2014 in retrospect: a landmark year for the EASY SOFTWARE group

Once more the market leader, a successful start to the EASY FIT 2017 transformation process, a double-digit sales growth, excluding inorganic factors, in the past financial year, and also the initiation of an upcoming product offensive: the résumé of the software manufacturer from Mülheim an der Ruhr for 2014 is largely positive. Important foundations were laid down for the future with the investments made, even if this led to a short-term decline in profitability. If we were to exclude special items we could have secured a result at the level of the previous year.

 

Services with a particularly high demand

The current high-level of dynamics in the marketplace has caused a noticeably downward effect in the business of the manufacturer of user-oriented document management software. The past year has shown that, at the current time, product revenue depends significantly more upon the solutions business than in previous years. As a result of these, EASY SOFTWARE registered particularly strong growth in the services sector. The company hence did not only exceed the previous year’s total values but it also clearly exceeded the market trend.

 

Over 12,000 installations

Further facts and figures demonstrate the sustained positive business growth for 2014: according to an independent study by the ama GmbH, the EASY SOFTWARE group is responsible for providing the largest number of installed DMS/ECM systems in Germany. In the last year alone the EASY group was able to carry out its 12,000th product installation and to gain more than 300 new customers – among them reputable companies such as Bilfinger SE and the Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.

“12,000 installations is an excellent figure of which we are also rather proud. At the same time this milestone represents for us, as a manufacturer, a further incentive to provide our customers with integrated solutions which will make them still more profitable and efficient. We are confident that also in 2015 we can continue this positive development”, EASY Management Board member, Willy Cremers, stated.

 

The next ECM generations are coming

A further highlight was undoubtedly the EASY WORLD 2014 – the most significant event for customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders – in the Mülheim an der Ruhr town hall. Apart from the opportunity for personal interaction and networking, the event offered in almost 30 presentations the opportunity to obtain practical information on current and upcoming trends in the industry. EASY chief architect, Oliver Merk, announced exclusively to the approximately 500 invited guests the development of the next ECM generation in the EASY SPIRIT project. So-called business modules will be provided on proven, technical EASY ECM services, and they will make possible the creation of ECM solutions in record time using a simple configuration.

As early as mid-2015 the new EASY ECM SUITE will be delivered to the first customers. The specialists at EASY Usability have reconceived things for you. Instead of concentrating exclusively on the user interface of the software, EASY is attacking the topic in an integrated manner. The new ECM SUITE does not only simplify work for the users, for example by using more transparent processes, but also supports EASY partners in consulting and sales. Installation and configuration have also been noticeably improved. “Our satisfaction surveys and analyses have revealed that many software manufacturers view the subject of usability from too one-dimensional a perspective”, Thomas Cziesla, the head of portfolio management at EASY SOFTWARE AG, pointed out. „We believe that the successful use of software by the customers already starts with sales. ECM must first and foremost be easy enough to use so that it will be understood and accepted by all the parties concerned”. Moreover components from the EASY SPIRIT project have been integrated into the ECM SUITE on a step-by-step basis.

 

EASY FIT 2017

As was announced at last year’s Annual General Meeting, EASY SOFTWARE has also begun to implement the EASY FIT 2017 programme. Its objective is to structure EASY in a more robust and more secure manner for the future. The company is concentrating to a greater extent upon its role as a software manufacturer and is developing new products which are more attractive. A new general orientation should support this change and, as a result, EASY also expects positive effects upon company profitability. This has recently been visibly under stress due to the targeted transformation investments and various extraordinary expenses.

 

2015 at a glance

To sum up, the EASY group is looking forward to 2015 with a lot of confidence and entrepreneurial energy. The conclusion drawn by Willy Cremers is also correspondingly optimistic: “We would like to thank all our employees and our business partners for their outstanding commitment and their wide-ranging support during an important stage of reorientation for the EASY SOFTWARE group. 2015 will be a great year with many new products and services – with the emphasis placed squarely upon the customer”.

 

EASY SOFTWARE AG

 

The Management Board

Partner Information Day: A clear commitment to EASY

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Lots of new information, specific schedules, active exchange of information, and delicious curry sausage have turned the EASY Partner Information Day event into a full success. To a packed audience – the EASY headquarters building in Mülheim an der Ruhr was able to offer space for 80 guests – and numerous “virtual” participants following the live event on the Internet using stream, EASY SOFTWARE offered its partners previews of its plans for 2015 and beyond, as well as the opportunity for direct exchange of information.

