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The ISV headache: Build it or Buy it? Meeting the Challenges of Software Feature/ Functionality Delivery

Embedding Alfresco Technology in Your Application as an OEM or White Label Partner

In this new blog series, we will focus on uncovering the unique challenges that software product and engineering executives face when building modern applications, and specifically how OEM licensing can help to address those requirements.

One recurring challenge for software product teams is the constant need to prioritize feature requirements based on customer demand, while struggling with finite development resources and limited time.  You need to stay focused on developing your core product while satisfying the critical needs of your most important customers.

Difficult Decisions: To Build or To Buy?

It comes as no surprise that product leaders are constantly weighing the pros and cons of building or buying the features they need to deliver.  If the features and functionality you need are outside your company’s core competency, building can lead to substandard user experiences and a constant race to stay ahead of expanding customer requirements.  Buying certainly has its own challenges, like unknown costs or the risk of being locked into a proprietary technology.

What are some of the most important considerations in a build vs. buy scenario?  Here’s what I’ve learned based on almost twenty years in the IP licensing business.

Build

  • Will it take longer and cost more than we expected? Features that aren’t core are always the first to be delayed and deprioritized.   You may not have the right talent or skill set to realistically build this.
  • What are you skipping in order to build? This could be a big distraction from your core product mission.  You may not want to keep building and supporting this – is it something you can commit to maintaining and enhancing to keep pace with the competition?
  • Can you build it fast enough to outpace and differentiate from our competition? Maybe this is not the optimal focus in terms of maximizing differentiation.
  • Can we stay ahead of customer requirements as they expand over time? It’s important to remember that today’s innovations are tomorrow’s table stakes.  Requirements are not static.

Buy

  • Will technology license costs be transparent and align with how you sell our application? You don’t want to be surprised by ballooning costs or be forced to adopt an arbitrary license model that introduces sales friction or administrative burden.
  • Is the licensed technology open or proprietary? Learning and supporting a new technology will impact time to market and operational costs.  A modern development environment and support for industry standards are critical to minimize integration costs.
  • Does the licensed technology give you the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements? It needs to support your strategy and roadmap, not just current tactical requirements.  For example, does the licensed technology make it easy to deploy your application in the cloud?
  • Is the technology extensible, making it easy to integrate with our application? It’s not just your own application, but also integrating with our customers’ environments.  Open APIs and support for modern container and microservices-based architectures might be key considerations.

In summary, it’s important to take a balanced approach when evaluating the pros and cons of build vs. buy.  Cost and time are key factors, but alignment with strategy is equally critical and can often get lost in the scramble to respond to constant customer and internal pressure.

In future posts, we’ll examine the challenges and considerations one by one in more detail. In the meantime, learn more about Alfresco’s OEM Licensing Program.

The Future of Content Management

It’s no secret, the state of the industry is changing; the industry is re-scoping itself and we are at the forefront of this new entity. The term ECM can no longer define the space.  Organizations are starting to transform themselves as digital enterprises and adopting technology as their strategic differentiator.

Gartner, Forrester and, just recently, AIIM set out to define this change and what the new industry would look like. Gartner believes that ECM is retired and will be replaced by the term “Content Services.” Forrester also believes that the market is moving towards Content Services, but split the market into two – 1) Transactional Content Services and 2) Business Content Services. AIIM has taken a different approach and believes that the industry is moving to, what they call, Intelligent Information Management where data and content live together and the problems that exist in organizations need to be solved by both data management and content management technologies.

What does Alfresco believe? What is the future of ECM look like to us? We believe that companies approaches need to be different. They way organizations will design their systems will be centered around how people AND information AND content become part of the ever-changing, ever-adaptable business process. They need to build an infrastructure where companies can react quickly and leverage data and insights to make decisions. Current system infrastructures can no longer cope with this agile approach, especially when organization move to the cloud. The future of Content Management boils down to four pillars – Data Information, Modular Architecture, Open Source and Movement to the Cloud. These 4 pillars are forcing a radical change to how companies are using technology as a differentiator.

Pitney Bowes’s Developer Hub and Capital One’s DevExchange, are just two example of how organizations are leveraging technology as a differentiator. They, both, have opened their APIs so other companies can find it easier to integrate and build solutions off their platforms. They are quickly transforming themselves as technology organizations and doing so, by leading with their developer community.

