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Webinar Series: Insurance in 2016 – Process Efficiency and Data Security

As we move into 2016, many insurance organizations are looking to transition from their end-of-year strategic planning towards the achievement of their set goals. Whether property and casualty, life insurance, reinsurance, or any other type, top priorities are improving process efficiency to deliver measurable business results and enhancing data security to mitigate enterprise risk. But, how can you get there? Our three-part webinar series shows how leveraging automation technologies can deliver a rapid ROI in document processing and also provide your organization with our Universal Content Security. Each webinar is 30 minutes in length and includes a demonstration and specific customer examples.

Webinar 1: Automating Claims Processing 
See how a leading insurance provider revolutionized their business using Intelligent Document Capture and a modern, integrated ECM content hub.

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Webinar 2: Automating Contracts and AP 
Learn to automate common back office business processes —from contracts management to AP—with tools like Document Assembly and enterprise integration into ERP systems such as SAP or Microsoft Dynamics.

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Webinar 3: Addressing Cyber Security
Discover how the application of data security can be automated across the entire organization and extended to external collaboration tools from email to Dropbox.

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Our Thoughts on the All-New Ephesoft Universe

Ephesoft UniverseToday the industry received word of an innovative new technology—Ephesoft Universe. Universe is a tool that matches enterprise Big Data with intelligent capture, allowing you to process and analyze all of the content contained in your organization’s documents, even if unstructured. I have had the pleasure of early access to the product for evaluation and want to share my thoughts with you. 

Universe allows business users to define different documents and data they would like to analyze in an easy and intuitive fashion. By automatically identifying large amounts of data fields like addresses, amounts, etc., users can tag the values with appropriate names used in the business (e.g., primary address, loan amount, SSN, employer). Universe then analyzes the values and determines the best ways to extract the data as more documents are processed. Once the definitions are set up, very large groups of documents can be processed in a very short time by utilizing Apache Spark clusters. This can be deployed on premise or in the cloud.  

It’s all well and good to rattle off some technical specs and usage but why should you, and I, care? While Ephesoft at Innovate 2015Ephesoft Enterprise for intelligent capture allows you to automate the intake of documents to drive business process and archival, it doesn’t harness the immense amount of data you already have in your enterprise. Imagine, as a mortgage insurance company, being able to set rates based on data you already have from the many closing packages you have processed. With Universe, this data is found by looking at defaults in various zip codes, size of homes, loan amounts, home values, and more. You can even look at the data you have and project it out for months. Consider a fraud detection company having the ability to determine how many loan applications a particular name or social security number has applied for in a specified amount of time. Many companies pay other entities for this information—data that already exists in documents they process in their enterprise.

We are excited about this innovative technology and the advanced solutions it will enable Zia to provide to our clients. Ephesoft Universe is going to save our customers time and money while lowering risk. Please contact us to discuss how this technology can help you.

– Pat Myers, EVP and Co-Founder of Zia Consulting

Demo – Adhere for Alfresco: Legal – Part 2

In this video, Sr. Solutions Engineer Jon Solove demonstrates the execution of a contract using Adhere for Alfresco: Legal, a content management solution from Zia Consulting.

For corporate legal departments within many organizations, the choice of a document management system has been limited to a small number of legacy vendors with complex and costly offerings that users are forced to accept, rather than working the way they want to work. The result is “ECM avoidance” with users finding ways around their ECM system–utilizing email, shared drives, or cloud technologies.

Today there is an alternative: Adhere for Alfresco: Legal, powered by Alfresco and delivered by Zia Consulting. Zia understands that when systems are easy-to-use and leverage existing tools like Office or Google Docs, the result is increased utilization and an improvement in control and compliance. Our Adhere for Alfresco: Legal solution delivers document and records management that’s as simple as using email or file systems, with the power of enterprise-class CMS features and functionality.


Video Demo – Adhere for Alfresco: Legal – Part 1

In this demo, Sr. Solutions Engineer Jon Solove demonstrates the creation of a case using Adhere for Alfresco: Legal, a content management solution from Zia Consulting.

