Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Revolution in Online Document Management Spells Failure

Randy Davis, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations

Poorly executed requirements gathering leads to outright rebellion in corporate online document management initiatives.
The requirements gathering phase of a project to implement corporate online document management can make or break the initiative’s chance of success. Poorly executed, it can lead to outright rebellion on the part of those expected to use it.  A new white paper – and history lesson – provides fresh insight into how to conduct a successful requirements gathering project for document management.

"Document Management and Mad King George: A Cautionary Tale about Requirements Gathering,” puts the importance of understanding the needs and concerns of those who will actually use an online document management system – and thus are key to its eventual success – into historical perspective.

We have many fascinating lessons from history that serve as cautionary tales for our own leadership challenges. The same bad leadership principles that have historically resulted in botching a job still apply. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what they are and how they apply to our particular situation. None of us have time to repeat old failures.

The white paper briefly illustrates how failure to understand the needs, concerns, experiences and challenges of those who will be most affected by a new online document management system inevitably leads to revolution in the form of rebellion. Then the paper goes on to outline very practical actions to take that help assure acceptance and success.

For a free copy of the report, visit and select Media>Brochures from the Main Menu.

If you have your own insights and opinions as to what leads to success or failure in the initial phases of a document management project, leave your comments below.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barcodes: A Primer for Document Management

Randy Davis, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations

Although they are not a solve-all, barcodes can add efficiency and accuracy to your document management efforts, and should be given serious consideration as part of your best practices. From effectively and automatically passing information for indexing, to triggering a query into an external database, barcodes can help make your document management efforts easier.

Barcodes are simple, universal and inexpensive. They utilize a proven, not experimental, technology. In fact barcodes date back to 1948. The technology has been refined and perfected over the years, and it shows no signs of going away. If you are not using barcodes in your document management practice, perhaps it's time to start.

Years and Years Ago...
A little history. In 1961 barcodes saw their first commercial use by automatically identifying train cars using blue and yellow reflective stripes that represented a six-digit company ID and a four-digit car number. By 1973, the IBM UPC barcode was selected by the National Association of Food Chains as their standard, and the first check-out line scan was made on a pack of Juicy Fruit gum on June 26, 1974.

Now barcodes are ubiquitous, and smart companies continue to make good use of this simple, effective and inexpensive technology.

Wide Application
Barcodes have been developed for many specific applications, such as retail product identification, parts inventory, book publishing, coupons, mail, healthcare, document identification, etc. You need to make sure that you carefully choose the right barcode for your application.

Here are some common barcodes often used with paper products:

  • Bar Code 25 (aka Interleaved 2 of 5): digits only; used in libraries.
  • Bar Code 39 (aka 3 of 9): digits, letters and a sub-set of other characters. This was the first alpha-numeric barcode developed, and the most widely used. It includes A-Z, 0-9, space, and -.$/+%. Code 39 is the standard for the U.S. government and material handling industry.
  • Bar Code 39x: This is an extended version of Code 39, and includes the entire ASCII character set (including lowercase letters and symbols commonly found on a computer keyboard).
  • Bar Code 93: full ASCII character set; various uses.
  • Bar Code 128: full ASCII character set (uses "continuous" symbology; mainly used for human identification on things like driver's licenses)
  • Telepen: full ASCII character set; used in libraries.

Linear barcodes (characterized by a series of lines of varying widths, such as the ones listed above) are optimized for laser scanners, and are optimal for document management applications.

2-D matrix codes, on the other hand (which feature squares or dots arranged in a grid pattern as illustrated on the right), cannot be read by a laser scanner, and instead must be read by scanners utilizing digital camera sensor technology.

Barcode scanners are relatively inexpensive and extremely accurate compared to key-entry. It is not uncommon for key entry operators to make 1 error per 300 characters entered. On the other hand, barcode scanners can achieve an error rate as miniscule as 1 error in 2 million characters!

My point is this: good document management practices may mean incorporating barcodes in order to facilitate document identification, separation, indexing and integration with other database systems. Documents can easily be pre-printed with one or more barcode identifiers that contain information such as document type and account number.

