The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) challenges of managing ‘Records-in-Place’

by Frank 18. February 2020 01:01

 

The Challenge

An interesting challenge for Records Managers, Knowledge Managers and CIOs is the newer document management paradigm of being asked to manage all content according to the ‘Records-In-Place’ paradigm, without a single central repository. That is, to be responsible for all content across a myriad of locations controlled by a myriad of applications and a myriad of departments/organizations and people.

We all realize that Enterprise Content Management, or Content Services as it is now called by Gartner, is a moving target, constantly evolving with new challenges and new paradigms.

For example:  

  • How do we filter out only relevant information from social media?
  • How do we avoid capturing personal data and being culpable under privacy laws?
  • How do we capture all emails containing sexism, racism and bullying without being guilty of an invasion of privacy of the individual?
  • How do we meet all of our compliance obligations when our staff are spread across multiple states/counties/provinces and multiple countries with different legislation and compliance requirements?

All weighty challenges for the modern Records Manager, Knowledge Manager or CIO. Now we have a new challenge, how to manage multiple silos of information without a central repository.

Multi-Repository (multi-Silo) Systems

In multiple-repository systems we find multiple document stores or silos, local files, network file shares, local data bases, multiple file servers, multiple copies of SharePoint and multiple Cloud repositories like Dropbox, Box, iCloud, Google Cloud Storage and other hosted document storage. The CIO may proudly claim to manage multiple information silos but what he or she really has is a laissez faire document management ecosystem that may well be centrally monitored (hopefully) but is most certainly not centrally managed.

In the multiple silo model, the documents in our multiple locations are ‘managed’ by multiple people and multiple and independent applications (e.g., SharePoint, Google Docs, Office 365, etc.). We may have implemented another layer of software above all these diverse applications trying to keep up with what is happening but If I am just ‘watching’ then I don’t have an inviolate copy and I don’t have any control over what happens to the document. I am unable to enforce any standards. There is no ‘standard’ central control over versioning or retention and no control over the document life cycle or chain of evidence.

For example, you wouldn’t know if the document had since been moved to a different location that you are not monitoring. You wouldn’t know if it had been deleted. You wouldn’t know its relationship to other documents and processes in other silos. You wouldn’t know its context in your enterprise and therefore you wouldn’t know how relevant this document was. The important distinction is that under the multiple silo model you are ‘watching’ not managing; other multiple pieces of software are managing the life cycles and dispositions of the documents independently.

All you really know is that at a certain point in time a document existed and what its properties were at that time (e.g., historical ‘natural’ Metadata such as original filename, author, date created, etc.). However, you have no contextual Metadata, no transactional Metadata, no common indexing and no common Business Classification System. In this case, you don’t have a document management system, you have a laissez faire document management ecosystem, an assortment of independently ‘managed’ information silos. Most importantly, you are not able to link documents to business processes that transcend organizational structures and silos.

What are the issues?

Sure, SharePoint and Cloud silos make collaboration easier but at what cost? What can’t we do with this multi-silo ecosystem? Why doesn’t this solution meet the best-practice objectives of an enterprise Document Management System? What are the major areas where it falls short? How does the proliferation of multiple silos and content repositories affect us? What are our risks? Here is my assessment of the major shortfalls of this ‘Records-In-Place’ paradigm.

We are unable to: 

  1. extract the critical insights that enterprise information should provide
  2. define all the relationships that link documents to enterprise business processes
  3. find the right information at the right time
  4. provide a single access point for all content
  5. Implement an effective, consistent enterprise-wide document security system
  6. effectively protect against natural or man-made disasters
  7. produce evidence-standard documents
  8. minimize document handling costs
  9. guarantee the integrity of a document
  10. guarantee that a document is in fact the most recent version
  11. guarantee that a document is not an older copy
  12. minimize duplicate and redundant information
  13. meet critical compliance targets like Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the HIPAA
  14. create secure, searchable archives for digital content
  15. effectively secure all documents against loss
  16. implement common enterprise version control
  17. facilitate enterprise collaboration
  18. Improve timeliness
  19. manage enterprise document security and control
  20. manage smaller and more reliable backups
  21. achieve the lowest possible document management and archiving costs
  22. deliver the best possible knowledge management access and search
  23. guarantee consistent content
  24. optimize management and executive time
  25. standardize the types of documents and other content can be created within an organization.
  26. define common use template to use for each type of document
  27. standardize the Metadata required for each type of document
  28. standardize where to store a document at each stage of its life cycle
  29. control access to a document at each stage of its life cycle
  30. move documents within the organization as team members contribute to the documents' creation, review, approval, publication, and disposition
  31. implement a common set of policies that apply to documents so that document-related actions are audited, documents are retained or disposed of properly, and content that is important to the organization is protected
  32. manage when and if a document has to be converted from one format to another as it moves through the stages of its life cycle
  33. guarantee that all documents are treated as corporate records, that common retention policies are applied determining which documents must be retained according to legal requirements and corporate guidelines
  34. guarantee enterprise-wide Regulatory compliance
  35. produce an enterprise-wide audit trail
  36. share information across departmental and/or silo boundaries
  37. centrally manage the security access to documents/information across different areas of the organization
  38. consistently classify documents as each repository may be used by a different department and be classified differently  
  39. identify duplicates based on document name
  40. easily find things based on metadata, as it wouldn’t be common across repositories
  41. control access via AD single sign on
  42. access all enterprise documents using a single license
  43. centrally audit access and changes to metadata

