Written by Brian Sherman
(Chicago) — The message to attendees of this year's ARMA show was to engineer an easy transition from paper-based files to electronic records management, supported with a clear and calculated plan. The event, held September 18-21 at the Navy Pier, focused on the migration process and how each company must assess its own needs before undertaking a robust and well-engineered technology transformation. With Sarbanes-Oxley and other compliance issues driving a fast uptake of ECM technology, the slow and well-designed systems approach makes more business sense to most companies. Solving the entire organization's records management and ECM needs with a single (though scalable) infrastructure can create efficiencies in time and cost that the "band-aid method" never will.
Large technology vendors expecting the SMB market to explode with complete corporate wide implementations may be excluding a segment of potential customers. Scaring records managers and their companies' executives with potential compliance fines and imprisonment isn't the best way to sell solutions, according to the end users I talked with at the show. This crowd was looking to solve business needs beyond compliance, such as improved e-mail management and day-to-day search and retrieval of business critical records.
One particular group of healthcare records managers I encountered was looking for a simple system to tie together two silos of archived information without installing a complete new infrastructure. Two vendors told them they needed a complete new system to make it Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, while a third software provider explained how easy integrating systems together would be (and even pointed to two competitors who could help them as well). The potential customer told me that if its budget allows, it would most likely purchase from the vendor that provided the information it wanted.
ARMA provided me a chance to sit down and talk with ECM vendors about the special offerings they had for solving companies' records management needs. Check out some of news and highlights from the manufactures and software providers that were at the show.
Captaris talked about its Alchemy Suite and RightFax capture products at ARMA this year. The company, which markets exclusively through resellers, discussed two related customer success stories with the show attendees. Captaris Records Manager was employed at Tyler Memorial Hospital to automate records management and archival processes for its Health Information Management Systems (HIMS), while its Document Management software allowed The National Security Archive to transform an antiquated paper-based archiving system to electronic form. The document and records management solutions are part of Captaris' overall Business Information Delivery suite, which also includes Captaris Workflow and Rightfax.
Compliance Solutions Group (CSG), a subsidiary of Applied Information Sciences, Inc., provides resources to help companies deal with a variety of regulatory and standards compliance issues. As a certified Microsoft partner, it is in the process of launching a Compliance Toolkit built on the large software company's platform. CSG assists organizations looking to implement document, records, and business process management solutions with the need to meet global content and records management standards. Standards such as DoD 5015.2 STD, ISO 15489, and the Model Requirements for the Management of Electronic Records (MoReq) fall within CSG's scope of business experience. CSG offers solutions for end users addressing Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC, NASD regulations for financial services businesses, HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, and the Federal Records Act.
Computhink discussed its core imaging and document management solution, ViewWise, offers compliance solution options for document imaging, information capture, indexing, searching, retrieval, archiving, and records management. The company offers three solution sizes, including Enterprise, small business (the Paperless Office), and business to consumer (Professional Services Division).
For additional information on Computhink's products and services, click here.
Datacap representatives promoted its Taskmaster 6.2 software products at ARMA. Taskmaster is a complete solution for high-volume data and document capture with extensive forms processing capabilities. Taskmaster enables remote scanning and indexing in a browser format and integrates with all the leading document management software. Its rules-driven capture workflow can be customized to adapt to changes in a company's business requirements. Taskmaster 6.2 reads structured and unstructured forms, such as invoices, by combining OCR (optical character recognition) and ICR (image-character recognition) engines with a library of hundreds of rules to find and validate data. The browser-based scanning and indexing eliminates the prolonged and redundant steps required when using other information delivery products.
For additional information on Datacap's products and services, click here.
Eastman Kodak celebrated the first anniversary of its i40 production scanners by adding new features with no cost increase, including its new ability to scan documents up to 34 inches long and to image edge fill (to reduce jagged edges on scanned images). The i40 now has the ability to capture information on documents and thick cards (such as identification, insurance, and credit cards, plus driver's licenses). The new KODAK Button Manager allows users to configure up to nine different applications, any of which can be accessed using the scanner's "Start" button. For example, users can scan documents into PDF files using ReadIRIS Corporate Edition 9 (standard with the i40) employing this single button.
For additional information on Eastman Kodak's products and services, click here.
EMC's Documentum division blanketed the show floor with shirts promoting the company's involvement in records management and ECM. Wearing a "Did you know?" t-shirt allowed several attendees to win $50. EMC sees archiving as a continuation of content management and offers its Records Management (RM) suite to allow organizations to identify and manage corporate records in accordance with both internal and external mandates. As part of the IT infrastructure, the content archives and all corporate processes are captured and maintained by one common system or toolset.
For additional information on EMC/Documentum's products and services, click here.
FileNet's big news was the acquisition of Yaletown Technology Group, announced Monday during the show. This purchase solidifies the relationship the two companies have had, especially with their E-Mail Manager and Records Crawler technologies. Records Crawler can locate content across multiple repositories and systems, classify it as a file, record, or other category, and apply the appropriate policies. Records Manager version 3.5 was the focus of the product discussions for the audience, especially within rules management and the ability to apply multiple policies at numerous locations within a company. Content Federation Services For Records enforces rules and policies across multiple proprietary and non proprietary repositories to facilitate legal holds and retentions.
