Archive for the ‘ECM’ Category
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
For information technology companies, it has become increasingly important to be a master of all trades, especially in mobile and PC technology. While PC’s offer more functionality and can handle some more complex tasks, smartphones and tablets are important to help foster a mobile and remote business environment. The successful IT companies will be able to offer both to their customers.
On Monday, Intel announced at an event in San Francisco that it is launching its new Core microprocessors called Ivy Bridge for their thin laptops called Ultrabooks. Up until now Intel “has largely been shut out of the smartphone and tablet markets, where devices are most commonly powered by chips based on designs by Britain’s Arm Holdings.” Analysts say the new Ultrabook technology is an attempt to off-set moves by Arm Holdings to encroach on the PC market with the release of Windows 8 (the first Arm compatible version of Microsoft’s operating system).
“The ultrabooks and tablets are where Intel and Arm’s supporters are really going to be fighting for turf,” says Rob Engerle, a tech analyst with the Enderle Group. “Whoever wins this middle group is going to have a lot of momentum going into PCs or phones.”
As mobile content management becomes more crucial to giving businesses a competitive edge, The Globe and Mail has released some tips on developing a mobile strategy. This includes figuring out what work your employees typically use outside the office, which employees need mobile access for work, and how you expect to prevent a security breach in case an employee loses their phone or device. If it’s too far outside your company’s expertise, they suggest outsourcing.
WebPal has made sure to integrate mobility into its cloud content management systems by making your content accessible from a variety of smartphones and tablets. WebPal also connects with some of your favourite apps. To learn more, go to our features page.
Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Information technology has provided us with countless avenues for increasing efficiency and accessing new revenue streams for many businesses; It just stands to reason that businesses should be excited to try leveraging the power of the cloud to do so. But according to a new BMO study, conducted my Leger Marketing, only a sad percentage of business owners are interested in cloud content management systems.
50 per cent of business owners polled say they do not know what Cloud computing is, and another 40 per cent indicated no immediate plans to use cloud computing. The remaining 10 per cent said they plan on using it.
“At BMO, we continually advise small business owners to keep abreast of new ideas and developments that have the potential to be cost and time-effective solutions for their businesses,” says Cathy Pin, Vice President of Commercial Banking at BMO. “Cloud computing provides small businesses with access to platforms and enterprise solutions once reserved solely for big businesses.”
“This services model can also lower overall IT costs, while giving business access to valuable analytics, productivity and collaboration tools,” says Bal Sahjpaul, also with BMO.
WebPal’s cloud content server provides easy organization for all your documents. You can share documents online, convert to various formats and access the server from your mobile device, all while making sure your documents are secure. For more information, go to our features page.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
by Greg Leighton, PhD
As a matter of course, you expect your documents to be available to you whenever you need them. But what about those frequent periods of time between accesses, while they are “sleeping”? Is there more they can do for your organization during these idle periods?
Awareness is growing that documents and other types of unstructured data, such as emails, news feeds, multimedia clips, and social media content, represent a valuable source of information about an organization’s business processes. Various estimates suggest that as much as 80% of a modern organization’s data is unstructured. Despite this, most attention thus far has been paid to mining structured information — such as transactional data — that fits tidily into relational databases. This is partly because the rigid schemas of database tables represent less of a moving target, facilitating the development of focused mining strategies capable of exploiting structural knowledge during their search for interesting patterns.
A second contributing factor has been the ever-rising importance of unstructured data within the enterprise. While relational databases have consistently played a key role since their introduction in the 1970s, various trends over the intervening decades have contributed to grant a higher status to unstructured data. These include the introduction of document authoring software, the adoption of email and instant messaging as core business communication tools, and the recent use of social media platforms as a means for increasing brand awareness and for obtaining immediate customer feedback. In response, effective solutions for mining information from such sources are only now emerging.
Utilizing the WebPal.net cloud infrastructure, we’re currently developing efficient and scalable methods for gleaning valuable business knowledge from documents, as they “sleep”. While maintaining the same levels of availability and responsiveness our users have grown accustomed to, we will be able to offer the many additional benefits presented by a robust document mining solution.
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
The face of business is changing as IT and cloud computing become a part of everyday vernacular in the office. The change has been slow and gradual since cloud computing first emerged some years ago, but it’s speeding up faster than ever. As recession-like economic conditions persist, companies need to adopt some cost saving measures, and harnessing the power of mobility, business process management and the cloud is just the way to do that.
In November 2011, Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist and Program Director of the MIT Centre for Digital Business published an article in the Harvard Business Review. He stated that cloud computing is “a sea change – a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. It’s as inevitable and irreversible as the shift from steam to electric power in manufacturing…”
Even early cloud adopters who are looking to improve business process management need to keep up-to-date with the trends in IT, because it’s undergoing constant evolution as well.