What are your risks?  

Your risks are huge!

 

The use of Business Process Management, BPO, BPM

by Frank 9. February 2020 06:00

 

 I am sure that you have been inundated with ads, articles, white papers, phone calls, seminars and proposals for Business Process Management, Business Process Outsourcing and Business Process Optimization.

What is it?

BPM certainly isn’t new, there have been many companies offering innovative and often cutting-edge technology solutions for many years. The pioneering days were probably the early 1980’s. One early innovator I recall was Tower Technology because their office was just across from our office.

In the early days BPM was all about imaging and workflow and forms. Vendors like Tower Technology used early versions of workflow products like Staffware and a whole assortment of different imaging and forms products to solve customer processing problems. That is, to turn a manual, paper-based business process into an automated digital process. In those days, it involved a lot of inventing and a lot of creative genius to make all those disparate products work together and actually do what the salesperson promised. More often than not, the final solution didn’t quite work as promised and it always seemed to cost a lot more than quoted but that was ‘normal’ then.

As with all new technologies, everyone had to go through a learning process, usually at the customer’s expense and for many years the promises were far ahead of what was actually delivered with a lot of expensive failures along the way.

Today?

So, is it any different today? Is BPM a proven, reliable, feature-rich and mature technology?

The answer dear friends, is yes and no; just as it was thirty or more years ago.

Caveat Emptor

The Latin phrase ‘Caveat Emptor’ means ‘Let the buyer beware’. Caveat Emptor applies just as much today as it did in the early days because despite enormous technological progress, we are still pushing the envelope (as we always do in this industry). We are still being asked to do things the current software and hardware can’t quite yet handle. The behind the scenes technicians are still trying to make the product do what the salesperson promised in good faith (we hope) because he didn’t really understand his product set and/or the customer’s requirements and processes.

Caveat Emptor means it is up to the buyer to evaluate the offering and decide if it can do the job. Of course, if the vendor lies or makes blatant false claims then Caveat Emptor no longer applies, and you can hit the vendor with a lawsuit based on the products and services being ‘Not Fit For Purpose’.  However, in reality it is rarely as black and white as that. The technology was complex, is complex and will always be complex and the proposals and explanations are full of proprietary terminology, ambiguities, acronyms and weaselly words because at the time of the proposal, no one (vendor or customer) really understands all the requirements. The real requirements develop over the course of the project.

Do you fully understand your requirements and the vendor proposal?

As with all legal agreements, you shouldn’t enter into a BPM contract unless you know exactly what you are getting into. This is especially true with BPM because you are talking about handing over part of your core business processes to someone else to ‘improve’. If you don’t understand what is being proposed, then please hire someone who does; I guarantee it will be worth the investment. This is especially true if you are outsourcing customer or supplier facing processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable. Better to spend a little more up front than suffer cost overruns, failed processes and an inbox full of complaints. In the worst case, a failed business process conversion can lead to a business failure.

Advice

My advice is to always begin with some form of a consultancy to ‘examine’ your business processes and produce a report containing detailed maps, conclusions and recommendations. The vendor may offer this service as part of its sales process and it may be free, or it may be chargeable.  However, I believe in the old adage that you get what you pay for so I would prefer to pay to have a qualified, experienced professional and independent (not employed by the vendor) consultant do the study. The advantage of paying for the study is that you then ‘own’ the report and can then legally provide it to other vendors to obtain competitive quotes. Three competitive quotes should be a mandatory requirement. The vendors will always sharpen their pencils when they know there is competition.

What are your costs now?

You should also have a pretty good idea of what the current processing is costing you in both direct and indirect costs (e.g., lost sales, dissatisfied customers, unhappy staff, etc.) before beginning the evaluation exercise. Otherwise, how are you going to be able to judge the added value of the vendor’s proposal? If the new digital process won’t add value, then why do it?

