Saying bye to 2014 and welcoming in 2015

Today’s Guest Post by: Mohammed Attar, Director of Case Management & ECM Solutions

This time of year is always a great opportunity to reflect upon everything accomplished throughout the year, and to set goals and expectations for the upcoming year. I am very proud to say that IBM Case Manager and our team has accomplished very much, highlighted by a strong Case showing at IBM Insight 2014, extension of IBM’s 3 Year Lead (emphasizing strong case management capabilities) in Gartner’s ECM Magic Quadrant, and the release of IBM Case Manager 5.2.1. But, what I am most proud of is growing base of customers we have deploying Case Manager to solve both common and new business problems they are dealing with.

However, celebrations asides, we must remain vigilant as we enter the New Year. The IBM Case Manager team will continue to relentlessly innovate and provide the best case management solution in the market – a standard you can expect from IBM. Throughout the year, I have spoken to many case management customers and business partners and discussed how IBM Case Manager can help benefit their businesses and organizations. I assure you that we are listening to your feedback and 2015 promises to be an exciting, innovative year. We are constantly refining ICM and implementing new features to help drive better business outcomes. I have no doubt that 2015 will be another big year for Case.

Look out for my Part II entry in IBM Case Manager Shared Services series early next year. It is going to be an exciting entry that really highlights the value of ICM’s Shared Services capabilities to enterprises. In addition, look for my new upcoming blog series that highlights compelling customer use-cases and how IBM Case Manager improved their businesses.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Share your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation. Tweet to: @MAttarECM

Biography:

mattarMohammed Attar joined IBM in 2006 as part of the FileNet acquisition. Mohammed has over 15 years of experience in the ECM space, and is currently serving as Director of Case Management & ECM Solutions. Mohammed has extensive experience both in product development and management. Mohammed started his career as a Software Engineer focused Performance & Systems Analysis. He later spent time serving as a Product Manager over the IBM ECM Platform. In 2008, Mohammed led his first development team, and since then has continued to serve in a leadership capacity in the business. Mohammed was one of the original development managers responsible for the design, development, and delivery of IBM Case Manager. Mohammed holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton. You can follow him on Twitter @MAttarECM.

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Did You Know? Unified Content Access is Possible with CMIS.

Today’s Guest Post by: Aliye Ergulen, ECM Portfolio Marketing Manager

Does it matter? To answer this question, I must ask myself: In my organization, am I creating content? Am I consuming content? Am I impacted by the content growth (whether structured or unstructured)? How many content sources do I have that I need to gain unified access independent from apps creating them?

Most of us accept that information is growing, and being stored, at an unprecedented rate. This information growth inevitably leaves organizations with several content siloes created. An abstraction layer on top of these content siloes is required to enable users and applications with unified access independent from content sources.

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) is the abstraction layer. What SQL is for structured data, CMIS is for unstructured content. No matter what content solution you are using, CMIS enables unified access to distributed multi-vendor content solutions. CMIS is vendor agnostic and can help you incorporate content into line of business applications and user interfaces. You can then access this content from any engagement platform – mobile, social, desktop, and web leveraging onprem, cloud, or hybrid.

cmisblogTop 3 Reasons to use CMIS:

CMIS increases:

  1. your elasticity in developing and unifying content sitting in multi-vendor solutions; you can keep things in place or consolidate at your own pace;
  2. your agility to develop new innovative apps and create easy to use user experiences; and
  3. your pace to market.

Bonus: IBM Content Navigator and CMIS Integration

IBM Content Navigator comes with CMIS compatibility, which provides unified access to not only all IBM ECM (Enterprise Content Management) flagship content solutions but also to non-IBM content sources such as SharePoint. The mobile, web, cloud, and desktop app development capabilities of Content Navigator bring social and collaborative content creation, sharing, document management to the hands of mobile workers on the go, in turn enabling mobile workers to close more business as they interact with their clients. This will result in faster and better service, higher client satisfaction, more business, and thus, more money.

Check out our CMIS 4-minute overview video and blog post if you are interested in a deeper dive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fqv2FREpCA

http://ibmecmblog.com/2014/09/16/early-access-to-our-next-generation-cmis-server-architecture/

Cool, yes?

