When I was the CEO of an independent document capture company (Datacap), I found it painful to listen to customers articulate why they were reluctant to bring in a specialty vendor for technology like document capture. "There is a lot of overhead in managing vendor relationships," is the way the discussion would often start. Datacap, being itself a relatively small company working with only a modest number of vendors, did not prepare me to be sympathetic to these concerns.
I would argue that it was far better for them to select the "best of breed" solution then to hang their hats on keeping the number of vendors they are working with down. Seemed obvious to me that the better technology would also be the better choice, no matter how many vendors that involved.
Sometimes that argument worked... but many times it did not help. Customers from large organizations have significant challenges, even within the confines of that organization. Sometimes Herculean efforts are required just to align the interests of different departments, notably those with operational responsibilities versus those with technical/IT responsibilities. Throw into the mix hundreds of vendors with different licensing terms, different support structures and availability, and you get the recipe for ongoing chaos.
Large financial institutions are the very model of these challenges. As banking has been transformed globally from a large set of small organizations with primarily local customers into far-reaching regional, national, and global institutions, the challenges they face in managing technology and, of course, the vendors providing that technology, are vast. What's one more vendor in the mix? It might be the straw the breaks the camel's back!
Now I understand the logic behind vendor consolidation far better - and it helps explain the success we have had in banking and finance as IBM Datacap... that we were never able to achieve when we were an independent vendor. Particularly with the Production Imaging Edition (PIE), we are offering a complete imaging packaging from capture to repository. Of course, there are other explanations as well, not the least of which is the increasingly tight integration we have established with the repository where captured documents are stored.
There's no magic number of vendors, but there is a hidden dynamic that I have learned: on the buying side of the technology equation there are constraints and considerations that legitimately have an impact on vendor selection. Have you run into those constraints? I'd like to hear your experience.
Although I have been involved in document capture for over 20 years, it was not until Datacap joined forces with IBM in 2010 that we started to meet regularly with large banks to help them address their massive mortgage processing challenges. Even given all the things that I had learned over the years about high-volume document capture, I have been surprised just how many nuances and special considerations that there are when it comes time to scan a mortgage.
Are you considering scanning and advanced document capture in your mortgage business (or are you just interested in learning more capture tricks-of-the-trade)? If so, then here's my list of the two most important ways that mortgage document capture is special:
1) Document = Batch
Most document capture applications are batch oriented. Why? Because it is almost always more efficient to scan a number of documents all at once (a "batch") versus one at a time. It is also a very useful simplification technique to reduce the number of "things" to track by grouping them into a batch, for example, if a batch consists of 50 documents, then there is a 50-to-1 reduction in 'things' to track.
There are some situations, however, where each document is its own batch. For example, this is often the case when the capture system reads from faxes. Typically each transmission is read into its own batch, and the sender is typically sending one document. Bank branch batch capture (described here) is another good example, where a customer hands over a document to a branch officer and that officer scans that document as a “batch.”
But mortgages are different. Depending on how you count documents, a mortgage packet of 200 or 250 pages may consist of 15 or 20 fairly generic document types up to 50 to 75 very specific doc types. In other words, the one meta-document, the "mortgage," is made up of many different individual documents, e.g. the loan agreement, proof of employment, liens, etc.
2) The primacy of document classification
For many years, advanced document capture was called "forms processing" because the task was to read data off of fixed forms. The archetypical application of forms processing technology was reading tax returns for government revenue departments. There may be different tax forms and schedules, but typically they had bar codes or other easy-to-identify distinguishing marks. (Read the Virginia Department of Taxation case study.)
A mortgage "document" with all its sub-documents is a completely different beast. In the packet there may be some forms with bar codes, but there are many pages that have to be "read" to figure out what they are. The biggest task - by far - when processing a mortgage is to figure out what each of the sub-documents is, and where they end and the next begins. There's no easy one-size-fits-all solution. Doing a good job requires an armory of techniques, some simple and fast like bar code recognition, and some much more sophisticated such as fingerprint matching and textual classification via content analytics.
Of course, mortgage processing shares many challenges and processing characteristics with other large-scale document capture environments. For example, demands for timeliness are high – getting the documents into the repository at the first possible moment in order to make them available for loan servicing or other parts of the organization. And there is a role – in some organizations – for remote capture in a browser or through MFPs of mortgages and/or related follow-on documents.
