You are on page 1of 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp


Speaker, Plenary Opening Session

Electronic Documents Management Market: Technologies and Solutions

This years DLM-Forum has the theme of The Memory of the Information Society. This
memory is no longer information which can be recognised and understood straightaway with
the naked eye, as was the case in the past, but rather non-transparent data, stored on a
computer system. Technical tools are required to find it and make it readable once more. This
is not a disadvantage, however, as modern information technology tools enable us to handle
efficiently the exponentially growing mountains of data and documents. The use of electronic
information systems further promotes the trend of producing an increasing quantity of
information by digital means, which afterwards is only available in digital form.
Information technology is constantly changing in ever-quicker time periods, but on the other
hand information needs to be at the disposal of a continually growing number of users, both
consistently and in the long term. Great challenges are being set down to create archives with
electronic memory. It is important to mention at this point the large variety of document
formats, the huge quantities of information to be handled, security considerations, ease of
access, and in the sphere of the European Community, demands for the retrieval and provision
of multi-lingual information.
The information technology industry is confronting these challenges through special document
management and electronic archive solutions. It is forced to perform a tremendous balancing
act on the one hand it must always support the latest technologies, but then provide
information over several decades also.
Document management and electronic archiving are complex subjects. The multi-faceted
nature of this field can confuse the potential user. The different definitions and classifications
used also make it difficult to create a true picture of what the market actually looks like.
Document management is one of the fastest growing submarkets within the information and
communications field. A recent study by AIIM International in conjunction with the Gartner
Group predicted annual growth in profits in the document management technology sector in
Europe of around 25% which would mean an increase from around 4 billion euros in 1998 to
more than 6 billion in 2000, and a further increase of up to 11 billion by 2003.
The basic technological components have been in existence for around 25 years and can be
described as finely honed. The image of the autonomous document management sector,
however, is becoming ever more blurred. Older technologies, such as electronic archiving,
traditional document management, workflow and groupware were independent disciplines and
have now become integral components of different systems for all imaginable application
fields. Document management is no longer a niche market, but has developed into one of the
basic building blocks of technology. Wherever documents are created, processed, distributed,
stored or printed, document management technologies are in use today.
For the purposes of putting the concept into more concrete terms, I will first discuss the
subjects of documents, document management and document related technologies.

What is a Document?
When dealing with the subject of electronic archiving and document management, everything
revolves around the document.
The term document has a different meaning in Europe than, for example, in the USA. These
differences have frequently contributed to misunderstandings and confusion. In Germany, for
instance, the term Dokument has a quality which is still strongly connected with paper and
legal processes. People speak of documents in connection with deeds, contracts and business
letters. In the USA, a document is any text created in a data processing system, as exemplified
by the file extension .DOC.
Today electronic documents can contain almost anything: any number or type of files, scanned
faxes, lists, digitalised speech and videos, freeze frames, digital photographs, multimedia
1 / 11


DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp
objects, protocol data and combinations of the above. In principle, a document can be defined
as a file or a definite component of a file, that is stored in a structured or unstructured form in a
data processing system, and is treated at a given point in time as an authentic entity united
both in content and form. The trend in this respect is moving towards document objects which
share indexing, classification, source and display characteristics in the form of metadata. This
view of a document is considerably at odds with that held by an archivist who has always kept
documents in traditional paper or microfilm-based archives.
Because of the possibilities for altering data through EDP systems, great demands are made
on electronic documents. They must accurately reproduce the state, composition, form and
content that they possessed at the moment of their intentional creation. Dynamic links,
automatic updates in documents, changes in contexts, assembly of documents from individual
components, the dependence of formats, run-time environments and other factors all pose
particular difficulties for management systems for this kind of document.
It is important in this connection that documents obtain legal status by means of digital
signatures which would give them the same status as their paper counterparts in the future.
The distribution of electronic documents into all areas of economic and public life would be
greatly aided in this way and there would be more pressure to produce suitable archive and
document management solutions.

