DTI & EMC’s ApplicationXtender

July 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Content Management, Document Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management | Leave a comment
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By: Ryan White, July 23, 2012

DTI Integrated Business Solutions, Inc.  (www.dtiibs.com) has been providing content management, workflow, imaging, and integration services since 1984 when gas was $1.10 per gallon, Ghostbusters was in theaters, and the first Apple Macintosh hit the market.  It is amazing to look back on history and reminisce about the past and relive some of the good times.

That is the situation where we find ourselves today with one of our valued partnerships.  When DTI began selling and implementing electronic document imaging solutions in the early 1990’s, one of our first partnerships was with a company called OTG.  They had a simple, yet dynamic product that was able to manage large amounts of images and electronic content helping companies solve problems of paper overload, access to information, and office productivity.  This product was named ApplicationXtender, or AX for short (http://www.dtiibs.com/documents/AX65DataSheet.pdf  ).

In 2002, OTG was acquired by Legato, which was then acquired by EMC about one year later.  The AX product became overshadowed by other products in the EMC line and despite the strong margins provided by the product, the revenue numbers were small when compared to other EMC products.

Last year as we evaluated our business, we were delighted to see that our most successful implementations and ongoing service engagements were with our EMC AX client base.    And why shouldn’t they be?  The product is stable, consistent, and requires as little overhead as it used to.  New applications are added in a few hours, and additional licenses are easy to acquire.  These clients represented a broad market segment from government to manufacturing and AX is deployed in sites with hundreds of users and those with only a few.  Our clients did not lose focus on their commitment to a great product.  Many continued to expand the use across departments and continue to enjoy the stability of a long standing solution.

Organized under EMC’s Intelligent Information Group (IIG), AX 6.5, sports a new look, new functionality and is still easy to deploy and use.  New developments in the integration capabilities and an updated licensing model have enhanced the user experience while protecting a low cost of ownership when compared to other solutions.  Blending these developments with Captiva scanning software (http://www.dtiibs.com/documents/intelligent-capture-so.pdf ) also an EMC product in the IIG) provides the advanced capture capabilities unavailable in the early days of AX.  Now EMC clients have the benefits of a broad spectrum of content management functionality all from a single manufacturer.

At a recent Partner Conference, we found and one of the most exciting aspects was the general atmosphere and attitude of the partners in attendance. Everyone was very open in sharing successes and specialties they had developed.  This is a very active community of small businesses and we see the value in working together.  Some partners highlighted new technology such as mobile solutions, others highlighted recent successes in a specific industry, and we were asked to share our strategy for an emerging market opportunity.  Working with this group in a collaborative environment brought new ideas to the table and everyone left with action items to help grow our business and bring more value to our clients.

EMC ApplicationXtender continues to provide great performance and reliability.  New development efforts at EMC supported by revitalization of the partner community bring back the excitement of working with this product years ago.  We are having fun renewing old friendships in this community and reliving the success of the early days of the product.  In upcoming articles, we will be sharing a blend of technical information along with commentary on new technologies related to content management.  If you have specific questions, let us know and we will do our best to answer.  For now, here is a link to our website where you can find more information on content management technologies including a short video produced by EMC on ApplicationXtender.  http://www.dtiibs.com/managing_content.aspx  Our resource page (http://www.dtiibs.com/resourcelibrary.html ) contains other information that may be helpful in your research.

Now excuse me while I go watch some Home Improvement reruns, play the original Nintendo Game Boy, and listen to my old Genesis CD’s on my Sony Discman…

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Extend Your Applications with Instant Document Management

November 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Content Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, ERP Integration | Leave a comment
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This brief presentation will describe the value of extending your existing applications – such as SAP, Microsoft Office and SharePoint – with an instant document management solution from EMC.

via Extend Your Applications with Instant Document Management.

Stop Paper From Slowing Down Your Business with Intelligent Enterprise Capture

November 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Content Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Enterprise Content Management | Leave a comment
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This brief presentation describes the Captiva Intelligent Enterprise Captures solution, and how the solution can stop paper from slowing down your business.

via Stop Paper From Slowing Down Your Business with Intelligent Enterprise Capture.

EMC Captiva InputAccel for Invoices tran

September 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Posted in Capture Automation, Capture Software, Content Management, Document Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Enterprise Content Management | Leave a comment

EMC Captiva InputAccel for Invoices transforms manual, paper-intensive invoice processing into an incredibly efficient AP operation, taking invoice processing time down from weeks to just hours. InputAccel for Invoices reduces manual data entry and operational costs by leveraging intelligent capture automation, resulting in increased productivity and the opportunity to take advantage of early pay discounts. For more information, check out the following data sheet on Captiva InputAccel for Invoices: http://ow.ly/6Hr4Y

Check out Solution Overview of EMC’s Do

August 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Content Management, Document Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Process Improvement, Workflow Automation | Leave a comment

Check out Solution Overview of EMC’s Documentum ApplicationXtender for Accounts Payable http://ow.ly/6bBfO

