Reflections

June 29th, 2018 Comments off

​’Sit down. Relax. It’s done… ‘

Two minutes ago we finished our last assignment for the Young Professional Academy. For the assignment we had three weeks to go through a full-on project simulation, with senior colleagues as pretend ‘customers’, and our team as the consulting party.

Were we successful? Well, define success. If success means this simulation would fly in real life outside of the Academy, then no, we did not succeed at all. If by success you mean did we learn a lot and did we went through enough experiences to realise what is waiting for us on the other side of the door? Then I’d say, yes!

The most important lesson (all Young Professionals) took away from it was ‘This is not high school anymore’.
Our main goal during the assignment was ‘get everything done within the time frame that we have’, even though being able to was highly unlikely in the first place. Exactly like what we were all used to at school or previous jobs; you got an assignment, and you got it done before the deadline. Otherwise you failed.

But, as a consultant, that is not how reality works. You need to develop a sixth sense for how much high quality you can deliver within the given time frame.
No customer is happy with a product that is barely hanging together, even though it’s functional and checks all the requirements asked. Better to deliver one full-fledged, high quality product within three weeks, and realise before you start that you were never able to deliver the other three within the time frame. Otherwise (and that was the case for all of us) you deliver four products that are all 70% finished. And no customer is going to like that!

If anything, I think that was the most important lesson of the final assignment. Clearly, even though the Academy is now finished for us, it has become clear there is still much to learn! But, as they say, you learn the most ‘in the field’, and that’s where we are all heading. ​​

I would like to thank Informed Consulting for this amazing opportunity and for their investment (because that’s what it is, make no mistake about that) in all of us, and I hope we can repay their efforts soon.

Kill Your Darlings

June 14th, 2018 Comments off

Hello everyone and welcome to my last and final blog as a participant of the Young Professional Academy. Where am I and how did I get here? Sounds familiar?

After my graduation, I started a quest to look for my first real job. “Honey, would you mind if I would go abroad for the next 3 months?” Sounds like I asked her yesterday. “You have to do what makes you happy.” She said.

The Informed Academy started with freezing cold temperatures and ended with smoking hot ones. I came in with my head held high, way too fast, looking straight at the top. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I was doing something wrong. So I changed tactics: Held my head down, searched for a good pace and focused on what was right in front of me. Kept telling myself; It’s okay if you don’t make it. It’s not okay to quit.

So here I am standing in front of you, talents acknowledged and goals achieved. How? No big secret: Discipline, consistency and crystal clear goal setting. It’s very important to have goals. Daily goals, monthly goals, life goals… Visualize them. Close your eyes. Let yourself go.

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” ― Zig Ziglar

If you want to know why I chose Kill Your Darlings as a title and what it has to do with all of the paragraphs of this blog… I suggest you participate at the Young Professional Academy and find out yourself. Because we are wondering where you are? How did you got there? And more importantly: where you are heading and if you want to take the easy road… Or if you want to take the growth road?

Thank you all.

Categories: Young Professional Academy Tags:

Obligation or privilege?

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

Last Saturday I went to a BBQ at my former high school. Nine years ago I was handed my diploma and I hadn’t been back since. My classmates and I were given a tour were they proudly announced all the changes that had been made since we left after which we discussed how we are still all the same as we were back then.

While walking around the hallways, I especially remembered the struggle that high school was to me; Always counting down the hours until I could go home again, rarely paying attention at what the teachers were saying, and cheating on tests whenever possible. Learning things and developing new skillsets felt like an obligation.

Starting the academy two months ago, I sometimes feel like I am back in high school; Going to mandatory class every day, absorbing the information that is given to me, and doing homework. This time, however, I am excited to go to class, I am determined to acquire knowledge, and I want to spend time working on assignments. Never have I been more eager to learn.

When I signed up with Informed Consulting I had little idea of what I was getting myself into. Coming from a completely different background I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that a door had opened, and I was curious to see what was behind it. I am learning new things every day and I like what I am learning. What used to feel like an obligation, now became a privilege.

This is not the first time I have noticed this particular change in myself, but it has never before felt this significant. Maybe that is because there is a clear goal that I’m heading towards, maybe because I just like the things I am learning, maybe because my colleagues are showing the same drive… I don’t know but I do know I want to keep moving forward, push myself, and grow as a young professional. ​

DOLSR: The only cloud-based Documentum for LifeSciences!