Fujitsu Computer Products of America launched two new products at ARMA this year. First up is the fi-5530c, capable of scanning 47 pages per minute landscape and including VRS (VirtualReScan), and Adobe Acrobat 7.0 (standard now on all fi models). The fi-5530c will replace the fi-4530c model in Fujitsu's production scanner lineup.
The new ScanSnap fi-5110EOXM was introduced as the first vertical scanner (non-flatbed) that supports Mac OS X version 10.4 computers. The education, legal, and creative agency markets are a logical business application for this product, which should have significant consumer appeal as well. The ScanSnap fi-5110EOXM comes standard with Acrobat 7.0, retails for around $495, and defaults to PDF during the scanning process.
For additional information on Fujitsu's products and services, click here.
IBM Content Management includes two major categories in the ECM technology market. The first type, risk and compliance, include records management, e-mail management, discovery, and regulated document management. The second, business transformation, involves the conversion of paper documents to electronic form. Big Blue's ARMA focus included discussions on the status of records management industry regulations, including new National Archives standards and DoD Chapter 2 and 4 changes. Records management simplicity is the IBM goal, with a highly scalable back end integration. The company is working with other vendors and consultants to build the necessary skills to define policies for retention and archiving up front. IBM believes that the biggest challenge is in bridging the policy knowledge gap between end users and integrators, which can ensure the best system installation for each individual customer.
Imaging Business Machines (IBML) touted the total solutions it provides for records management and document imaging. Full-service scanning, according to executives from IBML, means offering solutions for the most demanding document-imaging applications and handling diverse documents types (including batches with different weights, sizes, and compositions).
The company's product portfolio includes the ImageTrac Scanning Platform, which consists of ImageTrac scanners, a SoftTrac user interface, and professional services. ImageTrac scanners offer front and rear color image capture, multiple image outputs, bar code readers (including 2-D), ICR (image-character recognition) readers, MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) readers, and multiple sort pockets.
For additional information on IBML's products and services, click here.
Interwoven made a splash at ARMA with the introduction of Records Manager 5.0 (IRM) for Professional Services Firms, a unified system for the integration of paper, documents, and e-mails. The ECM solution provider developed IRM to assist professional services firms in achieving enterprise content compliance and implementing effective risk management. With an integrated information management platform that combines paper and electronic records, IRM is being promoted as highly scalable when integrated with Interwoven's WorkSite 8 collaborative document management system.
I.R.I.S. is a Belgium-based provider of OCR (optical character recognition) software to convert paper documents to electronic forms. The company's emerging U.S. division focused its ARMA resources on promoting two records-related products, IRISPdf 4.0 Server and ReadIRIS Pro 10 (versions are available for both PC and enterprise). The IRISPdf 4.0 Server structures, indexes, and converts documents into searchable and editable PDF files. This production OCR solution converts documents at speeds up to 60 images per minute into multiple file types (including PDF, DOC, RTF, TXT, HTML, WordML, and XML) and offers JPEG2000 image compression.
ReadIRIS Pro 10 allows users to completely search PDF records from the current files, flatbed scanners, MFPs (multifunction peripherals), and digital cameras. The corporate version adds high-volume conversion and business card recognition, while a desktop version is available for home or low-volume professional use. Version 10 includes batch separation, bar code reading and indexing capabilities, and enhanced PDG (positional data graphic) generation from previous editions.
MDY Inc., which has been involved in records management solutions since 1988, spent its time highlighting its Federated RM product line at ARMA. This software suite allows companies to manage records in other vendors' proprietary repositories, as well as MDY's information silos. "Federated RM can become the infrastructure across all repository technologies when implemented, and it has the ability to integrate with many other IT applications," said Mark Moerdler, Ph.D., president of MDY Inc. The company has gone through DoD certification for each implementation it completed, which Moerdler sees as an advantage for new clients requiring that qualification for similar applications.
Metafile CEO, president, and founder Allan Sprau claims that his company has an unusual position in records management technology as a family-owned business with no outside investors. Metafile executives see an advantage in being a part of an organization that can focus on its core business, context indexing, without market and investor distractions that their competitors face. The MetaViewer content management solution uses key indexing technology to provide a solid foundation for records management systems.
Information on paper is unique in that it is constructed strictly for human consumption. Images created on computers are composed of multiple lines of data and if you capture that code before it becomes a picture on text, indexing can facilitate improved archiving methods. Metafile developed its own search engine that recognizes the policies of a company's text searching and monitors workflow revisions (for change audits).