Mortgage processing is a bit different than many, perhaps most, document capture applications. But if you have any experience in document capture, you know that one of the enduring characteristics of capture is that it is “hard” exactly because each application is different. Even within the category of mortgage processors - e.g. originators, wholesale, correspondent – each have different needs on what document sub-types they want to identify. The knowledge and experience of one implementation can help with the next, but it is never just a matter of plugging in the same application for two different banks and expecting them to both work the same way!
I’ve been on my high horse – or more accurately, my bicycle – for a while about looking at the benefits of document capture from a different point of view: the customer’s customer, and how it affects them. I summarized these ideas in a video tribute to the Tour de France which ended in Paris yesterday… Tour de Office...
But let’s look at the details. How does document capture fit into a strategy of improving customer satisfaction, better customer retention, and acquisition? Let's think of it from the point of view of a bank and their retail customers. Banking globally is still one of those businesses where paper plays a crucial role in many customer interactions. Capturing data off of a new account application or a loan origination form is crucial to the bank's business - and doing it accurately and in a timely manner will have a big impact on customer satisfaction.
But these metrics, no matter how significant, do not tell the whole story of the way that document capture and imaging can improve a bank customer's experience. It goes beyond the simple ability to turn a document around, i.e. to process the information on it.
Take a look at this quick video from PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (also known as Maybank) in Indonesia. As a rapidly growing bank, they faced daunting obstacles in scaling up their paper processes, particularly as they surveyed the market for international expansion. Account opening, for example, was a manual, paper-based process, delaying the sharing of information between branches. The goal, for Maybank was a central repository to store documents so that branches and departments that previously faced massive hurdles in sharing information could start to do so effortlessly.
Digitizing and electronically capturing customer documents helps Maybank simplify and iterate account-opening and remittance processes, which reduces turnaround time and improves customer satisfaction. The solution also allows them to update customer records and transactions in real time and then share this information across multiple systems for accurate decision making.
In other words, a significant benefit, and one that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, was the ability to break down some of the barriers within the bank itself. (I’ve explored this theme in an earlier blog on Smarter Commerce.)
And let's not forget that by "truncating" (scanning and destroying) the paper early in the process - at the branch - there is a huge benefit to the customer of increased security for their personal information. The loan application they fill in, instead of floating around the branch, and being sent as unencrypted paper around various bank departments, with sensitive personal information, including income and dates, now becomes an electronic document, all access to which is strictly controlled and tracked.
This is just one, real-world example illustrating some of the indirect benefits of document capture. Of course, capturing a document is really just the beginning of a process, most commonly associated with document imaging. It’s an academic question whether the true value is in the capturing or the storing (and retrieval!) of documents. The point is that when combined, capturing and imaging documents can play a central role in a customer-centric document strategy, which both improves internal processes and customer satisfaction.
Learn more about IBM’s Production Imaging Edition which features a unique bundle of document imaging and capture technologies here.
And don’t forget to follow me @CaptureGuru on Twitter!
Document capture improves customers' experience at the bank
These days customers expect their branch banking experience to be like their other retail activities - quick, efficient, and seamlessly interwoven into the smart phone-based tempo of their lives. To stay competitive, a bank must deliver a snappy, iPhone-like experience, even in the context of a walk-in customer. While walking into a bank branch is not the same thing as using an on-demand service from Google and Facebook, many bank customers, particularly the younger ones that banks are always seeking to attract, expect immediate and accurate responses to their requests.
Since documents - like loan and new account applications, signature cards, and changes of address - are central to bank operations, the ability to process those documents quickly and accurately is key to meeting today's consumer expectations. And meeting or exceeding those expectations is the route to a happy customer experience.
Here's how a European bank made their customers much happier
I've recently worked with one of our banking customers in Europe. When I first met with them a year and a half ago, they were determined to improve their customers' in-branch experience, particularly when the customer would come in for a paper document-related transaction (as opposed to simply depositing or removing money).
Before Datacap, the customer would sit with a bank officer who would review the documents for completeness, thank them, and instruct them to come back the next day. Then the officer would type content from the documents into the relevant bank system, as well as faxing or sending the physical documents to a central location.
Now the process has been revolutionized. The paper documents are still there, the customer is still sitting with the bank officer, but once the officer takes a quick look at the document, they drop them into a document scanner at their desk. Then they wait (see my blog about that wait and why it is important and a challenge!). The goal is a turn around time of around 15 seconds, but at peak times it might take a minute.
While the bank officer and the customer are having a quick chat, a lot is happening in the background:
- document images are sent from the branch to central servers
- OCR and ICR, document classification, image enhancement, data validations all take place
- the results are sent back to the branch
Then the officer can review the electronic document, sign off and complete the transaction.
