How did you start your day? Ambuj started with having breakfast with over 1000 employees of IBM’s closest business partners to kick off Business Development Day at the conference. The focus of Ambuj’s message on the criticality of solutions, of deep knowledge of the clients’ business optimization requirements is validation of what our ECM partners have known and delivered for years. Oh, and the note that the Valuenet partner program has now been adopted within IBM is further evidence of IBM’s long term commitment to the success of our partners.
Ambuj’s message of the industry’s need to move from individual application silos, with isolated data and content sources to development of an Information Agenda, to manage Information as a strategic asset. For those that might have noted the reference to “Symphony”, it was the internal code name for Content Collection & Archiving, announced just last week at ARMA. Content Collection & Archiving exemplifies a clear, cost effective means of reducing these information silos.
And, that other reference to Ambuj nearly made on announcements in the ECM area… shhh….! More on that tomorrow.
On to the UserNet Board meeting for me, where the theme that emerged from discussion was “The six critical characteristics for ECM today”: portability, findability, manageability, accessibility (security, roles), usability, agility. Assessing your solutions on these characteristics, both ECM IT leaders and their business customers can agree on what makes a successful solution using ECM.
This sentiment was echoed by Andy Warzecha, VP Strategy, Information Management. The CIOs in today’s organizations have to be better engaged with other C-level executives and align to the business priorities. Andy described the possible priorities coming back to one of four basic categories of business objectives:
- Customer Service
- Supply chain
The industry is now at a tipping point, where those IT organizations that are aligning with the business strategies are going to significantly out perform their peers. Today, 90% of organizations are still providing only basic reporting on business information, but as we now enter this new era of treating information as a strategic asset, the business environment is ripe for rewarding those that do align IT with business priorities. A key role to fill now: Information Architects – that know both how and where to architect the infrastructure and the impact it has on real business results.
At the expo opening, I took the opportunity to go through the information Agenda showcase where my tour group walked through everyday information scenarios in banking, insurance, healthcare and retail. Luckily I had Alan Horton-Bentley, IBM ECM Banking & Financial Services Marketing as my loan officer. With his easy to use online forms and efficient processes made the approval of my loan a breeze! Confused as to why a marketing executive is playing loan officer? Come to the expo if you can!
To close the day, IBM Enterprise Content Management Community Reception buzzed with clients, business partners and ECM executives, all there to celebrate ECM Excellence, connect with old friends and meet new ones. During the reception, the 2008 ECM Innovation Awards were announced, recognizing IBM ECM clients who successfully implemented an ECM solution. The United State’s Social Security Administration was awarded the overall Best ECM solution, while the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power earned the Best Customer Service Solution. The Ohio Office of the Attorney General picked up the Best Employee Productivity Solution as Spectra Energy earned accolades for the Best Compliance Solution. WellPoint, Inc rounded out the list with the Best ROI Solution.
Can’t wait for the opening session tomorrow!