Information Management for Professionals

Specialists in document production and management solutions, Ascertus offer a full range of professional services and software solutions, which allow professional knowledge workers across all sectors to demonstrate and justify their value to their company, effectively manage their costs, mitigate their risks, and enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Recent News

Friday, November 20, 2015

Partner News: iManage announces growth, milestones in first 100 days as independent company

Original release from iManage, Chicago, Ill. - November 19, 2015.

iManage Accelerates Customer Acquisition and Product Innovation in Its First 100 Days as an Independent Company

iManage announced today that it has achieved record new customer growth and delivered significant new product innovations in the first 100 days after completing the management buyout of the iManage business from Hewlett Packard. The company added over 50 new customer deals and delivered key product releases that modernize the user interface and enhance the user experience of its core product, iManage Work. These new interfaces are Windows 10 and Office 16 ready and optimized for the iPad and Microsoft Surface Pro, features demanded by the “new” professional, the emerging tech savvy, mobile users who are becoming the majority of users in many professional organizations.

“When we became an independent entity, we said our core mission was to delight our customers by listening to their needs, innovating and delivering great products and support,” said Neil Araujo, CEO of iManage. “Our record pace of new customer acquisition is a major milestone for any company, much less one that is less than four months old, and proof that our vision and products are what the market is looking for. We created iManage to better serve our customers, and the market is clearly demonstrating its support of this mission.”

“iManage’s decision to become an independent entity was a welcome development,” said Scott Shaw, CTO of FordHarrison LLP, a labor and employment law firm with 29 offices across the United States, including six affiliate firms. “Because the needs of the legal market often get lost when dealing with the larger vendors, we appreciate that iManage now can stay focused on our market and continue developing solutions tailored to our unique needs. We’ve been very impressed with how the company has spent so much time talking to CIOs about our business challenges. They are listening to us and delivering on their promises to innovate in a way that makes our firms more efficient and productive.”

Top Global Firms and Legal Departments turn to iManage for Work Product Management Solutions
iManage strengthened its position as the work product management solution of choice for legal, accounting, and financial professionals. Over 50 new customers were added in the first 100 days, a new record representing a 33 percent acceleration in quarterly new client momentum. Among the new customers added are Chiomenti Studio Legale, one of the largest law firms in Italy and ACCRALAW, the first iManage client in the Philippines. iManage also is extended its adoption in Corporate Legal Departments with new implementations at organizations, such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and PMV. New customers continue to switch from other systems such as OpenText, Worldox and NetDocuments, to iManage.

iManage Introduces Product Roadmap for Next Generation of Matter-Centric Collaboration
Based on deep research into how today’s professionals want to work, iManage also introduced, in the first 100 days, its product roadmap for its next-generation user experience, specifically tailored for the new professional. Based on survey data collected from thousands of professionals and focus groups with dozens more, this new experience brings consumer-like ease of use to professional work, with all the security and governance capabilities of the iManage platform, and will be rolled out in the coming months for mobile devices.

“Growing cloud adoption and changing work habits of the new professional require real innovation from Work Product Management solutions,” said Dan Carmel, CMO at iManage. “We spent the past two years understanding the changes that are happening in user attitudes toward technology, the changing nature of work and new client demands from professionals. All this is embodied in our next-generation interface, which is the first truly new way for professionals to work in over a decade.”

Key Talent Returns to iManage
Critical to building and maintaining its innovation leadership, iManage plans to add 100 new employees in its first year in key customer impact areas such as engineering, quality assurance and customer support. In the first 100 days, the company has added nearly 65 employees, including over 25 returning key iManage alumni. “The highest compliment that an employee can give a former employer is leaving their current position to rejoin the company,” said Araujo. “As a founder, I am particularly heart warmed by the number of key former iManage employees who have rejoined us in just these 100 days.”

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ascertus featured on IDG Connect: "Top Tips: Devising a document management strategy"

By Jon Wainwright, Sales Director, Ascertus Limited and originally published on 11 Nov 2015 on the IDG Connect blog.

In the current 24 x7 digital business, multi-device and mobile environment, document management isn’t straightforward. Think about all the different types of documents that exist in organisations – employee contracts, supplier agreements, terms and conditions, policies, minutes, spreadsheets, letters, and the list goes on. Furthermore, in an organisation, there can be many locations where documents can be stored – it could reside in a physical file folder in an office cupboard, on an employee’s personal desktop, or in an Outlook inbox. In fact, email poses a significant challenge to organisations. As the default communication and collaborative platform, a large proportion of ‘knowledge’ in organisations reside in individual email accounts. Emails are no longer simply text briefs, they often are business-critical records and contain important file attachments that should really be stored in a secure location and be accessible by the relevant people.

