Friday, December 21, 2012

Six Simple Steps for a Successful ECM Program in 2013

By Thomas Jenkins, Hyland Software

As we quickly approach the end of 2012, we will soon reflect on what we accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) in 2012. Perhaps our successes were on par with the Mars Rover Curiosity or winning six Olympic medals like Michael Phelps in the London Olympics. Or maybe things didn’t go quite as planned, much like Apple’s maps debut, Facebook’s IPO, or the Detroit Tigers performance in the World Series (sorry Tigers fans).

If you’re not holding your breath on December 21, 2012, you might look ahead and consider how to turn your ECM projects into an strategic ECM program in 2013. Our advice? Start simple with these six steps:

  1. Re-evaluate old strategies. Organizational priorities and initiatives are always evolving year-over-year. You may have a project list 100 rows long that you’ve been working since 2011, but start by assessing how relevant that list really is. If you find that funding, project results and sponsorship are falling flat, perhaps you’re taking the wrong approach.
  2. Think program, not projects. Maybe it’s best to stop thinking about content management in terms of projects and short term gains, but as a program. A program you can start in 2013. This begins with ensuring you’ve got commitment from people: a dedicated team, a combination of technical resources and/or business analysts, and sponsorship (maybe even a steering committee) at the top-level.
  3. Find your tribe. Those people who share a grassroots or passionate interest in seeing the program’s success (kudos @ThisIsSethsBlog). Scott Webb, project manager for Hospice of the Western Reserve, said it best when he described their tribes’ mantra and their passion for the program, “People don’t want to do bad work.” His thoughts echo those of David Wilson, CEO, Mutual of Enumclaw, “Every team has individuals who are passionate about doing things better, and what we want to do is make them more powerful.”
  4. Do your homework. A program is different than a project and if you want to get more done, you’ll need to invest more in your program (ergo projects). Start with asking questions across all layers of the organization. Define the current state of affairs. Detail what you’d like your solutions to look like in the future. Outline what it will take to get it done, including hardware, software, services, training, and resource  requirements.
  5. Chart out your roadmap and content management program with a pencil. Flexibility and evolution is key. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed and remain agile throughout the process.
  6. Be patient.Long-term program success doesn’t happen with one hit wonders like PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” no matter how successful (and catchy) they might be in the short-term. That is of course, unless you can name one other song recorded by Los del Rio. Doesn’t ring a bell? Remember the “Macarena,” circa 1995.That’s what I thought. Continue to build upon your successes no matter how big or small certain projects are within your program. Give sponsorship and executive teams regular updates. Report on actuals versus budget. Put it in an internal newsletter or blog about it. Celebrate and carry on. The sustained wins will create true program success.
Regardless of what happens or trends in the remainder of 2012, remember there’s still a lot to accomplish in 2013.  So let’s say goodbye to skinny jeans and Honey Boo-Boo, and get ready to start 2013 strong.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Unrecognized Heroes

By Brian Kopack

Control.

Lately, control has seemingly been elusive.  Superstorm Sandy brought chaos and continues to stress the Northeast.  Election 2012, its run-up and its remnants brought different uncertainties and issues. 

We spend a lot of energy trying to either stay “in” control or keep from getting “out” of control. 

We equate control with success, with power.

In business, the same holds.  And, of everything a business needs to control, information is the most critical.  In information management, control denotes reliability.

Of all of the benefits of a comprehensive document conversion and records management program, control over information doesn’t grab the headlines.  At the party, control is usually the “+ 1 guest” of efficiency, security and cost effectiveness.   Businesses can’t put a value on control – only on not having it.

In business, heroes recognize the importance of controlling the controllable.  Imaging Office Systems is expert at creating heroes – in information management.

Call us to find out how.
Monday, October 22, 2012

Achieve Straight-Through Processing to Increase Customer and Member Satisfaction with Electronic Signatures

By Michelle Shapiro, Hyland Software

Consumers are becoming more and more tech-savvy. To win or keep their business, you need to offer the cutting-edge services they expect, like e-signatures.

When a co-signer for a loan is offsite, e-signatures offer a way to complete the transaction from wherever they are, as long as they have access to a computer. Using e-signatures also ensures that you take care of every initial and signature in one meeting, so customers and members don’t have to do things like make repeat trips to your credit union or bank to complete a single transaction.

Enable straight-through processing for increased speed and accuracy
Because they ensure authenticity, integrity and accuracy, e-signatures have been legal in the United States since 2000. When compliance requirements mandate a handwritten signature, you can capture and apply signatures electronically to documents and forms with a signature pad. It’s that simple.

While using e-signatures is a giant step in the right direction, to be the most effective, they need to be a seamless part of your processes. For example, with e-signatures and ECM capturing signatures and documents electronically, you practice straight-through processing, so your employees don’t have to manually print and scan copies into your line-of-business systems. In addition, employees won’t have to comb through documents to make sure they’re 100 percent accurate and complete, further improving productivity.

Using e-signature solutions that integrate with an ECM system also gives you the ability to sign documents and then store, access and manage them electronically. Once you’ve obtained a member or customer’s signature, documents don’t have to be printed, mailed or emailed. Instead, they immediately go into an electronic document workflow that automatically forwards them through processes, alerting key stakeholders along the way.