Speed doesn't help if the data being capture is riddled with errors. A mistake on a loan application can be devastating - a denied loan and a potentially desperate search for alternative financing. The manual process of entering data has always been a weak link in banking transactions. Automated data extraction using optical character recognition and related techniques and technologies can reduce errors, particularly when those technologies are paired with skilled workers, such as a bank officer, who reviews the results of automated recognition.
Accuracy is improved because the software will flag problem fields for review. So the bank officer looks only at fields with suspected problems. Worse case scenario: they review every field and it takes as long as it would to do manually. Either way, accuracy is improved because you have one pass of automated data entry and one pass of review by an experienced human.
Fast and accurate transaction make for happier customers
Document capture helps make sure the customer's high expectations are speedily met, so they can leave feeling good and maybe even with some additional money in their pocket! Happier customers make for happier banks who can more easily acquire new customers more easily and retain their existing ones.
For ongoing insights follow me on Twitter @CaptureGuru.
Today’s guest post is courtesy: Doug Hunt, General Manager, Enterprise Content Management
As Big Data & Analytics continues to drive new efficiencies and create value, the definition of the “knowledge workers” is broadening to include all users in your organization and the inclusion of content in a wide variety of your solutions is becoming increasingly more critical.
“Big Data” includes a tremendous amount of content and it’s this content that the Line of Business (LOB), IT departments and the CIO need to work together to provide new ways to collaborate and engage and manage it for users anywhere they need to be productive, make better decisions, and deliver better business outcomes.
Last week, IBM announced a bold and new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution called IBM Navigator on Cloud. IBM Navigator on Cloud is designed to make us knowledge workers more productive and effective by providing a better way to engage with others, manage, and synchronize the content that not just knowledge workers, but that we all need across the web, mobile and desktop devices we use everyday.
This solution is based on the same Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technology, including the leading mobile experience in the content industry, which Gartner, IDC and other analyst firms have once again recognized as the undisputed market leader. IBM Navigator on Cloud demonstrates our investment in the future that will create even more separation from the competition.
The introduction of IBM Navigator on Cloud not only enhances ECM’s leadership, it also strengthens IBM’s overall Big Data & Analytics offerings. The Big Data & Analytics portfolio exists to help clients deliver competitive advantage through content and data. IBM Navigator on Cloud makes it even easier for clients to exploit the content that fuels their most critical work and processes.
Please take a few moments to watch my video interview to learn more about the launch of our exciting, new solution. You can learn more and find more interesting details in today’s press release and be sure to listen to the replay of our webinar.
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Jonathan Muise, US Counter Fraud Sales, Enterprise Content Management, IBM
The increased media scrutiny of recent attacks—as well as the magnitude of damage—is making fraud and financial crimes a top priority across multiple industries. Consider this: Fraud costs an estimated $3.5 trillion dollars (US) around the world. No company or agency is immune from threat. Fraud schemes are complex, span across all lines types of business and have enormous effects to the brand and bottom line.
Here are just a few examples of fraud across multiple industries:
Insurance: Everything from slightly exaggerating claims to deliberately causing accidents or damage to vehicles or property.
Health care: Kickbacks to medical professionals, billing for services or equipment not rendered or up-coding (billing for more expensive services or items than those provided).
Retail: Shrinkage throughout the supply chain as well as employee theft and shoplifting at the point of sale.
Telecommunications: Fraudulent credit card billing, identity theft, using a subscription for something other than what it was intended, or signing up for service using false or stolen identification.
Energy and Utilities: Energy stealing, meter hacking, imposters asking for payment, and identity theft.
Financial services: Broker fraud, as well as credit card and checking “bust out” schemes where fraudulent merchants rack up transactions, steal money, and then shut down.
Consumers are concerned about their privacy and security—and with good reason. Many businesses continue to wrestle with financial losses as well as lasting brand damage.
What are you doing to prevent fraud? and check out the counter-fraud breakout to learn about the innovative capabilities that can help you combat fraud across your organization. You’ll learn how to detect fraud within a business process, uncover fraudulent activity hidden in massive amounts of data, new ways to turn intelligence into action using investigative analysis, and best practices for applying fraud insights and taking action in real time—when it matters most.
A question and answer blog with Cengiz Satir, Program Director, IBM ECM, and Michael Green, Senior Offering Manager, IBM Case Manager as they talk about the importance of businesses having a strategy that delivers a content and case experience independent of device or platform.