Document Management
A wide array of implications for the term document management (abbreviated to DMS for
Document Management System) arise from our definition of the term document. This term
now indicates all the document management providers and their solutions. It is no longer
restricted exclusively to electronic archive and document storage systems. Electronic
archiving generally denotes the unalterable permanent storage of data and documents which
can be accessed via index databases. The term document management originally denoted
solutions intended to compensate for the shortcomings of hierarchic file manager programs and
which provided check-in/check-out, version management and attribution of documents for
office communications. These programs are now described as traditional or dynamic (as
opposed to electronic archiving) document management systems or document management in
the narrower sense.
In view of an increasing overlap and integration of the various document management
technologies, document imaging and electronic archiving are said to come under document
management in the broader sense, and e-forms, output management, office
communications/office packages, scanning, groupware or workflow are all included in the term
document management in the narrower sense. The list can even be extended to terms like
multimedia databases, document warehouses and knowledge management. However,
clear delimitation and order are suffering at the hands of the creativity of product and marketing


DRT Document Related Technologies

The field of document management has its roots in an era when normal IT systems were not
capable of supporting imaging, workflow and digital optical storage. In the 1980s, what we know
as the document management field was built on this foundation. This field formed an
autonomous discipline within the IT field. This niche has now become an integral part of the
overall IT landscape, the delimitation has vanished and the unique selling points (USPs) of
document management have since found their way into a wide variety of solutions, that have
never been considered part of the DMS sector.
This was particularly apparent in the cases of ERP and Internet software providers. We have
to come to terms with the fact that document management technologies and functions have
become part of general IT. Almost all applications now generate, process, manage and store
documents. This results in a considerably wider spectrum that can be defined as DRT. The
abbreviation DRT now represents the following areas and solutions:
Internet, Intranet & Extranet

Document, Workflow & Knowledge Management

E-Commerce & Digital Signatures
2 / 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp

Document Input, Distribution & Storage

OCR, ICR & Pattern Recognition
Databases, DataWarehouses & Retrieval Engines
Imaging & Multimedia
Archival & Records Management
Secure Communication & Unified Messaging
Groupware & Office Solutions
Forms & Output Management
Middleware & Componentware
Content Management & Content Distribution
DRT has now been swallowed up into every type of application and product formerly sold as
an individual solution. Document management has thus at last reached its goal and become
common property and an integral part of the infrastructure.
In recent years, technological innovations like the Internet have emerged. The integration of
document management functions into operating systems, commercial software applications
and toolboxes present document management producers with difficult decisions, which concern
the survival of products, firms and an autonomous DMS sector. On the one hand, document
management products have attained a certain level of maturity, but on the other hand they are
threatened by new trends and developments in their independent form of existence. This fact
is cause enough for people to speak of exchange of paradigms. This should be shown in seven
important trends, which currently determine the development of document management.

The Internet has exerted considerable pressure on the established DMS providers through the
totally different nature of its software environment, new types of documents and retrieval
strategies. Much like Microsoft, traditional providers have so far been caught napping by this
new trend. Particularly in the field of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and ecommerce, the market is currently driven by Internet-based solutions. Many of the newly
founded Internet software companies have likewise taken up the subject of workflow and
document management; the necessary functionality has lately been absorbed by the products
of firms which were not previously considered part of the document management sector.
Internet technologies will in the future be the cornerstone in making archives available to a
larger user population.


The majority of document management systems are currently implemented in decentralised
and widely distributed solutions in client/server or Intranet environments. Conventional host
systems are mainly used simply as database servers for referencing documents held
elsewhere. In the future, there will be a significant move towards recentralising document
collections. Extensive archives will be held centrally and made available in many languages to
users throughout the world. As soon as sufficiently fast and reasonably priced line connections
are available, concepts like the complete outsourcing of information acquisition and provision,
pay per view and the supply of central fallback and security solutions will play an important
role in the future.
In particular, companies which are themselves in control of line networks, communications
facilities and computer centres will compete with existing conventional DMS solutions installed
by companies or users. The topic of long term ties with customers is of great interest to all
communication service providers. Both public contents and internal company information will
be provided. Existing approaches such as publishing on demand, information broadcast, digital
mailing and others will be added to this overall strategy.
Thanks to Internet technologies, large quantities of documents can in the future be centrally
administered and made generally accessible.
3 / 11


DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp

Convergence of Technologies
One reaction to the pressure of competition, consumer demand and the new technologies is the
broadening of product functionalities. Whereas in the past there were specialised solutions for
list archiving, fax archiving, document management in the narrower sense, workflow, etc., the
features of these products are now merging into one another and additionally, products are
starting to adopt some office communication functions.
On one hand, this is giving rise to further development of existing products. The functionality
of workflow now includes archiving and document management, e-forms are developing into
workflow, workflow has integrated archiving, archives now have multimedia functionalities, etc.
The aim in so doing is to support the whole life cycle of documents, their creation, processing
and the representation of all forms of documents, data and objects. This requires the
consideration of all conceivable checking, onward routing and control functionalities
functions which were previously stand-alone applications, such as fax, e-mail, text data
integration, text block administration, groupware functionalities, etc.
The former separation of disciplines is already a thing of the past. Clear archive solutions for
document retrieval can in the meantime be extended to include communication, distribution,
editing and checking functions.


Document management is losing out on its unique selling points (USPs), the very things which
make it distinctive. Three important trends will serve as examples here:
Integration of document management functionalities in operating systems
Right from the start of its development, the document management field existed on the
premise that it could incorporate difficult texts like faxes into data processing systems or
deal with digital optical storage media, which because of their nature could not tolerate
dynamic magnetic disk orientated operating systems. Many of these functions are already
carried out by operating systems or additional services.
Integration in commercial applications
While standard functions incorporated into operating systems or the back office threaten
only the market for easy solutions, the danger for large scale professional solutions in the
area of traditional document management in the narrower sense and workflow providers
comes from big software providers for operating systems, office and groupware products
and commercial applications. Especially for ERP software systems, this concerns
applications which manage and process crucial financial data.
Database systems
A further challenge stems from providers of databases and specialised search engines.
Today databases are used in the document management field to manage documents in
separate repository or library systems using pointers. These are termed index or reference
databases. One particular argument for the introduction of this architecture was the
frequently very large amount of data and documents to be stored, the scalability of the
servers and the high costs of magnetic disk storage.
Through the integration of document related technologies, use of electronic archives and
document management solutions will become perfectly natural in the future.


Knowledge Management
Knowledge management is the new buzz word of the sector, coming somewhere between
vision and marketing promises. The term is used by many providers, not that it necessarily has
solutions to justify the claims of the retrieval of knowledge. Knowledge management is often
regarded as the link between conventional DMS and the new technologies. A basic component
of this is intelligent information development.
Knowledge management is currently still considered too technical; the organisational
component in the introduction of knowledge management solutions is often underestimated.
The process of obtaining, developing and providing knowledge requires co-operation and
acceptance on the part of the user.
In the planning of generally accessible electronic archives and volumes of documents, the
preparation of the information takes on an ever-greater significance.
4 / 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp


Intelligent Retrieval
For the retrieval of large quantities of information, it is necessary to choose between two basic
approaches: to create an ordered file system right from the outset or to let an intelligent search
engine sort through unstructured data stocks. There is a whole array of new approaches for
optimum acquisition and structuring of data.
One such approach, just made available on the market, is the newly developed automated
document analysis, retrieval and ordering systems with a great user potential which far
surpasses conventional document management. Comparable approaches can already be
found on the Internet. The further development of databases and recognition software now
also permits the retrieval of picture content. The most important market-driven innovations in
this field can be expected in the next few years.
A complete reversal of the role of humans is in the offing with the introduction of a system of
this type. If humans are no longer necessary for the intelligent gathering of information, if we
are not needed for decision making, many modern job profiles will have to alter dramatically.
This creates worries, which will only be overcome if the new technologies are introduced
gradually. The role of humans in this regard must be redefined.


Mergers & Acquisitions

The DRT sector does not simply react to trends with new products, but also is continually
consolidating. In this matter, partnerships play the largest role, as well as mergers and
acquisitions. Many of the original document management providers have already disappeared
from the market. Many of the businesses in the first phase simply vanished, were bought up or
have given up their individual products in favour of the standard one. Joint stock companies
founded in the past few years have played a significant role in this consolidation. With their
capital, not only businesses were taken over, but also new product ideas, existing markets and
(unusually in the current market) trained personnel.
Consolidation in the market entails certain problems for the user, especially where long term
archives are concerned. Guaranteed storage periods of seven, ten or thirty years and the
continual availability of business information make the process of choosing very difficult. The
question of which products, standards and businesses will survive these stormy developments
is not only relevant to new acquisitions. Many users today are already seeing the first
migration problems; systems are no longer available, must be removed, combined with others
or switched over to new platforms. Even mergers and acquisitions do not always bring
solutions to this when acquired products are easily adjusted.
The definition, introduction and fixing of standards is for this reason imperative for long term
information storage in particular.
In the Information Technology field, new concepts and technologies are becoming redundant
ever more quickly the half-life of software is decreasing at such a rate that brand new
technology can often be outdated by the time it comes into operation. Organisations which
invest in this fast-moving market want to ensure that their investments are guaranteed in the
long term.