The increased speed and accuracy of your processes gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as your staff is empowered to give answers like loan approvals to prospective customers or members quicker than competitors who rely on paper-based processes.

Use ECM to unleash the power of e-signatures
Although e-signatures are an important piece that helps you deliver exceptional service, to achieve maximum efficiency, you need ECM. Using ECM, you connect primary applications like your core banking system or LOS with your documents. Without ECM, you don’t have classification, structure or retention for your documents – all important elements that help your employees immediately find the information they’re looking for.

Combining the speed of e-signatures with the power of ECM:
  • Decreases your reliance on paper to save money, costs and time
  • Increases the speed and accuracy of your processes
  • Allows you to stop printing contracts just to obtain a physical signature
Using e-signatures and ECM, you also eliminate the risk of fraudulent document alteration and guarantee your signed documents remain protected and unaltered. And you efficiently track electronic acknowledgements of documents. That helps you proactively comply with evolving local, state and federal regulations. It also makes it easy to prepare for audits. With e-signatures and ECM, you shorten the revenue cycle and reduce the cost and risk of paper-driven processes.

Tips for choosing an e-signature vendor
Today, most ECM vendors don’t develop their own e-signature solutions; they partner with companies that specialize in that technology. So it’s key to choose an e-signature vendor and solution that will easily integrate with your current or planned ECM solution.

When choosing an e-signature vendor, it’s important to make sure you choose one that upgrades its product on a regular basis and gives you choices. For example, does the vendor offer both a premises-based solution as well as a cloud offering? Additionally, you want to make sure to find a reputable vendor with a proven track record. Talk to your peers, send out requests for proposals (RFPs) and ask questions until you find a provider that can deliver exactly what you need.

By using e-signatures with ECM, your increased speed and accuracy will make you an easy choice for all those tech-savvy people looking for innovative banking alternatives.

Contact us to learn more about ECM and e-signatures.
Monday, October 1, 2012

System Conversions - What to look for in a vendor

by Angela Childs

With so many IT / imaging service providers out there, how do you select the right one when you have an imaging system you need converted?  You need a partner who has the experience to handle everything, but what’s everything?

There are a lot of players in the content management space.   Literally thousands of different software packages used for storage and retrieval of content – images, COLD (green bar reports, statements, etc.), electronic documents, etc.   Everyone is unique.

The variety of products, versions, resellers, operating environments, etc. is what led Imaging Office Systems to develop a platform independent process.  You need a partner that looks beyond the pretty wrapping to the underlying database and repository.  Once you peel back the covers, the various imaging systems start to look the same.  

You need to ask your prospective partner to describe first how they determine that they are qualified to handle the conversion. 

There should always be an in depth system review before you are given a proposal or any pricing.  Even two companies with the same software will have systems that are different and each must be treated as a unique system, just as no two companies are exactly the same. 

Our first step with any project is analysis followed by design so we can provide a specific project plan with timeframes, any assumptions/constraints, and associated pricing.   IOS’s Professional Services Group won’t provide a scope document, or any pricing, for a system conversion prior to confirming that the project will be a success.

Always require a detailed scope of work document prior to purchase.  This document should outline the structure of the system to be converted:
  •  How are the documents stored in the software?
  • What is the underlying database?
  • How are the images and other electronic documents stored?  Are they in a proprietary format?  Are they on platters?
  • What are the index points?
  • Are there annotations and, if yes, how will they be handled?
  • What are the document and image counts?
  • How will the documents be mapped from the structure of the source system to the structure of the destination system?
  • What will your responsibilities be?
Ask to see a list of the systems that the vendor has converted.    What are you looking for in this list?  Because of the variety of products, versions, resellers, operating environments, etc., and the fact that even two systems with the same product may be vastly different, the vendor’s experience with your software is not as relevant as:
  • Review their conversions experience:  You’re looking for a vendor with a breadth of experience.
  • Examine their process:  They should have an outline of their due diligence review and not want to engage with you until they are certain they can do work.
  • Require a scope of work:  They should give you detail about your current system, the new system, volumes, tasks for conversion, and anything they expect you to do to make the project as a success. 
Finally, what do you do when one of your prospective vendors is internal IT? 

All the same questions need to be asked whether it’s an internal service provider or an outside service provider.  You have a project, the system conversion, that must be completed accurately and within a fixed timeframe.

You still need the project documented and you need to see a few sample images and their associated indexes.  Simply ask your internal IT department to perform a test, and, if successful, provide a scope of work outlining their role, and yours, the tasks, and a timeline – when could they start, how many hours will be required, and when will the project end. 

From this you will know the internal costs, timeframes, and resource availability within internal IT.  And, finally, ask yourself about the competing internal projects the IT staff has on their plate.  Where does your project fall?  Often there isn't the luxury of time and a system must be converted before a support contract expires, or the hardware fails, or before auditors arrive.

Click here to learn more about IOS's conversion experience.
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beth Schrader Invited to Join Leadership Fort Wayne

IOS congratulates Beth Schrader on being invited to join the 2013 class of Leadership Fort Wayne and for her on-going efforts to give back to her community.  

