DMS is Emerging as a Key Business Enabler: Xerox

by Sonal Desai    Jun 29, 2009

While a lot is being spoken and read about document management systems globally, what is the actual understanding of the concept? Also in India?
Document Management is the process of managing documents through their lifecycle from inception through creation, review, storage and dissemination, all the way to their destruction. Unfortunately some section of users still see DMS as scanning, storage and retrieval. The market for DMS has gathered momentum over the past three to four years. It is emerging as a huge opportunity for vendors as large businesses continue to use paper and traditional means of storage. Documents are a company s lifeblood, but managing them effectively becomes increasingly difficult as volumes increase.

Document and information management is fast becoming an area where organisations see their next opportunity for productivity and efficiency gains. According to IDC, 90% of companies do not track how much they spend on producing and maintaining documents each year and companies spend as much as 10% of revenues on document production, management and distribution. Evidence of more immediate pressures are not difficult to find either: paper output volumes are increasing by up to 21% per annum as per a study by Giga; and up to half of all helpdesk calls are printer-related, according to Gartner Group research findings. As the number of documents, files, Web pages, e-mails and related content rise, the complexity, time and costs associated with managing them expands accordingly.

Document Outsourcing is better known as Document Management Outsourcing a term used by Xerox Global Services and covers true meaning of DM - managing documents throughout their lifecycle in an enterprise. Our consulting services help you get maximum value from enterprise document management by controlling spend on all Document related activities whether the document is produced on paper or in image format and also if it is digitally printed / produced or any other way of production like off set. This form of outsourcing is the outsourcing of document needs of an enterprise which help them to increase profits and save on costs. It offers integration of document functions, such as imaging, storage, archiving and retrieval, with an organization s critical business processes. The whole range of document outsourcing services begins with analyzing the business environment, the role of documents and then establishing the current state of asset utilization in the organization.

This is followed by offering a series of outsourced services that enable the customers to capture the documents electronically, convert and index them for storage and make them accessible online on an enterprise level. Document management outsourcing provides the customer a foundation for records management and regulatory compliance as well. The key elements of document management outsourcing include document design, production, publishing, creative Services, scanning, indexing, conversion, storage and archiving; mailroom and document lifecycle management.

In a scenario where there is a lot of unstructured data (more than structured data) floating around, certainly there are issues of data duplication.
Document security is a major concern for enterprises and document management services aims to address this need. As per an IDC study, 161 billion gigabytes of information exist worldwide. It is expected that this information will increase to 988 billion gigabytes in the next four years. Some research studies have also indicated that the unstructured data is growing at a rate of 65% and is only showing an increasing trend. Reports also suggest that employees can spend up to 40% of their workday looking for content. As a result, not only is essential time wasted recreating and hunting data, but sometimes important data is left underutilized.

These statistics indicate the need and opportunity for document management services. DMS has gathered momentum over the past three to four years as large businesses continue to use paper and traditional means of storage. Growth has been primarily triggered by the increasing need for automation in the enterprise. The vast amount of information, which was being stored in physical files, has now being digitized which has opened a floodgate of opportunities for document management solution providers.

What are the new trends in this space? How do we see the industry moving say two to five years from now, especially considering that there is a lot of congestion with too many players offering fractured solutions?
The DMS market has evolved over the years, and today it has become a core business process in every enterprise. Enterprises, which have not yet leveraged DMS, are looking at it as a potential business enabler. There are several factors that have led to the growth and the need of document management. One of the prominent factors being observed in document management space is that most of the medium and large organizations are consistently on the lookout for ways to cut costs and increase profits. However, very few of these enterprises access and manage documents (the lifeblood of business processes and a key source of costs). Information  flows  throughout  organizations  in  the  form  of  documents,  whether  in electronic or paper form. There is a  growing  importance  of  documents  which is being fueled by the  demands  of  regulatory  compliance,  the  need  to  communicate  with  customers,  suppliers  and  employees  in  multiple  media,  and  the  role  of  documents  in  achieving  ROI  for  business  process  solution investments (e.g. enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), content management, and collaborative applications).

Technology once evolved, always passes through the trends of optimization. Today in this DMS space the optimization of storage, bandwidth, readiness and accuracy of data are the latest trends. Electronic Content Management (ECM) including (DMS) market would touch $4.0 billion by 2010, as per Gartner.

Which are the industries who are early adopters, who are late and why?
There is significant growth in every possible industry and Indian economy has grown steadily for past 5-6 years. The growth in the banking industry especially the credit card sector is exponential. Health care industry is getting momentum.  Retail is also booming. Also, from the current 170 million consumer base, telecom industry is expected to touch 700 million bases by 2012, which is phenomenal growth. With this trend, the application driven document generation and outsourcing trend is bound to grow.

Gartner estimates factors like increasing real estate prices, and decreasing prices for storage and capturing technologies are driving DMS adoption. People are looking at DMS as a solution and awareness is increasing among end users. First entrants were large corporate in BFSI, Telecom and Insurance and now SMEs are adopting DMS in a big way.

How well does the open source DMS function vis- -vis the proprietary?
This question can be answered in many ways. However, the functionality of DMS doesn t ride on the source code ownership of the system. Adaptability and customization possibilities are the most important factors. In today s market one new system evolves on the shelf with every sunrise. So, the over-all functioning of DMS is all about servicing the need of the customer. Also this is a scenario based approach. In some cases the proprietary DMS will function better and in others vice versa. Focus is shifting from large, monolithic systems to scalable and customized systems where players like XGS have a lot of value to add. Customers are also demanding DMS functionality in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS) these days, which gives flexibility to start with basic components of DMS and scale the system later. This enables capex to become redundant and the customer only needs to pay per use, which is today s need of the hour. XGS works on a similar opex model which can help customers.

What are the myths associated with document management system? What is being done to dispel these?
The first Myth: My core application has required in-built functionality then why do we want another system?

This is a generic statement that people make especially in the BFSI sector. Here they see DMS as a system that will be used as a repository or to map the workflow. Though the core application may have certain in-built functionality the complete dedicated system helps them to reduce the time to revenue and also time to market. We at Xerox Global Services try to address this question by getting the customer s focus on the ever green pain areas of Time to market and Time to Revenue in a much cost effective way.

The Second Myth: DMS is just used for Archival and Workflow and is used in isolation.

DMS is a very small and integral part of the system providing end to end document management solutions. DMS is bolted-up with many other software suites to build a platform for not only processing the image but also building the processes around.
The best example of this can be storage of images you receive from marketing agencies in different versions so the control of inventory as well as building around the process from approval and procurement. Further to this the same image needs to be printed in collaterals to releasing the data on the tender management system. With this we talk about a much bigger picture than archiving and scanning.

We at Xerox give a holistic view of the end to end need of Document Management which covers the complete lifecycle of the document.