Achieving effective information governance

Today’s Post By: Karl Helbig, Marketing Manager, Information Lifecycle Governance

It’s no secret that most companies continue to pile up mountains of unstructured information. We also know that more than two-thirds of that information is just sitting somewhere, not providing any business insights or value to the organization, and is taking up valuable, costly storage space. Identifying and classifying this mass of unstructured information – typically stored across sources and geographies – can be time- and resource-intensive, making it difficult to see, analyze and act on it.

And with all of that information, there’s an inherent risk…the risk that sensitive, ‘dark data’ could be seen by the wrong eyes, or even worse, personal or company confidential information could be accessed and exploited. Research suggests that nearly one-fourth of companies sustain some sort of data breach, where highly sensitive, confidential company and customer information is compromised. The risks associated with a breach are many fold and are not limited to compliance violations; a company’s brand, reputation and customer loyalty could be damaged as well.

Effective information governance starts with sound practices and policies. And that’s where IBM StoredIQ comes in. The intrinsic value in the solution is to help customers control and manage the growth of unstructured information, as well as the associated costs and risks. Content-aware intelligence and action-based policies to the eDiscovery, records management and compliance processes help customers understand and manage information based on its value and potential risk. More so, StoredIQ helps customers find the data that matters, and through deep analysis, helps them garner new insights buried deep within the information. These insights help them understand what to keep, what to move (perhaps to a lower cost, lower tier storage environment or archive) and more importantly, what to get rid of.  At the end of the day, keeping only what is needed will drive down costs (storage and discovery) and reduce the intrinsic risks that unstructured information contains.

Want to learn more? Visit ibm.com and download “Achieving effective information governance: cut storage and discovery costs and help reduce risk with StoredIQ”.

IBM Navigator And Meeting You How You Work

Imagine if someone stood over your shoulder and told you that the way you were doing your job was wrong.

And yet, one of the reasons that so many software implementations aren’t used is that the software is forcing the user to change their habits.

One of the habits we all have is living inside of Microsoft Office.  The Office suite of applications are open on our desktops all day.  Every day.

The December 02 refresh of IBM Navigator includes Microsoft Office integration which means when you bring content sharing and collaboration to your organization you can meet your users where they live.

Microsoft Office integration is just one of a few new features that we have included this quarter.  For the web interface, we’ve added our HTML5 viewing technology, based on Daeja, that makes viewing and reviewing documents in the browser plug-in free.

And, for our IBM Content Navigator clients, the new hybrid features mean that your IBM Navigator content is easily integrated into the ECM Experience Platform so you can continue to provide a single interface to your users for all of their content needs.

If you haven’t already seen what we’re doing with IBM Navigator, the 30-day trial version of IBM Navigator is available and waiting on ibm.com/navigator

Also, if you are still trying to plan out your organization’s content strategy I recommend you listen to the webinar that Director Custom Research at AIIM, Bob Larrivee and I did around a research survey we did entitled, “Documents in the Cloud: Who Owns Them?

Musings on XML

Today’s Post :Stephanie Wing, IBM WW Market Segment Manager

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With the release of IBM Content Manager On Demand 9.5 release, I am glad that I was introduced to XML.For starters like myself, XML is pervasive across the web today and is used in many of today’s popular sites from news sites to social media as well as in IBM’s product and web development.

XML is a markup language that technically stands for “Extensible Markup Language” – it’s the carrier for information that needs to be incorporated into a document. In simple terms, I think of XML as a briefcase where you store data, as it is all about creating a universal means of formatting and presenting information. Did you know that markup languages were actually first developed by IBM and later employed on a large scale within publishing companies? Well, I didn’t.

Here are some key advantages of XML:

  1. Simpler version of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language)
  2. Relatively easy to read and understand
  3. Works across a broad range of platforms
  4. Used across many Open standards

XML is application and platform independent. It can be used with structured, un-structured and semi-structured data. It helps systems to share data and give meaning to data that other applications can use.

The new XML Indexing feature of Content Manager OnDemand can automatically identify, capture, index and archive XML documents into the Content Manager OnDemand repository. These documents may then be readily transformed into desired formats for access on specific devices such as smartphone, tablet, PC, and based on individual user preferences. Documents may also be transformed to meet accessibility requirements such as ADA – Section 508 laws.

To learn more about XML and the other key capabilities of IBM Content Manager OnDemand, download our new Solution Brief here! Also, please check out IBM’s “Introduction to XML: The Basics” video below for more information.

Feel free to also connect with our Technical Sales Consultant, Bud Paton, at rpaton@us.ibm.com with any questions you may have.

