Month: August 2018

Why Your Business Needs Enterprise Content Management

Posted by on August 28, 2018

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Having the right business solution that will drive operations makes a difference in productivity and efficiency. As content continues to remain an integral part of an organization’s communication, marketing and sales strategy, learning how to properly manage this content is key.

Getting Down to Basics – Enterprise Content Management in a Nutshell

Enterprise content management (ECM) collects and organizes information that will be used by a specific audience. It combines a number of elements, such as methods, strategies and tools that capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver information to keep the organization running.

What are these elements, and how do they affect enterprise content management?

The following elements are needed for smooth processes. Let’s break it down:

  • Capturing information requires entering your content into the main system.
  • Management of this information is crucial, as it determines what can be found and used by the person who needs it.
  • Storing this information requires finding the right place within the system. Finding the right system and solution is key.
  • Preserving this information for long-term use makes a difference. It’s archiving and protecting information so it will be available whenever it is needed within the organization.
  • Delivering is putting the information into people’s hands when they need it.

Defining the structure of this content helps determine how it should be compartmentalized. There are a number of sources where content can be derived from, and proper management of these sources can protect your organization now and in the future. There are three types of content: structured, unstructured and semi-structured. This is how they differ:

Structured content

Structured content is well defined and is processed by computers, databases and is a factor in line-of-business solutions. It is comprised of independent parts that can be pulled together in a number of ways to get information needed for a particular purpose. Examples of structured content would be the different fields of a blog post, like the author name, title of the blog post, organization where the author is from, description of the post, meta data, and so forth. This information can then be used in a CMS. These elements are independent of one another, but can be used together.

Unstructured content

This type of content does not have a structure that is fully defined, and is read mostly by humans. Most of this information is produced by office applications such as presentation and word processing programs.

Semi-structured content

This information is between the other two types of content, and includes data that is processed by a computer, but have their own layouts, such as purchase orders, invoices and receipts.

Enterprise content management helps do business better. There are 5 top elements of ECM:

Digitally capturing documents

This includes documents that are created, captured, stored or shared through scanning, content that is already digital, filing and categorizing documents automatically, and electric forms. ECM helps capture these documents in a digital repository to eliminate challenges occurring from using paper.

Storing documents in a digital repository

ECM systems are used to store documents that are critical to business operations while being able to view or make edits, view metadata, and organize those documents in a structure that works. Additional features and benefits include duplicating existing file structures, making full-text searchable scanned and electronic files, direct documents where to go automatically when imported, preview content and navigate through thumbnails of documents. You can also save any changes you make with document check in and out.

The metadata system allows users to build document templates that can be used across documents and folders; create document fields that are reusable to note key document information, including the author and approval time; connect any related documents with attachments through document links; sign and validate documents with digital signatures; and track, display and compare various versions of documents.

Retrieve documents, regardless of location or device

An ECM will help you with finding documents with full-text search, identifying specific elements, words, or other identifiers, and use preset search options once the records have been securely stored. You can conduct a search identifying metadata, annotations or entry names to find the information you need.

Enterprise search helps increase efficiency, cutting down on the time needed to find information, answer requests and more. The need for manual tagging is removed, and users have visual images to quickly find documents without going through numerous files and folders. Users will be able to have the right information at the right time to make better decisions that impact the bottom line.

Automate processes

Some ECM systems have digital automation features that will help eliminate manual tasks to get better results within the organization. An automated process will help the document move through the system, acquiring all the necessary signatures and review needed. You will also be able to identify where any breakdown occurs.

Securing documents

ECM systems can help strengthen compliance risk and optimize records management, from the processes to protections. It can provide restrictive access to content, monitor who uses the system, creates documents, changes passwords, and protect sensitive data.

Integration

Although ECM systems were initially designed to capture, store, and manage content for administrative or financial purposes, it has evolved to include workflows, case management, business process management and enterprise search. ECM’s are often integrated with Web Content Management (WCM) systems or portals to create cohesive digital experience solutions ranging from corporate websites to intranets, social communities, customer portals, and more.

With a system in place like this, your organization will be able to run smoothly and efficiently. Enterprise content management is a viable solution for streamlining processes to focus on business productivity and growth, now and in the future.

Why You Should Consider Migrating from IBM Cloud to AWS

Posted by on August 08, 2018

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently has 33% of the market share for cloud-based solutions – well ahead of any other cloud services provider. IBM Cloud trails behind at 8% adoption, despite entering into the market nearly half a decade ago. AWS has become the standard and leader for global cloud-based services for a number of reasons, which we will outline below. In this article, we’ll outline why you should consider a migration to AWS, what the principle differences are in AWS technology, and the challenges you might encounter during migration.