“The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state,” says one report. “Many activities will devolve to business units, be consolidated with other central functions such as HR and Finance, or be externally sourced.”
Cloud computing and the resulting globalizing effect means great things for India, as their outsourcing industry is booming. A story in The Globe and Mail says that business process operations (BPO) and IT operations account for 7.5 per cent of the country’s GDP and employ 2.8 million people.
“This is where the whole business world in India is heading,” says Muskan Chalwa, who trains corporate lawyers for the legal outsourcing firm Pangea3.
The WebPal software harnesses the power of the cloud by offering users the efficiency and cost-saving measures they expect from cloud software, and more. We give you control on scalability, privacy and help make sure your content is secure. Cross all types of barriers by jumping on the cloud with WebPal.
Thursday, April 5th, 2012
When companies discuss their cloud content management practices, the discussion inevitably turns to security. Cloud content management is still a relatively new space, and changes to corporate processes and structure are inevitable. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has released a report to help companies navigate the muddy waters of content management systems. Marnix Dekker, one of the authors of the report, says structural change will come first.
“Organizations have started switching from running systems internally to outsourcing and using cloud services. So the skills and focus of IT staff have to change,” says Dekker.
Dekker goes on the say that companies need to be smarter about asking the right questions from their providers. One field where this is difficult is incident response time.
“It is difficult to write a contract on how quick incidents should be resolved because they can be very complicated to address. But for users it is important to get data on how fast incidents were or were not resolved,” says Dekker.
Another major security issues is Bring-Your-Own-Device policies that companies have adopted, which allows employees to use varying operating systems.
“There’s a wide consensus between security professionals that the practice of employees brings their own devices to work is exposing corporate networks to serious security risks because of lack of control over those devices.”
Security is obviously a large concern for cloud content management system adopters, which means providers need to make it a priority. WebPal is a secure cloud server that can be fully isolated, while still remaining flexible to your organizational needs. Ask us about WebPal Enterprise to learn about Secure Enterprise Content Management and other compliancy and security options.
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
The late Steve Jobs has become one of the most ubiquitous individuals in information technology, and some say he has made being a geek cool. During his time as CEO of Apple Inc., he revolutionized mobile technology through his design, marketing, and creation of the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Now it has been announced by Variety.com that Ashton Kutcher is set to play Jobs in an upcoming biopic, starting with his time as a hippie in the 60’s to the time he co-founded Apple.
A film starring a Hollywood heartthrob is only going to increase the fervor surrounding Mr. Jobs, in the public and in the offices of other technology companies. A recent blog on the Wall Street Journal site talked about how it is becoming more and more common for CEO’s to use the Steve Jobs biography as a roadmap to success. Prasad Thammineni, the chief executive of a file-sharing start-up called Office Drop, is being called a Steve Jobs copycat by his employees for constantly sending them passages from the book and using the Apple CEO’s catchphrases.
“Some employees are teasing me about when I’ll start wearing black turtlenecks,” says Thammineni.
Jobs was a big influence on the mobile market, which is now expanding at a rate faster than anyone could have imagined. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems like WebPal need to incorporate mobile capabilities in their products just so they can stay relevant.
“Mobile capabilities are more important than ever for ECM vendors and their clients. Users are creating large amounts of content on their mobile devices as these devices become more sophisticated. All ECM vendors need to have the capability to bring this content within the enterprise’s control,” said George Goodall, Senior Research Analyst, Info-Tech Research Group.
WebPal connects with many of your favourite iPhone apps, as well as Android and Blackberry apps. Check out our features page for everything WebPal can do for you!
Thursday, March 29th, 2012
One of the most exciting aspects of cloud content management systems is their ability to identify key issues within an organization and put in place effective business process management (BPM) tools to eradicate inefficiencies. Major customer-based companies are looking at increasing efficiency with BPM by changing their approach to technology.
Xerox has been one of the most recognizable names in print and copy machines for decades. More recently they are focusing on selling Software as a Service (SaaS) to move with cloud innovation. Xerox President of Environment, Health and Safety Patricia A. Calkins recognized that one of the most major efficiency barriers for their clients is energy consumption and paper.
“By reducing the number of print devices needed, we improve the efficiency of our customers’ office workflow; Ultimately reducing the amount of hard copy print output generated,” says Calkins. “Typically our customers see a 30 per cent monetary savings and 25 to 30 per cent energy savings and associated carbon reduction.”
Innovation is a big focus in BPM, and that is what led JC Penny to drop their Chief Information Officer and replace him with a Chief Technology Officer. They released a memo to their employees with this message:
“As our company continues to transform, we must continue to look at the organization to ensure we have the right structures to ensure efficiency and productivity. I wanted to let you all know that as a result, Ed Robben’s (CIO) position has been eliminated.”