The Game Changing Experience Platform for Content and Case…from IBM
Every organization today is looking for ways to improve the overall efficiency at which they operate. In the “always on” world that we live in, it should be no surprise that businesses are looking for more than just a content user interface. They are looking for a consistent content experience that enables their entire business to interact with and manage content regardless of the browser, device, or platform . Equally important is the ability for a business to seamlessly access and manage content coming from different content sources, providing them with the ability to leverage content more broadly in solutions like case management.
Michael to Cengiz:
Q. I keep hearing this term “experience platform”, can you elaborate on what the IBM ECM team is doing in and around this strategy that is being characterized as “game changing”?
A. IBM Content Navigator is both a HTML 5 content experience and a development platform that offers organizations the flexibility to use a single out-of-the box user experience to address advanced document and content operations across desktop applications such as Microsoft Office, mobile devices including phones and tablets, and of course their web browser(s) of choice. This consistent content experience is also the vehicle that delivers a platform for developing custom applications and integrating with IBM and/or third-party solutions, hence the term “experience platform ”.
Michael to Cengiz:
Q. So Cengiz, would you say that this Content Navigator experience platform is a strategy that will help businesses realize rapid adoption for both content and business specific applications like Case?
A. Again, the key here is that IBM Content Navigator is an HTML5 content experience that also includes a set of reusable components along with a consistent modeling layer. This enables the entire ECM portfolio of products and solutions, our customers, and our partners to leverage out of the box functionality, as well as to quickly build apps that service a variety of business needs. In fact, some of the new capabilities now available as part of the latest Navigator release showcase integration points around mobile with IBM Worklight, secure file transfer with IBM QuickFile and of course case management with IBM Case Manager.
Michael to Cengiz:
Q. Before you start asking me questions about the exciting Case Manager release built on top of Content Navigator, can you elaborate further on the new mobile and secure file transfer capabilities?
A. With the latest release of Content Navigator we have updated our native iOS application for iPhone and iPad. The new app will be available shortly for download from the App Store and includes some great features, like the ability to add new documents from the camera or external apps, capture documents for batch processing via IBM Datacap, create searches for content, and now enables IBM Case Manager on your mobile device. New in this release, IBM Worklight is included with Content Navigator. Worklight provides organizations with an advanced mobile application development toolkit for creating native, HTML 5, and hybrid applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Also shipping with Content Navigator is IBM QuickFile. This integrated secure transfer and sharing experience enables files from IBM ECM to be securely shared both inside and outside the organization by any IBM ECM user.
Cengiz to Michael.
Q. Let me turn the tables on you Michael. Can you tell me how the Content Navigator experience platform will positively impact knowledge workers using IBM Case Manager?
A. IBM Case Manager 5.2 is a mature release with a lot of new features –some of which are because it has incorporated Content Navigator as its UI framework. One of the key benefits knowledge workers will see in 5.2 is the ability to initiate real ad hoc processes using a built in tool. This will finally put the power of decision making into the hands of the decision makers, so that is a big win for knowledge workers –though not necessarily because of the incorporation of Navigator.
IBM, with its partner Adjacent Technologies, is proud to announce that an IBM Case Manager solution for the Texas Office of Attorney General (Texas OAG) was been awarded the WfMC Global Excellence Award for Case Management. The cloud based Texas OAG solution has updated the outmoded legacy system and has helped the Crime Victims Services Division (CVSD) initiate compensation claims more quickly. By accessing all the required documentation through a single interface, knowledge workers can process case work more accurately, track and assign work based on metrics. At the end of the day CVSD was able to respond to Victims of Crimes faster, more efficiently and for less cost.
The WfMC awarded IBM and Texas OAG the Award for Legal and Courts because the application perfectly exemplified the requirements for Advanced Case Management: it provided access to all the required information, both current and legacy; it employed both business rules and flexible process management; it utilized analytics to capture metrics and initiate next steps; and it provided Texas OAG knowledge workers with user interfaces tailored to exactly their needs. The Solution also allowed the CVSD to update their processes quickly without major effort from IT and with a cloud deployment, provided the ability to scale on demand without significant investment in hardware. Importantly, with the IBM Case Manager based application the Texas OAG had a solution that met all their current needs and provided technology leadership and scale to meet their future needs as well.
From an IBM point of the view, its second WfMC award is both a validation of its leadership in the Advanced Case Management space, as well proof of its momentum in the marketplace. With a growing number of satisfied customers world wide and increasing stable of validated partner applications, as well two consecutive WfMC awards, IBM Case Manager has established itself as the leader in the ACM space.
