Archive for May, 2008

Marco, Inc. Joins Clearview Authorized Partner Network

May 29, 2008

Clearview Software, the premier innovators of contemporary Microsoft® SharePoint® based Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions designed exclusively for Microsoft technology environments, today announced the addition of Marco, Inc., a leading integrated solutions provider of voice, data, video, and print, to the Clearview Authorized Partner Network. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Marco will market, sell, deliver, and support the Clearview ECM suite to its customers in the Upper Midwest region of the United States.

With 23 years of data networking experience, Marco is one of just a few companies with the expertise to build a solid network foundation and seamlessly connect voice, data, video, and print applications to help organizations achieve new levels of performance and productivity. Marco considered about a dozen software solutions before thoroughly evaluating three ECM suite options and ultimately selecting Clearview to bring added value to the information and content management of Marco’s customers.

“Clearview stood out because of the experience and strength of its management team and the product’s innovative encapsulation of Microsoft Office SharePoint,” said Jack Herold, Software Solutions Manager for Marco.

“We feel Clearview has a very unique value proposition for our customers because it is the only product in the marketplace that encapsulates SharePoint. This enhances the sizable investment many of our clients have already made in SharePoint by making it easy to access the Clearview functions without leaving SharePoint.”

“We welcome Marco to the Partner Network and are excited to be a part of its full integrated solutions portfolio,” said Steve Leichtman, Senior Vice President of Sales for Clearview Software. “Marco’s broad industry experience as a comprehensive integrated solutions provider and exceptional dedication to customer satisfaction make us very confident that it will be a key member of our Partner Network.”

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Advanced Document Solutions, Inc. Joins Clearview Authorized Partner Network

May 13, 2008

Clearview Software, the premier innovators of contemporary Microsoft® SharePoint® based Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions designed exclusively for Microsoft technology environments, is pleased to announce that Advanced Document Solutions, Inc. (ADocs), a preferred integrator of business process improvement, document automation, and electronic document filing/content management systems, has joined the Clearview Authorized Partner Network. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, ADocs will represent and deliver to their customers the Clearview ECM suite as part of a comprehensive SharePoint-based ECM solution.

ADocs is a solution provider with expertise in offering the appropriate application of document automation and imaging technologies to meet specific business requirements. Experts in many common business processes and industries, the ADocs team possesses significant knowledge and training in business process improvement techniques, and works to help customers improve existing systems and reduce cycle time and cost. ADocs has added Clearview to their solution portfolio because of Clearview’s unique, SharePoint-based ECM solution.

“ADocs is a true solution provider in every sense of the word. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to ECM solutions. That means that the products we work with have to represent the highest possible value to our customers and the people behind them have to value our customers as much as we do,” said Mike Brown, Vice President of Sales for ADocs.

“The ECM space is littered with legacy products that represent the best technology money could buy-15 years ago. Clearview’s ability to federate and encapsulate the various data silos and legacy applications that are out there represents true value to our users. And the value they bring to Microsoft SharePoint users is leading edge. We believe that Clearview will be a dominant player in our market in the coming years.”

“We welcome ADocs to our Partner Network and are extremely pleased that they will offer the Clearview ECM suite as part of their solution portfolio,” said Mike Ball, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Product Strategy for Clearview Software. “Their exceptional document management and business process expertise and solutions delivery combined with their outstanding customer commitment make us very confident that ADocs will be a high-value member of our Partner Network.”

Clearview has introduced a fresh approach to ECM that uniquely leverages the native ECM capabilities of SharePoint as core components of the Clearview suite architecture. By extending SharePoint with transactional document imaging, report management (COLD), and business process management, Clearview delivers enterprise-class ECM functionality that rivals legacy ECM products. Furthermore, the Office 2007 user experience provided throughout the Clearview client interface provides information workers with a familiar Microsoft experience designed to promote ease-of-use and rapid adoption of ECM on every worker desktop.

