Keeping up with the speed of computing changes

Upgrades

The world of software is a very fluid one. There are new operating systems, browser versions, file formats and computing paradigms appearing on a never-ending basis. Making sure your business is prepared to adapt to – or at the very least be compatible with – the changes happening outside your walls is a very challenging problem.

I’m often asked why we release OnBase annually, because this can be seen as part of this challenge. I want to take a moment and explain why we provide releases every year, as I feel a strong customer need to do so.

Why we have annual releases: It’s in your best interest

In general, a new release of OnBase arrives with over 6,000 documented changes, of which 2,000 are typically classified as enhancements. This is a lot to learn and can be difficult for many administrators and users to keep up with. I am empathetic to the challenges of understanding all that comes with each release, and still feel that annual releases are in the best interests of our customers, our company and everyone directly or indirectly dependent on our product.

Our customers’ systems are typically part of the lifeblood of their organizations and their processes. Whether OnBase drives mission-critical business processes, or coordinates aspects of them, or is a repository of business content, it’s important that it won’t be limited when an outside change in the environment impacts it.

Keep up with evolving technology

To this end, Hyland is committed to provide annual releases of OnBase that are compatible with the latest and greatest changes the world has to offer. We work closely with other software vendors so we can receive advanced releases of their upcoming upgrades and make sure that OnBase is compatible with them.

Whether it’s a new operating system, browser or Office platform from Microsoft or someone else’s new browser version or even a new database version, we want to make sure that our customers’ systems will be ready to work in any new environment.

Often, there are significant changes that we must make to provide support for a third-party upgrade. This is a difficult reality, because until we have a shippable version that works with the new third-party upgrade, customers have to wait until we release that compatible version.

If we didn’t provide an annual release of OnBase, this period of delay for third-party upgrades might result in a significant impact to our customers’ businesses. Since our mission is to help organizations reach their full potential, we find this delay unacceptable. Therefore, our annual release.

Where OnBase is mission critical for a customer’s operation, it is because they are leveraging it as a solution development platform. These customers are typically seeing the biggest return on their investments because they’re achieving efficiencies on a transaction-by-transaction basis with workflow management, case management or other robust OnBase solutions.

For them, many of the enhancements added to our software suite provide tools and features which continue to improve their employee efficiencies. With each annual release, our software becomes increasingly more valuable as their solution development platform and often allows them to expand their use to more demanding challenges and new departments.

Every year, paradigms regarding how to be an effective business evolve and change. A few short years ago, it was unheard of to provide services to your customers through mobile devices, but for many industries it is now a mandatory way to operate.

As old paradigms evolve and new paradigms appear, OnBase is able to remain nimble and responsive by providing support specifically targeted to new technologies. Our customers are then able to use relevant solutions with content managed by OnBase as an important aspect of these solutions.

If we didn’t release necessary features that address these needs on an annual basis, our customers might be waiting a long time to improve their competitive positions.

Optimize processes, reduce risks, save money, deliver superior service

As a business, we are continually seeking ways to help customers in existing and new vertical markets. To do this, we often add features to the platform that will make this growth possible.

Our software suite now contains over 300 different modules, many of which are tailored specifically to a solution for a vertical market. By providing new modules annually, it allows our company the flexibility to grow our customer base and maintain a strong and dynamic business.

Meanwhile, our customers enjoy a strong sense of security and community, knowing that every year, more than 500 new organizations are coming to the same realization they did: That a robust information management solution optimizes processes, reduces risks, saves money and allows them to deliver superior service.

In short, providing a new release each year with nearly 2,000 enhancements and a handful of new modules to boot, we are meeting the needs for new and existing customers.

But we don’t want to be one more upgrade challenge.

Flexible upgrades or IPUPs

To solve this, we offer as a native feature the incremental, parallel upgrade process (IPUP). This technology is baked into the lowest layers of our software so we provide our customers with the industry’s best, and possibly only, way to introduce a new version of software without requiring a weekend-long forklift upgrade of what’s already deployed and working.

Put simply, IPUP removes the risk of downtime which is the traditional challenge with software upgrades.

As the world changes around us, we want our solutions to remain current and relevant with the features our customers need today – and tomorrow. OnBase is a fluid and evolving key element for our customers’ infrastructures and IPUP is their protection against another challenging product that makes upgrades difficult and time consuming.

On the one hand, yes, you have some work to do annually. On the other, you’re ultimately saving time, money and stress while gaining security, speed and agility.

That’s why we’ll do it again next year.

Bill Filion

Bill Filion

Bill Filion is the vice president of software development for Hyland. Bill manages all development of OnBase and sets the strategic vision for continuing the education, advancement and maturation of Hyland's development teams. When he joined Hyland in 1997 as a Senior Developer, Bill focused his development around the OnBase file I/O infrastructure, the database software layer, export/publishing and all facets of CD/DVD Authoring. In 2001, Bill was promoted to manager of the OnBase Thick Client Development team. Bill was promoted to Vice President of Development in 2006. Prior to joining Hyland, Bill worked as a software consultant in the Cleveland area for both CAP Gemini Sogeti and Compuware. He received his B.A. in Computer Science from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.

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