PleaseTech blog

We aim to provide useful, pertinent and sometimes fun insights into the world of document collaboration and the workings of a technology company

An increasing document workload

Posted by David Cornwell on 2. June 2014 10:44

Founder/CEO of PleaseTech Ltd - collaborative document review and co-authoring for the enterprise.


As you may be aware, PleaseTech attends a large number of conferences every year. Not only do we have a booth/stand to show our products and chat with existing and prospective customers, but also in order to get additional insight as to the pressures driving prospective clients, we conduct research at these conferences. This normally takes the form of a brief iPad questionnaire which we ask delegates to complete.

Where we get a statistically meaningful sample, we publish the results of this research as White Papers and webinars. The research tends to be geared towards the conferences’ specific industry or discipline, so the results from different conferences are not always directly comparable.

However, one of the recurring themes we see in this research is the increase in what we are calling the ‘document workload’. I’m thinking of the document workload as the number of documents required to achieve a certain goal. If that goal is running a successful business then let’s define it as the number of documents required to run the business.  Another way to think of it is, the number of documents required to do your job, or that you come across in your job. 

There is no doubt that the document workload is increasing. That’s what people tell us and it’s what we observe in our own business. Why? Well, the standard answer is the increased regulatory and legislative overhead and resulting increased emphasis in procedures and client auditing requirements. 

The phrase ‘If it’s not documented it didn’t happen’ (or similar wording) is well known, especially in the FDA-regulated Life Sciences market, which historically has been and remains our largest market. This is the corollary of procedures where it’s commonly stated that: 'If a process is not documented it doesn’t exist’. Whilst these clichés have always been true in Life Sciences, if you search for the terms you will find them equally applicable to Legal, Government, Healthcare, etc.

So the good news is that the document workload is increasing. Good news? Yes, very much so if you are a vendor in the ‘document workload mitigation’ industry. Whilst I suspect that the ‘document workload mitigation’ industry isn’t an officially recognized industry sector, it’s really the reason why there is so much focus on document management and document collaboration - a recognized sector which PleaseTech is very much part of. 

This increase in the document workload leads directly and unequivocally to an increase in the ‘review workload’. An increase in the review workload means an increase in demand for PleaseReview. In fact, we would argue that the review workload is a significant percentage of the effort required in dealing with the document workload. 

We have previously documented the results of our research which suggest that people have a low expectation of document collaboration solutions. Everyone just assumes that there is no way around the ‘tracked changes nightmare’. As the document workload increases, so will that nightmare and the associated pain. 

Mitigation is all about the reduction of pain and one of the things I’ve come to understand in my long career is that in order to sell a software product it must solve a pain point. If it doesn’t solve a pain point there won’t be a compelling ROI and it becomes a ‘nice to have’ - and no one has the time or budget for that stuff these days. 

Whilst I was thinking about the document workload and collating the ideas as a subject for this blog post, I thought a bit of research of my own was in order. I was hoping to find some research which quantified the increase of the document workload on businesses. From that I reasoned I could work out the increase in the review workload. I was somewhat surprised to find that there doesn’t appear to be much, if any, research on the subject. A search for ‘document workload’ resulted in nothing meaningful. Likewise ‘document burden’ didn’t produce anything interesting. There were a number of vendors talking about the ‘document burden’ but no hard research.

So, I’m thinking that we need to start researching this. We need to find out by how much the document workload is increasing year on year. We need to ask people what percentage of the document workload they estimate can be attributed to the review workload and what the pain is, in real terms, of the review workload. The output of all this research is a marketing campaign!

If you wish to be a part of this research, please let us know by emailing us at marketing@pleasetech.com!

 

PleaseTech and Oracle® introduce WebCenter Content’s new collaborative document review capabilities

Posted by Sarah Holden on 24. January 2014 10:10

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


It’s been a couple of weeks since we announced our PleaseTech integration with Oracle’s WebCenter Content ECM platform. We are now following that up by hosting a brief webinar to demonstrate both what this partnership brings and how it works.

Oracle’s WebCenter Content allows businesses to not only consolidate and manage their documents and content from a central platform, but now has the added capability to address a very specific, yet prolific business issue. How to collaboratively edit, review and co-author a document at the same time as others, whilst maintaining control over the document, management over the process and adherence to corporate compliance requirements. Oh, and making it easy to do, too!

The webinar will be presented by PleaseTech CEO, Dave Cornwell and Senior Principal, Product Management, Oracle.

So simply sign up! LINK to webinar page.

Webinar: Collaborative document review within Oracle WebCenter Content

Thursday January 30th, 2014: 12 noon, EST / 9am PST / 5pm GMT

Duration: 30 minutes

 

We look forward to you joining us next week.

Integrating PleaseReview with Oracle WebCenter Content

Posted by John Tanner on 22. January 2014 11:06

Our PleaseTech integration expert


When setting out on developing the integration of WebCenter Content with PleaseReview, our primary aims were the same as with other PleaseReview document management integrations. We wanted to develop a seamless solution which would allow all of the controlled collaboration benefits of PleaseReview to be available from within WebCenter Content without the user having to log into a separate system.  In addition, we wanted to make it possible for existing PleaseReview users already familiar with the User Interface, to be able to log into it using their WebCenter Content Credentials and carry out reviews using WebCenter documents and WebCenter Users as Participants.

In order to achieve these aims it was necessary to develop three separate components, which together work hand-in-hand to join WebCenter Content and PleaseReview....

Firstly a custom WebCenter Content Component was created in order to update the WebCenter Content user interface to include new PleaseReview menu items and custom inbox pages in the style of the WebCenter Content instance, for users with the appropriate permissions.  The result was a custom component that can easily be deployed and configured to work with PleaseReview by a WebCenter Content administrator.

