We’ll not forget the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.
While we grieve the slaughter of innocents, this tragic act serves as a reminder of how precious, how fragile, the gift of life is.
Whatever your religious beliefs, let’s not forget to appreciate the Christmas spirit.
Set aside your politics and prejudice, the spirit of Christmas is about giving. In the spirit of Christmas, we need to turn to those we love, family and friends and give of ourselves.
Not to pontificate, it’s easy for people this time of year to find a reason to be unhappy. Let’s not forget those less fortunate and find joy in all we have been given.
These lyrics from Santa Claus is Coming to Town come to mind…
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Author’s note: I debated posting the cartoon caricature of Santa and decided it was too compelling (not the message, the picture of Santa). My apologies if you find it disturbing. I wrote this to remind myself what Christmas means to me, how I am dealing with the unimaginable evil of the mass murder at Sandy Hook and I decided to share.
Posted under "Thought Leaders" on the cbanc website cbancnetwork.com
According to IDC (International Data Corp) – between now and 2020… there will be 44X the growth in information BUT… only 1.4X growth in IT professionals. For example, according to MBA Online there are 294 billion emails sent every day. To give you an idea of the impact it would take the US Postal Service two (2) years to process that many pieces of mail. Every day 172 million people visit Facebook, 2 million Blog posts are written (guilty as charged), enough posts to fill Time Magazine for 770 million years!
So why are we waiting to manage and store all this information? According to an AIIM, the leading trade association in a Enterprise Content Management (ECM) survey, “the problem is we don’t think we have a problem!” The number one answer to the survey is “management is still dragging their feet;” followed by “people still want to hold onto their paper.” Finally, “people still think they need a wet signature (signature on paper)” …and so on.
Yet AIIM also asked the following question, “How much more productive do you think your organization would be…with ECM?” The median answer is “at least 33% more productive.” So where is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) headed? We see the traditional ECM model moving from document centric to people centric, open and collaborative, community oriented and so on… A focus on the customer, rather than on products, is a critical ingredient for financial institutions to maintain and grow their business with their customers.
ECM is an effective approach to helping financial institutions manage the information, the content necessary to achieve a customer-centric focus. As business and consumer customers become empowered by social media and pervasive communications, they are starting to realize they have choices for their financial services. These trends are reshaping the financial industry and are putting financial institutions into a more competitive atmosphere than before.
Technology innovations today and into the future have been turned up-side-down! It used to be business drove innovation, today people do. So how do you manage the information tsunami so your customers don’t end up knowing more about your products and services than you do? That is the imperative for going paperless and more.
We have moved from an era of the PC, to the internet and today the cloud. Each subsequent move has happened more rapidly. You can see how things were processed from the document, to the web page and today it’s an interaction. Consider the best known companies. Look how over time we have moved the cheese from IBM to Microsoft and now to Facebook. Content has moved from microfiche to image, to document, to content to social business systems? We see financial institutions moving from the PC to the web and mobile devices, but not nearly as quickly as their customers and the growth in the devices themselves. What’s next? Go paperless.
What are 2 or 3 greatest misperceptions associated with implementing doc imaging?
Centralized scanning (capture) is NOT the only way to control the document imaging capture and workflow. Scanners become increasingly powerful and inexpensive. Scanners for less than $1,000 include features such as duplex and color document capture. Software as a Service (SaaS) and in-house web-server based ECM applications offer click-once deployment, employ barcode recognition, forms recognition and e-signature technologies which allow for a more automated and accurate method of capture. Centralized capture out! Distributed capture in!
Your ECM implementation happens overnight. False! Technologies such as report archive and a basic backfile scanning application, like signature cards may be in place in weeks, but careful planning and best practices while employing ECM applications for all new account and loan products, HR, accounting, Accounts Payable and so on take time and teamwork.
You're going to go "completely" paperless. False! There are going to be documents you have to keep, such as a mortgage and a deed. Your lawyer must decide.
How long is a ‘typical’ timeline to get a doc imaging system up and running?
If the ECM vendor provides "templates" for the applications the customer wishes to implement and best practices guidelines during the pre-implementation stage and during implementation a "typical" document imaging implementation timeline will be 30-90 days. If the customer is exceptionally well organized in terms of defining their applications and indexes it can be 30-45 days. The customer must provide good feedback and be fully engaged.
