SaaS

Business Intelligence Makes for Smart Businesses

Business Intelligence, or BI, is a concept that usually involves the delivery and integration of business information in an organization that can be useful for making decisions. Every organization has multiple departments, and each database may only contain information that is relevant to its own department.  Business Intelligence involves the use of customer information, sales data, statistics, product movement, profitability, etc. Companies use BI to detect significant events and identify and monitor business trends in order to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. If you use effective business intelligence training in your organization, you can improve the decision making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical strategic management processes.

Regardless of whether you run an established and successful business, or a new startup, your organization needs the ability to make informed decisions through proper data analysis.

1. Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses that may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.

2. To gain sales & market intelligence. A CRM is a useful tool for sales and marketing people. A CRM solution collects data about clients and presents it in a way for you to solution collects the data about your customers and tries to make sense of it. You get insights on new prospects, existing customers, and post sales services. 

3. Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that is drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.

4. Return on Investment BI will help a company decrease operating costs and lower overhead costs. For example, if a company is looking to save on storage costs, they are able to see a visual chart of how much they have saved this year compared to previous years. Companies are able to better dictate if they are on track with their new goals and projections. 

5. Gain insights into consumer behavior. One of the main advantages of investing in BI and skilled personnel is the fact that it will boost your ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends. Once you understand what your consumers are buying, you can use this information to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.

6. To improve visibility.  If you want to improve your control over various important processes in your organization, Business Intelligence will improve the visibility of important processes in your organization and make it possible to identify areas that could use improvement.  

7. Turn information into actionable information. A BI system is an analytical tool that can give you the insight you need to make successful strategic plans for your organization. This is because such a system would be able to identify key trends and patterns in your organization’s data and consequently make it easier for you to make important connections between different areas of your business that may otherwise seem unrelated.

Data must be configured to display trends and statistics. Data visualization makes data legible and allows the user to be able to decipher the meaning of it. Business Intelligence Dashboard displays reports on what the company is doing and it shows a breakdown of how each department is doing. Businesses are able to get a centralized view of where they are saving money, and where they are spending too much. 

There are so many important parts to a business, and even though some parts appear to be silos, every part ties into one another. It is important to understand these subtle connections and look at your organization's data from a centralized view through data analytics. It's understanding the subtle connections that can make the difference between a company that excels to the top of the market, and one that makes poor decisions due to not using its data to the fullest potential. 

 

The Dark Overlord

Last year, the biggest breach in healthcare occurred at the second largest insurer in the US-Anthem. The names, social security numbers, addresses, emails, employment info, and income data was stolen.

As of this week, there has been another data breach from an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of thedarkoverlord. This hacker has breached 3 different healthcare databases ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 patients and is offering to sell patients’ medical records.

Each and every employee of an organization has a trail of records, documenting information from the moment they are hired to the moment they leave. Organizations must understand the responsibility they have to protect both their client and employee information. Healthcare is an industry where they have had trouble keeping information confidential. The best defense mechanism against hackers is to implement security measures through an ECM – one with specific requirements, that is.

PICKING THE RIGHT ECM

Your ECM should also provide document authentication, integrity and privacy. It should be able to encrypt data and documents in a way that makes them only accessible through using the ECM directly.

1.      Your ECM should have access controls for admins to put permissions on users. A hacker would need to crack the admin level access in order to change the permissions.

2.      A retention tool that allows for records managers to destroy or archive documents so that confidential information is not sitting around when it shouldn’t be.

3.      Audit trails and reporting tools to show transparency for all user activity and changes to documents.

4.      Disaster recovery capabilities – your ECM data should all be backed up in case of a disaster so that your information is preserved.

5.      E-signatures in order to verify the authenticity of the documents and specify the owner of the documents.

Apart from internal ECM features, there are a few things you can do to add another layer of security to your organization:

1.      check for 3rd-party security audits

2.      ensure that each software release is scanned with a professional security tool

3.      optionally, contract for your own 3rd-party audit

If your company does not currently have an ECM or is running on an outdated one, chances are, you probably have already experienced a data breach. It’s time you migrate your data to a modern solution. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a foolproof security system, but with an ECM, chances of hackers breaking into your database to steal information are much slimmer.

 

 

SaaS Gains Momentum

Big business has reached a tipping point in acceptance of Software as a Service applications.  Known also as hosted solutions, SaaS has been around as long as browser-based applications but has only gained momentum recently. Broader acceptance of the SaaS model is evidenced by the size of recent contracts.  Salesforce.com has blazed the SaaS trail with a growing number of mega-accounts, including Japan Post with 40,000 users and Citibank with 30,000 users.  Microsoft and other SaaS providers also see a growing number of large accounts. 

The SaaS concept delivers many advantages.  First, the client gains all the power of the application without the huge initial capital outlay that comes with traditional licensing.  Also, since the application and data are managed by the vendor the client organization avoids the cost of infrastructure and labor to maintain infrastructure and application.  Finally, the application is easily deployed without installing software at every PC.

FileTrail has been providing hosted solutions to clients since 2001.  As a leader in records management, FileTrail was first to market with a 100% browser-based records management solution and first to provide records management solutions under the SaaS model.  Recently we have seen larger companies signing up for our hosted solutions, including Allied Capital, AIG Valic, Duke Energy, St. Luke’s Hospital and others.

"We chose a hosted system from FileTrail in 2001 because budgeting kept us from implementing a system in-house," said Marc Merrill, a Management Consultant with Glenn M. Gelman & Associates. "Once we made our decision, we were up and running in a very short period of time."

"Having FileTrail host the system on their servers was a great decision," said Stephen P. Paschall, a Partner at Lovett Bookman Harmon Marks LLP. "Since we started in 2003, we have never had to worry about doing backups, upgrading software or installing software at anyone's desk."

"By choosing FileTrail's hosting solution, we avoided having to expand our IT infrastructure to accommodate an in-house hosting option," said Joshua Teeple, CPA, CFE, Director of Litigation Technology Services at Grobstein, Horwath & Company LLP.

FileTrail is the leading provider of browser-based records management solutions. FileTrail provides traditional applications licensing, as well as on-demand, SaaS for clients in many industries.  A FileTrail hosted solution automates records management with lower capital costs.