While a caseworker may be the ultimate arbiter of the decision making, he or she often requires information found in one or more disparate enterprise applications. Moreover, any changes made to a case file often require an update to those enterprise applications so that the customer or citizen’s file is accurately maintained. IBM Case Manager interfaces with IBM BPM at the design level to enable Case Manager process designers to access the power of IBM BPM process choreography to enable data exchanges. By effectively merging design environments this enables Case based workflows to extend beyond the realm of individual decision makers and leverage the power of the automated process choreography. By combining the two, the flexible task based process capabilities of IBM Case Manager with the automated business rules driven engine of IBM BPM, the full promise of the process efficiencies of Advanced Case Management can be achieved.
ECM In Motion
Himangshu Baruah 2700042VN3 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  ibm_case_manager ecm acm ibm_bpm impact_2013 699 Visits
Guest blog by Michael Green, Offering Lead - Advanced Case Management
IBM BPM is the enterprise class business process engine from IBM. It is designed to choreograph process flows from multiple enterprise applications based on sophisticated business rules enabling discrete process decisions and automated process steps. Inherent in IBM BPM is the idea that a process is an end-to-end system with a known outcome. Case management, on the other hand, is by definition a process flow where the outcome is unknown. While business rules and automated steps are important to case management, case management requires the ability to pick and choose process tasks based on decisions made the by case worker. Nonetheless, there are distinct requirements in case management that demands the sort of process choreography that IBM BPM provides.
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 email@example.com 636 Visits
The Smarter Content Summit is coming your way! With 11 events planned for North America and 3 in
The sessions will highlight what's new and notable with IBM ECM software with tracks designed for Line of Business and IT attendees, so your whole team will leave informed and empowered. We've designed our agenda to maximize your time – with industry-focused events running only half-day, so you can take what you've learned right back to the office and put it immediately into action.
Need help justifying your attendance? Share the Top Five Reasons to Attend postcard with your management (and invite them to come, too!).
Top Five Reasons to Attend:
Register today! We look forward to seeing you there!
Himangshu Baruah 2700042VN3 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  ibm_case_manager acm impact_2013 ecm 965 Visits
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.
The third 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.
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 email@example.com 486 Visits
What a whirlwind! Time just flew right by during the AIIM Conference – where does it all go? I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend our roundtable sessions and come by the IBM booth – as well as the StoredIQ booth! They're our newest team members and it was great to be able to highlight the expansions to our Governance capabilities.
Thank you, again, to everyone who came out to "get captured" by our caricature artists on Wednesday night. It was so much fun and you all looked great!
Did you bring home any burning questions or just want to follow up with us? Feel free to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I am happy to connect you with our subject matter experts who were onsite during the conference.
Lost your literature? Just a friendly reminder that we post a lot of our literature electronically, which you can find here. I have also posted the printed collateral that was available during the show on our ECM Community site (if you're not already a member, join us today!) and you can download them to share with your team.
It was great to meet so many of you – I hope to see you all again soon!
Himangshu Baruah 2700042VN3 email@example.com Tags:  ecm case acm ibm impact_2013 827 Visits
Today’s leading companies are harnessing the value of content for new insight
and better business outcomes. IBM ECM is providing the market’s richest solution
for case management work patterns through a deep integration of content management
and case management capabilities with process, business rules, collaboration and analytics.
the opportunity to learn more about leading case management solutions and how
business rules, collaboration and analytics.
The Impact 2013 Executive Meeting Center is open for business!
IBM ECM executives are ready to meet with Clients and Business Partners
Doug Hunt, Ken Bisconti, and David Caldeira are available for meetings
during the conference.
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 firstname.lastname@example.org 816 Visits
The information center was updated for the latest IBM FileNet P8 release, including new terminology and information about high-availability.http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/p8docs/v5r2m0/topic/com.ibm.p8.relnotes.doc/wn_p8.htm
See the following page for a list of what's new in the software and the information center:
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 email@example.com Tags:  capture sap event datacap conference ecm ibm 2,187 Visits
Join IBM at the SAPinsider
BI 2013 event, co-located with the Financials, GRC and Admin & Infrastructure
events, held March 19-22 at the MGM Grand hotel in
ECM will be leading three microforums inside the IBM Lounge (booth #1012 in the exhibit hall) that you won't want to miss:
Tuesday, March 19
Overview of all IBM ECM solutions for use with SAP
Wednesday, March 20
Don't touch that invoice! End-to-end APautomation
Thursday, March 21
Save BIG with Value-based Archiving & Governance for SAP
Looking for more IBM sessions? http://www.ibm.com/solutions/sap/us/en/event/ibm_bi_event.html
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  governance capture ibm social ecm content management events ilg aiim 1,472 Visits
Visit IBM during the AIIM Conference 2013! At the IBM booth you can visit our subject matter experts on Capture, Social Content Management, and Information Lifecycle Governance. Our experts are on-hand for the entire event and available to demonstrate the latest and greatest products that IBM ECM has to offer.
