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AIIM 2004: In Comes Compliance, Out Goes the Cash

14 May, 2004 By: Tom von Gunden imageSource

AIIM 2004: In Comes Compliance, Out Goes the Cash

attending AIIM Expo 2004, held recently in New York City, I came away with a
strong sense that the IT spending freeze of the past couple of years may be
thawing. As several vendor reps reported, many of the end users on the exhibit
floor were seeking solutions for active projects. Unlike recent AIIM shows,
where most attendees seemed to be scouting technologies only for projects not
yet budgeted, this year's event brought out people prepared to spend real money
within the next three to nine months. While that's no doubt encouraging for
vendors, distributors and VARs, it's also encouraging for end users. Many end
user organizations have been primed for a document and content management
upgrade. Using aging systems and limited tool sets, many have struggled to
capture and maintain their growing archives of images and other digital data.

Compliance Loosens The Purse Strings

Actually, the upsurge in attendees prepared to make purchases should come as no
surprise. The anxieties stirred by various regulatory compliance mandates issued
over the past few years seems to have pushed many organizations to stop being
investment holdouts. In many organizations, compliance-driven technology needs
are emerging from more than one department or business unit. Combined, those
pressures are breaking the locks on IT purses. As John Magee, VP of corporate
product marketing for Documentum, told me: “Organizations are seeing the need
for a common set of content management services across their corporate
infrastructures. For instance, all of the various regulatory compliance
standards²no matter which particular business processes they touch²require
organizations to put measures in place to ensure retention, privacy, access and

Several of the vendors I met at the show announced products clearly designed to
help with compliance-driven records management needs. Magee mentioned Compliance
Manager, a new product from Documentum that administers the connections between
compliance-based retention policies and an organization's overarching ILM
(information lifecycle management) strategy. IMR publicized the latest release
of its Alchemy document management suite, which offers integrated document and
records management capabilities. In addition to announcing Alchemy 8.0, IMR
highlighted a compliance-driven version of its Mailstore email archiving
product. “Because Mailstore is built on our Alchemy platform, customers will be
able to move from email archiving to records management,” said VP of Marketing
Dan Lucarini. Lucarini also reported that Dell is marketing a compliance device
that bundles Mailstore with UDO (ultra density optical)-based storage from

emphasizing the need to put records management under the ECM (enterprise content
management) umbrella was FileNet. Senior Product Marketing Manager, Russ Gould,
pointed out that FileNet's Records Manager product is already designed to meet
various retention and compliance standards. If the review and approval process
for DoD 5015.2 unfolds as anticipated, FileNet's Records Manager should be
officially compliant with that key records management standard by late summer
2004, if not sooner. FileNet will be seeing DoD 5015.2 certification this summer
for its Records Manager suite.

Business Process Integration: A Key To ECM Success

Along with compliance, BPM (business process management) was another hot topic.
Vendors demonstrated an awareness of how document imaging and content management
systems must be tied to the overall flow of an organization's business
processes. As Cliff Sink, president of document and records management software
vendor TOWER Software explained: “Because of compliance issues, records
management is back in vogue. The question now is how to roll it out across the
enterprise, especially to individual desktops in a large enterprise.” According
to Gould, records management systems often do not have or are not connected to
business process management capabilities. “If you aren't coordinating BPM with
ECM, you won't be able to avoid creating information silos across your
enterprise,” Gould warned.

need for an integration of business processes with ECM technologies was echoed
in my meeting with Hyland Software. The company's OnBase document management
suite includes the kind of workflow tools required of a BPM strategy. Hyland
President and CEO, A.J. Hyland, emphasized the importance of tying document
management systems to various enterprise applications, allowing images to be
shared across departments. “A company's HR or accounting staff, for instance,
might be tracking issues that require retrieval of images originally generated
for users of a CRM [customer relationship management] system,” Hyland said. “If
the CRM and document management systems are integrated, then the images won't be
trapped in a departmental silo.”