April 11th, 2018 Comments off

Dolsr, Documentum for LifeSciences in the cloud

Woerden, April 11th, 2018 – Informed Group announces the release of their newest information management solution: DOLSR. Based on OpenText Documentum, DOLSR is the only virtual private cloud based Documentum solution for LifeSciences. DOLSR is the subscription-based cloud solution for the Life Sciences mid-market that provides a pre-validated information management solution to manage compliance, regulatory, risk, and quality challenges.

Dolsr (www.dolsr.com) combines OpenText Documentum for LifeSciences with the flexible and scalable characteristics of a subscription based cloud solution. In contrast to a lot of on-premise and other solutions, DOLSR can be up and running within 5 days.

‘We saw the urgent need for a cloud-based product that served mid-market companies that need to be compliant, but can’t afford long installation and validation processes and bespoke solutions.’ CEO Jeroen Jansen explains. ‘These organizations need a simple solution, something that is quick, reliable, scalable and works the way they do.’

DOLSR is preconfigured with the DIA EDMS and eTMF reference models to leverage the industry-defined best practices for managing documents and trial master files. Thereby, DOLSR is running on a GxP, GAMP 5, EMA and FDA compliant as well as ISO certified infrastructure that is provided by Iperion Life Sciences Cloud, the first SaaS distribution platform for validated applications.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

1+1=3

April 4th, 2018 Comments off

The whole concept of synergy intrigues me. The fact that people who work together can achieve more than if each of those people would work separately is an amazing concept. It’s a concept that is not utilized as often as it should be, but it’s a concept that we at Informed Consulting believe in very much. As a matter of fact, it’s the foundation we’re built on.

A big part of my task these past few weeks is to make sure the Young Professionals are learning as much as they can in their short traineeship. However, last week it was me who got taught a valuable lesson. The trainers of YSE were testing our Young Professional’s analytical skills. They had split them up in 3 groups and gave them an impossible amount of information. At the end of the week they needed to present their advice.

I myself would probably have separated from the rest and kept my findings a secret. My main goal would have been to be better than the other 2 groups. However, within 24 hours our Young Professionals concluded that if they worked together and shared the information they gathered, they would achieve a lot more. So they decided to create a Microsoft Team site where they shared everything.

A group of young, unexperienced, competitive Young Professionals didn’t only understand synergy, they used it to achieve a better end-result!

Young Professionals – Martijn: 1 – 0

Young professional blog: The utter understanding of knowledge

March 29th, 2018 Comments off

Informed’s Young professional academy 2018 started March 1st. We’ve asked our young professionals to share their experiences and lessons throughout the journey they’ve started. Read about Sebastian Lustermans’ experience this week.

‘Knowing is half the battle: The other half is understanding…’ is a book that has been untouched on the dinner table for quite some time now, and honestly, have no idea what it is about. However, the title caught my eye when I strolled through my new hometown.

I left for Maastricht University to study Law in August 2017, after having successfully completed secondary education in the United Kingdom with a lot of practical experiences and projects in IT. Believing that a university course in law, would prepare for what is yet to come in my adult life; and that my choices were set for a path to success.
Very nice said and done, in reality, none of this was true. One thing led to the other, and I discontinued my studies and ended up in an interview at Informed which is where I am today; as a Young Professional.

In my last weeks at Informed, the title of the book mentioned kept pondering in my head, having thrown myself completely into gaining knowledge of ECM Systems. I recognize methodologies and systems from other projects I have worked on, by means of browsing through Documentum (DA and D2 so far) I apply my knowledge of similar systems to truly understand what it is about.
Quite frankly, I’m self-aware that when I tend to believe a system is similar to what I’ve worked on in the past. I’m racing through it and am often inclined to forget minor details. Possibly leading to lead major faults or even lack of functions within an application.
This self-awareness of having the familiarity doesn’t immediately lead to the understanding of it, nor does it mean that I can apply this knowledge to its best of its abilities.

To recall my interview with one of the Senior Consultants, I was questioned why I didn’t continue my academic studies. Despite the fact that I expressed, ‘we learn today might not be relevant tomorrow’, a statement I still strongly believe in.
As a reflecting Young Professional at Informed Consultant so far, I see room for improvement for understanding the knowledge I am and have obtained in the past.

Nevertheless, even a more important element than anything mentioned about. What I have learned the most at informed: Is that a person’s strength is appreciated and utilized, however, a person’s weakness is stimulated to ensure development.