Next, a custom PleaseReview extension (or System Connector) specific to WebCenter Content was built to enable users to log into the PleaseReview UI using their WebCenter Credentials and to enable PleaseReview to be able to interact with WebCenter Content via its APIs, for purposes such as accessing documents, selecting users etc. This was built using the standard PleaseReview system connector structure, so as to simplify the deployment process.

Finally, in order to enable PleaseReview to obtain details of the PleaseReview specific users and groups administered from within WebLogic Admin Console, a WebLogic PleaseReview Connector was developed, which can simply be deployed as a Web Application on the WebLogic server on which WebCenter Content resides using the WebLogic AdminClient.

Putting these three components together we now have a solution which offers everything we initially set out to do, making a seamless collaborative review process possible from within WebCenter Content.  

For anyone interested in finding out more about this integration and the collaborative document review capabilities within WebCenter Content, please join us for our complimentary webinar on January 30th- just sign up here

 

PleaseTech announces PleaseReview integration with Oracle WebCenter Content

Posted by Sarah Holden on 14. November 2013 16:09

Half of the PleaseTech marketing team.


We are very pleased to announce that after lots of hard work we can safely say that PleaseReview™ now brings its specialist collaborative review and co-authoring capabilities within reach of Oracle® WebCenter Content customers.

Following on from our earlier announcement that we had achieved Oracle PartnerNetwork gold level partner status, we have successfully completed PleaseReview's integration with Oracle's WebCenter Content ECM platform. This extends our current partner portfolio with other leading document and content management systems, and more integrations are underway.

PleaseReview is a natural fit with Oracle WebCenter Content as it brings its specialist collaborative review and co-authoring capabilities to those organizations who chose Oracle's ECM platform to help lower costs, reduce risks and improve business productivity. Indeed, as PleaseReview is proven to deliver significant cost and time savings and is easy to use, the ROI becomes quickly obvious. 

Additionally, as PleaseReview seamlessly accesses Oracle WebCenter Content's document repository, users can easily locate and participate in reviews from their WebCenter Content interface. Simultaneous access to the review, control over who can do what to where, comment and change reconciliation, automated consolidation of proposed changes and comments, owner management and control and comprehensive reporting are some of the features  they will benefit from.

For more information, please visit our website, read the news release or contact us.

 

 

We’re a lean, green collaborating machine…

Posted by Sarah Edmonds on 10. September 2013 12:18

The other half of marketing... Google


The average person produces seven times their bodyweight in rubbish each year with just over 40% of it being recycled.  Sometimes trying to be eco-friendly is a real pain.  Take energy efficient light bulbs that take seemingly ages to light a room up properly, or doing the school run with three small children on foot, and in the rain to avoid using the car…you get my point.

We try to be as green as possible here at PleaseTech; we’re corporate members of the Woodland Trust and recycle plastic, cardboard and printer cartridges to minimize our carbon footprint. 

Of course, we’re not the only ones. Most businesses have some sort of environmental policy but whilst many strive to be paperless, the demand for printer paper is at an all-time high.  Nearly all have a need to write and review all sorts of documents: procedures manuals, proposals, books, regulatory submissions, audits, contracts, assessments, the list goes on. 

In a previous life, I was the poor soul responsible for compiling annual reports, getting input from board directors, emailing round draft after draft to people who’d then dump hard copies on my desk, full of amends, some of which clashed with comments from colleagues, much of it in illegible handwriting.

Can you imagine how much paper was printed out before that report was approved – for printing? Not to mention the number of late nights spent in the office, with all the lights and computers on, to meet the deadline of finishing it? 

As consumers we strive to be greener, recycling, being a good example, but what is it that actually drives the change? In reality most people turn their heating down out of need not want - to save money, rather than energy.  Technological advances mean we have low energy, high definition TVs, but do people buy the TV to save energy or for the improved viewing experience?

It’s a similar situation in the workplace; new technologies are introduced in order to make our lives easier, save the company money or enable us to do our jobs more efficiently and, as a by-product, are also likely to drive environmental change.

Take my annual reports.  If the process of compiling the report had been easier, I’d have got the job done in half the time, the company in question would have saved a fortune in printing and electricity costs, and been ‘greener’ without even trying.

We have a client at PleaseTech who recently told us that to get just one review completed involved nearly 300 emails and even more attachments. 

How crazy is that?  But it’s not an unfamiliar tale, and one, which I’m sure most people can identify with. 

Controlled document collaboration software is relatively new, and was sought out initially by companies heavily regulated with a key business requirement to comply with strict industry guidelines, such as in Life Sciences.  However, the impact of what it can help businesses to achieve is gaining momentum across other industry sectors. It’s now considered a ‘cool’ technology by leading analysts such as Gartner and Ovum, and the range of organizations using it includes the big pharmaceuticals, financial institutions and energy firms to consultancies, universities and small businesses

And why? Well the answer is simple really, customers report that it cuts the time taken to edit and review documents by up to 65%, or to put it another way, gives them an extra month’s employee productivity every year.

The environmental impact is obvious.  Let’s say you have 10 team members working on a 50 page document.  Each person prints the document out twice.  That’s 1,000 pieces of paper.  They do that every month and you have 12,000 pieces of paper.  Estimates suggest one tree produces 8,333 pieces of A4 paper, so do the maths, that’s 1.4 trees saved. 

Some of our customers have 20+ people working on documents that are regularly over 200 pages in length, and there may be several documents that the business is working on each month.  The environmental saving is potentially huge, but arguably, a bi-product of the business wanting to operate more efficiently.

So in PleaseReview we have a piece of software that is easy to use, supports employee efficiency, saves businesses huge amounts of time, improves document quality and helps organizations offset their carbon footprint.   No wonder Gartner think we’re cool.

 

 

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