What Are the Advantages to Amazon Web Services?

AWS claims the vast majority of the cloud-based market, despite competition from major players such as Microsoft, Google, and IBM. What makes AWS the cloud services provider of choice? Having entered into the market early on and supporting many major technologies, AWS has the following benefits:

  • Cost. When comparing the pricing of six different scenarios, AWS came in middle-of-the-road for nearly every one — not bad for the most advanced cloud-based technology. Comparatively, IBM Cloud was the most expensive service for five out of six scenarios. In general, AWS is going to be one of the most cost-effective solutions available.
  • Trust. Many of the largest sites on the Internet are run through AWS, showing that the organization’s services are more than substantial for even the largest applications in the world. Reddit, Netflix, and Etsy are among some of the major platforms that are run through AWS.
  • Scalability. Amazon’s services originated out of its own need to support its ever-growing catalog of applications and technologies. This has created a system that is as scalable as it is reliable, as it was necessary to support Amazon’s tremendous growth as a major eCommerce marketplace. Small businesses and large enterprises can have their growth supported through AWS.
  • History. AWS was first launched in 2006; long before many of the other cloud-based services came into existence. Comparatively, IBM Cloud services did not enter into the market until IBM purchased SoftLayer in 2013. AWS has achieved quite a lot of traction and growth within the market space, which other companies may find it difficult to compete with.
  • User experience. In public comparison, users rated AWS 4.4 with a 79% willingness to recommend. IBM was rated at 3.8 with a 51% willingness to recommend. Areas in which IBM cloud fell short included enterprise integration, developer services, scaling, technical support, and ease of deployment.

Ultimately, AWS represents one of the most advanced, reliable, and scalable cloud-based environments available. Not only is it cost-effective, but it provides superior customer service and user experience.

 AWS vs. IBM Cloud: The Technological Differences

Though they both provide roughly similar services on an enterprise level, the technologies that drive these services differ. Among the most important differences:

  • Artificial intelligence. Amazon provides a suite of artificially intelligent, machine learning systems, including Lex, Polly, Rekognition, and Machine Learning. IBM’s artificial intelligence suite is driven by Watson. Lex and Polly are designed to make natural language emulation and voice language emulation easier.
  • Internet of Things. Amazon provides both an IoT Platform and Greengrass, a software platform that makes it easy to run local data caching, messaging, and computation, making implementing IoT devices easier.
  • Storage and Computation. Amazon’s computational strength and storage are primarily run by its EC2 and S3 systems, which are the same systems that have been leveraged to support its largest applications.
  • Databases. Amazon’s database solutions are focused on DynamoDB, whereas IBM Cloud’s solutions are focused on MongoDB.
  • Analytics. Analytics on Amazon are provided through Athena, EMR, and Kinesis, whereas IBM Cloud’s analytics are provided by their in-house Analytics Services and Cloudera Hosting.

In general, Amazon has a far larger developer toolset available than IBM Cloud. IBM Cloud’s technology is quite advanced in some ways — such as deep data analytics and artificial intelligence. However, Amazon makes it easier to use its services and resources.

Challenges and Considerations When Migrating from IBM Cloud to AWS€‹

Cloud data migration is always complex, regardless of the platforms involved. A cloud data migration will encompass multiple steps and pre-planning efforts. A few of the core challenges include:

  • Managing the migration without downtime. Often, systems will need to be run simultaneously until a “switch over” can occur. A migration may also be done in planned stages, to avoid having to migrate the entirety of the system at once.
  • Ensuring the fidelity of the data transferred. Permissions, metadata, and access control lists may not always be able to be transferred with complete fidelity. This could lead to serious productivity and security issues. Data needs to be verified completely to ensure that this data has been preserved.
  • Utilizing the services that AWS provides. As AWS provides multiple applications and services that IBM Cloud does not, an organization must plan ahead to begin leveraging these utilities once their migration has been completed. Otherwise, they may not get the full advantages of the migration.
  • Transferring data quickly and effectively. For larger systems, there is the practical issue of moving as much data as possible quickly. In an IBM Cloud to AWS transfer, both services will need to communicate with each other to migrate over data and services.

Amazon provides a number of cloud data migration tools, which are intended to streamline this process. These services include AWS Direct Connect, AWS Snowball, and Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration. Nevertheless, it’s often a good idea to involve an expert partner.

Is a migration from IBM Cloud to Amazon Web Services right for your organization? AWS can help your organization reduce its cloud-based expenses, while also providing best-in-class technologies ranging from database storage to artificial intelligence. If you want to expand your organization’s cloud capabilities without sacrificing user experience and reliability, AWS may be the right solution.