Dataimage Joins Clearview Authorized Partner Network

May 5, 2008

Clearview Software, the premier innovators of contemporary Microsoft® SharePoint® based Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions designed exclusively for Microsoft technology environments, is pleased to announce that Dataimage, a leading document management solutions provider located in Salt Lake City, Utah, has joined the Clearview Authorized Partner Network. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Dataimage has agreed to represent, support, and deliver the Clearview suite, a comprehensive SharePoint-based ECM solution, to new customers throughout the Western United States.

Dataimage offers customized document management solutions, from a single product to a complete system of scanners, software, storage equipment, and technical support. When Dataimage identified SharePoint as an industry-leading and growing solution in the market, they turned to Clearview to help them deliver a comprehensive SharePoint-based ECM solution.

“We are very excited about our new strategic partnership with Clearview, which will allow us to focus on an emerging portion of the ECM market. Microsoft SharePoint is quickly establishing itself as an industry-leading solution, and we see Clearview uniquely positioned as one of the only solutions that has truly adopted SharePoint as a cornerstone of their ECM platform,” said Dan Dillingham, Vice President of Corporate Sales for Dataimage.

“Clearview will allow Dataimage to deliver a comprehensive SharePoint-based ECM suite, which leverages all of the functionality native to SharePoint, including Forms Management, E-mail Management, and Web Content Management, combined with traditional Document Imaging, Document Management, and Reports Management.”

The Clearview IRISS Desktop Gadget, the world’s first ECM gadget providing a new and simple user experience and basic content management services on every desktop, also drew the attention of Dataimage. “The Clearview IRISS Desktop Gadget takes ease of use to a whole new level,” said Dan Dillingham. “Clearview truly is a next-generation approach to ECM.”

“We are extremely pleased to have Dataimage offer the Clearview ECM suite as part of a comprehensive, SharePoint-based ECM solution,” said Steve Leichtman, Senior Vice President of Sales for Clearview Software. “With Dataimage’s exceptional document management expertise and solutions delivery methodology, we know customers will receive the highest levels of quality sales, services, and support for their ECM implementations.”

Clearview has introduced a fresh approach to ECM that uniquely leverages the native ECM capabilities of SharePoint as core components of the Clearview suite architecture. By extending SharePoint with transactional document imaging, report management (COLD), and business process management, Clearview delivers enterprise-class functionality that rivals legacy ECM products. Furthermore, the Office 2007 user experience provided throughout the Clearview client interface provides information workers with a familiar Microsoft experience designed to promote ease-of-use and rapid adoption of ECM on every worker desktop.

SharePoint and ECM: Is “integration” really all you need for your business?

May 1, 2008

I’d like to focus on what I will refer to as the “integration phenomenon.” And what is this? Well, having now been on the road for the past few weeks presenting Clearview’s SharePoint-based ECM suite to audiences at the AIIM ECM Spring Solutions Seminar, I have now lost count of the number of legacy ECM vendors who have announced or talk about their “SharePoint integration.” This vast sea of companies includes not only ECM suite vendors; they have been recently joined by almost every image capture software company or scanner manufacturer with their “scan to SharePoint” solution. I, for one, would be seriously concerned about our future business if Clearview was only an “image solution” or “scan to SharePoint” solution vendor. While the early pioneers of these technologies enjoyed some exclusivity, it has quickly become a very crowded and non-differentiated vendor landscape. But I’ll save the “scan to SharePoint” discussion for our next column.

Based on the volume of “integrations” announced with SharePoint, I thought it might be appropriate and maybe appreciated if I discussed what this means to end user organizations, and help those who are seeking to extend SharePoint into a full ECM platform better understand some of the options that are available in today’s ECM vendor landscape.

Why are so many legacy ECM vendors announcing SharePoint “integration?”

This question is actually fairly simple to answer. What else can they do? Of course, I can say this with a little bit of pride in that Clearview saw, anticipated, and planned a next-generation ECM solution suite based on SharePoint. However, as you may very well know by now, SharePoint in many cases replicates some very foundational ECM capabilities like document management functionalities that have been the lifeblood of many document, content, or image-based solution vendors.