Guest Blog:Dave Perman , Sr. Product Manager - IBM
For IBM Case Manager’s design, development and offering teams, Friday, September 13th was a very good day. After a year of hard work by IBMers that span the globe, it was the day that the forth major release of the product, version 5.2, was available for worldwide download.
ICM 5.2 contains major enhancements requested by our partners and customers.
It starts with its support for the unified Content Platform Engine 5.2 that offers greater architectural simplicity in addition to performance. This platform release also included capabilities needed to support several new ICM 5.2 features.
A new ICM web based administrative client, modeled after the platform’s ACCE counterpart, makes tasks like configuration and import/export much easier and accessible right from your browser.
Case Builder also got its share of new features. From its integrated solution page designer, to a new data layout editor that lets you design rich form like views to display your case properties, to an integrated rules designer that has case property awareness, and finally to a completely rewritten task step editor that is significantly faster and easier to use. By being part of Case Builder, artifacts from these components are now included in the solution package and automatically deployed along with everything else, saving you time and many manual steps.
The final piece to the ICM 5.2 puzzle is the completely new Case Client. Now built on top of ECM’s popular Content Navigator framework, the client gains performance, visual consistency and behaviors with the other ECM apps like Content Navigator, and a bunch of new features such as Case Visualizer that gives case workers a complete view of what is happening with their cases. You can even combine other Navigator features into a single desktop along with the Case Client for those users who want quick access to each.
Customers and partners who were involved in the release’s design have praised its architectural streamlining, its enhanced customization and configuration, its alignment with a common, standards based UI framework, and its ability to empower end user to handle case style solutions faster and more efficiently.
For us on the design and development teams, we will enjoy the moment, catch a well deserved breath and then start the process all over again. For the rest of you, check out IBM.com and developerWorks for more details on IBM Case Manager 5.2. We think you will like what you see.
Guest post by David G. Caldeira, IBM Director of ECM Products and Strategy
The shift from traditional software delivery models to cloud or SaaS for some use cases has gained quite a bit of momentum over the last five years. In fact, IBM expects cloud computing to deliver $7 billion in revenue by 2015.
Traditional business applications can be complicated and expensive. Some require a team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them. When you multiply this across dozens or hundreds of applications, it’s easy to see why even companies with the best IT departments don’t get all the applications they need.
With cloud computing, costs can be reduced pretty dramatically because you’re not managing hardware and software – the vendor does it for you. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: you only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
This week at IMPACT 2013, we’ll be demonstrating a case manager solution for SmartCloud, IBM’s enterprise-class, secure cloud technology. It’s a hosted environment for demonstration, evaluation, education, development and testing of case management solutions.
Organizations today face case management challenges that require more insight, responsiveness and collaboration. IBM Case Manager extends case management by integrating capabilities designed to help close cases efficiently with better results – in essence, to work smarter. Using enhanced and proven capabilities, advanced case management helps companies deliver better business outcomes by extracting more value out of their information -- whether that’s in a customer request, loan application, complex industry or regulatory procedure or other complex, knowledge worker-driven activities.
By automating the right processes, applying the right analysis and involving the right people, management can optimize case outcomes.
For example, UniCredit, a global banking and financial services company, wanted to take a proactive approach to crisis management and establish world-class capabilities via faster response times, a shorter decision chain, and the ability to share information with authorities and other banks. With Case Manager, UniCredit is now able to quickly simulate different scenarios of an event or combine different events in a single case from internal and external data sources. This information can be securely shared across the organization or with external parties via PC, tablet or Blackberry. As a result, the bank has been able to reduce risk, minimize liability, secure information, and capture the experience to learn and prepare for future crisis.
Tejon Ranch, the largest private landholding in California, is using Case Manager to maneuver contracts through the office more easily and ensure that insurance certificates are updated from more than 5,000 consultants. The company can also quickly react to access bonds for general use improvements and additional building projects. Management can easily track what’s been spent, maintain all supporting documents for those activities, and be ready to take advantage of the best opportunity to exercise future bonds
This latest release of Case Manager is part of IBM's overall strategy to deliver advanced case management solutions that unify information, processes and people within many industries to handle their critical business caseloads more effectively. You can see a preview of Case Manager on SmartCloud and other Smarter Content solutions in action at Booth SP-6 in the Smarter Process zone.
