Friday, March 31, 2017

Say What?

By Brian Kopack


Watercolor Scream
I know – don’t shoot the messenger.

Can’t help it. I don’t know how I stumbled on this article, but I did.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on a story about Florida spending a ton of dollars on private attorney fees. Typical government waste story. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

A spokesman for the Florida Attorney General said this when pressed for a detailed explanation on the State’s legal spending, "We do not have that information and are unaware of a way to capture expenditures for the purchase of outside legal services that would not entail an exhaustive search of documents."

Take out the politics, forget the players involved. Look what he said.

We don’t have the information – We are unaware of way to capture the information – Finding information is exhausting.

Huh? They spend $50 million per year. They have no information? Think that’s a problem?

Here’s the thing – they do have information and there is a way to capture the information accurately and efficiently.

Not understanding that must make them feel so powerless. Think about how would you feel if you couldn’t access and utilize your own information? $50 million worth. Not only that, but stories are being written about how bad your problem is.

Brutal.

What they need is someone to introduce them to content management – someone who can help them get this under control.

Someone like IOS.

At IOS, we empower people through better access to information. That’s what IOS has always done, which is good because it’s becoming more critical every day. We believe our development approach is unique – mainly because it starts with us listening to the real issues and visions of real people. We understand that information is currency. We also understand that the smarter you are about managing it, the more confidently you’ll be able to move your organization into the future. Our expertise, gained over 40+ years, means we’ve probably seen your problem and developed a solution that removes the barriers keeping you from moving forward.

A couple of things I know for sure – if the State of Florida knew IOS, it would understand the value of managing its content effectively and efficiently. And, if it had a content management system, not only could they access the information, they could {gasp} manage it and void any more embarrassing press conferences.

It’s 2017. Call IOS.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

IOS Receives Silver Honors from Hyland


Hyland recognizes IOS for helping organizations operate more efficiently using the OnBase by Hyland enterprise content management solution

IOS was recently honored as a Hyland Silver Partner award winner.

“We are pleased to be recognized again by Hyland as a Silver Partner. This award is a result of the cumulative effort of many, many people at IOS since we became a Hyland partner in 2010,” commented Brian Kopack, IOS President.

“Because of Hyland’s commitment to our customers, we only partner with the best solution providers in the industry,” said Eric Miller, director of channel sales at Hyland. “Imaging Office Systems is a shining example of the value our partners bring to market, and their exemplary delivery and support of industry-leading technology solutions is deserving of this recognition.”

About IOS
Imaging Office Systems derives 100% of its revenue from content management. IOS has designed and installed over 500 multi-user systems throughout the United States with clients in Europe and Central America.

An acknowledged differentiator for IOS is its very sophisticated Professional Services Group which excels in difficult legacy system conversions as well as process improvement workflows and system design.

IOS is also recognized as one of the largest document scanning companies with four separate conversion centers operating identically under the same quality system converting over 5,000,000 images per month.

Complementing these three pillars of document management is hard copy box storage. In contrast to many competitors, IOS has developed a business model geared to accomplish far better return on investment for its clients resulting in startling growth for this offering.

IOS recognizes that the real need in the document management marketplace is to furnish expertise to clients, providing direction on process improvement and re-engineering as well as helping the client avoid pitfalls and missteps. Gleaned through more than 40 years of experience, IOS expertise is the driving force of its success.

About Hyland
Hyland is a leader in providing software solutions for managing content, processes and cases for organizations across the globe. For 25 years, Hyland has enabled more than 15,500 organizations to digitalize their workplaces and fundamentally transform their operations. Named one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For® since 2014, Hyland is widely known as both a great company to work for and a great company to do business with. For more information, please visit OnBase.com.
Thursday, March 2, 2017

True Facts

By Brian Kopack
Alternative facts

Seems redundant, I know. You shouldn’t have to qualify what a fact is, but those seem to be the times we’re living in.

Facts are facts – except when you want to believe something different.

In Mad Men, one of Don Draper’s more memorable lines is “If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” Very convenient.

Hello, alternative facts!

Problem is, alternative facts can only get you so far. True facts win the day eventually.

Embrace alternative facts at your own risk.

At IOS, one of our biggest (and most frequent) frustrations is the reluctance of business to embrace content management as an integral tool for competing in the digital economy. The emerging digitalization of the workplace demands a comprehensive content management strategy. Ignoring that fact is dangerous.

Still, we talk to businesses every day that convince themselves they are immune from the digital push. They don’t believe they have a need to automate core back-end, document-intensive processes. They don’t see the benefits of taking advantage of intelligent information capture technology. They don’t see the value integrating mission critical systems.

The resistance is puzzling.

At IOS, if we hadn’t seen the extensive benefits a comprehensive content management system provides, we could understand operating within the comfort of the status quo.