It is, nonetheless, an interesting time for our industry and an interesting time for organizations to redefine themselves through technology.

Delivering Superior Service to Ensure Continuous Customer Success

Demands for intuitive customer experience and instantaneous customer support pressure technology companies to either deliver or face abandonment. As recently seen in the airline industry, customers treated poorly results in social media uproar, with even Congress getting involved. While many support teams look to emerging technologies like chat bots to speed response times, quality and consistency is king in the world of support. I am incredibly proud that our team has continued to improve customer satisfaction scores for three years in a row. But high customer satisfaction scores are only part of a customer’s success story.  Customers enjoy the most success and realize the quickest time to value when great technology gets paired with exceptional service.  Our customer’s success has happened as a result of that great technology and the team members throughout the Customer Success organization who embrace our vision of Ensuring Continuous Customer Success and by staying true to a mission that’s focused on 3 things for our customers:

  1. Delivering outstanding results
  2. Providing world class experiences
  3. Ensuring quick realization of business value

As an organization, we reiterate this mission in every team meeting.  When we develop goals, they are centered around this mission, and when we have to make tough decisions, we ask whether the decision we’re making aligns to this mission.  If it doesn’t, we go back to the drawing board.

Alfresco is dedicated to customer success and delivering outstanding results and business value. Our support services are designed to help our customers get the most from their Alfresco investment and are specifically tailored to meet business needs.

We offer the highest level of customer support so that you can leverage our expertise and instead focus on what matters most to you – serving your own clients.

To learn more about Alfresco Support & Services, please visit: https://www.alfresco.com/support

8 extraordinary ways Digital Flow can help solve your digital transformation problems

Digital transformation. It’s a journey that every organization is on, to one extent or another, but few are seeing the promised results of new systems and processes they’ve implemented. Here at Alfresco, we think it comes down to having Digital Flow.

If you’re not seeing the results you expected from your digital transformation efforts, maybe you haven’t reached your flow state. The recently published Alfresco and Forbes eBook gives a great overview of what you can achieve.

Still not convinced? Here are 8 ways Digital Flow can speed you towards a better way of working:

1.     Digital Flow breaks down barriers

Digital Flow looks at things from both a process and an information point of view.

It’s making sure that silos are broken down and all disjointed parts of the organization are working coherently to a common purpose – whether that purpose is servicing customer requests or performing a compliance operation.

Digital Flow is all about connecting the dots inside the organization and making sure it doesn’t operate in silos.

2.    Digital Flow transforms more than just data

I think a common misunderstanding with an idea like Digital Flow is that a lot of people focus on the data – the CRM or the product databases. But there is a lot of information in the form of content and documents.

You can’t just look at certain aspects of your organization, you have to look at it as a whole. Digital Flow helps you understand all your unstructured content and discover how that interacts with your processes.

3.    Digital Flow gives you a wider perspective

Digital Flow and digital transformation are similar concepts. But where digital transformation quite often gets focused on the customer interaction, on the front end, Digital Flow extends way beyond the contact point with the customer, across the whole value chain.

It looks at the customer journey as a whole experience, not just from the website or the mobile phone or the call center. Whatever your entry point is, Digital Flow means working across all the touch points and making sure actions are followed up in a similarly digital manner all the way through the experience.

4.    Digital Flow is a way to plug gaps

Unsuccessful digital transformation means you end up having gaps. And gaps mean two things:

  1. They mean delays. Things get stuck on the way and you get lag on the process. There’s unnecessary frustration, chasing around to make things happen and following through to check if those things did happen.
  2. They create a lot of manual processes. Rather than a system driving an experience, you get things stuck in people’s email inboxes, with attachments that have to be processed and passed on to someone else. It wastes both time and valuable resource.

At the end of the day, gaps also frustrate the customer or the partner (or whoever the third party is) because the experience is not as good or efficient as it could be.

5.     Digital Flow is impartial to customers, suppliers or partners

It’s all part of the same concept. An organization is facing outwards. Facing outwards could be facing customers or it could be facing a supply chain, partners or an external legal group.