Guest blog by Michael Green - Offering lead, IBM Case Manager
While an understanding of how the power of content differentiates IBM Case Manager from IBM BPM is important in any discussion of the two, it is not the only differentiator. Another key feature of case management is that in case the knowledge worker or case manager is the main decision maker. As such, the ability to provide flexible process flows that emanate from the case worker and do not have a predetermined outcome is of critical importance.
In classic BPM the processes are understood as being end to end – with business rules and process parameters dictating the process flow between applications and through an organization. Out of this structure comes repeatable processes, enhanced efficiencies and faster throughput. A rules based assembly line assembly line for enhancing the productivity of knowledge works.
Case management however, defies this rational. It is has too many unrepeatable steps, too many that if they are repeatable are done so out of order, or used for some cases and not others. Mostly, it is a process that is driven not by a rules engine but by a knowledge or case worker, based on the unique specifics of the case. Certainly there can be business rules involved to handle initial triaging and scoring, and process choreography to handle the required back end updating and data collection, but the majority of decisions and task initiation in a case are made by the case workers themselves. These decisions are based on the documentation associated with the case, the policies and regulations surrounding the case type, and the case workers own understanding of what would be needed to successfully resolve the case file – to achieve a positive outcome.
To achieve the benefits of BPM in a case scenario the processes must therefore be discrete, individual and none sequential. They must be able to be chosen as needed by the case worker and include the ability to launch ad hoc process steps (usually via email sent from within the application) and include searchable comments – so that decisions are documented and kept in context. These are capabilities found in IBM Case Manager about which I will enunciate next post.
Guest post by Scott Blau, WW Director of Document Capture, IBM ECM
In the 1960s, America was riven by “the generation gap:” elders who supported government and traditional family relations vs. the boomer generation of rebels in culture and politics. With the challenges of the 1970s the split started to loose relevance, until in the 1980s the boomers were getting older and more like their parents. The generation gap just faded. Or was it just replaced by a newer gap?
In a recent conversation with a bank CIO, I learned that the bank has a paper problem, but not the one I expected. The bank had installed a scanning system to capture paper documents and turn them into images, yet had been unable to realize the dream of a “paperless office.” With a little research the CIO and his team discovered something that many organizations are now facing: there is a new generation gap, and it is all wrapped up in paper.
Although the bank has a stated policy that discourages printing documents, some loan officers continued to copy each and every loan package (even mortgage applications of 200 or more pages) for their own reference. That in spite of the fact that the loan package is next sent for central scanning and then pushed on an internal portal for reference with handy indexing by document type.
Why were some of the most experienced – and productive – loan officers doing this? At first, the bank thought that the loan officers were simply being careful – ‘I’d better make a copy just in case the document is lost during transit.” But even after the bank installed scanning software in every branch, they were still making personal copies.
After he described this puzzling trend, I told the banker that he didn’t have a technology problem; he had a dependency problem, much like alcoholism or drug addiction in his company. Only in this case, people have become addicted to paper. Forget that an electronic document has been declared just as legal as a paper document. Forget that an electronic document can be retrieved much more quickly than a paper document; that you can copy it and paste it; keep it handy on your desktop, and even annotate it and share it in seconds with a colleague halfway across the country. The problem is you can’t hold it.
Even more interesting though, is the fact that paper addiction seems to be generational. The older and more mature loan officers were the offenders. There is a cut-off – somewhere around 1984 when the post-WWII generation gap supposedly disappeared – after which anyone born has no use for paper documents. The newer generation that has grown up with computers in school - using calculators instead of slide rules, and using word processors instead of typewriters - and their relationship to a sheet of paper is different from the previous generation.
The previous generation, which I fall into, required reams of paper to get through a school day. We grew up writing term papers in either in long hand on carefully typing, and re-typing, them. We calculated algebra equations on scratch pads. When we started our professional lives, there were secretaries in typing pools, clerks whose job it was to wheel around the office delivering interoffice mail, and miles of aisles in the basement filled with file folders.
We got so used to being able to hold a document in our hands that we became dependent on it, like a 3 year old cuddling a teddy bear in bed. And now many in my generation can’t do without it.
So I suggested to the banker that she could either wait 20 years for the young generation to replace the aging paper addicts – and who knows what the next generation gap may bring – or begin an awareness campaign around the advantages of electronic documents over paper and wean people off their dependency. But the irony was not lost that – after 25 years of hearing about the paperless office, that, here it is, finally within reach, and the last obstacle is simply people being unwilling to give up the comfort ofholding a document in their hands.
