Guest Column | May 26, 2020

Content Services: A Missing Link In The Shift To Remote Work

By Christopher McLaughlin, Nuxeo

Remote Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed “working from home” from a trend to a massive reality over just a few short weeks. As a result, businesses around the globe have been scrambling to adopt technologies and processes that enable productivity for their new remote workforces.

Initially, concerns centered around how to equip employees—many of whom had never worked from home before—with the necessary hardware and communication platforms (e.g. Laptops, Zoom, etc.). After that, all work-from-home (WFH) employees needed secure access to the various front, middle, and back office systems they use in their daily work. Now, business leaders are realizing that much of the information required for working with these systems is spread across a variety of different silos (or, worse, not even digitized). In essence, WFH employees are connected and ready to do their jobs but can’t—because they are not able to access the content effectively or efficiently.

Is there a way out of this conundrum? What can you do to tear down silos and provide WFH employees with uniform access to information?

The key is to implement a Content Services Platform (CSP).

WFH + CSP = Smart Business

Among its many attributes, a modern CSP is especially compelling right now because it combines content and process management to enable what should be your overarching business operations goal: to connect disparate sources within the business so that every WFH employee has the right information at the right time and can do relevant and useful things with that information.

Effective content management always has been about data – or metadata – the data that we typically attribute to content that helps users to find and retrieve critical information when, where, and how they need it. After all, how is anyone expected to find the information they need by browsing through content with no indexing or metadata attached?

A recent study conducted by Nuxeo revealed that on average, people spend just under an hour every working day looking for information, and they search across an average of nine different systems to find what they need. This problem is only going to worsen as more people continue to work from home over time. It is also a reality of the proliferation of collaborative apps – tools like SharePoint, DropBox, and Slack – and how people work with content. The simple truth is that the number of information silos in your organization will only continue to increase.

CSP can help address the issue, enabling people to be more productive by providing a single location to access all the content within an organization – a strategy known as content federation.

Modern platforms take it one step further by integrating AI into the process. An AI-infused CSP automatically applies intelligent metadata tags to both new and existing content, providing more sophisticated and business-specific descriptions that can be used to link content together with other related materials at scale. By connecting multiple legacy applications in this way, organizations now have a foundation to begin automating workflows using content that comes from multiple sources, delivering information that WFH employees need to ensure processes keep running smoothly.

For example, a CSP can be particularly beneficial for improving customer service and claim processing workflows. Think about all the customer service representatives (CSRs) who are now working from home. Not only do customer calls and chats need to be re-routed to them; these CSRs also need access to the same customer, account, and product information they had at the office. Plus, they need remote access to product manuals, documentation, and other critical content so they can effectively respond to customer inquiries.

Or think about a WFH claims adjustor. Assigning them a new auto accident claim typically means providing access to a Claims Processing system, like Guidewire. Then, to process the claim, they also need access to a variety of other content, including policy data, photos of the accident, police reports, and damage estimates. Virtualizing this information and the associated workflows is critical. The same holds true when it comes to processing mortgage documents. If you cannot virtualize this information, you cannot virtualize the back office, which is vital to keep business running.

Fundamentally, a CSP is built around one simple philosophy: regardless of the content type or where it is stored, the CSP will provide access to all content for any app, process, service, or solution that needs it. That means CSPs inherently addresses many of the core challenges of working remotely.

COVID-19 has created countless new challenges for all of us. But in crisis comes opportunity – and while shelter-in-place orders will end, many companies have already decided to allow employees to work from home indefinitely. Regardless of where your employees are located, the future of work will rely on leveraging intelligent content management solutions that create and maintain core business processes. For some, it may be a critical factor in attracting and retaining the next generation of talent. For others, it will provide a cost-effective means to scale their business during peak process times, such as health insurance open enrollment periods or upticks in mortgage refinancing requests when interest rates dip.

Be adaptable and adopt the appropriate technology now—and that will help ensure business continuity throughout what are certain to be dynamic times ahead.

About The Author

Christopher McLaughlin is Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Nuxeo where he leads the long-term product and go-to-market strategy for the company’s modern Content Services Platform (CSP). He has over 20 years of experience in the enterprise content management (ECM) space across multiple industries, including financial services, insurance, and product marketing and manufacturing. Christopher specializes in advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning, with a focus on automating workflows and other digital business processes.