Who is best suited to serve as the project owner for implementation: IT, the business line being imaged, or some other area?
The IT department or IT consultant needs to be involved as well as the business line managers of the department or organization being implemented but the ECM project owner should be a person that has project management skills. They might not have all the answers but have the ability to get the answers and keep the project on track internally and be an advocate to promote the system throughout the organization.
Besides loan origination, what are 3 other areas that should be considered for doc imaging?
Deposits, Operations, Legal, HR, AP, Vendor Management, Facilities Management Wire transfer and more...
Are there any business lines or areas that are NOT good candidates for doc imaging? Why?
There are areas that will be more challenging than others. If you are new to ECM, pick an area of the institution where there is a quick ROI like new account signature cards, new account documents, consumer loans, HR then make your way to more challenging are such as commercial mortgages. The primary concern will always be the same best practices and teamwork.
What recommendations can be made to minimize staff keeping ‘ghost files’?
If you cannot access the content, image files, documents and reports easily and quickly from anywhere across the organization, you will most likely have people keeping ghost files. This means stop the flow by capturing documents at their originating point within your organization and conquering the backfile as well. A scanning service is a good way to get that done. It is usually easy though for the bank themselves to go back and scan in all the old signature cards. This is a good way to be successful right off the bat. It has a good impact on the customer and the staff.
I recently did a survey and analysis at a multi-billion financial institution and I expressly advised them they would never catch up with their backfile if they didn’t capture their documents at the source (branch) or in the field and utilize e-signature and auto-indexing methods whenever possible. Centralized capture is out! Distributed capture is in! Managing social business content lags far behind, but we are storing more content from more and more channels of communication.
Can some docs be destroyed immediately after imaging? Any docs that can NOT be destroyed?
This list is extensive and requires the advice from the financial institutions legal counsel. As a general rule, keep everything seven years. Keep the Mortgage, Release of Mortgage and Note permanently.by Alan J. Wiessner
"Just in case you haven't heard, the Wallenda factor refers to the fear of falling or failing. Shortly after Karl Wallenda fell to his death in 1978 (traversing a 75-foot high wire in downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico), his wife, also an aerialist, discussed that fateful San Juan walk, “perhaps his most dangerous.” She recalled: “All Karl thought about for three straight months prior to it was falling. It was the first time he’d ever thought about that, and it seemed to me that he put all his energies into not falling rather than walking the tightrope.”
Life is like traversing a tight rope. If you think you need a safety net, it won’t be long before you fall. Live your life without a safety net, or be prepared to live your life close to the ground.
Certainly as a business we have operated with a safety net, as dictated by the standards by which we must comply, SSAE16 and PCI compliance, but over the years, we have always sought to be a technology leader. We strive to offer "insanely great" software, to coin the phrase used by Steve Jobs.Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist says, “Pessimism is complacency." I think I would have to say at times I have exercised pessimism in certain situations. I can relate it to looking in the mirror each morning and thinking, “I’m not getting any younger or thinner, for that matter.”
Last year I spoke of challenges. This year, our 24th year in business, I believe anything's possible! Last year I spoke of good fortunes, we were fortunate enough to have earned another year in business. I said I was proud of the intellectual property (IP) and talent we had. This year I am confident our talent pool here is second to none. Everyone has bought into The Rational Optimist theme, “Everybody is working for everybody else.” Whereas last year I said opportunities present challenges.
We have faced those challenges. We have conquered many and we are prepared to conquer the future. While politicians in Washington scrum over the economy and jobs, free market goes out and creates 100 mpg cars, even driverless cars. We need to tell our politicians…anything’s possible. This year we will focus again on making our products easier to use, easier to install and cloud ready. Inside Integra, we will continue to concentrate on developing and acquiring better tools to do our jobs in a more productive environment. Last year’s message was, “Attitude is everything.”
Celebrating twenty-four (24) years in business March 7th, 2012, we will continue to encourage a positive attitude in the workplace, with our customers, partners and suppliers. Everybody is working for everybody else (click on the picture to the left for the video) because again.... anything’s possible. Finally, last year I predicted growth would be our next greatest challenge and we grew significantly. We remain well positioned to take advantage of those significant gains in 2012 and beyond. Alan J. Wiessner, President and CEO, Integra Business Systems, Inc.
