Digital Files in Administration: “Old habits die hard”

In public administration, the introduction of digital files keeps running into misgivings and reservations. Most of these are not founded in logic, as online magazine Kommune 21 recently determined in an article. Usually, they have much more to do with prejudices – prejudices that would be easy to disarm with arguments, if they weren’t so ingrained.

 

Paper Files Have Served Their Purpose

“Old habits die hard,” as they say, and change can be a tough and even painful process. As Kommune 21 rightly found, paper files today are nothing if not an old habit. They originated at the end of the 19th century. They are certainly no longer capable of meeting the diverse challenges facing modern administration, which include growing floods of data and managing modern communication media. As the author determined, the only way for paper files to retain the importance and usefulness they had 150 years ago would be if businesses printed out all their important e-mails and data to file them away. But who would want that?

 

Introducing Digital Files Efficiently

By now it must be clear – digital files are more than just “nice to have;” in today’s business world, they’re doubtlessly an indispensable “must.” But instead of concentrating on how to introduce digital files into administration efficiently, or how to create digital files that are uniform and available for all professional divisions – in many branches, scepticism still reigns. Or, to put it in the author’s own words: “Opinions of digital files are often coloured by apprehensions, opinions, and impressions, and do not have much to do with concrete knowledge. This needs to change, quickly.”

More Effective & More Efficient: EASY Rethinks Customer Service

A good product is the best prerequisite for winning new customers. Good service is indispensable if you want to ensure your customers remain loyal to your product in the long term. Now that EASY has positioned our solutions in a new and improved light in many respects, it is only logical for the company to revitalise the foundations of our customer service over the next few months.

 

Doing What Is Right, Doing What Is Necessary

The corporate world is all about effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness means doing what is right, and doing what is necessary. Efficiency means doing everything in the best way possible. This applies to support at EASY, too – and even more so in the future than ever before.

EASY is tackling the entire support process, including the whole life cycle of an incident. Our goal: employees in support should be able to concentrate on their core duties. To make sure they can, EASY is introducing a Help Desk and a Customer Care Centre (CCC), and is dividing customer service into 1st Level, 2nd Level, and 3rd Level support.

 

A Central Point of Contact

In the future, all support enquiries will be received first by the Help Desk. It will act as a central gateway, the single point of contact for partners and customers. The Help Desk team will also take over 1st level support tasks, but it will also do more than just accept enquiries. Instead, it will also complete preliminary analyses, and search for solutions in a database of known and solved support queries. In addition, the team will ensure that all information for quick processing of support requests be available, thereby reducing CCC or 2nd level processing time.

If it is not possible to conclude the support issue on this level, colleagues in the Customer Care Centre, representing 2nd Level support, will come into play. These are product, application, and solution specialists, who will search for answers to service questions that have never been considered before. If necessary, they will consult with product development to handle issues, who will act as the 3rd Level support team.

 

More Efficient and More Reliable

The advantages of this structure are clear: each specialist will only deal with their own area, and will not have to answer enquiries that are outside of their field. Support enquiries that are similar to earlier cases will be solved more quickly. And having the Help Desk as a central point of contact ensures the highest possible level of transparency and reliability.

Over the course of 2016, EASY will be establishing the structures and assembling the teams we need for these new functions. The company will rely on cooperation from our partners to do so. If we want to become more efficient and more effective along the entire life cycle of a support enquiry, we cannot leave our partners out of the equation. Their experience is indispensable in the ongoing process of improvement EASY is striving for in the area of support.

DMS Providers: EASY is number 1

ChannelPartner reviewed a total of six DMS providers and their partner programmes along with insalcon. EASY SOFTWARE AG was among the group, and took first place in the recently published rankings. EASY impressed partners above all in product and sales training, and scored better in comparison with the other DMS providers all along the line. EASY received the maximum number of points in this category – as we did for our webcast offerings.

The free on site support EASY offers its partners also received extraordinarily high marks. The EASY extranet, a web-based partner portal, was part of the reason EASY took the top spot in the comparative study of DMS providers.

We would like to thank everyone who voted for EASY SOFTWARE AG, and for your trust in our company.

Personal Nord Sees Record Number of Visitors

The exhibition PERSONAL2016 Nord took place on 26 and 26 April in Hamburg. With around 4,000 HR professionals and management personnel taking part, the event set a new record for number of attendees. The central question of the exhibition was the following: how can employers prepare for the digital shift – with regard to corporate culture, training and education, and recruiting?

