Adobe, Documentum Lead Content, Document Management Charge at AIIM

Content and document management companies took center stage Monday at a conference and expo for IT and business professionals looking for the latest technologies to develop, capture, manage, and store

March 9, 2004

5 Min Read
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Content and document management companies took center stage Monday at a conference and expo for IT and business professionals looking for the latest technologies to develop, capture, manage, and store documents and digital content.

The Association for Information and Image Management kicked off AIIM 2004, an annual event that focuses on enterprise content management. It runs through Wednesday at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Adobe was among the major players with announcements keyed to the AIIM crowd. Adobe unveiled new technology that will add bar codes to PDF formatted documents to speed forms processing, the company said Monday. Among the first customers of the new technology will be the U.S. tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service.

The bar codes, which are a "2D" format -- rather than simple lines, as in retail product bar codes, these include more information by using both lines and blocks of ink -- can be added to PDF forms by users equipped with Acrobat Professional 6.0, the company's top-of-the-line PDF authoring software (a plug-in will be provided for the bar code feature) or the upcoming edition of Adobe Designer.

Once filled out by the end-user -- with a plug in-enabled version of Acrobat Reader -- the form automatically generates the bar code, which carries all the entered data. The form is then printed for mailing or faxing. At the originator's end, the form is scanned, and the data pulled from the bar code is sent to a server running decoding software Adobe's developing. Finally, the data is fed into the organization's database or other backend system for processing.The Acrobat and Reader plug-ins, as well as the decoding server software, will go into pilot testing this year, with availability scheduled before the end of 2004. Pricing for the system will be announced in the second half of the year.

The IRS is hot to try out the bar code additions to PDF, a format it already relies on to deliver tax forms and schedules via download to taxpayers.

"Electronic filing is the preferred method of submitting tax forms, but many U.S. taxpayers still choose to file by mail. Technology that allows us to offer fill-and-print tax forms on will eliminate data entry on the back-end and result in a faster, more effective paper-based process," said Paul Showalter, a senior publishing analyst in the IRS' media and publications group, in a statement.

Adobe also used AIIM to launch a public beta of its Adobe Designer, an XML-based (Extensible Markup Language) form design tool first announced in 2003 that it expects to roll out mid-year. Designer creates XML form templates for publishing to multiple formats, or users can import and add intelligence to existing form templates from PDF or Microsoft Word, said Adobe. Users can register with the beta program at the Adobe Web site.

Another major document and content management player, Documentum, also made several announcements at the New York show.Among them was the launch of Documentum Compliance Manager, a Web-based application for creating, storing, sharing, revising, approving, and distributing information within an automated, audited environment to comply with the increasing number of government regulations. Compliance Manager allows administrators to set and enforce a wide range of policies to, for instance, ensure that only authorized personnel can view or change document content. The app supports a range of regulations and standards, including those from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and ISO 9000 guidelines.

Documentum, now a division of storage giant EMC, on Monday rolled out eRoom Enterprise 7.2, a new version of its collaborative workspace product that automatically creates eRooms triggered by specific events, such as a particular point in a project. The company also unveiled its Web Compliance Solution for archiving and auditing an organization's Web site content, and touted its top-to-bottom compliance solutions, which include links to storage devices, most notably EMC's Centera, a content management-specific storage appliance.

Other companies pushed new products at AIIM as well, including FileNet and Iron Mountain.

FileNet debuted its new Team Collaboration Manager, which integrates traditional Web-based collaboration with content management and business process management. Scheduled to ship in the third quarter, Team Collaboration Manager not only offers the standard Web meeting tools of discussion forms, e-meetings, and polling, but captures all the content shared during a session and archives it to a central data repository for later repurposing on the company's Web site or intranet, and linked to the regulatory compliance tools that the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company also sells.

Iron Mountain, meanwhile, launched an e-mail management service at AIIM. Best known for its off-site data storage services, Iron Mountain's new service -- dubbed Enterprise E-mail Management -- analyzes, captures, and forwards designated content from Exchange or Domino servers via the Web to the Boston-based firm's storage system.Although the mail server assets are moved off-site -- to reduce storage demands at the enterprise while still retaining messages for compliance purposes, said Iron Mountain -- end users can retrieve them through their Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes mail clients.

The boom in products and technologies at AIIM was backed up by a new report on the document capture market released Monday by Harvey Spencer Associates, a Long Island, N.Y.-based consulting firm that specializes in the content arena.

According to preliminary numbers from the report -- which will be published in June -- the document capture market grew by a healthy 7.4 percent in North America during 2003, and should increase by 9.9 percent this year.

"The reason we're scanning documents is changing from simple archiving to enabling business processes," said Harvey Spencer, the author of the report. "The technology advances in software that intelligently understands and interprets documents is set to revolutionize this aspect of the imaging business. By automatically identifying metadata, it dramatically cuts document capture costs."

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