In fact, a number of free barcode fonts are available for download, and can be inserted directly into Word documents, or used to print sheets of barcode labels on Avery sheets such as Product Number 6504.

Which One Is For Me?
The two most commonly used barcodes for document management are Code 128 and Code 39 because they are very accurate, and there are plenty of font generators and software applications that use them. For most document management applications, Code 39 (or 39x) may be your best choice because of its wide use.

The Top Five Uses of Barcodes for Document Management
  1. Document identifiers can be used to automatically separate one document from another and indexed appropriately. A bar code on the first page of a multi-page document within a batch of documents can tell a document management system something along the lines of "This marks the first page of this document. It is of document type 'X.' The following pages all belong to this document. Treat these pages as part of this document until you see another barcode for another document."
  2. Key information (such as account number) can be used to interact with another system's database in order to extract information that can be used to automatically index documents. If, for example, a document needs to associated with account information that already exists in another database (name, address, status, phone, fax, email, department, etc.), the account number barcode can automatically trigger the document management system to request all pertinent information from the account information system database and then use that information to meaningfully and predictably index the document.
  3. By using intelligent capture technology bar codes can be used to accurately collect information, and reduce or eliminate manual key entry and the errors that such a process introduces. Errors in data entry may prevent documents from being retrieved and used for reporting, audit compliance, customer service, etc.
  4. Bar codes can reduce or eliminate the manual cost of separating and indexing electronic documents. If you are capturing documents in batch, and do not have a way to automatically separate one document from another, you will need to sparate them manually or be stuck with individual pages for each document, and perhaps, with no way to easily stitch them together.
  5. Bar codes can also be used to aid a document audit function. For example, if a loan packet is only considered complete when it contains 10 specific documents, a barcode on each document can be used by the document management system to audit the packet, and identify packets that are "complete" or "incomplete."
Here are a couple of resources you may find helpful in using barcodes. These are suggested resources only. I make no endorsements here.

Free Barcode Font
Avery Wizard
Tips and Techniques
To Load a Barcode Font in Word
  1. Download the new barcode font from your preferred source. Assuming it's in a .zip file, unzip it, and go to the folder containing the new fonts.
  2. Start Windows Control Panel
  3. Look for the Fonts icon and click on it to open the fonts folder.
  4. Copy the new barcode font from the folder it's in and paste it into the Windows fonts folder.
How to Add a Barcode to a Document / Form in Word
  1. A good way to use the new barcode font in Word is to create a barcode within a text box that you can position anywhere you want within the document or form.
  2. Use the Insert function in Word to select "Text Box." You'll want to insert a "Simple Text Box."
  3. Once the box is inserted, type in the text you want barcoded, highlight the text, and then choose the barcode font. Make sure that you start and end each entry of the barcode text with an asterisk (*) The asterisk tells the scanning software where the barcode begins and ends.
  4. For example, to create a barcode for "application," you would type it as: *APPLICATION* and it would end up looking like this in barcode form:
  6. Right Click on the text box, choose Format Shape, and remove the lines around the box by choosing No line.
  7. Finally, test the bar code to make sure that it can be read before standardizing it in your documents.

How to Create a Full Barcode Sheet
  1. You can also use Avery Wizard (which installs a new Avery tab in Word). Avery Wizard, when launched from Word, helps you select the label sheet on which you want to print several copies of the same barcode.
  2. Click on the Avery tab, then click on Avery Wizard. Once the wizard launches, click on Next.
  3. Then choose the label sheet product number (you may want to try 6504). Click Next.
  4. Choose the blank design. Click Next.
  5. Choose "Create a sheet of identical layouts." Click Next.
  6. Type in your text. Don't forget the asterisks. Example: *EMPLOYEEAPP*
  7. Highlight the text and change the font to whatever barcode font you loaded into Word. Change the font size to fill up as much of the label as possible. Click Next.
  8. Click Finish. Presto! You have an entire sheet of barcode labels!
  9. Before committing one or more label sheets to the new bar code, test the bar code image to make sure that it can be read properly.
If you found this blog post helpful, please send it along to one of your colleagues via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Email. Don't forget to follow us @egistics