In my experience, the most common set of processes to be ‘outsourced’ are those to do with accounts payable (AP) processing. This is the automation of all AP processes beginning with your purchase order (and its line items), the delivery docket (proof of receipt), invoices (and line items) and statements. The automation should reconcile invoices to delivery dockets and purchase orders and should throw up any discrepancies such as items invoiced but not delivered, variations in price, etc. Vendors will usually propose what is commonly called an automatic matching engine; the software that captures, reads and ‘matches’ all the documents in the AP process and then does its best to make sure you only pay for delivered goods that are exactly as ordered.

What is the Return On Investment (ROI)?

If the vendor’s proposal is to be attractive and add value to your organization, it must replace your manual processing with an automated model that is both faster and more accurate. Ideally, it would also be more cost-effective but even if it is more costly in the short term than your manual direct cost, it should still solve most of your indirect cost problems like overpayments, unhappy suppliers and late payment fees. Project your costs and savings over five years to see the real ROI.

Basically, the vendor has to offer a ‘Value Proposition’; if it doesn’t provide value, why do it?

Before you begin

In essence, there is nothing magical about BPM; it is all about replacing inefficient manual processes with much more efficient automated ones using clever computer software. The magic, if that is the word to use, is about getting it right.  

  • You need to clearly and completely define the processes you want automated;
  • You need to know what the current manual processing is costing you;
  • You need to be absolutely sure that you fully understand the vendor’s proposal and;
  • You need to build in metrics so you can accurately evaluate the finished product and clearly determine if it is meeting its stated objectives.

Please don’t enter into negotiations thinking that if it doesn’t work you can just blame the vendor. That would be akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Remember Caveat Emptor; success or failure really depends upon how well you do your job as the customer. Failed projects are always the fault of both parties; minimize risk by doing your job well.

 

 

The Significant Benefits of Document Imaging

by Frank 20. January 2020 12:24

 

 

We have all known for at least 30 years of the significant benefits of Document Imaging.

Document imaging or the scanning of paper documents to convert them to digital images, along with workflow, was the real beginning of office automation.

The advent of Document Imaging in the early 1980s did for office automation what barcodetechnology did for physical records management and asset management. It allowed manual processes to be automated and improved; it provided tangible and measurable productivity improvements and as well as demonstrably better access to information for the then fledgling knowledge worker.

However, over 30 years later, we have a paradox where we all take document imaging for granted but, we still don’t utilize it to anything like its full capabilities. Most organizations use document scanners of one kind or another, usually on multi-function-devices, but we still don’t appear to use document scanning nearly enough to automate time-consuming and often critical business processes.

I don’t really know why we are not utilizing document scanning more widely because it obviously isn’t a matter of lacking the tools; we have every type of document scanner imaginable and every type of document scanning software conceivable.  The struggling knowledge workers of 30 years ago would be ecstatic with the options available today.

We just seem to be stuck in first gear or, maybe we just are not applying enough thought to analyzing our day to day business processes.

Business Processes Management based on the circulation of paper documents in 2020 is archaic, wasteful, inefficient and highly prone to error. Yet, many organizations I deal with still have critical business processes based on the circulation of paper. How incredibly careless and dangerous is that?

Let’s look at the benefits at the most basic level: 

  • How many people can read a paper document at any one point in time? The answer is one and one only.
  • How many people can look at a digital image of a document at any one point in time? The answer is as many as need to.
  • How hard is it to lose or damage a paper document? The answer is it is really, really easy to lose of damage or deface a paper document.
  • How hard is it to lose or damage or deface or even change a secure digital copy of a document? The answer is it is almost impossible in a well-managed document management system.

So why are we still circulating paper documents to support critical business processes? Why aren’t we simply digitizing these important paper documents and making the business process infinitely faster and more secure? For the life of me, I can’t think of a single valid reason for not digitizing important paper documents. The technology is readily available with oodles of choice and it isn’t difficult to use, it isn’t expensive. In fact, digitizing paper will always save you time and money.

So why do I still see so many organizations large and small still relying on the circulation of paper documents to support important business processes? Is it a lack of thought or a lack of imagination or a lack of education? Can it really be true that more than thirty-years after the beginning of the office automation revolution we still have tens of thousands or even millions of knowledge workers with little knowledge of or access to, basic office automation?

In a world awash in technology like computers, laptops, iPhones and iPads how can we be so terribly ignorant of the application and benefits of such a basic and proven technology as document imaging?