How is the User Experience for Your Document Capture?

Today’s Post : Feri Clayton, Director of IBM Document Imaging and Capture Solutions

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Gone are the days that document capture software had a small number of back office users. In the new world of distributed capture everyone is a document capture user – all the knowledge workers in an enterprise, front office workers in regional offices or branches, and even customers on their mobile devices or online. They all have documents to submit and expect that those documents be processed quickly.

Let’s look at some examples…

In bank branches customers bring in their papers and identifications to open an account, apply for a new business loan, refinance their mortgage, or request a fee adjustment.

Insurance agents help their clients establish a policy for a new home, get life insurance, or file a claim for loss of property – all these activities involve processing documents.

In regional government offices citizens apply for various services — a driver’s license at DMV, a visa or passport at consulates, and family services at a state social services office. Again, all these activities involve processing documents.

Traditionally, for these types of business processes, documents were collected at the branch or regional office and shipped to a processing center where the back office workers would scan and store them before a business process can start. This could easily take days. Today, customers expect very fast response time – seconds or minutes, not days or weeks. Speeding up transactions requires that we start capturing documents at the first point of touch… which means that the front office workers, agents, brokers, delivery drivers, mobile sales reps, and even customers are now your document capture users. This brings us back to the user experience topic for document capture.

The back office workers who perform document capture tasks like scanning, indexing, or verifying documents are typically trained on the software and become efficient in using it due to repetitive nature of their tasks. On the other hand, if we want to distribute document capture to the first point of touch, it would be knowledge workers or customers at home who would use the capture software. That means that document capture user experience needs to be intuitive, easy to use, with no training required. Also, you can’t dictate the software platform – the user could be on any browser or mobile device.

The new generation of document capture software should be for everyone! That is why we leveraged IBM Content Navigator framework to completely renovate the user experience for IBM Datacap in its latest version 9.0 that was just released in November. This is not the Datacap you knew… much more attractive and much easier to use for all user types.

Now we have a single user experience for all IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) products from capture to document management, case management, and information lifecycle governance. Seamless and intuitive user experience that anyone can use on any browser or mobile device… really beautiful!

The Competitive Edge with Mobile Document Capture

Today’s Post: Brittany Bruner, Market Segment Manager, Document Imaging & Capture

With all the advancements in mobile capture technology, it’s now quick and easy to gather data from documents and other sources wherever and whenever they’re needed. That makes life easier for everyone involved—customers, employees, and especially your business. That ease in turn can transform into real competitive advantage.

Whether someone’s applying to get a mortgage or submitting delivery confirmation in the field, IBM mobile document capture makes it easy to capture documentation that’s required, and send it instantly. This same innovation can be applied to your business processes and take your customer service to the next level.

It’s time you got the true competitive edge your business needs to thrive in today’s ever-changing market. The ability to intelligently capture and manage documents can determine how successful your organization can be. Research shows that 9 out of 10 leading companies are gaining a major competitive edge from mobile*.

Industries everywhere are evolving with mobile; banks are adding mobile capturing to check-scanning applications, insurance companies are offering capture for people buying new policies or updating their existing coverage, and other customer-oriented companies are creating an overall better customer experience. Adapting mobile into your business clearly shows results with 59% of leading companies improving customer experiences through it–nearly five times more than their competitors.*

The important part of IBM’s Datacap mobile document capture is that it’s efficient and secure; utilizing data encryption and password protection so any device lost or misplaced doesn’t compromise your organization’s sensitive data and documents.

You have the power to turn any smartphone or device into a workstation that can capture information clearly, accurately and securely. IBM Datacap mobile document capture makes this future possible, today.

Are you Ready for Mobile Capture? Click here to download your free copy of the white paper by Kevin Craine.

Watch to learn more about the many ways mobile document capture can work for you.

 

All Things Smarter Process

Today’s Post By: Mohammed Attar, IBM Director, Case Management and ECM Solutions Product and Strategy

The competitive business environment today is at an all-time high. The cut-throat competition businesses face today reduces the room for error into razor thin margins. Customers are becoming increasingly smarter when purchasing products or services. They know that they have a range of businesses that they can purchase from, thus shifting the power back into the hands of the consumers. Today, businesses must create value that didn’t exist 5, 10 years ago for the consumer in order to remain competitive and relevant. No longer are consumers looking for just the best product, the most bang-for-the-buck product, the fastest delivered product, or the best customer service. They are now looking for a combination in all of these attributes. IBM recognizes this and created the “Smarter Process” initiative to help businesses grow alongside society.