We have, so we can’t.

The true facts are that business is digital. Automation isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. A collaborative workplace is a requirement. Information is currency. Harnessing the power of technology to bring all of that together takes experience, creativity and agility.

IOS is in its fifth decade of leading businesses in their digital transformation. We were doing it before that was even a thing. That’s what being a leader is about. Understanding the environment, seeing opportunity and championing right action - creating an environment that removes barriers to businesses being their its best selves.

That’s IOS.












Friday, January 20, 2017

Warning: Ignore at Your Own Risk

By Brian Kopack


So you are cruising down the highway and the check engine light pops on.

Panic.

Thoughts run through your head – most of them bad – about what to do next and how much it is going to cost.

More panic. You start preparing for the worst.

You get someone to diagnose the problem. It isn’t catastrophic.

Relief.

Since it isn’t major, the urgency to act is gone. The problem hasn’t gone away, it just hasn’t risen to the level of a crisis. You decide you can live with “not right” for a while. Maybe, a long while.

We are seeing that same scenario play out in our little piece of the content management universe. When the warning light activates in business – and it is a major problem, companies spring into action and call us for help. In a crisis, access to information is vital and that access has to be instantaneous. Audits, product recalls, lawsuits or broken water pipes that damage files all fit into the catastrophic-fix-right-now-category.

Who better to call? Our experience and agility allow us to hit the scene quickly to start on the corrective action plan.

It’s always good to have someone to call when you need expert help quickly.

What about the other, less urgent problems? Those are a totally different process.

A dependency on paper. Manual processes. People-centric operations. We are seeing more and more businesses dealing with the chronically “not right”. There’s no triggering event to force action so businesses limp along with the status quo knowing they will get around to a fix someday.

The arc of these discussions follows a predictable path: problem identification, a series of discussions, demonstrations and prototyping, a solution proposal, agreement and then….delay. No resolution, just delay. The problem is still out there, and it probably gets worse – just not bad enough to actually do anything. The status quo used to enable business through stability. Today the status quo is an obstacle to progress.

In a world that’s becoming more digital every day, business needs to approach content management as a “need to have” instead of a “nice to have” concept. The evolution of technology in content management has accelerated the pace at which businesses must adapt to change.

Disruption doesn’t always happen gradually. There might not always be a warning sign. Sometimes circumstances force change immediately. The worst time to discover you have an information management deficiency is in a crisis.

From intelligent records storage to expert document conversion to proven content management systems to transformative professional services, our focus is on providing ideas with an inspired user-experience built for tomorrow’s challenges - because that what’s ultimately important. A constant focus on continuous improvement – not just preventative maintenance.

That’s IOS.
Monday, December 5, 2016

Step It Up

By Brian Kopack


The Thanksgiving holiday is all about tradition.  Everyone seems to have their own little twist on celebrating.

On a national level, “the” Thanksgiving staple is the Macy’s Parade.

Like every other year, there they were at the start.  Probably the most recognizable performers at the most recognizable event.  Right at the front.  Exactly where they should be.

A tradition within a tradition - The Rockettes.

You recognize the costumes. You know the act.  Still, if you’re like me, you probably stop and watch every time.  The performance is captivating.

More than anything, it’s the synchronization that is the marvel.  Total fluidity.  Each dancer doing precisely the right thing at precisely the right time.  Almost no wasted effort.  Free to do what they do best.

That’s a good lesson for any business.

Businesses work better when everything is in synch.  Communication improves.  Decision making is streamlined.  Productivity increases.

And the creative spark that keeps everything in step is of course...information.

If businesses can capture it, analyze it and distribute it efficiently, the chaotic becomes organized - the complex becomes simple.

That’s exactly what a well-designed content management system does – makes the complex – simple.
In today’s information exchange world that means unleashing the power of your collaborative workforce to do more actual work faster with document management, workflow, and the elimination of redundant tasks through business process improvement and re-engineering. It means having information readily available, in a format that is understandable and relevant that allows you better control of your time and effort.


Information management can’t compare with the pizazz of the Rockettes.  Very few things can. But, for businesses that understand the direct correlation between effective data management and profitability and effectively implement it as part of their strategy - they glimmer just as brightly and impress with every step.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Could This Be The Year?

By Brian Kopack


For the love of everything Harry Caray, this might be the year the Cubs finally win the World Series.  Cubs’ fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time – since 1908.  A little internet research tells me there are probably 350 people walking planet Earth who were alive to see the last Cubs’ championship. Note: None of them actually saw it because TV hadn’t been invented yet.  Everyone else has literally waited their entire life for the Cubs to finally win.

That’s crazy.

Cubs’ fans are nothing if not patient.  Patient and focused.

Patience used to be a virtue.  Not anymore.