In my experience, some of the worst example can be found in large financial organizations like banks and insurance companies. The public perception is that banks are right up there with the latest technology and most people look at examples like banking and payment systems on smartphones as examples of that. But, go behind the front office to the back office and you will usually see a very different world; a world of paper and manual processes, many on the IT department’s ‘backlog’ of things to attend to, eventually.

The message is a simple one. If you have business processes based on the circulation of paper, you are inefficient and are wasting money and the time of your staff and customers. You are also taking risks with the integrity of your data and your customer’s data.

Please do everyone a favor and look carefully at the application of document imaging, a well-proven, affordable, easy to implement and easy to manage business process automation tool.

 

Why aren’t you managing your emails?

by Frank 16. January 2020 15:08

  

Emails long ago evolved to be around about eighty-percent plus of business correspondence. Most records managers also realize that most of us aren’t managing emails well and that this has left a potentially lethal compliance and legal hole to plug.

I have written numerous papers and posts on the need to manage emails, such as:

The need to manage emails differently to paper;

Managing Emails, how hard can it be?;

I am willing to bet you are still not managing your emails effectively;

How to simplify Electronic Document & Email Management;

Why are your staff still manually capturing & classifying electronic documents & emails?

The need to manage Emails?;

Six reasons why organizations do not manage Emails effectively;

When I review them today, they are just as relevant as they were years ago. That is to say, despite the plethora of email management tools now available, many organizations still do not manage their emails effectively or completely.

The Manual Model

As an recent example we had an inquiry from the records manager at a US law firm who said she needed an email management solution but it had to be a ‘manual’ one where each worker would decide if and when and how to capture and save important emails into the records management system.  She went on to state emphatically that under no circumstances would she consider any kind of automatic email management solution.

We have to provide multiple options, such as GEM and the Button, because that is what the market demands but it is common sense that any manual system cannot be a complete or consistent solution. If you leave it up to the discretion of the end user to decide which emails to capture and how to capture them, then you will inevitably have an incomplete and inconsistent store of emails.  Worse still, you will have no safeguards against fraudulent or dishonest behavior.

Human beings are, by definition, ‘human’ and not perfect. We are by nature inconsistent in our behavior on a day to day basis; we forget things and sometimes we make mistakes. We are not robots or cyborgs and consistent, perfect behavior is beyond us.

As humans, we cannot be trusted to always analyze, capture and classify emails in a one-hundred percent consistent manner.

The problem is exacerbated manifold when we have hundreds or even thousands of inconsistent humans (your staff) all being relied upon to behave in an entirely uniform and consistent manner. It is ludicrous to expect entirely uniform and consistent behavior from your staff and it is bad practice and just plain foolish to roll out an email management system based on this false premise. It will never meet expectations. It will never plug all the compliance and legal holes and you will remain exposed no matter how much money you throw at the problem (e.g., training, training and re-training).

The Automatic Model

The only complete solution is one based on a fully-automatic rules or AI driven model whereby all incoming and outgoing emails are analyzed at the email server level according to a set of business rules tailored to your specific needs. This is the only way to ensure that nothing gets missed. It is the only way to ensure that you are in fact plugging all the compliance and legal holes and removing exposure and risk.

The fully automatic option is also the most cost-effective by a huge margin.

The manual approach requires each and every staff member to spend (waste?) valuable time every single day trying to decide which emails to capture and then actually going through the process time and time again. It also requires some form of a license per employee or per desktop. This license has a cost and it also has to be maintained, again at a cost.

The automatic approach doesn’t require the employee to do anything except know how to search for emails in your EDRMS. It also doesn’t require a license per employee or desktop because the software runs in the background talking directly to your email server. It is a low cost, low impact and asynchronous solution.

The automatic model increases productivity and lowers costs. It also provides a complete and entirely consistent email management solution and at a significantly lower cost than any ‘manual’ model. So, why is it so hard to convince some records managers and /or business owners to go with the fully automatic solution?

Who Decides?

This is not a decision that should be left up to the records manager. Emails are the business of all parts of any organization; they don’t just ‘belong’ to the records management department. Emails are an important part of most business processes particularly those involving clients and suppliers and regulators. That is, the most sensitive parts of your business. The duty to manage emails transects all vertical boundaries within any organization. The need is there in accounts and marketing and engineering and in support and in every department.

The decision on how to manage emails should be taken by the CEO or at the very least, the CIO with full cognizance of the risks to the enterprise of not managing emails in a one-hundred percent consistent and complete manner.

Its Risk Management

In the end email management isn’t in fact about email management, it is about risk management. If you don’t understand that and if you don’t make the necessary decisions at the top of your organization, you are bound to suffer the consequences in the future.