Want a little more? Join us during the "speed dating" meetings taking place at the break times to discuss your organization's pain points or set a meeting with our experts at your convenience. To schedule a meeting in advance of the conference, please email Mia Winn (email@example.com) with your request and availability.
You also won't want to miss our "Group Therapy" roundtable sessions in the Solution Lounge:
Wednesday, March 20 – 4:30pm: How social lifestyles are changing the way we do business with Steve Studer. Today, a great deal of content is presented in a variety of social forums on mobile devices, the desktop and the web, and businesses need to exploit that content while ensuring proper governance. Context is the key to bringing relevance, intelligence and insight to content. Teams and communities and social elements woven into analytics, governance, imaging and content and case management are what social content management is all about. Join this session for a compelling conversation about how you can take your business to a whole new level: a social business level.
Thursday, March 21 – 3:30pm: Document Capture in a Multichannel World with Steve Kaye. Explore the new requirements of Capture and learn new strategies for delighting your customers.
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  ecm event management content connect social 1 Comment 2,941 Visits
Still finalizing your plans for Connect 2013? We've got a few sessions that I think will interest you – be sure to add these to your calendar! These are excellent opportunities for you to pose your questions to our subject matter and industry experts, along with some IBM ECM customers.
Interested in meeting with ECM executives? We've got you covered! Click here to request a meeting with either Doug Hunt, ECM Business Leader, Ken Bisconti, Vice President ECM Products and Strategy, or Carol Taylor, WW Sales Leader for Social Content Management.
We also invite you to find us in the exhibit hall at IBM booth 23 – stop by for a demo of what Social Content Management can do for your organization!
Monday, January 28
11am (Swan Hotel, room 1,2): Genworth Financial, Work Smarter, Not Harder, presented by Tim Perry, CTO of Genworth Financial
Tuesday, January 29
10am (Swan Hotel, room 9,10): Slumberland Furniture: Using IBM Software to Deliver Consistently Superior Customer Experiences, presented by Jamie Page, Director, Slumberland Furniture
11:15am (Swan Hotel, Pelican 1,2): Living Social, Its Not Just About the Conversations and Topics, a panel discussion of experts, including Joe Shepley, Doculabs, Larry Hawes, Dow Brook Advisory Services, Cengiz Satir, IBM, and Steve Studer, IBM
1:30pm (Dolphin Hotel, S. Hemisphere IV, V): Content & Social Ignites Context: IBM’s Content Platform of Engagement, presented by Tim Perry, CTO of Genworth Financial, Doug Hunt, IBM ECM Business Leader, and Ken Bisconti, Vice President of IBM ECM Products and Strategy
5:30pm (Dolphin Hotel, S. Hemisphere I): Ignite business performance in real-time with social collaboration, mobile and content, presented by Ian Story, IBM and Steve Studer, IBM
Wednesday, January 30
10am (Swan Hotel, room 4): Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Corporate Content, presented by Maig Worel, IBM
1:30pm (Swan Hotel, Mockingbird 1,2): Improving your Information Economics with Complete Lifecycle Governance, presented by Mark Martin, IBM
Thursday, January 31
7am (Swan Hotel, Toucan 1): Archiving and de-duplicating Email, Files, and Social Content, presented by Cengiz Satir, IBM
Stay Social with us during the show #IBMConnect – @IBM_ECM @csatir @kbisconti @SteveStuder
Mia Winn 270001U2F7 email@example.com 573 Visits
We are proud to sponsor an upcoming webinar with AIIM, focusing on a new vision for our industry and enterprise IT. Join us for free on December 12, 2012 to hear from John Mancini, President of AIIM, discuss the next steps for organizations and common questions that still remain.
Description of this session from AIIM:
An InformationWeek Live WebCast:
The Myth of Systems of Record vs. Systems of Engagement
Business content is easily produced by Microsoft based
desktop productivity tools such as MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Internally, many organizations share and
collaborate on content using MS SharePoint.
