Will the 2010 AIIM expo + conference be cloudy? – Repost From AIIM ERM Community

This is a repost from my blog post on the AIIM ERM Community Expert Blog

Will the 2010 AIIM expo + conference be cloudy?

Cloud I am looking forward to the 2010 AIIM expo + conference this year after missing the conference the last two years. I always learn something new and it is a great chance to meet some really smart people.

One topic I am interested exploring extensively is how the ECM market is responding to the “Cloud Computing”. There has been quite a bit of hype over the last couple of years and it will be interesting to see how far the ECM vendors have gone to close the gap between myth and reality.

First let’s make sure we are all on the same page. I will use Forrester’s definition for cloud computing: “A standardized IT capability, such as software, application platform, or infrastructure, delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use and self-service way.” Pretty straight forward, right, then why all the confusion?

Microsoft and the Cloud

Microsoft has been heavily promoting both their Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and Windows Azure. These are two distinctly different offerings with BPOS delivered as software as a service (SaaS) and Windows Azure delivered as an infrastructure as a service (IaaS). So how are these two offerings different? Here is a simple definition of these two offerings:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

IaaS (Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft’s Azure) provide virtual computing environments allowing customers to use web service interfaces to launch instances of operating systems and associated blocks of storage on demand. Customers use the provider’s administrative console to start, stop, and access and configure their virtual servers and storage.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS):

With SaaS the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure and their software product over the internet for use as a service on demand. Good examples of SaaS offerings include web-based email and applications from Google, CRM (sales management & reporting) from SalesForce.com, SharePoint, Exchange Email and Office Communicator from Microsoft with BPOS.

Other ECM Vendors and The Cloud

No doubt the other ECM vendors at the 2010 AIIM conference will be talking about their Cloud offerings. Looking at the conference agenda and reading the descriptions of the keynote sessions the only session which discusses the Cloud is the keynote entitled “Reinvent Work, Collaboration, and Innovation in the 21st Century” by Google’s Cyrus Mistry.

Reviewing the conference sessions, I did not really see many sessions (only a few) addressing ECM in the Cloud. So it will be interesting to see what is being talked about on the exposition floor by the ECM vendors. When I searched for “Cloud Strategy” on EMC’s website the recommended link in the search results was Virtual Computing Environment coalition (VCE) which looks like it is targeted at enterprises who want to create a “cloud-like” utility computing capability within their firewalls also known as a “Private Cloud”. I will be interested to see if EMC is working on a similar SaaS offerings to Microsoft’s BPOS.

My goal this week will be to see who really “get’s it” and understands the implications and challenges of managing your corporate information in the Cloud. I want to see who has already thought through the personal data privacy and e-Discovery implications. I will be really excited if I find someone who has gone the extra mile and defined an implementation pattern and methodology for leveraging the Cloud for ECM. I am not holding my breath on this one.

I’ll let you know what I find out this week.

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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…

Consolidation Resumes: Iron Mountain Acquires Mimosa Systems

bigfisheatlittlefish

Well, looks like 2010 may usher in the resumption of  the consolidation in the ECM marketplace. It will be interesting to see who will be next.

With this acquisition of Mimosa Systems, Iron Mountain moves more closer to a credible Cloud provider of long term electronic records storage by providing a robust on-ramp onto the Cloud storage infrastructure.

The question will be, “Can Iron Mountain provide a credible Cloud based solution which includes the necessary services to successfully move customers into the Cloud? Having the storage infrastructure and now the onramp for email, SharePoint, and files is one thing. The real test will be delivering the end-to-end services necessary for large organizations to adopt the Cloud and adapt information management practices. These services need to help address data privacy concerns and e-Discovery practices for example.

AIIM Webinar: SharePoint and Your Information Infrastructure

CB107267_LoResI was the speaker for this webinar last week with AIIM and EMC. Here is the synopsis:

On the surface, implementing SharePoint as an enterprise content management solution seems simple and straightforward. After all, pop in your disk and, voila, SharePoint is installed. Yet, like every other single piece of information technology, deciding the proper role for SharePoint in your organization becomes complicated. Fast. How do you determine the role that SharePoint can play in your ECM strategy? We’re here to help.

SharePoint can, and will, play a key role in many organizations’ enterprise content management strategy. However, other than for some smaller companies, SharePoint is not an ECM infrastructure in and of itself; it needs to integrate with and be extended by other products for issues such as compliance, storage management, document imaging, etc. Discover how to leverage the capabilities of both SharePoint and ECM tools, including issues around interoperability. We’ll conclude with a look at potential return on investment.

To view the archived event click HERE. Hope you find it useful.