Keeping that in mind, every time I see the book: ‘Knowing is half the battle: The other half is understanding…’ I don’t think of that Knowledge is half of what I have to submit to, but that Understanding is as crucial as the knowledge itself. Knowing that I have to work on the utter understanding of knowledge and that my colleagues are more than willing to assist me in this. That a company is more than focused on only income, but that it’s focused on its employees and their welfare.​

Sebastian Lustermans

Categories: Young Professional Academy Tags:

The Young Professional Academy: week one

March 14th, 2018 Comments off

Informed's Young Professional Academy

After almost two months of selection days, interviews and preparation it was finally time to kick off the Informed Consulting Young Professional Academy 2018, or YPA2018 as we like to call it. A group of 10 was standing in front of us, excited but also a little bit nervous.

After some short mandatory introductory presentation, it was finally time! The cars arrived! It was incredibly cold, but nobody cared, this is the car that is going to be ours for at least the next 3 months!

Young Professionals with their cars

Despite the fact that some already met on one of the selection or signing days they still didn’t really know each other. Two introduction games solved this problem. These games made sure everyone had a short chat with all the others. Really fun and after the first awkward 30 seconds you could see everybody enjoying themselves and having vivid conversations. Young professional Sebastian Lustermans: “I didn’t really know what to expect, but my arrival and welcome at Informed certainly exceeded my expectations. The culture to share and help each other is ambient throughout the building genuinely admiring.”

After a training on Friday about presenting (where they had to give interesting presentations on topics like knitting and scrapbooking), on Monday it was finally time for the first “serious” training. Jeroen Jansen gave them an introduction to ECM and after that our AIIM CIP Ed Steenhoek started drilling them on all the theory behind ECM. Some “dry” stuff but luckily Ed is an amazing storyteller which makes it all a little bit more vivid. “Three full days we learned about the ideology and philosophy of this new kind of working. Mighty interesting but it’s not for the faint of heart.” Said Thijs van Tienen looking back at Ed Steenhoek’s lectures.

Of course, a training wouldn’t be an Informed training without a nice surprise at the end so when we told them on Wednesday that they needed to give a presentation on Friday you could see the excitement on their faces (or was it fear…?).

They needed to think of their ideal ECM application in one of the functional subcategories of ECM (Document management, Case management, Capture, Collaboration etc) and present that application on a functional level. Not an easy task. But it is always nice to be surprised and to see how creative everybody is. What made me even more proud was the fact that all of them took the feedback from the presentation workshop the week before and used that in this presentation.

Hans Van Soom: “As one of the Belgian newbies from the Young Professionals at Informed Consulting, I’ve only had training for 9 days now. However, days which have been so packed with brainfood that it’s already quite difficult to summarize all of my thoughts in just a few sentences. Well, I can tell you we’ve learned a lot!”

This week it’s time for a training from YSE where the YP’s are going to get challenged in their analytical skills with a variety of games, trainings and college tours! Stay tuned to follow the journey of our Young Professionals!

End of day 2, no 3, and the plot thickens

July 12th, 2017 Comments off

Oops, I missed a day. The plan was… just a plan and plans are there to be changed. Sticking to the plan, I could have done a blog about hockey or rum & coke. But all Canadians know by now that I talk about field hockey and not ice hockey. So, I’m far from an expert on that subject. And the rum & coke last night, made it a major risk to write something and share it with the world.
Now that the first day of the expo is over and without plans for a night downtown with a drink or two, this is a good time to make this into a double blog.

The second half will be about the venue itself, the good, the bad and the ugly of my first day at Enterprise World after two days at the PartnerSummit. But first we need to be serious about the other products in the OpenText stack (or should I say opentext stack? If I’m correct in the new brand OpenText is all lower case??)

In this first part of the blog, I will talk about the product that I think will be a cash cow for Informed Consulting. Almost every expert I talk to within OpenText tells me that InfoArchive is the cash cow and stubborn as I am, I think of a different product. InfoArchive is not new to us. As a person who has a very high respect for Jeroen van Rotterdam (the visionary behind InfoArchive) I should be jumping to sell and implement this, but I’m not (yet). I’m not saying it is not a cash cow, but I’m saying, it is not a cash cow for Informed Consulting (yet).

Let me explain. Our focus is heavily on compliancy demanding organizations like life sciences, engineering and regional government. The management, responsible for deciding about these types of implementations is always the business, not IT. InfoArchive is a solution focused on lowering the IT cost. A pure CTO decision. So to find the right person to talk to and gain their trust, is a lengthy process. Secondly, we’ve talked to a number of our clients about InfoArchive and they all recognize the problem, even could describe in detail what they would do to solve it, but as long as the legacy systems are running there are more pressing matters at hand that need to be solved. And lastly, we at Informed Consulting already had a number of discussions about how to setup a good and structured analysis process to define how you should setup your InfoArchive metadata structure. The question being: what are the 10 to 20 top questions to ask to understand how the data from the different solutions would be structured together. You could completely separate all different content/data parts but than you lose a lot of extra value.