The Importance of Standards

Through the introduction of and adherence to standards users receive assurance that the basic
criteria of performance demands on a document management system are complied with, and
thereby the value of customer investment in document management technology is increased
and the associated risks minimised.
The demands of individual companies on a system of this kind can be met partly by suitable
combination and integration of various document related technologies within an overall
solution. The convergence achieved by common standards regarding the basic functionalities
of the individual and connectivity between the different document management systems allow
the user to unite the strengths of individual document management systems within an
infrastructure, for example optional functions in conjunction with one another or special
functions in integrating external applications.
5 / 11


DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp
Separate standards for the DRT field, like those for digital optical memories or interfaces, for
example, in the end demonstrate the autonomy of this sector of the market. Without its own
standards and norms it would be just another part of the whole IT landscape.

Standards for Document Management

The following important standardisation bodies in the area of document management software
co-operate under the umbrella group of AIIM (Association for Information and Image
Management International):
ODMA (Open Document Management API)
ODMA has become an important standard for linkage with clients through its recognition
by numerous leading providers. There is also Intranet expansion for the ODMA standard
with access to ODMA compliant document management systems on an Intranet.
Programming based on ODMA is very straightforward, but the functional possibilities are
greatly reduced.
DMA (Document Management Alliance)
The fundamentally more complex DMA middleware is an important standard for open,
distributed company-wide document management solutions on different platforms and at
different locations. DMA compatible middleware can, for example, comprehensively
access different products within their own repositories.
WfMC (Workflow Management Coalition)
The WfMC specifies five different interfaces for the interoperability of heterogeneous
workflow products and components which are gradually converted into products. Without
WfMC compatibility, no workflow product can compete successfully any more.
Many other standards also influence the DRT field at present, notably
Internet standards such as HTTP, HTML and XML and
Digital signatures.
In the long term archiving field, however, standards which would be generally applicable to
document and recording formats, metadata, security procedures, migration and interfaces are
still lacking. Only in the case of archiving of data and documents in the commercial SAP world
has a standard been established, and even that is little suited to the overall demands of
archiving. Approaches like those that have been pursued by NASA and NARA in the USA or
implemented by the Sparkasse financial group in Germany are coming ever closer to universal
use. One of the reasons for an absence of archiving standards is surely that providers are
deterred by the archivists demands regarding availability over decades or centuries. Once
standards have been established, which would subsequently manifest themselves in terabytes
of archived documents, future product development, and consequently competitiveness could
be threatened. Only when there is a sufficient number of unified, standardised solutions on the
market will there be special solutions for the demands defined by the DLM-Forum.


Legal Admissibility of Digital Documents

The unification of the European Economic Area is gaining pace, and everyone is talking about
e-commerce without frontiers. The justice system has not yet taken these huge trends into
account. In the document management field, this concerns in particular
the legal value of text and electronically archived documents created electronically and for
which no paper originals exist
as well as
the secure exchange of electronically created documents that are contractual in nature,
which constitute orders or which include financial transactions.
The technical solutions are available in the marketplace. Their introduction is hindered by legal
uncertainties and fears over their illegitimate use on the Internet. At this point in time, a
European initiative is urgently needed to resolve these issues.
The DRT field already has an array of solutions for the issues in question. Thus, for example,
revision-proof archiving offers the opportunity to supplement e-commerce by monitoring by
whom, when and to whom something is sent and in what way the data have been edited.
6 / 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp


Codes of Practice
Codes of Best Practice are a quicker way (or, depending on ones point of view, a lengthy
process of going through committees and legislation) of creating explicit rules on the use of
new technologies. In the document management field some such codes already exist, for
instance in the USA in the form of AIIM Technical Reports, in the UK under the British
Standards Institution, in Germany, Switzerland and other countries in the shape of regulations
issued by associations. Meanwhile, a five volume joint European project based on the English
Code of Practice on archiving is being prepared, which will cover all questions dealing with the
secure transmission of documents and unfalsifiable archiving.
Such Codes of Best Practice should shortly be made available with support from EU
committees to all interested users and providers. Because of the fast pace of technological
development, lawmakers cannot react quickly enough or must create laws so general and noncommittal that the problems of transposal would remain. In view of the potential for abuse in
the digital world, legal safeguards for users and providers of document management solutions
must be created as quickly as possible.
The DLM-Forum has taken an initial step in this direction with its Guidelines on Best Practices
for Using Electronic Information. This approach must, however, be made much more concrete
for comprehensible and testable regulations to result. Guidelines are required on the question
of the compulsory nature or worthiness of archiving for different documents, on technical
requirements for uniform metadata, standard interfaces and standard formats and on the use
and security of information. The European Community must set itself this challenge if it wants
to make its various archives accessible to the general public.


Digital Signatures
One step towards improving legal safeguards is the introduction of digital signatures. With
regard to document management, however, there are a host of unresolved problems: the digital
signature is assigned to a natural person, processes which automatically create or edit
documents cannot have signatures, documents which have already been archived would be
provided after a search as copies (the signature will be missing here); digital signatures say
nothing about when a document was sent, received or read (there is no electronic outgoing post
record or postmark).
In Europe, there are three standards of digital signature. The high end solution with high
security and an assured process of certification is the system of signatures that has been
introduced in Germany through the SigG (Signaturgesetz, or Signature Law). The advanced
signature processes of the Signature Directive are at an intermediary level of security and at
the bottom end of the scale are the simple electronic signatures of the EU Directive. Along with
these are many other processes with good security, but which dont conform to the EU
Directive. These are processes with signs to identify people, like Pretty Good Privacy (PGP),
to identify credit cards, like the banking standard Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) or to
identify computers, like Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
The UNCITRAL standard is an attempt by the international Chamber of Commerce and
commercial law committees of the United Nations to formulate an international standard. The
UNCITRAL Model Law deals with the demands on digital signatures in connection with the
powers of proof of electronic messages in a court of law. An electronic data message can be
used in evidence when the manner in which the message was created, stored and sent is
known, the integrity of the message remains and the sender can be identified. Through the
regulations of the UN Business Law Commission of November 1998 a minimum safety
standard for electronic communication was established. These regulations principally concern
questions of the proving of digital signatures as authentic, the technology of certification and
the assignment of liability in relationships between users, service providers and authorities
responsible for certification. The legal basis for the use of digital signatures in communications
with international partners in global networks is thereby established in principle.
Different solutions are available with regard to digital signatures. However, the legislation in
Europe still varies from country to country. We should not forget when talking about European
harmonisation, however, that the subject is dealt with very differently in the USA and that
through the all-powerful American operating systems and office product providers, we in
7 / 11


DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp
Europe might suddenly be affected by completely different solutions on the Internet or
preinstalled on PCs which the current legal position does not allow for.

Digitally signed files are increasingly achieving the quality of an original, they are attaining
legal effectiveness. Thus contracts can be concluded, orders placed and other business done
without resorting to paper.
The digital document therefore represents a critical breakthrough for document management.
It opens up new groups of users and it creates new demands for storage and administration of
these documents. Past restrictions, where a scanned fax or the reconstruction from data of an
electronically created letter only represented an image of an actual original, are being
overcome by digitally signed documents which are authentic originals in themselves.
Conventional processes like EDI are being superseded or taken over by the Internet.
As soon as the remaining legal and technical uncertainties have been overcome, the digitally
signed document will become the cornerstone of e-commerce via the Internet. Through this,
numerous areas of application for document management will come into being.
E-Commerce can also have great significance for the opening of archives, notably when it
leaves their use and the distribution of their content up to commercial users. Multimedia
Clearance Rights Systems are only one dimension of the current problem.
The development of programs is basically determined by market demand. At the moment, one
typically thinks of the term document management in the context of commercial solutions in
business enterprises. This technology has, however, already reached the PCs of workers at
home via virtual workplaces. Document management with all its variations on organisation,
retrieval and exchange of documents is being democratised. Document management
functions will enhance the standard Internet communication media with technologies for
checking and providing large quantities of information.
It is unlikely though, that the majority of new users will get to know these functions as
autonomous document management or workflow tools. The functionality will be hidden to a
much greater extent in new types of applications capable of organising the workflow from the
empty fridge to the traders special offer.