For many corporate legal departments and AM100 law firms, the choice of a document management system has often been limited to a small number of legacy vendors with complex and costly offerings that users are forced to accept, rather than working the way they want to work. The result is “ECM avoidance” with users finding ways around their ECM system–utilizing email, shared drives, or cloud technologies.

Today there is an alternative: Adhere for Alfresco: Legal, powered by Alfresco and delivered by Zia Consulting. Zia understands that when systems are easy-to-use and leverage existing tools like Office or Google Docs, the result is increased utilization and an improvement in control and compliance. Our Adhere for Alfresco: Legal solution delivers document and records management that’s as simple as using email or file systems, with the power of enterprise-class CMS features and functionality.

From the Desk of Yoran: The ROI from Data-Centric Security

This is the second blog post in the series “From the Desk of Yoran”.

CovertixYoran Sirkis, CEO of Covertix, is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of experience in information security, specializing in data and physical risk management. He is also a frequent speaker at leading industry conferences.


The ROI from Data-Centric Security

When was the last time you counted the number of security tools in your organization? How many different vendors are involved? What are the maintenance and licensing costs?

I bet you lost count… anyone would.

Companies strive to define and apply security rules that will best protect data, based on their specific business needs. During that process, IT staff encounter evolving security needs and are exposed to an endless amount of solutions—each addressing a valid, real-world security challenge.

As a part of the process of protecting their enterprise data, organizations end up dealing with a variety of vendors, pricey integrations, busy helpdesks, frustrated users and, continuously increasing expenses.

Doing More with Less

As I mentioned in my previous post, The Need for Data-Centric Security, the age of data-centric security transforms the security focus from top-down to bottom-up. It’s this reasoning that makes a data-centric solution more valuable than what it was originally implemented for.

Guided by the understanding and importance of offering a security solution that presents a clear ROI, we have developed a single data-centric solution that delivers much more than file protection.

Data Classification

How many unstructured data files do you think sit on your corporate network? Take a guess. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Before you make your team (and yourself) insane by protecting every single file individually, we recommend you take the data classification approach—that’s right, data-centric.

You need a system that easily lets you implement policies across data document types, such as CAD design files from R&D, to files in the accounting department that contain the number 4128 at the start of a 16-digit number.

File Protection 

Having a file protection solution in your organization is critical, but most solutions provide limited protection. A data-centric security solution brings much more to the table. It enables organizations to protect, manage, and audit files internally AND externally, to share sensitive information with external users, and to protect information on different devices.

File Encryption

Encrypting files is necessary to ensure your data is protected and is used only by the people it was intended for. Most solutions burden users, forcing them to learn a new system and placing all the responsibility on them.

A data-centric solution removes that burden by offering a system that operates seamlessly and without affecting users’ behavior. This secures your data in all of the following cases:

  • After the file has been opened (using any device or location)
  • When content is copied/pasted to a new document
  • Protection of the file’s metadata
  • When sensitive files are shared with external users

Your files are protected, and you can audit and monitor the usage of their content no matter where the files actually reside—inside or outside the organization.

Secure Vaults

Confidential data is often placed within secure vaults. But even the best vaults will only keep your data secure when it is stored within it. A data-centric solution provides persistent security, keeping your data secure anytime and anywhere. From the moment a confidential document is created, through any transport, and even when it is download on any device.

As it is transparently integrated into existing business driven processes with automated rules or manual override, a data-centric security solution will not impose on IT staff and is not dependent on a user’s actions.

Cloud Security

It’s a given that assets residing in the cloud need to be protected. Because of this, cloud providers began offering their own security solutions as well as those from third parties. Of course, the costs begin to pile up and companies are often still uncertain about who else might have access to their cloud-based data.

Deploying a smart, data-centric security solution is the best way to protect your data anywhere—and even from cloud providers themselves.

