Posts tagged "hp"

Document Management Roll-up: Autonomy Releases New CRM Tool, HyperOffice Gets Mobile

There was a lot about managing data in the retail sector this week with the launch of a new customer relationship management tool from Autonomy and a survey that shows the public is ready to go paperless . Also, HyperOffice makes data mobile with HyperSynch beta.

Automony’s New CRM Tool

Gartner’s (site) UK Customer Relationships Management (CRM) conference has only just opened, and Autonomy (site) is trying to hog the limelight with the release of its new customer analytics tool Autonomy Explore.

Autonomy Explore takes all the points of contact between a company and a customer, analyzes them and produces a customer profile that enables businesses understand not only where their customers are coming from, but also they are likely to go.

So it’s just another CRM system you say? Well, yes it is, but one that analyzes not just emails, blogs, document, social media, and any other point of contact with the customer, it’s also one that throws all the information together for a clearer picture of customers.

The difference with many other CRMs is that this can take information from all channels together, not just one channel at a time, and give a much broader picture of what’s happening than would normally be possible.

HyperOffice Takes HyperSynch To Beta

You may remember last week that HyperOffice (site) took its collaboration suite out of beta and made it generally available. Well, this week it began beta testing of HyperSynch, a software package that taps into corporate networks, takes the data and updates mobile workers smart phones.

With support for over 1700 phones, it doesn’t look like HyperOffice is taking any chances on companies not being able to find a suitable mobile device to use it on, with the HyperSynch software bringing mobiles users updated email, contacts, calendars, projects, tasks and notes to whatever mobile they happen to use.

And that’s the real joy of it — companies with even the beta release of HyperSynch won’t have to decide on whether to invest in Blackberry Enterprise Server or Microsoft Exchange Server or MobileMe based on the mobile device their employees are using, as HyperSynch works with them all.

In effect, what it is doing is putting HyperOffice collaboration suite on the road and comes with bi-directional syncing between mobile device and desktop with data uploaded to any desired location, and data downloadable for any location too.

Currently, a subscription to HyperOffice collaboration suite with business-class hosted email services costs about US$ 10 per month per user. Now HyperSynch will be included too for free.

On-Premise, Cloud, or Hybrid?

If you are interested in finding out how you should be using technologies and what technologies you should be using, you might want to check out the recently release paper from HP (site)  entitled A Hybrid Approach to Enterprise Technology.

While it’s not a very long paper, it does have some interesting points that are worth taking on board when it comes to deciding what kind of document management processes you are going to implement and whether you are going to deploy document management software or not.

The principal conflict at the moment, the paper says, is that companies are now faced with a situation where many of the document management processes are now available in the cloud and companies need to decide whether to trust the cloud or not.

Pricing aside, the cloud is an attractive option as deployment. It is easy with a whole range of possibilities through many different vendors, different use and deployment options.

However, the key question for many companies is security and whether their data is going to safe in the cloud. The paper doesn’t deal with that and no one can really definitely say for certain, but it does discuss a third alternative apart from on-premise and cloud — a hybrid of the two.

Properly deployed, this option offers the price benefits on some levels of the cloud, with security issues covered by on-premise solutions. If you’re at the crossroads, it’s well worth a read.

Public Goes For Paperless Office

We hear all the time about companies that are embracing the paperless office with document management systems and turning to electronic documents to stamp out the scourge of paper. However, there has been little research as to how the general public will respond to electronic documents issued by companies in the form of invoices, insurance policies, mortgage statements and so on.

Research by NewRiver — a financial services customer data systems provider — seems to suggest that the public is just as interested  as the corporate world is in getting rid of paper.

The research looked principally at insurance documents, but many of the insurance documents surveyed had legal and compliance issues around them, so it’s probably safe to assume that many other documents could be sent electronically too.

The research showed that there is a strong demand from variable annuity (VA) and variable universal life (VUL) policy holders to receive prospectus and compliance documents electronically.

More than half of the respondents who were not offered electronic delivery of documents from their VA/VUL company said they would be interested in electronic delivery if it were available. In fact, only one in four (26%) could ever recall being notified about the option.

For those that did not want electronic documents, nearly three out of five (59%) said it was due to the difficulty in reading compliance documents online. The findings are available for download, but you will have to register first.