As content moves through collaboration cycles, its value to an
organization increases - both for the collaboration team and for its value to
others across the organization.
Panelist: Maig Worel, Consulting IT Specialist - Social Business - IBM ECM NA
Technical SWAT Team
Insurers – do you find it difficult to provide quality, cost-effective customer service to your policyholders and agents? You're not alone. Many insurers face the same challenges in today's market. Paper-based processing environments are not conducive to providing high levels of service, which your policyholders and agents expect. But how can you overcome these obstacles?
Join IBM and TriTek Solutions for a one-hour webcast on November 27, 2012 which will cover key points to maximize your investments in document capture and retrieval solutions. During this session, we will also share case studies of several successful implementations at both Life and P&C insurance organizations.
A live Q&A session will be hosted at the end of the webcast, so bring your questions for our experts!
There is NO COST to attend, but you must register: http://bit.ly/Quva0R
November 27, 2012
10am PT/1pm ET
Hosted by Insurance & Technology
Ready? Forward march! How is your organization preparing? The battle against paper isn't over yet, my friends, and now there are new technologies in the mix that are not only increasing your organization's content, but dispersing it in entirely new ways. How your organization responds to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) challenges will affect your employee's productivity and could either strengthen your business or leave you shaking in your boots.
Join IBM at four of this fall's AIIM Boot Camp events to learn how organizations like yours are outlining their battle plans. Network with your peers and hear first-hand what works and what doesn't and then meet with trusted vendors to help you reach those goals.
There's NO COST to attend, just register online:
IBM will present some helpful ways to strategize, including customer case stories about planning a social content management strategy – should it be directed or viral? – and tackling the never-ending surge of paper.
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  cm8 ecm smarter content navigatore 1 Comment 2,412 Visits
If you did not attend the live or on-demand webcast of the IBM Content Manager (CM8) product update, here are some answers to questions that were asked by attendees on topics discussed during the live webcast.
A demo of the new user experience - Content Navigator - is available in the webcast.
Question 1: Can the Content Navigator out of the box application be customized?
Answer 1 : Yes - details at: http://goo.gl/cn4PH
Question 2: Is there a forum for discussion about Content Navigator?
Answer 2: Developerworks forum at: http://goo.gl/wm4tP
Question 3: Does Content Navigator provides a framework for customization?
Answer 3: Yes - details at http://goo.gl/jNdmG
Question 4: Does Content Navigator operate with Content Manager 8 z/os? Are there any restrictions?
Answer 4: Yes - though the web application server cannot be operated on z/os. Web app server operation is supported on zLinux, or on one of the other supported distributed platforms. Details at: http://goo.gl/IfdhF and http://goo.gl/KVYvq
Question 5: Does Content Navigator support single sign-on?
Answer 5: Yes - detailed at http://goo.gl/fxsE4
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 email@example.com Tags:  case ecm ilg banking acm 2 Comments 2,284 Visits
Guest blog by
In order to remain competitive and drive efficiency in business
processes banking institutions need to know which business functions have grown
in complexities so as to warrant taking a new approach:
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  classification smartercontent bigdata analytics ecm thinkbig 2 Comments 2,052 Visits
Guest Blog post by Julie Vaccaro, Offering Manager IBM Content Classification
Everything in our life is categorized and classified in some way.
Ask 4 people in one household “where is the proper place to store the toothpaste?” and you will likely get 4 different answers, including “on the counter”, “in the toothbrush holder”, “under the sink” and “in a drawer”. This may work well for a household environment, since every person probably has their own “instance” of a toothpaste tube. But, what if this is a shared toothpaste tube, that everyone needs access to? Where is the right place to store it so that each person can get to it when they need it?
This may seems like a simplistic analogy, but think about these questions. What if you walked into the Library of Congress and there was no Dewey Decimal System? What if you went into the hardware store and the items were not organized by their department or use, such as Plumbing, Electrical, Paint, etc.? How would you ever find anything?
Now think about your business and all of its unstructured content. Where do you store content so that anyone who needs it can access it, use it, govern it and analyze it?
Individuals make classification judgments every day. I might think it best to categorize all resumes into a single category called “Human Resources Resumes” and store them all together. Another person, from the Human Resources department, may believe that you should have a category for each skill set, such as Marketing Resumes, Development Resumes, Janitorial Resumes, and the like.