So, if it is not InfoArchive, what will it be? Why do you ask? This should really be a no-brainer: ANALYTICS – iHub and friends. I’m adding the perfect slide that I got in one of the sessions, because I think this picture says more than a 1,000 words.OpenText Analytics Suite

This approach to analytics is so simple and yet so perfect, that you (we) should be able to convince every customer that this is a mandatory product. The problems with the information overload is clear to anyone. The need to bring structure to the massive piles of unstructured information is also clear. The fact that you need to use the available structured data to bring more structure in unstructured data can be distilled easily from that. So what are the challenges?

  1. It should be configuration only. If you need too much IT involvement when configuring/adding new data streams to it, it will lose traction with the business and they will try other options, like MS Access, MS Excel or other stuff. I don’t know the answer from iHub yet on this, but my first impression is very good.
  2. Clear description/selection about which process to follow when adding a data stream: is it unstructured data?, does it need text analysis?, does it need interpretation?, does it need AI analysis?, etc. etc.
  3. Easy to create and adapt the user interface: With dashboards, the user experience is everything. The problem with that is that currently the standards for a good design are changing on an almost daily basis. So this should be very simple and very flexible.
  4. An easy wysiwyg editor to relate data from different streams to identify the relations between data.
  5. Pricing: for the delivered functionality, a good (high) price is very justifiable, but there is a major risk that point solutions, like repository specific reporting tools with a much lower price, will be chosen because they can deliver the base trick. So there needs to be a lightweight start module that will get the solution going to easily upgrade once the demand is there.

As I don’t know for sure any of the answers on these 5 challenges, I have my work cut out for me the coming weeks. So, the product needs to be in very bad shape not to end up in the portfolio of Informed Consulting (if we are permitted to resell and implement it 😄). A lot of food for thought.

Now for the second part: the good, the bad and the ugly of the #OTEW venue (not the actual content of the conference, but the setup). As a user conference veteran, you see that all event agencies in North America look closely at each other, and conference venues all use a number of standard concepts. So, there is not much unique on that side to report. But there are some minor points to mention:

The good:

  • Having buses and tuk-tuks with the OT logo on it makes you feel more special.
  • Being able to make your own fresh toast at breakfast for the small crowd of 4,000 eating people. I have not seen this before and it gets a big applause!

The bad:

  •  The expo hall is chaotic. All Pods are randomly filled with a product. Not only all partners are random, but there is also no structure in the OT Pod layout. So, I see all attendees scouring the room to find some info. Next time please make information groups.

The ugly:

  • No, I’m not sharing pictures of all the sweating people I saw after breakfast. It is 3 floors up, walk over the street, 2 floors down again, a nice walk and then end it all with another floor down to get to the expo. Yes elevators… but still,  this is nasty.

Going to think with my eyes closed now…

The end of day 1 – way too much information

July 9th, 2017 Comments off

My first PartnerSummit day at OpenText. Wow, that was heavy. There is so much to hear, think, discuss that I’m beat. Lying in my bed in the hotel to have some quiet (with the live band rocking downstairs😬) trying to sort all the info I gathered today and see how I can make this into a structured blog…

Maybe I need some data analytics to define structure, or get some concepts groups going to get relevance in my information search? For people who know me, they know it is not easy to structure my brain and no artificial intelligence will be able to work with this mess, so I’m stuck to my own brain and see what falls out.

The task I set out to accomplish today was to identify at least 4 products that would be a great addition to our portfolio. But after one day and way (WAY) to many products, I must admit: this is going to take a little bit longer. 😀

But the simple joke about my brain is so relevant for the journey we as a consulting company are on, that this will be the red line for this blog. The focus of Informed Consulting is very much on helping clients identify and address/manage their compliance demands. Supporting their journey of controlling the information processes that are relevant to being compliant. It does not really matter if you are in the life sciences space, an engineering company, a government agency or a bank. Our clients all have growing demands to meet their industry specific compliance demands. Until recently (1-2 years) Documentum could fulfill most of the demands and that was what we offered. But times are rapidly changing, even a mid-size pharma company has a enormous amount of info that needs to be managed and reused and just a ‘simple’ ECM system, meta-data taxonomy and search will not do the trick. We need to be able to give the client a total experience that will give them the ability to fit their compliance need in their overall EIM vision and tooling to guarantee the best experience, both for users and for the company.

