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Four lessons for SMBs from the Laserfiche Empower conference

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The Laserfiche Empower 2014 conference, which concluded yesterday, January 17 in Anaheim, Calif., held plenty of lessons for small businesses. While Laserfiche itself is a larger software company with between 201-500 employees, even companies with just one employee can benefit from what Laserfiche does every year at its annual user conference and beyond. The Springfield Entrepreneurship Examiner attended Empower 2014 and gleaned these lessons for small businesses and entrepreneurs:

  • Know what your customers need. "We want to make you more flexible, more mobile and more socially proactive," Karl Chan, Laserfiche's CTO, said in his keynote speech. To that end, Joseph King, solutions engineer, and Justin Pava, technical solutions manager, introduced a preview of Laserfiche 10 that, among other things, features a less-cluttered user interface. This allows Laserfiche users to see just what is relevant to their jobs, rather than having to hunt through a busy screen. The change works well for aging Generation X middle managers, the youngest of which are waving goodbye to their mid-30s and are starting to shop for reading glasses, as well as catering to the younger Millennial workers that may have shorter attention spans.
  • Embrace mobile as a way of life. Chan noted that mobile became a very critical part of business because of employees' personal devices, and now there is no way of getting around it. Laserfiche mobile is available now for both iOS and Android devices, the two most popular types of personal devices on the marketplace.
  • Leverage customer knowledge. Laserfiche has offered users a solutions center for years, where users can exchange the different custom modules they've built for the platform. Tammy Kaehler, manager of technical communications, announced the Laserfiche Answers portal at the conference, an online Q&A site that is a "storehouse of community knowledge that replaces the support site for technical knowledge but provides a community resource for information," she said.
  • Stay on top of trends. Laserfiche is known primarily for enterprise content management (ECM), but as ECM evolves, a lot of companies also need their systems to use business process management (BPM) to streamline where the content goes. Empower 2014 offered a slate of classes geared toward its BPM offerings and several user stories of how to put Workflow and other BPM-related modules into action.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses can take these lessons and move toward their own small empires by remembering that the customer always comes first, and by anticipating their needs, they can, as Laserfiche puts it, Run Smarter.

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