Learn how Captiva Intelligent Enterprise

August 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Capture Automation, Capture Software, Enterpise Content Management, Process Improvement | Leave a comment

Learn how Captiva Intelligent Enterprise Capture Solutions reduce cost and streamline paper-intensive business… http://ow.ly/6bB8I

Learn how Captiva Intelligent Enterprise

August 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Capture Automation, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Process Improvement | Leave a comment

Learn how Captiva Intelligent Enterprise Capture Solutions reduce cost and streamline paper-intensive business processes: http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h4791-ax-accounts-payable-so.pdf

Check out Solution Overview of EMC’s Do

August 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Content Management, Document Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Enterprise Content Management, Process Improvement | Leave a comment

Check out Solution Overview of EMC’s Documentum ApplicationXtender for Accounts Payable
http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h4791-ax-accounts-payable-so.pdf

The Benefits of a Unified Enterprise Content Management Platform

July 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Content Management, Document Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, Enterprise Content Management | Leave a comment

By Mark Jackson on July 7, 2011

Organizations can benefit in a multitude of ways by implementing a unified ECM platform. As organizations are faced with an influx of unstructured content across the enterprise, it is crucial that a content strategy be established in order to minimize the number of disparate systems that manage both paper-based and digital content. Implementing all ECM functionality on a single platform will lower your total cost of ownership, provide greater efficiency to access and share content across enterprise, and allow for effective integration with other lines of business systems from a single core solutions provider.

Implementing ECM: Keys to Success

June 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Accounts Payable Automation, Content Management, ECM, Enterpise Content Management, ERP Integration | Leave a comment

By Ryan White on June 22, 2011

Implementing a new technology in your organization can be challenging.  Here are a few points to remember when implementing ECM for the first time:

1.  The devil is in the details – When changing a core business function such as accounts payable or order processing, the easy part is identifying how things ‘should’ work.  Identifying all the potentials for discrepancy handling is critical to a successful implementation.  Make sure you give proper attention to how you will handle items such as variations between business units/divisions, general accounting and approval processes, and those unique situations for which the standard business process does not apply.  Identifying those early in the process will ensure the system is designed properly.  Failing to identify these components will result in a solution that is underutilized and ineffective for parts of the business.  Utilizing an integrator or consultant trained in ECM to help in the discovery and needs analysis phase will bring greater expertise and knowledge of ECM capabilities to your team as well as help you develop a strategy for ECM for the enterprise. 

2.  Build a winning team – There should be no doubt that a successful ECM implementation takes a team.  You need support from executives, input from users, strong project management, commitment from IT, and a solid business analyst to cover all the bases.  We have seen projects fall short of expectations without the proper team and management of the process. Your consultant/integrator should insist on these skill sets and should also identify the counterparts on their team.  Once the implementation is complete and the implementation team closes the project, you will need a system administrator to carry the banner forward.  The system administrator should have both technical and functional knowledge of the system and be able to provide the first level of support to the user community.

3.  Estimating the Effort – A common challenge for many organizations is understanding the level of effort and complexity required to deliver ECM to the enterprise.  It sounds simple to create a few Visio maps of your process and call that your workflow solution.  That part of the process can be relatively simple.  The complexity comes in building the connections beneath the surface; ERP integrations, data validations, rules based workflow and decision  routing, and security model to name a few.  Limiting the custom development and one-off scenarios will provide clarity in the estimates with less chance project over runs and missed time tables resulting from too much custom development.

4.  Usability – Gaining user acceptance is an important part of an implementation, because without user buy-in, adoption will be slow and tedious for the system administrator.  Make sure your team spends time identifying requirements of the business user and try to find ways to improve the interaction between the user and the ECM tool.  We are seeing an increased demand for user dashboards.  These dashboards create a graphical representation of the work to complete, priority status, and pending deadlines.  The charts and graphs present information in a more compelling way and are often seen as a great improvement to the user.  Usability can also mean the layout of information on a particular screen.  A recent client was very excited about the ability to display a ‘Pay To’ field on their AP workflow screen.  It was a simple modification that provided them a quick validation before approving payments.  A few small wins like these can have a big impact on user acceptance.

5.  Sharpen the Saw – ECM solutions are nothing more than tools to accomplish a task.  As any craftsman will tell you, care and maintenance of your tools improve the quality of work you can deliver.  Make sure that you conduct post implementation reviews of your project and periodically check back with the user community to make sure the initial design still meets the business need.  I have seen many clients who have abandoned an ECM solution simply because it was never updated as their business changed.  Making sure business users have the right tools and that those tools are effective is the responsibility of management.  Often these problems are an easy fix and you can return to a productive environment with little change. 

These are just 5 out of a long list of considerations required for a successful implementation.  Each one of these items could be expanded into a lengthy whitepaper on its own.  Upcoming posts will provide more detail on implementation success factors.

Keep in mind you are fundamentally changing the way your company does business and accesses critical business information.  Attention to detail, careful planning, and strong communication skills will go a long way to ultimate project success.  Good Luck!

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