Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Champion of Hope

By Angela Childs

IOS's Beth Schrader, pictured with her daughter Liv, has agreed to take on a tremendous challenge.  She was asked to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual Man & Woman of the Year campaign.   For Fort Wayne, she is one of six connected community members that have accepted a challenge to raise thousands of dollars to support research and treatment for blood cancers.  Candidates are asked to join this elite group by local Nominating Committee and LLS staff members.

For Beth, it's both an honor and deeply personal.  She joined IOS in 1997 and in 1998 was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.  At that time the options available to her were - have a bone marrow transplant or don't.  Her daughter was not quite 2 years old and without the treatment, she would not have been able to be her mother for the last 14 years.

Today she's on a mission to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Why that number?  Because it matters.  Because with that amount of money, more treatments like those which did not exist when she was sick can be found through R&D - and eventually, a cure.
  • More than one million North Americans are fighting blood cancers; the third leading cause of cancer deaths.
  • Leukemia still causes more deaths among children and young adults under 20 than any other cancer. 
  • LLS is the largest non-profit contributor to blood cancer research, funding nearly 320 projects across the globe.  
  • 78.1% of all funding goes directly toward research to find a cure for blood-related and other cancers.

LLS, her efforts, and the help that we can give makes a difference:
  • 40 years ago, a child’s chance of surviving leukemia was 3%; today 9 out of 10 live.
  • Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have more than doubled to 88% since the 1960’s.
  • Survival rates for myeloma patients tripled in the past decade.

Every dollar counts.  To find out more, visit Beth's site at, and consider helping in our battle against cancer.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Confessions of a Salesaholic - Thinking Inside the Box?

By Beth Schrader

Don’t put me in a box.  I don’t look good all wrapped up in frill, nor will I enjoy being confined.  But maybe you will…read on.

In a recent article by Steve Rolla of Pros Elite Group entitled BPO In a Box:  Business Process Optimization (published in Image Source), it was identified that the new frontier in our industry is Services.  No doubt about it.  And within this brave yet familiar new world, the focus is three-fold:  Document Management Solutions, Business Process Optimization, and Managed Network Services.  Yes, we do all three and do all three well if I do say so myself – and I do.

In today’s world, it seemingly should be harder and harder to differentiate between “solutions.”  At times, they all look and feel the same.  So how do you decide?  How do you pick the best solution?  By first realizing the solution doesn’t matter until the process is identified.  We reinvent ourselves every day, every time our cheese moves, every time a new year rolls around (at least for that first week).  Our thoughts change, our goals change, our focus changes.  So it should stand to reason that if this is the case within our personal lives, it ought to hold true within our professional lives as well.

When I change my hat from a salesperson to a consumer, here’s what I care about:  how am I going to use something I’m about to purchase.  What is my process for utilizing that which I am about to buy?  Do I stop to think about how I’m going to use Greek Yogurt?   Habitually, I eat it every morning so it deserves not much thought other than the expiration date.  It is a consumable to me.

However, do I stop to think about how I’m going to use a new bathroom which is in the process of being renovated/updated?  Absolutely.  Not only does it cost way more than $1.29, but it will last much longer, be utilized over and over again, others will see it and need to use it in a meaningful way, and it will also have a direct impact on the future resale of my home.

Business Process Optimization in a box is the same idea.  Your organization is either using or is about to be using a solution which will impact the bottom line now and for years to come.  It is a decision which should not be made lightly or on price alone.  It is a decision which should invoke deep introspection within your organization, much like when we make changes in our personal lives. 

Should you care what multi-function device you purchase?  Sure, a little.  For the most part MFD’s are a commodity and serve one (multi is kind of a stretch if you think about it) purpose.  But if you plan to ask us if they can be used as part of the bigger picture – part of the process – then that is a different conversation.  We will undoubtedly still tell you a production scanner is a better way to go (and it is), but that is one example of the kinds of discussions which should be occurring every time you are in the process of thinking about implementing or changing an ECM Solution.  No matter how small the purchasing decision may seem, it’s worth the conversation. 

So what’s inside that box?  A gift.  It’s the gift of expertise from an organization that is a strategic partner, not just a commodity.  We have the expertise to either know or learn very quickly the process surrounding the management of everything which keeps you in business.  And your solution will reflect it.