Additionally, documents in general aren’t based on standard formats and key words, so archiving them in a user-friendly manner is difficult. Then throw into the mix communications mechanisms like voice mails, SMS and instance messages – the complexity compounds.

A global IDC survey shows that information workers waste 12.1% of their time per week dealing with challenges related to document creation and management – all of which translates into loss of organisational productivity of 9.8%. Eliminating the time wasted related to creating and managing documents would be equivalent to adding 98 new employees in a 1000 person company. The time wasting tasks include searching for, but not finding information; recreating documents and pulling information that exists in different files and formats into a single document.

Against this backdrop, any organisation that is looking to adopt a document management solution must have a clear strategy behind implementing the system to ensure that it meets the requirements of the business. Here are some considerations when devising a document management strategy:

Evaluate what content exists – Elementary as it sounds, ascertain what content exists and where it’s stored – is it in email inboxes, shared network folders, physical files, intranet and so on. Think about the document management challenges that your organisation faces because of its business structure – i.e. are you a single or multi-office company, UK-based or multi-geography, and the like. What data is secure and what is not? What document retention policies are in place? How easy is it to audit the information stored, particularly for compliance and governance purposes? Discovering how things stack up will in turn help determine the initial composition of the strategy and the basis for the solution.

What technologies are currently used for document management? – Often departments (finance, accounting, legal, human resource, etc.) in organisations use different types of technology systems for their functions such as PeopleSoft, Microsoft SharePoint, Dropbox, Public File Shares etc. On the other hand, professional services firms offering high volume legal services like personal injury, debt recovery and conveyancing tend to use case management systems. Some of these technology solutions do offer limited, light-touch document management capability – templates for letters, specific documents etc., but recording emails, voicemails and correspondence are out of scope. Therefore, the document management solution you chose must be able to integrate with these varied function-specific systems.

Is mobility key to your business? – If your organisation supports Bring Your Own Device and staff are often on the move, using mobile devices (e.g. smartphones, iPhones, iPads, tablets) to work remotely or out of the office, the document management strategy must accommodate these requirements so that the resulting solution switches seamlessly between ‘in office’ and ‘on the road’ usage. For instance, often contract finalisations and authorisations get delayed because decision-makers are travelling. To overcome this difficulty, individuals share bulky documents via file sharing tools (e.g. Dropbox), which aren’t secure enough to transfer confidential information. So understand the extent of mobility requirements of your organisation. It may surface that the document management solution you chose must support mobile working beyond facilitating sharing of documents – it must also capture and collate related data and discussions while on the move – just as it does in an on-premise environment.

What are your internal document management policies? – Foremost, it’s important to assess how documents are currently being stored – i.e. in Microsoft Exchange Servers, public folders, or anywhere else. It’s necessary to identify the standard policies already in place with reference to how documents should be stored, for how long, who can access them, what folder structures currently exist in the various departments/company, what workflows are already in place, and so on. Given the complexity of both the technology environment and transactions, a matter/project-centric approach to document management is worth contemplating – it is the simplest and most intuitive. It requires configuring the document management system so that all information and documents related to particular, unique issues are stored in matter-related workspaces from across data sources – everything from correspondence, images, data, presentations, pleadings, voicemails, emails, contracts and more. Such an approach enables the organisation to even capture dialogues and discussions that take place via email pertaining to matters that don’t necessarily form part of more formalised documents.

What compliance and governance rules need to be followed? – With ever stringent and growing complexity of compliance, records and documents are essential evidence that organisations must store. In addition, regulatory rules vary by industry sector too. Identify these requirements upfront so that the document management solution that is deployed follows an intuitive, logical process. In many sectors, organisations’ approach to document management is increasingly being driven by their clients, especially in view of the ever mounting challenge of cyber security. Frequently, customers want to know upfront the partner organisation’s approach to storing sensitive documents and the security implications those processes might have. Things like where the data repositories reside and in which jurisdictions top client queries and concerns.

Understanding the ‘lay of the land’ in terms of the organisation’s existing approach to document storage and management, followed by articulation of the requirements of the business makes solution selection much easier. It becomes straightforward to design and implement, but more crucially adopt. Like most technologies, if there isn’t a firm-wide buy-in to follow certain processes, people automatically revert to the ‘old’ ways of working – it’s simply a case of familiarity. If properly executed based on a strategy that incorporates the requirements of the business and especially, end users – document lifecycle management automation offers numerous benefits – from efficiency and productivity through to reduced risk and compliance. Finally, it’s imperative that the strategy for the solution is devised in a way that it seamlessly fits into the larger, overarching technology strategy of the organisation. Only then will it truly deliver value.