How to Increase ECM Team Efficiency

In the course of doing some work for one of our partners – we were asked to take a look at the existing workload for their ECM team.  This particular ECM team has done a great job maintaining and integrating ECM components from a variety of vendors.  As typical in such an environment – we found that everyone on the team had primary support duties for at least one component, and was involved in customer support issues or updating /enhancing one or more of the company’s ECM products on pretty much a daily basis.  Continue reading

How to choose the best ECM solution for your organization

As a Project Manager at ImageSource, it is my job to educate and guide stakeholders to the best solution based on budget, timelines and requirements. Having previously worked as a consultant at ImageSource, I’ve worked with the stakeholders of an organization to outline the scope of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution for their business. During this process, our project management team conducts interviews of the users as well as workshops. The workshops help to demonstrate what is necessary for the organization to become more efficient rather than having unnecessary features, which, at times, can cause more work. As ECM technology continues to advance, more and more features become available and included in products. During the workshops, stakeholders must make tough decisions on what features are needed verses those that would just be nice to have.

Once these requirements are identified, our next objective is to review the products available, such as ILINX, IBM and Oracle, that will cover all the features the business needs to become more efficient. Currently on the market are several out-of-the-box software options that may fulfill some of the requirements needed. However, most organizations, small or large, have business processes that are unique and require configurable workflow options, database links and/or specific security requirements. Software that has this functionality ranges in licensing costs, software costs and implementation costs. It is important to have the requirements clearly identified from the beginning so that when the organization begins to review the software demos and proof of concepts, the best and most cost efficient solution is selected.

Jen Hilt
Project Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Does Agile Foster Innovation?

The Project Management Institute held a conference today called “Project Management Success: A View from the Future”. The keynote speaker, Jim Highsmith, an Agile thought leader and executive consultant at ThoughtWorks, Inc. posted a slide asking the question “Does Agile Foster Innovation?”

The slide referenced these items about the company Salesforce.

  • Ranked #1 innovator by Forbes magazine 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Ranked #2 innovator by Forbes magazine 2017
  • 5 year average sales growth – 39.5% (2012)
  • 5 year average net income growth – 78.7 (2012)
  • 140 Agile teams in 2011
  • Per Steve Green , VP technology program management
    • Agile 7+ years
    • All in approach (25 teams to start)
    • Other departments (R&D, Operations, Marketing)
    • Over 100,000 automated acceptance tests
    • Steve Green – ” Agile is the foundation of our innovation”

What are your thoughts on this? Do you use Agile methodologies in your company to manage projects? Is your company more or less innovative using Agile methodologies?

Al Senzamici, PMP
Program Manager
ImageSource, Inc.

Pre-ECM Project Checklist: Object Storage Decision

We’re going to add one more item to our pre-ECM project checklist:

1) Where should we store our content?

Database storage used to be expensive.  In the 1950’s, the cost per megabyte of storage exceeded $10,000/MB.  Today, the cost has dropped to a few cents.  Not only have storage costs dropped, so have memory costs as they have followed the same price drop as storage.  Taking advantage of lower costs; most DB manufacturers have begun offering high performance in memory databases (IMDB – In-Memory Database).

From an ECM perspective; because of the higher database costs, content storage solutions were designed to use databases to store only the metadata or the index values associated with content, and the actual files and documents were stored on cheaper file storage devices.   While lowering costs, this approach meant that ECM solutions were forced with managing, synchronizing, backing up, and designing applications where index values were one place and the actual documents, audio/video files were somewhere else. Continue reading

Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

This is so true…lest we forget the importance of feedback, especially from our customer.

Please don’t make this mistake in your business. It will RUIN you.

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Every now and then, you stumble on something that makes you want to hit your head against the wall.

And it’s often when people make a large, glaring mistake. A mistake that should be self explanatory, but they make it anyway.

Here’s the full story…

Over on Facebook, I republished my video about why I think discounting is for idiots. And someone shared their opinion of my video:

bob

Now this is remarkable.

First, let’s talk about the big elephant in the room. They tell me I’m an idiot, and that they suggest businesses LIE to their customers.

But that’s not even the main point.

Instead, they’re not paying any mind to what I’m sharing because they don’t agree with it.

