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How you can simplify processes in your organisation

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Being able to access digital information is a must these days. But, says MONIQUE WILLIAMS, Hyland Southern Africa Regional Manager this information has to be managed across the enterprise to ensure easy access for competitiveness.

In this day and age, the ability to access and manage information or content digitally is critical to all business processes. Managing that content across the enterprise is even more valuable to ensure a competitive business and support organisation growth.

However, the reality for many organisations is that they do not have the scope, budget or time to solve all of their content needs at once, and it has become more difficult to know where to get started. With all the technology that exists and the myriad vendors, enterprise content management (ECM) roadmaps can seem complicated.

There are six categories that not only help explain ECM, but also provide a very useful framework for building a new solution and evaluating existing solutions. This framework can be used to address the challenge of rolling out an ECM solution for a specific problem, a department or to an entire organisation. By using this framework, an organisation will be sure to implement a solution that is more than just an electronic filing cabinet with light processing functionalities.

1. Capture

When many people think about ECM, the first thing they think about is imaging or scanning – getting the paper digitised and into the system. And of course that is a key part of the solution – to eliminate filing cabinets and boxes of information and archive records digitally. But that is not where capture ends.

An ECM system is also able to capture and centrally manage all related information, whether that comes in as a text report, documents borne in SharePoint, related communications from emails and faxes, and data streams with content from another system. Technology automation ensures an ECM solution is able to capture any file type from any physical location with minimal data entry.

2. Process

An ECM solution revolutionises the way an organisation performs the processes that use this content. Many processes can be automated with a digital solution, particularly structured processes that follow predefined steps and have predictable outcomes. For example, in accounts payable, any amount under R500 could be paid automatically.

An ECM solution allows documents and decisions to be routed to the right people as soon as that information comes in. This is particularly helpful with unstructured information that still requires human intervention, such as an invoice for something the company didn’t order.

A new wave of content management includes case management, combining the best of structured and unstructured content and providing useful tools to manage all the tasks and activities within case work. It builds processes and solutions around a person and their work rather than a complete business process.

3. Access

With an ECM solution, personnel can access content easily, from anywhere and whenever they need it. There are more points of access to the information than just the software solution itself.

Personnel working in other applications can just reference the information in the ECM system as it integrates with the screens of other applications. Information can also be accessed offline or through a mobile device. The software itself can be personalised to match a user’s work, cutting down on user training. And access to content can be extended to people outside of the organisation like customers, students or patients, thereby reducing calls to customer service.

4. Integrate

As mentioned above, another key element of an ECM solution is that it is able to integrate with any other enterprise application, such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, productivity tools or home grown applications, without anyone having to write custom code. This ensures that the content never resides in a bubble and avoids duplicate data entry into multiple systems. Applications that are data driven can have a real time data exchange.

5. Measure

With all content in one centralised place, and all activity happening in a coordinated manner, an ECM solution enables an organisation to gain insights into process and system performance. It allows the company to see how accurate and efficient processes are, identify and eliminate bottlenecks, deliver accurate and timely data for an audit, and prove return on investment.

6. Store

An ECM solution also empowers an organisation to secure and protect content from the moment it enters the system and in accordance with compliance requirements. For example, in the case of dealing with credit card or social security numbers, the data can be encrypted at rest and during transportation.

The solution can also provide affordable and inbuilt protection of the data and instant online redundancy, so that in the event of a server failure the company is not at risk of losing any critical data and can have a continuation of business. Finally, an ECM solution has the ability to handle long term retention and destruction requirements from a legal records retention policy point of view.

Ultimately, with all the functionality available, an ECM solution should be able to flexibly meet the needs of a company’s individual content management requirements, whether at a departmental or organisational level.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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