The Professional User

Almost all document management products available on the market are aimed at the
professional user in business and administration. Document management, electronic archiving
and workflow were introduced to simplify office procedures. Depending on complexity and area
of use, the user might work continually or only occasionally with such an application.
The products are specially designed for this area of application. They are mainly installed as
independent, internal solutions operated by the company itself. It is currently estimated that
just ten per cent of all potential users have access to a system of this kind in the workplace.
The potential for development in this area is therefore not going to be exhausted for a long
time to come.
In terms of professional users, archivists or record managers also need to be considered.
Their demands previously revolved around systematic management of information and less
around the aspect of continual use or reuse. Todays typical archivists are at the very end of
the information chain. They therefore have very little influence on how archive and document
management systems need to be created for more widespread use. In general, an archivist or
an inquiring user will know what questions need to be posed or what the relevant document is,
this is no longer the case when archives are made available for more general access.
Consequently, archivists have to become information managers to be able to introduce
retrieval and archiving aspects right from the formation of documents. A new job profile thus
becomes necessary, and that requires action on suitable qualification and training.


Virtual Firms, Authorities and Archives

Thanks to advancing technical computer networking, the trend in business is moving away from
office-based work and towards working from home either at ones own computer or one
belonging to the company. The home office day was introduced by American businesses and
8 / 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp

is now becoming increasingly popular in European companies: employees stay at home one
day a week and work from there. Even authorities benefit from this practice, inasmuch as they
can prepare information and forms for citizens over the Internet and can receive applications
and letters back.
This style of distributed or Intranet-based solutions lays down new challenges for the DRT
sector. Memory-intensive information has to be distributed, quantities of processed material
monitored, workflows further processed offline and the results consolidated in the master
system. Most traditional providers still concentrate on the professional user, who works with
this kind of system on a LAN within the business. Larger scale solutions for virtual
organisations are still very rare.
The next stage will be the virtual archive, in which the physical location of the systems, the
documents and the supervisors no longer have a role to play. Up to this point, archives have
generally been tied to a location and their contents guarded like a treasure chest by archivists.
In the future, this information will be used on a digital and more widespread basis and archivists
will no longer be tied to a particular location. New forms of co-operation must be found and
supported by standardised solutions.

The Semi-Professional User

Alongside professional users, who have been trained in the use of the system and work with it
continually, semi-professional users make use of the system through Supply Chain
Management and the Internet. These are people who carry out document management tasks
only on rare occasions, and frequently with unfamiliar systems. Processes of this kind, in which
electronic forms must be filled out, documents must be drawn up and dispatched or a status
must be queried are already part of the job for numerous manufacturing or trading companies.
Partners and customers get access to document management solutions and so are directly
involved in the process in an effective and timesaving way.
The demands on document management solutions of this kind are considerably greater than
those which are used only internally by a firms employees. The user interface must be very
straightforward, as there is little opportunity for extensive training. Improved standards of
security must be implemented for external users to have access. The management of
documents and processes must have such a form that the different user requirements and roles
are met.
As a consequence of the increasing reach of DRT and the introduction of business to business
Internet communication, the number of indirect and occasional semi-professional users is
greatly increasing at the moment. This also applies to public archives, which publishing
houses, agencies and research institutes will want to access through digital means in the future.
An actual visit to an archive, the making of photocopies or microfilm copies and protracted
enquiry processes should become things of the past as soon as possible, according to DLMForum resolutions.


The Private User

Home banking, e-mailing, online shopping, product information, services information and
current stock market news all make the Internet very attractive to the private user. In this way,
private users also gain access to document management solutions, mostly in such a form that
they are unaware if they are communicating with a DMS, an archive or a workflow system.
These systems have at length become subordinate services, which provide and manage
information effectively.
Even more than in the case of semi-professional users, who must at least get to grips with
document management because of the demands of the job, additional demands are put on the
products. As well as being secure and user-friendly, they must appear attractive to appeal to
the private user. These user interfaces, therefore, are no longer the same as those of
professional systems installed in offices.
DMS technologies have for some time been finding their way into the private use domain,
whether it be in image databases for digital photos or electronic filing of office documents.
Meanwhile, products are available at prices which can also make document management and
data archiving appeal to the man on the street. Products of this kind are in the meantime being
integrated directly into operating systems like Microsoft NT and thereby are no longer
9 / 11


DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp
recognisable as stand-alone DMS products. Through this, private users are also becoming
more and more familiar with the range of opportunities open to them for accessing external
information stocks.
Even when it is not yet evident today whether and to what degree the general public are
interested in poking around in electronic archives of administrations or authorities, in
museums the trend is already unmistakable. CD publications on exhibits and increasing online
research opportunities are now standard fare in most of Europes leading museums.
As has become apparent, the DRT field is changing considerably. Familiar product categories
will cease to exist in the future. Document management will become subordinate basic
technology and infrastructure.
Even the demands of users are changing. Specialised stand-alone solutions will no longer be
required, instead their integration into the existing IT landscape will be needed. Document
management will become common property and lose its autonomy.
Last but not least, the user population will change. In the future, document management will
step outside of the limited world of business and administration and reach entirely new groups
of users.

Challenges for the Industry

Many challenges will arise from this for manufacturers and system integrators:
A quicker and more thoughtful reaction to constant user demands and new groups of users
is required.
Solutions must be developed which on the one hand are capable of adapting to changing IT
evolution but on the other hand can guarantee long-term accessibility and intelligent
retrieval of knowledge stored in document management and archive systems.
Providers must clearly declare their support for standards and interoperability to ensure
general use and distribution of information.
Products must become more economical and simpler to use, integrate and operate.


Challenges for the European Commission

The European Commission must take up a range of supportive and regulatory measures,
including amongst others:
Defining the concrete demands on electronic archiving and document management
Establishing documents generated by data processing systems with digital signatures as
equal to paper documents with original signatures,
Uniform regulations on signatures which also take developments in the US software industry
into account,
Uniform regulations on the legal recognition of electronically archived documents,
Harmonisation of the various European Commission initiatives which directly or indirectly
concern document management or electronic archiving.

10 / 11

DLM-Forum 99: Full texts

Session: PlenOp


Challenges for Everyone

New demands will, however, also be made on all future users:
Everyone must be made aware of the value of information. Only then will the expenditure
on the long-term provision of information (defined by the DLM-Forum as the memory of
the information society) be worthwhile.
Everyone must be aware that the introduction of DMS solutions will drastically change
present structures and procedures in administration and business.
DRT solutions must be treated as concerning all aspects of organisation, human life and
The role of humans in the context of new information retrieval and knowledge management
solutions has to be continually redefined.
Everyone must get to grips with document management; in the future document
management will be found under various guises in every workplace and on every PC.
The Contribution
The above contribution to the conference proceedings of the second European Commission
DLM-Forum, held on 18-19 October 1999 in Brussels is based on the written speech submitted
and includes additional comments made by the speaker. The lecture dealt solely with the most
important propositions in this report.
AIIM International
The AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management International), Silver Springs,
USA, is the umbrella group for document management. Providers and users alike belong to it.
With over 10,000 members, it is the worlds largest association in this field. In the area of
standardisation, AIIM has been a partner of ISO and ANSI for decades. All important standards
on microfilm and document management (e.g. WfMC, ODMA, DMA and others) were
developed by AIIM and its members. AIIM promotes the use of document related technologies
through trade fairs, conventions, seminars and publications. AIIM has a regional organisation
for Europe (AIIM Europe) with its headquarters near Datchett in London, UK. Dr. Ulrich
Kampffmeyer is member of the board of directors and the executive committee of AIIM Europe.
For further information, visit:
PROJECT CONSULT Unternehmensberatung GmbH is a specialist impartial consultant in the
area of document related technologies. It assists organisations and businesses in the Germanspeaking countries with the design, creation and introduction of office communication, archive,
document management, workflow, knowledge management and intranet solutions. The headquarters of PROJECT CONSULT GmbH are in Hamburg. The company`s international
business is handled by PROJECT CONSULT International Ltd. from London. PROJECT
CONSULT produces a fortnightly newsletter, which can be ordered from their website. Dr. Ulrich
Kampffmeyer is CEO of PROJECT CONSULT GmbH and PROJECT CONSULT International
For further information, visit:


11 / 11