As a
demonstration of its efforts to facilitate cross-enterprise document access,
Hyland Software announced a continued emphasis on a recently added OnBase
module–, Host Application Enabler. Designed to provide point-and-click
accessibility at the Windows layer (supported by open API [application
programming interface] integration at deeper levels), Host Application Enabler
gives organizations the ability to “image enable” (as Hyland puts it) various
enterprise applications. “The module enables line-of-business managers to bring
ECM capabilities to their core business applications,” Hyland said.

I was
reminded of broader process and application integration needs when I met up with
Greg Boyd. Boyd is president of Columbus, OH-based Results Engineering, a
process re-engineering and workflow development company. I mentioned the heavy
emphasis on retention and records management I had seen on the show floor. “Just
because you have a software package doesn't mean you're compliant. It's not the
software that's compliant; it's the process,” Boyd said. “The bigger picture is
process. Using records and document management technologies solely to meet
retention requirements is an expense, while efforts to refine processes can lead
to savings. Compliance is just a trigger for organizations to rethink their
processes for collecting and managing the information they have to retain. When
done properly, that rethinking can help an organization achieve major
productivity gains.”

Retention Requires Content 'Fixing'

As for the evolution of end users' attention to content retention issues, there
are strong signs that urgency is already driving adoption. Just a year or two
after EMC's announcement of its Centera solution for storing and managing fixed
content, Roy Sanford, EMC's VP of markets and alliances, Centera Division,
reported that the company has already sold more than 10 petabytes' worth of
Centera storage. Despite the early and continued adoption of EMC's fixed content
offering, Sanford believes the end user community still needs to understand some
key distinctions about what fixed content storage is and what it isn't.
“Content-addressed storage allows for active archiving as opposed to mere
backup,” he explained. “Content-addressed storage has a digital imprint, so the
information remains portable regardless of its physical location. In contrast,
WORM [write once read many] tape, for example, retains fixed content but not in
the kind of active archive that supports the fluctuating use and value of data
in an ILM scenario.”

Archiving (Still) Starts With Capture

As for technologies for capturing content and digital data, the AIIM show
revealed a heightened interest in pushing imaging and indexing processes closer
and closer to the point of origin. At many organizations, that point of origin
is the mailroom. In reviewing enhancements to its product line, document capture
and imaging vendor Captiva Software emphasized Digital Mailroom and InputAccel
for Invoices. In explaining the rationale behind the process-specific design of
InputAccel for Invoices, Captiva President and CEO Reynolds Bish pointed out
that end users tend to wear product selection blinders. According to Bish, they
often base purchasing decisions on “Wow!” factors, such as increased OCR
(optical character recognition) speeds and feeds. “Amazingly, end users still
often obsess about the technology, not the solution,” Bish said. “They ask about
OCR accuracy while ignoring whether the product is designed to address the
particular business needs they're facing.”

front of the front end in the capture space - i.e. the scanner - was of course
well represented at AIIM, with most scanner vendors announcing new products. I
caught up with several of the key hardware vendors, as well as some of their
software partners, on the evening cruise hosted by distributor NewWave
Technologies, Inc. By that point, I had accumulated dozens of business cards
from old friends and new acquaintances in the industry. Not surprisingly, I
suddenly found myself taking a longer look at ScanSnap, a small personal
scanning device Fujitsu brought on board for a promotion. Designed for
low-volume desktop or mobile use, the scanner had me pondering a comment Fujitsu
Product Manager Scott Francis had made during a demo earlier that day. "You
really don't know you need it until you see what it can do," he suggested.
Taking another look at the product - and its card-scanning attachment - while
listing slightly port side due to the stack of cards filling my left coat
pocket, I didn't have to work hard to imagine at least one need.

- - -

Tom von Gunden is chief editor of Doc Management
Online, Content Mgt Online, and IT Storage Online. Visit the premier sourcing
site for the document management and document imaging industry at

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