Content should be classified and organized such that it is accessible, so that you can find it when you need it. Content needs to be usable so that it is available when business decisions are made, either through manual or automated processes. Content must be governed so that a business complies with local, state, federal and business mandates. And finally, content needs to been analyzed and understood to realize its full value.
Properly organizing content is like building a good foundation. You need to build a house or some other structure on a good foundation. When you do that the building of the structure becomes easier, lasts longer and is easier to change later. If you don’t build a strong foundation, it does not necessarily mean the structure will collapse, but it will likely cause problem down the road.
The Bottom Line: To start extracting value out of content, a clear Classification strategy is a must.
See what's possible in Content Classification in your industry. IBM's largest EXPO invites you to experience products, services and solutions in action.
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 email@example.com Tags:  award ecm iod2012 innovation 1 Comment 1,928 Visits
IBM ECM Innovation Awards program recognizes IBM ECM clients who have
demonstrated excellence in deriving exceptional business value from IBM ECM
software. Winners will be selected from among those organizations who have
implemented ingenious solutions using IBM ECM software and recognized at
the Information On Demand 2012 Conference, October 21 - 25, 2012, Las Vegas, NV. Attendance at the
conference is not mandatory to win an award.
Last date for submitting your implementation for this award is 15th August 2012
· Bluecross BlueShield of Tennessee
· State of North Dakota
· Standard Chartered Bank
· U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
· Tejon Ranch Company
· Novartis International AG
Apart from the prestige associated with the awards, it presents a unique opportunity for our customers to showcase their innovative use of ECM technology and to:
· Be distinguished as a technology leader in your industry for solving specific business challenges.
· Be recognized at the IBM Information on Demand Global Conference in October with an award crystal and other recognitions.
This year we are having four interesting categories to cover entire spectrum of ECM capabilities
1. Capture and Socialize: Best IBM Social Content/Capture Award - Recognizes the best use of innovative IBM ECM Social Content or Capture/Imaging software Solutions.
2. Activate: Best IBM Case Management Award - Recognizes the best use of innovative IBM Case Management software solutions.
3. Analyze: Best IBM Content Analytics Award - Recognizes the best use of innovative IBM Content Analytics software solutions.
4. Govern: Best IBM Information Lifecycle Governance Award - Recognizes the best use of innovative IBM Information Lifecycle Governance software solutions.
In all categories, judges will look for deployed applications that solve challenging or unique business problems. Extra emphasis will be placed on quantifiable return on investment or creative deployments that lead specific industries for business transformation.
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  classification retention 1 Comment 1,265 Visits
Guest post by: Richard Joltes Software Developer, Content Discovery and Management, IBM Enterprise Content Management
In today’s market, I.T. dollars are in short supply and there’s an increasing requirement for organizations to reduce operating costs. Projects are scrutinized closely in order to ensure a solid ROI before any significant budgetary expenditure can be authorized. In this restricted operational model, automated document classification can easily demonstrate its value simply on the basis of the hardware and storage savings that it can permit.
We know that unstructured data generally accounts for about 80% of all content in a given organization. It’s also true that organizations can lose track of data due to mergers, organizational changes, lack of a consistently applied document management policy, and other factors. Unrealistic email retention policies, unmanaged file shares, or a general “save everything” mentality can result in the accumulation of massive archives containing data that is, to be frank, largely useless. What’s the point of having every file or email ever sent by each employee if (a) no one is interested in them, (b) few employees know they exist, and (c) the cost of maintaining the servers outweighs any possible benefit of retention?
Given a well structured taxonomy, a coherent document retention policy, and a well trained classifier, organizations suffering from the type of storage nightmare described above can easily eliminate a significant percentage of pointlessly archived data, thus realizing a huge ROI while easing access and availability of truly actionable materials hidden within their existing repositories.
Evaluating the long term cost savings of such a project requires a solid analysis of existing archival data and its overall relevance to current business and regulatory requirement. Once such an analysis has been performed, and a content classifier has been trained to provide a level of accuracy appropriate to the data to be classified, the ongoing task generally involves monitoring activity and making corrections via a feedback mechanism as content changes over time. Each content item will be evaluated by the classifier and (variously) re-filed in a centralized repository, left in place, or removed from the system. Individual organizations can design their own solution and final document disposition policies based on specific organizational requirements and solution design requirements.