Is Microsoft's New Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Competition for iPhone?

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The mobile space is always ready for a good dust-up, will Microsoft's (site) Windows Phone 7 be the one to shake the Apple tree?

One Ringtone to Rule them All?

Technology empires regularly come and go. When was the last time you heard the phrase "IBM PC", "Hayes Modem" or  "Sega Console"?.

In the mobile space, things seem to happen even quicker. PDAs — now smartphones — were long considered executive tinker toys. It is only in the last few years with BlackBerry, and then Apple's entry into the market (approaching a dominant 70% of the smartphone market between them) that cemented the idea of doing business on the phone.

Windows Phone 7 goes straight for the consumer with its bold, block-panel display, slick all-in-one interface and use of large font sizes. It all looks a million miles away from those HP iPAQ's that were de-riguer but much-despised before the rise of the BlackBerry.

The hype around the announcement is rather reminiscent of Windows 7 blowing PC users away after the botched launch of Windows Vista. It's a big improvement on Microsoft's existing product, therefore generates much noise, but still has to appeal to the wider phone market and picky real-world users. Even Microsoft staff seem loathe to drop their iPhones, to the annoyance of the head honchos.

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Microsoft has come a long way in interface design, but is it enough?

But can Microsoft and its many hardware partners (including; LG, Samsung, Garmin, Sony Ericsson, Dell HP and HTC) really storm the iPhone's market share in any meaningful manner?

A Brave New Rebirth

Apple, while hardly being innovative on the ideas front, has redefined the idea of apps and touch screens firmly in the consumer conscience and created a controlled environment to change the market.

Which brings us to the late market re-entrant that is Microsoft. Ever since the early PDAs and smartphones, Microsoft OS-based mobile devices have been clunky and boring to say the least. So, a total refresh was obviously needed. Something it took a brave decision to do, even as Windows 6.5 for smartphones was also in development. 

What the Experts Say

Mark Hattersley, Editor-in-Chief of Macworld UK, took some time to point out what he thinks are the pros and cons of the Microsoft's new play in the market.

The greatest strength is, of course, that it's Windows. Despite everything, that's still an operating system that many people are familiar with and integration with the desktop edition is always a strength Microsoft will have — especially integration with Office.

Beyond that key features such as tethering (available as standard on Windows Mobile phones) is something you have to pay for on an iPhone. Plus, of course, the OS supports a range of handsets giving consumers choice for things like keyboards, larger screens, haptic screens, and so on."

Too Little, Too Late?

Hattersley also points out the cons:

Weakness is simply timing, above all. Microsoft has been extremely slow to react to the iPhone, and Android, and it's hard to genuinely see a standout feature that Windows 7 Mobile has over the iPhone. The runaway success of Apple's App Store means that many iPhone owners have invested not just in hardware, but software, and it will be hard to convince them to lose all that for a phone that doesn't offer something substantial."

How does he think it will do in the overall marketplace? 

I think it'll struggle to take on Android, let alone the iPhone. Certainly for the next year or so. But Microsoft plays a long game and the mobile market is still incredibly new. I have no idea on numbers - shall we say"

Slightly more optimistic, Ben Harvell, editor of iCreate magazine, reckons

It seems the UI has more of a social bent than the iPhone which is a bonus for today's web-focused, social networking obsessed market. I also like the fact that (according to MS) all of the contacts I need and the information I'm after is available quickly and from the interface, not within individual apps. I would even go so far as to say I like the design! XBox Live integration will be a major deciding factor for a massive user base of gamers."

Under Pressure

The pressure is on Microsoft to get this right the first time. Apple got a lot of flack for issues with its early iPhones that have taken many updates and the recent 3GS model to put right. Apple still hasn't mastered multitasking, although that should be sorted by summer, and refuses to let Flash run.

Microsoft will not have the luxury of time (Zune, anyone?) on its side to get issues right. The phones, user interface, app store, the number of apps and marketing, all need to be 100% present and correct on launch day. 

