Live at OTTC 2012: Choose the Right ECM Community and You’ll Soar

CommunityWhen the poet Alfred Tennyson wrote “I am a part of all that I have met” in his epic poem, Ulysses, he was talking about how the power of Ulysses’ greater community shaped both who he was as a person and the successes he had achieved thus far in life.

It might seem like a stretch to suggest Tennyson’s words can extend to an enterprise content management (ECM) solution. But it’s entirely true when you talk about the power of a community of technology professionals.

Having access to a network of people, especially from the same industry, who use the same ECM product to discuss best practices and share ideas on how to grow their solution so that it continues to be an invaluable resource.

And access to that community of users shouldn’t mean going to a forum on some website where you can post a question and hope to get a response. A good ECM vendor should enable customers with the opportunity to engage in multiple ways, both in person and online, through users groups, online forums and events.

Janet Jenkins, senior business analyst with Cobb County, Ga., knows a bit about that. Jenkins sat down with us today during a break at Hyland’s OnBase Training and Technology Conference (OTTC).

Jenkins was asked if she’d like to take on the role of OnBase administrator. Coming from a less technical role, it was a challenge Jenkins was excited to take on. And one she succeeded at because of her ability to connect with other OnBase users on Community, Hyland Software’s online customer destination.

Hyland’s Community provides expert content from dedicated Hyland contributors. It also provides detailed information about our OnBase solutions including reference guides that provide in-depth details about our solutions, changes from release to release as well as solution-specific forums where users can ask questions and share best practices.

Jenkins and her team were one of the first to join Community and, even today, continue to visit the site several times a day.

“There are 10 to 15 different ways you can solve a problem with OnBase,” she says. “Access to Community allows me to see what everyone else is doing, and let’s me share how I’m solving problems, too. You don’t feel as isolated, and you welcome the sharing of information.”

Engaged vendors will empower customers with several ways to connect to fellow users, reducing their reliance on the vendor to create solutions. At Hyland, we have resources at the ready to help troubleshoot and grow our customers’ solutions. But we understand that engaging with peers is also a valuable tool, and we work in collaboration with our customers every day to create a thriving OnBase community.

“There are a lot of really smart people in this world and not all of them are my direct co-workers,” says Kim Dale, senior project manager at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. We caught up with Dale via social media at OTTC. “Connecting with as many of those people can help me learn best practices, tips and potential pitfalls in my technology solutions and to share my own knowledge.”

Dale represents another way technology professionals can network to collectively solve problems and share ideas: social media. A smart vendor will use social media, like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, to connect users with other users.

“I follow Hyland Software on Twitter and am meeting other OnBase users on Twitter as a part of OTTC,” says Dale. “I look forward to being able to reach out to these contacts as I continue to expand my OnBase implementation. I also like Twitter as a way of getting to know people and as an efficient way to solicit answers to specific questions.”

Being a part of a vibrant technology community means you never have to be on your own to figure out how best to utilize your solution or search for support. You have access to information and people when you need them.

And we all need a helpful community to turn to.

Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant is the Content Marketing team lead at Hyland Software. He joined Hyland in 2010 as its first brand journalist - and he carries the bona fides: 12 years as a news reporter, editor and trade magazine editor.

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