Dropbox Seals Its Fate as a Feature November 6, 2014Posted by Lee Dallas in Content Management, Dropbox.
Tags: Dropbox, Microsoft, Office365, sync & share, Virginia Backaitis
This week Dropbox sealed its fate by selling its soul (in he form of its user base) to Microsoft in an integration deal that sounds like a great thing. Seamless access from Office to share and store in Dropbox. Virginia Backaitis at CMSWire calls this a “clear, but probably not as a strategic(as for MSFT), win for Dropbox.”
Sounds like a great idea … for Microsoft.
If I can get Dropbox users used to saving from inside my tool, when I pull the plug on the integration it will make it easier for them to transition to my product (OneDrive) that does exactly the same thing (even if it is not as good).
This may sound conspiratorial (and it is because I love that stuff) but this move positions DropBox from the viewpoint of the users exactly where Steve Jobs famously saw it. As a feature rather than a sustainable business. I don’t necessarily agree with that position because I think he was looking at it from a device context but that is where Dropbox has put themselves.
Dropbox now will have to evaluate every future feature decision in the context of Office if they want to stay there. I can guarantee Redmond will not adjust to them. Others in the sync and share market though will not have this constraint making it easier for them to differentiate.
The new Dallas First Rule of the Web is “NEVER surrender the eyes and clicks of YOUR users to a competitor.”
Good for users in the short term but it is not always a good business decision to tie your growth to the benevolence of Microsoft integration. A lesson Dropbox may learn the hard way.
Scan-and-Store Gets No Respect November 4, 2014Posted by Marko Sillanpää in Content Management, ECM, Scanning.
Tags: ECM, scanning
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It’s a conversation I get to have on a regular basis. Lots of ECM practitioners see “scan-and-store” solutions as the low end of the ECM solution stack. All you have to do is to look at how much paper is floating around an organization to see the opposite is true. According to IDC, page volume from printers in 2012 was down 1.5% to 2.98 trillion pages. Each year, over 100 million printers are sold. That’s far from paperless. But let’s ignore all the green aspects of paper, scan-and-store shows real ROI.
The biggest benefit of scan-and-store solutions is that it’s easily the largest immediate return on investment that an organization can make from ECM. It’s often “hard” to show ROI on process improvements involving electronic documents, especially before it has been implemented. But when the process starts with paper, scan-and-store can show real ROI numbers that hit the operational costs of an organization. Scan-and-store cuts costs with both paper processes and paper at rest in addition to the costs of physical paper.
According to industry analyst, Supply Chain Insights, 14-19% of transactions are still received in paper form. To some organizations paper is still the only option. Paper processes exists.
A review of paper processes, or even partially electronic ones, can easily calculate costs. It’s all about using the “time tested” (pun intended) method of time studies. You can easily follow a piece of paper as it enters the organization and moves through its steps until ultimately ending up in a box in a warehouse. Those measures total into in minutes and sometimes hours. Multiplying them by the number of times a process occurs the result is often days or weeks. Those days and weeks easily translate into real dollars.
The similar exercise with electronic documents is often futile. There the numbers are usually reversed. The metric is the number of transactions that can be performed by an individual. For example, an accounting clerk can usually process 3,000 transactions per month. But how much time does a specific person spend on an electronic process is often anecdotal.
Even when the “big” processes have been reviewed, there are still the forgotten processes. I’ve had several conversations where “there’s this one area” that wonders if ECM could be used for them.
Paper at Rest
Iron Mountain made $1.7 billion in storage rental in 2013, that’s up 4.9%. That shows paper is not going away. Records management practices require the retention of documents in whatever form they take. That means for tax purposes your accounting documents need to be available for seven years. In paper from, that document costs an organization storage costs either locally or remotely. If stored remotely, there’re costs for shipping the box of documents each way. These costs can be tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When requesting documents from storage, often companies don’t keep exact track of what stored where specifically off-site so there may be multiple boxes requested. Often this information is needed immediately, so there are expedited shipping costs. Retrieval costs could be over $100.
When the document is past its retention requirements, an organization could simply pay a destruction fee. But remember they may not know exactly what is where, so many request the boxes to review them paying a shipping fee, before destroying the box. Another $100.
In an electronic world, 64k pages of Word documents fit on a gig of storage. There was a day when ECM required complicated formulas to calculate disk consumption but not today. When you can buy 16GB flash drives for $8 or a 1TB drive for $60, no one really cares about storage costs. This is why electronic documents have gotten out of control on the network. This means that eDiscovery and Records Management become problems, but no more so that the equivalent paper challenges.
When an organization retains an electronic document the costs associated are minimal. When that document is in paper form, the costs can be astronomical.
In the End
I don’t care how large the organization, every organization has paper. Even electronic processes often have paper options. Ignoring scan-and-store as part of ECM misses no only the big picture but can cost big dollars. Even if a file room clerk was paid minimum wage ($7.25 @ hour), their salary would cover a simple “scan-and-store” solution. It’s scary to think, but even “bad” electronic document process, which I don’t endorse, can save a company real dollars over paper.
