Why I do this? (Part 1) – Repost from AIIM ERM Community Blog

As I mentioned in my post “Joining a Very Special Group” I was invited to write about Electronic Records Management (ERM) on the new AIIM ERM Community.

The following is the first post I made on the AIIM ERM Community Expert Blogs last week.

Why I do this? (Part 1)

Question Ever wonder how or why you wind up doing what you do? Sometimes people set out on their career journey with a very specific destination in mind and carefully plan the development of that career along with very specific goals. That is not what happened for me.

I fell into the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) business purely by chance. Over 30 years ago my career goal was to become a pilot and I achieved that goal after completing my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and successfully completing flight training in the US Navy.

I had an interesting career in the Navy, got to see the world, had some amazing experiences, and met some amazing people. Through my experiences I decided that flying for one of the airlines was not something I would enjoy once I retired. In 1988 as I looked at what might be the next big thing, I decided to go back to school and retool. I went back to my alma mater, University of Florida (Go Gators!), and completed a Master of Science in Computer Science.

I was lucky enough to serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a Navy aircraft research and development organization before I retired from the Navy. During my time as CIO I saw how critical the “I” in that job title really was. Information was critical to the success of the research and testing of the next generation aircraft and weapon systems.

After retiring I joined an IT software and services company that had a very robust workflow solution. This is the part where serendipity comes in. The DoD 5015.2 records management standard had just been issued and one of our customers wanted a document management solution, which would also comply with the brand new DoD 5015.2 standard. This was my chance to create a new integrated document, records, and workflow management solution using PC Docs, Provenance’s ForeMost, and our workflow software. This became one of the first integrated document management suites (IDAM as coined by Gartner) on the market and was the first integrated suite to become DoD 5015.2 certified. I guess I was a pioneer of sorts.

TruearcAnyway, I went on to become the President of the records management company (which became TrueArc), created AutoRecords and was awarded a patent, and provided the first DoD 5015.2 certified integrated records management solution for Microsoft’s SharePoint 2001 (version 1). I also successfully led the acquisition of TrueArc by Documentum in late 2002.

Over the last 8 years or so I have been focused on creating solutions, which help businesses effectively manage information and extract the most value from one of their most important assets. Although I have focused primarily on leveraging SharePoint as an information management platform over the last couple of years I have been working on effective ways of using Documentum and SharePoint together.

So, as you can see, I never really started out planning to be in the ECM business. In some way I fell into this career. But I really didn’t answer the hypothetical question “Why I do this?” yet. But I will.

In Part 2, I will delve more deeply into the answer to this question…