An IT World Canada blog notes that: “The CTO v. CIO roles have been hotly debated over the years with a general perception that CTO is more focused on innovation while the CIO oversees internal infrastructure.”
WebPal integrates BPM into their features which allows you to convert documents between various formats, track versions, trigger notifications and more. For more information on all the features WebPal offers, go to our features page.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
by: Greg Leighton, PhD, Palomino Inc.
Business intelligence (BI) is all the rage, as organizations seek to improve their operational efficiency, client relationships, and decision making through computer-assisted analysis of internal data. Currently, people chiefly associate BI with structured data repositories — such as data warehouses – but what about documents? It turns out that they constitute a rich source of information as well.
Let’s start by considering a document’s metadata: its author, date of creation, and other basic attributes. Using such information, it becomes possible to establish basic relationships between documents and users. Taking things a step further, one can incorporate historical information from activity logs to paint a picture of how that document has changed over time, and who is responsible. It now becomes possible to establish patterns in how an individual user interacts with documents (person-centric workflows) and, additionally, to discover the most common sequences of actions that are performed on a given document (document-centric workflows).
Once collected, both types of workflows can assist an organization in answering important questions about their business processes. Person-centric workflows can be used to identify those tasks an employee spends the bulk of their time doing, together with common sequences of actions they perform. The greatest gains in employee productivity are then most likely to come from focusing efforts on improving that employee’s ability to carry out these tasks. Document-centric workflows, on the other hand, provide valuable insights into the nature of collaborative activities conducted across the organization. They facilitate the discovery of redundancies within business processes, determination of which employees most frequently work together, and verification that industry regulations and other formal requirements are being correctly observed by employees.
Up to this point, we’ve neglected perhaps the most valuable information associated with a document –its content. By utilizing natural language processing techniques, it becomes possible to extract the key concepts, actors, and relationships from document text, to classify documents by topic, and to identify which documents in the system are closely related. Finding relevant needles in the document haystack is greatly simplified.
Of course, realizing such benefits requires an “intelligent” document management system, capable of mining the most valuable information from documents and presenting it in an intuitive way to the end user.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be following up with a series of posts discussing various aspects of making document management more intelligent. Stay tuned!
Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Cloud security was a topic in the news this week after a July 2011 report commissioned by the RCMP criminal intelligence branch was published by the Financial Post.
The report stipulated that cloud computing makes combating business crime that much more difficult, as “the idea of storing information in jurisdictions where privacy laws are lax and where governments have the authority to monitor and collect data without court order or permission, is cause for alarm as trade secrets, and personal and sensitive information, may be at risk,” the report said.
Hasan Cavusoglu, associate business professor at the University of British Columbia and Internet crime experts, acknowledges that there are undesirable providers out there, but “by and large, the cloud providers provide much better security to your data because ensuring security and privacy is their core function, and without it they will not exist.”
One of biggest concerns for enterprises looking to use cloud-based software to manage their documents is the security of the services they are paying for. The WebPal team understands the tenuous trust relationship most organizations have with putting their content on a cloud server, so we make the the software flexible enough to suit your needs. Your WebPal server can be fully isolated, while still enjoying scalability, uptime and connectivity. Click here to ask about WebPal Enterprise to learn more about what WebPal can do for your organization.
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day of sharing between loved ones; A perfect occasion to recognize how important file-sharing is to the freedom of the internet. It’s not only SOPA and PIPA that we have to worry about now, it’s about the future of file-sharing servers in the wake of the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. The U.S. Federal Government seems to be on a rampage to bring copyright infringer’s to justice, which is already instilling fear in other established file-sharing sites, including Amazon, Dropbox, and Rapidshare.
FileSonic has already bowed to pressure after the following message appeared on their homepage:
It reads “All sharing functionality on Filesonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.”
Mike Masnick, editor of the Techdirt blog, expressed concern about legitimate services (“who do things like de-duplification, or have legitimate backup services”) going under as a result of pressure from the law.
“If you’re running Amazon S3 or Dropbox, do you now suddenly change how you do business, just to avoid the possibility of being accused of racketeering and criminal copyright infringement? That’s worrisome.”
One file-share service that claims they will never be taken offline has recently emerged from the woodwork. Tribler was developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands as a way to share files without centralized servers.
“With Tribler, we have achieved zero-seconds downtime over the past six years, all because we don’t rely on shaky foundations such as DNS, web servers or search portraits,” says Tribler leader Dr. Pouwelse.
WebPal knows that file-sharing is all about content, collaboration and control. It easily enables users to share documents with other WebPal users or through email, tracks updates through an activity log and allows admins to control access to all documents.
The Internet and file-sharing go hand-in-hand. The law and the entertainment industry may have no choice but to take a leaf out of the Care Bear book and accept that sharing is caring.