Selecting the Right Document Management Collaboration Solution: The Power of Simplicity


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  • Would you buy and use an 18 wheeler as your daily grocery getter? Every aspect of the 18 wheeler cost more – fuel, licensing, maintenance, parking, tires, and so on. For much, much less than the price of a semi, you could have one small truck that accomplishes 80% of your requirements instead of having one giant truck that doesn’t really work for everyday tasks…unless you move a lot or regularly shop for 100. So why do we buy document management systems that have capabilities way beyond our needs? As with most software, the 80/20 rule applies, 80% of us only use 20% of the functions of any software package, but we still pay for the 100%! And that 80% of the functions we don’t use adds complexity to the software making it potentially less useable to the average user.
  • Compared to even 10 years ago, opportunities and means to collaborate have exploded. Perhaps the biggest change is the ability to use our personal phones, tablets, and computers to access work materials and projects. New collaboration tools have literally changed how we collaborate – such as cloud file share sites, Jive, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Today, we can easily access our company documents and projects from anywhere there is an Internet connection and easily connect and collaborate with team members 24/7.Complexity arises because we now have multiple sources and storage of original documents that may get “lost” in the shuffle and they may at some time become business records, which need to be kept for a designated period of time.
  • Collaboration is really communications between two, or more, people. The message is essentially the same whether it is communicated via a paper document, a text message, or a Word file. All of our new options have actually made it easier to collaborate, not more complex. Ten years ago we had massive monolithic ECM systems that were our only choice for collaboration. And it was difficult to actually use the legacy system for collaboration and so we used secondary communication paths like sneakernet or email and in many cases, email became our de facto collaboration system, if you will.These secondary paths of communication were largely personal and subjective making it hard to follow or know where all of the content resided. With today’s cloud based systems, collaboration get concentrated into one system that is more easily tracked.
  • Let’s look at the primary means for collaborationand see how we can simplify it.We still use the following for primary project workPaperShared drivesDocument capture – or scanning a document Document management systems – a system that stores and manages electronic documents and recordsAnd now we have cloud-based collaboration applications
  • Much to everyone’s surprise, we still have paper today and it apparently in not going to go away.Read slide ……….I think paper remains for two reasons, one is that it is easy to use and we are comfortable with it and the second is that for some applications paper is actually the best medium for that particular use. Many contracts, for example, are still written, printed, and signed as paper documents because it is an easy way to get the wet ink signature required. And even though a contract today can be completely executed from start to finish as a digital document, we still use the paper version.However, there is practically no paper process today that can’t easily become a digital process that is not only easy to use, but is far less expensive than even 5 years ago to implement. I encourage you to look at all of your paper processes and whenever possible, convert the paper to a digital process – there should be very few exceptions.
  • Document capture used to be a very expensive process requiring dedicated computers, scanners, and operators. Today, it is very affordable with scanners and software that has all of the expensive functionality of a capture system from just a few years ago. A portable desktop scanner can scan two-sided documents, in color, OCR them, and convert the document to PDF format for a fraction of the cost of yesterday’s systems. This type of scanner can be purchased for less than $500 and is the equivalent to a $5000 scanner from several years ago.Read slide……Because of the lower cost and increased functionality, there is very little reason today to keep paper in its original form.
  • One of our oldest means for collaboration, and one of hardest to control, is the Shared Drive.Read slide…..Shared drives are much like paper, they are easy to use, ubiquitous, and have a long history. But like paper and scanning, there is essentially no reason today to have a shared drive. Of course the legacy ECM systems did not replace a shared drive and may , in some cases have contributed to why the shared drive is still alive – remember the 18 wheeler versus the pickup? But today, many of the cloud-based collaboration systems can easily replace the shared drive with a “better” shared drive and it may actually be cheaper than the corporate in-house versions. With a cloud-based shared drive you get all the advantages of a regular shared drive but also get the ability to share and collaborate on files that you may not have been able to with your corporate version such as working with people outside of the firewall.
