by David Jenness, Market Segment Manager, Document Imaging and Capture, IBM
After 15 years of looking after Datacap’s marketing
interests, I was pretty sure that I could no longer be surprised. When it comes
to document capture, it’s easy to feel like you’ve seen it all. Yet, IOD 2012 was filled with surprises – and
the good the kind. Since joining IBM’s
ECM division in 2010, the Datacap product – with its open, rules-driven
architecture – has inspired many, it seems, to extend its capabilities in all
kinds of directions. It was at IOD,
where the extent of all that extensibility became apparent to me.
I had the pleasure of hosting a luncheon at IOD 2012 called
“The Seven Secrets of Success for Capture Engagement.” The idea being that we would invite Datacap
users and prospects to a delicious lunch and then show off seven new things you
can do in the Datacap environment that help our customers delight their
customers. I started asking around about
new Datacap applications and, suddenly, I was wondering how to keep the list to
Within the IBM technical community, our developers had come
up with cool things like integrating Datacap into a Fujitsu network scanner so
that anyone could walk up, push a few buttons and start capturing documents
using the scanner’s touchscreen – even for verification of data. We also demonstrated
how to add new documents into the Datacap Entry-Level product with just a few
clicks – setting up sophisticated document ID and data validations in the
process. And Datacap co-founder and
software architect Noel Kropf acted out the part of a delivery driver –
complete with brown shirt and shorts - who saves his company time to bill by using
Datacap with an iPhone to capture signed delivery documents on the spot.
If demonstrating Mobile Capture was exciting – and it
certainly had our audience of 60 customers, business partners and IBMers
sitting up and taking notice – what got me revved up was seeing what our
business partners had done.
IBM partner Databank showed
an application they designed and installed at a bank to accelerate loan
approvals for customers, which integrated a Fujitsu network scanner, Parascript
advanced handprint recognition, and a real time workflow to enable a regional
manager to support a branch request in minutes.
EDAC Systems, which has
developed several applications with Datacap, demonstrated some enhancements they’ve
made with image processing to improve text recognition – even for handprint –
to enable correspondence tracking, among other uses.
European partner xft showed off its certified connector to SAP, which allows Datacap to “talk” to
SAP in real time – for PO line item reconciliation during the capture process
and facilitates a smooth handoff to SAP of captured data.
Imagine Solutions, IBM’s 2012 Excellence Award winner, showed a live demo of their solution for mortgage processing with Datacap that
leverages IBM Content Classification to correctly identify and classify mortgage
documents in a batch, which is as close to a David Copperfield magic trick as
we had in Las Vegas.
All in all, we showed off 8 solutions at our luncheon and
could have shown another 8 if we had the time. Tritek Solutions has built a
human resources capture solution, Miria Systems has a proven P2P solution, CM Mitchell Consulting has developed
capture solutions for Oracle, and CGI has built a complete
healthcare document management solution with Datacap and Production Imaging
Edition, called Sovera. Furthermore, Magic Lamp Software, Neocol, and R2K have enhancements of their own that would have fit nicely in our lineup of
solutions for “capture engagement.”
For me, the “Seven Secrets of Success” turned out to deliver
unexpected surprises about the creative and technical prowess of the new
“ecosystem” of partners who have taken Datacap in new and interesting
directions. I certainly did not list all the enhancements available in this
short report and I can only imagine what new solutions are being put together
But as they say, “surprise me.”
Deidre Paknad – Vice President, Information Lifecycle Governance Solutions, IBM
Many organizations recognize intuitively the qualitative
benefits of improving how they govern information but have a difficult time
quantifying these benefits or galvanizing their organizations forward. I’ve recently worked with a number of large
organizations to go beyond Information Governance to improving Information Economics. This involves many of the concepts of governance
but puts a focus on the economics – the value and the cost – of
information. I use the term Information Economics to refer
to understanding and extracting value, knowing and controlling cost, and, most
importantly, aligning cost to value; an Information Economics practice can
improve the profit margin on information.
This is both challenging and important because the value of
information declines over time while the cost is constant and information risk
rises over time. The widening gap
between the value of the information and its cost and risk create a negative
economic impact on any organization – the cost of information and the risk it
poses exceed its value.
Certain types of retain or lose value faster than others and
the value lifetime varies by industry as well.
For example, the duration of time that product development information
is valuable is a function of product lifecycles and the R&D cycle time to
invent and bring a product to market.
In the fast-paced consumer electronic segment where a new model comes
out every 10 months and consumers replace their devices just as often,
6-year-old product design information is of little value as it is far outdated
and the unlikely source of new innovation.