 

Premiere for EASY HR 3.0

EASY SOFTWARE AG was represented with a stand at the event, where we demonstrated innovative solutions related to personnel management on site. We presented the new 3.0 release for the EASY HR solution to the trade fair public for the first time at the exhibition – its integrated applicant management garnered the greatest interest from attendees. Besides the digital personnel file EASY nextPCM Personnel File, visitors also focused on the automated creation of HR documents.

 

Of “Digital Impatience” and “Platform Capitalism”

Author and blogger Sascha Lobo roused the audience to action as the keynote speaker. In his speech, he spoke about phenomena like “digital impatience” and platform capitalism”. He had a special message in mind for HR departments: if companies want to foster their powers of innovation, they need to work heavily on their culture surrounding mistakes and criticism. He believes HR should take a lead role in this shift. HR professionals need to help their organizations “fail forward”, so to speak, in order to foster innovation.

Digitise? Not Just for Arbor Day…

Did you know? April 25th was Arbor Day. Originally conceived by journalist Julius Sterling Morton in the USA, and celebrated for the first time in Nebraska in 1852, the United Nations adopted Arbor Day into its calendar in 1951. In Germany, President Theodor Heuss planted a maple tree in the Bonner Hofgarten during the first day of action in 1952. So much for the history of the day.

 

Trees? That’s nice, but …

We have to admit: Most of us are not really that interested in trees. They look nice, give us shade, and are the green lungs of our world. But what else do they do? They drop resin on your car – and raking the leaves is not the most fun autumn activity one could imagine. The relationship between people and tree is, we might say, ambivalent.

Trees would probably agree. Trees might not see their lives with humans in such a positive light. Larger and larger areas are being paved over – it hasn’t been this easy to get a logging permit since the stone age. Of course, the alternative is not much better for trees. If they aren’t logged, they while away the hours lining a stuffy city street, or have to put up with the joggers and mountain bikers in the park. And if they are truly unlucky, they will end up as paper somewhere in a printer, and be printed with all sorts of unnecessary tables or other nonsense that will have served its purpose after an hour or so.

 

Printing? A Task We Can Do Without

It is true – for some time, we saw a wave of ecological interest in offices. “Think before you print” was the motto, and every e-mail had a note attached to keep recipients aware of their CO2 footprints and stimulate their ecological consciences. But as so often happens, interest waned, and wagging fingers went right back to clicking the “Print” button.

And all this in an era when the paperless office is closer than ever before. Digitised documents and workflows are a tree’s best friend. If we only introduced them comprehensively, our trees could get comfortable in their bark once again and take a deep breath. And so could we. This is an attitude EASY supported with a tree sponsorship event, under the motto: “Planting trees – instead of printing. Work paperlessly with EASY SOFTWARE.”

So: Let’s all pitch in. Just start printing less. The tree of the year for 2016, the basswood, is sure to thank you for it. It might not say so outright – perhaps just with a gentle rustling this summer – but it will give you one very important gift: Oxygen.

SAP HCM Solutions in the Cloud: EASY SOFTWARE is an Innovative Partner

The SAP SuccessFactors Power Week took place at the end of April in Walldorf, a workshop focused on HR cloud solutions in SAP. EASY SOFTWARE AG took part in it as a certified SAP partner, thanks to our many years of experience in the HCM environment. Since more and more companies are trusting in the advantages of cloud solutions, in the future, SAP-based EASY PCM solutions like the digital personnel file or automated reference creation are also going to be prepared for SuccessFactors.

 

The Possibilities of Cloud Integration

At the event, SAP experts referred to many ways partners can quickly and easily develop extensions for SAP SuccessFactors based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. They also demonstrated the technical opportunities cloud integration provides, in addition to outlining these potential scenarios. Integrating the solutions with the SAP HANA Cloud Connector, and integrating cloud-based apps into the Fiori Launchpad or into employee or company portals, were also on the agenda. The innovative SuccessFactors expansions developed by partners in this way can supplement the HCM Portfolio of SAP.