  • Electronic document management is a love/hate relationship for many of us. It does many things well but it is not the easiest to use and in many cases hampers productivity. Read slide….While the original ECM systems were relatively simple, they continued to grow in features with the idea that they would become your complete desktop operating system and you would work all day in the application without leaving it. It was an effort, I think, by the vendors to control the corporate desktop and to do this, more features and functions were piled on. Soon, the systems were so complex that many people could no longer actually use them for their day-to-day work and began looking longingly at their shared drives and then, voila, the cloud appeared and saved the day. (well almost but soon….)While cloud collaboration sites will do, mostly, 100% of the functions we need, cloud systems miss the target with regard to some of the needed functions of an ECM system. So I don’t see cloud collaboration replacing legacy ECM systems but I do see cloud systems supplementing ECM systems and the two working together to satisfy both the corporate management point of view (compliance) and the user (I need to get my job done). Now, a user can use a cloud system with all its advantages but be able to securely store documents into the corporate repository when needed.So instead of one replacing the other… or one working at cross-purposes to the other, I think that legacy systems and cloud systems can work together and satisfy both users. And IT was afraid that they cloud would take their jobs away!!!
  • While I’m sure everyone in the audience has used a cloud system, like Dropbox, we really should step back and look at the differences….Read slide…..The upside to a cloud system is that it is designed to be used out of the box with little or no training as in….get your site and start using it in 15 minutes or less. The downside is that in order to offer this ease of use, the sites are not changeable or customizable – what you see is what you get. So if you need to have versions of documents with an audit trail, and the site doesn’t have those features, you are out of luck. But generally speaking, a cloud site can really increase your productivity and collaborative capabilities and can, over time replace your paper documents and shared drives AND, add life back to your legacy ECM system. Cloud collaboration can actually simplify our work by giving us choices and instead of replacing one thing, cloud systems can supplement functionality in existing systems.
  • There are many cloud based system on the market. And while they may differ in terms of functionality and features, they all help us to work in a more collaborative manner and actually be more productive. These are some examples of cloud based systems….they are all different in terms of feature sets, but essentially they all provide a means to store and collaborate on documents.
  • Just as a note, there are cloud based sites that are oriented around a specific work functions such as HR, Accounting, project management, or customer relationship management. These types of sites are built to provide a work environment for your job and typically do not stray outside of that area. So unlike the legacy ECM systems that tried to be all things to all people, Basecamp does one thing and does it well. The reason I bring these systems up is that they also allow you to import or create documents and to collaborate on them within the site itself. So in Basecamp if you create a project plan and have other documentation, you can put all that in the Basecamp project site for general work and collaboration. The issue or potential problem that I see with this is that we are beginning to develop siloes of information and functionality so that Basecamp does projects, Workday is HR, and Netsuite is accounting….but the three applications do not talk to each other and content is not searchable or viewable across platforms. I’m not sure that cross-collaboration is a problem since you can add users to a site, but from a corporate point of view there is no “federated” view of the content and no “federated” way of managing all of the content. Which leads us back to the idea of a central repository, our exiting ECM system.
  • I don’t think we need to think in terms of “complete” systems today but rather look for “best of breed” components that fit your need. Just as a smartphone works for some activities, and a tablet works for others, and if needed, you can plug in the desktop or laptop. Today it is a plug and play culture – as the saying goes…So it may be possible to use Basecamp for project management and store the documents in the corporate ECM system.I think that in the near future there will be push to have a common interface between cloud products that allows us to link two or more products together and be able to mix and match products as the work dictates. This will greatly simply collaboration while giving us an overall better product.
  • I think we can say, at this point, that paper can still be used and may still be necessary, but low-cost powerful scanning tools should replace paper with better functionality. And, it looks like the shared drive can finally be replaced by something that is actually better than a corporate shared drive. Together, document capture and cloud based collaboration tools offer hard to beat pricing, efficiencies, and better all-around collaborative capabilities.Like paper, the legacy ECM system will still be around and will provide the “backend” to many cloud sites. By backend, I mean that content stored or synced to an ECM system will be:Searchable – many cloud systems offer a very basic search capability while an ECM system offers a much more powerful search capabilityCompliance – Legacy ECM systems offer compliance for all the rules and regulations that must be in place for such things as HIPAA, SOX, and othersInformation management – as mentioned earlier, most cloud systems lack information management capabilities for records management, compliance, and legal hold lock downs – for example.Centralized and Long-term storage – While time will tell, many companies will want their business documents to be stored in a managed system that can store documents for their lifecycle, which can be 20 years or even permanently. Also, ECM systems can serve as the collection point for your diverse cloud applications allowing you to collaborate as needed but collect and store documents in a centralized area.
