Getting Back on The Horse


I know. It has been a really long time since I posted on this blog. It has been a very busy last four years. Four years!!! I know!

Anyway, some things I was working on prevented me from blogging for most of that time and I needed to make sure I was ready. Once you get off the horse it can take a lot before you can get jump back on.

With that said I am launching a new presence on the web called “Getting Information Done”. My new home will attempt to discuss a broader set of topics related to managing information and data at significant scale. This will be bigger than ECM and not just about “Big Data”. I am thinking bigger than both of these.

I will be launching “Getting Information Done” on September 1, 2014. Keep a look out for some posts over the next couple of months as we put the finishing touches on “Getting Information Done”.

I look forward to the real race. For now, I’m taking practice laps.

Weather at the 2010 AIIM Expo + Conference: Partly Cloudy – Repost From AIIM ERM Expert Blog

This is a repost from my blog post on the AIIM ERM Community Expert Blog

MP900433127[1] For anyone who attended the 2010 AIIM expo + conference last week you had to wonder if this were really the “SharePoint Conference”. As I walked around the expo floor, besides the large SharePoint 2010 booth from Microsoft and large adjacent KnowledgeLake booth, almost every booth referred to SharePoint on their signs or signaled that their product or service offering supported SharePoint. Additionally, with an entire track (the SharePoint 2010 Summit) dedicated to SharePoint related topics one might wonder what the future holds for the AIIM expo + conference.

One thing surprising to me was the way Microsoft chose to configure their booth with only an “experience classroom” and partner pavilion. They did not have any Microsoft manned stations to highlight, discuss, and demonstrate how SharePoint 2010 supported ECM and records management in a much deeper way with the upcoming release. Another surprising omission was lack of promotion for Microsoft’s cloud Software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). I would have though Microsoft would have really focused on BPOS as an offering to take advantage of the interest in cloud computing offerings.

The cloudiest vendor was SpringCM. This SaaS vendor was completely focused on Cloud as the answer to fast and easy deployment of ECM. Their offering sounds pretty compelling but I wonder how this offering play with large global enterprises that have a significant investment in SharePoint or some other ECM solution like Documentum or Livelink. I think SpringCM has a window of opportunity but will start bumping up against the Microsoft BPOS offering when Microsoft releases the SharePoint 2010 version of BPOS.

I did not see any other vendors who really talked about a credible cloud based offerings (delivered in a “pay-per-use and self-service way” as defined in my previous post) on the exposition floor. Alfresco points to hosting partners which provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for hosting Alfresco “in the cloud” but after a quick look at the partner sites it looks like most are really just providing off premise hosting for an Alfresco implementations as opposed to a true pay-per-use cloud offering.

I attended the keynote session entitled “Reinvent Work, Collaboration, and Innovation in the 21st Century” by Google’s Cyrus Mistry. I was somewhat disappointed since his talk really did not focus on leveraging the Cloud to transform how businesses manage information. He really focused more on how Google is using Gmail and Google Apps to create a culture of information sharing which is a very laudable goal.

What was disappointing was Cyrus’ recommendation “not to waste time” deciding which files to keep and which to delete and to just keep everything. Just because storage is getting cheaper and for Google the solution to any search problem is Google Search does not relieve organization from sound records management accountability. James Watson’s recent post on the AIIM ERM Community talks about the rationale for appropriately deleting unneeded content regularly. I think the folks at Google should read the blogs and Wikis at the AIIM ERM Community regularly.

Until next year…

Will the 2010 AIIM expo + conference be cloudy? – Repost From AIIM ERM Community

This is a repost from my blog post on the AIIM ERM Community Expert Blog

Will the 2010 AIIM expo + conference be cloudy?

Cloud I am looking forward to the 2010 AIIM expo + conference this year after missing the conference the last two years. I always learn something new and it is a great chance to meet some really smart people.

One topic I am interested exploring extensively is how the ECM market is responding to the “Cloud Computing”. There has been quite a bit of hype over the last couple of years and it will be interesting to see how far the ECM vendors have gone to close the gap between myth and reality.

First let’s make sure we are all on the same page. I will use Forrester’s definition for cloud computing: “A standardized IT capability, such as software, application platform, or infrastructure, delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use and self-service way.” Pretty straight forward, right, then why all the confusion?

Microsoft and the Cloud

Microsoft has been heavily promoting both their Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and Windows Azure. These are two distinctly different offerings with BPOS delivered as software as a service (SaaS) and Windows Azure delivered as an infrastructure as a service (IaaS). So how are these two offerings different? Here is a simple definition of these two offerings:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):

IaaS (Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft’s Azure) provide virtual computing environments allowing customers to use web service interfaces to launch instances of operating systems and associated blocks of storage on demand. Customers use the provider’s administrative console to start, stop, and access and configure their virtual servers and storage.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS):

With SaaS the vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure and their software product over the internet for use as a service on demand. Good examples of SaaS offerings include web-based email and applications from Google, CRM (sales management & reporting) from, SharePoint, Exchange Email and Office Communicator from Microsoft with BPOS.