On the other hand, aircraft lifespans of 30 years and the very slow
customer turnover make 6-year-old product data of value to both the business
and of interest to the regulators of the industry. In either company, the duration of time that
back office information is of value is likely similar.
In many business functions and industries, regulators and
government agencies require companies to keep data after it has lost its
business value. In fact, the law was
written to force organizations to act against their own interest to ensure that
information the company would otherwise dispose is available for investigation
or litigation. This regulatory requirement
is a tax on the business – it is a cost without an offsetting benefit or
value. Of course, companies have other duties to
produce information in the event of investigation and litigation that apply to
the total universe of potentially relevant information they have on hand when
the investigation or litigation is anticipated or occurs (the duty to preserve
evidence). As data ages, it is
phenomenally expensive to gather, process, restore and review this information
because the technology to restore and read it has long-since decayed, the
location and nature of the data is difficult to distinguish without restoring
it, and the context for understanding it completely absent. Gartner estimates the cost at $18,000 per
gigabyte! Data that neither the business
nor the regulators need is pure risk to the organization with tremendous cost
exposure. At IBM, we are helping our
customers improve information economics through continuous alignment of cost to
information value. When orchestrated
under a strategic program and sequenced by information economics principles, many
of the activities traditionally associated with information and lifecycle governance
are levers to ensure that the cost of information aligns with its value, that
its full value is realized and that the risks information poses are managed
There are three important inflection points over the value
1. Analytics – Even when information has value to the business, if
business stakeholders aren’t able to extract and apply that value in the
decisions they make, the value is lost (and it represents only cost to the
organization). Most of us, however,
lose the context of information we created ourselves very quickly and we lack
context on information our colleagues may have gathered or generated that is of
value in our decisions. Content
analytics and big data analytics help organizations maximize value during the window
of time in which it exists – this is essential to improving economics.
2. Cost and Volume Compression – As data ages out and loses value or
the frequency of its relevance to the business, it’s important to compress its
cost in parallel. This is particularly important when there is
no business value and only a regulatory need to keep the data. As individuals most of us never consider
over-paying our taxes, but organizations that over retain or over-spend on storing
data for regulators are over paying their taxes! In other cases, data without value is
inappropriately stored as if it is premium value such as test data and
non-production instances, which clearly lack the same business value as their
production counterparts. Archiving
data to reduce its footprint and cost keeps the ratio of cost to value in line
and tiering data to an appropriate cost point also drive information
3. Defensible Disposal – When neither the business nor regulators need
information any longer, dispose of it.
Retaining it longer at any cost point is waste, unnecessary cost and
risk. Over paying for useless data
actually reduces the capital and resources companies can invest in maximizing
information of value.
In the next blog, we will discuss the four building blocks for improving information economics. In the meantime, consider whether your organization can quantify true information cost and whether the cost to value ratio can be improved!
About the Author – Deidre is widely credited with having
launched the first commercial applications for legal holds, collections and
retention management and is a recognized thought leader in legal and
information governance with numerous patents in the field. In 2004, she founded
the CGOC (Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council), a professional
community with over 2000 corporate members, to advance practices for
governance, retention and eDiscovery. Deidre has authored many papers in the
eDiscovery and governance field. She has been a member of several Sedona
working groups since 2005 and co-leads the EDRM IGRM Initiative. She is a
seasoned entrepreneur and executive with 25 years’ experience applying
technology to inefficient business processes to reduce cost and risk. Deidre
was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution for innovation in 1999 and again
in 2000. Today, she leads IBM’s Information Lifecycle Governance business,
which includes its eDiscovery, records and retention, archiving and defensible
Follow Deidre on Twitter @day_dree
When people say Information On Demand 2012 is the place
to learn how to think big, what they mean is that it’s the place to learn how
to make a difference in your organization. At IOD 2012, business and IT
leaders, who are utilizing IBM Smarter Analytics, give their first-hand
accounts of how the solutions have provided them with better insight and
business outcomes. Expert presenters explain the latest innovations such as big
data, analytics, decision management and expert integrated systems which can
help you align your organization around information, anticipate and shape
business outcomes, act with confidence at the point of impact, and improve the
economics of your IT investments.
One of the most
important aspects of any business is managing the volume, variety and velocity
of information. IBM ECM teaches attendees how to harness the information
explosion and realize the full value of their content. Some successful
companies are already using collaborative and mobile tools to add better
context to their information. New analytics and case management capabilities
improve fact-based decisions and outcomes, while defensible disposal of excess
information can save enormous costs and reduce risk. IBM ECM is helping
companies work smarter to grow their industry-specific business with high-value
solutions - today.
