Workflow attended Laserfiche Empower 2020, held February 11-14 in Long Beach, Calif. Drawing 3,500 attendees that included Laserfiche solution providers and their customers, the event offered more than 200 sessions covering a wide variety of topics based on attendee product interest, industry, and experience level with Laserfiche.
Invitation-only symposiums for the education, financial services and government sectors featured leadership-driven sessions focused on perspectives of innovation, organizational growth, and how to drive those through the use of technology. Laserfiche also held a “Women in Tech Summit” to recognize, educate, inspire, and connect women to help drive innovation in their organizations.
The Wednesday general session and keynote included Laserfiche executives including CEO Chris Wacker and President Karl Chan. Wacker outlined how some Laserfiche solutions are being used to combat children’s anaphylaxis food allergies, to provide a visual map of health impacts from climate change over time, and to improve the lives of residents of Long Beach. Chan noted that spending on digital transformation is expected to be $7.4 trillion by 2023 and that digital transformation is transforming the human experience, creating the need for human-centered digital transformation. The “putting people first” theme to drive innovation was central in the keynotes and general messages of the event.
The highlight of the Wednesday sessions was guest speaker Guy Kawasaki, who gave some pointers on being innovative including:
- Make meaning.
- Jump to the next curve.
- Eat your own cows.
- Don’t worry, be crappy — ship it, don’t wait.
- Focus on merit.
- Polarize people — make people care one way or another.
- Change your mind.
- Be unique and valuable.
- Let 100 flowers blossom.
- Churn baby churn.
- Ignore naysayers.
Wednesday evening was the Laserfiche dinner and dance event. With a large venue, a large crowd was on hand to enjoy food, drinks, and dancing.
Thursday’s general session centered on Laserfiche’s annual “Run Smarter” awards, recognizing customers from around the world for their innovative applications of Laserfiche. This year, five customers were celebrated, with three of them in attendance for a brief panel discussion.
We had a chance to talk to Wacker as well as Senior VP of Sales Hedy Belttary, VP of Corporate Strategy and CIO Thomas Phelps IV, and Director of Analyst Relations & Product Support Kurt Rapelje. Each noted that process automation and Laserfiche Cloud are focus areas for the company.
Wacker said, “We started in document management converting paper docs to electronic docs … today it’s gone way beyond that into BPA, RPA, and streamlining through artificial intelligence.” Noting that the Laserfiche cloud product is “pretty much net new,” Wacker pointed out that it is so much easier to maintain and for customers to buy. He went on to say, “There’s so much digital data out there, and it’s only going to increase exponentially. Our goal is to make information easily digestible.”
Belttary noted, “The functionality of Laserfiche, and where and how it’s being used, has evolved and dramatically changed even compared to two or three years ago. Laserfiche is coming to the front as a solution itself rather than being a backend archival system and being a part of integrations with other applications for a complete solution.” She also noted the licensing flexibility for customers now provides a variety of licensing models from on-premise, self-hosted cloud, or Laserfiche hosted SaaS multi-tenant cloud solutions. The new license models support a company’s digital transformation by allowing more people access to information and data.
Phelps said that Laserfiche is “investing in this market on process automation to address what our customers really need. We want to help customers solve business problems to drive business innovation.” Rapelje said they have one customer running 600 processes on Laserfiche. Phelps noted that “cloud allows you to scale” without worry about infrastructure, capability or maintenance. He stressed that the cloud frees solution providers from those tasks to move on to helping end customers identify and improve business processes.
Laserfiche has built a strongly connected end-user and solution provider community, which was on display at Empower 2020 with a focus on celebrating and sharing of customer creativity and innovation using Laserfiche to improve or build processes that benefitted their organizations. The message from Laserfiche and customer attendees alike was the positive human impact the new process solutions created. Echoing the first point of Guy Kawasaki’s keynote, Chris Wacker quoted the late founder of Laserfiche, saying, “Money is a byproduct of doing things right,” and “The only master is our customers.” It seems like an attitude that will allow innovation and success to continue to grow for a long time.