Other ECM Vendors and The Cloud

No doubt the other ECM vendors at the 2010 AIIM conference will be talking about their Cloud offerings. Looking at the conference agenda and reading the descriptions of the keynote sessions the only session which discusses the Cloud is the keynote entitled “Reinvent Work, Collaboration, and Innovation in the 21st Century” by Google’s Cyrus Mistry.

Reviewing the conference sessions, I did not really see many sessions (only a few) addressing ECM in the Cloud. So it will be interesting to see what is being talked about on the exposition floor by the ECM vendors. When I searched for “Cloud Strategy” on EMC’s website the recommended link in the search results was Virtual Computing Environment coalition (VCE) which looks like it is targeted at enterprises who want to create a “cloud-like” utility computing capability within their firewalls also known as a “Private Cloud”. I will be interested to see if EMC is working on a similar SaaS offerings to Microsoft’s BPOS.

My goal this week will be to see who really “get’s it” and understands the implications and challenges of managing your corporate information in the Cloud. I want to see who has already thought through the personal data privacy and e-Discovery implications. I will be really excited if I find someone who has gone the extra mile and defined an implementation pattern and methodology for leveraging the Cloud for ECM. I am not holding my breath on this one.

I’ll let you know what I find out this week.

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Why I do this? (Part 1) – Repost from AIIM ERM Community Blog

As I mentioned in my post “Joining a Very Special Group” I was invited to write about Electronic Records Management (ERM) on the new AIIM ERM Community.

The following is the first post I made on the AIIM ERM Community Expert Blogs last week.

Why I do this? (Part 1)

Question Ever wonder how or why you wind up doing what you do? Sometimes people set out on their career journey with a very specific destination in mind and carefully plan the development of that career along with very specific goals. That is not what happened for me.

I fell into the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) business purely by chance. Over 30 years ago my career goal was to become a pilot and I achieved that goal after completing my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and successfully completing flight training in the US Navy.

I had an interesting career in the Navy, got to see the world, had some amazing experiences, and met some amazing people. Through my experiences I decided that flying for one of the airlines was not something I would enjoy once I retired. In 1988 as I looked at what might be the next big thing, I decided to go back to school and retool. I went back to my alma mater, University of Florida (Go Gators!), and completed a Master of Science in Computer Science.

I was lucky enough to serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a Navy aircraft research and development organization before I retired from the Navy. During my time as CIO I saw how critical the “I” in that job title really was. Information was critical to the success of the research and testing of the next generation aircraft and weapon systems.

After retiring I joined an IT software and services company that had a very robust workflow solution. This is the part where serendipity comes in. The DoD 5015.2 records management standard had just been issued and one of our customers wanted a document management solution, which would also comply with the brand new DoD 5015.2 standard. This was my chance to create a new integrated document, records, and workflow management solution using PC Docs, Provenance’s ForeMost, and our workflow software. This became one of the first integrated document management suites (IDAM as coined by Gartner) on the market and was the first integrated suite to become DoD 5015.2 certified. I guess I was a pioneer of sorts.

TruearcAnyway, I went on to become the President of the records management company (which became TrueArc), created AutoRecords and was awarded a patent, and provided the first DoD 5015.2 certified integrated records management solution for Microsoft’s SharePoint 2001 (version 1). I also successfully led the acquisition of TrueArc by Documentum in late 2002.

Over the last 8 years or so I have been focused on creating solutions, which help businesses effectively manage information and extract the most value from one of their most important assets. Although I have focused primarily on leveraging SharePoint as an information management platform over the last couple of years I have been working on effective ways of using Documentum and SharePoint together.

So, as you can see, I never really started out planning to be in the ECM business. In some way I fell into this career. But I really didn’t answer the hypothetical question “Why I do this?” yet. But I will.

In Part 2, I will delve more deeply into the answer to this question…

The New AIIM Communities Goes Live


The new AIIM Communities online platform went live today. Most of the AIIM Expert Bloggers already have made posts to the Electronic Records Management (ERM) and Enterprise 2.0 communities.

I am honored to join such a distinguished group of expert bloggers. We will be writing regularly and I really look forward to reading my fellow bloggers’ posts. My first post, “Why I do this: Part 1”, is up and I will have another post up later today. I plan to write about the AIIM expo + conference next week.

Let me know what you think!

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Russ Stalters is Director, Information & Data Management at a global oil and gas company. Everything in this Blog is his personal opinion and does not represent the views of his employer. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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