Think of some of the potential savings in your own organization. Are you operating older systems solely for the purpose of maintaining years of unorganized or semi-organized files, with no clear idea how much of the information on these shares is usable or in use? How much does each system, potentially running an out of support OS or locally developed content archive, cost to operate in a given year? What’s the organization’s legal or regulatory exposure should the system die unexpectedly? How much time do your employees spend managing such servers? How much space and other resources do such systems consume in your data center? Even worse, are some or all of these systems located in unmanaged offices where data can be compromised or lost due to a lack of security?
Answering these questions will help you understand the benefits of implementing a centralized, managed content store that can also assist in filtering out irrelevant, outdated data using automated content classification.
In the U.S. one in five patients suffers from preventable hospital readmissions. Those readmissions are responsible for $17.4 billion of the current $102.6 billion Medicare budget. With health data growing 35% per year you would think that the wealth of knowledge would be pushing this number down. In the HIMSS Industry Solutions webinar, IBM ECM Strategy and Market Development Director, Craig Rhinehart explains that 80% of the data collected by health organizations is unstructured data, which includes what the doctor writes in his notes section. This unstructured data is messy and often seen as an analytics blind spot, but also contains key medical facts.
Seton Healthcare uses IBM’s Content and Predictive Analytics to access and leverage more relevant clinical and operational information to drive better decision making. The most surprising part of this was that all the data that was thought to be important….Wasn’t. In a study of patients who were readmitted within a 30 day period using 113 candidate predictors from structured and unstructured data sources it turns out the structured data was less reliable than the unstructured data.
Rhinehart gives a wonderful example of how in a structured data section such as a checkbox the patient may have selected “Non-Smoker” but this could mean that he has been smoking for 20 years and quit yesterday, which a doctor may not consider a non-smoker. The doctor could indicate this in his notes which were previously unused but are now being utilized by IBM Content Analytics.
The numbers show that the unstructured social data on a patient, including living arrangements and substance abuse, was a much more useful in the doctors making correct medical decisions to reduce the patient’s chances of readmission. The data showed that ejection fraction (volumetric fraction of blood pumped out of the heart with each heart beat) and smoking were important indicators for heart failure but not readmissions.
To know more about what drives readmissions in CHF patients and how IBM’s solution can help in reducing hospital readmissions view the HIMSS Industry Solutions webinar
Guest Blog by Deepthi Nagarajan, WW Category Marketing Manager (Document Imaging and Capture & Social Content Manager)
Your content landscape is changing along with your new business needs. With the advent of new technologies and new devices through which content is created, consumed and collaborated are driving this change. Your workforce needs to access, manage, contribute and share content any time, from any location in order to do their jobs more effectively is an undeniable fact today. 42% of workers spend time working from locations outside of the corporate firewall from home or at client locations. Given the clear demand for anywhere access to content and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets over PCs, mobility solutions have become one of the top priorities of most organizations.
With the mobile technologies changing the way we do business, it’s indeed the perfect time and opportunity for CM8 customers to realize the benefits of building upon existing ECM investments. IBM Content Navigator gives your employees access to a broad range of documents, records, images and other relevant content on the go and creates new content creation and consumption mediums to your workforce. The IBM Content Manager Roadmap and product update webcast provides you with information on IBM Content Navigator and other new add-on capabilities for addressing your new content management challenges along with a live demonstration. Along with an elaborative narration of the key features of Content Navigator, you can also learn to put it to the best use with your current CM8 investment. With business getting social and mobile, learn about how you can leverage the CM8 for managing your collaborative and social content on the go through collaborative content management and production imaging capabilities of Content Navigator. The webcast also brings out the content analytics and enterprise search capabilities which are an integral part of the IBM Content Navigator experience, enabling users to quickly locate content. With unstructured content representing 80%of business content today, Ian Story and James Reimer provide comprehensive information on how you can leverage CM8 to capture, activate, socialize, analyze and govern content arising from your internal and external sources. They provide interesting examples of content analytics in healthcare, crime, customer care and social media for marketing which can help you to realize the benefits gained by organizations using them.
IBM’s ECM portfolio has become richer by the addition of several upgrades which introduce highly effective technical and business improvements. ECM Customers with active Software Subscription and Support are encouraged to take advantage of the enhancements for our Content Analytics, Content Collector, Classification and Platform solutions.
IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search v3.0 integrates content analytics software with enterprise search capabilities into a unified platform. Through combined capabilities in natural language processing, semantic search, and sentiment analysis, this solution provides richer, more accurate, and relevant insights from content. This software is integrated with an IBM big data analytics solution called InfoSphere BigInsights, allowing clients to derive greater insights from the ever-increasing volumes of information flowing both within and outside the enterprise.