Are you going to wait for the first lawsuit or punitive fine before taking action?

Records Management System or Information Management System?

by Frank 7. January 2020 14:02

How to manage the process via Natural Language

We have a large number of customers using our product RecFind 6 as a Records Management System and with new customers, the question always arises about how to best organize information in the RecFind 6 database to make it as easy as possible to manage and access. As the Metadata, Data Model and Business Processes in RecFind 6 are 100% configurable, every customer ends up with a unique configuration. As well as managing records, the end result also needs to be an Information Management System.

There is no one-solution that suits all. Some records managers want the shared drives structure replicated in the database. Some want everything filed under a strict hierarchical classification system or Taxonomy. Some IT Managers want the whole process simplified so end users clearly know where to file stuff and where to find stuff. Different managers in a single customer site will often disagree about how the information should be managed. It is usually up to us to come up with an agreed and workable compromise. There is no “one size fits all” paradigm here.

Whereas I fully support the principles behind most EDRMS standards (like ISO 15489) I also find myself agreeing with most end users who just want the whole process simplified and expressed in natural language, not as an arcane, complex, inconsistent and difficult to navigate hierarchical classification system.

The way you classify information should not dictate how you store, manage and retrieve information.

I have written a paper of this exact subject and although now somewhat old, it is still 100% relevant. You don’t need to agree with me, but please try to understand the message. End users want easy, fast access, not time-consuming complexity.

Let me tell you we solve the problem at Knowledgeone Corporation and manage our emails, electronic documents and shared drives with a hybrid system. We utilize a combination of RecFind 6 and shared drives. This is also a model we regularly recommend to our customers as an acceptable compromise; one that is simple to implement and one that always works.

I am a big fan of making information as easy as possible to capture and as easy as possible to retrieve (eDiscovery). This is especially important to the long-suffering end-user class who have no interest in becoming part-time records managers and who simply won’t use a system if it is too difficult to use and too time-consuming.

The biggest problem with complex, hierarchical classification systems is that no two people file the same way and even a single user will often file things differently over time. This in itself makes the act of finding something by browsing through a classification hierarchy a hit and miss affair.

At Knowledgeone Corporation, we implemented a hybrid model that uses a simply structured shared drive resource plus automated tools to ensure everything that should be captured is captured. This approach is also all about separating the functionality of the Authoring packages (e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) from the functionality of the EDRMS. They have different roles to play.

We use our product GEM to automatically capture all work related emails and we use our product RecCapture to automatically capture all work-related electronic documents from our shared drives. We all use a common shared drive structure to write and store our original electronic documents.

We don’t use what you would call a formal taxonomy, we use what I call a ‘natural’ classification system. For us this means a classification system that perfectly reflects our business practices, processes and vocabulary. In our case, we are customer-centric so everything (apart from a little administrative and supplier stuff) is organized in customer or prospect folders and the lower levels are minimal, being things like Correspondence, Quotes and Orders.

The structure of our RecFind 6 database is mostly based on customer and prospect files; our Records Management System is also our CRM. Customers and prospective customers are our core business just as members and cases are the core business of unions. Every industry has a core business and, in my mind, this should always be reflected in the classification system used so that it perfectly aligns with the work practices, processes and ‘language’ of most staff. Whenever I consult with a new customer, I always try to first determine its core business and its natural language and then design the system around these.

Because we are customer centric, I need to be able to see everything about any customer or prospect in one place. For us this means focusing on the Entity record (the Entity table is where we store the basic information on each customer or prospect organization). As RecFind 6 is a relational database, we then store all related information in linked tables, all linked to and accessible from the Entity record with a single click.

Ease of Access for eDiscovery

In our RecFind 6 system, every piece of information I need to refer to is just one-click away once I view the customer’s entity record. Once I select the customer record, everything thing else I need to know is just one-click away and all links are viewable in a single screen.

We have configured our RecFind 6 security system around our management structure and that works fine for us. As a Director for example, most of the stuff I save (e.g., a letter, email or quote to a customer) is with a basic security code because everyone needs to be able to see it. However, as a Director I also have the right to save things with higher levels of security, e.g., Manager Director, with appropriate restricted access. Like all good security systems, it is simple but effective.

Our searching is also structured the same way. We have configured RecFind 6 to add the objects we need to search on as menu items in the search function just as we would do for any customer. We therefore have a Metadata search menu of Attachments (electronic documents, emails and images), Entities (Customers, Prospects, Partners and Suppliers), People, Incidents, Bugs, Quotes, Invoices, Timesheets, Support agreements, etc. We repeat this with Boolean searches. We make it as easy as possible and as logical as possible so our staff can find anything as fast as possible.