Leadership Fort Wayne (LFW) was founded in 1983 by the Fort Wayne Corporate Council and Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne with seed funding provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The purpose was to ensure high quality leadership and active involvement of informed and dedicated citizens to meet the present and future challenges that face the Fort Wayne community. Since 1983, over 1,000 participants, reflecting a cross section of the community, have completed the programs and are now taking an active role as community trustees.

The mission of Leadership Fort Wayne is to train, prepare and inspire individuals to positively impact the community through meaningful engagement.

Outcome Goals
  • To instill an understanding of community trusteeship and a life-long commitment to community service.
  • To provide information about the community–its history, people, strengths, challenges and opportunities.
  • To develop 21st century leadership skills and capacities.
  • To provide opportunities to practice leadership skills and utilize knowledge gained.
Saturday, September 1, 2012

E-Image Expands Imaging Office Systems ScanPro Territory in Illinois

Effective August 11th 2012, E-Image has authorized Imaging Office Systems (IOS) to be the exclusive ScanPro dealership for the northern half of Illinois.

This expands the IOS ScanPro territory coverage to include all of Northern and Central Illinois’ fifty-one counties, going as far south as Springfield.

Additionally IOS will be the sole entity for E-Image in servicing existing clients in this same region.
IOS currently is the exclusive re-seller of ScanPro for all of Indiana, all of Kentucky as well as territory in both Kansas and Missouri.

E-Image is the manufacturer of the industry leading digital microfilm conversion equipment, the ScanPro 2000 and 800 and is revolutionizing the way microfilm is being used.

With the ScanPro 2000’s OCR technology microfilm can be converted to word searchable text, edited, linked to other information sources and saved to any output with just a single click. No other microfilm equipment offers this capability.

Want to learn more about the ScanPro, check out the content in the Scanners folder in our Resources area. 
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jim Reed Tapped to Oversee Records Management

Jim Reed, Director of Customer Service, has managed IOS's hardware and software support teams for many years.  Under his guidance, the teams support multiple hardware and software products for our installations in 31 states as well as Ireland,  Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Costa Rica.  His experience handling customer needs with a robust product set with a distributed team covering a large territory make him a natural fit as IOS looked to offer the same level of responsiveness to our records management customers.

New installations and training projects were transitioned from Jim to IOS's Professional Services Group to free time for him to lend his expertise as IOS continues to grow the records management arm.  He now oversees the facilities, records storage operations, on-demand web access site, certified destruction services, and the entire team from warehouse personnel, technical support, request fulfillment, and project management.

We're excited that Jim’s demonstrated talents in customer service, as well as his background in training and program development, will benefit records management like they have software and hardware support.
Monday, July 23, 2012

Aaron Sarber Obtains AP Certification

Imaging Office Systems congratulates Aaron Sarber on passing the Accounts Payable Certification Program's Specialist examination “with Distinction”.  The “with Distinction” designation goes to those who perform at an excellent level on the examination. The "with distinction" score has been set through a rigorous scoring methodology.

Aaron took the certification exam after attending training in June.  The Accounts Payable Certification program is the largest and most successful AP certification program due to its high quality and rigorous standards.  Over 5,000 AP professionals, accounting and finance staff, procurement specialists, and solution providers have participated in the program. 

The training and exam covered:

  1. Processing Functions
  2. Controls-cash management/fraud
  3. Technology
  4. Tax & Regulatory
  5. T&E
  6. Customer Relations
  7. P-cards 
  8. Other
  9. Ethics and Professionalism
  10. Management
Aaron is now an Accredited Payables Specialist.
Monday, July 2, 2012

"It's Hard Copy Box Storage on line 1. They're calling to apologize."

By John Trimble

Box Storage companies until recently are like the guy who shows us at an AA intervention meeting with a cocktails cart and informs the assembled that there is a two drink minimum. They are enablers.

The mission of modern Records Management is to move at whatever speed possible away from paper…beyond paper. There is no issue with long term hard copy storage per se, it fulfills a very necessary function. The problem involves storage companies that have not moved past old world, 1950’s methods of fulfilling retrieval requests by merely schlepping boxes back and forth.

This is not green, this is not progressive or even modern nor even remotely efficient in either cost or time. In fact it is extremely slow and expensive.

But because this is where so many storage companies make their money this delivery method is preferred (hence the enabling and the owed apology) because they can nickel and dime their clients to death.

Old world storage companies (particularly those that mix metallurgy with glaciers) charge for the box pull, they charge for the physical delivery and subsequent return to the facility, they charge for the refiling of the box or file. They charge for the reporting of that box movement and they charge if you pull out that box early.
It is bad file management and it is a bad deal for the client.  Financially benefiting from enabling the paper addiction is bringing cocktails to rehab -  it’s also bad juju.

Progressive hard copy storage companies such as IOS tend to come from an imaging and scanning skill set background with those disciplines and protocols firmly in place. Our value proposition and R.O.I. is quite simple: store it and when you need it request it electronically and quickly receive back the scanned images you need. All secure, all SAAS 70 compliant and no boxes or files being shuffled back and forth, it sounds almost…modern.

And yes, someone should be apologizing to you, so take that call on line one.

Click here to learn more about hard copy records management with IOS.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Angela Childs Promoted to Vice President, Professional Services

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind., June 15, 2012 -- Imaging Office Systems, Inc. (IOS) a leading provider of content management systems, scanning and data capture services, systems integration, and custom software development has promoted Angela Childs to Vice President of Professional Services.  