Interaction points with whatever sits outside that firewall, need to be digital and efficient.

On the customer side you’ve got the commercial aspects of trying to maintain customer loyalty and develop the relationship.

When it comes to third parties you also want to be flexible. You want to be able to add and remove partners when necessary, to build a fluid ecosystem that meets your needs better. That could be outsourcing parts of your own process or having commercial relationships with a third party.

6.    Digital Flow is a part of every department

It doesn’t start with IT, or the architects. They will have to deal with the implementation side of it, but you need to start from a business perspective.

The design thinking part of Digital Flow says how you do it isn’t relevant. You have to look at the journey of that interaction or that transaction holistically and ask, who is involved? Which departments are required? What is the expected behavior? Is it intuitive?

From there, you deduce what you need and how you orchestrate it. It has to start from the experience in, rather than from an architectural blueprint out.

7.     Digital Flow takes the long term view

If you try to do this from a technology perspective, it becomes too complicated. There are far too many moving parts to create a solution.

Digital transformation doesn’t start or end with technology. It has cultural implications, operational implications, organizational implications. It needs to be a whole business journey.

You need to have different groups accessing different information in different ways. Technology has a key role but it is an enabler, not the driver. The business has to come first.

The commitment and the ownership is more important that the technology implications.

What is also critically important, is that support for Digital Flow change, is built into the design. For Digital Transofrmation to succeed, the systems need to flex and change constantly. They need to adapt to new business models and fast fail cycles.

8.    Digital Flow is a cultural shift more than a technology investment

It’s a question of believing in it, and thinking in a different way by applying design thinking. And then translating that, on the architect’s level, to the open thinking and platform thinking that supports that to be able to deliver it.

Effective digital transformation is simple when you have Digital Flow. To find out where you can begin your journey, download the Forbes eBook.

A Strategic Approach to Records Management Yields Dividends For a Financial Regulator

May 6, 2010, was no ordinary day. In a mere 36 minutes, the Dow Jones plunged a historic 998 points. The stock market lost a trillion dollars. Dozens of stocks fell to a penny a share. The “flash crash” led to the arrest of a London trader and a new SEC mandate for one of the largest U.S. financial regulatory organizations.

The new rules meant capturing, storing, analyzing and managing more digital data – including vital records –  than ever before. With the need to innovate fast and on a multi-petabyte scale, the organization chose to migrate its systems to Alfresco Digital Business Platform deployed on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

With Alfresco on AWS, they have converted a regulatory constraint into an opportunity for modernization. It has created a flexible platform that can adapt to changing market dynamics while providing the following:

  • 400-times faster responses to interactive queries
  • On-demand big data (billions of records)
  • Superior cybersecurity
  • Self-sufficiency and freedom from proprietary solutions
  • $20 million in annual savings for the cloud alone

The NARA 2019 mandate deadline is fast approaching for the U.S. government agencies. You too can transform digital records management within your agency, cut costs, increase efficiency, and better support your agency’s mission.

To hear more about Alfresco on AWS, join us on June 6th at Washington Nationals Park at the Alfresco Government Summit. You’ll also hear speakers from GSA, NARA, DoD & more discuss digital transformation, information governance, cloud strategy & more. Visit our website to see the full agenda and Register Today!

DocsNow as opposed to Docs at some point

I’m excited to share this guest post from Adam Storch, VP of Business Solutions from Micro Strategies (MSI), a Strategic System Integrator for Alfresco with the experience of delivering multiple solutions using Alfresco Digital Business platform. Adam discusses an example solution that can be quickly deployed in the cloud using Alfresco – AWS Quick Start and leverages Alfresco’s open-source architecture to easily integrate with MS Outlook and Office.

When working with clients for over 25 years you are presented with a LARGE number of business problems as well as very creative and colorful ways people describe those problems.    Based on the client’s level of frustration, the amount of “colorfulness” used to describe what they need can make it very interesting to try and help them.

If I boil down the needs for most clients coming to us with a business problem, it’s about how do I let my users experience a Content Services solution and not just see demonstrations, PowerPoints and 8×10 glossy photos?  While video is king and yes we have over 40 Alfresco solution videos on our website, you can’t really duplicate hands on experience through video.