Most importantly, we provide multiple entry-points for searches. I can for example search directly for emails with a Metadata search, searching by a combination of Sender, Recipient, Date, Subject, Content, etc. Alternatively, I can search for customer emails from within the Entity record just by clicking on a single link for all emails and electronic documents for that customer.

You can search on any field and different classes of users can have different Metadata to both view and search on. The security system determines what each class of user (Security Group) can both see and then do with the information they can see. The members of each Security Group see only what they need to see and have only the functionality they need to get the job done

Following the above hybrid approach also means that you can still implement and manage all the recordkeeping principles such as retention and disposal schedules, location tracking, auditing, etc.

My point is that it is possible to meet the needs of all groups of users without frustrating any single group.  It just requires a hybrid approach and the configuration of the system to suit each class of user.

Making everyone happy is a lot better than making some people happy and some people unhappy. Why would you make users unhappy if you had a choice? Any Records Management System should also be an easy to use Information Management System.

 

The Records Management Standard ISO 15489 and Wikipedia as a handy reference for Records Managers

by Frank 16. December 2019 10:49

Whereas all records managers would be aware of the ISO Standard 15489, few have access to the full document because it is a proprietary and costly item.  Wherever possible, we encourage records managers to submit a request to management to secure a copy of this valuable standard.

However, if that is not possible there is a reasonably comprehensive description of the records management process on Wikipedia that all records managers can reference for free. We encourage you to access and study this reference material. It is especially relevant to those people just entering this profession.

Please see the following links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_management

Contents

·        1Concepts of record

·        2Key records management terminology

·        3Records management theory

o   3.1Records life-cycle

o   3.2Records continuum theory

·        4Records management practices and concepts

o   4.1Defensible solutions

o   4.2Classification

§  4.2.1Enterprise records

§  4.2.2Industry records

§  4.2.3Legal hold records

o   4.3Records retention schedule

·        5Managing physical records

·        6Managing digital records

·        7Current issues

·        8Education and certification

·        9Electronic records management systems

o   9.1Commercial records centers

·        10See also

·        11References

·        12External links

As with all Wikipedia articles, you may not agree 100% with the content. However, as an overview and reference we find this article to be of value.

We sincerely hope that you find this information useful.

Do you have a Heavy-Duty, Complex, Special or Unusual Records, Document or Information Management requirement?

by Frank 13. December 2019 10:10

 

Is your Heavy-Duty Records, Document or Information Management requirement out-of-the-ordinary and does it have special or unusual requirements for business process management, integrations with legacy systems or unusually high users counts or unusually large database sizes that ‘standard’ EDRM or ECM systems aren’t equipped to handle?

If so, we have the answer with the RecFind 6 Product Suite; the big brother to RF6Cloud (RF6-RM and RF6-EDRMS).

Whereas RF6-RM and RF6-EDRMS are based on RecFind 6 they have been designed for small to medium enterprises to make it as easy and as low cost as possible to roll out and manage a records and document management solution in the Cloud. As such they suit most ‘standard’ requirements.

The RecFind 6 Product Suite, by comparison, was designed to handle any RM or EDRMS or Information Management requirement regardless of the ‘difficulties’ entailed.

  1. RecFind 6 has no limit on the size of the database other than the maximum size of SQL Server, 524 Petabytes.
  2. RecFind 6 has no limit on the number of users.
  3. RecFind 6 has been optimized for the rapid upload and download of large electronic documents.
  4. RecFind 6 comes with a standard set of integration tools that makes it as easy as possible to import data from any data source and to integrate to any other system including legacy systems, even mainframe systems.
  5. RecFind 6 is ultimately configurable to the client’s exact requirements including the data model, Metadata and any business process.
  6. The RecFind 6 relational database is designed and optimised for flat search times and can capture, index and manage data of any type including any kind of digital asset.
  7. RecFind 6 comes with an optional standard SharePoint integration module.
  8. RecFind 6 comes with an optional API/SDK.
  9. RecFind 6 comes with an optional eDocArchiving module that makes it as easy as possible to move non-current electronic documents to second level storage but still have access to them from the standard client.
  10. RecFind 6 comes with an optional High-Speed Document Scanning module that automates the digitisation of paper for organizations with large amounts of paper documents to capture.
  11. RecFind 6 comes with optional fully automated electronic document and email management tools that totally automate the analysis, capture, indexing and classification processes.

In short, RecFind 6 is the perfect and complete solution for any large scale, complex records, document or information management requirement. It can be configured to your exact requirements and it can handle any task, no matter how complex.