Hey, that sounds familiar: Connecting people to the enterprise. The slogan that has been our vision the past 7 years is still, more than ever, alive!

But why, if we have been doing this already for years, is change needed? We live in a spectacular time. Simply put, on both sides of this equation (user and enterprise) the demands are exponentially growing. That, topped with a more than exponential growth in data, demands a total vertically focused solution, specific for the client. NO, not custom built, but a carefully packaged set of products, specifically targeted at the client’s needs. The challenging task of the new ECM Consultancy firms is not only to have the best developers or configurators. No, it is to have the best architects who can create an out-of-the-box, total solution, based on a predefined set of products, all handpicked and configured (composed) to meet the needs of that specific customer in that specific vertical market and to have an implementation team that understands the vertical and the vision of the architect and is able to deliver that before a very time sensitive deadline.

So that is what we at Informed Consulting have been doing the past years and we have a clear plan how we can deliver the much needed expertise to make that total solution. And now that Documentum is part of the rich set of products of OpenText we can rapidly deliver this total solution based on the products from OpenText combined with our tailor-made products for specific markets like our Quality Management Solution for the life sciences market.

For a life science company that total solution will include:

  • Documentum life sciences suite
  • eQMS express
  • SharePoint connector for Life Sciences for easy communication with partners in partner exchange
  • iHub for analytics to support that quick overview of all the states of the information and processes and manage and control every inspection
  • Decisiv to manage easy enterprise search not only in their ECM system but also in systems like their LIMS system. This is no eDiscovery but real AI driven enterprise search.
  • Blazon for regulator approved renditions
  • Marketing management that works with the ECM content
  • Customer communication management to streamline and audit all complaints and inspections
  • InfoArchive to really archive the old documents and make sure they stay compliant

And the list goes on and on. Sure, no client can do it all at once, but we have road map that will fit any client!

So, a great first day, with a happy partner and a SUPER road map for Documentum makes it complete.

Hope we can continue this happy flow for 6 more days!!

OpenText Enterprise World 2017 – Day 1

July 9th, 2017 1 comment

We are going into the 3th quarter of the acquisition of the ECD (Documentum) group in the OpenText family and the start of my first Enterprise World. A good time to start the first of my series of blogs around a user conference. The past 20 years it was Momentum or EMC World and I’m more than excited that it is now a software only conference and fully focused on EIM (for me still the extension of ECM).

So, in the blogs for the next 7 days I will focus on one aspect of the great OpenText portfolio and the things that will make my customer smile (or worried, if I see a challenge).

But how do I feel? What do I think of the merger so far? Questions I get asked more than daily and a good start of the blog series. In the beginning, I was careful with my answer. My company depends for about 65% on Documentum consultancy and products, so if this would suddenly disappear that would be not so good😊.

But now going into the 3th quarter of the game and the first full physical year of OpenText my answer is clear and open.

WHY DID THIS NOT HAPPEN SOONER!!

I think I was not unhappy as EMC partner. The ECD team was kept relatively separate from the rest and when you talked with the real architects of EMC they actually understood what ECM Software could bring to the whole information lifecycle vision of EMC.
But in the end the financial figures are clear. The hard dollars that ECD could bring to the table where not enough to have a loud voice and demand room for the much-needed choices. At OpenText everybody talks software for managing your enterprise information. You don’t need a loud voice to get someone to listen to the opportunities that are there in the ECM space.
The product managers from OpenText that I talk to from old ECD are all almost scared about the amount of help, support and vision they get from C-level management.

Is it all good? No this is real life, nothing is all perfect (except my wife and children😄).

Not all good product managers came or stayed with OpenText. Rohit Ghai is unique and he will be missed to support and fight for the Documentum vision. And last, not all products will have the same focus as they used to have.

But Jeroen, stop looking at the past 22 years and look at the great opportunities that lie ahead. The coming week I will focus on a number of the great opportunities that are the result of this merger and the chances it will give me and my team to offer to our clients.

A couple are simple:

– Documentum and analytics. A marriage that will last, but I will touch on that in a separate blog.

– Extended ECM for Documentum: OpenText (Muhi) WHY NOT, THIS SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER!

– Customer Experience Management using content from Documentum.

– LEAP App’s working with Content Suite content

– AppWorks working with Documentum content

Like a good discussion? Disagree or just want a nice talk? Come to our pod in the expo or respond to this blog or one of the next to follow.