflin in the show The Office. Most of the systems that are used to engage employees are an afterthought.  In far too many organizations, "collaboration" is just another name for sending around big attachments on email to a long list of recipients, asking everyone to "comment," and then sending those comments via a "reply-all" message.  

Some advice from AIIM’s community of 80,000 practitioners:

1 -- If you're not fully engaging your employees, your business is probably falling behind the competition.

2 -- You can no longer assume that engagement will happen serendipitously in your organization.

3 -- You need to think strategically about the information systems that are necessary to make it happen.

Help your organization address this strategic challenge by comparing notes with hundreds of other fellow-travelers at AIIM15.  Check out the ENGAGE track.  

New predictions from Brian Solis, Tom Koulopoulos, and Chris Surdak are in our new e-book.

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

Check out -- 23 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE My First ECM/Content Management Project.


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Topics: engage, collaboration, aiim15

8 ECM and Governance Posts You May Have Missed

Feb 6, 2015 10:29:04 AM by John Mancini

Weekly Roundup -- 8 #ECM and #Infogov Posts You May Have Missed...

  1. How Do We Focus the C-Suite on #ECM? -- Or Do We Need to Change OUR Tune?
  2. Confess – Are Your Processes Better Suited for 1995 than 2015?
  3. 4 Trends That Will Force You to Rethink Your Processes
  4. Checklist for ECM Project Success – 14 Steps
  5. If I want to buy a car, why do you insist on explaining how the pistons work in the engine?
  6. 4 Data Points That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Information Risk
  7. 3 Reasons You Need to Get Serious About Information Governance and Information Risk
  8. Oil & Gas: The Move From Documents to Data


Check out the AIIM15 Full Conference Agenda and download our free Conference preview e-book.

Download the free AIIM15 ebook.

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Topics: information governance, ecm, aiim15

How Do We Focus the C-Suite on #ECM? -- Or Do We Need to Change OUR Tune?

Feb 2, 2015 2:13:33 PM by John Mancini

I recently had a conversation with outgoing AIIM board member Michael Croal (Cornerstone Advisors).  I thought I would capture the core of it in this blog post - I think there is a lot of meat here re the industry and how we sell and position content-centric solutions.

JM:  Michael, you recently sent me a 22 page framework going through a huge taxonomy of processes in banking. Tell me a little about how this would go over with the C-suite?

MC:   From a practical standpoint, I doubt a C-level would get past page 1 of the 22 page framework.

Core processes are what businesses do every day to create value; these are the processes that create value that the customer will pay for, which is the only way businesses make money.  In banking, there are and always have been just six core processes that are the focus of the c-suite:
  • New Customer/New Account: Sale to 1st Anniversary
  • Consumer Loan Delivery: Application to Lien Perfection
  • Mortgage Loan Delivery: Lead to Investor Sale
  • Commercial Loan Delivery: Expression of Interest to Annual Review
  • Collections: Past Due to Current
  • Loan Servicing: Boarding to Collateral Release
Unless you can tie what you are selling to helping solve one of these problems, you are wasting your time.

JM:  Why are these processes so difficult to get right?

MC:  Every C-level in a bank recognizes that these six processes are critical to performance, yet very few banks/credit unions have senior level managers with these end-to-end processes as their sole responsibility.  

These processes are typically broken up into Origination, Underwriting, Processing, Closing, and Servicing.  That means five different silos with five different systems.  Each silo may go after new and changing technologies but there is no coordination among all of the various technologies in play in the organization -- whether it’s ECM, Business Intelligence, CRM, or ERP -- and the end result is the chaos.  The C-suite needs to understands that the root of their info chaos and under-performance is because of too many hands in the process design pie.

JM:  Here at AIIM we often talk about how difficult it is to get strategic visibility for content management.  Why do you think that is?

MC:  The lack of process owners who are responsible for designing, building, enhancing high performing processes (as opposed to worrying about financial results, budget variances, expense reduction  programs, etc.) is why the ECM message is reaching the practitioners but having such a difficult time reaching the C-suite.

Let me go a bit deeper on just one of the processes I mentioned earlier -- New Customer/New Account: Sale to 1st Anniversary -- to give you an idea of the challenge.

The process picks up after marketing and product development have decided what the products and fees are and the customer has made the choice for the free checking account with online banking, bill-pay, estatements, mobile banking and a debit card.  Today, there is someone responsible for the platform system that generates the paperwork and signature card, someone else has responsibility for online banking and maybe includes mobile banking. Another AVP owns debit cards, and another owns statement production.  Buried in the process is compliance, and yet another someone who owns the “Know Your Customer and AntiMoney Laundering” process.  

Finally, someone in Retail might own the customer onboarding program that requires the process performers to contact the customer two days after the account is opened to make sure the debit card is working, two weeks later to see that the check order arrived, and two months after that to make sure things are alright.  This retail person may also have a metric of cross-sells or wallet share but lacks access to online banking and bill pay activity to see that the customer also pays another financial institution $2,300 on the 3rd day of every month, and hence does not know that a lead should be generated for the mortgage group to begin their process of Mortgage Loan Delivery: Lead to Investor Sale.

A root cause of all this chaos is the subdivision of a broad process “flow” into small tasks, each with a different owner -- and usually a different platform.

JM:  Do you see this as just a bank problem, or something more universal?

MC:  In other verticals, I have to assume their core processes have not changed in the last 100 years either.  If I had to guess at some, they would be:

  • Healthcare:
    • Patient Tracking: Admission to Discharge
    • Patient Billing: Service/Supply to Bill Satisfaction
    • Patient Surgery: Diagnoses to Follow-up
  • Energy:
    • New Production: Land Acquisition to 1st Barrel
    • Refining: Raw Material to Final Product
  • Insurance:
    • Claims Adjustment: Initial Contact to Final Resolution
    • New Policy: Request for Quote to Renewal

I’m sure each of these processes has been broken down and fragmented into simple tasks rife with redundant data entry, checkers checking the checkers, and multiple copies of records in email, share drives, and ECM and BPM. The glue that puts all of these activities back together into a complex, bulky, inefficient process is called middle management and middle management doesn’t have the clout to fix it.


Michael leads the Process Improvement and ECM practice for Cornerstone Advisors, a management consulting firm that specializes in mid-sized banks and credit unions.  Follow @mikecroal and read other process articles at

Have you seen the brand new AIIM15 preview ebook?  It has really interesting pieces by keynoters Tom Koulopoulos and Brain Solis, as well as articles by a host of other presenters -- it's free and available to everyone.

 Download the free AIIM15 ebook.



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Topics: ecm, bpm, aiim15

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