Guest Blog by Michael Green, Offering Team Lead, FileNet BPM
IBM Case Manager
(ICM) shares with IBM BPM the ability to design a case workflow and build
business rules to automate certain aspects of that workflow. However, there are
a number of ways that ICM differs from IBM BPM in respect to how it handles the
requirements of a case vs a normal process flow.
The first is in
regards to how ICM understands process flows.Unlike normal workflows, which have defined start and end point, in
cases the outcome is unknown.Is the
compensation claim going to be settled next week, or if the claim does last a
long time, the steps needed will be different. It is because of these unknowns
that ICM has adopted a flexible process mechanism based on process fragments or
'tasks'.These break the process up into
discrete actions and allow the caseworker the ability to decide which task
should be undertaken when. Some tasks may never undertaken for a specific case,
others may be mandatory for all cases, but the deciding power is based on the
decision of the caseworker.
The second involves
analytics or what we call 'decision support services'.This is the ability to expand on what the
worker already knows, their experience and training, by providing specific
analytical tools to help them make more informed decisions.ICM includes the capability to do analysis on
all other similar case files, using content analytics, to find commonalities
and help in making decisions more normalised.
differentiator involves content.IBM BPM
supports the CMIS standard for content federation.This enables it to choreograph content based
processes.The difference with ICM
however, is that it also enables something we call 'active content' and
supports all content standards, not just CMIS.ICM works with the document metadata to understand what the document is,
which case it is a part of, and then automatically move it to move to the next
step in the process flow.Active content
also tracks each time a document is opened, who opened it, what changes were
made, and what were the next steps taken as a result of that review.
The ECM Regional UserNet events, hosted by local ECM user groups in partnership
with IBM, are designed to bring together an extended local ecosystem of talent
to draw and learn from including clients, IBM ECM experts and ValueNet partners.
Attend one of this year’s Regional UserNet events at no cost where you can:
Participate in an exceptional agenda including keynote presentations
from industry leaders, over 36 breakout sessions delivered by our product
experts and business partners, and don’t forget the product demos and hands-on
Leverage the many networking opportunities to share ideas for using
information to drive ROI, reduce costs, manage risk and improve case management.
Experience real-world solutions and the latest industry innovations that
can help your organization achieve an information-led transformation.
you are an IT professional, senior executive, part of the legal department, a
line-of-business manager or compliance officer, this is your opportunity to
participate in the exchange of best practices and experience the leading
industry solutions. Best of all, these events are FREE!
Content Manager OnDemand will be broadly represented at IOD this year. The team and I look forward to seeing you there.
Expo Center Bayside C
The Expo opens 6pm Sunday Oct 25th and will remain open throughout the event.IBM Content Manager OnDemand will be featured at Booth 806 - in the mini theater, and at a demo pedestal with IBM Content Manager.
IBM Content Manager OnDemand Update
Time: Mon, 26/Oct, 02:45 PM - 03:45 PM
Location: Mandalay Bay North Convention Center - Islander E
The OnDemand User Group is sponsoring an event just for OnDemand users on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. Greg Felderman will be presenting the OnDemand roadmap and will moderate a Q&A session. The session number is UGM-3882. It will be located in the Jasmine F conference room.
Hello, and welcome to this inaugural post with the aim of discussing Enterprise Report Management (ERM) related topics.Please look elsewhere for discussions about enterprise risk management or enhanced remote mirroring.
ERM is not new, the technology has been around for over 20 years with products like IBM Content Manager OnDemand,IBM FileNet COLD, IBM FileNet Report Manager, and IBM Report Management and Distribution System.
During this time many organizations have woven ERM applications into the backbone of their businesses to manage the storage and access of formatted high volume computer output and reports in support of customer service and, more recently, customer self service.
Other applications include online check storage and retrieval.If your internet banking application allows you to view your checks online, chances are they are being stored in an IBM Content Manager OnDemand system.
Historically ERM has been viewed as a standalone application. But within the past 3-4 years, ERM products have been increasingly integrated with other ECM products to support content, records and business process management applications. Not surprisingly, leading analysts now track ERM as a subcomponent of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market.
I look forward to discussing the use of ERM within the broader ECM community and beyond. Here’s looking forward to the next 20 years.
In Part 2, Randy spoke of the process to identify ECM CC services packages and tiers. During that exercise the services were prioritized based on the project pipe line when the services will be needed. In this part, I will focus on developing a staffing plan to deliver and support the planned services and projects. There are a number of activities that must be understood to develop a well thought out staffing plan. First the organization needs to establish a project concurrency capacity objective. The number of concurrent projects will determine the number of resources and skills mix needed to deploy solution leveraging the ECM CC Community services.
