The Challenge of Integration

by Pattie Simone | 3/2/15

Manned missions to Mars are actually just a few years away. Yet, here on Earth, many companies still struggle with figuring out how to run their companies better. The laundry list of challenges – and the initiatives to fix them – grows every day, and can include a number of things, including becoming greener; streamlining processes; trimming costs; understanding and using multiple real-time communications tools; servicing clients better; and helping employees to become more productive.

Add on the importance of gleaning accurate metrics, producing the right reports for the right people, and security concerns, and it becomes all too clear why some organizations are struggling to get things in order.

Top eight integration tips

According to Janet Filipow, director, proposal & business development at Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc., whatever path you choose, it’s important to include proper accountability to diverse players and stakeholders. Per Filipow, in order to make the best solutions choice, carefully consider the following:

·          Is it customizable?

·          Is it flexible?

·          Will your proposed option be able to integrate with a number of other systems; e.g., SAP,

         email, Salesforce, etc.

·          Does it take into consideration unique department needs?

·          What type of reporting will you need? Think about historical data and analytics.

·          How easy is it to use?

·          How fast can you transition from your current system to the new solution – i.e., does it offer

         simpler adoption?

·          Does it have the ability to evolve as your company does, so it can keep pace with future

         demands?

When meeting with key purse-string decision makers, it’s a good idea to flush out the “what,” “how,” and “why” so you can readily and clearly explain the main benefits that proposed new solution(s) will have short and long term.

Some of the obvious outcomes could include: end-to-end sales processes, one-stop shop, eliminating segmentation, smarter prospecting, and better tools to track history and analytics.

“The office of the future is here,” says Hugo Palacios, director, enterprise content management, business intelligence services at Konica Minolta, as he multi-tasks between his PC, mobile phone and tablet. Per Palacios, market leaders in any industry have taken the time to carefully analyze systems, procedures, levels of accessibility, security and more, to identify best case scenarios and shortfalls.

Overall integration is the goal. Enterprise Content Management can help achieve better results and productivity by connecting all the dots, automating existing manual processes and providing on-the-go access.

According to Palacios, IT disruption today is all about taking the IT professional out of an insular director’s chair, and putting the HR manager, AP supervisor, sales executives and other department leaders in the driver’s seat.  These are the people on the front lines, who deal with a myriad of content management and access issues every day. They understand the inner workings of their departments and what they need to accomplish.

Big thinking, better outcomes

The key benefit of big thinking when it comes to data management, is that all the moving parts and issues are identified.  When ECM is employed effectively, companies keep and access information from a central repository. Access is specific to roles. Decision makers with the right clearance can find what they need, make on-the-go edits, and share documents with team members and clients wherever they are.

A nice perk: once your ECM systems are aligned and organized, the savings realized can be allocated to help other areas of your business.

If your organization has not shifted the conversation from “we’re getting by” and/or “this-is-how-we’ve-done-it-in-the-past,” its time.  Get your company on track by starting user-centric conversations. Then take that input and institute better data management and reporting systems, so your company and your people can work more effectively and productively.

 

With a background in sales, communications, branding, entrepreneurship, freelance writing, building social communities and video, Pattie Simone has helped local-global  brands understand and leverage a range of media and business development campaigns to creatively communicate their value and boost sales. As the new Manager, Corporate Communications at Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc.,  she is happily producing lively corporate communications that inspire, inform, engage – and help shorten the sales cycle!

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