Make a Statement with IBM Content Manager OnDemand

Today’s Post By: Brian Phelps, WW Sales Leader – Content Manager OnDemand Solutions

Despite the increasing digitization of business today, the truth is that most companies continue to print and mail thousands of pages of customer correspondence every month. All of this printing, paper and processing costs more than $3.00 for every statement, bill or remittance to every customer…every time. Now, you do the math. What is all of this costing your company?

Moving Online

Studies show that over half of your customers don’t even want all this mail; most would much rather view it information online. According to Provoke Research Partners, 78% of US consumers prefer to view their bills and statements online. This is up from just 32% in 2012. But it can be difficult to make the move to online presentment without the right tools and strategies in place to make the migration a success. Indeed, many Enterprise Content Management systems are popular for their ability to capture and store customer information in an archive, but very few are well suited to the task of presenting that information back out to customers online as a replacement for traditional print and mail.

Innovation with CMOD

IBM Content Manager OnDemand, or CMOD, is the best solution in the industry for providing customer self-service to access their own account documents and data. We designed CMOD as the perfect platform to optimize how you handle your customer communications and it has a number unique capabilities and trade patents that that separate it from any other content management solution available today. Not only does it make bill and statement presentation easy for customers, but behind the scenes its unique compression strategy means that you can store more data using much less storage space.

Navigating Value and Service

Organizations find additional value buy pairing CMOD with IBM Content Navigator to create a single view of customer information whether it’s in the company call center or being access on the web or via a mobile device by a customer. This way both service agents and customers are literally on the same page, working quickly to resolve problems and to create a great customer experience. And since CMOD is not complex to deploy, so you’ll start getting value right away. In fact, one customer recently implemented CMOD in just two weeks. They ingested statements for 500,000 customers, and by the third week over half of their customers were already accessing their own statements online.

Age of the Customer

Customers today expect the ability to access to their information from wherever and whenever they choose. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your customers in new ways using their statements and bills? Let’s face it, for many companies, viewing bills is the primary reason that their customers access their website to begin with, so by presenting statements and other routine correspondence on your site you immediately drive more traffic to your site, increase the value of your online presence, boost customer satisfaction by presenting account information online, and save more than $3.00 for every customer mailing suppress while doing it. Best of all, more customers coming to your website means more opportunities up-sell, cross-sell, and communicate in more profitable ways.

Moving Forward

Are you ready to make a statement with your statements, bills and other customer correspondence? Look at IBM Content Manager OnDemand and see why thousands of other customers have already implemented this solution.  For more information on customer self-service, download this free Frost & Sullivan white paper.

Case Management: Shared Services, Shared Success

Today’s Guest Post by: Dave Perman, Sr.Product Manager, IBM Case Manager


When you think about it, it’s risky that so many organizations use different case management software across departments — human resources uses one software, legal uses another and the c-suite is on a different system altogether. This all-too-common scenario makes extra work, creates inefficient silos between departments, and provides security gaps for anyone to exploit.

So how do you change that? -Today, it’s as easy as changing your mind. IBM Case Manager is a solution platform that gives your company the ability to manage cases across many lines of business (LOBs). Just like your people, your software should interface across departments. And it has a solution deployment model that makes rolling out new solutions fast and efficient.

The costs of not doing this are high. Information gets stuck in one department — difficult to access by another LOB that needs the exact same data. Wires are crossed, duplicate documents are produced and disseminated, and confidential information is compromised when information is improperly shared. What smart organizations are doing today is bringing Business and IT together into Centers of Excellence to jointly plan, design, and deploy content-based solutions across the enterprise.

Giving your employees the ability to share, access, act on, and govern content across your organization is at the heart of IBM’s advanced case management solutions. Giving your employees that ability in a shared services model accessible anywhere and everywhere? That’s ECM. That’s Smarter Content Now.

To learn more on how IBM Case Manager can help you, read this Forrester Total Economic Impact report.

