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…

The New AIIM Communities Goes Live

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The new AIIM Communities online platform went live today. Most of the AIIM Expert Bloggers already have made posts to the Electronic Records Management (ERM) and Enterprise 2.0 communities.

I am honored to join such a distinguished group of expert bloggers. We will be writing regularly and I really look forward to reading my fellow bloggers’ posts. My first post, “Why I do this: Part 1”, is up and I will have another post up later today. I plan to write about the AIIM expo + conference next week.

Let me know what you think!

Consolidation Resumes: Iron Mountain Acquires Mimosa Systems

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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.

Presenting Keynote at LegalTech 2010: Don’t Build your E-Discovery Program on a Digital Landfill

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I will be presenting the opening keynote at LegalTech 2010 in New York city on February 1st.

My presentation entitled "Don’t Build Your E-Discovery Program on a Digital Landfill" will highlight some of the challenges in addressing information management within the EDRM model, show the correlation between sound practices and successful E-Discovery programs, and to provide specific action steps attendees can use to manage digital information overflow.

I feel like I will be preaching to the choir since most attendees already know how challenging this problem is but they will come away from my session with some actionable recommendations to help get control of the mounds of information at their companies.

Hope to see you there…

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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”.

Microsoft Finally Releases The DoD 5015.2 Add-on For MOSS

MPj04358840000[1] Well, this has been a long time coming. I am happy to see that Microsoft finally released the DoD 5015.2 Add-on for Moss 2007 a couple weeks back while I was trekking around the UK and Europe.

I am proud of the work our team did in creating the new features for the MOSS Records Center last year.  The extremely collaborative nature of the project and development with the Microsoft  Product Group using the SCRUM agile methodology during the project showed me the possibility of a high performing team with this methodology.

I plan to implement the MOSS Records Center with the Add-on in the next several months.

Here is the Microsoft Post: Announcing the DoD 5015.2 Resource Kit for SharePoint Server 2007.

How Did They Do That?: DoD Records Management Add-on For MOSS 2007 White Paper

MPj04222240000[1] This comes under the heading of “How Did They Do That?”. This white paper (Records Management Solution Demonstrates Power of SharePoint As A Development Platform) that is available on the Microsoft Downloads site, provides some details of the “MOSS as a Development Platform features that were exploited when we built the DoD Records Management Add-on for MOSS.

Another white paper by one of my former colleagues, Vishwas Lele, is a great treatise on using MOSS as an application development platform. You can download it here.

MOSS 2007 DoD Certification FAQs

approved Microsoft has a new web page on the Office site entitled “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 receives DoD 5015.2 certification” that provides some frequently asked questions regarding the DoD 5015.2 certification of SharePoint 2007. There is also a link to the press release.

Busy With DoD 5015.2 Certification of MOSS 2007 – Sorry For The Lack of Posts

Forgive me, it has been a while since my last post. I have been a bit busy the last couple of weeks completing the DoD 5015.2 certification testing of MOSS 2007 (SharePoint 2007).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, AIS built the DoD 5015.2 certification add-on pack over the last several months and we just successfully finished certification testing last week.

Here is the press release Microsoft made today: Microsoft’s press release today.

The certification reports will be posted on the JITC product register located here in the near future.

This is an important milestone for Microsoft and adds significant records management capabilities to MOSS. I am happy to see this finally be available for my clients that have invested in MOSS. Microsoft confirmed that licensed MOSS clients will be able to get the DoD 5015.2 certification add-on pack without an additional charge.

So, now with that major achievement behind me I should be able to starting posting more regularly. As always I follow my number one rule: only make a post to BetterECM when I have something to say.

Update: Here is the link to the AIS Press Release