Opened by EASY CEO Willy Cremers and moderated by Carsten Werner, head of Partner Sales, the event focused, most of all, on the EASY ECM Suite, the “Go to market” topic, and the ECM Suite Cloud. There was widespread agreement that upcoming solutions must offer, above all, high usability and practical usefulness. A particularly nice feature in this context was the clear commitment by the partners present at the event to the solutions shown by EASY SOFTWARE. Lunch offered partners and EASY employees the opportunity to enjoy a part of the new EASY company values, perhaps in its most appealing form, because it literally said: “Curried sausage not Sushi” (referring to EASY’s down-to-earth approach).

Kunden besser „abholen“ – mit automatisierten Workflows

„Adapt or die“ – so lautet das Motto der IT-Vordenker, die den so genannten Digitalen Darwinismus geprägt haben. Demnach ist die Digitalisierung eine Grundvoraussetzung für das Überleben von Unternehmen. Denn der „connected customer“ hat besondere Ansprüche, will alles immer sofort und überall.

 

Digitale Arztrechnung

Eine wichtige „Anpassung“ in diesem digital-darwinistischem Sinne hat gerade eine große deutsche Versicherung für Kunden ihrer privaten Krankenversicherung eingeführt: die digitale Arztrechnung. Privatpatienten fotografieren die Rechnung mit ihrem Handy und laden sie in ihren Kundenordner hoch, von wo aus diese an den zuständigen Sachbearbeiter weitergeleitet wird. Den aktuellen Bearbeitungsstatus kann der Versicherte dann jederzeit in seinem Account abrufen. Ein Beispiel, das Schule machen könnte.

 

Good-bye Handarbeit!

Doch mit dem Hochladen und digitalen Bereitstellen ist es nicht getan – und vermutlich ist an dieser Stelle auch bei dem Versicherer nicht das Ende der Fahnenstange erreicht. Denn nur, wenn der nachfolgende Workflow weitestgehend automatisiert ist, hat er auch etwas davon. Ein solcher Workflow umfasst mindestens das Auslesen und Erfassen der Daten, das Erstellen eines Datensatzes, die Prüfung auf Plausibilität und Feststellung der Rechtskonformität parallel zur revisionssicheren Archivierung.

 

Kontrollen als Ausnahme

Und das muss auch so sein, denn wozu sollte man eine digitale Kopie einer Rechnung vorhalten, wenn diese immer noch von Hand ins System übertragen und einzeln überprüft werden muss? Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter sollten sich nur in Einzelfällen noch mit der Kontrolle der Rechnung befassen müssen. Dass das möglich ist, beweisen unter anderem EASY Lösungen jeden Tag.

 

Effizienz- und Image-Gewinn

Vorausgesetzt, bei der großen deutschen Versicherung ist dies alles der Fall, legt sie damit nicht nur das Fundament für mehr Effizienz. Vielmehr kann sie sich ihren Kunden gleichzeitig als moderner und serviceorientierter Dienstleister präsentieren, der Wert auf Schnelligkeit, Transparenz und Nähe zum Kunden legt. So stellt sich möglicherweise eine weitere, durchaus nicht unerwünschte Nebenwirkung ein: ein Image-Gewinn.

EASY outlook 2015: full steam ahead!

Start the new year with a bang! This resolution also applies to EASY SOFTWARE AG. But it is not just a question of this resolution. As was already sketched out at EASY World 2014 and at last year’s Annual General Meeting, the next eleven months will be characterised by dynamism and further development.

 

Focus upon manufacturing

EASY SOFTWARE AG is taking the steps necessary to concentrate fully upon its role as a software manufacturer. Right at the top of the agenda: attractive product suites and solutions. Behind this lies the conviction that the strategy of providing highly standardised products and services meets the requirements of the great majority of our customers and partners.

 

EASY ECM Suite

First of all EASY SOFTWARE AG is optimising its existing product range for document-intensive business processes and specialised applications. In the future this will be called the EASY ECM Suite. Access to the specialised applications is accordingly set up to be as easy as possible. EASY customers can deploy further EASY solutions in an integrated manner supported by simple administration using a single interface. Users can additionally now change the ECM settings themselves.