Angela, a certified Project Manager, has been with IOS since 1999 serving the Company in various capacities, most recently as the Director, Professional Services.  Angela has demonstrated exceptional performance through her service to IOS customers across a broad spectrum of industries.  She brings a dynamic energy to her work, effectively solving problems that create value for her customers.

Her new role will allow her expand the breadth of services IOS offers to a wider range of customers.

Find out more about Professional Services at IOS.
Monday, June 4, 2012

Sometimes It's More Than A Document

By Brian Kopack

Some people just can’t understand.  Some think it’s creepy.  Others find it offensive.  I think cemeteries are a great place to run.  In the winter, the roads are usually cleared of snow before the city streets and all of the old trees are good shelter from the wind.  In the summer, you get shade from those same trees and there is usually water available.  And year-round, it’s quiet – really quiet.

Except on holidays. 

We observed Memorial Day last month. For one day at least, the local cemetery had a good deal of activity.  Several aged men in full uniform converged for a memorial to all of the fallen service people.  Flags, flowers and music were everywhere.  I didn’t mind sharing the place for a little while, but I have to admit to feeling a bit like an intruder while I cruise the perimeter of the grounds just watching the goings-on.

Coincidentally, later that day I had an opportunity to talk with a member of the cemetery’s Board of Directors.  He explained that the Board had decided to archive the cemetery’s records and he asked that Imaging Office Systems help.  We talked briefly about the process to go from their index-card record keeping system to an electronic archive.

Converting documents isn’t new to Imaging Office Systems.  Helping our customers be more efficient and secure, we handle millions of images per month, and have for years.  Banking documents, government documents, quality documents, commercial documents – we have probably seen it all.  This project wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary.

But it seems different somehow – probably because of what the records represent.

Those index-cards aren’t just records – names and dates.  They are memories.  They are history.  Simultaneously - courageous, heroic and tragic.  And even though they are about more than Imaging Office Systems will ever to be able to capture with a scanner and software, it’s exactly why the preservation is necessary.
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Information Management - An Olympic-esque Effort

By Brian Kopack

I love the Summer Olympics.  Not the Ballroom Dancing / Rhythmic Gymnastics / professionals-turned-amateurs-for-two-weeks part of the Games - the pure competition in the individual, “as the Games were intended” sports – swimming, boxing and running.  I am captivated by everything that goes into the effort it takes to prepare for that singular moment of competitive greatness.

What’s it take to be an Olympian?  Attention to minor details, the willingness to change to improve and the courage to chase the extraordinary.

What’s it take to be “Olympic caliber” in information management?  Exactly the same things.

Doing the little things to be successful every day, every month, every year isn’t sexy.  It’s just necessary.  Regulatory requirements are everywhere and ever-expanding.  So how do you streamline compliance?  With a customized, records management program you can store your records, hard copy or electronic, securely, access them quickly and allow technology to monitor retention. 

Paper to microfilm to digital images.  Mainframes to personal computers to tablets and the Cloud.  Information management isn’t like fashion where what’s old eventually becomes “new” again.  Holding on to “the old way” doesn’t make you better.  It makes you irrelevant.  New, best practices in data capture, retrieval and dissemination allow you the flexibility to evolve without sacrificing your company’s character and values.

Optical character recognition, business process outsourcing and workflow customization – all business elevating ideas.  Sound complicated?  Maybe.  Excellence doesn’t just happen.  Technology exists, so does the ability to harness its power to move your company forward.  Successful athletes / businesses have to decide if they are more afraid of success or failure. 

The future belongs to the bold.

Be extraordinary.

Let Imaging Office Systems help.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crushing on DocuSign

By Angela Childs

For the past 6 months or so, I’ve used DocuSign to sign everything – scope documents, partner agreements, contracts, etc.  I find it ridiculously convenient.  

When you boil it down, my job is basically finding the most efficient way to do things.  I learn how a department at a client is doing X and how it could be better.  I had a client recently describe me as a “business therapist” which I have to say I loved.  When I dive into one of these projects it’s to find the thing or things that will make a real difference to that client and business therapy is exactly how I’d want them to think of it. 

Back to DocuSign…

The work we do for clients is all over the map.  It all depends on what they need and that can be really different from one client to the next.  For Crate & Barrel, we helped them automate their freight bill auditing so they could catch errors before they paid instead of continuing to pay their freight bill auditing company to tell them what they overpaid (for a fee) and send them a refund.   For Cook, they wanted us to design a global approval system.  They wanted workflow that handled requisition creation/approval, receiving functions, and invoice entry and approval that would work throughout the US and Europe.  The resulting product allows for variations in currency, allows them to tick and off which fields are required from country to country, and set approval levels with the system automatically doing currency conversions to determine approvers.

These projects, like most that we do, start with a client vision and then our job is to flesh them out and make them a reality. 

WHAT ABOUT DOCUSIGN?  I really was going somewhere with all this.  I want to find a client with a vision that needs DocuSign.  I’ll keep looking.  It’s going to make someone really happy someday I just need to find the right fit at the right time. 