Guest Blogger: Michael Pray - Director, Worldwide
Sales, Advanced Case Management, ECMIBM
Information OnDemand (IOD)
Global Conference 2012 comes with big promises for all of us. Kicking off on
Sunday, Oct 21 we will be showcasing some of the exciting stuff throughout the
course of the event and I am sure you will have your brain stretched with the
amount of takeaways we have in store for you!
Information OnDemand Global
Conference 2012 is the “BIG”gest IOD conference ever. With 700 Technical
Education Sessions. 110 Hands On Labs. 300 Customer Speakers. Usability
Sandboxes. General Sessions and Keynotes. All the Experts on hand and so much
For ECM customers and partners IOD
has always been very popular conference with record attendance and lots of
really great activities including New Launches, Technology Sessions, Customer
Sessions, Expert Interactions etc. This year the Advanced Case Management (ACM)
team is striving hard to make this year’s visit extra special with a very strong
presence at IOD.
We have 2 TouchScope Pedestals at
the Expo area where we will be eager to talk with each one of you about our
latest case management offerings; our New Industry Oriented Use Cases, Exciting
Industry Specific Demos & host of other interesting assets – please
leverage and connect with our Case Management experts at ACM Peds in the
conference Expo area to know more about ACM. If you are a customer and would
like to personally talk to me or any of the IBM Executives available at IOD,
please feel free to connect up with your IBM Representative who would help us get
As you are exploring the Expo
Floor you will see over 13 ACM Business Partners who would be exhibiting some
of the superior solutions that they are taking to the market for Case
Management. Additionally, we will be launching a couple of exciting new
solutions, driven by our Case Management technology, in the areas of Enterprise
Investigation Management and Patient Care & Insights for Healthcare. I am
pretty sure that these new case management solutions will transform how our
customers operate and help save them millions!
Furthermore, Case Management is
featured in Executive Sessions and on over 40 Breakout Sessions at IOD
including 7 Customer Sessions where we share our latest solution offerings and
discuss how it could meet your organizational needs.
I would really encourage all of
you reading this to use the IOD Smartsite to
put ACM sessions on your calendar as must do activities. Hope to meet with you
at a bigger, better and exciting Information OnDemand Conference.
Guest blog by Deepthi Nagarajan, Category Marketing Manager (Document Imaging and Capture and Social Content Management)
All of us are victimized by
information explosion. I think most of you will agree with me to an extent… Every
day, we are bombarded with data from varied channels. This data comes from virtually everywhere: social media,
emails, online videos, online purchases, mobile GPS signals, and more. There
were times in the past when all we had to do was spend a significant amount of
time managing our inboxes and sorting our e-mails. Now we have even more
content to manage, not just e-mails. We have Tweets, Updates, Posts, Blogs and
the future will have much more to give!
IBM estimates that we are
creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. And while this explosive
growth is enabling enhanced collaboration, productivity and innovation, it also
dramatically increases IT costs and exposure to risk. With the diversity and
volume of content types growing, there is a growing demand for new deployment
models and access to content management functions from any device, anywhere.
The 2011 IBM CEO Study found that 78% of CIOs want to improve the way they use
and manage content. Simplification and
Consolidation of content is the first step towards improving the use of
Many organizations have content
spread across disparate content systems with an obvious need to consolidate that
content. The key idea behind enterprise-wide standardization and consolidation
is a single repository, which would provide a “single source of truth”. Yes,
consolidation provides a “single source of truth”. But the content can be most
useful only if it is consumed by other high value applications. A recent IBM
study showed that it is believed an estimated 50 percent of organizational
content carries risk, without delivering any measurable business value. This
proves the point that most organizations fail to use the content that they have
consolidated from different content systems. A robust ECM Platform should act
as the foundation for high value ECM solutions, which would put the
organizations content to best use. Clients should have the option to augment
the value derived from their ECM Platform as an entry point into middleware
extensions, analytics, BPM, data management, collaboration, etc. Clients also
should be able to leverage robust, flexible technology available via a variety
of delivery platforms. If they fail, they will continue to maintain multiple
systems to manage their content management needs.
What organizations need today is
much more than a “single source of truth”. They need a world-class content
repository that supports a range of ECM use cases such as document management,
information lifecycle governance, case management and search & analytics
through seamless integration with applications for those use cases .
To learn more about how IBM can
help you in building a world-class content repository, attend the Information
on Demand 2012 Conference. Start your conference experience by downloading the ECM at IOD Agenda. Or if you're already
registered, use the SmartSite to start
planning your experience, scheduling sessions, and connecting with other
attendees and speakers.
Guest post by David Caldeira, Director ECM Products and Strategy, IBM
solutions support knowledge workers charged with achieving the best outcomes
for their specific business operations.