 

Your own specialised applications are possible

“Process experts” can even create their stand-alone specialised applications. In the next few weeks and months we will keep you up to date with regard to further developments of the ECM Suite – also via EASY insight/compact.

 

The new ECM generation at a glance

What is involved in the medium term is nothing less than the development of the next ECM generation. It will provide so-called business modules on the proven, technical EASY ECM services, which will allow the creation of ECM solutions in record time using a simple configuration.

 

Integrated and simple

This also includes the increasingly important integration of external sources by information management, document vaults, process solutions or the creation of electronic forms. “We will radically simplify and reduce any still existing complexity to a minimum”, the EASY chief architect, Oliver Merk, has announced.

You can see for yourself – EASY SOFTWARE AG has big plans. In this context: full steam ahead!

EASY View: more efficient multireader

EASY View_720

With EASY View, EASY SOFTWARE AG provides a tool for the high-performance and accurately portrayed representation of documents of various formats. The conversion of the formats with this product does not take place on the client but rather on a server. The advantage: the installation of additional software on the client is not required. Apart from the increased operational efficiency, significant savings potential may result from this (e.g. in the area of licence fees). On the other hand the processing and maintenance effort is reduced to a minimum.

The high performance level of the document conversion into defined file types, e.g. PDF, JPEG, PNG or TIFF, provides a further highlight. This conversion is now possible for more than 300 different file formats. In addition, documents can be conveniently printed and resized with EASY View. The quick and easy representation of the contents increases the efficiency and thus ultimately the user-friendliness of EASY View.

Another added value lies in the high imaging fidelity, which leads to greater security when dealing with EASY View and makes simple navigation possible.

Why Doing Nothing About BYOD Just Isn’t Good Enough

What are we going to do about BYOD? You may think this is a redundant question – as for a lot of organizations, the reality is that BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, has already ‘won.’

 

Look at what seems to be some pretty powerful realities here. Generation Y, the name generally given by sociologists to the cohort of young people coming into employment now and over the last couple of years, simply have no patience with what they see as fuddy-duddy rules and regulations about information. Given all the power and functionality of what they can do on the devices that they carry round all the time, can you really blame them; you’re telling me I can’t share thisinformation instantaneously with anyone else?

 

IT shouldn’t be that surprised about this kind of attitude, as, let’s face it, it’s what powered the original grass-roots user tech rebellion – that of the PC in the 1980s; this is when managers got so sick and tired of waiting for reports when the ‘Data Processing’ department told them that reports couldn’t even be scheduled to be looked at for six months, that they went out and sourced their own Macs and IBM PCs to get on with the job themselves.

 

That kind of can-do attitude is fantastic. But there’s a big change between that revolution and the BYOD one. This time, we are exposing our data to the whole world (which was pretty much impossible with the closed networks and primitive data storage capacities of 1984). Which makes BYOD a lot more of a troubling proposition to CIOs than a few PCs round the place ever did. And quite rightly.

It is very doubtful that we’ll ever get back to the ‘good old days’ (were they that good?) when you showed a user their desktop or corporate laptop, gave them a password and that was it. We do have to accept that people expect a lot more from technology and networks, and that their expectations of what IT in the business can give them are quite small, probably.

But how best to deal with a situation where so much kit and so much software is unsanctioned and unsupported by IT? Because that is the reality we are living with now, thanks to BYOD.

Well, you can ban it. It’s worth a try. What will happen; they’ll just ignore you – or walk round with two phones, one a boring work one, one the funky one that they do their actual work on. (You are probably only too aware of the so-called ‘Shadow IT’ phenomenon at work here – where all sorts of services and systems are getting procured by people who wouldn ’t think twice about calling boring old IT… until it breaks, and they are on to the Service Desk demanding a fix that second!)

By the way, this whole situation has become really problematic only since BlackBerry effectively died as the corporate default device. That is a problem not just for that vendor’s investors and shareholders, but a lot of corporate IT people too – as, at a stroke, a robust and secure platform simply vanished as an option.

Back to strategies. You could try and monitor what happens, setting up virtual speed cameras to see what people are doing on the Web, trying to curb excess mileage on the old Information Superhighway that’s not work related. Hmm. Good luck with that if they are on YouTube because marketing tasked the to do some social media outreach. No, the fact is that the genie is out of the bottle here. That doesn’t mean you’re going to just give up and do nothing.

