ECM plus Social and Mobile equals Smart Business Strategy

By Bryant Duhon posted 02-21-2012 21:23

  

In this AIIM Conference 2012 Q&A, Glenn Gibson discusses how to extend business processes to mobile devices and why ECM technology is a critical underpinning of a social and mobile strategy.

Glenn is the Product Marketing Manager at Hyland Software and has been in the IT industry for 12 years. Prior to his current role, Glenn personally trained hundreds of people on ECM concepts and technologies while managing the New Employee Training department over a 5-year span at Hyland Software.

Glenn will present on Thursday, March 22 at 10:30.

His session: Deploying ECM/BPM Enterprise-wide? Go small or go home.

Duhon: Where does ECM fit in a world of social and mobile?

Gibson: It fits very well indeed. Although these are relatively new concepts, these ideas have instantly become part of a fundamental ECM strategy. One of the primary driving factors behind an organization developing an ECM strategy is the need to get critical business information into the hands of the right people at the right time.

The explosion of social media,particularly from mobile devices, has changed the way that people expect to interact with their information, expecting (dare I say, demanding?) to get access to what they need, not just when they are in the office, but instantly from wherever they are. Extending the information contained within an ECM system out to mobile devices so that people can access and interact with their information easier is a natural fit for an ECM strategy, because well, that’s what ECM is all about.

Duhon: You have apps for Android, Windows Phone, iPhone, and iPad; how do your customers use those apps?

Gibson: These are used as to provide real-time access to their business processes. Even with a brilliant ECM system, when the people who are responsible for making important decisions (from approving a critical business expense to agreeing to hire the perfect candidate) are travelling and out of the office, the business processes stall until they get back. Our customers extend their business processes to their mobile devices, completely removing these bottlenecks. This allows their business to run at full efficiency at all times, regardless of where the decision-makers physically are.

Duhon: Hyland has had a SaaS offering for nearly a decade, what lessons have you learned about who uses that service?

Gibson: We have learned that the SaaS model is not a niche market. Our customers span all of the vertical markets of Hyland Software and mimic the breakdown of those Hyland customers that have deployed on premises. Additionally, the size of the solution varies; organizations deploying to the Cloud range from small point solutions to large enterprise deployments. And, the distribution of customers is almost equal parts domestic and international.

Duhon: One of your core values is “Our customers are our partners.” What has been the value of the customer community to you? Have you quantified that in any way?

Gibson: Our customer community is truly the voice of OnBase. They are the daily users of our software and our biggest advocates to tell how the solution has transformed processes at their organization. We empower our customers to give honest feedback, because that feedback is directly implemented into our software. This reassures both current and future customers that not only do we develop leading ECM product, but also that we want to make a solution that has features that solves customers pains.

Duhon: What’s next in the evolution of the ECM industry?

Gibson: Capture has always been an important part of an overall ECM strategy. The ability to get the information into the ECM system as quickly and cleanly as possible, whether this is scanning and indexing documents to ingesting electronic files. For many years there have been “pure-play” capture vendors who specialize in capturing the data cleanly to pass that data to other systems, including the ECM system. The industry is now seeing ECM vendors desire to provide start-to-end solutions from a single vendor. Some vendors are buying these pure-play capture vendors, some OEM them white-labeling them as part of their overall suite, and some like Hyland Software, have developed their own product which is inherently integrated with their complete ECM solution. This allows for the lowest total cost of ownership possible.

The ability to integrate ECM systems with other business applications has been a core ECM concept for many years, through the concept of “image-enabling” screens. This ability to “lift” information from any business application and pass it to the ECM system is a cost-efficiency offered by ECM vendor worth looking at. Where customers have traditionally encountered high services costs, however, is when they need the information to flow the other direction, namely update their business systems based on activity which happens in the ECM system. This has been possible for many years, thanks to APIs, but has traditionally required custom code to be written. The ability to provide easily configurable integrations allowing a two way data flow from the organizations various applications and their ECM system, without a host of custom code being written, is the new frontier of integrating applications.

Case Management continues to be the buzz term of the 2010s. Case management is effectively applied, specific ECM solutions modeled around specific business areas. This is something that ECM vendors are taking seriously as they look for new ways to flexibly meet the needs of business today.

Hope to see you in San Francisco!

AIIM would like to thank Hyland Software for sponsoring AIIM 2012.



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