The Value of IBM Case Manager and Shared Services – Part II

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

As I mentioned in Part I of my IBM Case Manager Shared Service series, the biggest advantages to implementing IBM Case Manager is the ability to reuse sustainable frameworks, coding, training materials, and expertise to meet the business challenges in other divisions and departments. The benefits are enormous: quicker solution deployments, lower training time and costs, standardized UI, and much more. Today, we’ll see how a particular banking institution created a Shared Services platform to help standardize its workflows across its enterprise today and lay the foundation for the future.

Prior to implementing a Shared Services strategy, this financial institution – with over 10,000 employees and 500 offices in nineteen countries – had multiple systems and processes that were still utilizing manual processes. Wishing to update its processes and gain a competitive edge, the company – one of the leading banks in the Asia Pacific region – sought out a full transformation of its technology and solutions. The company had three goals in mind:

  1. Enable Operational Excellence
  2. Achieve Process Efficiency
  3. Establish Platform Reusability

In an effort to standardize its systems and processes, drive greater service quality while reducing costs, and create an efficient paperless processing environment, the customer implemented IBM’s Case Manager, Content Navigator, and Datacap. With IBM’s ECM stack, the customer is able to streamline data capture and entry at the company’s central processing facilities and individual branch locations. Data was retrieved from a wide range of financial services that the company offered: personal financial services, commercial and corporate banking, investment banking, and much more. By taking advantage of ICM, the customer achieved impressive gains in its customer transactions – reducing processing times by 30%. More importantly, ICM created a standard operating model and a common technology framework that allowed for 100% reusability and extensibility to house hundreds of case types.

Leveraging a Shared Services approach, the customer is able to reduce implementation times, risk, and costs. By reusing case components such as case tasks, consistent Navigator UI, activity lists, case audit, and history, the customer is implementing solutions much faster than rebuilding or starting from scratch, as shown in the figure below. In addition, the reused components are a proven process that minimizes and eliminates the unforeseen problems and risks, as well as being compliant with all corporate governance guidelines. As a result, the customer is saving money through reduced development and training costs.

pic-1

By implementing IBM Case Manager and developing a Shared Services approach, this customer is solving many of its day-to-day case operation inefficiencies, creating a common solutions foundation, and remaining competitive in the banking industry.

If you’d like to hear more about Shared Services, please join me in this week’s webinar “Leveraging Case Management for Successful Shared Services Delivery”, where I will discuss various strategies and best practices in utilizing Shared Services in the enterprise space. See you then!

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

Biography:

mattar

Mohammed 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 the IBM Director of ECM Products & 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. You can follow him on Twitter @MAttarECM

IBM Case Manager – a Leader in Gartner’s MQ

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

Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for BPM-Platform-Based Case Management Frameworks is now available and IBM Case Manager has been identified as a leader! We have listened to customer needs, working tirelessly to innovate and create the best enterprise case management platform available today and this latest recognition of our leadership position attests to that. Between this and IBM’s ranking as the leader in Gartner’s ECM MQ, we are uniquely positioned to lead this combined space.

Let’s take a look at what Gartner identifies as strengths in setting IBM Case Manager apart from its competitors:

  • Built on top of FileNet P8 BPM and ECM platform, IBM Case Manager offers a very complete set of capabilities and features, including a content repository.
  • A broad range of industry-specific case management frameworks, including IBM Case Manager for Investigations. Business Partners also have extensive vertical and horizontal business domain solutions.
  • A strong user experience with the IBM Content Navigator UI and an extensive set of capabilities, such as integration across application and repositories.

Add all of the above to the rich feature set that IBM Case Manager offers, such as a platform for Shared Services, 360 degree view of case information, and Watson Content Analytics, we have proven ourselves as the premier advanced case management solution for the enterprises. The IBM ECM team will continue to deliver innovation and bring value to enterprises across industries and all around the world. We kicked off the year with a big announcement of Mobile Case Manager at the IBM InterConnect 2015 conference, and now, we have solidified our Leader position in the Gartner MQ. I am very proud of the IBM team and all that we have achieved and am excited to continuing sharing with you what the rest of 2015 (and beyond!) has in store.

