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AIIM Conference No One-Hit Wonder

The 2013 edition of the AIIM Conference has come and gone like a fast-moving storm, but instead of devastation, it left lots of education in its wake. And in so doing, it served as more than a worthy follow-up to last year’s reimagined and reconstituted event.

The speakers were generally great, the rooms were generally full, and it really did appear that a good time was had by all – including by the solution and service providers, whose same-sized displays ringed the common lobby and generally had people inquiring within.

Hot Topics

As I noted last time, the topics that seemed most popular included the usual recent suspects of mobility and the cloud. However, the overall tenor of the event was much more workmanlike than it has been in the hype-filled recent past, and social business, while certainly present and accounted for, struck me as occupying much less mindshare than it once did.

  • A New Twist on Records and Compliance Management
    On the other hand, two of the more interesting conversations I had centered on the management of records and compliance policies – a relatively dry subject that is critical to organization value but is often left to the wonks to figure out. Specifically, the twist that captured me had to do with extracting retention schedules and the like from all the systems in which records are stored (most organizations having more than one), synthesizing, reconciling, and updating them as necessary, and reapplying the now-cleaned governance information to the originating stacks.One of the reasons this appealed to me is that this process is precisely what forward-thinking organizations do with their taxonomies, metadata, and databases to ensure maximum cleanliness and management efficiency. So applying it compliance information seems eminently logical, and it was interesting that the subject came up not once, but twice, as a mainstream initiative.
  • Simplicity and Focus Returning to the Fore
    Another captivating theme evident at the conference had to do with making today’s process and information management solutions easier to configure and more directly relevant to specific audiences. I’ve been banging this particular drum since, well, workflow was two words and check-in and check-out were things you did at a hotel. So it was nice to hear these notes being played as often as they were.Practically speaking, this means two things:

    1) Ease of use is being expanded from its longstanding focus on the user to accommodate IT staff as well. Not that scripting and programming are going away as required skills, but the immediate future of configuration seems to be centered on checking boxes on screens of options. This, it seems to me, is a good thing, for it may remove some of the more technical/educational impediments to deriving maximum total value from a given solution.

    2) Functionality is being wrapped in specific vertical-market veneers to make various solutions more obviously valuable to particular sets of customers. This is most noteworthy in the context of the bigger vendors on the scene, many of which have spent so much time working on and promoting their platforms that they may have hidden the most compelling reasons anyone would want to buy one in the first place.

There’s plenty more to talk about, and because New Orleans isn’t Las Vegas (where everything that happens, stays), I’ll get to that in coming posts. But your takeaways for today are that there are many new things coming over the horizon – and I suspect that AIIM ’14 in Orlando will be a prime place to see them.

Can’t wait that long? Have a question or a need for some perspective? Let me know by calling 617-383-4655 or emailing!<?small>

1 thought on “AIIM Conference No One-Hit Wonder”

  1. This is a good summary of AIIM.

    It was our first time exhibiting at AIIM and the event was well received. The participants were quite engaged and there was definitely a strong interest in lifecycle governance (e.g. records management).

    I was there with our partner DOCOVA, a relative newcomer to the general ECM market, but one that is making waves by merging the traditional ECM services with the ease of use and flexibility of the consumer-oriented solutions and cloud offerings. It was fascinating to have discussions with customers, prospects, other vendors, and analysts who wanted to see what we are all about. We’ll be returning to AIIM next year and plan to do more events that are similar in the meantime.

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