For one, we absolutely need help – as users – from you (and the CSO if we have one) on what we should and shouldn’t be doing (if not, the magic letters ‘DPA Act’ should bring you back to your senses) – thought so! But we also need ways – as users, and as responsible, th oughtful peers in the organization – to access corporate information while out and about that is safe and secure.

 

On our side, the supplier side of the Enterprise Content Management industry, we have recognized this issue and have started to try and help. Thus at this year’s CeBIT trade show in Germany, Europe’s largest tech trade expo, we and other peers announced practical help here in the form of new mobile apps that you can start to offer as a safe alternative for people who need to access core systems.

It’s possibly early days here and we might have a long way to go together. The point is, know we are aware of the issue we all face here and are starting to look to help you.

But without a doubt, ‘doing something’ about BYOD has to mean something more than a shrug and sitting on your hands … your corporate data assets deserve much, much more respect and protection than that. The reality that you need to take on board, now, is that the team is already sharing your company data and organizational information as sets via all these free Google Docs/ SkyDrive etc. media. Which means that you need to talk to them now to start help shape a better response.

 

Because God only knows how much stuff is already out there! Let’s do what we can to keep all this first manageable, then safe once again.

 

Tony Cheung is an experienced software delivery professional with more than 15 years experience leading and managing software operations and customer-facing services implementations. As Managing Technical Director of EASY Software UK Tony focuses on customer solutions and applications delivery, setting the company’s technical direction and spearheading a number of business and sales partnerships.

Social collaboration: increasing importance for ERP

The integration of social media technologies in enterprise resource planning could improve the social collaboration and the customer orientation of businesses, and help them to react in a more agile manner in the marketplace. This is the result of a global survey of ERP users.

Greatly appreciated

According to this, more than half of the 200 ERP users surveyed in Germany consider the use of social media technologies within the context of ERP to be important or very important. Not even one in twenty on the other hand considered social collaboration to be less relevant as a part of ERP.

Optimising customer communication

Providing information to customers and partners and keeping them up to date – this could possibly be carried out far more efficiently and more quickly by using social collaboration tools and social media as an integral component of the ERP system. Accordingly every third user wants an ERP system with precisely these highly efficient tools. Almost half envisage as a result better cooperation with their partners. More than 40 per cent see the most significant potential for their company resulting from the use of simpler and more direct communication with suppliers. 54 percent of those surveyed see the greatest advantage, however, in direct contact with customers.

Act in a more flexible manner – evaluate decisions

In addition more than a third of those surveyed stress as a matter of principle the need to make management and value creation more flexible. The use of social media technologies within the context of ERP would enable the making of important management decisions on a broader information base and allow quicker reactions to market requirements.

200 users surveyed in Germany

With some 1,500 participants globally and 200 ERP users who were involved in the study in Germany, the data material is certainly not to be regarded as representative, but one thing can be drawn from the study in each case: a snapshot indicating a potentially significant trend.

Audit-proof EASY solutions

As a software manufacturer for document management, archiving, ECM and workflows, we attach great importance to providing you with solutions which produce correct and audit-proof accounting records. Furthermore you profit from the transparent and secure business processes provided for you. Consequently EASY has its software tested again and again by independent auditors.

 

transparente Geschaeftsprozesse

 

So, for example, KPMG has accordingly certified EASY ENTERPRISE.x. KPMG reached the conclusion that EASY ENTERPRISE.x, including its additional components, “ensures the orderly transformation of information required for retention”.

In the subsequent versions of EASY ENTERPRISE.x and its additional components EASY SOFTWARE AG has produced a large number of improvements and functional extensions. These changes do not explicitly affect the core processes of the audit-proof recording and the archiving of documents. Thus the statements in the report remain fully applicable also to future versions up to and including the current releases of EASY ENTERPRISE.x and its additional components.

Since in this respect the relevant functionalities are based upon EASY ENTERPRISE.x, EASY CAPTURE PLUS and EASY for EXCHANGE may also apply as audit-proof. All these EASY solutions meet in every respect the legal requirements with regard to audit-proof archiving, DMS and ECM products. The provisions of the German tax and commercial law (HGB (German Commercial Code), AO (Regulation of Taxation), UstG (Turnover Tax Act), GoBS (Computer Based Accounting Systems), GDPdU (Principles Of Data Access and Auditability of Digital Documents), and GoBD (Principles of Orderly Accounting)) are fully observed and complied with, as are the relevant data protection regulations (BDSG).