Data Leak Prevention (DLP)

DLP solutions aim to prevent files from leaving the your business unintentionally or through malicious actions. But how do you protect your data if it is leaked? A data-centric security solution continues to monitor your files even outside the organization and ensures the data they contain remains secure.

And most importantly….

While plenty of solutions secure your data at rest, or in motion, or when it goes to third parties, but only a data-centric solution can secure the file structure and the data it contains so you know that data is always protected.

If you have concerns about your confidential data when it’s in motion, at rest, or in use; and whether it could be lost through a data breach, from a stolen device, or other unintentional or malicious way,  we can give you peace of mind. You CAN have a system with a strong ROI, because you won’t find yourself facing lawsuits or losing customers and your reputation.

For more information, please visit

Addressing Content Chaos in the Mortgage Industry


More than a Loan Origination System

For the past several years, most technology investments in the mortgage industry have been focused on upgrading or enhancing Loan Origination Systems (LOS). This is understandable given the costs associated with processing the ever-increasing size of loan packages. These upgrades also have the opportunity for significant and immediate ROI by implementing solutions such as Intelligent Document Capture (IDC), which can automatically classify loan documents and extract data from HUD-1, GFE, and others.

While these technology investments have been extremely beneficial to many in the industry, they have also ignored the growing problem of content chaos in banks and other mortgage companies outside of the LOS. From our discussions with leaders in the industry at a series of events over the past 12 months, we’ve heard about two specific areas where they are most focused—and why they need more than an LOS.

Borrower Document Chaos

During the origination phase of a loan application, a large amount of borrower supporting documentation is required—from paystubs to 1040s to other financial information.  Traditionally this information has come through a mailroom model, as paper or perhaps scanned documentation, often in conjunction with a mortgage broker.

What has changed? Everything.

Today, documents come into the organization via borrower portals or websites, as email attachments, or in the latest trend–mobile capture. This growing complexity in the source and type of information has led many in the industry to seek a content hub to centralize collection and processing of these documents, with features such as:

  •      Case Management Functionality
  •      Email Integration
  •      Advanced Workflow/BPM
  •      Content Security
  •      View/Annotate/Redact
  •      Actionable Analytics/BI

Similar to the ROI opportunity that existed previously in automating the processing of loan packages, many see a chance for significant cost savings through automation at the front-end of loan applications.

Solving SharePoint, Shared Drives, and More…

Just last week, a representative from one of the world’s largest mortgage banks approached our booth at an industry event. What brought him in? The messaging around “Solving SharePoint”.  But the concerns were not associated with their LOS in any way. His comment was, “Do you know how many people we have that aren’t involved in loan processing directly?” From HR to legal to procurement/contracts, every mortgage company has substantial amounts of their own internal content, with needs including:

  •      Document and Records Management
  •      Internal and External Collaboration
  •      Content Security
  •      BPM/Workflow
  •      Federated Search
  •      And more…

As with the example above, many of these organizations are looking to solve the content chaos associated with finding, managing, securing, and storing information that is currently in:

  •      SharePoint
  •      Shared Drives/File Shares
  •      Dropbox/Box.Net
  •      Legacy ECM Systems

Ideally, these companies would love to find a single content platform that could address both these internal and borrower-facing use cases, allowing a technology investment to deliver a stronger ROI. Fortunately this is possible today through a modern, open ECM system that can function as this content hub—integrating with everything from borrower portals and email systems to SharePoint.

Want to learn more? Come see us at booth 316 this week at MBA Tech.

.Mortgage Bankers Association

It’s 2015. Now CIO means “Career Isn’t Over”.

The Top 5 reasons you still need a CIO

by Mike Mahon, CEO – Zia Consulting

cioTraditionally the primary role of the CIO was to secure and govern information, while also making technology investments that provided cost savings for the company. This “legacy” CIO role, which focused on reducing costs instead of adding new value, has been criticized widely since 2008 as having little knowledge of what it actually means to be a CIO or sit on a board. Their primary stakeholders were typically the company’s employees and it’s been noted that they have limited ability to relate to customers or investors—and limited relevance in the strategic direction of the company.