I’ll leave you with a great although somewhat unsettling video (click on the photo) and when you feel that wave of pessimism coming on, remember anything’s possible, well almost anything...
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit." -- Aristotle
At Integra, when our A-Team meets to discuss past, present and future challenges for iDentifi.net the “compelling cloud” is the most incendiary, exciting and persistent topic of discussion on our agenda.
What we have learned is to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep our heads in the clouds, I call it “practically innovative.”
This is a real challenge for a software company, a.k.a. also known as "propeller heads," but it's necessary for us to ensure our customers are well served.
As for the “Cloud,” I needn’t remind you? We’re already there. The future is now and we want you there, too. The reasons you may not be there are many and diverse. But I’ll go out on a limb here and say it hasn’t been practical or “compelling” enough for you to consider the “cloud”?
The self-proclaimed “King of Cloud”, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce would like you to believe “software is dead.” Mr. Benioff is a highly successful visionary, but as the CEO of a wildly successful business, I would risk saying he has lost the vision of a practitioner.
Practically speaking, having been there, moving from a legacy contact management software product to Salesforce or any cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive. In any case, I think it is a stretch whether “software,” other than nominally, will ever be dead.
If you want a great read on what defines cloud computing and how it might apply to your organization, I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Just email me at email@example.com.
So there, I’ve said it. If you’re mired in a legacy client-server application or worse, it’s may not be practical at this time for you to move to a web-server based application like iDentifi.net. I’m sure I have mentioned, at least twice, once you are on iDentifi.net you can move to the cloud.
What I do find objectionable is for your organization to take a giant step backward, when you can take a giant step forward with iDentifi.net. If your “core” vendor of choice whether it be Fiserv, who offer several different flavors of Hyland Onbase’s legacy laden client-server based technology, a.k.a. Director, Nautilus, etc… or Jack Henry’s Synergy don’t go there. Before you go there, ask them when they can offer you cloud based computing for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and more importantly what it will cost you, practically speaking.
When I say practically speaking, go back to what I said earlier about being a practitioner. Remember I said earlier and you probably agreed, moving from a legacy software product to a cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive.
So ask your core or ECM provider, what it will cost you to move to the cloud and then be the practitioner and add all the pain associated with the conversion.
To avoid some or all of the above, you can choose iDentifi.net. We know what it’s like to be practical and we can ease the pain moving from Legacy to the Cloud.
To serve our customers best, we have our nose to the grindstone and our head in the clouds.
I just walked into the office, albeit reluctantly, on a gorgeous made to order day in the middle of December, here in the Tampa Bay area. I looked wistfully over at my new wheels, (cycling is my hobby), then down at my feet. I happened to be wearing flip-flops and shorts. You see, I’m the chief cook and bottle washer for a software factory. I like to think we make stuff and we do, Made in America, no off-shoring. No need for a safety hat, goggles or for that matter shoes. In the world of brainiacs and geekdom, extremely causal beats clothing optional, so t-shirts, shorts and sandals serve us well.
I don’t know about you, but doesn’t feel like every year the holiday season and Christmas comes earlier; like Santa and his reindeer are out trick-or-treating? Maybe it is because of technology. We’re on Internet time. I think my time-slipping is lack of concentration. All these distractions like 12 smart phones a ring-a-ding-dinging, 11 tablets a play-play-playing, both are tweet-tweet-tweeting… and what’s with these Angry Birds? It’s hard to focus on one thing for too long when you’re running in so many directions. Time flies!
I suppose I’m just the Grinch. Each year it gets harder for me to get all excited about the holiday season. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t snow in the Tampa Bay area. Christmases in Wisconsin was certainly different. I used to live there. No regrets. Now it’s a nice place to visit.
I need to remind myself. Tis’ the season! Time we are afforded to share with loved ones. So I’m going to take the time. I hope you can too.
I joined my Dad with his company, AC Forms as a sales rep in 1974. We were a force of two. My Mom was the part time administrative support person and the mother of six. I was the future. It was a shaky start. My job was to get new business. I used the phone to solicit appointments. I can remember my voice quaked and my message was ill-prepared. After exhausting all legitimate leads I was proffered, by phone, I hit the road.
My first cold call, “cold “ being the vernacular used for an unsolicited visit on an unsuspecting business to make a sales pitch.