Organizations can also improve accessibility, provide greater usability, enable more effective compliance controls and enhance analytics for unstructured content with the release of IBM Content Classification v8.8 which categorizes and organizes content by combining multiple methods of context-sensitive analysis.
With the release of IBM Content Collector V3.0, IBM's content collection and archiving capabilities now extend to IBM Connections. Using IBM Content Collector for IBM Connections, clients can apply information lifecycle governance practices not only to traditional sources of valuable content such as e-mail, enterprise file systems and Microsoft SharePoint, but also to social business systems such as IBM Connections.
Subscription and Support customers can download these latest upgrades from Passport Advantage and start enjoying the benefits.
Sanjay Kupae 2700050U55 email@example.com Tags:  nlp classification taxonomy analytics archiving 1 Comment 1,818 Visits
Guest Post by Richard Joltes Software Developer, Content Discovery and Management, IBM Enterprise Content Management
As any I.T. veteran knows, management of unstructured data has become increasingly difficult over the years. Web pages, PDF files, Office documents, and email messages can (and do) accumulate within file systems and other repositories at an alarming rate, consuming storage and other resources. Some organizations adopted a ‘save everything’ model that has resulted in huge file shares or email archives that likely contain only a small percentage of usable data. Finding files or messages in these archives can be nearly impossible, especially in situations where unmanaged repositories or departmental file shares are involved. Additionally, this storage model can result in legal headaches if a lawsuit or other action results in a demand to produce all documents related to a given case. Searching vast archives of potentially relevant materials can consume significant resources over a long period of time.
Automated content classification can help mitigate such problems, but groundwork and planning, as well as a solid understanding of the content to be classified and how it can be logically divided into various categories, are needed in order to insure success. As a good starting point for this process, consider the following questions.
What’s my taxonomy?
You can’t categorize documents, or anything else for that matter, without a coherent list of known categories and criteria that distinguishes one from the others. This list, along with the characteristics of each element, is known as a taxonomy, and most people make use of them in everyday life without even knowing it. We instinctively know the difference between a laptop and desktop computer, and most people can articulate what those differences are with relative ease.
The same is true when documents are involved. What’s the difference, for instance, between an “Accounting and Finance” document and one from “Engineering”? Are there key phrases, terms, and intents that could help an employee distinguish one from the other with a reasonable level of confidence? If the answer is yes, then it is likely that software such as IBM Content Classification™ will be able to distinguish one from the other once it has been trained to recognize those differences.
Certain categories may be more problematic: “Legal” and “Regulatory” may involve significant overlap of intent and language, for instance. The rule of thumb is simple. If a human can’t classify documents into selected categories with a high level of certainty, then a computer won’t be able to either. It’s a simple as that.
Do I understand my content?
Generally, creating a taxonomy only works if you understand the content you intend to classify. A review of the content to be classified – not just document titles, but some amount of actual content, along with associated metadata, should be conducted as part of the taxonomy creation process.
If multiple content sources with multiple types of documents and intents are to be classified, then a sample from each must be reviewed in order to determine how its specific content might affect the outcome of the classification process. There may also be cases where certain file types, such as image-format PDFs or encrypted data, can’t be read successfully by text-oriented classification software. Document language must also be taken into account, since automated classification software must be trained on a per-language basis.
It’s also necessary to consult appropriate internal authorities, such as legal advisors and regulatory affairs personnel, in order to determine how long various document types must be retained. While questions such as these are more directly related to retention and file policies, they’re also relevant to automated document classification. Certain document types may contain specific terms and phrases that the software can be configured to search for, resulting in higher confidence levels when performing classification tasks.
What’s the goal?
This question must obviously be asked before undertaking any I.T. related project, since the cost and effort must be justified by a measurable return on investment. The business case for automated content classification depends on the industry, current practice, and the desired outcome. Do you need to consolidate content sources as the result of an acquisition or merger? Are regulatory needs driving the requirement for efficient, legally defensible document management practices? Is your email server laboring under the burden of 10 years worth of potentially useless messages?
Done correctly, an automated classification project can offer a solid ROI in a fairly short period of time. Lower storage and infrastructure costs, easier access to relevant data, and less exposure to litigation-related issues are obvious benefits that can justify the time and expense involved. Tasks such as taxonomy creation and an initial document review generally should be performed in advance if at all possible. Doing so will help ensure success while preserving schedules and keeping implementation costs to a minimum.