Have some ideas?  I need to hear them.  Click my name on our Meet the People page and send me an email. 
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let's Talk About The 'Enterprise' in ECM

By Thomas Jenkins, Hyland Software

We say it every day: “Enterprise Content Management” or “ECM.” We hear folks throw out words like “enterprise” records management strategy, “enterprise” document management, and “enterprise” capture or delivery models.

But despite all the “enterprise” jargon out there, organizations often find themselves taking a less than enterprise approach. That is, they immediately start off on an initiative of strategy limited to one office, department or division. They make the argument, “We need to increase productivity and see these efficiencies yesterday.”

So we put a solution in place and let it be. But in the long run, the organization or a project management office fails to convey the results to the larger enterprise because they’ve got little invested interest from others outside of their office, department or division – or at the enterprise level.

What happens next? Someone in another office, department or division fails to get their face-time with the project, results aren’t communicated, value isn’t seen, and then they go out and seek an alternative solution or strategy to hopefully realize the same enhancements and see such efficiencies. IT is left supporting multiple applications and different platforms. We hire people to manage individual solutions. We custom code. We pay for maintenance, upgrades and support on several systems. We bring on a business analyst to find out why we’re doing all this. Systems fail, products are sunset. And we’ve now got complex and over-engineered processes and tools cluttering up our day-to-day transactions.      

Whoa!? What happened to our enterprise approach?

And in terms of ECM deployments, now you’ve got multiple ECM systems. And if you haven’t seen it before, now you’ve got multiple lines of business processing and capturing similar documentation in totally different methods. Some users are capturing and classifying directly via Microsoft Outlook. Others are dragging and dropping all over the place. Some are using SharePoint. Remote users still prefer to save documents to their local or shared network drives. And some users are even printing and scanning images back into the ECM system.

If we’re going to talk about streamlining operations and improving efficiencies; tying business and technology together end-to-end; and improving an organization’s ability to collaborate more effectively – those are bigger concepts than just one or two office, departments or divisions can solve. They require participation and a vested interest by all parties. You need to understand the overarching and individual goals across the “enterprise.” Not just wherever the hot button is right now, because with as quickly as markets and strategies can shift, so can enterprise priorities.

So start by taking a more pragmatic, “yes,” “enterprise” approach. Believe it or not, you can always make a new investment in the latest and greatest product or service. However, if you buy into a system or strategy without taking a comprehensive 360 view of how (or if) your users will adopt it, use it, and/or react to it – the benefits and your hard or soft investment in terms of cost and time – may never be realized.

Follow an approach that engages either the entire organization or a select population. Engage more than just local technical experts. Bring in business and subject matter experts, executive or senior leadership, and the frontline employees. Understand what each office, department or division is working on today and what they need to deliver tomorrow. What’s prohibiting them from doing so? What are their challenges? Their goals? And what does long-term program success look like?

So the next time you say “Enterprise Content Management,” or “ECM,” think to yourself are you really talking about Enterprise Content Management? And what can you do to ensure you and your organization are getting the most out of your investment? My answer: think about your approach. Define a strategy and a path for who, what and where to engage. And then you’ll realize the real benefits of what Enterprise Content Management and OnBase can be.
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brian Kopack Named as IOS's New President

Gary Gushard, owner and president of Imaging Office Systems, announced that Brian Kopack would step into the role of president.  In his announcement to the company, Gary assured the employees that he would still be very involved, that the move was to position the company for growth and allow him to focus on special projects.   Gary said that “Change, the right change, can be extremely productive.”

Brian joined IOS in 2005 as Controller and has been very impactful, in that position, and throughout the company.  Through different projects, including the adoption of IOS’s quality system, he learned in great detail the functions of every department at IOS.   Brian’s strategic vision and leadership has been clear since he joined the company, and that coupled with his very analytical approach makes him ideally suited to take on and succeed in this new role which took effect April 9th, 2012. 

Before making the decision, Gary consulted with IOS’s senior management, Bob Barkley and John Trimble, and they were equally as enthusiastic about the proposed change.

Click here to check out the IOS team

Imaging Office Systems, Inc.
Deriving 100% of its revenue from content management, IOS has installed over 600 imaging systems in the Midwest.  In addition to its records storage and destruction services, it provides document management solutions from its partners Hyland, PSIGen, Canon, FileBound, and Fujitsu, plus IOS has an in-house Professional Services Group that performs system integrations and conversion, workflow and custom programming. With its multiple facilities IOS is also one of the largest document conversion service bureaus in the United States converting more than 5 million pages a month.

Monday, April 16, 2012

IOS's Angela Childs Obtains BPM Certification from AIIM

Imaging Office Systems congratulates Angela Childs on obtaining AIIM’S Business Process Management Specialist certification.  The BPM Specialist program covers best practices to implement BPM, such as project planning, defining business requirements, and developing the business case and implementation plan including change management.