The DocsNow solution using Alfresco Content Services sitting on top of AWS allows clients to provide their users with a robust solution for interacting with documents through their Browser, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office, and this complete solution can be delivered in just a few days.

Is It Magic?

It’s not magic, although after seeing what my development team can do I wonder if they spent some time with David Blaine or David Copperfield.  It’s about pulling together the Alfresco Quick Start on AWS, the solution components that Micro Strategies has put together over the years and considerable focus on devising a solid deployment strategy to the cloud.

Alfresco’s Outlook Integration – Tagging metadata while saving an e-mail with attachments

Are you still with me? Because we have a video demonstration (you did not see this coming?) to give you a preview of the user experience (http://www.microstrat.com/docs-now), a video demonstration and how you can get started.

MSI Office Integration – Opening a PDF from a Favorite folder while inside MS-Word

Keep It Simple … For Your Users

The most import thing to keep in mind for this solution is allowing users to do their jobs without thinking about a new interface.  Allow them to work with their emails and do everything they need to do with a content repository.  Make it possible for them to search for a document while in MS-Word and open up any office or PDF document from any MS-Office application or Acrobat.   This is a dream that can be realized!  Too dramatic?  Okay, but we need to allow users to do what they need to do and not think about applications, formats and other topics not germane to the user accomplishing their objective.

We as solution providers need to keep in mind we have one objective and that is to make our user’s jobs easier.  We may not make them perfect, perhaps looking for a high five at the end of the day from them might be pushing our luck.  But, if we can make it easier for them to do their job and minimize stress for them… Then mission accomplished.

I realize DocsNow is not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it allows users and clients to touch and feel a Content Services solution quickly and that will get them to the solution that will make their jobs easier.  Thanks for reading!   The bread comment made me hungry, so I’m going to grab lunch.

Implementing GDPR: From uncertainty to actual solutions

For the last couple of months, not a day passes by that I do not see yet another article, blog post or email on GDPR (the new EU General Data Protection Regulation).

It seems that every vendor in the Information Management industry – regardless of technical discipline – has an opinion on the subject. However, most articles provide little more than another iteration of the key GDPR requirements and the fact that the regulation deadline is imminent (25 May 2018), its scope is extending beyond the EU boundaries, and that the potential penalties are severe ($20m or 4% of global annual turnover).

Very few of these posts, offer any practical solutions that help an organisation to address GDPR holistically.

GDPR, at its core, is the archetypal Information Governance problem: understand what personal information an organisation has, understand why it is being held, who is responsible for it, secure it, and manage its use appropriately, in order to protect the individual it relates to. Any realistic GDPR implementation needs to service three key requirements:

Manage GDPR information: Identify what information is subject to GDPR, profile that information with metadata that describe its origin, its purpose, its locality, the justification and consents associated with it, apply appropriate security and protection from internal and external risks, and manage its complete lifecycle from acquisition, through processing, to disposition. Including a complete audit trail for its access.

Manage GDPR processes: From capturing explicit consent when requesting personal information, to servicing Subject Access requests, to data portability and purging personal data on-request. GDPR controlled processes need to be performed in a disciplined and controlled way in order to ensure compliance, and they need to provide complete transparency, auditability and reporting to regulators. Increasing process automation will reduce the GDPR overheads for the organisation.

Align to business discipline: GDPR sensitive information will be accessed and processed by different business departments in the context of various business operations: HR, Marketing, Operations, Finance, etc., all need to control and process personal information. It is therefore imperative that any GDPR sensitive information is accessed through a set of controlled services that ensure that information is protected and only used for the purpose it was intended, nothing else. That means that GDPR-sensitive information should only be accessed through a set of open GDPR-aware services that transcend roles, organisational structures, and systems, to ensure regulatory compliance is observed consistently.

In other words, GDPR compliance requires a services based Digital Business Platform that secures information, controls and automates compliance processes and can seamlessly integrate into every part of the business that requires access to GDPR-sensitive information. It needs to be built on a modern architecture and be able to be deployed and grow either on-premises or in the cloud, supporting both existing infrastructures and future deployment roadmaps. And it needs to be delivered in virtually zero-time, because the GDPR compliance deadline of 25 May 2018 is closer than most IT delivery projects can accommodate.

