We’re going to add one more item to our pre-ECM project checklist:
1) Where should we store our content?
Database storage used to be expensive. In the 1950’s, the cost per megabyte of storage exceeded $10,000/MB. Today, the cost has dropped to a few cents. Not only have storage costs dropped, so have memory costs as they have followed the same price drop as storage. Taking advantage of lower costs; most DB manufacturers have begun offering high performance in memory databases (IMDB – In-Memory Database).
From an ECM perspective; because of the higher database costs, content storage solutions were designed to use databases to store only the metadata or the index values associated with content, and the actual files and documents were stored on cheaper file storage devices. While lowering costs, this approach meant that ECM solutions were forced with managing, synchronizing, backing up, and designing applications where index values were one place and the actual documents, audio/video files were somewhere else. Continue reading →
As a Project Manager at ImageSource, it is my job to educate and guide stakeholders to the best solution based on budget, timelines and requirements. Having previously worked as a consultant at ImageSource, I’ve worked with the stakeholders of an organization to outline the scope of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution for their business. During this process, our project management team conducts interviews of the users as well as workshops. The workshops help to demonstrate what is necessary for the organization to become more efficient rather than having unnecessary features, which, at times, can cause more work. As ECM technology continues to advance, more and more features become available and included in products. During the workshops, stakeholders must make tough decisions on what features are needed verses those that would just be nice to have.
Once these requirements are identified, our next objective is to review the products available, such as ILINX, IBM and Oracle, that will cover all the features the business needs to become more efficient. Currently on the market are several out-of-the-box software options that may fulfill some of the requirements needed. However, most organizations, small or large, have business processes that are unique and require configurable workflow options, database links and/or specific security requirements. Software that has this functionality ranges in licensing costs, software costs and implementation costs. It is important to have the requirements clearly identified from the beginning so that when the organization begins to review the software demos and proof of concepts, the best and most cost efficient solution is selected.
ImageSource recently upgraded a state retirement agencies’ legacy content management system to an ILINX platform; utilizing ILINX Capture for imaging, ILINX Content Store for their repository and ILINX Advanced Report Management (ARM) for COLD report processing. The ILINX product suite provided this organization with a cost-effective alternative to upgrading their legacy system that has met or exceeded all imaging requirements they had with their previous system. The ImageSource professional services team successfully utilized our project management methodologies to analyze business processes, engineer a new system with the latest technologies and execute a smooth transition from one system to the next without missing a beat.
The organization had over two million images to migrate from the old repository to ILINX Content Store. ILINX Export, software developed by ImageSource to extract, convert and migrate data and documents from ECM systems, along with stringent project management and auditing methodologies ensured every critical document was readily available in the new system.
ILINX Capture and ILINX Content Store integrated with the public employees’ internal retirement system, providing image enablement with one-click retrieval for related files, the ability to launch ILINX Capture from the internal retirement system and a contribution link for Microsoft Word documents. The imaging system also integrates with the website for direct import of information received from the “contact us” section.
The organization has completely moved to the ILINX platform and is thrilled with how easy the new system was to learn from both an administration and end-user standpoint. Organization employees were also impressed with the migration process, the project management methods and documentation and are excited about the strong ImageSource partnership going forward.
In the course of doing some work for one of our partners – we were asked to take a look at the existing workload for their ECM team. This particular ECM team has done a great job maintaining and integrating ECM components from a variety of vendors. As typical in such an environment – we found that everyone on the team had primary support duties for at least one component, and was involved in customer support issues or updating /enhancing one or more of the company’s ECM products on pretty much a daily basis. Continue reading →
One piece of advice I received from a Project Management course on Leadership taught by Dr. James T. Brown was to kick off every project with your internal project team. Review the dos and don’ts, expectations and rules, communication styles and formats, roles and responsibilities. This enables every project team member to understand the project direction, management style, and expectations. Continue reading →
As a Project Manager, it’s important to understand that your time is usually spread over several tasks and/or projects for any given day. For this reason it is extremely important to set the correct expectations with customers. Over the last couple months this lesson has been reiterated to me again and again in several different forms.
For a project manager to be effective he/she needs to be able to both lead and manage. Leadership and Management are not the same. However, they must complement each other if you are to be successful. So how are they different?