I think that many have ignored (and will continue to ignore) the impact SharePoint has had on dramatically changing the ECM solution model. The effects of this will likely be seen for many years to come. Legacy vendors, in a reactive mode and trying to respond to the unexpected disruption SharePoint has had in the ECM business community, are trying to position themselves as a higher-value, yet complementary (but at a higher price, of course) value add to SharePoint’s core ECM capabilities.

So let’s be bold and suggest that perhaps the “integration phenomenon” isn’t necessarily one of brilliance or innovation. It is more appropriately described as the only thing legacy ECM vendors can come up with right now to protect their proprietary solutions, aging architecture, and high-dollar costs.

SharePoint “integration” Defined
I will try to explain exactly what this means to you from a user organization or knowledge worker perspective. As I see it, this is not unlike a short-lived strategy that occurred in the 1990’s in the ECM space. This was the Open Document Management Alliance (ODMA) initiative that was designed to allow content systems to interact with one another and exchange information using standards that each vendor was adopting into their solution suite. Essentially, the “integration” that I’ve observed within the ECM market takes on one of two forms: a co-existence model or a migratory (or archive) model.

Co-existence Model
In the co-existence model, systems are essentially allowed to “play nice” with each other. This would be like having adjoining hotel rooms with a shared doorway between the rooms. This allows us to pass between the rooms, yet each room contains individual resources with its own set of furnishings and accommodations. ECM vendors have built an integration that commonly takes on the form of Web Parts built for SharePoint. This enables the SharePoint user to execute a search and view content that is stored within the legacy ECM content repository. In most cases, you can search and view it, and sometimes you can even choose to move it from the ECM repository into the SharePoint repository as a copy of the original, or move it completely from one source to the other.

As organizations move to adopt SharePoint as their intranet, collaboration project platform, or even for their internet sites, they can leverage the existing investments that they have made in the legacy ECM product—for a period of time. Unfortunately, just like in the adjoining hotel room example, the two do not really offer any aggregate higher value in combination. The only way we can actually enhance our space and enlarge our living quarters (or make the two more meaningful in combination) would be to rip down the wall and create a new and expanded space.

The Migratory or Archive Model
This model really plays into the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that SharePoint is not or will not be strong enough in its functionalities and capabilities to provide a true information management platform.

In this model, it is suggested that the user organization use SharePoint for content creation and editing during the collaborative phase of the content lifecycle. Once the content is finalized and no longer requires edits, it is migrated to the legacy ECM repository for long-term archival and management. This to me actually has a little more merit than the first model, yet it still is not a long-term and sustainable value proposition for maintaining disparate information silos or allowing redundant functionality to be conducted in non-standardized procedures or user experiences. Legacy ECM solutions have their own “take” on document management, library services, and versioning that is not aligned with the new de facto standards introduced by Microsoft via SharePoint 2007 and Office 2007 functionality that is available “out of the box.”

Where does “integration” fall short?

I would like to suggest that the biggest concern with the entire “integration” element is wondering how long it will take intelligent business leaders, IT professionals, and records professionals to realize that they are not gaining any uniformity in their policy enforcement, security, or audit standards by maintaining disparate systems with overlapping user experiences and functionality. At the end of the day, the “integration” story just doesn’t seem to provide organizations with the consolidated ease-of-use in user access and use of content—nor does it do anything to simplify the back-office management of the information management infrastructure.

What are the alternatives today?

Unfortunately, there has not been the same level of innovation around ECM solutions for SharePoint as there has been in “integration” pitches. Real innovation means vendors starting from scratch or tearing down their product to the foundation and rebuilding it. Neither of these is really attractive or viable for vendors in today’s business climate. I would invite you to explore Clearview’s unique approach to providing a new era of ECM that is built solely upon and innovatively leverages SharePoint’s native capabilities to deliver a new platform for ECM that speaks to modern technology and business needs. With Clearview, your collaborative needs for SharePoint and your security, governance, or compliance requirements for enabling better control over your business information truly come together in a unified and simplistic ECM solution.