If you would like to hear how Alfresco’s GDPR Governance Services can accelerate your GDPR implementation plan, please get in touch with me at: George.Parapadakis@Alfresco.com

Saxion University Wins HBO Award for Open Content Management Platform

 

 

 

 

 

 

The library at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands has just won its first HBO award for a new open access content management platform, powered by Alfresco.

Saxion University is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands with close to 27,000 students. The university needed a way to publish as much research online as possible according to its publication policy.

With Alfresco, Saxion was able to improve its enterprise content management platform to include this data, as well as the school’s research data and related publications, as well as exam data and utilize user-defined metadata to enable better search functionality.

For many years, the university has had an open access policy, enabling researchers and lecturers to make their content and publications readily available. The HBO award recognizes Saxion’s significant efforts to enforce this policy through the implementation of the new platform.

The award was presented by the country’s HBO (Hoger beroepsonderwijs) institutions, universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands dedicated to higher learning and professional training.

With the new content management platform, Saxion’s librarians can also assign metadata to categorize publications. For example, those publications under embargo now include the length of the embargo and are automatically released when the embargo period has expired. This makes information and research accessible even faster.

The Alfresco platform enables Saxion to centrally store all of its research data and content while also providing the flexibility to integrate with other technologies. All publishing, archiving and evaluations can now be done through the new platform.

Saxion’s ambition with the platform is for it to support a number of content related processes within the Universities research projects like the application of subsidies.

Are you looking for a platform to build a process and content management solution for your organization? The Alfresco Digital Business Platform lets IT quickly develop modern, engaging solutions that accelerate the flow of business. The open, modular platform is easy to build on, integrate and extend for fast time to value and true digital transformation. Learn more and download your free trial today.

Just One Year After Launch, Alfresco’s Global Partner Program Soars with More than 40 New Partners and Recognition from CRN®

Just one year ago, we kicked off Alfresco’s expanded Global Partner Program—and thanks to the commitment of our channel partners and the Alfresco sales team, it’s already been a phenomenal success.

Here’s a recap of the achievements of the past 12 months:

  • Achieved a 5-Star rating in CRN’s 2017 Partner Program Guide, which recognizes us as a best-practices partner for our channel programs
  • Signed 40 new partners including Atos, CGI, Cognizant, Deloitte, Perficient, Ricoh US, and more.
  • Introduced the deal registration program, which exceeded internal targets by more than 150 percent within the first eight months.
  • Focused on building key partnerships and technology integrations, such as those with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Salesforce.com, and gained early access availability as a single-tenant managed service hosted in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud.
  • Increased investment in partner technical and sales training, resulting in an increase in technical certifications with partners in the past 12 months.
  • Cataloged more than 100 partner use cases and solutions that support partners in describing the power of the Alfresco platform to customers.

The Global Partner Program is a win/win/win for partners, customers, and Alfresco. It enables system integrators, software vendors, infrastructure providers, and resellers to build and deliver differentiated digital business solutions on the Alfresco platform, it helps everyone involved—those partners, their customers, and our business—to thrive.

I’m pleased that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has recognized the excellence of this program, and also personally thrilled that CRN recognized me as a 2017 Channel Chief. But the real payoff is in seeing more businesses benefit from the Alfresco platform.

“While helping customers achieve digital transformation through streamlined enterprise content intelligence solutions, it’s critical that our team stays ahead of any industry or technology trends,” said Ben Hartner, Director and Head of Content Management Platform Services at Perficient, an Alfresco partner. “The Alfresco Global Partner Program provides our subject matter experts with the latest platform information and best practices for process and content solutions in a hybrid or cloud environment.”

To learn more about Alfresco’s Global Partner Program, visit https://www.alfresco.com/partners.

The Art of Possible with the New Alfresco Digital Business Platform

During AWS Summit keynote this week (April 19) in San Francisco, Dr. Werner Vogels talked about giving their users/customers Super Powers, with the first and a really important one being the Supersonic Speed. As we partner closely with AWS, this Supersonic Speed is very much aligned with what Alfresco Digital Business Platform delivers to our customers, which is the time to value.