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

Biography:

mattar

Mohammed 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 the IBM Director of ECM Products & 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. You can follow him on Twitter @MAttarECM

Customer Lifetime Value and Customer Experience

Today’s Guest Post By: Kevin Craine, Technology Analyst and Host of the Document Strategy Podcast

KevinCraine

The notion of “Customer Lifetime Value” (CLTV) is a concept and calculation that helps organizations determine the dollar value associated with their long-term relationship of any customer, determining just how much that customer relationship is worth. Used by marketers and C-Suite executives, CLTV is a prediction of the net profit associated with the entire relationship with a customer. While the calculations can be a bit arcane, the idea of customer lifetime value is an important one because it encourages firms to shift their focus from customer acquisition to the long-term health of their customer relationships.

Customer Loyalty

More and more CMO’s are retooling their efforts to more ardently optimize customer lifetime value, and that means keeping customers engaged and coming back for more. But it can be an uphill battle. According to Ernst & Young, the world’s third largest professional advisory firm, just 25% of US consumers consider brand loyalty as something that impacts their buying behavior.  Research from Nielsen, the global marketing research firm, found that 78% of consumers are not loyal to any particular brand.

Customer Experience

Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are critical success factors for most organizations. As a result, there’s a new mantra pervading business today: deliver the optimal customer experience. But that is hard to do when the back office systems and processes are burdened by manual workflow, makeshift systems and paper files. Simply put, there’s no time for old paper-bound methods when today’s customers expect real time service and the very profitability of your company hinges on the efficiency and responsiveness of your customer experience.

Companies Building Customer Value

Every size and type of business needs to ensure that customers keep coming back for more. But to do that you must adopt content management strategies and systems that support superior customer experience. In Financial Services this might mean automating new account openings and mortgage applications and eliminating the “stacks of paper” that perennially plague the process. In Healthcare this might involve improving the way that claims, records, notes and other case documents are collected, shared and secured so that case outcomes are improved and patients come away with a superior service experience. Other examples are found in industrial, telecom and government operations, and across industries in common activities like human resources, accounts payable and contract management.

Next-Gen ECM

How can you do it? Advances in the new generation of ECM systems bring data and technology together in a way that is more agile and integrated than ever before; and that can be a secret weapon for superior customer experience. Look for systems that bring together capture, content management, viewing and redaction, and case management tools into one platform from which you can enhance and extend customer experience.

Where to look? Look for providers and partners that provide the right mix of experience, vision, and advanced capabilities that leverage the full value of ECM to help you enhance customer lifetime value.

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Guest contributor Kevin Craine is the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and host of the Document Strategy Podcast. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit CraineGroup.com.

Digital Landfills and Information Anarchy

Today’s Post By: Toby Bell, Marketing and Offering Strategy Lead, IBM.

 

If you can’t see the various kinds of business content that are stored in file servers, thumb drives, cloud hosts, and personal email, you can’t hope to manage them. So-called ‘Dark Data’ typically represents a very large share of enterprise content. How much of it might add some measure of business value can vary. What doesn’t vary is that in sum, Dark Data usually represents both cost and risk to companies that continue to ignore it. Of course, it’s easy to miss as it’s often hiding behind lots of other content that’s been piling up in digital landfills for years and years.

Humans, it turns out, have a unique gene that’s only recently been identified. The behavior triggered by this modern gene makes otherwise responsible business people become digital derelicts when provided with computers, mobile devices, and file stores. And, virtually every enterprise enables their bad behavior. Because storage is cheap. Because they are professionals and can manage simple sharing and versioning. Or maybe because the content isn’t understood to be as important as structured data in systems like ERP or CRM.