EASY Extranet: New Marketing Materials and References

We now offer our partners the ability to download relevant content not related to any specific product in the EASY SOFTWARE AG extranet. In the newly created area EASY SOFTWARE AG – General, for example, you can now find EASY corporate presentations in both German and English under “Sales and Marketing.” A presentation including an overview of EASY products and solutions, and an EASY image brochure and videos, are also available.

In addition, we are also very pleased to provide our reference reports to partners there in both German and English.  EASY logos in a variety of iterations, design guidelines, and our screen backgrounds are also available to you under “Tools.”

We recommend that partners interested in the new area subscribe – this will ensure you never miss any news, such as EASY presentations or reference reports. Please click >here< to call up the new area of the extranet.

“9th Digital Invoice Day”: The right mix

At the 9th “Digital Invoice Day” event, in association with packaging specialist Infiana and the Bonn-based German Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, or Federal Central Tax Office, EASY SOFTWARE AG provided information about important aspects covering electronic invoices in business transactions. Executives from Finance & Accounts, Control and Organization departments used the opportunity at this one-day conference in Moers, Germany, for personal exchange of ideas regarding current topics and trends in accounting.

 

From conception to solution

More than 60 participants from various industries and business sizes attended the technical presentations, which also included an actual, hands-on user example of the EASY solutions in the context of electronic invoice processing. The path from conception through to the actual use of a solution, based on the project implemented at Infiana, was transparent to the participants. Moreover, the speakers explained, among others, the topic of “Automated invoice processing”. And this met with a clearly positive response from the participants. “Interesting audit and finance aspects with reference to real-life operation” was one of the comments to be heard afterwards, as was the comment: “a very enjoyable and informative event”.

 

Time for personal exchange

Following the technical presentations, there was enough time for visitors to engage in intensive discussions and personal talks. “To our participants, the right mix of technical standards and individual exchange is what counts. It seems that we were again able to meet this expectation. From the many positive responses I infer that we succeeded in credibly positioning EASY as a manufacturer with a full view of our customers’ requirements,” sums up Dirk Hupperich, one of the executives of the EASY Direct Sales department. So the “9th Digital Invoice Day” event was a full-blown success for all those involved.

EASY webcast: Email archiving can be this comfortable

On 20th May 2016 at 11 am, as part of our series of EASY webcasts, we will be showing you how you can use EASY for Exchange to archive your business emails simply and reliably.

Does a large part of communication within your company take place via email? Do you use emails for internal communications between departments and to approve critical business processes? Then look forward to our webcast on EASY for Exchange. Discover how all emails in your company can be stored in compliance with the law.

Register now to participate in the free EASY for Exchange webcast by clicking >here<.

Collaboration: difficult situation in Germany

Nobody doubts that collaboration is one of today’s most important corporate trends. Company structures are highly decentralized and fragmented, and teams are divided over multiple units or group companies. This makes a recent survey by PAC software consultants all the more interesting. They questioned 150 managers in German companies to get a snapshot of current opinions. And what did they discover? That the technical equipment to make cooperation happen is often lacking.

 

Sounds good in principle, but …

Even the structures of the companies surveyed make it obvious what a high value they must place on collaboration. Almost two thirds have multiple locations in Germany, and over a third have branches outside of Germany as well. Around 30 percent are part of a multi-national group, and almost half of the companies work frequently with external employees. These are ideal conditions for a blossoming culture of collaboration. At least, that’s what it seems – with 68 percent of participants agreeing that functional collaboration offers “major” or “very major” potential for improvement, in particular regarding processes and operations.

 

IT facilities lacking

But there are three stumbling blocks that can keep virtual collaboration from really getting off the ground. 46 percent, for instance, criticize the culture of exchange. 45 percent view the organizational conditions for virtual teams as problematic. Even more, 48 percent to be exact, would assess the technical equipment offered by their own employers as “mediocre” or even “very bad.” That smarts – these are powerful tools, after all. EASY ECM Suite might be something for these companies to consider – its comprehensive collaboration features could be a great help, and have been on the market for quite some time.

 

One other interesting aspect of the whole question: at least 55 percent of companies are integrating investment in virtual collaboration into their corporate strategies, and another 28 percent are integrating this investment in their IT strategy. Only a minority of 17 percent place decisions about investing in the hands of individual business units. This gives us hope for the future. One thing’s for sure: in today’s world, no company should fail to use the possibilities for collaboration that digitalization creates. If they do, they might regret it.