Covered within the 11 courses are the following concepts and technologies:
  • Streamlining and re-engineering
  • Requirements gathering and analysis
  • Application integration
  • Process design and modeling
  • Monitoring and process analysis
  • Managing change
AIIM is the Association for Information and Image Management and is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education, and certification programs to information professionals.  The Business Process Management (BPM) Certificate Program is designed from global best practices
among our 50,000 members and the course objectives and content is defined and reviewed by AIIM Education Advisory Groups in the US and Europe.
Monday, April 2, 2012

IOS's Lisa Johnson Obtains Quality Engineer Certificates

Imaging Office Systems congratulates Lisa Johnson on obtaining two Quality Engineer Certificates – medical device and non-automotive.  The certificate programs were offered through Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and had seven areas of study:
  • Understanding ISO 13485:2003 and 9001:2008 - Addressed the intent of the requirements with concentration on customer satisfaction, practical application and case studies.
  • Internal Auditing for the Medical Device Industry - Participants learned to facilitate the continual improvement of the quality management system through an effective internal audit process.
  • Failure Mode & Effects - Participants learned how FMEAs and control plans work together to address potential failure modes and to focus on high-risk areas.
  • Statistical Process Control - Topics included control charting for attributes and variables, histograms, scatter diagrams, and interpretation of various charts.
  • Measurement System Analysis - This program introduced participants to measuring and gauging systems with the concepts of bias, repeatability, reproducibility, stability, and linearity.
  • Mistake Proofing – This course examined defect prevention techniques, explored zero-defect measures, covered various mistake-proofing techniques, and how to deploy practical mistake-proofing measures.
  • Effective Problem Solving - The course emphasized the process of root cause analysis and 8-D or team-oriented problem solving.
IOS’s quality system governs all aspects of our scanning processes, custodianship, client acceptance, and documentation of change.  This training and subsequent certifications are part of the continuous improvement efforts and we thank Lisa for her hard work and congratulate her on her achievement.
Monday, March 26, 2012

FileBound Announces Appointment of IOS to Inaugural Executive Partner Council

By Perry Boe, Marex Group, Inc.

Lincoln, NE – Marex Group, developers of the FileBound Office Automation Solution, announced today the appointment of Imaging Office Systems to its first ever Executive Partner Council.  The Council will serve as a trusted advisor to the FileBound Executive team in matters of product, marketing, sales and strategy.  The initial meeting of the council will be held at the FileBound International Partner Conference in Las Vegas on April 4th

Other members of the 2012 council include; Select Imaging, Kansas City, Mo; InStream, Inc., Nashville, TN; Information Management Systems, Fulton, MO; eDocument Solutions, Irvine, CA; All Copy Products, Denver, CO; FileBound Australia, Kedron, Australia and Tallega Software, Irvine, CA.

In making this announcement, Dan Yount, FileBound President, said “Imaging Office Systems was selected based upon their high-level of professionalism and sustained record of success in helping businesses and organizations implement solutions that automate their processes to improve results.  We are honored to be associated with such a top-caliber group of professionals and look forward to sharing and learning together.”

About FileBound
FileBound is developed and distributed globally by Marex Group Inc., a dynamic privately held corporation with business interests in the document and content automation space.  Marex Group develops, delivers and supports solutions focused on innovation, a commitment to excellence and affordability.

The FileBound team has a proven track record of developing applications that have been implemented by organizations of all sizes around the globe. Our mission is to continually leverage technology innovations and market feedback to build leading solutions that solve today's management challenges and ensure the growth and success of our customers and business partners.

Take a look at one of IOS's FileBound success stories.
Thursday, March 15, 2012

IOS's Salesperson of the Year also Honored by Community with 40 Under 40 Selection

By John Trimble

Beth Schrader, IOS’s Salesperson of the Year for 2011, has also been selected for the prestigious 40 under 40 Award by the greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

This recognition honors men and women under the age of 40 who are helping to shape the future through their business and community involvement.

“They are leaders today and are sure to be part of the next generation that make the Greater Fort Wayne area an outstanding region to live and work.”

Beth Schrader will be honored at the 40 under 40 Dinner on Wednesday March 21st.

Beth received the Imaging Office Systems’ Salesperson of the Year Award at the IOS Annual dinner and reception on January 16th in Indianapolis.
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Russ Mellnick Named as IOS's 2011 Tech of the Year

By Jim Reed

On January 16, 2012 Imaging Office Systems held our annual kick off meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Each year one employee from the Service Department is recognized as being the Technician of the Year based on performance, technical growth, attitude and leadership.

This year, Jim Reed, Director of Customer Service, was very pleased to announce that 2011's recipient was Russ Mellnick from our Rolling Meadows, Illinois office. Russ has been with IOS for 25 years. He has assisted on several occasions rolling out a new product lines for IOS and has maintained the skill sets we need for today’s support environment. Russ started as a hardware technician and with education and untold hours of personal time has crafted the technical and people skills that we here at IOS are very happy to have on our staff.

He and his wife Julie have two children, Becky, who is attending Eastern Illinois University, and Mark, who is attending Geneva High School. Russ’s hobby’s are computers, good for us, and Martial Arts.

Congratulations Russ! Lead on…
Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meet George Jetson...

By John Trimble

OK, so the Jetsons never arrived and are way overdue. That is unfortunate. On the other hand, Mad Max and roving gangs are not out there ready to do unspeakable things for cans of gasoline, so we have that going for us. The two show biz versions of the future, predicted decades ago are both seemingly missing in action. Yet…

The future is both here and it’s not. Your iPhone talks to you but your filing cabinet does not. It might  make a mechanical squeak complaint of too much weight and paper wedged in but that doesn’t count

But through process automation our clients’ present must look like the future to so many companies.