These solutions require the creation and management of complex workloads
that occur across vertical markets: which evolves as disputes, investigations,
incidents, inquiries, complaints, contracts, exceptions, adverse actions,
claims, fraud investigations, negotiations, problem resolutions, escalations,
research, audits, and interventions to name a few.
Within those workloads consists a
combination of structured and unstructured information, actions, and
history. Further, the paths of those
workloads on the way to achieving outcomes can be unpredictable, requiring
knowledge workers to make complex decisions based upon information at hand,
prior actions that have been taken, the experience of others in similar
situations... ALL of these elements must
be saved to provide context and a collaborative focal point to all parties
throughout the lifecycle of work. This
“case” provides a history and a decision path for others in the organization to
take advantage of in related situations.
Because of these characteristics,
it’s important to note four key areas of differentiation offered by IBM Case
Manager for case solutions:
to address all the information required to make better decisions
way people work – dynamically in real time
users to take more control
How is each of these areas
addressed technically within IBM Case Manager?
Information for better decisions:
ICM is based
on a case object model and supporting services that enables a persistent collection
of information and actions in the context of a logical “case folder” (i.e.,
data, content, history, events, tasks, rules, process fragments,
collaborations, etc.). This provides tight
coupling of content, allowing for optimal insight for knowledge workers and
governance for business/regulatory requirements. It is also a significant advantage over a
multi-product solution and offers the ability to easily integrate Information
Lifecycle Governance (ILG) services.
Supporting the way people work
the ability to drive outcomes through flexible, dynamic tasks able to address
any form of workflow. Designing case
solutions from the standpoint of the task vs. the process is a huge advantage
for unpredictable or unstructured activities
It saves up front “map design and test” time and it can reduce or
eliminate redundancies amongst workers at run time.
information or content changes can automatically drive tasks and vice versa as
a result of ICM’s active content infrastructure, saving significant
integration, development, and operations costs.
Optimizing case outcomes
throughout a case lifecycle through a combination of historical and real time
analytics that provides a comprehensive look at what has occurred and dashboard
driven views of current business conditions related to case work.
business users to take control
design and delivery environment that is focused on the business analyst,
enabling those users to quickly create a solution design and move forward
iteratively In collaboration with IT to shorten time to value.
More than 100
clients have invested in ICM as their platform to solve complex application
needs related to case workloads because of this unique set of
differentiators. Subsequent blogs will
explore each of these differentiators in greater detail.
Guest Blog by David Jenness, Market Segment Manager, IBM Document Imaging & Capture
Since IBM acquired Datacap two years ago, there has been an enormous effort to globalize Datacap Taskmaster Capture, the intelligent document input solution, expanding its reach from English language capture to the world’s languages. With every new release, Taskmaster adds new languages, and today it supports nearly 30 languages worldwide.
Released in August, Datacap Taskmaster Capture v8.1 has added Cyrillic and Simplified Chinese to its list of supported languages. What makes these additions significant is that neither of these languages uses the standard 26 letter Latin alphabet.
Cyrillic script can be traced back to the Greek uncial script (with additions from the Glagolitic alphabet, in case you were curious). Cyrillic is one of the most-used writing systems in the world. It is the basis of alphabets used in all of Russia, as well as Serbia and Bulgaria. As of 2011, nearly 252 million people in Europe and Asia use it as the official alphabet for their national languages. About half of those people are in Russia.
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized characters that the government of the People’s Republic of China has promoted for use in printing since the 1950s. Today, these characters are officially used in mainland China and Singapore. Simplified character forms were created by decreasing the number of strokes and standardizing the forms of a sizable proportion of traditional Chinese characters. Is it an important language? Let’s see, only about, oh, 1,349,313,700 people are using simplified Chinese in print today.
Between the Latin alphabet, Cyrillic and simplified Chinese, Datacap Taskmaster Capture can recognize the alphabets used by 51% of the world’s population spread across every continent. Even at this writing, new languages are being added. But this process of globalization is fascinating, because not only does Taskmaster need to accommodate the wide variety of symbols that represent the world’s many languages, but around the world, people also use different formats for such things listing dates, telephone numbers, and currencies. This means that all the internal rules for formatting and for automated validations that Taskmaster performs to test the accuracy of data also need to be updated and adapted to each language.
For more information about the IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture v8.1 Release go to the IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture webpage
. Visit us at the Information OnDemand Conference 2012
for exciting sessions and product discussions around IBM Capture and Content Management solutions.