P.S. We are saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Alan Haberman, known as "The man who ushered in the bar code." He was a man who helped improve the world.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some Think Cloud Security Superior to In-house Data Centers

For some in-house data centers,
the data horse has already left the barn!
Randy Davis, VP eGistics

I just attended a panel discussion Webinar titled, "Ready for Cloud Storage? Key Considerations and Lessons Learned,"  hosted by SNIA, Cloud Storage Initiative.

The panel included Kipp Bertke, Manager of Infrastructure & Operations at Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; Ajay Chandramouly, Cloud & Data Center Industry Engagement Manager at Intel; and Nathan McBride, Executive Director of IT at AMAG Pharmaceuticals.

The discussion was meaty and substantial (you can find it here:, but the comments by McBride were downright breathtaking. I would say that he and I had been reading the same articles, but his comments were based on hard-earned experience rather than ivory-tower theorizing.

I was so impressed with his views that I am going to quote him as best I can, and quite extensively, in this blog entry.

The following comments from McBride are in response to my question, "Are cloud security concerns qualitatively different than those for on-premise solutions?" Although the question was misinterpreted to mean security differences between public and private clouds, rather than between cloud solutions and in-house (non-cloud) solutions, McBride's answer was spot on.
“Security is always a concern of mine. It brings me to questions I have to ask myself, and they are 'What is the best possible data center I could build? What’s the most amount of security I could put into it, and how much would that cost me?' I realized that the cloud storage vendors I selected had spent five times that much, or a hundred times that much, to build their data center. So there’s nothing I can do that would even come close to the security offered by my vendor for a low service cost.”
Then he addresses the trust issue head on. Can you trust cloud storage service providers?
"People say, 'Well, what about the people at the data center that is hosting your data? Do you trust them?' Well, I trust them just as much as I trust my own IT employees. The only way you can ever be secure is to remove people. Since I can’t remove people from the equation, I have to trust that at a certain level the companies I want to do business with want to keep doing business with their customers, so they’re going to employ best methods, best practices, and the best people to manage my data. And I don’t just trust that. I also verify through SAS70 certifications, on site audits, things like that. But I do feel comfortable and secure knowing that the companies we are doing business with have employed security practices that far exceed anything I could manage to put together."
McBride went on to discuss some of the data leaks common to in-house data centers, things like non-secured flash drives, data that is copied to dozens or hundreds of PC hard drives, data sent to casual, personally controlled file storage services such as Sky Drive and Google Docs, and so on. His point is that you have to consider the real risks, costs and vulnerabilities of in-house data center management, and realize that, for most companies, it's no Fort Knox for data. On the other hand some cloud storage service providers have gotten real close to Fort Knox-like security.

This Webinar is worth your listen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

90% of Businesses Think They Are Inefficient. So What?

Randy Davis, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations

A competitor recently came out with a "press release" based on a survey of 5,500 company records managers that claimed "Ninety Percent of Businesses Believe They Are Inefficient."

I'd like to know who the 10% of businesses that believe they are efficient are.

This is a bit like saying, "90% of all people think they don't exercise enough." OK, now what? According to the survey results, most of the companies already have in place "formal programs for how their companies should manage information," which, I suppose, includes eliminating obstacles, removing paper, idling back the copier, etc.

This news release seems a bit like motherhood and apple pie.

I would imagine that most people would settle for bringing more efficiency to a single, departmental process rather than to an entire company.

How about this for capturing and eliminating paper, automatically organizing it, and then quickly finding it:
  • Use bar codes to identify form document types and identify account holders. You can inexpensively create label sheets of bar codes, or forms that automatically print with bar codes, that contain simple information such as:

    • Account ID
    • Document Type
One of our customers uses this simple technique to seamlessly and automatically process documents during the scanning process. 
  • Scan documents using a system that can automatically ID the documents, separate them, index and organize them, route them to the required work queue, and securely store them.