Yet business content represents as much as 4/5 of all the information in any enterprise – and much of it is redundant, trivial, or out-of-date. Let’s use 68% or so as a rough estimate. A quick calculation suggests that whatever costs you pay (year after year) for content storage can be reduced immediately by more than 2/3. Few companies believe they can make this change immediately and recover real money with complete confidence – but they can.

The other change they can make is to use this opportunity/budget to fund a serious strategy and project to eliminate Dark Data; and to train users to become more content conscious. How many redundant copies of a single document do you need? How much of your intellectual property is sitting where it shouldn’t be right now? Are you sure all your customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) is protected? If the answer to any of these worries you, you have a problem. Call it information anarchy.

Giving your employees access to the content they need when they need it is of utmost importance in today’s world. They need to be able to find it, edit it, collaborate on it, and deliver it. But, if for example your employees don’t consciously protect PII, IBM ECM gives you the power to identify, govern and, if needed, defensibly delete it.
IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is in the business of controlling information anarchy by making business content more searchable, manageable and usable for those who create and consume it. Even better, though, we make all of it — including dark data — auditable, retrievable, responsible and responsive to its true owner. To put it simply, we deliver Smarter Content Now.

For more information on ECM in the Cloud, download a Frost & Sullivan white paper,
Visit: https://ibm.biz/smp4_blog

Making Mobile Happen in Cloud-Based File Sharing

Today’s Guest Post by: Christopher Kissel, Analyst, Frost & Sullivan

Smartphones are celebrated for empowering the people that use them. Smartphone users can access a wide range of applications, consume mountains of digital content, and allow users to digitally record and share their individual experiences. Additionally, smartphones are becoming powerful business tools.

In late 2014, Frost & Sullivan surveyed 501 US businesses about their enterprise communications practices. The resulting report, The Future of Enterprise Communications in the Workplace in North America: An End User Perspective, NE98-64, February 2015, shows exactly how pervasive smartphone use is in US businesses:

  • Fewer than half of all employees in US businesses are considered “traditional, in-office workers.”
  • 27% of survey respondents stated that their employers provided smartphones to all of their employees. Another 47% employers provided smartphones based upon an employee’s role.
  • 86% of all US businesses have a consumer facing social media strategy.
  • For companies that allow employees to use their smartphones for business, 78% of those employees use their smartphones for work daily; and another 19% use their smartphones at least once a week.

Driving this pervasiveness are the many contributions smartphones make to “getting business done.” For example, time and GPS location-stamped photographs taken by insurance claims adjusters, safety inspectors, and government compliance agency officers out in the field are immediately uploaded to a centralized site for storage and further processing. The wait time for field workers to return to the office to “deposit” their photographs has vanished. Smartphone apps also contribute to field worker productivity through real-time access to forms, invoices, marketing materials, and other types of documents.

For the non-field but equally digitally-dependent workers, smartphones break the traditional constraints of business work hours and physical locations. Smartphone-enabled employees can complete work tasks and operations whenever and wherever they have connectivity; a boon in improved personal/professional balance.

One application that is especially problematic is cloud-based file sharing (CBFS). CBFS, sometimes referred to as “enterprise file sync & share” (EFSS), is a powerful platform that enables file management and collaboration. CBFS is especially effective in traditional work environments where Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Adobe PDFs are standard file formats. The shape, look, and portability of these file types is designed to feel and act like 8 ½” x 11” letter-sized papers.  For CBFS to be effective on mobile devices, the application has to be designed for a Web-interface, and for the smaller screen sizes of smartphones and tablets. Interfaces need to be designed to account for tough navigation.