We have existing customers that successfully utilize the RecFind 6 Product Suite to manage a range of ‘difficult’ and ‘unusual’ applications such as:

  • Mortgage Application processing in a large bank
  • Securities and Vault management in a large bank
  • Contract and Intellectual Property management in a large media organization
  • A Vaccination Register for a state health department
  • The capture, conversion and integration of a large number of disparate (e.g., Access, Excel) databases located in multiple states and countries to provide a single, secure and standardised point of reference system

If you would like us to analyse your ECM requirement and prepare a report, with no obligation, please complete our online Needs Analysis Survey or if you requirement is outside of the ECM sphere please contact us direct and explain what it is you need to be accomplished.

We look forward to being of service.

15 Compelling reasons to store ALL your information in RecFind 6

by Frank 4. December 2019 12:02

1.    Security of Information

All information, including Metadata, electronic documents and images, is stored in the RecFind 6 Microsoft SQL Server Database, not in insecure flat file systems. In addition, all electronic documents and images are stored as binaries (Blobs) in SQL Server, not native format; they are doubly secure.

The only way anyone can access your data is via the secure RecFind 6 client where access is protected by our industrial strength security system. No one has access to your information unless you authorize it. Plus, the fully customizable Audit Trail means you can track every transaction.

Don’t store your information on insecure shared drives or in insecure applications like Excel or Access; RecFind 6 is the far more secure solution.

Concerned about security, concerned about GDPR? Then store all your information in RecFind 6.

2.    Size of your Data Store, Scalability

The only size restriction for RecFind 6 is the maximum size of a MS SQL Server Database and that is currently 524 PB (Petabyte), 524 thousand billion bytes of information and likely to increase in future versions of SQL Server.

If you are concerned about a system being able to manage all of your data and handle future growth, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

3.    Performance, time to Capture & time to Search

The architecture of RecFind 6 has been optimized for electronic document and image capture (upload), search and download. Upload and download times are also independent of the size of your database.

If you plan on having a large number of users and a large data store and are concerned about performance, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

4.    Full-text Indexing

All textual data stored in RecFind 6 is automatically full-text indexed to facilitate optimum search results. This includes emails, OCR’d images, all documents containing text, and all entered Metadata.

If you need extremely fast and accurate text searches of your data, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

5.    Versioning of electronic documents

All electronic documents stored in RecFind 6 are automatically versioned when captured.

If maintaining an accurate record of all electronic document versions is important to you, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

6.    Reliability, Availability

RecFind 6 is renowned for its robustness and high availability. Situations where a code failure has made RecFind 6 unavailable to users are rarer than hen’s teeth. RecFind 6 runs and does what it says  on the box, day in and day out for 12 months a year.

If reliability and availability is important to you, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

7.    Microsoft Compatibility

All new versions of RecFind 6 are tested against the latest releases of Microsoft products including Windows Desktop, Windows Server, SQL Server and Office. We protect your investment in our products by ensuring that they continue to work in your chosen Microsoft environment.

If ongoing compatibility with Microsoft is a concern, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

8.    Support

We don’t have complicated, multi-tier plans for support; we address each support request as soon as it is received. Support is also FREE to all customers under a current maintenance agreement. We are rightfully renowned for the quality of our support service. Plus, all support is handled by our employees; we DO NOT OUTSOURCE support.

If high quality support is important to you, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

9.    Flexible Licensing & Pricing

We offer multiple licensing & pricing plans including In-Perpetuity, Annual, Subscription, Hosted (SaaS), Not-For-Profit, Site & Organization licenses. Plus, we will work with you to structure a plan to suit your unique needs.

If flexible licensing & pricing plans are important to you, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

10.         Dealing with the owner of the Intellectual Property (IP)

We designed and built the very first RecFind in 1986 and have designed and built every version since then. Please refer to our history of product development. When you deal with us you are dealing with the owners and developers, not a reseller or licensee. No one knows our products better than we do.

If it is important to you to deal with the experts, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

11.         The need to store multiple types of electronic documents & digital assets

RecFind 6 stores and manages any kind of electronic document including emails, plans, CAD drawings plus any kind and size of digital asset. It has been optimized to handle very large digital objects.

If you need to capture and manage any kind and any size of electronic document, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

12.         Unlimited users, Scalability

RecFind 6 can be delivered with a single user license or an unlimited user license and any number of users in between. Its unique architecture is able to support any number of users. The only prerequisite is that you provide adequate server hardware to meet your requirements. There are no inbuilt restrictions in RecFind 6 for either users or the size of the data store.

If you need to support a large number of users, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

13.         Accessibility

The RecFind 6 Web Client provides secure access to your data from anywhere in the world there is an Internet connection and from a variety of browsers and devices including the iPad.