Most of us are bad at waiting.  Most of us expect everything immediately.  Most of us have had technology recalibrate our expectations personally and professionally. Right here.  Right now-even for things we really don’t need.  We don’t appreciate delays.

We demand change for ourselves, but we resist change of ourselves.

That explains one of the great mysteries in business. Why is the idea of content management so easy to embrace, but the decision to start the process of automation is so difficult?  The concept is easy to grasp and the benefits for inarguable.  Actually committing to embracing the challenge and doing the work to make that happen takes forever.  Not exactly 108 years, but it probably feels that way.

We demand change for ourselves.  We resist change of ourselves.

Not all businesses are guilty.  Some are proactive in their approach to integrating technology into managing their information and processes.  Others are more patient--Cubs fan-like patient.  Their approach is more “Wait until next year,” except next year never comes. Businesses engage in a perpetual slow-dance of research, analysis, negotiation and deferral.

That’s a risky strategy for businesses that need to stay relevant.

Businesses that haven’t adopted a comprehensive content management strategy in most cases are very purposeful and very intentional.  They are motivated to improve.  They understand how being in control of their information allows them to serve both their employees and customers better and be more responsive in the marketplace.  They see the bigger picture of using the power of technology to transform the way they do business - to access, process and integrate information more efficiently – to get the right information to the right people at the right time to make decisions.

So, what’s missing?  What’s keeping them in the perpetual state of stuckness?

Focus – or lack thereof.

Change is never easy.  Change away from the status quo is uncomfortable.  Change to the brave new world is scary.  Uncertainty breeds hesitation – tests our focus.  In business, when it comes to adopting new technologies or automating ancient processes, it takes a special kind of focus.

IOS focus.

It’s all we do.  And, because it’s all we do, we have a special understanding of the single, most overlooked aspect of the change process.  Change is about of relationships.  Creating them and maintaining them.

To dream change, to create change, to implement change - that all takes people working together.  It’s why great software or great ideas need the special touch to get the project from concept to reality.  It’s how the, “It’s the idea that matters” manifests itself in the work we do. Creatively designed content management ideas flexibly designed and expertly implemented.

With a great team and a great plan, anything is possible.

That’s IOS.
Monday, October 10, 2016

Using a contract management solution to keep the drinks flowing

By Danielle Simer, Hyland Software, Inc.

“Hi. It’s been a long day. I’d love a beer.”

“Sorry.”

“How about a vodka on the rocks?”

“Nope.”

“Glass of red wine?”

“Apologies.”

Manage your contracts instead of letting them manage you.

Ah, contract management. The right solution manages them for you, instead of the other way around. Because let’s be honest – you’re busy. We’re all busy. Who has time to look through stacks of invoices to figure out what’s due when, with who, and for how much?

No one has that time. That’s why I wrote this blog post. Because I want to help you reach your full potential. And the best way to do that is by taking control of your contract management process.

For example, late last week, a major airline had to deal with a customer issue because either it – or one of its vendors – didn’t effectively manage a contract renewal. So the airline’s airport clubs could not serve drinks.

If you value certain types of customers enough to offer them free drinks, you can bet those customers have grown accustomed to the service. Especially if they’re paying a $500 annual fee for the privilege. It’s in your best interest to make sure you don’t have to tell them “no.”

Especially when your competitors are saying “yes.”

An optimized back office generates ROI

Investing on the front-end to gain market share is great. But just as important, you need to proactively manage the back-end processes that keep things moving. Otherwise, you won’t generate any return on investment.

If you’re using a limited contract management solution, you can still miss contract deadlines. It happens. Making matters even murkier, your organization might still be relying on paper.

How many times, in how many different situations, have you heard someone say, “The paperwork wasn’t completed.”?

And how many times have you thought, “We’re approaching the third decade of the 21st Century and you’re still managing important contracts with paper?”

A contract management system in action

A great example of how to use contract management software to effectively manage contracts, renewals and vendor relationships is the University of Northern Colorado (UNC).

The college streamlined its entire contract lifecycle, from request to contract execution and beyond. The solution – which leverages the case management, process automation and enterprise content management capabilities of a true enterprise information platform – provides the university with the transparency and control it previously lacked.

Now, UNC proactively manages critical contract expirations. Automatic notifications and calendar views of key contract dates prompt staff to take action and make timely decisions on contractual relationships.

“I can now finish a contract from start to finish in as little as 10 minutes – and we’ve been able to eliminate the vast majority of paper from our contracting process,” said Cristal Swain, assistant legal counsel and chief procurement officer at UNC.

You can be proactive and empower your organization and do things like negotiate new terms or early-payment discounts while decreasing risks and saving money on storage and shipping. Or you can continue to rely on outdated solutions.

The choice is yours. Be forewarned: One might cause you to drink.

But only if you renewed the contract.