The saying is, “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” and when integrating mobile devices, a CBFS must have unique mobile applications. The following are key considerations for transforming CBFS into a strong collaborative and information gathering platform for mobile devices:

  • Content management applications. Directories, personal contacts, and email access should be designed to be viewed and edited on mobile. Content specific applications like Pages, which allows for seamless word processing between Mac and iOS devices and is Microsoft Word compatible, let an end user work in a mobile environment with minimal loss to productivity.
  • Native mobile apps. The CBFS should offer mobile apps that have been optimized for smartphones and tablets. Support for HTML5 is preferred because APIs are written for file uploads, drag-and-drop, and document editing.
  • Cross platform mobile development. If at all possible, any application that is designed for desktop PCs should be adaptable for mobile devices.
  • Auditing files and log management. Whether a CBFS platform is natively designed to recognize mobile devices, or an app is uploaded to a CBFS; knowing what mobile devices have been on your network is helpful. Analytics can be applied to file access to determine the efficacy of promotions and advertisements.
  • Search and preview tools. Part of the battle in mobile is that bandwidth available is not as great in wireless networks (generally) as in fiber networks. If a mobile user is trying to find files, search and preview tools help mitigate the frustration of having to upload whole files to find the right working file.

To interface with and expand ECM platforms, especially on cloud, an open-standards based API platform is vital in an integration strategy. IBM found that companies trying to expand proprietary ECM platforms spend five times the cost in licensing than ECM based on open platforms.

In conclusion, mobile approaches in CBFS do require special attention. However, the gains in productivity, and the knowledge gained from customer interaction with a company’s network are too powerful to ignore.

ECM and Case Management

Today’s Guest Post By: Kevin Craine, Technology Analyst and Host of the Document Strategy Podcast

KevinCraine

Case Management is a popular topic these days…and it makes sense.  The coordination of services and communications on behalf of an individual customer, patient or client is at the very heart of providing a superior customer experience. And companies from all industries and segments – insurance, healthcare, financial services, government operations, to name a few – are all focusing their attention on ways to improve customer experience and extend customer lifetime value.

Unify Information, Process and People

One way to optimize customer experience is by adopting ECM technologies and approaches that unite information, process, and people in ways that provide a more comprehensive and real-time view of case information. Armed with this broader and more responsive perspective, case workers and customer service agents are better able to coordinate services, overcome bottlenecks, and achieve optimized outcomes for both the business and the consumer. The relationships between case management and enterprise content management, collaboration, and business process management are inexorably intertwined, and organizations that tap into that confluence are finding significant benefits.

Customer Experience and Brand Loyalty

How can you gain advantage by shifting your strategic attention to case management and customer experience? One way is by enhancing your relationship with your best customers…the ones you already have. It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell more to an existing one, so it makes sense to pay attention to case management and customer experience. And since 78% of consumers are not loyal to a particular brand…and most customers cite poor customer service as a reason for leaving…a refocused view of case management is essential for companies to continue to thrive in an ever-tightening consumer market.

The ECM Answer

Advances in ECM systems with tighter integration to case management tools provides one answer to the “how” of boosting customer experience. When knowledge workers can extract critical case information more easily, and link that to highly collaborative systems and robust analytics, decision-making is greatly enhanced and this inevitably leads to more successful case outcomes. They key is to look for systems and solutions that empower business users and accelerate return on investment. Look for providers and partners that provide the right mix of experience, vision, and advanced capabilities that leverage the full value of ECM and case management to provide superior customer experience.

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Guest contributor Kevin Craine is the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and host of the Document Strategy Podcast. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit CraineGroup.com.

Content on the Cloud: Productivity, Economy, Security

Today’s Post By: Daniel Hernandez, Director, Product Management, IBM.

 

We often mention our continuing leadership position in Enterprise Content Management in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. There’s a reason for that. We don’t expect you to just trust us when we say IBM ECM is the best around. We want you to know we’re industry-proven and come recommended by experts. Gartner’s is a good start.
Our customers are the best place to look for success with IBM ECM, though. IBM is trusted by thousands of organizations around the world to help them use, protect, manage, activate, and govern content. That is, we help thousands of people by turning their work content into Smarter Content Now. With the cloud, we give them that anywhere they are on any device they use.