I’m not surprised by this though. There’s something known as selective exposure theory in psychology, and the long and short of it is: people look for information that affirms their pre-existing beliefs instead of contradicts them.

Now here’s the thing:

The mistake I’m sharing with you today has nothing to do with discounting. And it has nothing to do with lying.

Instead…

When you’re running your business, you should NEVER – and I mean NEVER – shoot down the advice of other people. Even if you think it doesn’t apply to you. Even if you think the other person is wrong.

Now this doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read.

Far from it.

I’m cynical. And skeptical. And everything I read, I take with a grain of salt. However, no matter how smart or dumb people sound, I always approach every scenario with the mindset of, “What can I learn from this?”

That’s why I read books about art history, copywriting, memoirs of fashion executives, and more.

Even if something doesn’t apply to me, I make it apply.

And that’s the secret.

If someone presents something to you that contracts what you know, you don’t have to change your mind and believe them. But you should ask yourself, “What do they know that I don’t?”

Even in this example, maybe they know something about discounting that I don’t. And even if they don’t, I still used their comments as a teachable moment for you.

So from this point forward, I implore you to never make the mistake this person made. I want you to use every experience as an opportunity to learn something new. Because in my experience, the best ideas comes from the dumbest things.

And I don’t want you to miss out on any of it.

Now here’s what I want you to do…

What’s one comment or critique you’ve received in your business (or life) that you didn’t agree with. How can you turn that into a teachable moment or a lesson? Leave a comment.

You can read the original article here.

Best Regards,

Robert Hughet
Quality Assurance Mgr.
ImageSource, Inc.

Steve Jobs and Promoting Insanely Great Software Quality

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” (Steve Jobs, 1989)

“You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” (Steve Jobs, 1997)

“[If you’re lucky, when you grow up you’ll discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” (Steve Jobs, 1994)

steve-jobs-12-970x0

Few people in recent history have made the impression Steve Jobs did. He was a thunderous, hypersonic force in a world of (relatively speaking) slow-motion quiet, leaving behind a vibrant legacy of astonishing dimensions and changing not only the way people communicate, but the very way people think about communicating in the world of information interchange.

The first two quotes highlight the difficulty of transforming a process/idea into mass-marketable software. Further, they show that for the past twenty years or so, the process of building software has not changed appreciably. One can search the Internet, scanning for the one definitive article that outlines the perfect strategy and methodology for software development, marketing and deployment. With the millions of people working diligently the past twenty-plus years in the tech world to codify any and all matters, it seems that would be doable. OK. Go ahead and look. I’ll wait. And, if the past is any indicator of future performance, twenty years from now I’ll still be waiting and you’ll be howling, foaming-at-the-mouth mad, surrounded by seriously alarming piles of used, fermenting pizza boxes and empty soda bottles. And the only one who will still love you is your Mom. Maybe. Software development can be likened to being chased by a rabid Rottweiler while trying to catch an over-amped cat jonesing for tuna when you have one leg in a cast and the cat isn’t inclined to be caught and the Rottweiler seriously wants to turn your good leg into its new, favorite chew toy, you know? Continue reading

7 Principles for Creating a Successful Digital Workplace

ImageSource has partnered with dozens of customers of every size and across all industries to fine-tune our unique ECM-Ecosystem offering. This powerful engagement helps organizations to clearly understand where they are underserved by their current content management technologies, what their optimal content management objectives should be, and lays out a series of steps to get customers on track with a meaningful content management strategy. The five steps to the ImageSource ECM-Ecosystem are:

1. Understand the business problem/challenge
2. Identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
3. Provide a business vision
4. Define technology requirements
5. Define the business value

I recently ran across a great article by Elizabeth Marsh wherein she lays out 7 key principles in creating a successful “digital workplace” strategy. These same principles are woven throughout the ImageSource ECM-Ecosystem but Elizabeth did such a good job describing them that I thought I would share them here. So later this week, grab a slab of leftover turkey and pile of stuffing, cozy up to a warm fire, and share these insightful tidbits with family and friends – they’ll be glad you did!

Build Digital Workplaces Fit for the Future
http://www.cmswire.com/cms/social-business/build-digital-workplaces-fit-for-the-future-027113.php
By Elizabeth Marsh  |  Nov 25, 2014

Randy Weakly
VP of Software Development
ImageSource, Inc.