The opportunities to make business flow faster, more seamlessly and more intelligently are endless with Alfresco Digital Business Platform. Seeing is believing, so we built a live demo of the Alfresco platform automating a vehicle maintenance process in combination with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Echo & Alexa, Twilio and Decooda.

The demo showcases how customers can use Alfresco’s flexible open source platform to quickly and easily:

  1. Integrate with other microservice architecture and technologies, and
  2. Build, deploy, and modify any solutions that involve business critical processes and content to shorten time to value in delivering a truly innovative digital customer experience
Car Trouble? Talk to Echo

In the demo, the customer asks Alexa to schedule a service for his car. The request kicks off a process within Alfresco that automatically books an appointment at the dealership. Twilio, a mobile communication service integrated with Alfresco, sends a text message confirming the appointment.

The service technician then uses an application built with the Alfresco Development Framework to track service bookings and complete a service record. After the technician fills out a service report, the system automatically messages the customer that his car is ready for pickup.

The system also prompts the customer for feedback on the repairs, which is analyzed by Decooda, a customer sentiment analysis solution. If Decooda flags the response as negative, the application will trigger a workflow that automatically follows up to make sure the customer’s concerns are addressed.

How It All Works

This demo shows how companies can build a new digital experience for customers and employees that is backed by automatic, seamless information flows. In this use case, the business processes are modeled and run using Alfresco Process Services. All the content generated (service report, voice message, extracted metadata) are stored and managed by Alfresco Content Services. The entire flow can be modified quickly and easily to improve the customer experience and it’s simple to integrate new or different microservices technologies. Alfresco on AWS enables rapid configuration and deployment of these types of digital business solutions.

For a deeper technical dive on the demo, see this blog.

Now, It’s Your Turn

This is just one example of what’s possible with the Alfresco platform, which can be quickly configured to automate many other business processes. Our AWS Quick Start provides you ready-to-deploy production grade template along with deployment guide so you can take advantage of building powerful solutions using Alfresco on AWS.

A Platform for Continuous Strategic Differentiation

The car demo is fun, but it’s about much more than just how a digital auto repair business can build better customer relationships. Your organization too can evolve into a true digital business that uses technology to achieve a strategically differentiated relationship with your customers.

The flexibility of the Alfresco platform and its streamlined process modeling, content management, information governance and integration capabilities enable continuous strategic differentiation. As the platform reveals more insights into what your customers want, it can be put back to work on iterating the next version of the digital business. The time to value is striking and your organization is positioned to remain in the competitive forefront.

The Perfect Storm Enabling Digital Transformation

I have been talking a lot lately about Alfresco’s modern approach to digital transformation.  I see a lot of momentum in the market driven by a few converging factors, namely:

  1. Organizations of all types wanting a better customer/constituent experience,
  2. Brittle legacy platforms’ inability to be nimble/agile to deliver that experience, and
  3. Movement to IaaS providers from traditional on-premises data centers for related agility and cost reasons.

I really see this as the “perfect storm” of market dynamics contributing to our growth, and it’s that 3rd point that I wanted to provide another proof point on today.

As noted in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management –  Business Content Services, Q2 2017 report, we have been using our partnership with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) team to make it easy to deploy Alfresco on AWS.  As the only provider of Content Services listed in the AWS Quick Start directory, we believe this really highlights our differentiation, power and openness in supporting these types of process, content and compliance-centric use cases.  I love how an AWS Quick Start provides guidance to provision a full production-ready instance in just a handful of clicks in about 40 minutes.  With over 3,500 downloads of the current Quick Start guide in the first couple of months, we think this is good validation from our ecosystem that we are headed in the right direction.

Our commitment to making it easy for our users to utilize Alfresco on AWS continues today as the latest version of the AWS Quick Start for Alfresco Content Services was posted.  This latest release deploys Alfresco Content Services 5.2 in an AWS VPC and includes native support for AWS Aurora RDS.  This is a powerful combination as using Aurora, which was “born in the cloud” was used in the billion document benchmark, provides a great combination of scale and simplicity that I believe many of our customers will appreciate.  Many of the technical details are outlined in the reference architecture or you can also get a summary from the AWS Quick Start team blog post.