Let’s Get Mobile, Maybe October 28, 2014Posted by Marko Sillanpää in Content Management, mobile content.
Tags: ECM, Mobile content
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I can’t be happier than I that mobile has become not only a part of corporate ECM conversations but also part of many IT manager’s ECM objectives. I’ve been watching the mobile space since 1996, when I got to play with the Nokia 9000. From the once giant Finnish mobile phone company. Mobility is in my heritage. From the first Coke machines that allowed mobile payments in 1997 to Angry Birds, Finland was part of the mobile conversation and therefore part of every Finns conversation. My hands on history started when I wrote my first working mobile ECM extention and using it back in Thursday, October 5th 2000.
ECM is a Relay Not A Marathon October 21, 2014Posted by Lee Dallas in Content Management.
Tags: Documentum, ECM, EMC, Enterprise content management
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Laurence Hart responded to a conversation with a few people on his blog about strategic direction as it relates to Documentum. I don’t typically respond to such critiques but in this case I make an exception. Mainly because I think the market implications are interesting to talk about. I wont deal with every point in this post but please keep in mind the following is NOT in any way an official position – just my 2 cents. That said, read his post first. (more…)
NEVER EVER talk back to the Flight Attendant October 9, 2014Posted by Marko Sillanpää in Content Management.
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I’ve basically created the rule that beyond the good morning or evening, I don’t talk to or make eye contact with a flight attendant if I’m in coach, ESPECIALLY if they look to be in a bad mood. Last night’s flight home pounded that story home.
Tags: #EMCElect, Consumerization, ECM, EMC, InfoArchive, sync, sync & share, Syncplicity
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Sync and share addresses a simple proposition. Everyone wants to access all of their content from any device wherever they are.
While they need to be solved, focusing on conceptually difficult problems often keeps us from dealing with basic needs. We too often “cheapen” those needs by assuming everyone has already solved for that or that there is no real business opportunity.
Complexity still exists in pervasive problems but comes into this challenge mostly from scale. Early on as the sync and share market developed it was surprising how difficult it was for some in the ECM ranks to accept the fact that users (owners of both content AND budget) just wanted access their files and did not see the need to add metadata, workflow and burdensome controls.
It took new innovative outsiders building companies that collected millions of users to convince them. Some still don’t get it. What is worse, some analysts still don’t get it either.
Now just because users don’t want controls doesn’t mean the businesses they work for do not need them. This is a natural progression but the difference is that the market reversed the flow of requirements and funding. In past decades, the controllers of technology drove requirements and consumers had no option but to accept them.
Consumerization of IT is what we call this change but I have decided I no longer like this term. At its core, the phrase is a passive aggressive slight to those now in control of the purse strings. Whether they admit it or not, old school propeller heads look down on consumer technology as something “less refined.” You hear them use terms like “not robust,” “immature” and “inelegant.” What they are really saying is “I could have done this better myself.”
Which begs the question – so why didn’t you?
This elitism, despite the success of all things Apple, continues to slow innovation and adoption in the world of enterprise technology.
It is time to acknowledge that it is not consumerization itself that is the origin of the shift but rather it is an outcome. The overwhelming pervasiveness of the problems being addressed demands that for adoption to occur at all, the end point rather than the data persistence layer and governance controls determine any solution’s success.
For those of us in the business of creating these solutions, a focus on pervasiveness should trump complexity in our prioritization. Providing incremental improvement at scale creates exponentially more value simply because the solutions affect so many more people.
In a later post I will describe the pervasive problem I am currently focusing that EMC InfoArchive addresses. One that is not at all a product of changing user experiences but affects every IT organization on the planet.
Rebooting Enterprise Content Management July 8, 2014Posted by Marko Sillanpää in ECM.
Tags: ECM, ECM 2.0
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For the last year I’ve been a lurker in the ECM landscape. Mainly I’ve not been sure what to say. I’ve written a few post and responded to a few others. But I haven’t felt ready to take a position. Recently I’ve had a few gentle pushes that have me thinking it’s time to say something. To talk about what has changed in my approach.
My tipping point was a visit to the Crown Partners website. From Momentum’s past, people will remember their Documentum Viper and two Documentum Hummers. Today Documentum is nowhere to be found in their partner list. Crown has moved on, successfully, to become a web experience company. It leaves me to ask, is the ECM problem … changing? (more…)
Digital Archiving and Hemingway’s Hamburger Recipe June 30, 2014Posted by Marko Sillanpää in Hyland, OnBase, Random Thoughts, Records Management.
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Being in this space for too many years to count, I’ve often been pleased to see that there are altruistic ECM projects going on. Something as Lee would put it, “wasn’t putting toilet seats on the internet.” I really enjoy the work I can do with non-profits and it just puts an extra pep-in-your-step when you know that you’re not increasing profits or cutting costs. Then there are those projects that are looking for the technology to make data accessible to the public.