It's Getting Crowded In This Cloud

Clay Richardson

Clay Richardson By Clay Richardson

 

Based on the recent wave of announcements flooding my inbox, BPM vendors are now stampeding to the cloud party.  Over the last two months, I have received no less than 6 cloud-related announcements from various BPM vendors.  So here's the running time line:

Bpm_saas_stampede

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Not Your Daddy's IBM

Clay Richardson

"Big Blue."  That's the image of IBM I grew up with - bloated, rigid, complicated.  Come on, you've heard the joke, "How many IBM engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?  More than you can afford!"  And I've seen this first hand in the past with IBM Websphere Process Server (WPS). 

In 2006, I supported a major enterprise BPM evaluation for a large federal agency.  Several vendors were brought in, including Big Blue, to demo BPM functionality.  I have to admit, the functionality and depth presented by IBM the federal customer - they literally shook their heads with disappointment.  At that time, IBM was force fitting the WPS product to be a human-centric BPM platform.  I described it as a "headless horseman" - nice integration functionality under the covers, but missing the required interface for users to interact with their tasks and workflow.  The end result of the evaluation:  IBM lived up to its Big Blue image and the agency decided that Big Blue was not the right platform for their fledgling BPM initiative (which would go on to become a multi-million dollar, multi-year BPM program).

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Experience The Forrester Research Difference At Forrester's IT Forum 2009

Alex Cullen

Jeff Scott [Posted by Alex Cullen]

Forrester’s IT Forum Tech Innovation Demonstrations are your first glimpse at new and alternative technologies that will provide solutions to your current business needs.  View innovative products and services selected by Forrester analysts that will stretch the boundaries of what you’d previously thought possible. The Tech Innovation Demonstrations will be hosted in the Technology Showcase at The Palazzo Las Vegas.

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Green IT, ECM, And Natural Capitalism

Craig Le Clair

I recently gave a speech in late February on the above subject at the 14th AIIM ATM Executive Summit Agenda and have another one at a Department of Energy Conference April 9th. Two main themes hit home to me for how ECM can make us more green. Reducing paper in the office and increasing adoption of customer-facing transaction documents or E-transactions top my list. I will blog on E-transactions and our woeful adoption rates later — as the two subjects are quite different. Reducing paper in the office is being helped and will be led by the red-hot Managed Print Services (MPS) area. MPS finally made the mainstream press the other day as The Wall Street Journal article below will attest: Xerox Tries to Go Beyond Copiers’

If your organization is like most, printers, fax machines, and scanners seem to multiply magically without human intervention. Although companies often don't count the cost, the amount of money spent servicing such equipment that is aging or underutilized is astounding as well as environmentally taxing. By eliminating redundant or dated equipment, installing multifunction peripherals (MFPs) to replace single-purpose devices, and implementing central management and accountability, we all can become heroes, and help push green IT forward.

Office devices, for example, are quiet energy gluttons. A copier, two printers, and a fax machine consume 1,400 kWh of energy each year. But one MFP that performs all the same functions uses only 700 kWh annually. Multiply these savings across all of your company devices — assuming you know what that number is — and this is the energy you are wasting each year. More efficient MFPs should be a part of the plan.

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Aligning To The Emergent Strategy

Gene Leganza

Gene Leganza [Posted by Gene Leganza]

CIOs’ business-IT alignment efforts and enterprise architects’ attempts to focus their architecture on business needs have one thing in common: they assume that good planning information is available from “the business side.” The problem is, the business folks don’t tend to plan too far ahead. And, when they can tell us about their goals and objectives, they don’t usually describe them in sufficient detail to allow us to cook up specific IT initiatives to move them forward.

 

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Can BPM Keep You From Getting Fired?

Clay Richardson

Okay, I have to admit it:  “My name is Clay and I am a political junkie.” They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I am also a policy geek and I love watching C-SPAN.By now, I’m sure you’re wondering “What the heck does this have to do with I&KM pros?”

I believe last Wednesday’s House Hearing on Madoff and the SEC should be required viewing for all I&KM Pros – particularly for those of you that want to understand how BPM can keep you from getting fired.

If you caught the hearing in its entirety on C-SPAN (I had a front-row seat on my couch, thanks to being taken down by a nasty flu-like virus last Wednesday – this will become relevant a little later), you saw the whistleblower, Harry Markopoulos, rip into the SEC, FINRA, and other industry regulators. Mr. Markopoulos raised numerous red flags to the SEC about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme over an eight year period.