OK, so if you´ve read my previous entry, and have not yet written me off as some kind of anti-technical pseudo-intellectual holistic touchy-feely softie, I´ll now do my best to put send you over the edge. How is it possible that seemingly simple feature of accessibility to and control over the modelling process creates so much value? My reason for saying this is rooted in my experience of being manager of an application support team for a few years a while back. When you are in charge of ongoing support for anything, be it an IT application, hot water boiler, public park, or anything else, you come quickly to understand that the initial of a product or service, while important, is not nearly so as how it develops over time. Taking an IT example, I would much rather start with a mediocre application, but have the ability to adapt and improve it than with a top notch application that is difficult and cumbersome to change. I have seen this effect in many industries and with many products. I know this is not always true, but as a general statement of principle I would suggest that one of the most important, and overlooked, features of any IT application is its flexibility and support for customer customization.
I would also argue that adaptability is especially important in text analysis modelling. Natural Language - the way in which we express ourselves to our friends, customers and vendors is constantly changing. In the past decade we have seen a whole new language develop in the form of text messaging. And, of course, as young people mature, they take the language of their generation to the marketplace, first as customers, then as colleagues, partners and vendors, finally as managers and thought leaders. Adding to this complexity are regional, cultural, age and industry differences in how people express themselves. Thus the language we use to communicate ideas, while based on a shared foundation, is constantly changing. Taken together, I would suggest that any text analysis model is on the road to being obsolete the minute it is deployed, and that a text analysis model is simply a stage in a never ending process, rather than a finished product.
Viewing it in this light, then the ability to quickly adapt and refine a text analysis model is of crucial importance to the customer - and their ability to control that process of great value to them. Going back to my previous example, as a customer, I would very much rather having a text analysis model that only barely does the job but allows me to update and refine it either myself or with people who understand the content, than a model that is initially very accurate but is difficult and expensive to change.
I believe very strongly that text analysis modelling, and ultimately content analytics, will move in this direction. At this point, we are pretty early in this solution/product life cycle. Customers are just now becoming aware of the possibilities this technology offers. They are happy with this first generation of web sentiment analysis that offers them decent initial performance and data, but is out of their control. As we move along the maturity curve, I believe this will change, and change rapidly. Soon enough, our customers will no longer be possible with a black box solution that works - or seems to work. They will want to open up the box themselves, look inside, shake it up, and remake it as they see fit.
Guest post by Evan Fitch
, IBM ECM Marketing
Remember the good old days when a software solution had to be painstakingly shoe-horned into a companies’ business just so they could get some of the functionality they originally wanted? With the edition of a lower-cost Entry Level version and an Enterprise Edition bundle, the newly released IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture v8.1 is so flexible it might impress a yoga instructor.
Datacap Taskmaster Entry Level is a lower-cost version of Taskmaster, based on the user-friendly FastDoc Capture interface. This version can automate the capture of data fields for indexing with OCR, Identify documents by comparing them to a database of previously scanned documents, help ensure data accuracy with database look-ups and deliver data and images straight into IBM
FileNet Content Manager. These scanned documents can be exported in either image or searchable pdf format. If a customer needs a more robust capture solution, they can upgrade to the standard version of Taskmaster.
At the high end, the Datacap Taskmaster Enterprise Edition bundle provides greater support for high volume input of documents, enables both increased performance and increased capabilities, with expanded document classification capabilities using IBM Content Classification..
This feat is performed by combining Taskmaster features such as Datacap Taskmaster Capture Connector for eMail and Electronic Documents, which enables conversion of email messages and attachments, , which enables you to unpack .zip archives and convert Microsoft™ Word, Excel, Outlook, PDF, and multipage TIFF files to single page TIFF files for processing. Taskmaster Capture Connector for Fax is included which supports capture of faxes and associated metadata from fax servers. Datacap Rulerunner Enterprise was added to deliver scalability and increased performance by leveraging multiprocessor systems and high-speed fingerprint matching. The final piece of the puzzle is Content Classification,which Enables automatic document classification of text-based documents using content analytics full text analysis.
The new Datacap Taskmaster release doesn’t stop there. There are many new features and improvements including enhanced globalization with support for Simplified Chinese and Cyrillic (for the Russian market), pdated thick and thin client user interfaces to improve the user experience, and support for IBM System Dashboard for monitoring Taskmaster Capture system performance.
I am not an IT person...
Well, I work in IT, and I am a "Client Technical Professional" (otherwise known as "tech sales", "pre sales", "solution consultant" and other variations less flattering), which kind of implies a certain level of familiarity or knowledge of IT on a technical level. But I am not really - I have had little IT in my formal education, and, worse, I lack the affinity and "feel" for the technical aspects of our work that make many tasks (like building demos or learning new products) so much easier for many of my colleagues.
This is not as bad as it may seem. While I do think a certain level of competence and ability is required (how it still irritates me when a manager, consultant or sales person proclaims his/her ignorance of all things technical as if it were a badge of honour), I feel very strongly that a non-technical view of our products and solutions can be very helpful, even in my seemingly predominantly technical role. A good example of this is how we position IBM Content Analytics with our partners and customers.