Content powers organizations. Organizations are composed of people. People are always on the move. With IBM, your most up-to-date content is always with them. Further, with our advanced capture, content and case management, analytics, and other solutions, your employees are given the context they need to truly understand how their content fits into the big picture. Without context, your knowledge workers can’t efficiently and effectively serve your customers and organizations — leading, ultimately, to unhappy customers and declining profits.

We’ve invested considerable time and money to give our customers the safest, most easily accessible, and usable ECM platform available. We even included them in designing it. To turn a phrase, you’d have a better user experience already if you were using IBM ECM.

When 80 percent of your organization’s information is content — emails, contracts, spreadsheets, records, and more — you need experienced hands helping you manage it. IBM offers just that.

For a 30 day free trial of IBM Navigator, visit https://ibm.biz/BdEWhM

Steel Bars Around Clouds – Secure Content Protection in Cloud-Based File Sharing Systems

Today’s Guest Post by: Christopher Kissel, Analyst, Frost & Sullivan

In the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Cloud User Survey, cloud adopters were asked why they adopted the cloud. The top responses were:

  • Improve IT flexibility/agility (cited by 80% of cloud adopters)
  • Deliver services and applications faster (78%)
  • Improve business continuity/disaster recovery (77%)
  • Reduce costs (77%)
  • Reduce hardware/software maintenance burden (77%)

File sharing is an application that is conducive to cloud delivery. In a cloud environment, for example in construction, amendments to blueprint files can be made through end-user devices, saved to the cloud, and accessed by others immediately, from any location, and from any compatible device. Also, search can be applied to files to find relevant information quickly.  Since cloud-based file sharing (CBFS) is an application, other applications can be integrated onto the platform. Lightweight Directory Access Protocols (LDAP) and enterprise content management (ECM) can be attached through an open interface to CBFS systems to define user access and match users to files.

The implementation of robust security has driven acceptance of CBFS. In the first iterations of digital file handling, security was provided in legacy, on-premises environments. The files resided behind a network firewall and were only available to a remote employee through a virtual private network (VPN). In CBFS, the responsibility for securing the environment where the files reside belongs to the CBFS provider.

A benefit of CBFS service is discrete file control. When a file is created, the creator of the file decides who has access to the file. The file creator decides who will be collaborators and their permissions (e.g., view, edit, and download). For additional end-to-end control, each collaborator must register with the CBFS service and download and use the CBFS service application.

File creation is a finely orchestrated and controlled event. Once the file is created and the originator and collaborators are determined, files can be monitored and audited. During collaboration, the newest file revision is presented first, but a history of each file is kept. When files are created, the files are automatically encrypted. Typically, a 256-bit AES encryption key is used to protect data at rest. The central administrator holds the encryption keys.

The group administrator has visibility over all files. Advantageously, files can be monitored and audited. At any given time, a detailed history of file access is available to prove complaint practices and support forensics investigations. CBFS service providers can combine a data loss prevention (DLP) program or file integrity manager to the files.

To prevent file compromise by malicious actors, CBFS service providers maintain an integrated security environment involving firewalls intrusion detection and preventions systems, and anti-virus/anti-malware detection software. Also, CBFS service providers continuously monitor for file contamination and suspicious log-in activities. In effect, all clients of CBFS services receive the full benefits of the protection mechanisms used by CBFS service provider.

At different times, files can reside in diverse cloud environments (public, private, or hybrid clouds) and in on-premises storage.  Widely incorporated in CBFS services is a multi-data center strategy. This strategy benefits companies with high volume requirements or have geographically dispersed locations. Supporting data sovereignty (i.e., data remaining in a specific country or region) is also supported with  a multi-data center strategy.

It is important to note that not all CBFS services are equal in security. A differentiating feature among CBFS service providers is industry accreditation. For companies working with the US federal government or in healthcare, their data handling platforms must conform to the appropriate regulations. The CBFS service provider must prove it platforms are National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act /Health Information Trust Alliance (HIPAA/HITRUST) or Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) compliant.