Depending on where you are at, your future is someone else’s past, your present is someone else’s future. This is true for people, for countries and societies (the easiest to picture) but it is especially true for companies and corporations. Of course now people and corporations are legally one and the same and no, I am not going there.

This is where I am going:  how can similar and seemingly effective companies differ so much on how in the “present” or what some would say in the “future” they want to be.  Maybe it is culture, maybe it is budget or a bad taste left over from a technology project that boondoggled in 1982, I don’t know.

Clients who have automated their paper processes with document imaging and forms recognition really can be the Jetsons, happily cruising over the barren post-Australian landscape from high altitude looking down on Mad Max gangs, as they hold out and battle the future… “I will give up this paper invoice when you take it out of my cold dead hand” or something like that.

Maybe we all get the “Future / Present” we need. Maybe you and your company have the luxury of time, the luxury of being slow that other companies do not. Maybe… The only end game here is time; moving beyond ‘time is money” (true but overused to the point of being meaningless) because if you can create time by removing the wasting of time you have done an amazing thing.

 Your present can be your competitor’s future…not a bad place to be.

“Meet George Jetson…”

Take a look at how some other companies have make their present look like the future.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Confessions of a Salesaholic


 By Beth Schrader


In both our personal and professional lives, we all have pet peeves.  Sometimes, we find they duplicate themselves in each world, like when someone interrupts or leaves the toilet seat up.  Clearly, manners should be paramount in any environment.  Likewise, when someone uses a cliché – one that the listener rolls their eyes mid-sentence as it is being spit out in the form of an unintentional insult – the pet peeve list grows longer.  

“We’ll go from there” is a classic line that, if I’m being honest, both sides in a sales process utter way too frequently.  The client/prospect will say this to a Sales rep to get them off the phone or out of their office STAT; the Sales rep will say this to a client/prospect when they either don’t know what to do next or don’t want to put the time in to do it.  Why, when we know we are being blown off, do we allow it?  If we truly care, why can’t we call a “cliché foul” on the other person right then and there?

Typically, I find my prospects will try to tell me “we’ll go from there” because they do not want to be burdened by another project.  They do not have the time, energy, staff, or desire at that point in time to investigate an ECM, conversion, or backlog scanning initiative.  Not in any particular order, but here’s what comes to mind when I hear this:
  1. Where exactly is “there?”
  2. Why don’t you want to make your process easier and save money doing it?
  3. You realize that I realize you’re blowing me off, but because I care and believe (actually know but immodesty is also a pet peeve of mine…as is hypocrisy) we can help, I will do whatever it is you have deemed “there” and remind you when it is done so that we can laugh about the cliché foul later.
The statement is really one of timing since the subtext of “we’ll go from there” is… I know I need this, I would like to look into it but can’t do it presently, and I would like to not feel badly about it so I need to be done talking to you now.  I have many customers that have in fact purchased an ECM after years (as in 10 – you know who you are) of waiting on the perfect time to “go from there.”  Resoundingly, the question after implementation is always, “Why in the world did we wait this long?  We can’t even remember how we used to do it.”

The problem is, much like when we try to map out the perfect time in our adult lives to have children, there isn’t one.  There will always be another project, another goal, another idea, another cliché.  Yet, as those are occurring, so is the creation of more content.  The same manual process is still occurring.  Company growth is (hopefully) still occurring. 

Instead of habitually using the “we’ll go from there” cliché the next time a Salesperson calls, I think it wise to remember what Confucius first said, “No matter where you go, there you are.”  It’s how you get from here to there that matters.  And we can help.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Sheer Luxury of Paper

By Angela Childs

There’s nothing quite like the sweet fresh smell when you open a new ream of paper.   The white sheets of limitless possibility ready for ink and staples, file folders and cabinets.    How could we not want to print our emails and file them away in a drawer?  What kind of heartless monster could resist the allure of sharing a paper invoice?  Who doesn’t want to look important in a meeting when everyone has to wait while you run to your office to get a document?  The power is irresistible. 

Can you imagine an audit without the thrill of digging through boxes?  That exhilarating feeling you get from the danger of paper cuts.  Oh how you and the auditor share a laugh when documents are missing.  Good times.

Paper a little too exciting?  We get that and we can help.  Need to go cold turkey and have someone scan documents for you?  We can be with you every step of the way.  You don’t have to do it alone.
Monday, January 30, 2012

IOS partners with AllShred Services for Document Destruction

Columbia City, IN – Jan, 25, 2012 – Imaging Office Systems, Inc. (IOS), a leading provider of content management systems, scanning and data capture, systems integration, custom software development, and records management services,  announced today that it has partnered with Allshred Services of Maumee OH, to expand its Records Management Services division and begin offering secure document and data destruction services.

Allshred will manage and provide fulfillment services for both bulk and scheduled shredding services across IOS’s entire customer network.  IOS customers will receive full NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) certified services regardless of their location and each customer will receive a certified document destruction notice after each shredding event.
Monday, January 23, 2012

IOS hires Records Management Specialist

Columbia City, IN – Jan, 20, 2011 – Imaging Office Systems, Inc. (IOS), a leading provider of content management systems, scanning and data capture, systems integration, and custom software development, announced today that it has created a specialist program to promote Box Storage, Document Destruction, Scan on Demand, and Records Management Consulting Services.

