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Posts Tagged ‘efficiency’

Social BPM irons out the creases in business processes


Business process management is one of the most useful methods for progressing towards a more efficient and well-run organization. It’s becoming even more useful as it integrates with other forms of IT, notably the cloud, social media, and mobile technology. Technology like WebPal that allows you to manage your documents in the cloud while handling complex business processes are bringing immense change to all forms of business. The health care industry is already employing these kinds of technology.

The Ottawa Hospital is using BPM software to regulate data and improve efficiency. Dale Potter, senior vice president and CIO at The Ottawa Hospital says, “… we are able to help our staff have one consolidated view on important data and processes, getting the right information to physicians at the right time.”

Bringing a social aspect to BPM can also help an organization gain more accurate and insightful information. One way to increase employee socialization in BPM systems that experts are suggesting is gamification. This means introducing gaming aspects to processes. A Forbes blog explains that introducing activity points, rewards, missions for individuals and groups, and virtual goods are all effective ways of identifying top performers, methods of success, and methods for widespread adoption of high performance techniques.  A mission could be learning steps of a complex piece of software, and interaction can monitor how employees spend their time and attention on activities. In a new way, BPM software is a way of breaking down the silos within an organization and creating a positive corporate culture.

Canadian business owners don’t like cloud computing


 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.

The face of business is getting cloudy


 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.

Learning app-titude


Last night, 60 Minutes had a segment called “Teacher to the World,“ featuring the free online tutoring site called Khan Academy. Sal Khan founded the organization when he began posting algebra tutorials for a family member who was struggling in school. Today, the academy is funded by the Bill Gates Foundation and his video tutorials now cover physics, biology, astronomy, history, and medicine.

The Beauty of Algebra

In the San Francisco school where the software is being piloted, students watch Khan videos at home the night before to learn a concept, and they do modules in class the following day to make sure they understand it. There is a dashboard for teachers to monitor the student’s progress and they provide one-on-one assistance if the student is struggling. This means less lecturing and more interaction between students and teachers. Khan has support from the National Education Association and some believe it is the future of learning, but he still comes across skeptics.

“I’ve seen some subset of teachers who say, ‘Oh, well, what is this video thing? You know, live human interaction is important.’ And the reason why that bothers me a little bit is that I know that’s exactly what we’re saying… we’re trying to take the passivity out of the classroom so that you, as a teacher, will have more flexibility.”

Khan Academy is set to release their iPad app in the Apple Store in the coming weeks. Features include time-syncing between devices, as interactive transcript of the lectures for easy searching. Some believe that as more schools use Khan lectures in their classrooms, the free iPad app could possibly replace or supplement textbooks.

WebPal is fully accessible from mobile devices and it connects to many of the popular apps in the iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. Leave the wired world behind without losing access to your content with WebPal’s cloud software.

Mobility Matters


It seems as though software providers today won’t make it unless they increase their mobile offerings. The idea that the workplace is limited to the office is now an almost archaic notion, and now efficiency-based software providers are looking at how mobile their product is.

A poll conducted by SkyDox, says that 72 per cent of respondents who are currently using Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems are considering deploying additional add-ons to extend the reach of their system. Furthermore, 77 per cent of companies would like their content to be available on mobile devices.

Eric Anderson, a partner at digital agency White Horse in Portland, Ore., has offered a few dos and don’ts when it comes to digital marketing; His number one suggestion is determining in the research stage “when customers use your mobile site, mobile apps, and the traditional desktop website.”

Major document management providers like Google Docs isn’t as mobile friendly as one would think, laments one blogger. Software like DocuWare, a document management software that converts files from various formats, only recently extended its mobile compatibility to include Blackberry 6 OS smartphones, as well as Android and Windows Phone 7.

WebPal is all about breaking free from your wired prison, as it is fully accessible on mobile devices and it connects with 30+ apps. Check out which ones here.

BPM: Why is it so hard to define?


Increasing efficiency is almost always the goal of every organization’s strategy meetings. Business process management (BPM) is a vital part of this goal, but what does it really mean to engage in BPM? Most sources define it as a set of processes that maximizes output of the company. This definition leaves a little to be desired. WebPal has made BPM one of its main features by allows users to deploy a custom or third party web application that requires a content repository and storage server, as well as convert documents and track versions. So how can we define BPM?

A blogger on BPM Leader admits that even professionals have a hard time coming up with a clear definition, and it’s an issue of perspective.

“IT people see BPM as automation of work, and business people see BPM as the means of managing human-to-human and human-to-technology interfaces.

“In the end, BPM is the entirety of the way work is done in an enterprise.”

Efficiency and BPM is very connected, especially as Social BPM and the Open Web has begun to emerge. BPM and Open Web developers have very similar motivations, including creating great customer experiences, applications that help connect with customers, leveraging “customers’ inherent desire to be social,” and “minimizing time spent on low-value tasks to focus more on creating business value.”

Why you should want a job in the cloud


In our last post, we talked about the growth in cloud computing and the subsequent demand for skilled professionals to run cloud platforms within an enterprise. The new tech means most people interested in a job involving cloud computing are just starting to learn, leaving lots of room for those who already cloud-literate. Luckily, these opportunities aren’t limited to software developers and IT professionals.