This means for you: with EASY solutions you can work securely and fully comply with the legal requirements.

Digitalisation in healthcare: infrastructure alone is not enough

In a guest column in a major German newspaper the Federal Minister of Health spoke clearly about digitalisation and networking in the German health care system. Under the title “Digitalisation need results – now!” he criticised blockages and delays in the introduction of the electronic health card (eGK).

 

The focal point: greater efficiency and quality of care

What is clear: considerable potential is still lying dormant where the digitalisation of healthcare is concerned. With the eGK the parties involved are promising an improvement of medical care also in rural areas, the rapid availability of X-rays or treatment reports, and a better network of medical specialists in the various disciplines.

 

Digital patient records ensure efficiency and safety

But what is also clear: all this is only really possible if treatment centres and hospitals are set up everywhere with the resources necessary to present patient records in a digital format. Eventually hospitals waste a lot of time with paper-based records. Time in which the doctor responsible for the treatment must, for example, operate in an emergency without having important information to hand.

 

Upon admission the patient’s record must now often still be sought in the physical archives and brought into the treatment room – possibly from one end of the hospital to the other. If the patient is moved within the building or to another hospital, the game begins once again. And if the record is possibly mislaid after the completion of the required therapy, in an emergency the information will not be available.

 

A high-performance infrastructure is not enough

It is to be hoped that the intention of the “digital agenda” of the Federal Government is to require, alongside the “high-performance network infrastructure”, that “ICT based applications to further improve the quality and efficiency of health care in urban and rural areas are also provided in practical terms to the people”.

 

For hospitals are often not only chronically underfunded. They are under immense pressure to conduct their business economically and profitably. At the same time they have to put in considerable effort with regard to the bureaucratic documentation required and must still ensure optimal care. Efficient digital patient records and a system for legally compliant long-term archiving are therefore urgently required. The hope remains that the political sphere does not lose sight of this when it comes to addressing challenges such as telemedicine and e-health.

EASY NOTES

Release 3.1.50 provides a lot of new features

EASY NOTES combines IBM® Lotus Notes®/Domino® with the comfort and security of the most modern document management systems. You have at your disposal tools which can be integrated seamlessly into work environments and simplify overlapping processes. Version 3.1.50 of EASY NOTES offers to users, administrators and EASY partners a lot of new functions, even greater stability, and a significant increase in performance.

Alongside the reduction in the workload of the databases and the decrease in the storage volumes, with EASY NOTES documents can make external processes and files available without any resulting losses. Accompanying the multiplicity of Notes functions, high-quality enhancements are available in offline mode and in the browser based IBM Lotus iNotes.

 

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The most important new functions of version 3.1.50 at a glance:

  • You can run the setup directly on the IBM Domino server
  • The client components are at your disposal immediately with a modular design as email, forms and offline, individually or in a combination
  • EASY NOTES offline is fully integrated as a rich client plug-in in IBM Notes
  • The components automatically update themselves in the future
  • EASY BUSINESS INTERFACE SERVICE (EBIS) is the standardised EASY interface for all ECM systems. They can also use EBIS for other interfaces
  • No additional licence costs are incurred for the EASY NOTES rendering
  • You can assign print masks separately for rendering requests
  • The rendering supports the production of PDF and PDF/A formats
  • EASY NOTES now supports IBM iNotes 9.0
  • From version 8.5.4 of IBM Lotus Domino onwards you can access archived mail documents with your Smartphone using iNotes
  • You can expand the standard functions, for example manual archiving or the reproduction of documents, using LotusScript
  • You can individually and directly access in Script those documents which are processed by the order

 

EASY NOTES – your advantages at a glance:

  • Noticeably higher stability and enhanced performance, particularly when importing and exporting
  • Significant improvement of the background document recovery with orders
  • EASY NOTES works completely with the “Attachment and Object Service” (DAOS) available from IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 onwards
  • Access to and research on synchronised documents are now also available in an offline environment
  • Optimised configuration database in terms of accessibility and user management
  • Topic based separated documentation

 

You can find further information with regard to EASY NOTES on this >site<. Your personal contact person at EASY SOFTWARE AG will also be happy to help you further.