What tomorrow brings

Nien-Ling Wacker understands that in order to be successful, you must have great relationships with your customers as well as the community where you and your employees live and work.

“From our software developers to our marketing team, customer service department and resellers in the field, everyone within our organization is on the same page regarding how we can keep our customers on the cutting edge,” says Wacker, Laserfiche’s founder and CEO.

An innovator in the enterprise content management space, Laserfiche has made a significant impact on the Long Beach community, where it maintains its corporate headquarters. Since arriving, Laserfiche has nearly tripled its employee base, bringing hundreds of high-paying professional jobs to the area.

Because of this, Wacker was named one of the 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and Chase Bank. We asked her how she keeps Laserfiche on the bleeding edge while at the same time giving back to the community.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

As a document management provider, Laserfiche has always had a great relationship with its end users, who find our software very intuitive and easy to use. As we moved into the enterprise content management (ECM) space, our challenge was to win the hearts of IT professionals at large organizations.

IT professionals need an ECM system that gives them total control over information security, standards and auditing. To meet the needs of both the end users and the IT professionals, we needed to ensure that our ECM system was flexible enough to give the IT department central control over the organization’s information while at the same time granting departmental leaders fast and easy access to all the information they need to make smart business decisions.

In addition to creating our agile ECM technology, we had to educate the market about how our solution provides both “global control and local flexibility.” It required a significant investment in marketing to develop the right messaging, sponsor surveys by renowned researchers such as the Economist Intelligence Unit, and write white papers, case studies and brochures that clarified the concept for our customers and prospects.Our investment in communicating the value of balancing global control with local flexibility has paid off. Our sales are up, IT professionals recognize the value of our software and customer organizations are reaping great benefits from our agile ECM solutions.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

To be an innovative leader at a technology company, you have to have your feet on the ground and your eyes on a vision that’s inspired by technology trends. Technology leaders need to remember that technology innovation alone doesn’t sell products; anticipating customer needs and giving them a product that makes their life easier is the key.

Twenty years ago, cutting-edge customers were looking for the capability to “image” documents by converting them into digital files. Many of our competitors from years ago never moved their products beyond imaging, but because the market has evolved way beyond that now, those old competitors are no longer around.

In today’s business environment, successful organizations are looking for an agile ECM solution that can serve as the backbone of their enterprise IT infrastructure. They don’t want to simply digitize documents; they want to protect their information with robust security controls that ensure compliance, use business process management tools to increase efficiency and create standards that make it easy to share information across the departments.

We recognized that the market was moving in this direction five or six years ago, and all our efforts since then have been focused on meeting this market need. To do this, the management team at Laserfiche has dedicated a great deal of time and resources to empowering our own employees to understand our vision for the shifting market.

This unity of vision and purpose is what has enabled Laserfiche to stay on the leading edge for nearly 25 years, gaining millions of users at 28,000 customer organizations around the world.