Of course, computer specialists and programmers account for the bulk of hiring in cloud computing, but the cloud is becoming more synonymous with business efficiency every day. As a result, employees at all levels of enterprise are being asked to jump into the cloud.

According to Forbes, job descriptions with cloud requirements are increasingly coming to include marketing managers, sales managers, customer service reps, and cargo and freight agents. The American city with the highest demand is San Francisco (no surprise), followed by Seattle, Washington DC, New York and San Jose.

Employers have posted 10,000 job ads in the past 90 days that include requirements in cloud computing.

The lesson to be derived from this? Educate yourself on cloud computing even if you aren’t a developer; even if you aren’t sure how big the market is going to get; even if you already have a job. It will definitely come in handy down the road.


Cloud computing: the next hiring frontier


The end of 2011 saw some pretty abysmal figures when it came to assessing cuts to Canadian jobs; the 54,000 cut jobs in October, and the 19,000 that followed in November was certainly not a great way to ring in the new year. However, for 2012 things are looking bright. A study conducted by the online job site says that many Canadian employers plan to boost hiring for positions that increase efficiency. Needless to say, information technology positions are leading the charge, with a projected 37 per cent increase in hiring for 2012.

While we aren’t out of the recession yet, Don Prior – the principle analyst with Watson Advisors in Vancouver – believes good things are happening to the information technology industry in Canada now that will lead to an exciting future.

“Great companies are getting formed in these challenging times, some of the great companies that we will be talking about 10, 15 or 20 years from now are here. We just don’t know about them,” says Prior.

The current focus on efficient processes is likely influenced by the current boom in cloud computing. Cloud computing has encouraged a more DIY-attitude to IT. Since its so self-sufficient, it frees up time for managers and executives to focus on business development. That also means there is a huge demand for cloud professionals, which is currently in short supply.


Tech survey reveals peaks and valleys in document management industry


The Financial Planning 2011 Tech Survey is illuminating what could be a barrier to growth in the document management software industry. It seems as though there continues to be confusion regarding what constitutes a document management software system.

  42 per cent of the 3,000 respondents said they exclusively use Adobe Acrobat for all their document management needs, which is in fact not considered a document management software service. PaperPort, which placed second on the list at nine per cent, is also not document management software.

In the view of Mary Kusske, President of Kusske Financial Management, vendors need to find a way to piece together all the various apps her company uses to meet client needs and regulatory guidelines.

We would be willing to pay for a consultant that can offer a complete solution – that works – for document management,” she says. “We are in the business of planning and investing – not document management.”

To give a little perspective on why digital document management is needed, Technology Tools for Today did a study on how much time employees take when they resort to paper documentation.

“The average employee who walks to a file cabinet to retrieve a document wastes about 10 minutes retrieving it before returning to their previous task… If that person stops to chat with a colleague, the time lost is closer to 20 minutes.”

An Apple app that allows you to digitally sign and send a document through your email, called Sign Docs, could effectively eradicate the need for paper documentation. The cost is $9.99 at the Apple store, and represents just one more step into a paperless future.

Government 2.0: BC government moves their document management practices to the cloud


Corporations can’t seem to get enough of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software market, it seems. The International Data Corporation announced this week that “worldwide document solutions software revenues will grow from $3.4 million in 2010 to $5.5 billion in 2015.” Now the Web 2.0 movement has inspired the provincial government of British Columbia to ramp up their IT and document management systems. Welcome to Government 2.0.

“This strategy sets out a vision for how the BC Public Service will bridge the apparent gap between the complexity of government and the need for more accessible services to citizens,” states a report on the new program. A major part of the new program will incorporate ECM in order to address the state of “chaos” that currently pervades document management in government on every level. A government report on document management practices notes that there are substantial risks and liabilities to not having important documents readily accessible, as well as retaining unnecessary documents.

Besides being a security risk, the lack of centralized content management is costly and inefficient. “White collar workers will spend anywhere from 30 to 40 per cent of their time this year managing documents… the province could nominally investing $450 million annual to manage content,” says the report.

Document management isn’t a new concern for the BC government, the report goes on to say. Whatever previous attempts were made to institute centralized document management have resulted in silos and limited access. An ECM initiative that exists in the cloud would enable more accountability, information sharing and transparency.

This adoption means great things for ECM, as they plan on creating a platform that is multi-faceted:

“ECM (as it first emerged in the IT space) was an umbrella term to include: records management, document management, digital asset management, web content management, XML content management, collaboration tools and social media tools… Today ECM is at a cross roads, [because content management] is too broad and no one vendor does all these things well.”

Government 2.0 plans to address those issues.

This is just one of many revisions planned for summer 2011, and Government 2.0 will turn BC’s IT focus to a “citizen at the centre” approach, as well as the consolidation of their various platforms.

There’s only one more week until the Launch Event, and it’s sure to be an exciting platform to discuss any cloud, document management or enterprise IT issues that you want to know about. To register for the event that will be held on November 29th at the ING Direct Café on Yonge Street, follow this link.