  • Selecting the Right Document Management Collaboration Solution: The Power of Simplicity

    1. 1. In association with: Presented by: Porter-Roth AssociatesSelecting the Right DocumentManagement CollaborationSolution: The Power of SimplicityPresented April 3, 2013
    2. 2. In association with: Presented by:Independent, vendor neutral, consulting in: Cloud Information Management Electronic Document Management Document Imaging Records Management Workflow@BudPR415-381-6217Porter-Roth Associates
    3. 3. In association with: Presented by: Introduction Collaboration Technologies Simplify Collaboration QuestionsAgenda
    4. 4. In association with: Presented by:A Theme for Our Talk…ComplexSimpleComplexSimple
    5. 5. In association with: Presented by:Today, Collaboration is a Complex MatterFile SyncOn-PremiseElectronic & Paper DocumentsCloud-based(n+1) servicesasedWorkHomeWorkBYODElectronic DocumentsVideo Conf
    6. 6. In association with: Presented by:But in Reality, It’s not that ComplexDo we have adeal?
    7. 7. In association with: Presented by: Paper Systems Shared Drives Document Capture Electronic Document Management Cloud-based ApplicationsHow do we Collaborate Today?
    8. 8. In association with: Presented by: Paper was/is stored in a variety of places Personal workspaces Department “shelves” Archive centers (in-house) Archive centers (3rd party) People “like” paper because it is easy to use and in some cases remainsthe best medium for a particular use, but, Paper capture has gotten better, cheaper, and faster giving us fewerreasons to keep paper around Today’s capture systems make the choice between paper or imageharder to make and in many cases, only our “history” is the reason whypaper is still usedPaper Systems
    9. 9. In association with: Presented by: Scanning initially was to “replaced” paper but… Scanning is a viable and cost effective technology for storing andmanaging paper Can be used on a department, project, or personal basis An effective way of collaborating Technology has made capture simpler, better, and cheaper so you nolonger have to buy a complete ECM system in order to use capturetechnologies If the choice is between paper and image, it is increasingly difficult tojustify staying with paperDocument Capture
    10. 10. In association with: Presented by: Individual or group file shares Access permissions controlled in a variety of ways Have basically no document management controls Have little inherent “metadata” capabilities Difficult to search with any accuracy People like shared drives because they are easy to use and they requirelittle “overhead” from IT or IM However, with the advent of newer technologies, there is little reason tocontinue using them SharePoint is replacing shared drives Cloud-based systems are replacing shared drives Can you sync a file share and cloud system to make better use of both?Shared Drives
    11. 11. In association with: Presented by: Electronic document management is so broad with so many productsand functionality that it is hard for anyone to grasp the completemarketplace and technologies Systems are often complex and not user “friendly” and implementationand on-going costs can be significant Legacy ECM systems have their place, but they are being supplementedby smaller systems or even cloud-based collaboration systems Think 80/20 when you think of a legacy ECM There is no reason why you can’t use a cloud-based collaborativesystem for the front-end and the legacy system for the back-endactivities such as records management, archival storage, andcomplianceElectronic Document Management
    12. 12. In association with: Presented by: Store and Retrieve – very basic and functions like an FTP or a file sharein the cloud site. Content Collaboration – offers basic storage & retrieval - also includesbasic document management capabilities that allow multiple people tocollaborate on content. Platform – offers a complete environment including storage andretrieval, content management, and office productivity applications suchas wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentations, calendaring, workflow, etc. Cloud-based systems are designed to be simple and intuitively usefulright out of the box.Cloud Applications (document/file based)
    13. 13. In association with: Presented by: Dropbox Huddle HP Flow CM Office 365/SharePoint (hosted) Box SpringCM Accellion Workshare And many othersCloud Content Management (CCM) Systems
    14. 14. In association with: Presented by: Offers functional applications such as projectmanagement, CRM, ERP, HR, social networking (business andpersonal) in addition to simple creation and storage and retrieval ofdocuments. Basecamp (project management) Workday (HR) NetSuite (ERP) Salesforce/Chatter (CRM/social networking) + Chatterbox) Collaboration can happen between two cloud-based applications It is not unusual to have two or more cloud applications providingdifferent functional usesCloud Applications (not document/file based)
    15. 15. In association with: Presented by:How to Simplify CollaborationTechnologyProcess
    16. 16. In association with: Presented by:Simply Your Collaboration SystemsACME,LLCLSLegacy Systems
    17. 17. In association with: Presented by:Questions?