  • Shred any documents that do not need to be physically stored by law, regulation, or company policy

  • Use a cloud service provider to eliminate capital and reduce the need for IT maintenance.
If you have any other practical advice on how to bring efficiency to a business process burdened with paper, let us hear from you.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Too Small to Succeed at Electronic Document Management

    One Size Fits All?
    Randy Davis, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations

    We've heard it ourselves in talking to prospects: "We're too small to benefit from an electronic document management (EDM) solution." Sometimes the prospect means "we don't process enough paper in a month," or "we don't have the technical staff to implement and support an EDM solution."

    Whatever the reason, experience shows that "too small" may not be a good excuse to keep from making the move. The document management "suit" is not "one size fits all."

    Consider this:

    According to Ken Neal, a Certified Enterprise Content Management Practitioner and Director of Corporate Communications, for Océ Business Services, "In a recent industry survey, senior executives involved in document management indicated that document scanning has a high impact across the greatest range of business goals that include reducing costs, increasing competitive advantage, enhancing regulatory compliance, and improving customer service."

    In fact, scanning paper into a document management solution can provide even small companies with hard benefits (reduced paper storage and management costs, improved service, compliance and audit support, disaster recovery) and soft benefits (competitive advantage).

    A compilation of studies* (including Gartner) put together by lists the following as making Cloud services, including document management, appealing to small business. Cloud services are mainly:
    1. Affordable
    2. Accessible
    3. Usable
    * (Thanks to Rachel Delacour of Bime Analytics for pointing out this "Infographic")

    Here are some things to consider if you think your office is too small:
    1. Are you storing paper records on premise? If so, can you find needed records in seconds? Are documents safe from prying eyes or unauthorized removal? How will those records be quickly replaced if they are lost or destroyed?
    2. Are you paying to store documents? This includes preparation, the cost of storage, file folders/boxes, transportation, retrieval and duplication.
    3. Does your office look like it could qualify for "America's most cluttered office"? Running a business is hard enough. It's just easier to run a profitable business and service your customers if you can find important documents quickly. Besides that, staff and customers alike associate a messy office with sloth and inefficiency. There's just something about decent organization that makes people feel better about where they work or do business.
    4. Are you under legal or moral obligation to protect or retain records for years and prove that you are doing so?
    Counting the Cost
    I will be frank here. Scanning documents and storing them in an electronic document management solution is not without up-front and on-going effort and cost. It's not a magic bullet. You may have to buy one or more scanners. You may need to create a barcode-based document identification system to help automate filing (this is easier than you may think). You may need to create a different (and better) process to capture, route, authorize and store documents. You may need to train someone how to use a PC.

    The question that only you can answer is, "Will my business and staff benefit from changing the way we do things now?"

    Eyes Wide Open
    If you think that is possible, taking advantage of an electronic document management solution can go easier if you go in with your eyes wide open and after doing some homework.

    Dan Antion, vice president of information services for American Nuclear Insurers, shares "8 Secrets of an Effective Content or Records Management Implementation":
    1. You are not too small for Document Management.
    2. Document Management offers value beyond the obvious.
    3. Document Management is not a technology project.
    4. Management support is required.
    5. Document Management includes costs that are not obvious. [Scanners? Training?]
    6. Document Management technology doesn’t have to be expensive.
    7. Education is important and available.
    8. All vendors are not created equal.
    (Dan's full discussion can be found at's Digital Landfill, dated June 23, 2009.)

    Call to Action
    If you are a small business, hopefully this has given you a few things to consider on your way to a more efficient office. Start today the first step of evaluating your document management processes. At worst, you may discover some ways to make your existing processes better. At best, you may find that electronic document management can help you run a better business and prepare for the growing demands of instantly accessible digital information.

    Do you think a company can be too small to use EDM? Share your comments.

    (If you find these discussions interesting, please take time to Follow this blog. Also, consider following us on Twitter: or tweet us @egistics. Thanks!)