Due to the inherent openness of Alfresco, while we can be deployed in a variety of environments, we have a bias towards AWS, based on customer preference and our own depth in the platform for many years.  This updated AWS Quick Start is a great progress that continues building on the following traction that Alfresco and AWS are having in the marketplace:

  • Our billion document benchmark and reference architecture which ran on the Amazon Aurora database,
  • The recent news on providing the tooling needed to run on AWS,
  • The early access program for Alfresco as a managed service in an AWS VPC
  • We see a lot of traction across our customer base, and in Public Sector in particular and are happy to be part of the AWS Public Sector Partner Program.

I am happy to show innovation like this to make it easier to leverage the power of Alfresco + AWS as I really think this combination just adds more power to the “perfect storm” that is facing our industry.   I urge you to get started today and check out the latest AWS Quick Start for Alfresco Content Services.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how Alfresco may help your journey towards Digital Transformation so drop me a note anytime if you think it’s an area we can help.

Enjoy!

Infographic: 6 Signs Your Legacy ECM is Holding You Back

You know that your legacy Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system is no longer flexible enough to help your business meet its strategic goals. But the headache of replacing your legacy system and migrating all that content keeps you from doing what you know needs to be done.  Does that sound familiar?

But according to AIIM, the organization run by and for information professionals, outdated software is holding back enterprises from achieving key business outcomes. It’s putting you at risk. And they say it’s actually costing you more than a new system.

Despite the availability of modern, open solutions, many organisations still rely on ageing systems to manage their information. Frequently, these legacy systems are grounded in architecture unsuitable for the modern era and don’t meet the demands of today’s workforce.

AIIM say that there are six signs it’s time to move on from your legacy ECM and have put together this summary of them in the infographic below.

Want to learn more? Read the whole story by downloading the AIIM Cost of Standing Still eBook now.

Always Open, Always Innovating: Why Our Approach Continues to Gain Industry Recognition

A little over a year ago, I wrote how Alfresco has been working to address a big opportunity in the enterprise software market: being at the intersection of content, process, governance and apps. I also wrote that the best was still yet to come: we are placing a lot of muscle behind new product releases that further showcase our modern, open, modular, developer- and cloud-friendly approach.

Today strikes a particularly high note for the company, with some of the best industry minds, in our opinion, validating our approach. Alfresco has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management –  Business Content Services, Q2 2017 evaluation. We have also been named in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management – Transactional Content Services, Q2 2017 as a Strong Performer.

Because I am able to talk with so many forward-thinking organizations, I don’t find it surprising that Forrester and other analyst firms keep saying that ECM disruption will accelerate. I see proof in the market every day.  Consider that a commissioned global survey of IT professionals, conducted by Forrester Consulting last year on Alfresco’s behalf, uncovered a sharp divide between the expressed need of enterprises to undergo digital transformation and their ability to accelerate that transformation. The authors of the “Break Down Content and Information Silos to Accelerate the Flow of Work” study highlighted that the convergence of content and processes is a critical linchpin to a successful digital transformation. Those that complete that transformation will become “digital predators” – but those that fail will become “digital prey.”

The increased need for organizations to avoid falling “digital prey” is contributing to the ECM market evolution and Alfresco is uniquely positioned to help organizations capitalize on this critical change. We believe our appearance in both segments of the latest Forrester Wave for ECM illustrates that our investments to strengthen the depth and breadth of our platform and to help more partners deliver digital business solutions across multiple vertical industries, is paying off.

Take the example of one of the largest digital banks in the U.S., which in 2015 initiated a sweeping technology overhaul that included giving up on their existing company-wide approach to content management. That legacy, inflexible ECM system wasn’t working for them. No one could agree on a uniform experience, and they couldn’t get themselves on-boarded on time.

The bank unit sought to increase efficiency, enable new digital interactions and support a more client-focused way of doing business. They wanted to “wrap the bank around the client, not the client around the bank.”

In 2016, the bank launched a SaaS digital document management product, powered by Alfresco Content Services running on Amazon Web Services The product now enables a complete view of documents across all commercial lines of business – from any application. The solution supports end-to-end digital transactions that transform how the bank operates and engages clients.

The bank credits the open APIs provided by the Alfresco architecture that satisfies diverse requirements, including meeting regulatory obligations, minimizing deployment risks, and a single access point for all digitized documents.

