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In response to the twin concerns of business process efficiency and business records compliance, HP is teaming up with Vignette to deliver what they are calling the most complete Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) solution available today.Vignette's Imaging and Workflow product is best thought of as the meat sandwiched between two layers of high end electronics provided by HP. The top layer of scanners and multi-function printers is responsible for image and document capture. The bottom layer of tiered servers and archival solutions are tasked with storage and maintenance of the information. In other words, HP handles the input and the storage (infrastructure) while Vignette handles the workflow and business processes management. The goal of this alliance is to leverage the best qualities of the two industry leaders to produce an unbeatable ILM solution. This announcement continues a remarkable turnaround for HP which has seen them fight their way back into contention with market giants Dell and IBM despite the numerous scandals and other challenges that have plagued the company in recent years. Suzanne Prince, Director of ILM solutions at HP, has high hopes for the Vignette relationship stating recently that, “HP’s ILM portfolio combines the best of HP server, storage, printing devices, software technologies and services with industry-leading solutions from partners like Vignette to enable customers to capture, manage, retain, and deliver information throughout its lifecycle." "Vignette’s Imaging and Workflow solution helps ensure strategic business content is secure, properly managed and accessible in accordance with regulatory requirements and everyday business demands,” continues Prince. The most immediate need for this type of solution is in the health care industry where process reform is being discussed across nearly every breakfast table in America. At the heart of this debate is the concept of the electronic medical record, an idea that is generating buzz in both the public and private health care sectors. This ILM solution from HP and Vignette is already being used by health care facilities to insure that their most important documents are secure and accessible, while improving the efficiency of their business processes and keeping them HIPAA compliant. Along with the ability to easily digitize, store, and retrieve vital information; this solution is also compelling for the way that it simplifies an organization's enterprise. In lieu of a long drawn out package selection process that must be validated against multiple hardware vendors, this product from HP and Vignette looks to provide a complete end-to-end solution for the management of a company's information lifecycle. This benefit alone will be music to the ears of many an IT manager. Though the duo are not without challengers. The field of caputure/manage contenders is led by IBM/FileNet, followed by Open Text, Oracle and EMC/Documentum. Having the hardware and software ready to tango should however lend some critical favor in the HP+Vignette direction.