Businesses request digital transformation
Despite the need for document management automation, businesses today are less interested in traditional EDM systems. In an interview to ECM-portal, Mikhail Saratov, an ELMA expert, explained why.
— In 2017, what were the most frequent document management problems that you solved for your customers?
— Above all, document routing. Contracts, memos, policies and communications are part of any business and will remain so for a long time. Customers want automation, both those who are already using classical ECM systems and want to expand them, and those who are still lacking IT infrastructure.
— Were there any unique tasks from your customers in 2017?
— I would say that the migration projects were unique. In 2017, there were a lot of projects where ELMA replaced the EDM systems used by our customers and included their activities into automated processes. Implementing such activities was not a problem, whereas migrating all the accumulated data was always tricky.
Some companies have complex systems developed by in-house specialists, or systems that have been modified multiple times (with certain loss of data), and software that is no longer supported. In the end, it can be very hard to understand what kind of data you are dealing with. Add to that the amount of data accumulated over 10 or even 15 years of work done by hundreds of employees. Such tasks are unique!
— What projects really stood out for you in 2017?
— Our project for Air Astana, the largest airlines in Kazakhstan. We aligned document management in their HR department: memos, notices, employment agreements. We dealt with 200 templates in total, all in three languages: Russian, English and Kazakh. All documents are created automatically; there is no need for Word or manual entry of data. Data of 3000 employees and organizational system is loaded from the company’s ERP system.
Apart from the size of the project, another thing is worth mentioning. You see, we do not simply implement electronic document management, but tie it to executable processes of the company. For the HR department of Air Astana we automated 80 business processes.
In 2017, the HR department went from paper documents to legally valid EDM. This year, it is the turn of Logistics, Procurement, Accounting and Finances.
— Can you distinguish any tendencies on the EDM market?
—Funny enough, the main trend is that companies don’t really want EDMS. Before, when a customer searched the market for automation solutions, all they could find were EDM tools. Now there is a lot more choice, and the customers have become more experienced. Digital transformation is not just a fashionable phrase that you hear at a conference. It is what businesses want. Documents are perceived as something that accompanies a business process.
— What are your plans for 2018?
— Renewal and reinvention. Unlike typical ECM systems, a BPM platform cannot remain the same during 10-15 years. We have to change with our customers.
Large companies value stability and productivity. Middle-sized businesses want seamless integration of a BPM platform with their IT infrastructures, while small companies require modern and user-friendly interfaces. This is what we are planning to work on.
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