I think IBM Content Analytics is fantastic. Well, let me restate this - I think what we can do with IBM Content Analytics is fantastic, amazing. And I feel very strongly that the greatest value delivered by ICAwES is in its text analysis capabilities. I think that the Content Miner is great, and offers a lot of value to our customers. But for me, the even more value is created by its text modelling capabilities. Taking this a level deeper, I feel very strongly that the tooling we offer with ICAwES 3.0 to design, develop and even deploy text analysis models (this is known as Content Analytics Studio) is of enormous value to our customers and partners. Why is this so? After all, we are talking about a modelling tool, not the stuff that normally send customers hearts all aflutter. Perhaps I can best make this argument with a diagram. Its a pretty simple one, and we have all seen it in one form or another:
OK, so nothing too exciting here either, right? Well, this is where I believe IBM´s approach creates real value. One of the characteristics I have seen in most products and solutions that deliver some form of text analysis is that someone like me cannot make any substantive changes to the model, other than maybe changing some terms in a dictionary. I need to either call in the vendor, contract a partner or invest in building programming skills. In the words of a very learned respected colleague of mine, the Content Analytics Studio tool takes text modelling out of our lab and puts it where it belongs - with the customer. It gives the customer control over the entire create/modify - build - validate - analyze process. And when you think about it, isn´t this where it belongs? After all, the customer knows their own content - knows who has created it and what it means to them right? I would argue that our customers do, and I would argue something further - this transfer of control to the customer is perhaps the single most important innovation in ICAwES. I´ll explain why I make this claim in my next entry.
post by Campbell Robertson, Program Director Industry Strategy and
Market Development - Public Sector, IBM Enterprise Content Management
Post 2008, governments across the world are
forced to re-prioritize their focus and are under severe pressures to do ever
more with ever less; while expectations continue to increase. This mandate is
especially true for Public Safety organizations.
With rising population in cities,
shifting demographics, technological developments and accelerating
globalization there are increasing social and commercial risks of crime. Public
safety organizations across the globe are looking at adopting transformative
technologies to make smarter decisions, deliver results and demonstrate
Be it traditional crimes like burglary,
vandalism or mail fraud to difficult-to-trace crimes such as terrorism, money
laundering and hate crime- investigative work is highly information driven.
Traditionally, crime Investigation meant manually sifting through multiple
reports and documents scattered across multiple structured and unstructured
sources. The manual intelligence access and analysis meant a typical successful
case taking weeks or months; and public safety agencies know that time is
detrimental to success.
Combining technology and information is key to
successful crime and threat investigations, law enforcement agencies need
technology that can speed up the process of discovering, analyzing and linking
information. Content Analytics provides the capability to extract, search and
analyze crucial information from disparate sources and improve the speed and
quality of intelligence gathering. By using content analytics tools, agencies
can not only solve cases more quickly but also identify non-obvious
relationships within data that could possibly prevent a crime from happening in
the first place.
A UK law enforcement agency used IBM Content
Analytics to perform high-precision text analytics to identify phone numbers
from investigative reports which was then used to cross-reference all of the
phone numbers so that when a new document arrived, the analyst was presented
with a list of all phone numbers and for each number, a list of previous
references to that phone number. This solution would reduce analyst’s efforts
by 6 hours, which meant faster analysis of information and in the long run more
To know more about how IBM address
investigation challenges of Public Safety agencies, attend the Building an IBM i2 and
Case Manager Solution for Public Safety and Commercial Fraud and Future
Analytics Platform for Law Enforcement and Public Safety sessions at
Information OnDemand 2012 Global Conference at Las Vegas in October 2012.
Guest Blog by Deepthi Nagarajan, Category Marketing Manager - ECM(Document Imaging & Capture,Social Content Management)
I have always pondered the
phrase, “Human beings are Social animals”
until I discovered that in our own lives how much we depend on other humans.
The emergence of interactive technologies and “engagement” tools are nothing
but ways for us to reach out to other people who are around us and within our
sphere of influence when we perform different activities in our day to day
lives. People are inherently social and they want to engage with different
entities around them. This is even more so within their organizations. They are
constantly seeking for channels to communicate directly with one another and
shape their own experiences. The need to have real-time information on
different things happening around us has shaped new technologies to support it.
Organizations today have the
opportunity to use this inherent social nature of its employees to improve
their business and increase their productivity. With the world going social, employees
are looking for social tools in an environment similar to their personal social
experiences inside their enterprises to connect and collaborate. They want to
meet more people, understand their roles and constantly seek new ways to
achieve business objectives. As part of this process, they also learn more
about each other and discover common interests that give rise to communities
and opportunities to work on subjects that interest them the most. Your likes
on Facebook help you to discover people with similar interests in your network.