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sharepointgovernance.org Launches

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There is a new destination for those looking for SharePoint governance best practices and lessons learned from those of us in the trenches implementing SharePoint.

Check it out at: www.sharepointgovernance.org

I am pleased that I was asked to be one of the  peers on the site and look forward to sharing some of the lessons and best practices we have developed. I also look forward to learning form other peers and the “gurus” about how best to leverage SharePoint for managing information effectively.

What is a Common Information Infrastructure?

MPj03960520000[1] A Common Information Infrastructure (CII) is a set of interoperable information management technologies along with common enterprise-wide standards, associated business processes, support and governance models, and enterprise-wide technical architectures. Phew! That is a mouthful!

The resulting environment provides the common framework required to ensure that system use aligns with organizational priorities and streamlines document and records management and collaboration efforts across the organization. This is not an application that is installed on some giant server in the the sky. Moving to a CII becomes a strategy and involves the journey to migrate from current reality to the future CII realization along with defining and providing services and support to the consumers and customers of the CII.

The primary characteristic of the CII is the ability to effectively manage electronic documents, electronic records, and other electronic information commonly referred to as unstructured data through their entire lifecycle. That lifecycle begins at creation or receipt and extends to the appropriate destruction at the end of that information asset’s life, based on business and compliance requirements.

The CII is not just technology but includes the necessary common processes and support models to effectively translate business requirements into information solutions by leveraging a consistent, predictable, and centrally managed set of technologies.

Typically the technical foundation of the CII will emerge based on the predominate technology deployed and in use within an enterprise. For many enterprises that technology will be Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, which is an integrated solution for managing the entire life cycle of different types of content, including documents, forms, images, email messages, instant messages, and more. Thanks to an intuitive user interface that integrates with common Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Office and Outlook, user acceptance and adoption should be high. This integration with familiar tools allows users to effectively manage information as an extension of their normal workload without having to significantly change the way they work.

In my next post I will discuss some of the dependencies and critical enablers for realizing the promise of moving to a Common Information Infrastructure.

With this post I wish all my readers a happy New Year and look forward to increasing the conversation about Better ECM in 2009.

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For Most Enterprises: “An ECM Solution From a Single Vendor is a Myth!”

Lego Blocks I made this declaration while speaking at the AIIM’s Document Management Service Providers Executive Forum last month in Austin, TX. None of the 150 executives in the audience disagreed with me.

Why do I make this claim?

Well, in some instances small to midsize organizations will be able to deploy an ECM solution on one vendors’ technology. But in reality, most larger organizations have many different document management, web content management, records management, etc. technologies deployed.

Typically this happens because of mergers and acquisitions where each organization deployed different technologies over time. Or it happens because technologies were chosen at different time periods over the last 10-15 years. A good example of this phenomenon happens when an organization implemented web content management many years ago and then chose an ECM solution several years later. The ECM solution may not be from the same web content management chosen. Now most ECM vendors provide a complete set of functionality. Most have done this through acquisition of the different capabilities, but 10 years ago the most ECM leaders (EMC Documentum, IBM (FileNet), Oracle, Microsoft, and Open Text) did not have web content management.

My organization uses both Documentum and SharePoint. We also have a some Open Text, Interwoven, and Vingette deployed.

So what can you do? Pick one vendors’ technology and throw out the others over time? In some cases this strategy is not realistic.

In the next series of posts I will talk about moving to what I call a “Common Information Infrastructure”.

Great List of MOSS Hosted Sites

derby hat

Hat tip to Michael Gannotti for identifying this fantastic list of SharePoint Public Web Sites. I tune into Mike’s blog  regularly for great tips and innovative ideas on how to use SharePoint.

The real hat tip goes to Ian Morrish at Ian’s SharePoint Blog for compiling this list of public sites built on MOSS 2007. Ian also has a lists of great resources for SharePoint including a pretty extensive blog listing.

Thanks Ian!

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The AIIM Guide to ECM Purchasing

swiss_army_knifeWell the article I wrote, “The Swiss Army Knife of ECM?”, was published in the AIIM Guide to ECM Purchasing.

I talked about this article and posted the article I submitted back in February.

Some of the other articles in the guide are very good. I recommend taking a look.

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AIIM-ARMA Chicago Event – April 2008

microphoneI had the pleasure of speaking at a joint AIIM and ARMA event in Chicago last week. Joyce Osborn organized the event and did a fantastic job gathering over 150 attendees.

Even though the weather was raining last Tuesday, the audience was lively and had great questions.

I have posted the slides I presented at Slideshare.net or you can view here if you click through to my Blog.