IBM’s Smarter Process has three key capabilities: Business Process Management, Operational Decision Management, and Case Management. Today’s dynamic business operations highlights just how important Case Management is. IBM’s Case Manager helps link humans with content and process, provide insights into unstructured content, and ultimately, drives dynamic outcomes based on the context of the content. By providing all these tools and capabilities: linking humans with content and process, insights into unstructured content, case persistence, case history and analytics for auditability and insight, content security, compliance and governance, and many others, IBM’s Case Manager helps reinvent the way businesses operate by providing knowledge workers – whether they are loan process officers, HR administrators, fraud investigators, or doctors – the right tools to help make their business operations more efficient, optimized and ultimately “smarter”. With IBM Case Manager, companies are able to remain competitive in their industries, satisfy their customers, and thrive in today’s Smarter Planet.

IBM Case Manager will be a part of the IBM Smarter Process event in NYC on December 9th and the Gartner Business Process Management Summit in Las Vegas on December 10th – 12th. There are some great information and speaking sessions scheduled at these two events about Smarter Process and the future of the work place. Product Manager Mike Fannon will be at these two events with a few IBM Case Manager demos to showcase. He will also be available to answer any questions regarding IBM Case Manager and how it fits into the IBM’s Smarter Process vision.

Share your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation. Tweet to: @MAttarECM

Biography:

mattarMohammed Attar joined IBM in 2006 as part of the FileNet acquisition. Mohammed has over 15 years of experience in the ECM space, and is currently serving as IBM Director, Case Management and ECM Solutions Product and Strategy. Mohammed has extensive experience both in product development and management. Mohammed started his career as a Software Engineer focused Performance & Systems Analysis. He later spent time serving as a Product Manager over the IBM ECM Platform. In 2008, Mohammed led his first development team, and since then has continued to serve in a leadership capacity in the business. Mohammed was one of the original development managers responsible for the design, development, and delivery of IBM Case Manager. Mohammed holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton.

IBM Watson Curator: Transforming Big Data Into Trusted Information For Watson

Today’s guest post by: John Murphy, Vice President of ECM Products, Development and Strategy

After speaking to clients about it at IBM Insight 2014, I am pleased to inform you about a new service announcing today, IBM Watson Curator – a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that increases the confidence of responses from Watson Engagement Advisor. It simplifies the process of building information collections with subject matter experts who can locate, review and track high-quality and highly relevant information.

Better information equates to better knowledge, but getting there isn’t always easy. IBM Watson Curator helps clients reduce the work required for identifying and managing the highest quality content by using a more guided and repeatable process. This makes SMEs more efficient and allows them to focus on what’s most important.

What you should know

IBM ECM teamed with IBM Watson to help transform big data into high quality information collections for use in and the training for Watson responses. Here are some of the key takeaways from this announcement:

  • IBM ECM has been the best practices and technology leader in content management as proven by the past three Gartner magic quadrants for ECM.
  • We understood that the issue combines both technology and a human element. Subject matter experts need to see and approve/reject content, but have limited time to do this. Watson Curator offers a guided process for the identification, review and approval of content.
  • Watson Curator supports CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) for openness and extensibility. Watson Engagement Advisor is just the beginning. We plan to discuss roadmaps for this solution with clients going forward.

In the comments section below, we’d be interested to hear from you. What are some of the ways you see yourself or your business benefiting from IBM Watson Curator?

How can you solve the problem of “too much stuff”?

Today’s Post By: Elissa Redmiles, Market Segment Manager, IBM ECM Information Lifecycle Governance

It’s a common story – an organization has too many emails. Too many of those many emails are declared as records. And at the end of the day, the organization has no insight into what those records are and how to manage them. This creates obstacles in deciding which records merit external legal review in the case of litigation and creates struggles when it comes time prove compliance.

How can I solve these problems?

ierBlogStepsListing out what you need to do is easy. Actually putting that records management program together is significantly harder. I’m here to tell you how IBM’s Enterprise Records solution can help you transform your records program and jump start a strong information governance strategy.

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Our solutions have been implemented successfully by a plethora of large companies, such as Novartis AG, to manage records, implement retention and disposition policies, and clean up ROT data.

Take a gander at our solution brief to learn more about records management in general, and how IBM Enterprise Records can help you.