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Fog Reigns in The Cloud

    Randy Davis, VP Sales and Marketing Operations

    Look at these search results headlines from a simple Google search: "What is The Cloud?"

    August 19, 2008: "Can We Please Define Cloud Computing?"
    February 27, 2009: "So what is the Cloud, exactly? Experts want to know"
    July 24, 2009: "Twenty-One Experts Define Cloud Computing"
    July 15, 2010: "Clarifying the SaaS vs. Cloud Integration Confusion"
    July 27, 2010: "CompTIA Launches Effort to Define the Cloud"
    August 4, 2010: "Cloud Customer Confusion Continues"
    December 6, 2010: "Confusion in the Cloud"
    March 28, 2011: "Confusion in the Cloud"
    April 14, 2011: "Experts cut through the cloud computing confusion"
    May 5, 2011: "Cloud Computing Confusion: Is It the Name?"

    Should it really take over four years to define something that virtually everybody uses by now?

    I've been following the Cloud discussion on LinkedIn, and have been shocked at the disparity between opinions in answer to the question: what is Cloud Computing? In fact, I would say the discussion is an old fashioned argument amongst denominational practitioners! Fundamentalists, liberals and middle-of-the-roaders are all having their say.

    I'm not technically challenged, and can participate in complex discussions about technology without (usually) embarrassing myself. But I can't find one, decent definition of The Cloud that I can sink my teeth into. Defining The Cloud seems frustratingly elusive. When you have to resort to PC Magazine or Wikipedia to define an industry or technical term, because the industry or technocrats cannot articulate an agreed definition themselves, you know things are in a mess.

    I've come to the conclusion that the definition of Cloud Computing is about to be yanked away from the experts and placed firmly in the hands of the users, who don't care a hoot about layers of protocols, servers, virtualization, infrastructures, nodes, networks or nothin'. They just use it and think of it as "the Internet."

    In fact, PC Magazine, speaking to everyday users, says flatly, "The Cloud is the Internet."

    Wikipedia, speaking to everyday users, says the Cloud "refers to the on-demand provision, software... via a computer network rather than from a local computer." Ok, that works, sort of, but it still doesn't satisfy.

    So my question is, "Is a definition of The Cloud necessary?" If it is, necessary to whom?

    I contend that, for all intents and purposes, The Cloud is the old "computer network" (represented in diagrams as a cloud), that became the old "Web" (represented in diagrams as a cloud) that became the new "Cloud" (represented in diagrams as a cloud). We've seen this all before when it was more controlled, and thus defined, by big hardware, software and network providers. But now, when almost anybody can play, and "the definition" of The Cloud is re-defined almost daily, it's become a bit like herding cats back into the corral.

    If you object that one has to understand the Cloud's technological and organizational complexity in order to safely participate in it, I say "bunk." Eventually one has to trust the chosen provider of services. You have to do what you've always had to do with any provider that provides important services to you, and to whom you entrust sensitive information (banks, brokers, doctors): you have to satisfy yourself that they will protect what you entrust to them, and then you have to trust them, and then you have to watch them very carefully.

    If you think something that goes into The Cloud goes into the great unknown, I think you are wrong. I think you can know where stuff is, and what is being done and used to protect it, because I think you can get to know a provider of cloud services. I think you can know whether something is being stored at Rackspace or at AT&T. I think you can know whether a data center is Tier 4 or Tier 1. I think you can know whether data is being encrypted or not. I think you can know whether your data is safely being replicated and geographically separated or not. I think you can know whether a provider is PCI certified or SAS70 compliant or not. For corporations dealing with cloud service providers, these are important and critical things to know. It is important to realize that these things can be known -- even if you are dealing with a cloud service provider.

    It is my conviction that, for most people, The Cloud is an experience rather than a thing. It is an adjective rather than a noun. It doesn't have to be defined because it has become undefinable. It's like trying to capture fog in a net.