Similarly, your professional social network helps you to discover new people
with similar interests leveraging the information capsules they provide when
relevant to your work. This is just one thing that I discovered which has
helped me in being more productive in my job.
“Being Social” no longer has a
negative impact on employee productivity but has started to enhance it. Thanks
to Social Business tools! Wikis, Blogs and Communities have found their way in
to most organizations. With these tools, employees now have the opportunity to
“engage” in social conversations in real-time with the people around them and
extract information residing in different information silos to put them to the
best use. Let’s take a typical day in our own work life. There are many
instances in which we encounter duplication of effort or a strong appetite to
re-invent the wheel, which results from a lack of communication and the
inability to find the information that reside in disparate locations. Often, we
are frustrated with situations such as these that impact productivity to a
great extent. So do you think now that being “Social” makes an employee more
productive? The answer from me is definitely a “yes!” Employees using Social
Business tools have the opportunity to meet experts in their job area and
connect with them. Sharing of information and knowledge helps not only to achieve
near term objectives but also fosters cross-pollination of ideas with a
With organizations growing beyond
geographic boundaries, it has become an undeniable fact that businesses need a
platform to collaborate, innovate and share. But how can you optimize your
workforce with people-centric content applications? And how can you secure and
govern this social content arising from different social channels?
Come and attend the Information
on Demand 2012, to learn more on “living social” and the “future of social
content”. To learn more about ECM sessions download the ECM at IOD Agenda. Or if you're already
registered, use the SmartSite to start
planning your experience, scheduling sessions, and connecting with other
attendees and speakers.
Guest post by Julie Vaccaro, Offering Manager IBM Content Classification
How many times have you searched for something and come up
short? Searching for content over and over, with hundreds or thousands of
results, is all too commonplace. It is inefficient, ineffective and
frustrating. Popular search engines are proud of the multiple-millions of
“results” they achieve in a few milliseconds time, but is this really what we
want? Just because a search engine “can” produce thousands of results, doesn’t
mean it “should”. Most people are searching for a single result, not
thousands. That said, the purpose of
these search engines is not to give you the single piece of content that you
want, but to give you all of the potential content that you might be interested
in, especially the results that also drives advertising revenue. This scenario
is not useful in a business context.
Business users need to find a very small and relevant set of
content based on the information they have. Going back to the library example,
when I walk into a library to find a book about Java Programming, I want to be
directed to the shelves that contain only books on my subject, not books that
contain the words Java, which are out of context to the subject at hand. This is why there is a card catalog and a
Dewey Decimal System.
A business user is no different. If we are looking for
resumes for Java programmers, then we want to be given the small subset of
content relevant to Java programmers, not content that includes the word
“Java’, which could return documents that include the Indonesian island, different types of coffee
or a company that has Java in its name.
Classification systems that use Natural Language Processing
and text analysis can provide context to content and therefore, organize it
properly. Furthermore, by combining classification with enterprise search
applications, businesses can provide a robust and effective conceptual search
that delivers a highly relevant set of results.
The Bottom Line: Content must be easily accessible to those
who need it.
To know more about what Content Classification can do for your business attend the following IOD2012 sessions IBM Content Classification: The Key to Organizing your Content
and How to Integrate IBM Content Classification Technology With Enterprise Content Management
. To know more about ECM sessions at IOD and to register to attend visit the IOD ECM Forum
Guest blog by Scott Blau
, WW Director of Document Capture, IBM Enterprise Content Management
When I think about what Smarter Commerce can mean to a
customer, I think of all the reasons I love shopping on Main Street. I don’t do a lot of shopping in person, but
when I do, I have pretty high expectations. The places I go to – and return to
– all share some common characteristics:
me. I can tell because when I walk
in the door, someone smiles at me like a friend!
remember me. At my café, I don’t
need to ask each time for skim milk in my coffee.
care of me. When I have a question about
my bill, they look over my shoulder at it and we go line-by-line to sort out
These days most of my shopping is actually done online. It’s a very different experience from
shopping in a store. When I go into an
online shop nobody smiles at me. They
rarely remember much about me. And when
I have a question about the bill… ouch!
The out-of-touch call center can’t really take care of me and rarely can
even look at the same bill I’m looking at.
There is very little that is “smart” about this commerce.
Sure, eCommerce has changed the way I shop and my
expectations on the speed of transactions, but I still miss the human touch
from the era of Main Street shopping. It’s
harder than ever to satisfy me as a consumer, because now I want the best of
eCommerce married to the best of Main Street.
I want truly smarter commerce!