I was one of the major contributors as to why there are so many “No Solicitors” sign on doors.
Like the polyester plaid I was wearing, rejection isn’t my strong suit. I have to admit there were days I could not face the day ahead without becoming physically ill, cramps and vomiting, anticipating the rejection that inevitably lay ahead.
For better or worse, most of the businesses I “solicited” on the south side of Chicago, were unaccustomed to a 21 year old young man in polyester and a “pleather” briefcase showing up at their door. My first “sales call” and I use the term loosely, required considerable surveillance. I drove around the block several times. In the end, it was a relief to just to be dismissed. To hear a simple “no thanks” was a victory, of sort. I had broken the sound barrier. I had made contact with the other side. Soon, I was making 20 cold calls in a day.
Thankfully gas was 30 cents a gallon! My father would get a call from someone I had visited and he would say, “Yes, that’s my son, he’s like manure, he’s spread all over the place.” The message was loud and clear, I needed to take the next step, get to the next level.
Speaking of manure, here's a great joke from Ronald Reagan, only takes a minute, during one of his speeches. Precious really. Good clean fun!
I needed to convince my prospects I wasn’t just another pretty face in plaid polyester. My contacts were bewildered, annoyed, amused, indifferent or thankfully, on rare occasion, sympathetic to my pitch. It’s simply amazing. I became accustomed to the word“no”. I managed to solicit a cadre of variations theme to the extent I began to expect and anticipate the response. I learned to take a “no” and solicit another. As my skin thickened and the manure piled higher, I was able to garner a “maybe” here and there and occasionally a yes! It was the “ying and the yang” thing, “Yes means No” to the extent a Tibetan monk would have been proud.
Later, as a regional director at NCR Corp. at the sage age of 28 years, where I managed more than 70 neophyte sales reps in 10 states, I became well known for the expression, “lose more orders”. My mantra was the more orders you lose, the more opportunities you have to win. Spread that manure! Well not exactly...
Anyway, my dad fired me. he put me out of my misery! His too. He said I needed more experience. He was right. I was keeping him too busy spinning his wheels. At the time, I was devastated. I finished the blueberry pancakes my Mom had made me. I left town to seek employment near my fiancé, in Racine, WI. I stayed with the in-laws while looking for work.
I painted their house for $70 bucks, but I painted their windows shut, so we were even. I found a job right before I was evicted. But there's more to the story...
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There’s a great series on the History Channel, called “Life After People”. The series explores what happens to our cities, buildings and bridges without people to maintain them. In just days, our very infrastructure we take for granted, our tunnels and subways will become flooded. Transportation will cease. Power will be cut. Our planet begins to look like this (click on thumbnails).
Here is a trailer to the series. Living After People.
Most of our competitor’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, a.k.a., document imaging or COLD, are considered ancillary (secondary) products. What happens when your provider’s resources are pulled from ECM product development to concentrate their resources on their core competency?
There's a series is in the works, it’s called “Living without Legacy”. It’s about living with an erosion in talent; living with meager or no updates; living with Band-Aid fixes (patches).
Moore’s Law, named after the founder of Intel is about the trends in technology and innovation. While Moore’s Law (click on thumbnail view) addresses transistors, processors and memory devices face similar growth. These devices impact the software development business in a very big way.
Software development is our business and we know software is never done. You have to update constantly to keep up with the latest technology. Otherwise it will end up like the Golden Gate Bridge. Underwater.
If you are living with legacy, you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest web technology. And just like hair extensions, don’t be fooled by web extensions. Like the world's underground of tunnels and subways, the underlying technology behind web extensions is client-server - (legacy) based. If and when available, what will it cost you to upgrade to the latest web-server technology of your ECM product? It just may be time to find out.
Technology is not slowing down, it’s speeding up. The faster technology changes the faster software applications must change to keep you competitive in your industry.
Integra Business Systems, Inc. develops ECM products for financial institutions and the financial services industry. We own our technology. We develop in ASP.Net and .Net. Our iDentifi.net (follow link) product line is web-based.
To learn more about the products you need and best practices, go to the post, Imaging Horsepower, a post on this Blog which has appeared in both ICBA Magazine and online at Credit Union Magazine.
iDentifi.net customers live without legacy. To us ECM is not our ancillary, it’s our occupation.
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