Mobius was at ARMA to support records management solutions, including ViewDirect, which is being marketed as scalable and simple to integrate with other repositories. E-Mail Management is another of its offerings; with full text OCR search, it allows users to treat e-mail as individual records, place it in the customer's record, and it can separate files from a batch. Mobius' ViewDirect RM for SharePoint is an advanced electronic records management solution that is integrated with SharePoint 2003 and 2001. With more than 30 million SharePoint licenses in the field, ViewDirect RM for SharePoint provides a lot of growth opportunity for implementing the Mobius records management offering. ViewDirect RM can be set up to maintain SharePoint documents that have been classified as records in the SharePoint repository or store them in the ViewDirect repository.
Questys provides a variety of imaging software products and solutions including the modules for workflow, agenda automation, Web access, and the automation of outside databases. The Questys Pro products scale from desktop and server applications to enterprise and Web-based versions to allow organizations of all sizes to be able to use them.
Smead highlighted its Smeadlink family of products at ARMA. The company has unique roots in records management, with more than 100 years experience in paper files and office organization. Smead's imaging solution is targeted at the file room, with specific tracking and compliance benefits to end users. Smeadlink Integrated Document Management software provides a unified records management infrastructure for all document types, including paper, and provides access to them with one user interface.
For additional information on Smead's products and services, click here.
Stellent introduced a new records management solution at ARMA, Universal Content Management (UCM) 7.5. With new retention management capabilities, UCM offers DoD 5015.2 Chapter 2- and Chapter 4-certification and allows the use of analytics and other policy factors in the retention and disposition process. It provides single-source discovery and lockdown (for records and nonrecords), a multiplatform browser, and control over retention policies for all content in the same location. The benefits to users include the flexibility to change retention or disposition policies across an organization from a simple point, whenever relevant regulations or standards change.
For additional information on Stellent's products and services, click here.
TOWER Software executives, including President Jan Rosi and International Managing Director Martin Harwood, had some exciting news to share at ARMA. An updated version of TOWER's electronic document and records management system, TRIM Context 6.0, is available and comes with an efficient thin client they have named "ice." This feature allows access to TRIM Context's regularly used functions through Web browsers, with no software download required (which provides remote access by permitted users). TOWER also promoted TRIM Context 6.0's DoD 5015.2-STD certification, which means that it meets the requirements for managing nonclassified (Chapter 2) and classified (Chapter 4) records.
For additional information on TOWER Software's products and services, click here.
Trusted Edge which has its roots in data storage, was a new exhibitor at ARMA this year. The software provider's product, RM EDGE, allows the auto classification of documents into files, such as business, personal, or compliance. It can be programmed to follow the policies of Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, SEC, and other standards. RM EDGE follows the capture and disposal of information using the set policies, including e-mail and customer correspondence, and can purge all drafts when a final report is completed. "This helps retain and file the 5% of documents that are business related, while following the proper business and compliance rules to eliminate or file nonbusiness documents elsewhere," said Mark Wasilko, Trusted Edge Sr. VP and CMO. This software confirms that the appropriate documents have been disposed of, saving time and money compared over the lengthy records searches required for litigation or compliance audits.
Visioneer, Inc. brought a full line of document scanners to demonstrate in preparation for its September 26 release of the Strobe XP 470 GSA-Compliant Scanner. The new OneTouch duplex scanner, developed specifically to meet federal GSA (General Services Administration) standards, scans documents at speeds up to 66 pages per minute and retails for under $1,200. Visioneer also developed and markets the Xerox DocuMate line of production scanners and offers its 20/20 Perfect Vision partner program for resellers looking to work with the company.
For additional information on Visioneer's products and services, click here.
Westbrook Technologies, Inc. has its sights set on midmarket business records managers for its EnableIT software, which allows users to connect any line of business to an image (accounts payable, human resources, etc). SOBA (service oriented business applications), a future technology that uses zonal OCR to validate manual processes, is a hot topic for Westbrook. With several companies developing products in the category (including Westbrook), it is considered the next big advance for the ECM community. SOBA involves a document or e-mail triggering a validation or other process in the system using a series of intelligent policies and procedures, including allowing the system to look outside the enterprise to build, validate, or complete the routine.
Xerox made a couple of announcements related to its DocuShare Records Manager at ARMA, including its certification for compliance under the DoD 5015.2 standard (the benchmark for records management solutions). The latest version of the Web-based ECM software, DocuShare 4.0, must be used to integrate Records Manager. DocuShare Records Manager allows you to classify electronic files as records during any part of a work process, which can be verified by a qualified records manager prior to becoming official records.
ZyLAB announced a corporate identity change during the ARMA conference. After a decade as the "Paper Filing Company," the Board of Directors changed the corporate tagline to "Information Access Solutions." This transformation reflects ZyLAB's escalating shift to providing technology tools for archiving, searching, and retrieving scanned paper documents. The company supplies software for managing customers' changing information requirements, regardless of format.
Featured at ARMA was ZyIMAGE, which is DoD 5015.2 Standard-compliant and offers features including a full XML framework for storage and integration. It is considered scalable and offers advanced full-text retrieval and support for more than 200 languages and 370 electronic file formats.
For additional information on ZyLAB's products and services, click here.
Other Images From ARMA 2005
Brian Sherman is chief editor of ECM Connection and Data Storage Connection