Inter-Face-Off

On the plus side:

Range: Compared to Apple's single choice (barring memory sizes) of three different phone-types lets the buyer pick the phone of their choice:

  • Large touchscreen (iPhone)
  • Keyboard at the bottom model (Palm Treo-style)
  • Candybar or (possibly) slide-out keyboard (To be confirmed)

Office: Compatibility with SharePoint and Microsoft Office means instant access to most of the world's businesses.

Games: Linking into the Xbox Live brand could tempt gamers and the power of the SnapDragon CPU and portability of DirectX means a big gaming cross-over. Something that could produce better PSP-style gaming rather than the iPhone staples of cutesy time wasters.

On the minus side:

Brand: The name, "Windows Phone 7 Series" is already a confusing, jumbled, marketing loser. Hopefully, something snappier will be available by release — or phone makers will use their own branding — but that too will dilute the idea of a unified ecosystem which is where Apple has made its mark.

Late, late, late: Microsoft is so far behind the curve, to be almost off the chart.

Fortune Favors the Brave

Perhaps the biggest advantage Microsoft has is that a large core of phone users are gadget buyers who want the latest, coolest toys. It's this vocal minority of people who brought Apple into the market and they could do the same for Microsoft — if the product hits the right notes.

Time will tell if these people are Apple-followers in the Mac sense, or just a passing crowd willing to leave their iPhones behind.

Check it out for yourself:

 
HP TRIM 7 Provides Records Management for SharePoint

When HP (site) bought Tower in 2008 the reason they gave for doing so was to extend their reach in the information management market. The recent upgrade of the TRIM document management software to TRIM 7 fulfills that ambition by offering an integrated, full suite of solutions for eDiscovery, compliance, records management and archiving.

In fact with TRIM 7, HP has specifically focused on upgrading the records and archiving elements. In this respect, they have created software that enables organizations transparently manage all of their Microsoft SharePoint Server records in a single environment, regardless of the source of those records.

What this means is that it can now capture Microsoft SharePoint files and even entire SharePoint workspaces. It also comes with full DoD 5015.2 v3 certification, making it particularly attractive across the eDiscovery and compliance markets.

TRIM And SharePoint

That TRIM 7 focuses specifically on integrating its records and archiving abilities with SharePoint is not a surprise.

For those unfamiliar with it, TRIM software is an enterprise document and records management system with the ability to scale across large, distributed environments. It enables users to capture, manage and secure enterprise information, from electronic to physical records and from creation to eventual disposal.

When HP bought Tower and its Total Records Information Management (TRIM) in 2008 one of the features it was buying was TRIM’s SharePoint integration capabilities. Tower’s software was based on Microsoft Technologies and was a Gold Partner for SharePoint before the takeover.

This integration enabled HP to enter into the SharePoint eDiscovery and compliance world as so many organizations with SharePoint now find themselves having to look at compliance issues and SharePoint carefully.

TRIM 7 Modules

With the two new modules, HP TRIM 7 enables users capture, search and manage of all types of physical and electronic business information across Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the upcoming SharePoint Server 2010.

The two new modules include

  • TRIM Records Management: Provides transparent access to all SharePoint Server content from the SharePoint Server workspace
  • TRIM Archiving: Archives specific list objects in SharePoint Server, or entire SharePoint Server sites, to HP TRIM.

While TRIM’s ability to capture SharePoint records and archive them is not new, up until now the information it could manage was restricted to documents and limited to manual entry.

However, now capture policies can be defined by administrators and can include information that is contained in wikis, blog entries, blog comments, calendar entries and workflow events.

There are other advantages too. They include:

  • Increased compliance and preparation for eDiscovery
  • Apply compliance policy management across the enterprise
  • TRIM can now manage the complete information lifecycle of corporate records
  • Prove the authenticity of information with version control, access control and audit trails
  • Support long-term information access in appropriate formats
  • Support FOI requests by easily finding, redacting and rendering information for secure release
  • Enforce a security structure that governs how information is used
  • Easy-to apply text‑based search capabilities and metadata
  • Apply lifetime policies seamlessly and manage all SharePoint

Given the number of organizations that are now using SharePoint and are considering SharePoint 2010, the new HP TRIM modules are quite timely and probably not the last module we are likely to see for TRIM.

Considering SharePoint does not have DoD 5015 certification for its built in records management capabilities — in SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010 — many organizations using the platform will be looking for an integrated solution such as this one from HP.