In the context of document and records management, CIOs face a number of barriers in executing their role. First, there is an issue of enterprise content management (ECM) avoidance. CIOs have not been successful at engaging customers in utilizing available tools. Typically these tools are challenging to understand, difficult to use, and time intensive. This is not solely the CIO’s fault; the industry as a whole has been providing advice, guidance, and consulting that has ignored users and poorly implemented the business tools that drive productivity. Several research studies have shown an overwhelming amount of failure in the industry regarding ECM implementations. Not only is it challenging to input information, it is difficult to locate the information once it is entered. In addition, the cost and complexity of the in-place systems are high for the value they bring.

Finally, CIOs are challenged to manage a massive amount of content and keep up with the ever-increasing pace of business. Content is exploding in areas such as mobile, social, electronic, and paper. With no way to effectively manage these areas, the CIO loses trust with the board or CEO. According to a recent AIIM research study, a “Stunning 82 percent of firms lack an enterprise-wide content management solution, and half of all content still sits outside ECM systems…” The bottom line is that if the CIO’s core job responsibilities are still security and governance, they are not doing their job!

However, Zia would like to offer 5 reasons you still need a CIO and how we can make sure they are still in place in 2016:

(1). Solve ECM avoidance once and for all! CIOs have the capacity to provide a solution to this problem. Using our solutions, that actually provide a competitive advantage, CIOs can respond to what the business needs (e.g., governance, security, reliability, scalability, and connection), while at the same time delivering what users want (e.g., ease of use, simplified processes, ability to collaborate, access through existing tools, and the ability to search and access information through mobile devices).

(2). Solve SharePoint! With Adhere for Alfresco from Zia, CIOs can finally solve the puzzle that is SharePoint. Users demand it, IT really struggles with it, and it continues to grow out of control. We can show you how to use SharePoint with your users, but manage the complexity, bloat, archival, and governance needs of the business with a solution that delivers integration and synchronization, federated search, simple and smart business processes, and more.

(3). Solve the Dropbox problem! CIOs can use our Universal Document Security (UDS) Solution, powered by Covertix, to address the risk of your company being the next Sony. You can lock down any piece of content, anywhere, within any system at any time and never worry about it being stolen or misused. Forget the Dropbox (or Google Drive, USB or Email) problem—security at rest or in the wild is handled.

(4). “Everyone’s a records manager (and nobody knows it)”! Our EasyRM solutions provide a strategy for automated governance and records management. If you were working in our system, you would be able to email, use Office products, and collaborate internally and externally with customers, without ever knowing you were in an ECM system or declaring records.

(5). Solve the tactical problems and become strategic! Once we deliver on the promise of ECM (governance, integration, cost-savings, and freed-up content), we can build systems of engagement that will contribute to the growth of your business. Together, we will provide you with new ways to do business that give you the ability to move out of a cost center and into the business itself.

In the future, we expect many more of our customers to share the same vision as a leading mortgage insurer: “this solution isn’t about cost savings or ROI, without this solution we don’t have a business!” Similarly, a leading property and casualty insurance provider completely rebuilt their business processes—leveraging Document Automation Solutions from Zia—delivering not just cost savings but increased customer satisfaction and time-to-revenue through this strategic initiative.

More recently, we have seen other CIOs that buck the traditional challenges presented above. With the right training and tools, CIOs can play an integral role in the success of any business. Quoted from the article “Why a Company Should Consider Adding a CIO to the Board” by Peter High, “Boards will increasingly think about including the strongest CIOs on their boards to ensure that they do not have any blind spots in their plans both from an innovation and from a risk mitigation perspective.” Zia provides the solutions that will propel companies into the future and CIOs into the boardroom!

