Recently, I attended the Laserfiche Value Added Reseller training held at their corporate office in Long Beach, CA. This week’s content will highlight some key aspects of the VAR workshop. Value Added Resellers (VARs) are business owners and consultants that add features or services to an existing product, like Laserfiche, then resell it as an integrated product or solution. We’re kind of like business partners, so it makes perfect sense to offer sanctioned training events for the cost of a few hundred co-op credits, where every $100,000 in Laserfiche product sales accumulates $2,000 in co-op money to use on things like week-long VAR training, normally $500. The training is a mini crash course based on themes taken from Laserfiche’s big #Empower2013 conference, which was held back in January. Similarities include power point presentations from the conference, tons of case studies, recurring ECM philosophies and themes, and the same valuable hands-on lab sessions for all products in the 9.0 suite. The goal for both I’m sure is the same. They seek to provide a comprehensive view of the architecture of the Laserfiche product suite. VAR training extends that message, but emphasizes the technical service details like system implementation, configuration and maintenance. It also helps resellers build expertise in pitching and supporting Laserfiche through proven ECM sales strategies. And for the record, most new Laserfiche employees must take these VAR training classes, so Laserfiche clearly sees value in holding these types of events and providing as much knowledge to their resellers as they would any employee.
The week progressed methodically, beginning with a full overview of Laserfiche Business Process architecture and reasons why Laserfiche works better than other ECM competitors like IBM Filenet, Autonomy, OpenText, and Nuxeo. The idea is Laserfiche does not try to stick its nose into other business ventures. Rather, theirs is a noble cause focusing 100% of their resources on making existing products (Avante and Rio, among others) better and more intuitive. They seek to rid the world of highly inefficient content management schemes. Anyway, for most of the week we were broken into two groups, sales and tech, whereupon the presales team covered basics of ECM software, the different components of an ECM system, and how organizations can operate more efficiently using ECM. Because this course is introductory, no familiarity with ECM technology in general or Laserfiche was required. Of course, the hope is that you have at least a general understanding of its purpose. On the tech side the pre-sales team ran the show, walking us through installations, server database creation, different SQL architectures, and interface navigation. They were extremely knowledgeable and patient throughout the week while providing instruction for all levels of competency. They used real life scenarios based on recent client demos, provided working case studies for 19 different industries, hundreds of sample documents, and visual walkthroughs for the various products including the new mobile web app. One of the great moments of the week was when we met back with the sales side to run sales exercises, or mock phone calls wherein our task was convincing a content manager and his IT people why it’s better to adopt Laserfiche technology than it is to flood a spare office with paper documents. They bought it, so I guess we passed the test. I also enjoyed navigating the suite on my own. Full Microsoft integration was nice, with ribbon tabs in Word and Outlook linking directly to your Laserfiche repository, as shown below.
Everything we went over, including step by step instructions for building repositories, installing the suite, and troubleshooting errors, is detailed on the support site here. Below is a short list of some other the topics we covered throughout the week:
- Content and Process Management
- Repository Architecture
- Business Process Management
- Capturing content with OCR
- System Administration and configuration
- Scanning with Quick Fields
- Importing exporting and brief-casing
- Laserfiche Administration console
- Advanced Security
- Records Management
- Navigating Web Access, Forms, and Mobile 9.0
- Avante and Rio licensing/pricing structure
- The power of Workflow
The decision to advocate Laserfiche to our clients and to learn more by attending this training was easy. It’s because more than 32,000 organizations worldwide—including federal, state and local government agencies and Fortune 1000 companies—use Laserfiche software to streamline document, records and business process management. This is not an up-and-coming boutique software company. This is an industry leader whose rapid growth belies its commitment to individual reseller communities and small businesses alike. If you want more information on Laserfiche visit their website, read the ECM blog, or visit our website here. Call Edge at (310) 499-4929 and ask for our certified Laserfiche experts.
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