This customer example – and many others – demonstrate that Alfresco is way past simple document collaboration: our robust capabilities and mature platform offer deeper digital process automation, case management across multiple use cases, and the enablement of efficient mission-critical processes.

While the market continues to transition, and players contort inside closed boxes that don’t meet the needs of tomorrow’s digital enterprises, we believe we will continue to help customers that want more business insights from their structured (and unstructured) content and associated business processes. We believe we have the right digital platform that allows customers address their incredibly complex content, process, and compliance needs.

Why? Because Alfresco delivers both business content and transactional content services – with an open, modern, modular, developer-and cloud-friendly approach.

See what the Forrester reports say for yourselves and get a copy of The Forrester Wave™:  Enterprise Content Management – Business Content Services and The Forrester Wave™:  Enterprise Content Management – Transactional Content Services Q2 2017 reports. Download both Forrester Waves here.

If your organization is looking to push the boundaries of the definition of “content” and how it’s used to drive digital business, please go to Alfresco’s website at www.alfresco.com.

 

 

 

New York Philharmonic Digital Archives – Preserving 175 years of history with Alfresco

This is a guest post from Dave Giordano, President and founder of Alfresco partner, Technology Services Group.  Dave is a technical architect and visionary with deep experience in enterprise content management.  He is widely acknowledged for his expertise and shares his thoughts on the technology behind the Leon Levy Digital Archives.

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the third oldest in the world. As such, the Philharmonic’s Leon Levy Digital Archives is one of the oldest and most important orchestral research collections in the world. It traces the entire history of the Philharmonic and its more than 15,000 performances around the globe and is an important record of cultural history in New York City and beyond.

The 2016-2017 season marks the 175th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic.  Starting in 2009, the Philharmonic set a goal to preserve and make accessible worldwide over 160 years American Culture Heritage with the creation of the Digital Archives.  The Philharmonic is one of the first institutional repositories to embark on a digitization project of this size and scope with the intent of making all digitized material available to anyone anywhere in the world. In order to complete the project, New York Philharmonic needed a highly scalable document management system that could handle heavy daily use while continuously streaming large volumes of data. The solution needed to be cost-effective, handle large files and have strong digital asset management capabilities.

When the project began, picking a robust repository was a major driver for the implementation effort and the team made the easy choice of Alfresco.  TSG was added to the team in 2010 based on our migration experience and, “NY Phil” as we like to call them, remain one of our favorite clients and with one of the most innovative uses of Alfresco.  The first phase of Digital Archives included:

  • Digitization of 1.3 million pages including 3,300 programs, 8,000 folders and business records, 4,200 glass lantern slides, 8,500 photographs; and 72 scrapbooks of fragile press clippings.
  • All files uploaded to Alfresco with 10 million notes and 5 Terabytes of data.
  • Due to the high quality of the documents (Color high-resolution scans), the eventual archives could include as much as two Petabytes.

The success of the NY Phil team, TSG and Alfresco resulted in the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives being named the 2012 Alfresco Implementation of the Year.  The digital archives provide the perfect example of how open source technologies can be leveraged to create a robust and scalable enterprise solution: using OpenMigrate for high volume content ingestion, OpenAnnotate for face tagging, Solr for faceted search, and Alfresco as the central repository. These technologies make up the key architectural components driving its success.

Although the NY Philharmonic Digital Archives may not be considered your “typical” ECM client, best practices can be gleaned regardless of industry and content management needs.  Leveraging Alfresco as a content platform allowed the digital archives to easily expand with additional content types, metadata, and media formats.  All digital archive content is also accessible via REST-based services, which will allow other NY Philharmonic sites to easily incorporate digital archive content in future phases.

In its first four months, the Digital Archives received 47,800 visits, 34,000 of those unique. 5,264 visitors returned to the site nine or more times, and 885 of those returned 100 or more times. Leonard Bernstein’s Mahler Ninth score had been viewed nearly 25,000 times.

Those interested in seeing the success of the effort can simply look online at http://archives.nyphil.org/

TSG and Alfresco are excited to wish the New York Philharmonic congratulations on their current anniversary and continued success in the future.  Additional information available in a detailed TSG case study and an Alfresco success story and video.