2001: An Enterprise Odyssey


The Discovery from 2001When I was at the AIIM Conference this year, Thornton May, gave a frenetic keynote address. While I am never quite sure what the key point Thornton is trying to make during his talks, he always makes everyone in the audience think, which is a very good thing.

During his keynote this year, Thornton used the following exercise to get the audience thinking about the future.

Choose movie, show, or work of literature which comes closest to capturing the essence of the external environment facing your enterprise today.

There were a lot of answers, some good, some mired in the past, but it was a very thought provoking discussion. My choice, if you haven’t figured it out by now, was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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An AIIM Keynote at a Kodak Alaris Conference


Today I ended up at the Kodak Alaris Global Directions 2013 Conference here in Washington, DC. It is good to see that Kodak’s implosion didn’t kill their imaging business. In addition to talking to people how Alfresco can add value to their Kodak deployment, I got to listen to John Mancini give the day two keynote, Intelligent Information Management – Transforming the Customer Experience.

I must say, it was a new experience watching John talk after having been his Chief Information Officer (CIO). Thankfully he has evolved his talk. When I first started at AIIM, his theme was that CIO’s didn’t “get it”. Now it focuses on the pressure that CIOs are under.

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A Farewell to AIIM


Today is my last day at AIIM. After today I shall cease being their Chief Information Officer (CIO) and return to the ranks of the Professional Member. As I leave, I want to make sure that I share a few important things.

An Education

Boy, did I learn things. I learned a lot about:

  • The Association Business. It is a business and it has many unique aspects compared to other businesses with whom I have ever worked. Many of the unique aspects will help me look at problems in other organizations with a fresh viewpoint.
  • Association Management Systems (AMS). While hand-in-hand with the former, I learned that implementing an AMS as a system isn’t that different from any other business system. Translation: It takes planning, communication, and work. I also learned why they are important pieces of software and not simply a domain-specific CRM system.
  • Marketing. I thought I knew a reasonable amount about Marketing when I started at AIIM. I spent every day after that learning how much I didn’t know as I learned more and more.

That isn’t counting all the new technology tidbits and personal interaction skills I picked-up along the way. It was an intense time.

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Ready to Prove Yourself at AIIM 2014?


AIIM13 KeynoteThe call for speakers is out for AIIM 2014. As an employee, I can only speak as either a backup or as a keynote, though John Mancini seems to have that job locked-up.

You, on the other hand, can speak. In fact, you should speak. Your experiences and war stories are the kind of things that make the AIIM Conference useful for everyone.

Why should you speak?

  1. It is a chance to share your pain. Think of it as group therapy.
  2. Presentations are only 20 minutes long. Anyone can find enough useful information to fill that time.
  3. You can validate your ideas and experience among some of the leading minds in the Information Management profession.
  4. It is a chance to tell your favorite “war story”. (Those are the best presentations)
  5. Your boss is unlikely to say you can’t go if you are a speaker.
  6. You can tell people I am wrong without me being able to interrupt you.
  7. Looking smart in front of potential future colleagues is always a good thing.
  8. Why do lists always have to have 10 items? This is hard.
  9. Gaining the respect and admiration of your industry peers goes a long way.
  10. Who doesn’t want to spend a week in Orlando?

So start thinking about all the nuggets of wisdom you want to share and submit your idea today.

The AIIM Website Tribulations


If you’ve been to the AIIM Website recently, you may have seen this message:

Thank you for your patience as we undergo a major system migration to improve the services we bring you. We ARE available to assist you if you encounter any problems.

While a majority of the issues have  been resolved, the message is still there until I am 100% sure that every open ticket is unrelated to the migration.

What migration do you ask?

The one I hinted earlier this year when I talked about AIIM’s Website Performance. The migration is part of our long-term plan to improve the services we provide to our members.

The future is here but the ride has been bumpier than expected.

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Information Management has Failed


New PictureIn March, I gave a keynote at the annual AIIM Conference. It was based upon my post, Silicon Valley’s War on the Enterprise. I’ve been hoping to share the video with everyone, but that doesn’t seem probable due to some bad luck.

Given that it is a very text-light presentation, I am going to try something new. I’m going to walked you through the whole thing…..

This is War

Seriously, it is.

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Six Years of Pie


You may not know it looking at my last two months of activity, or lack of it, but I’ve been writing, tweeting, and generally being loudly opinionated for the past six years. What started as just a way to vent my opinion over the direction of EMC/Documentum has become a platform for trying to push for change in the industry.

Thing is, the change is here. This June I’m going to pull my best Howard Beale and I’m going lay out why things are changing and why we can’t act as if it isn’t or that we have control.

But before all that, let’s review what has come before.

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Getting the Local Connection


This week I went up to Boston to speak at AIIM’s New England chapter. While I enjoyed speaking about the cloud and how AIIM is using it, I enjoyed talking to the people more.

I’ve always enjoyed attending events like this. Whether it is a random meet-up group, a local AIIM chapter, or one of the bigger seminars/conferences, talking to people the best way to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry.

When I was a consultant working with multiple clients, I would be very focused on a subset of the industry from both a technology and business perspective. Getting out and trading war stories with others was a great way to learn, let off steam, and to make sure that I never lost sight of the bigger picture.

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Tracking Website Performance


For those that have been paying attention to AIIM recently, you may have noticed that our website wasn’t performing at 100%. While the website has never been the fastest, it had been dramatically slower recently.

We’ve been working on thing to improve the user experience but sometimes circumstances catch-up with you as it did this week. I thought I would share a little case study in addressing Website performance.

Quick Background

If you aren’t a regular visitor to AIIM’s website, in addition to standard content delivery, we have some basic Community features including blogs, profiles, and discussions. In addition, members can update their information and preferences stored in our Association Management System (AMS). One final feature is that our training courses are all available directly through our website.

In 2012 we saw a steady rise in traffic, which is good. We were seeing more engagement and more of our research and content being accessed by a wider audience than before. We also noticed a trend of people taking more of our online courses instead of the traditional in-person courses.

Seeing this, we made plans to improve our scalability. Then reality hit.

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A New Conference Experience for Pie


It has been an interesting year so far as the CIO of AIIM. My world is subtly difference. I’m still acting as an Information Professional for an organization but there have been a few key differences:

  • Only one client
  • I don’t advise, I execute
  • The problems faced are mine but I can address them

There are lots of other differences, but those are the significant ones. This experience is also affording me a new experience.

I’m attending a technology conference as a client.

I’ve attended a lot of conferences either as a technology partner or a company trying to sell something. When I was neither of those, I was at an industry event like the AIIM Conference for networking and learning.

This is a new role for me, except for the part where I expect to be busy.

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