The Windward Group
The Windward Group is a leading provider of document imaging and enterprise content management (ECM) solutions. We streamline business processes as a systems integrator of document management technologies with special expertise in migrating data from legacy and homegrown systems to the InfoArchive Platform from EMC. We also provide business process outsourcing (BPO) services, including document scanning, data entry and off-site records management & storage.
The Windward Group, LLC
265 General Patton Ave.
Mandeville, LA 70471
P: (985) 893-4606
F: (985) 893-0106
The Windward Wire
With eight manufacturing facilities and 1,250 people employed worldwide including five overseas offices, the country's largest family-owned furniture company reached a tipping point with order processing and turned to The Windward Group for a solution.
Order Processing Challenges
As a global manufacturer, order processing is of the utmost importance. Even though most of their incoming orders arrive digitally via email, their process dictated that the order be printed and manually keyed each time an order is received. After keying, the form is transferred to a manager for cross verification. From there, the paper document is turned over to a scanner operator for entry into their Oracle Stellent document management system. Direct results of the paper intensive workflow process were missing and customer orders were being shipped late. Since their Oracle system lacked auditability, orders could be neglected for months without anyone noticing them.
Workflow Automation with AX
The company needed a content management system that could vastly improve the workflow component of their order processing system. The Windward Group was contracted to deliver Workflow Manager, which is part of the EMC ApplicationXtender (AX) document management platform. The new process allows the company to electronically route orders for entry into their order entry application, Mainframe or 2020 Insight.
Orders enter the process as electronic images (faxes, emails, etc.), or physical paper (global fax machine, USPS, etc.). Once the order forms have been added to the AX system via EMC Captiva, the workflow process will automatically begin. Next the order forms are routed to the order entry group. This group keys orders directly into mainframe from the newly created image where an acknowledgement form is generated. Next it is turned into a pdf and stored with the original order form in AX by Reports Management. Now the company has acknowledgement of order, an original order form, and an audit trail of who processed the order and when it was processed.
On a client-by-client basis, the acknowledgment form is individually faxed, mailed or emailed. This advanced workflow process has cut order processing down from 3-5 days to less than 2.
EMC Products Used
|Captiva + Advanced Recognition||ApplicationXtender||ApplicationXtender Connector|
|Workflow Manager (AX)||Reports Management (AX)|
|The Windward Group
Technical Services Department
Professional Services Division
The MetaSource partner conference in Atlantic City last week began as expected with a sidesplitting joke from Ed Mackin, Sr., or "Senior" as we like to call him. I can't repeat the joke in this blog post, but I can assure you that it was a good one...
New Life for ApplicationXtender
Once the attendees wiped the tears out of their eyes, the conversation quickly turned to business. The overarching message of the entire conference was that EMC plans to reinvigorate ApplicationXtender (AX) now on version 7.0.
Leading the conversation were Karthik Manimozhi, Worldwide Channel Chief of EMC's IIG division (Information Intelligence Group), and Steve Johnson, VP America's Sales, IIG. Having top level executives from EMC there to talk about AX was rousing to the partner community, to say the least.
The partner community vehemently agrees with Karthik's assertion that AX has been an undervalued product in the IIG stack for quite some time. Steve took the podium immediately thereafter and was greeted by a stern-faced Karthik and a serious question: Karthik asked Steve to look him in the eye and tell him that EMC's commitment to AX is real. Steve did just that and then focused his attention to the room of over 100 in attendance. He went on to personally guarantee to the group that AX will be critical to IIG's success and that partners will be armed with any resources necessary to take AX to the next level.
New AX Applications
Another takeaway from the conference (and a possible reason that EMC is doubling down on AX) was that partners are finding more and more ways to deploy the software. Several presentations were made by various partners that detailed how they have molded AX to meet the needs of their clients:
- Biel's President, Dennis L. Kempner, delivered a snazzy presentation about an Accounts Payable solution that his company delivered to an NFL team – the team might not be very good, but they do have a fantastic AP Solution!
- MetaSource's VP of Strategic Marketing, Mario Duckett, showed off a new Mortgage Processing solution called LoanStor that makes AX even "stickier" to the financial services vertical
Overall, the conference was a major success. AX is back and has full support from the very top of IIG. Partners are continuously finding new ways to add value to businesses using the product. It will be exciting to see where we can take the product in the coming year!