Andrew Myers is IOS's new Records Management Specialist.  Andy will based in Indianapolis out of the Emco office and will support all central Indiana businesses.

Imaging Office Systems, Inc. 
Deriving 100% of its revenue from content management, IOS has installed over 600 imaging systems in the Midwest.  In addition to its records storage and destruction services, it provides document management solutions from its partners Hyland, PSIGen, Canon, FileBound, and Fujitsu, plus IOS has an in-house Professional Services Group that performs system integrations and conversion, workflow and custom programming. With its multiple facilities IOS is also one of the largest document conversion service bureaus in the United States converting more than 5 million pages a month.

Click here to learn more about IOS's Records Management services.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Using Tablets for Employee Onboarding

By Angela Childs

I love a good process improvement story and we recently had a customer approach us with a great idea for just that for their employee onboarding process.   This customer has stores across the US and their existing process was paper intensive, labor intensive, and error prone.  With all the technology options we have today they were sure they could do better and came up with a great concept.

For their onboarding process, when they hire a new employee for a store, they have the employee go to that store to fill out all their paperwork.  That paper is then sent to corporate where someone keys all the information into their HR system, follows up on anything that’s missing, and files the documents.  Their new idea – how about instead of filling out a bunch of paper forms, they’re handed a tablet PC.  The tablet then walks them through the process of reading and completing all their paperwork.   As long as it was developed with a super simple interface that guided the employee through each step, they could add technology without piling tech support and software trainer to their store managers work load. 

With this idea, in one step, your new employee is giving you all their data, electronically, ready for import into your HR and content management systems.   
  • You eliminate multiple people touching the same documents.
  • You eliminate paper shuffling and lost documents.
  • You eliminate the delay between when the employee gives you information and when it’s ready to use.
  • You add error proofing to your process. 
  • You eliminate keying and filing tasks freeing your staff to focus on what’s really important.
This type of project is one of the main reasons Imaging Office Systems created their Professional Services Group, to take a customer’s idea and turn it into something real.  

In this case, we got to design a solution that could be molded to match different needs with automation like on the fly conversion of handwriting to text, pushing common data elements to all forms, and output to multiple systems. 

Have your own ideas?  Let us help you develop a solution.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Four IT Security Lessons to Learn from Anonymous' Stratfor Hack

By Kaitlin McCready, Hyland Software

On Christmas Eve, while most of us were immersed in the holiday spirit, others were immersed in the sensitive information of Stratfor Global Intelligence Service’s client list.

A group of hackers, associated with the collective known as Anonymous, breached Stratfor’s systems, obtaining the credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses of the company’s customers. The group has already used this stolen information to make donations to charities, such as the American Red Cross.

Breaches like this are happening so frequently (just follow the medical community for the evidence) that they’re becoming ho-hum. But that’s even more reason to question how they can happen in the first place. This is 2011, after all, and technology in organizations should, in almost every case, protect against something like this.

To help you ensure you don’t become the next Stratfor, here are four lessons in IT security that you can take to your organization.

1. To protect against data breaches, it’s not just the database that needs to be protected – it’s the documents.

The full picture of exactly what content was compromised from Stratfor is still unclear. But we do know that it went beyond the database to things like emails.

The reality is that sometimes, documents like PDFs and Word files have sensitive information like credit card numbers on them. To make sure they’re securely managed, an enterprise content management system should be able to provide granular levels of security down to the single document level, and can store them in an encrypted format.

2. An email might be a communication tool first. But when it contains sensitive information, it needs to be treated as a record.
We’re in a world where the amount of information is exploding, making it more complicated to determine which needs to be deemed necessary to manage within an organization’s content management system.

Hopefully, the Stratfor situation will put the focus back on the need to better manage sensitive emails and the way they’re archived, a piece of the IT security puzzle that’s often overlooked. Typically emails kept in Exchange or an email archive solution aren’t archived in an encrypted format. To create a complete solution, you should be able to configure an enterprise content management system to delete emails in the respective mail client once the email is archived in that system.

3. Encryption should be built into your software.

Storage and data archiving vendors, like EMC or IBM, provide a lot of security and data integrity controls in their systems. But you shouldn’t rely solely on your hardware to administer security on where your documents are residing.

ECM software should be able to encrypt documents and images at the physical storage level, protecting the data from unauthorized access to the physical drives. Documents that are archived in this way then can only be opened and viewed with ECM software interface, ensuring that the security controls imposed by the software are respected at all times, regardless of what happens to the hardware.

4. You can’t fully control your employees’ actions. But you can protect against it.

Every company has disgruntled employees, even a few willing to give up their login information to your enterprise systems - or more commonly, employees who mean well, but are fooled by hackers from time to time. Here’s how you can combat these situations (to a degree).

When it comes to documents, most ECM systems offer the capabilities to either automatically or on an ad-hoc basis do redactions on sensitive information that the majority of users in the organization don’t need to do their jobs. So, authorized users can still get access to the physical documents, but only certain people can see the actual information on the document, like a credit card number. This level of security is becoming more talked about with PCI compliance regulations.

The IT tools are out there to protect organizations. Hopefully this incident (and these tips) lights a fire under the IT departments who aren’t yet taking advantage.