Three Areas of Successful Workflow Implementation

Written by Ryan McVeigh – VP of ECM Solutions, Sales

Recently I was in discussion with our team as we contemplated a response to a proposal request. This particular request was heavily focused on workflow which lead to a spirited discussion. It occurs to me that often at Zia, we are cautious about scoping workflow implementation work. There’s good reason for this, as workflows are that type of software in our business that is heavily utilized by our client’s users, so we have to get them right. Workflows also typically have integration points with other pieces of software. What that tells us is that there is reason to be clear on both the technical and user-facing components of the implementation. Interestingly, the Java portion of this isn’t really the hard part. Our team agrees that ultimately writing the software, drawing the diagram and creating the workflow isn’t where the time is spent. I find that I get caution from my team around duration of workflow implementation and when we look closely at why that is, we can attribute the overall effort to three distinct areas:

  1. Requirements Gathering: This is where we collaborate with our client to understand their business process. We guide our clients on what makes for a successful workflow or business process implementation in Alfresco given their unique environment and build a successful implementation plan. Many organizations that Zia has worked with to implement workflows require multiple design iterations to finalize the requirements for their business processes. We recommend clients allow an appropriate amount of time in their project plan to finalize requirements for automated business processes.
  2. Implementation: This is the relatively straightforward part. Creating the software, implementing the workflow and integration points, and testing.
  3. User Acceptance Testing Loop: Users need to test and provide feedback, fix bugs and update, then test again.  This loop is important to enable users to get hands on experience with the workflow. Workflow Adoption-2

These three areas are ultimately very straightforward. What happens in reality is users learn through this process and the workflow changes – and thus we spend more time than it would seem is required for a workflow implementation. The lesson learned here is that workflow actually takes a reasonable amount of calendar time to implement, but not in the traditional sense. Time is spent more in getting user consensus and feedback which simply takes time, than in writing software.

This brings us to what does this mean to you, our reader? Well, if you’re thinking about implementing workflow as a developer, prepare yourself for the feedback loop. If you’re an Alfresco customer, what can you do to expedite this cycle? First, work on your requirements for the “To Be” process ahead of engaging your integrator. Second, don’t try to implement your existing broken process! I always tell folks to start small, get a quick win and build upon that. This seems obvious, but more often than not, folks request complex processes. These are not very easy to implement and usually do not facilitate user adoption or produce user satisfaction. Consider these trends before approaching the automation of business processes. Remember you cannot please everyone. Finally, be on point when it is time to test and verify. Be patient and don’t expect a perfect business process, but rather something that can work and can be built upon over time.

Case Study: Zia Consulting Delivers Rapid ROI for Leading Mortgage Wholesaler



Zia Consulting, Inc., the leading provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Intelligent Document Capture solutions, today released a new case study about their project with Interbank Mortgage Company–providing details on the automation solution delivered utilizing Ephesoft Smart Capture™ software as well as the exceptional results of the implementation.

View the Case Study Now.

Slideshare Presentation: Breaking Down the Barriers of ECM Adoption

We recently exhibited at IFO’s FUSION 2014 Conference. During the event, EVP Pat Myers and SVP Phil Robinson gave a presentation entitled, “Breaking Down the Barriers to ECM Adoption.”

While true cost per invoice may vary significantly per organization, including differences in how this cost is calculated, virtually every report has shown this cost can be substantially reduced though invoice automation systems – up to 80% in some studies. So with the potential for such enormous cost savings, why hasn’t every company adopted an invoice automation system? In this presentation, we’ll examine the very real “why nots” that are barriers to adoption, and how to break them down. These objections include:

  • Inbound invoices come from a wide range of sources (paper, fax, email, electronic data interchange or EDI). There’s just not a system that fits for us.
  • Every invoice is different, and a system can’t possibly understand the variety of invoices we receive.
  • My business rules are just way too complex for any technology to address — including the validation of invoices against enterprise resource planning (ERP) data.
  • We have a unique or custom accounting system, so invoice automation can’t work for us.
  • I’m concerned this process will be a “black hole,” that I won’t be able to get visibility into where invoices stand and other analytical information.

View the Presentation Slides Now: