Information Faster Blog

Answering the information explosion “wake-up call”

By Judy Redman


The information explosion should serve as a “wake up call for business enterprises of all sizes,” says an April 8 article in information-management.com.  Nearly 90 percent of businesses blame poor performance on data growth, according to the Informatica survey that was cited in the article.  The survey concludes that for many businesses their applications and databases are growing by 50 percent or more annually, putting them in a position of being unable to manage this incredible expansion of information. 


The article recommends that it is best to implement a lifecycle approach to information management.  This means managing your applications and data “from development, test and early production all the way through to archive and retirement."  Having an information management strategy is a key success factor in managing the ever-expanding information that the average enterprise produces annually.


HP has an entire portfolio specially designed to help you answer the information explosion wake-up call.  HP TRIM Records Management software is designed to capture, manage, and secure business information in order to meet governance and regulatory compliance obligations. HP TRIM 7 is integrated with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 and the upcoming Sharepoint Server 2010. The Sharepoint integration is especially important as the Radicati Group predicts Sharepoint use to grow at 25% rate for the next few years.  HP Integrated Archive Platform for compliance archiving and HP Clearwell E-Discovery Platform for legal analytics are two additional HP Governance and E-Discovery solutions.


Finally, no Information Management program is complete unless critical business data is backed-up and recoverable.  HP Data Protector software has more than 35,000 customers who use it to automate high-performance backup and recovery from disk or tape for 24x7 business continuity.


I’d like to hear what you think are your biggest challenges in managing the information explosion.  Do you employ a lifecycle strategy to help you harness the unwieldy expansion of data at your company?  

Save $100 when you register now for HP's Information Management sessions at Software Universe

By Patrick Eitenbichler


HP Software and Solutions’ Information Management suite will be featured at the upcoming HP Software Universe 2010 in Washington DC, June 15 – 18th, 2010.


The IM suite, including HP Data Protector, HP Email, Database and Medical Archiving IAP, and HP TRIM records management software, will be represented in two tracks:



  • Data Protection

  • Information Management for Governance and E-Discovery


Customer case studies and presentations from product experts will highlight how HP’s Information Management solutions provide outcomes that matter. For more information about this event, or to register, please use code INSIDER at www.hpsoftwareuniverse2010.com and get $100 off the conference rate.

HP TRIM for SharePoint and the Enterprise – Launch vs. Reality

By Kris Brown 


We launched HP TRIM 7 last week, and for the most part the press coverage was about the new SharePoint integration. Now don’t get me wrong, as one of the team that is responsible for the product and the launch, I would say we accomplished what we set out to achieve regarding our SharePoint support. But what we actually set out to achieve beyond that, may not necessarily be as apparent from what you read in the media.


In the press last week we saw a lot of this…


“The fact that a large company like HP recognizes the need for this type of management in the enterprise is significant. Companies are being flooded with information, while at the same time, they come under increasing pressure to monitor and in some instances, control this information.”    Fierce Content Management


 “Given the number of organizations that are now using SharePoint and are considering SharePoint 2010, the new HP TRIM modules are quite timely and probably not the last module we are likely to see for TRIM.”   CMSWire


And yes, HP TRIM 7 can seamlessly manage SharePoint content, not just documents.  Yes, it can help an organization archive information based on our lifetime management policies.  And yes, I think that we are extending SharePoint to a place where almost any organization could consider it for their frontline information collaboration platform.  But that’s not all we introduced in this launch!



HP TRIM also introduced a range of other new product features and enhancements. So here is a laundry list of highlights that hopefully will put some of the constabulary at rest… for now...



ThatTRIMGuy’s Top Ten HP TRIM 7 Enhancements (sans the SharePoint Integration):




10. A brand new SDK set, including SDK.NET and SDKUI.NET.  Separating our user interface components from our standard SDK, enables our partner and developer community to build even more extensible add-ons for HP TRIM 7;



9.   While this isn’t necessarily a functional enhancement, the acquisition of TOWER by HP, has meant that HP TRIM now has access to all the power of the testing and performance tools that HP development teams have. Which only means good things for the customer base!



8.   Full DoD 5015 v3 certification including all chapters Baseline, Classified, FOI and Privacy, ensuring HP TRIM continues its tradition of being one of the most certified products on the market. For the record, SharePoint 2007’s certification has expired and SharePoint 2010 doesn’t have DoD certification at the writing of this blog;



7.   Unicode support, ensuring our ability to move towards providing access to HP TRIM in all markets around the world;



6.   New search engine improvements, including parametric searching, and the ability to provide effective filtering by a search;



5.   User settings that follow the user through all of the HP TRIM 7 interfaces, such as favorites, recent documents, saved searches and even labels (which are now hierarchical);



4.   New Mini Crash Dump facilities to help you and the help desk provide detailed error information;



3.   New architectural features, like providing more efficient transport of database requests in WAN environments, for even faster search results;



2.   New workgroup features including distributed event processing, allowing multiple workgroup services process a single event type for an even more scalable solution; and



…. the # 1 HP TRIM 7 enhancement…. a brand new Web Client!


But this is only a short highlights reel, there are many other significant improvements, including 64-bit support, improved record type scalability, new email drag and drop functions, schema report and repair, and updated platform support.


So don’t judge a launch by its press coverage alone… If you’re reading this… then the coverage did its job. But as you can see above, HP TRIM 7 has introduced significant new features and improvements for all of our customers!


If you are in Australia in late March, be sure you register for TUF 23, our annual user forum.  If not, look out for HP TRIM 7 at an industry event near you!


Follow me on Twitter @thattrimguy


And become a fan of TRIM on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/HPTRIM-7-Facebook  


 

What would you say if... An HP TRIM for SharePoint Primer – Part 2

By Kris Brown 


What would you say if I told you, you can have fully compliant records management for SharePoint, without the hassle of doing records management (RM).  You’d probably say I’ve already read that blog, and it's time you told me something else.



Then what would you say if I told you that you can archive SharePoint sites, using automated rules to a Department-of-Defense-compliant Records Management platform.



HP TRIM 7 has recently introduced a new module that does just that.



In conjunction with the new HP TRIM for SharePoint Records Management module, HP is proud to announce the HP TRIM for SharePoint Archive module.



This module makes use of the same set of functions provided to the RM module, including Lifetime Management Policies, but allows organizations to manage, finalize, relocate and archive information from the site level and above.



Have you ever been involved in a project team that utilized a team site for collaboration?  How many times did you revisit that site after the project ended?  Probably not very many, if at all.  However, I’d be almost certain in saying that this team site still exists, is still being crawled by SharePoint, and is still returning results for searches.  While that might be important for a short time after the project ends, it is likely that a lot of the information created on that site will become stale, and perhaps even inaccurate.  Returning results from this site, could lead to an incorrect decision in the future.



SharePoint performance will also be affected by this continued growth of team sites. This is one of a  number reasons for CIO’s not formally deploying SharePoint across their entire organization.  The lack of control of the growth of SharePoint or put another way, the success of SharePoint to capture the users' information, is a key reason to put in place a records management system.



I hear you say is that you don’t want your users to be burdened with Records Management.  Well, HP TRIM 7’s Archive Module utilizes Lifetime Management Policies to seamlessly transfer information from SharePoint in the form of entire sites, and site collections to HP TRIM.  No user interaction is required, other than to use SharePoint in the way it was designed.  The records management burden is removed from the user while records management rigor is applied to important information as deemed so by the Records Manager.



And let’s be honest…  90% (or maybe even higher) of any given user base cares very little for the regulatory needs of an organization… But the organization still has those needs. HP TRIM 7 can meet you in the middle, allowing the experts in records to manage the information, and the experts in their fields, HR, Finance, Operations etc etc, get on with using SharePoint as a tool to get their work done.



Watch for more HP TRIM 7 updates…  including all things NOT related to SharePoint.



Follow me on Twitter @thattrimguy


And become a fan of TRIM on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/HPTRIMFacebook

What would you say if... An HP TRIM for SharePoint Primer – Part 1

By Kris Brown


What would you say if I told you that you can have fully compliant records management for SharePoint, without the hassle of actually doing records management (RM)?


Or if I told you that you can let your user base collaborate freely in SharePoint, without the fear of losing control of the critical business information?


I suspect you’d say:  GREAT, but what’s the catch?


There is no catch. HP TRIM 7 has recently introduced a pair of new modules that do just that.


And this solution is coming not a day too soon. SharePoint sites the world over are housing more and more business sensitive and business critical information, and CIOs, IT and Storage Managers are constantly asking how are they going to control not only the growth of their SharePoint environment, but also the records that are contained within SharePoint.


So here we go...  The HP TRIM for SharePoint Records Management module introduces four new features to the RM space in SharePoint.



  • Manage

  • Finalize

  • Relocate

  • Archive


These four features provide the capability to capture and manage any SharePoint content. Not just documents, and definitely not just things in a specific web part!



  • Manage – This feature allows you to take a copy of the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint.

  • Finalize – This feature allows you to take a copy of the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint and mark it Final. So no further edits can be made.

  • Relocate – This feature allows you to move the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint, and still allow it to be edited from HP TRIM.

  • Archive – This feature allows you to move the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint, and mark it Final, so it cannot be edited.


The powerful Lifetime Management Policies in HP TRIM 7 are a key enabler for these new capabilities. They are built into SharePoint, and provide a Records Manager or SharePoint Administrator with the ability to set rules around ALL different types of SharePoint content (not just documents!).


For example:


On a SharePoint HR team site, the HR users might go through an employee on-boarding process, with applications for jobs, interviews and the like. This type of information would require all sorts of different retention, classification and security. Based on SharePoint Content Types, user names and the metadata required by the SharePoint team site, HP TRIM’s Lifetime Management Policies can automatically place those objects including calendar items, announcements, and discussion items directly into the HP TRIM Records Management platform.  Once there, they will be managed according to the rules set by the administrators -- all without the need for the user to interact with TRIM.


In fact, users will not need to see HP TRIM or even have it installed on their desktop. They can continue to work in the SharePoint environment they are familiar with and the organization can feel safe in the knowledge that the information created is managed in the way that the Information Management policies of the business dictate.


It certainly doesn’t get any easier, or more transparent than that !!


Check back for Part 2 – HP TRIM for SharePoint – Archive Module.


 


Follow me on Twitter @ thattrimguy
And become a fan of HP TRIM on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/HPTRIMFacebook

HP TRIM 7… How we got here?

By Kris Brown


With today’s launch of HP TRIM 7, I thought it might be time to reflect on how we got here. So for effect, blink your eyes very quickly alternating from left to right, to have us fade into a dream sequence.


The year is 1985. Ronald Reagan is sworn into a second term as US President.  “We are the world” is released to raise funds for the famine in Ethiopia. Mike Tyson wins his first professional fight, and Michael J Fox stars in “Back to the Future”. Norway wins the Eurovision song contest, and Australia pulls out of the MX Missile project.


Here in Australia, 1985 is the year that a gentleman by the name of Brand Hoff and his partner Peta Hoff founded a small business called TOWER Software, in a garage in Canberra – Australia’s capital. The purpose of the business was to develop tools to help with the recently created Australian Standard for Records Management, the AS 4390. The first series of these tools were a card based system, for want of a better explanation, like a Dewey Decimal library system that allowed organizations (mainly Australian Government departments) to meet their compliance requirement forced upon them under the newly created standard.


Times changed, and so did the government… slowly… but TOWER Software and the IT industry in general ploughed forward. TOWER Software then released its first computer based product, a physical records management system for the VAX. Then came early Windows versions of the software, and in 2002 TOWER Software released TRIM Context v5, a platform for Document and Records management. It was this year that I joined the fray.


I had no prior experience with records management, and it didn’t really matter all that much as I was only a part of the team responsible for the TOWER Software office network. But it wasn’t long before I gained a strong appreciation of what the team around me was so passionate about. Joining the sales team, in a series of technical roles over the coming years, I got to know the customers and the challenges faced by these same organizations that Brand and Peta had endeavored to help some 20 years back.


TOWER’s records products were seen as one of the best in the market, but analysts were forced to comment that the reach of a small Australian company meant that it was going to be hard to break into the bigger markets, like the US and Europe. Hard… but not impossible, as TOWER successfully implemented some of the largest and most awarded implementations of information management software on the planet.


Market consolidation meant that lots of little players were gobbled up, as the larger vendors strived to meet the ever challenging demands of the marketplace, picking up technology from these smaller companies and making them a part of their overall product line. Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest IT companies in the world, did the same, acquiring TOWER Software in 2008, but with one subtle difference. Rather than cannibalize the technology and abandon the product, they kept almost all of the staff from the TOWER acquisition and told them to build the next version of what is now known as HP TRIM.


And - there were no other products that HP TRIM had to compete with internally unlike a lot of the other acquisitions: IBM/FileNet, Opentext/Hummingbird/Vignette, and Autonomy/Zantaz/Interwoven/Meridio. HP wanted to concentrate on the product that was HP TRIM, and add the backing that only a company like HP can bring to a product.  And so, HP TRIM 7 was born.


With a series of new innovative features such as transparent records management for SharePoint, backed by the 25+ years of information management industry expertise, HP TRIM 7 is a firm commitment to its current and future customers. We’re confident we have a product that not only can compete on the big stage, but can continue to do what it has always done: Provide excellent solutions to information management problems.


This all started in 1985… Old Coke, became New Coke and then very quickly became Old Coke again. Records Management was a requirement back then, and while document management has been the flavor of the month for a while, the world has changed and information management is now more important than ever. And just like Wrestlemania, HP TRIM is still here to help!


Check out some of the new stuff at www.hp.com/go/imhub/hptrim!


I personally was lucky enough to be a part of this ride for many years and while I am still waiting to buy my first Hoverboard, I can’t wait to see what we do next with this product.


That TRIM guy

DoD 5015.2 Version 3 includes Freedom of Information and Data Protection process management

Three of my colleagues just returned from the certification testing of TRIM against the latest version of the DoD 5015.2 standard, and once again TRIM has been certified against all chapters, which gives us an unbroken certification since the standard exists.  This time around the certification was interesting because version 3 of the standard introduces some new functional modules including Web client, XML import and export, and the new FOI and DP chapters.


The FOI and DP chapters contain requirements to enable the processing of Freedom of Information and Data Protection requests. As such they move into a new field of business process management, albeit records related.  The document and workflow management features of TRIM, as well as the reporting module came in handy. Naturally, all of this TRIM functionality can also be used for other document automation processes, such as application processing, complaints handling, contract management etc. From that point of view I think that certification against these chapters is valuable not just for records managers, but for any business manager who wants to streamline document processes with the added benefit of having the documents managed as records at the same time, without any additional effort.


Once again it leads me to make the point that records management needs to be an integral part of all processes, rather than being looked at as a separate discipline that can be added "after the fact". (I know, I keep going on about this, but it is important...) 

Structured Records Management - Taking control of the structured data

In my last post I spoke about how the transfer of structured data from the source system into the records management system works. Now that we have covered this step, lets look at some of the special features that you want to manage structured data as records.


Like any other record, you want to be able to preserve the authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability of the data.  The authenticity is maintained by the system storing an audit trail of the whole transfer process and any subsequent actions taken on the records. The reliability is based on the collaboration of application owners and records managers in the definition and classification of the structured records model, which means that the transferred data is based on a design by people who know all the facts about its source and usage. 


That leaves me to elaborate a bit more about the integrity and usability. 


The structured records get transferred into the records management environment as XML files.  Each transfer batch is a self contained group, consisting of a number of XML files that contain the data and a summary XML file that contains a detailed description of what the data files contain.  To be able to use the data and the summary file in future, each of them is described by a XML schema definition.   All of these files together form a single package and the records management rules are applied at the package level, meaning that the same security and retention rules apply to all files of a single transfer. The integrity of the individual files can be proved at any stage based on hash comparison technology between the summary and the data files.


Usability means that the structured data is not lost once it resides in the records management environment. Text indexing can be used to provide searching across the contents of the XML files to find batches that include data pertinent to a particular circumstance, e.g. all batches that contain customer number XYZ or order number 123.  This is the kind of full text searching that people use across all machine readable formats as part of early searches in the e-discovery or freedom of information processes. However, structured records should also be available to other methods of searching, e.g. for reporting engines. Having the data in XML format with a full schema description allows us to use our Record Query Server to create an ODBC data source pointing to the XML files, which can then be used by a whole variety of SQL query tools - this is a distinct advantage that you get from storing structured records as XML data, rather than as flat text file or PDF formatted report output.  If the original application still exists, and its algorithms are desirable in the analysis of the data, the records management system provides a re-load function to send the XML based data back to the original source database schema.


In all our design of HP TRIM functionality we pay attention to the characteristics of records as prescribed by ISO 15489: authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability, and as you can see,  structured records management is no exception.  By adhering to this principle we are able to create a truly unified records management environment, encompassing all formats of information, physical, electronic, unstructured and structured, meaning that you can apply a single set of consistent records management policies across all your enterprise content.


 

Structured Records Management - Transferring the records

Once you have defined what the records that you extract from your structured business application look like and how they are classified in the target records management system, you are ready to start transferring them.


There are different things to consider depending on what type of transfer you are performing. If you are transferring the records as a one-off exercise, for example because you want to retire the application that contains them, you will want to perform a "move".  If you are transferring the records as part of an ongoing structured records management regime, it is possible that you want to "copy" them into the records management system and defer the deletion to a later point in time. This deferred deletion option allows you to collect records as soon as they conform with the selection criteria, but still keep a copy in the originating system for fast access. If you implement a deferred delete policy you want to make sure that the records management system can initiate the deferred delete based on predefined or rules-based dates, as well as implementing a feature that ensures that the data in the source system is never retained for any longer than the controlled records. When records are destroyed in accordance with their retention schedule, the system must also initiate the deferred deletion of the original data.


Whatever approach the transfer process takes, you want to make sure that you have an audit trail that covers the selection and extraction from the source application and the creation of the records in the target records management system. Ideally the whole process uses digital signatures and hash algorithms to ensure the integrity of the transfer end to end. This allows you to provide an unbroken chain of custody for your structured records.


Once your transfer is complete and the structured records are stored and classified in your records management system, they will be managed in accordance with your corporate records management policy and in context with all the unstructured records that you capture from other systems or users' desktops. I will tell you about some additional features that can be useful particularly for structured records management in a later post...

Structured Records Management - Classifying the records

Today I want to write about the second step in the process of structured records management, the classification of structured records.


Structured business applications are built to perform consistent tasks as part of well defined day-to-day business processes. This, combined with the predictable nature of the structured data that they use, makes it possible to automate the classification of the structured records we extract from them.


In my last post I talked about how the database administrator and the records manager work together to define the model and extraction rules for the creation of structured records. The classification step falls into the same design time activities. It needs to be done once, and after that will be applied to every structured records transfer of the same type automatically.


When I talk about classification, I talk about assigning a variety of metadata values, which will be created as descriptive and management metadata in the target records management system to enable retention management, security and access management, as well as high accuracy searching by metadata tags. The classification also allows you to bring structured records into context with unstructured records.


Our structured records management solution allows you to access the records management business classification directly from within the design environment, so that you can browse it and navigate to select the correct branch for your structured records definition.  Other metadata fields are imported into the designer from a central configuration area, where they are mapped to the fields in the records management repository. For any metadata field you can decide whether you want to define a "static" value or whether you want to derive the value from the structured record itself at run-time. You can either read data values into the field or generate values based on a combination of data and rules. For example the base date for the record retention could be read from the structured data directly or it could be calculated based in a rule, for example based on a country code in support of country specific retention rules.


All of this flexibility allows you to create a pre-defined metadata profile that allows you to transfer structured records in a completely automated fashion and still get accurate, dynamically created metadata describing them.


I look forward to meeting you again in my next post, whjen I will talk about the extraction of records from the source system and their ingestion into the records management environment.

What is Electronic Records Management?

By Claudia Currie


AIIM – the Association for Information and Image Management - is the leading non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. They recently released a presentation which provides you with an overview of Electronic Records Management (ERM). The slides are from the AIIM ERM Certificate Program covering technologies and global best practices for managing electronic records.


Click here to download it.

Structured Records Management - Defining what constitutes a record

After last weeks overview of the structured records management process, I want to start giving you some details of what each step in the process involves, beginning with the definition step.


Records stored in relational databases, as the name suggests, are made up from individual data items stored in multiple tables, linked to each other using relational links.  This means that not every record is a neat package that is redundantly stored with clear boundaries.  Some data items are shared between many records, others are uniquely stored for each record.


If you want to extract and store the data as long term records without reliance on the source application to maintain their usability, you need to extract it in a format that allows you to execute SQL queries across the data at any point in future. You also need to model the records so that they include all the data required to represent a complete and accurate picture of the data as it was at the time of extracting the record.


Structured records management is a discipline that brings together database administrators and records managers. In our solution we use definition tool that allows graphical browsing and modeling of the data structures to define the records. This allows the database administrator to visualize the data in a way that is easily understandable to people without specialist RDBMS knowledge, such as many records manager.


While you are modeling the data you also want to be able to create rules that you can use to select which records to extract from the system at what point. These may be selection rules such as "All fulfilled orders" or exclusion rules such as "Product is not recalled". This is where the records manager can provide valuable input as to what constitutes a record.  Our definition tool shows you what data is available to build the rules upon and allows you to formulate them right from within the data model.


Once you have defined the data model for the structured records and the rules that you want to use in their creation, you are ready to move to the next step in the process, the classification of the records.


To be continued....

Compliance concerns resulting from cross-border litigation

By Patrick Eitenbichler


On April 7th, the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal published a great article written by Brandon Cook, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Clearwell Systems.


Brandon describes how the increasing number of business transactions across borders leads to more litigation, government inquirires, and compliance audits spanning international boundaries.  Using a number of real-life examples, he shows the implications and then provides recommendations on how to get prepared for cross-border e-discovery.


Take a read:  "Why Cross-Border Litigation is a Compliance Concern"


 

Records management in US Federal Government Agencies

By Noel Rath


Are you interested in how different records management systems have been adopted in U.S. Government Federal agencies? Would you like to see how easy they were to deploy and how easy it was for users to use these new systems?


The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has published a report from their ‘Continuing Study of Federal Agency Recordkeeping Technologies 2008’ study. The agencies studied were:



  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Navy

  • U.S. Department of the Treasury

  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

This report is very informative and publically available at http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/recordkeeping-tech-2008.pdf .


 

Structured Records Management - from data to record

In my last post I started on the subject of Structured Records Management, an area of records management that is re-gaining a lot of relevance because ALL electronically stored information is discoverable in e-Discovery and FOIA, not just unstructured documents. 


In this and some subsequent posts I would like to introduce some of the concepts involved in structured records management. To start with, let's have a look at the steps involved to turn data in structured applications into records managed according to corporate policy:


1. Definition - this step allows us to identify and model the records in the source system


2. Classification - this step allows us to model some descriptive metadata around the records to apply our records management context


3. Extraction - this step allows us to extract records from the source system, based on the modeling done previously


4. Ingestion - this step brings the structured records under the control of the corporate records management environment


5. Management - this step allows us to access, retrieve, query, verify, the structured data under the control of the records management environment


6. Dispose - this step allows us to manage the retention and legal holds of structured data under the control of the records management environment


As I mentioned before, in HP IM we have created a solution that covers all the steps listed above, using our Database Archiving and TRIM products.  It is a truly exciting project to be working on! Throughout the process I was amazed how well the two products complement each other. I will let you know more about some of the details for each step in follow-up posts...

What happened to all the structured data we used to manage as records?

I started my professional life when computers were big machines that filled rooms and only large corporations could afford them. In smaller businesses many of the administrative tasks, such as accounting, keeping customer registers, product catalogs, managing personnel, leave control, payroll etc. were done on paper in big ledgers.  These ledgers were managed as records with very well defined access controls and retention schedules.


With the advent of personal computing, or affordable computing, most of these well defined administrative processes started to use specialized applications that stored the data in some form of database. The focus of these applications was the day-to-day business process and the focus of the underlying databases was the storage, linking, and retrieval of the data, as a service to the applications. Neither the application nor the database technology looked at the requirements of records management.


At the same time, records management systems moved from index card systems to computerized metadata catalogs, and pretty soon moved on to also capture electronic records directly from users' desktops. The focus of electronic records management was on unstructured documents, which proved to be a real nightmare to manage in environments where information could be created by anyone, virtually anywhere and anytime. The information of the structured line of business application was seemingly managed - at least it had a recognizable structure and was stored in a controlled environment.


It is only now, when e-discovery and freedom of information legislation includes all electronically stored information (ESI), that businesses start to realize that very large parts of their ESI resides in structured databases and is not managed as business records.


In a post a couple of months ago I wrote about how some of our HP TRIM customers use metadata only records to at least recognize the existence of records in structured systems within the records management environment; the next step is now to talk about how to start taking control of the structured records at a more detailed level.


The combination of HP Information Management's Database Archiving and HP TRIM technologies makes it possible to manage structured records right from their definition in the source system to their management and destruction as part of TRIM's classification and retention policies.  This allows us to bring back into the fold of records management all that information that somehow got overlooked during the rapid change from paper to electronic environments.  Stay tuned for more...


 

TRIM Web Content and Records Management

There is no doubt that a lot of  web content constitutes business records and must be managed. The question is which is the easiest way to achieve this?


If the Web Content Management (WCM) system is the main tool for the creation of the web content, then it should provide an integration with the records management system, consistent with the integrations with other authoring applications. The HP TRIM WCM system allows you to configure rules that automatically capture web pages as records when they are published. The rules can vary between different sections on the web site, so that you can exclude non-records content. If you want to capture regular snapshots of the whole site, you can use the site capture scheduler.  This will automatically render the whole site into static HTML pages, zip it up, and store it as a permanent record in the HP TRIM repository.


If the Web site is used for the publication of content created from other systems, then it makes sense to use the records management repository as a source for that content. Use the integrations of the authoring applications with HP TRIM  to capture the version that you want to publish as a record, and then publish it from there. The WCM module allows you to publish records in three ways, all of which interactively extract the record from the central repository:




  • Hyperlink to a single record


  • Fixed list of links to selected records


  • Dynamic list of links based on search criteria

If you use HP TRIM for document management, you can define at what point a new version of a document gets published, based on rules.  This allows you to automatically publish a new major version of a document as soon as it is declared; or you can make the process manual by the users assigning a publish date in the document management client.


If the Web site is used to publish interactive forms, it becomes part of a communications process with your customers. You will want to capture the submitted forms into the records management system to bring them into context with related correspondence and transactions. The WCM module allows you to capture forms as a combination of metadata and rendered form in various formats.  It even allows you to automatically start off a HP TRIM workflow process when a form is submitted, allowing you to automate your business processes.


Because the HP TRIM WCM module is based on standard technology such as XML, XSLT and CSS, it can be configured or customized to publish data from other applications as well.  Whether you want to capture records as part of these integrations or whether you want to capture the records as part of an integration between the source application and HP TRIM records management directly, varies from case to case. Our professional services specialists can help you analyze the requirements and figure out the most effective approach. The high level of out of the box integration between HP TRIM WCM and HP TRIM records management not only gives you a head start, it also means that you are dealing with people who have the integration experience, both at a technical and at a conceptual level.


 

Managing Holds in HP TRIM

Holds are a significant business event.  Toward that end HP TRIM maintains a separate business object for them, allowing you to create holds, describe them and associate them to records.  As with all other objects in HP TRIM you can create and assign as many metadata fields to holds as you wish.


By default each holds is created with a descriptive title, additional notes (this can have thousands of characters if you like), a start date, a close date, contact details, and a check box to "only prevent disposition changes".  This check box has been implemented to accommodate a request from customers who wanted to use the hold functionality to suspend the disposal process only, not the modification of the records or their metadata. This is used as part of their internal auditing and review processes, not for legal holds, where you want to prevent any modification of data, except for the tracking and auditing of access and movements of the records.


Once you have created the hold object you can then associate it with individual or groups of selected records and documents. Each hold can be associated with many records and documents and every record or document can be associated with many holds.  Only once all holds have been released from a record or document can you start updating or disposing of it again.


The assignment and removal of holds is logged in the audit trail including the descriptive name of the hold, so that at any time you can see the hold activity for any record.or document. The removal of a hold from an item is only one way to release it; the other way is to declare the hold as closed by entering a close date.  As soon as the close date of a hold is in the past, all records and documents in the hold are released, even though the association between the objects still exists. This latter method maintains the grouping of information by its hold information, which may be desirable for easy retrieval of historical data.


 

The affects of change management on your information

By Melissa Osborne 


It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re in the middle of organizational change. When I wrote my last blog I was going to write about deploying DRMS software, and then time got away.


And that got me thinking…how did it get away? Was it the usual, a lot of work and deadlines? Or was it something more than that? I had a suspicion that it was the added pressure of organizational change on my information.


Most organizations engage in some sort of change, whether it’s a re-structure, a move, the implementation of a new system. In most cases the organization engages a team of professionals to manage this change. And this change is a disruption to information.


Why and how does this information change? The obvious is the change of a new system. This has an immediate impact starting with the creation, flow and access of the information. This is usually well managed and documented.


But even this change is disruptive in a way that is not always identified. Changing information in one area usually impacts information in another area that is not always immediately obvious or identified.  


In organizational changes that are not targeted by new systems or where IT does not have the major responsibility, changes to information and the consequences of those changes can sometimes be overlooked. This leads to a drop in productivity because people cannot go to their usual sources to retrieve or store information. It also leads to a less successful change program, because the indicators of successful change is as little resistance to the change as possible, and people will resist if they cannot easily access the information they need, when they need it.


It is important to remember the impact of your organization's change on information – the obvious and not-so-obvious, and to manage it as you would all other elements of the change management program.

Remember the past, prepared to learn

By Noel Rath 


 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” said George Santayana, poet and philosopher, in his book Life of Reason in 1906. His advice has been there for generations to take note of, and we evolved as a species and progress as a society because we remember past successes, learn from mistakes and continually progress.


Information is the DNA of an organization. For a business to access and learn from this knowledge base requires systemic processes and procedures embedded in the business. So as technology evolves why have many businesses collected their past without thought about the efficient use of their corporate DNA? The systems and processes have been around for a long time to ensure efficient management of corporate knowledge. Records management provides these systems.


Instead, many organizations have documents and records poorly managed in disparate archives, file systems, warehouses and filing cabinets with limited control. Accessing this corporate DNA becomes problematic, inefficient and ineffective without records management policies and systems in place. It is therefore not surprising that some organizations are spending vast amounts of money trawling their data stores in an attempt to meet their legal obligations when required to produce evidence of all business activity associated with a legal dispute.


It’s not too late!  Protect your corporate memory, improve staff productivity and weather the storm, be it the global economic crisis or litigation. Invest in document and records management policies, procedures and systems and the investment will be returned very quickly!


 

How do you manage your Non-Records?

It makes me cringe every time I hear someone say "we don't need to worry about these, they are not records".  People usually refer to information that has been created or used in the line of business, but doesn't fall into their organizations "official" definition of business records.


These non-records cannot just be left alone. They still contain evidence and deserve to be treated with respect. The fact is simply that they are not seen as being of high business value and therefore nobody wants to spend time managing them.


And this is where the combination of an archiving system with a records management system makes sense. In our portfolio we have the Integrated Archive Platform, which allows you to set up rules to capture e-mails and files automatically. The IAP doesn't just apply retention rules to them, but also maintains their evidential value through making them searchable and non-tamperable. 


Through the integration of the IAP and HP TRIM you can still elevate the status of these non-record information to a business record, if and when required. At that point you add descriptive metadata to capture additional information about how the records were used and preserve their integrity and usability as part of a collection in the context of your business activities. If you capture any records right at the point of their creation, they are still stored in the IAP and take advantage of the secure and resilient storage.


The combination of the IAP archiving and the HP TRIM records management technologies allows you to build an uncluttered collection of high value business records, without running the danger that you have out of control non-records floating around your network forever.

What does Archive and Records Management really mean?

By Noel Rath 


I’d like to discuss archive management and records management and the widespread use of these terms. The Society of American Archivists state that archives management is “The general oversight of a program to appraise, acquire, arrange and describe, preserve, authenticate, and provide access to permanently valuable records.” It’s not about day to day business activities, it is to appraise, acquire and preserve records. Records are evidence of actions, decisions and inaction; they are complete and must also be accessible, reliable, authentic, accurate and inviolate.


There is one view that a record is created at the end of the process i.e. when the letter or contract if finalized and therefore declared as a record. Maybe this is the reason for confusion of records management with archive systems. The State Records NSW says that “Records are a valuable corporate asset that by their retention and reuse as evidence of decision making and business activity can improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation”. Records management is therefore an inextricable part of the day to day operations of a business.


The widely adopted ISO 15489 standard defines records management as; “field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records definition.”


So we can describe records management as the control of evidence of decisions and business activities for the life of those activities from creation to ultimate disposition, i.e. destruction or archival whatever the end of the records management process is. The ISO definition also refers to the maintenance and use of these records. In the day to day operations of a business, these records of transactions have a life cycle and are the lifeblood of a business. So records management is inextricable tied to the business process and thinking of records management in this way can open up for discussion the value of records management in business.


For information about the value of records management, download the whitepaper at www.hp.com/go/hptrim 


 

HP TRIM User Forum & Conference (TUF22) – It’s Back

By Helen Barnes 


I’m excited!  The HP TRIM User Forum is on again soon!  Can you believe this valuable event has been going for over 21 years?  I’ve been lucky enough to attend several TUFs both as a customer and also as an employee of HP Software.  My first was the Tasmanian (Hobart) TUF in 2001.  It was an eye opening experience for me for a couple of reasons:



  1. I’d never been that cold in my life (I’m from Darwin, it was still Winter)

  2. I was meeting all these fantastic people who were passionate about the same thing as me – this best-practice document and records management system – HP TRIM.

TUF has always been an event that I’ve taken incredible amounts of information away from (and had a little bit of fun too).  It was the only time I got a chance to talk to likeminded people from all over our region face to face.  We all know we experience the same problems in trying to get our staff to embrace information management and HP TRIM, and that some of us are moving forward more quickly than others – TUF lets us get together and hear what these movers and shakers are doing, then we can fly home and apply their ideas and lessons learnt in our own organisations.


The other unique feature of TUF that I love is that it also gave me a chance to talk to the people who actually wrote the software!  It was quite an honour to talk to these people (not that I understood them half the time – geeks) who’d produced this fantastic application about the way HP TRIM worked and things I’d come across while using it.


This year I’m presenting (can you hear my knees knocking?) and I’m excited for lots of new reasons.  This year I get to infect you with my passion for HP TRIM, I get to talk to you all about the things you love and any issues you may have with HP TRIM and I get to see you all interact with each other and watch the learning happen!


If you haven’t already, get yourself to www.hp.com.au/tuf22 and register to this awesome event.  If you have any enquiries about TUF22 please contact tori.evans@hp.com


 

Demystifying HP TRIM's integration tools

Recently I have been providing quite a lot of advice to customers who want to embed TRIM tightly within their enterprise information topology and automate their information flow as much as possible.  I think it would help many of you to understand what tools are available to create a truly unified information management experience.


For the technically minded among you, HP TRIM provides a software development kit (SDK) which allows integration from COM based legacy applications, .NET languages, and through a Web Service in service oriented architectures (SOA).


And now I try to use a few less three letter acronyms (TLAs). Basically these integration tools allow your programmers to write software code to automate the same functions that your users perform in the HP TRIM interface.  This way you can reduce the impact of recordkeeping on your users as much as possible. I have seen many customers who have integrated HP TRIM with line of business applications to automatically capture or present documents and records at defined points in a process. I have also seen extreme cases where independent software vendors have created completely new line of business applications on top of the HP TRIM platform. Because all the business rules of HP TRIM are inherent in the integration tools, these applications are automatically compliant with corporate records management policies.


In addition to making the HP TRIM functionality available to programmers, the SDK also provides the ability to reach out to other applications and to extend the existing HP TRIM functionality through the following mechanisms:


External Link - This mechanism is the easiest way to call an external application and doesn't even require you to write code.  You simply define the path to the external application and what command line parameters you want to pass to it. The command line parameters can be dynamically extracted on execution based on metadata from any selected HP TRIM object. A example use case is where a planning authority stores the map coordinates of building applications against the property record in HP TRIM and uses them as command line parameters for an External Link to a geographical information system.  The users can view a property record in HP TRIM and press a button to start the GIS system and show the property on the map.


Field Add-In - This mechanism allows you to write code to query external systems or databases during record cretion in HP TRIM. You can use it to validate entries of metadata or automatically populate metadata in HP TRIM record profiles. An example use case of this is where an organization uses a field add-in to retrieve the staff ID from an HR application when they profile personnel files in HP TRIM.


Records/Base Object Add-in - This mechanism allows you to execute your own code when your users create or modify records or other objects in TRIM. You got different events at which you can execute your code, such as object initialization, pre-save, post-save, delete. A use case of this is where an organization wants to update a customer relationship management system whenever a customer correspondence is filed in HP TRIM.


Custom Event Processor - This mechanism allows your code to be notified of every single audit event in HP TRIM and to execute functionality accordingly. I have used this mechanism myself to remove copies of records in external systems whenever the original record in TRIM was destroyed.


Now that you are aware of the possibilities, you can let your creativity run wild!  HP TRIM makes sure that you can't break the records management rules when you use the tools. 


If you want assistance with your integrations, our professional services organization has some very creative and proficient HP TRIM SDK specialists. 

Who has US$6M to comply with an e-discovery subpoena?

 


By Patrick Eitenbichler


Some of you may have run across Ralph Losey's blog about a recent e-discovery subpoena that cost OFHEO (Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) six million dollars just to comply with a subpoena for electronic documents -- even though they weren't party to the litigation.


This precendent is yet another example of the increasing need for proactive e-discovery.  In other words, by implementing a proactive e-discovery solution you can drastically reduce your risk and exposure in litigation AND reduce legal costs at the same time.


Take a look at our latest webinar about best practices for proactive e-discovery with records management -- or other white papers and analyst reports related to e-discovery.

How long do you keep your backup tapes?

 


By Patrick Eitenbichler


Over the past week I talked to a number of customers and industry analysts to better understand whether backup tapes are kept for just a couple of months or for many years.  After all, the specs show that the lifespan of e.g. LTO media is 30 years.


To my surprise, I found out that close to half of all customers keep only three months worth of data -- before the tapes get re-used and the data gets overwritten.  The other half uses tape as an archive medium and keep the cartridges for several years (although I found no one who had a 30-year-old tape in their drawer  :-).


Question is...  Do backup administrators keep tapes for a certain period of time because "it's always been this way" -- or because they're following a recently updated backup strategy?  Through data classification and a proactive data protection and archiving strategy, users can achieve a multitude of goals -- all at the same time:




  • Reduce backup windows and simplify recovery:  If data is only kept for a couple of months, a disk-based backup solution such as HP's StorageWorks VLS or D2D using HP Data Protector software would make the most sense -- leveraging low-bandwidth remote replication to store data "off site", and deduplication to minimize storage costs.



  • After classifying data and determining WHAT data needs to be kept for the long term -- whether it's for compliance, e-discovery or corporate governance reasons -- decisions can be made re: what data can be kept on tape (low cost, low energy consumption) vs. and archiving solution such as HP's Integrated Archive Platform (single, searchable repository for all data types).

In short, users can reduce costs and increase IT productivity by calling a time-out and taking a closer look at "how long you keep your backup tapes" -- and WHY?


 

Publishing authoritative records to your Intranet / Extranet

 


By Noel Rath


The web has become a primary channel for publishing authoritative documents to internal staff, business partners or clients.  When publishing to the web, be it an intranet, extranet or internet, security is paramount as not only is the authoritative document to be published, only authorized persons should be able to access this information.


Integration of the web content management system with an organization’s records management systems should provide this capability. The records management system provides the management of authoritative records and the security regime to ensure that only authorized persons access this confidential information. It is critical that only controlled and authoritative documents are published, authorized users can access this information easily and the publishing process is automatic.


Information about the integration of HP TRIM and WCM is available on hp.com.

New Information Heroes on the IM Digital Hub

By Steve Fink 


We have added five new Information Heroes to our Information Management Digital Hub.  Click here to check out the new members of the Information Hero community.  You’ll find:




  • Marty Loeber who oversees e-Discovery for Valero's legal department, discussing how the USA’s largest oil refiner is lowering the cost of e-Discovery and improving outcomes using HP’s Integrated Archive Platform.


  • David Cohen, co-chair of one of the USA’s largest e-Discovery practices for national law firm K&L Gates, discussing why the link between IT and corporate counsel is key to managing both e-Discovery expense and outcomes.


  • Sue Derison, Director of Information Systems for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia, discussing how they are responding to growth, adapting to changing regulation and saving money by using HP TRIM to manage records.


  • Randy Kahn of Kahn Consulting Inc. talking about the importance of e-Discovery in a down economy.


  • Mark Saussure, Director of Digital Libraries for Penn State, discussing how Penn State is working to drive XAM deployment and improve university information management utilizing HP’s Integrated Archive Platform.

Let us know what you think -- especially if you'd like us to publish best practices from other Information Heroes.

Don't underestimate the power of the "metadata only" record

Many organizations are starting to implement electronic records management in conjunction with ETL (extract, transform, load) technologies in an effort to apply centralized control over unstructured, semi structured and structured data. Depending on the maturity of the IT and the RM environment this can be a daunting task.


For some main-stream business applications you can get adapters "out of the box", but for others you need to either come up with a "normalization" of an interface that you can apply in a fairly generic way, or you need to design a system specific integration.  Whichever approach lends itself to your needs depends on the integration capabilities of the applications. But the technical integration is only part of the story; it concerns itself mainly with the transfer of bits and bytes between the applications, and not necessarily with the classification of the information that the applications contain. This whole other area provides a lot of additional work, requiring a skill set that fits more into the records management  than the IT discipline. Both the technical and the records management disciplines must work together to achieve success, and they can help each other along the way. 


Records management requires a detailed analysis of business processes and existing systems to design enterprise-wide information governance policies and processes, work that can be leveraged in the integration of systems. Records managers are usually well versed in describing and managing information that is available, but not necessarily on-line. Just think of the thousands of archive boxes that your organization stores in various places.  Records managers need to know where they are, what they contain, and when they can be destroyed.  They do so by creating descriptive metadata profiles to which they can assign automated business rules.


I have talked to several HP TRIM customers who started their enterprise information integration by creating descriptive metadata-only profiles for semi-structured and structured information systems in the same way as for physical records. HP TRIM keeps these profiles in the same context as the profiles of electronic records. This allowed the records managers to include these systems into their classification, searches, reporting and workflows, even before the direct link was established at a technical level. The descriptive data can be used to create a catalog of systems including a detailed description of the data that they contain. This allows the technical people to get a grip on the scope of the technical integration project, to identify communalities betwen systems, find "low hanging fruit" and to set priorities.


In e-discovery and freedom of information requests the systems will show up in the searches and when a legal hold notice is issued the system owners will be notified in the same way as custodians of physical records. Business users doing research as part of their daily work will find all sources of information and will be able to make more informed decisions.


So keep the "metadata-only" record in mind when starting to implement your enterprise records management system - it can really give you a head-start.  If your organization doesn't yet have a records management competency, our records management specialists can help you take stock of your systems, create a system catalog, and formulate a master-plan on how to proceed.


 

Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (FRCP) 33(d) in context of E-discovery

Today was the first time I read about FRCP 33 (d) in the context of e-discovery.  FRCP 33 regulates how parties can respond to the other party's interrogatories and part (d) states that:


"If the answer to an interrogatory may be determined by examining, auditing, compiling, abstracting, or summarizing a party's business records (including electronically stored information), and if the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer will be substantially the same for either party, the responding party may answer by:


(1) specifying the records that must be reviewed, in sufficient detail to enable the interrogating party to locate and identify them as readily as the responding party could; and


(2) giving the interrogating party a reasonable opportunity to examine and audit the records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts, or summaries."


In the case that I read about today, the party that responded by supplying the business records basically dumped a whole lot of ESI, both relevant and irrelevant, onto the other party. The judge saw that this as going against the meaning of rule 33 (d), and as a consequence they were not allowed to rely on the documents they had produced in their defense.


In my view, records management is an ideal solution to make the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer substantially the same for either party. Records management groups, indexes, and classifies business records with descriptive information in the form of additional metadata, so that people who have little or no knowledge of the business process in which the record were created can recognize their context and relationships.  Having that additional context makes it not only easier for the producing party to specify the appropriate set of records, but also for the receiving party to derive  the answer(s) that are implicit in the produced records.


In my view, as long as business records are compiled and described by people who have close involvement with their creation, and who are in knowledge of all the facts and processes surrounding the records, the additional business context in the descriptive metadata helps more in the understanding of information than after-the-fact analysis of the content to try and re-construct the facts.

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  • For years I've been doing video and music production back and forth between Boston MA and New Orleans LA. Starting in 2010, I've began working with Vertica (now HP Vertica) in the marketing team, doing customer testimonials, product release videos, and website management. I'm fascinated by Big Data and the amazing things my badass team at HP Vertica has done and continues to do in the industry every day.
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