Getting Back on The Horse


I know. It has been a really long time since I posted on this blog. It has been a very busy last four years. Four years!!! I know!

Anyway, some things I was working on prevented me from blogging for most of that time and I needed to make sure I was ready. Once you get off the horse it can take a lot before you can get jump back on.

With that said I am launching a new presence on the web called “Getting Information Done”. My new home will attempt to discuss a broader set of topics related to managing information and data at significant scale. This will be bigger than ECM and not just about “Big Data”. I am thinking bigger than both of these.

I will be launching “Getting Information Done” on September 1, 2014. Keep a look out for some posts over the next couple of months as we put the finishing touches on “Getting Information Done”.

I look forward to the real race. For now, I’m taking practice laps.

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…

Joining a Very Special Group

MPj03865060000[1]I saw Greg Clark’s post over the weekend and realized I had neglected to mention; Starting later in April I am joining a very special group of thought leaders; aka the “AIIM Electronic Records Management Expert Bloggers”.

So, besides trying to climb back up on the BetterECM blog horse and start writing more frequently, I now will have Bryant Duhon cracking the whip to make sure I get my weekly AIIM ERM Expert Blog post in on time. This should be fun and the most exciting thing will be to see what my “expert” colleagues will have to say.

If you have topics that you would like me to tackle or questions you would like me to try and answer please add a comment and let me know. As most of my readers know, I am not bashful and love to take on challenging topics and issues head-on.

This should be fun!

Will BetterECM Die?

Overworked I know. Where has BetterECM been?

You must be thinking “Is this blog going to die?”

Well, 2008 has been a very busy and challenging year. I am finally taking some time off to rest and recharge. I have missed writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences.

I’ve found that writing posts for BetterECM helps me focus my thoughts and gain clarity around the challenges of making ECM better for a global company.  I also plan to share some of what I have been working on.

For those who kept checking and who did not delete the BetterECM RSS feed from their reader, I thank you!

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Where In The World Has BetterECM Been?: An Update

Back in August I wrote about the photo safari my wife and I took in South Africa. Well it took some time to work through almost 1,000 pictures I shot and process them. I really enjoy photography and this trip and experience reminded me how much I have missed exploring the world through a lens. Anyway I wanted to share some of the pictures. The sunsets were spectacular!


If you want to view a small subset of the pictures I took I uploaded some of them to Zooomr and you can click here.

Had a little fun with this one.


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Where In The World Has BetterECM Been?

2007Jul26_Safari_0694I have to apologize to the readers of BetterECM for my lack of posts over the last several weeks. I just returned from a two week vacation out of the country. I had a wonderful time in South Africa on safari. It was really quite incredible. My friend in the picture just wants to say hello to all the BetterECM readers out there 🙂

Also some big personal changes are about to occur which I will announce shortly. Preparing for these changes has consumed a good deal of my time and energy over the last several months.

Anyway, I am back, reinvigorated, and ready to  pick up where I left off with part 2 of “Effectively Managing Information Becomes Strategic: An Approach” later today.

Thanks to all my subscribers and readers for hanging in there.

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BetterECM is One Year Old Today – Yeah!!!!

Well, BetterECM is one year old today. I almost forgot but was reminded when meeting with some of my readers at the Annual AIIM Awards Dinner. Wow, one year old, time flies.

It is fitting that on the one year anniversary of BetterECM, that I be attending AIIM in Boston. Because of AIIM 2006, one of my former colleagues and good friends, Trudy McCrea, shamed me into starting BetterECM. There is not a day that I do not thank here for her persistent prodding and encouragement to start this Blog. She thought that some of our clients would find my posts and observations about the AIIMexpo conference last year useful and enlightening.

Well, I have to tell ya…I think I have gotten more out of writing BetterECM then my readers have. I have really received some fantastic comments and suggestions. The process of observing the market, reading some really great ECM blogs and thinking about what all this means when it come to making ECM better has really helped me learn so much more about this market and the challenges everyone face.

Well, here are the statistics as of today, one year later:

Total Views: 44,675

Best Day Ever: 459

Posts: 134

Comments: 176


Akismet has protected your BetterECM site from 10,636 spam comments.

I have 258 regular Feedburner subscribers now.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for being my sounding board, my confidants (not really…there is no privacy here), and my teachers. This has been a most amazing learning experience. I just wish I had started writing my Blog a few years earlier.

Thanks all,

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An Interesting Measure of Success – BetterECM’s Spam Comments Over 10,000

I started BetterECM because a friend kept bugging me and hounding me last year. And the day I launched BetterECM I had only one reader, me. Then something really cool started happening. People started reading BetterECM and they liked it. The number of readers continued to grow steadily and then one day it happened.

All of a sudden I started getting strange comments. Spam! So, you know things are a bit strange when you can measure the success of a blog by the volume of comment spam you are getting.

And now, with nine days until the first birthday of BetterECM, the number of spam comments has gone over that magical metric of 10,000! As a matter of fact, as I write this the number of spam comments is up to 10,012.

What is really strange is that thankfully nobody ever gets to see them since Askimet which is provided by catches 98% of the spam and I get notified when a comment is posted. I delete any spam comments that slip through ASAP.

So, my question is, why do they do it?

Oh, yeah. Thanks Trudy, for pushing me to start BetterECM! I have really enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal from my readers and other colleagues that I now read on a regular basis.

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Plug Into The Enterprise Content Management Network

Hat tip to George Dearing for organizing the “The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Network” thorugh Feedburner. This Network is a compliation of a group of great ECM Blogs including BetterECM.

George is providing a great service with this. Readers of the network can search through the network of articles, subscribe via email to a Daily Network Digest and subscribe to the indivual RSS feeds of the members of the network.

Nice job, George!

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Lunch With Debbie Weil

I had a great lunch with Debbie Weil yesterday! Debbie is the author of The Corporate Blogging Book which I highly recommend!

A mutual friend, Susan Schiro, who attended my presentation for the Northern Virginia Women In Technology LunchBunch last October made the introduction. Thanks Susan!

Debbie already beat me by posting about some of our discussions today at her blog before I could get this post out. 🙂 

One of the topics we discussed at length was why most Fortune 1000 companies do not see the strategic importance of blogging as a required new marketing & communication channel. She has seen many companies intrigued and interested to some degree, but when it comes to spending some money or dedicating some resources to getting started “the right way” with a coporate Blog they are not ready to invest appropriately in this important initiative.

I had some time yesterday evening and today (Flying to and back from Minneapolis to present at the Minnesota AIIM/ARMA conference) to think about it.

If you think back to the mid 1990s many companies did not see the strategic importance of having a corporate web site. Some Fortune 500 companies were very slow to get their own web sites. Now, all businesses recognize the strategic importance of having a corporate presence on the web to provide customers with information about the company and their products and services. You would not think of starting a business today without having a corporate web site.

In trying to make sense of this phenomenon, I think I have concluded that many companies are in that same place they were back in the mid 1990s. They are still naive about the strategic importance of opening that dialogue with customers and providing a more authentic mode of communication.

My hope is that companies “get it” much faster then they did over 10 years ago.

And yes, as I told Debbie yesterday, I think I get more from writing this Blog and taking the plunge into the Blogosphere than my readers probably do. Thanks for stopping by BetterECM and keep those comments and suggestions coming.

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