    If The Cloud is an experience, an adjective, then it should be known by its attributes, by what it does or provides. For most people, it reduces or eliminates the need for hardware and software and additional IT resources. Or it provides a way to get access to some really powerful, really cool features by renting instead of buying. (Given this, I find it surprising that SMBs are some of the most reluctant users of cloud services.) Or it provides a way to almost instantly grow or shrink one's use (and cost) of computer systems and everything it takes to support them. Or it provides a way to take advantage of a security infrastructure that they could never afford in a million years.

    So where does this leave me in my search for a definition of The Cloud. I still don't have one. But it feels a lot like the Internet, or something close to it.

    What do you think?

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Losing Electronic Documents? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

    By Nathan Khani, CloudDocs Solution Specialist

    A report in USA Today (May 18, 2011) included this shocking finding: “The average worker wastes 2.5 hours per week looking for documents missing in poorly organized electronic files.” Wait a minute. I thought that electronic filing systems were supposed to solve the problem of losing files. Now we learn that even a small office of, say, five people wastes more than a day and a half of productivity each week looking for electronically filed documents. What gives?

    Here’s my thought. Electronic filing systems do not inherently solve the problem of finding files if they allow for disorganized filing methods. Worse, some document management systems actually encourage poor document filing practices. Wasted time is either a direct result of the disorganized use of electronic filing, or of electronic filing systems that are prone to disorganization.

    What do I mean by disorganized electronic filing? This. If you use an electronic filing system much the same way you use a paper filing system, you will experience the same challenges in finding documents. Filing systems based on Folders, file names, keywords, and text searches are simply not optimized for finding documents quickly. Such systems rely too much on ad hoc naming conventions, free-form keywords, and knowledge of filing method best practices.

    When it comes to storing and finding documents, too much flexibility and freedom can lead directly to disorganization. File management systems also depend too much on where a document is stored rather than on characteristics that make a document findable. Look. We’re not talking about storing your photos, videos, favorite recipes, old high school English papers, or music. We’re talking about documents you use to run your business. The fact is that good electronic document management requires good old fashioned standards, a bit of departmental discipline, and a document management solution that encourages and supports both.

    That’s why it’s important for an organization to used electronic business document management solutions that are designed to relieve you of the burden of organizing documents by folder and file name. Such solutions are often called “structured” document management solutions, and they utilize index data to find stored documents in a way that is predictable and fast. In a structured document management system you can literally scan or upload a document, index it (manually or automatically), and forget about it until it’s time to find it or use it as part of a business process or workflow. Then, by using one or more configurable, standardized index fields, you can almost instantly find the document or documents you need. Such systems reduce the complexity of filing and (almost) guarantee that you can find the documents you need when you need them.

    We would love to hear any tips or advice you may have regarding organizing your electronic files. Please share your thoughts below!

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Security in the Cloud: Don't Let It Stop You

    by Randy Davis, Vice President, eGistics

    The primary reason companies cite for not taking advantage of Cloud services is concern about security. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when security analysts say, "Don't let security concerns stop you from migrating appropriate pieces of your IT operations to cloud-based services," as they did in a recent InformationWeek Analytics report of Cloud Security (5 April 2011). Of course this advice comes with fair warning about doing your homework, and hinges on the word "appropriate."

    The authors of the report point out that better security is not a reason to move to the Cloud, but undue concerns about security is not a reason (in many cases) not to, either. Still, in a recent survey, 53% of 208 respondents not planning to move to the Cloud cite security as a primary reason for not doing so. The InformationWeek Analytics report suggests that their concerns may be misplaced, and based on old data.

    The fact is, remote hosted services have been around for years, hosting billions of items of data for highly security-sensitive companies (like financial services companies processing check and credit card transactions) and doing so in a proven, secure environment. If financial processors trust your transactional payment data to the cloud, why wouldn't you trust, say, your business forms to the cloud?

    Some Cloud providers can provide better security than you can, believe it or not. They've already addressed, through extensive cost, time and effort, the requirements of the Payment Card Industry, or SAS70, or HIPAA.

    So the report concludes, it's not a matter of whether the Cloud is secure, it's a matter of (as in any business environment) whether your chosen partner has adequately addressed your specific security concerns. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that they have.

    Let us know if you agree, or whether you have security concerns that cannot be addressed by Cloud service providers.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    eGistics is showcasing CloudDocs at Fusion 2011 in Orlando!

    by Nathan Khani, CloudDocs Solution Specialist

    eGistics’ flagship product, CloudDocs, is on center stage at Fusion 2011 with a focus on Accounts Payable! We are busy putting the finishing touches on our new AP Quick Template, which, along with the Human Resources Quick Template, provides users with a running start to take the sting out of business document management. We are very excited to provide a revolutionary way to manage business documents.

    Why the focus on Fusion?

    Fusion-istas, as I affectionately call them, love innovative ways that bring efficiency to accounts payable and/or accounts receivable. CloudDocs is right up their alley. It saves time and money with its truly innovative way to capture, index and separate documents. It allows users to focus on what they are doing rather than how they are doing it by providing a clean, easy to use interface, and completely relieving the user of the need to know where documents are located. Instead, users can focus on quickly locating documents required to complete the task at hand, whether it be part of an approval process or related to faster, better customer service.

    Furthermore, CloudDocs securely protects your sensitive files in an environment that is Payment Card Industry (PCI) certified, compliant with SAS 70, supports HIPAA privacy requirements. For the last 14 years, we have provided secured hosting for major financial institutions. You can be confident that your documents are protected with the same level of security that we provide our banking customers—without the big price tag!

    CloudDocs ensures that your AR/AP documents are safe from the threat of disaster. We’ve all heard horror stories about companies devastated by natural disasters. With CloudDocs, electronic copies of your documents are kept in a geographically redundant environment so that regional disasters cannot damage or destroy them.

    Currently, we are offering a free 30-day trial version of our Standard and Professional Edition plans! Please click here to find more information or to sign up for your free trial. You can also call me directly, and I will be more than happy to address any questions you may have, and help you plan a solution that best fits your company’s needs!

    Nathan Khani
    CloudDocs Solution Specialist

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    CloudDocs is Coming to NACHA!

    eGistics and CloudDocs will be going to NACHA Payments 2011 in beautiful Austin, Texas the week of April 3 - 6. We will be in booth 912, and hope you can drop by to say "hello," and find out more about how you can use one of the three CloudDocs editions to manage your business documents.
    • CloudDocs Standard Edition is useful for light document capture and management requirements
    • CloudDocs Professional Edition provides powerful tools to help manage larger amounts of documents, even across several departments, locations or regions
    • CloudDocs Enterprise Edition is available to those that want to roll out business document management across the company, and integrate it with existing systems
    Contact us to discuss your business document management needs.

    Learn more by visiting

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    CloudDocs Goes Facebook

    By Randy Davis, VP Sales and Marketing Operations

    CloudDocs is on Facebook! You can access our Facebook page by looking for the Find Us on Facebook box on this page. Join us by becoming a Follower and keep up with all the new and exciting things coming out of eGistics.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    CloudDocs Takes Air!

    Visit to learn more!
     by Randy Davis, VP Sales and Marketing Operations

    TAWPI Capture 2011 marks the official introduction of eGistics' new flagship product, CloudDocsTM to the business world. World, meet CloudDocs. CloudDocs, meet world.

    CloudDocs is the culmination of over 14 years' of experience in providing for the capture, storage, protection, finding and management of important documents and data for the nation's largest financial services companies. We now bring that experience to the service of the Small and Medium-Sized Business market.

    Let me be clear. This is an introduction, not a launch. We want you to be able to learn about CloudDocs, visit the CloudDocs Web site, give us your feedback, and otherwise let us know if you want to be notified when it is available. To entice you a bit, if you register to be notified we'll automatically enter your name into our drawing for an Apple iPad, to be given away in April.

    So what does CloudDocs do? In the simplest terms, it helps you complete document-oriented business processes. From your PC, you can scan documents, index them (for easy search and find), securely store them in our Tier 4 data centers, and then retrieve any document (or related documents) with one or more search terms and a click of the mouse.

    CloudDocs organizes the documents for you, so you don't have to struggle with creating folders and sub-folders and sub-sub-folders. Nor do you have to worry about file names. By using one or more search terms, familiar to your business, you (or your authorized users) can be viewing documents in seconds, no matter how long they've been stored. No one has to "figure out the filing system." CloudDocs does that for you.

    Please visit the CloudDocs Web site and give us the privilege of letting you know when CloudDocs is ready. There is, as they say, no obligation.

    Do You Discriminate?

    by Randy Davis, VP Sales and Marketing Operations

    Well, when it comes to electronic document storage management, you should. Discriminate, that is.

    In the cloudy skies of storage management (hosted storage, in the now old vernacular. As a further aside, with a wink and nod to Yogi Berra, have you noted that concepts are getting old much younger now?). Anyway, in the cloudy skies of storage management you almost need a vendor traffic controller to work your way through the congestion. There are some excellent choices out there, depending on what one needs.

    Ah, that's the crux of the matter. What does one need? A simple needs assessment may start with a need to store stuff: documents, photos, video, audio, databases, images, graphics and so on. There are plenty of solutions in the Cloud to do that.

    But many of those solutions seemed aimed at individuals who need a place to collect stuff, and create some kind of organized, hierarchical schematic that will enable them to pigeon hole stuff with the hopes of finding it later via some search term. Even companies that claim to serve the business community seem designed to encourage the ad hoc storage approach.

    The business use of document storage is much more stringent. (Let's see, you need to find the invoice that contains the payment amount for account 837394, paid between March 15 and June 30, 2006. Oh, and you need to see if any explanatory notes or correspondence or payments are attached to the invoice. Can you have all that to your boss in the next 60 seconds, please?)

    So, a more thoughtful needs assessment should include a way to easily accommodate standard document data that can be indexed; the ability to associate, attach or link related documents and information together; and the ability to find just the information you need so that you can use it. By the way, one of the many benefits of such an approach is the ability to transfer document research responsibilities to others in a group, temporary employees, or new staff.

    Why am I discussing this? Part of the reason is to remind you that we have provided the power of the structured document storage management approach to our enterprise customers for many years. Now we are in the process of providing the same capabilities to the Small to Medium-size Business market. In the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our new flagship product, CloudDocs(TM).

    To keep informed about our plans and upcoming launch, be sure to become a follower of this blog. Just use the Follow button in the right hand column.

    Also, don't hesitate to add your experience, opinion or question by using the Comment space below.

    Seeding the Cloud

    By Randy Davis, VP Sales and Marketing Operations

    A recent article in Banking & Payments Industry Update #1447 greeted the new year with prognostications about the use of cloud computing by traditionally conservative stalwarts such as "large banks" (who have been reluctant to outsource anything). Another article in Document Imaging Report (Dec. 23, 2010) waxed prolific on the growing influence of cloud computing on enterprise software, citing predictions by Saugatuck "that as much as 40% of new software sold in 2014 will be cloud-based."

    OK. We experienced similar enthusiasm with the advent of ERP, CRM and the paperless society, and we'll see how this cloud euphoria plays out.

    Don't get me wrong. I like the cloud, and believe that it will endure as a viable technology for the foreseeable future. I also like the flexibility it can provide in the rapid delivery of "pay as you go" services. In fact, eGistics has been a "cloud player" for almost 16 years, and is strongly moving forward with new, exciting services rooted in a cloud infrastructure. Using a well-worn cliche, "Watch This Space" for upcoming announcements regarding a new cloud e-document storage management service offering, as well as a "Platform as a Service" offering that enables companies to quickly enable their own applications to utilize e-document capabilities.

    In the lyrical words of Bob Dylan, "the times they are a changin'," and, looking back on the economy of 2010, we can only say, thank heavens! We at eGistics look forward to working with you to provide new, cost effective and innovative solutions that will enhance your own service offerings to your customers and users.