To get instant – and accurate – feedback on my
transactions based on my input
To have a personalized experience where “the system”
knows me and remembers my preferences, “anticipating” my next move
And when I speak to someone on the phone – I
really expect them to take care of me
as a valuable customer!
full of systems that don’t speak to each other
To meet these high expectations requires a concerted (some
may say monumental) effort to break down the barriers between systems. If I’m calling Customer Service, I don’t want
to explain what products I have purchased from the company. If I am disputing a
charge on a bill that I have in my hand, I expect the person on the other end
of the phone to be able to see exactly the same bill I am looking at.
Being able to meet my Main Street expectations in the
eCommerce world is where smarter commerce started at IBM twenty years ago, long
before the term “Smarter Commerce” was coined.
A product now called Content Manager On Demand (CMOD) made it easy to
efficiently store images of bills being printed before they were sent to
customers. So when I call the company to
sort out a billing issue, the customer service rep can easily pull up my bill
and see exactly what I am seeing. That’s
a good place to start to deliver excellent customer service.
ECM bridges the gap
between siloed systems
ECM is good at this because it represents a set of
technologies that often are used to span otherwise rigidly siloed systems
within an organization. Document imaging
often does exactly that – making documents that originate in one area of the
business, say orders, available in other areas, such as Customer Service. This is important when customer service wants
to see, for example, a customer’s original purchase order.
Case Management – another ECM technology – is great at managing
customer interactions in Support or Customer Service. It excels because it avoids using rigid
process management. Instead, case
management offers the ability to deal with the ‘randomness’ of customers who
don’t always fit into pre-defined patterns of interaction. Turns out that when your customers are people
they tend to behave like people!! And
people don’t tend to follow pre-defined patterns of interaction.
Paper documents continue to challenge organizations that have
otherwise committed to electronic commerce.
They have paper order forms that won’t go away and paper invoices. Document capture technologies – like OCR and
ICR – turn paper into an electronic, “p2e,” compliment to eCommerce. And these ECM staples are at their best when
they dovetail with an organization’s existing electronic systems.
ECM: Turning eCommerce
into Smarter Commerce
Commerce gets smarter, a step at a time, by using
technologies that help hide “systems” and instead present a personal face to
our customers, our suppliers, and even our employees. I see IBM ECM as a good place to start transforming
your eCommerce into something as pleasurable as Main Street shopping – that’s
when commerce really gets smarter!
To know more about how ECM drives Smarter Commerce, attend our sessions on Smarter Processes for Smarter Commerce
and Find the Voice of Customer
at IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Orlando 2012 from September 5th to 7th. To know more about the sessions and register to attend the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012 visit the micro-site
Guest blog by Scott Blau
, WW Director of Document Capture, ECM, IBM
The word “engage” is, er, how can I put it? Engaging! It has many meanings. We engage
in thought and activities when we devote our attention. It can refer to hiring someone or renting an
apartment. Cars go forward because the
gears are engaged. And, unless you are commitment-phobic, you
get engaged and then you get married.
Engagement is central to any successful business. People buy products that are engaging, but
they stay customers with companies that engage with them. In the days of Main Street shopping,
engagement was as simple as a winning smile and the willingness to listen to
customers expand on the details of various ailments and gossip about
relatives. And, of course, it was about
customer service – responding to complaints before they were shared with others
down the street.
In today’s mobile and connected marketplace, engaging with
your customer – or with your suppliers, or patients, or even employees, is an act of defiance! Your customer may never walk in the door. Your marketing systems may not “speak” to
your order fulfillment system – and both may have nothing to do with customer
service. But to engage with your
customer, I mean really engage in the sense of knowing them like a Main Street
proprietor knows their daily walk-in customers – customer service, for example,
should know the communications preferences that the customer set on a web site
and were used in marketing.
The most successful businesses now are focusing on the last
frontier of automation: breaking down the barriers between their “automation”
systems so that they can re-engage with their customers: an effective ECM
system delivers efficiency – while improving customer acquisition, servicing,
Customer service can be just a matter of answering the
phone, but a customer interaction case management system that breaks barriers
between internal information silos and handles the randomness of human
interactions, engages with customers in the way they want to be engaged –
Good ECM tools will improve productivity… but more
importantly, and more relevantly to life at the speed of an iPad, they help
organizations engage with customers, with suppliers, with citizens, with you
and me – all in ways that make us feel like we are talking to the local news
agent who we visited every day for the last ten years.
Come hear Scott talk about ECM and Smarter Content at Information on Demand 2012, to know about ECM sessions download the ECM at IOD Agenda
. Or if you're already registered, use the SmartSite
to start planning your experience, scheduling sessions, and connecting with other attendees and speakers."