Once the number of concurrent projects is determined, then the information gathered in the Evaluate Current State step of the roadmap can be used to define an organization leveraging many of the ECM skills that currently exist in the organization. A plan is defined to address the skill gaps and take into account the prioritization of the projects in the pipeline, as well as the concurrency objectives when determining a timeline and the immediacy of filling the gaps. Once the timeline and immediacy is understood, the plan would outline the approach to fill both short term and long term gaps. For some skills it may involve contract resources to address immediate needs while leveraging those resources in a mentoring capacity.
Here is an example of the impact of the number of concurrent ECM enabled projects on the staffing of an ECM CC.
In this example, an IBM ECM CC modeled customer looked back at the projects they deployed over a year and determined the average number of hours by role. They also determined an average elapse time of the projects, which was 3½ months for an ECM engagement for the given year. With that information they determined that if they started 1 new project per month that it should average 3½ projects being managed in a given month. In the above chart you can see the impact this organization saw when managing 3½ projects concurrently and the impact if more projects are introduced on a monthly bases. This analysis helps them to determine staffing needs given the amount of work that the steering committee had established as guidelines.
The next part in this series will discuss developing an ECM CC Engagement Process. This is one of the Best Practices and Standards that needs to be developed to guide ECM Solution delivery and helps the organization to take full advantage of the benefits of having an ECM CC.
In the meantime, please feel free to leave feedback or suggest topics that you'd like me to explore. Love to hear from you!
Hi. My name is Ian Story. I'm an IBM customer, advocate, user group president, and in my spare time, I also work for a Fortune 100 financial institution (and prior to that a Fortune 100 manufacturing company). In both my current and previous job, I manage(d) teams of folks that do(did) enterprise content management (ECM), here in Seattle, WA. I'll be posting from time to time on the blog here at the IBM ECM Community, as I've been involved with IBM, and before that FileNet, ECM for nearly 12 years. That surely doesn't mean that I know everything, or even anything, when it comes down to it, but frankly, that's part of the reason I'm excited about this community - the opportunity to learn from each other. But enough about me (if you really care, you can see more on my profile, here at this "easy to remember" url)...
One of the things that I've always heard from my peers, at user group meetings, etc. is that we need to have a forum where the community can work together - whether it's to ask questions of each other, share best practices, influence product direction, or just generally network and get to know each other. For a long time, people have gravitated toward other grass roots communities to do this, whether filesite.org or IT Toolbox (both of which you can find linked from this community in our bookmarks section), as there hasn't been a place to have these types of discussions at IBM. Sure, there used to be some IBM/FileNet mailing lists, but those seem to have died out over time, and it's nearly impossible to find them, more on that in a future post perhaps. Well, now there is a place for these discussions, and you've already found it, since you're reading this!
Now that we've got this great shell setup, with places to share bookmarks, forums to post questions and have discussions, a place to setup your profile/join as a member and connect with others, RSS feeds, etc. - the key thing is that we need participation from people just like you in the community. Your "todo" if you want this to become a valuable resource is to join the community, go out and post some of your favorite bookmarks, post a question or two in the forums, etc. Don't be bashful, I'm sure that you have something you'd like to know about ECM, a problem that is bugging you, or a useful tip to share!
Get out there, add the ECM Community as a favorite in your browser, setup your profile, post some content, and go for it! I would love for my next blog post to be about all the great threads we've got going and casting light on some questions people have asked that are impossible to answer (we'll then get some IBM folks on here to answer them if need be!)...
That's it for now, until next time - when in doubt, reboot :).
Join us at IBMECMblog.com for a guest post from Dan Bigos, IBM Market Segment Manager, ECM Industry Strategy
Increasing workforce transformations and regulatory requirements are making companies to look towards employee records management solutions. Significant amount of employee related information is stored as employee documents throughout an employee’s tenure in an organization. These documents range from recruitment documents, on-boarding forms, emergency notification forms, performance appraisals to separation checklists. There is a clear distinction on what should be stored as employee records and what not. The Society for Human Resource Management provides guidance on the types of records that should [not] be included in personnel files and the record type and variety vary by industry. The challenge is to efficiently capture, process and retain relevant employee records so that they may be easily, securely accessed by authorized personnel.
Despite the proliferation of digital technologies, a remarkable volume of current and historical employee records are stored in file cabinets and banker’s boxes. Inherent costs and risks include accurately capturing employee data, copying, mailing, mis-filing, security, and potential loss of sensitive employee documents.