If remote and convenient access is a requirement, then store all your information in RecFind 6.

14.         Ease of Configuration, Flexibility

The RecFind 6 DRM tool, supplied free of charge, makes it easy for you to modify RecFind 6 (Data Model, Business Process, Metadata, Security System, etc.) without ever having to contact us or pay for changes and still have a standard product.

If you have a need to modify your information management solution to your exact and changing requirements, then store all of your information in RecFind 6.

15.         Ease of Integration to other systems

The RecFind 6 Product Suite includes multiple tools to make integration to any other system or data source as quick and as easy as possible. These tools include the DRM, Xchange, The SharePoint Integration Module, the MINI API and the SDK/API.

If you have a need to integrate to other systems and to import data from a variety of data sources, then store all of your information in RecFind 6.

 

Physical Records Management

by Frank 3. December 2019 11:47

Manage your physical records in the Cloud

There is no easier or lower cost way to manage all of your physical records in the Cloud than by utilizing the new RF6Cloud website and the RF6-RM application.

With RF6-RM you can easily and cost-effectively manage all of your physical records including File Folders, Documents and Archive Boxes. A full complement of RM functionality including searching, reporting, classification, retention and tracking. Record all of the people and organizations you deal with. Track records using fixed and portable barcode readers. Meet all compliance requirements. A complete solution for all forms of physical records management.

RF6-RM is an App specifically designed to handle all the requirements of any ‘physical’ records management challenge. Because it is powered by RecFind 6, one of the world’s most proven records and document management applications, it includes a vast array of records management functionality such as:

  1. File Folder & Box management, File Folder profile, Document profile, Archive Box profile.
  2. Barcode support for any record plus support of both fixed and portable readers.
  3. Full text indexing plus powerful searching by text, metadata, external ID and Boolean together with saved searches.
  4. Powerful Reporting Engine with standard reports plus the ability to run Schedule Reports.
  5. Complete Request, Move and Tracking capabilities.
  6. Powerful Retention function supporting both manual and automatic lifecycle management.
  7. Fully featured Business Classification (BCS) function.
  8. Audit Trail Report for all transactions.
  9. Powerful and flexible security system controlling Permissions and Access. Complete control to determine who see what and what each user can do.
  10. Powerful and flexible file folder titling capabilities, up to 5 title levels can be configured.
  11. Powerful and flexible object numbering (e.g., file folders) capabilities, manual and automatic.
  12. The ability to record all the people and organizations you deal with.
  13. The ability to upload and configure all your existing data (e.g., all your files, boxes, people, organizations, retention schedule, file titles, etc.)
  14. The ability to configure and manage your own Records Center.
  15. The ability to ‘trigger’ actions and automatically advise users via email with embedded hyperlinks.
  16. Online videos for demonstrations & training.
  17. Complete online Help system.
  18. Easy to use FREE email support for when you have questions.
Don't hesitate, contact us today for more information on RF6Cloud and RF6-RM

A new technology Web Twain solution for browser applications

by Frank 25. November 2019 11:37

Cross-browser Document TWAIN Scanner solution

Programmers understand, but a lot of end users don’t, why web or ‘thin’ client apps running in a browser can’t easily connect to resources on your local PC or network (the local object model).

There are technical reasons and some sound security reasons. However, that doesn’t help developers who want to connect to a local TWAIN document scanner from a browser-based app to capture paper documents and convert them to digital documents.

There are several solutions out there, but they are very, very expensive and come with awful licensing and maintenance conditions and costs.

We decided to solve this problem with newly developed technology, a much lower cost and no awful licensing and maintenance conditions and costs. Our new technology solution is disruptive in that it is low cost, easy to use and easy to license; totally different to what is currently available.

Our solution is a Web Twain Software Development Kit (SDK) that comes with all the code you will need plus a sample app plus twelve months of free support and updates. Only the developer is licensed, not the end users and there are no restrictions on the distribution of the runtime (built using our SDK). There is a single upfront fee (not an annual license that needs to be renewed each year) and a maintenance agreement (after the initial twelve months) is entirely optional.

The SDK includes the ability to scan, capture, modify images, OCR images, convert to PDF format and upload to the developer’s application on the server. In short, everything you need when working from a browser to convert paper to digital and to capture and store the final document.

Our new product is under development and is expected to be released in March 2020.

Register Interest

If you would like to register your interest in this new SDK, please click on the following link:

Register Interest

Once registered, we will keep you posted on progress and answer any questions you may have.

 

Best Regards,

 

Frank McKenna, CEO

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