Pulling no punches, Mr. Markopolos called the SEC "incompetent" and FINRA "crooks" to their faces – senior representatives from both organizations were in the audience listening to the hearing and waiting for their opportunity to respond.  Following Mr. Markopoulos’s testimony, I thought "Hey, its time to get some popcorn, the fight’s on!" Then I recalled why I was home in the first place – sick, right? 

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Autonomy Acquires Interwoven — What It Means For Search

Leslie Owens

Leslieowens

By Leslie Owens

Big news in the information management world today – Autonomy announced it will acquire Interwoven for $775 million.

Since 2005, Autonomy has acquired technology for search (Verity), archiving (ZANTAZ), and records management (Meridio). With Interwoven, Autonomy gains a technology foothold where it was previously weakest -- at the point where digital content gets created, captured, and managed. Yet knowing Autonomy, it’s likely after Interwoven’s solid customer base in several niche market segments: law firms and customer-facing media, entertainment, and commerce Web sites. All of these Interwoven customers had better prepare for a knock on the door from Autonomy reps prepared to sell them on the virtues of extracting “meaning” from their digital information (using Autonomy IDOL, of course).

Enterprise search and enterprise content management are two sides of a coin. Both are necessary to create, manage, store, find and analyze information. Yet information workers still generate an enormous amount of content in word processing applications and distribute it via email. Content created in this way is difficult to manage and control as well as difficult to find. The high price Microsoft paid for FAST Search and Transfer last year was based in part on the expected value of combining the two sides of the coin — to tightly integrate search and classification capabilities at the point where content is created and accessed. Autonomy brings more sophisticated — and much needed — archiving and records management capabilities to this picture.

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Oracle To Purchase Skywire Software – DOM And ECM Continue Pattern Of Convergence

Craig Le Clair

CraigleclairBy Craig LeClair

On June 24, 2008, Oracle announced its intent to purchase Skywire Software. This potential acquisition has three very strong positives:

Skywire enhances Oracle's ECM offering. Skywire Software has a document output management arsenal that includes Whitehill Technologies (InSystems) and Docucorp International, both of which the company acquired in 2007. Skywire's customer communication solution fills gaps and creates opportunities in Oracle's overall ECM suite. Universal Content Manager and Imaging and Process Manager can now provide complete structured solutions -- built for statements and bills for the print channel, and interactive output management -- creating direct marketing material, or collaboration and workflow for creating enrollment kits. In addition, pain points in customer communication can be addressed more broadly when Skywire's DOM solution is combined with Oracle's web content management products to provide a more complete multi-channel solution.

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SharePoint For The Enterprise

Craig Le Clair

CraigleclairBy Craig Le Clair

Forrester recently surveyed 233 IT decision-makers who have plans to implement or upgrade to at least some part of MOSS 2007 and asked: "Which of the following best describes your organization's time line for implementing or upgrading to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server?". The results? 21% will upgrade immediately and 41% will do so within 6 months.

With this level of adoption the issue of scalability comes up more and more. In one sense you have architectural concerns with any solution that scales horizontally, uses banks of load-balanced Web servers, application servers, and clusters of SQL servers on the back end. Add high availability and you quickly get a complex environment. To Microsoft's credit there is quite a bit available on performance guidelines. But looking through these, and coping with notions of site collections, lists, file arrangements, performance of folder hierarchies versus flat files, and automatic versus manual partitioning, the bottom line seems to be that even on the new 64 bit architecture with 4 screaming Intel processors, and SQL 5 -- the upper limit of the content repository is 500GB.

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AIIM Show: Still Serving Core Imaging Needs

Craig Le Clair

Craigleclair_2By Craig Le Clair

I went to the AIIM conference in Boston last week. My first AIIM show was in 1993 — where the ratio of demos to production systems was about a billion to one. For the historians out there, the 1993 show in Chicago had over 33,000 attendees. New optical disk jukeboxes and digital scanners were the rage. So it was good to see how far the industry has come in providing mature and productive solutions. Yet  — AIIM is still something of a chaotic, disorganized, vendor-feeding frenzy that seems to somehow work for most attendees.

It's probably the Boston convention center and not AIIMs fault, but is it really so hard to have something available to eat before 11AM in the morning? I gave a talk on ECM Strategy Tuesday morning and wrongly assumed some protein would be available. I was not looking for something as complicated as an egg sandwich, just perhaps a donut. The Dunkin Donut cart seemed to have more interest then any booth — an impossible line and very poor inventory.

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