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    Rick Wilson sharpens information governance expertise with certifications from AIIM, ARMA

    Aug 04, 2014

    Sherpa Software is well-known for award-winning products that address information management challenges, such as enforcing email retention policies or performing eDiscovery. Capitalizing on this success, Sherpa is currently developing a new policy-driven information governance platform called Sherpa Altitude IG. Altitude IG is specifically designed to identify, track, manage and dispose of information assets from a more holistic point of view.

    Concurrent with the development and launch of the Altitude IG platform, Sherpa Software is expanding its focus on information governance by building internal expertise in the topic and pursuing professional certifications for its team members.

    Rick Wilson, vice president of strategy and solutions at Sherpa Software, recently completed both the AIIM and ARMA certification programs.

    “As a leading provider of information governance solutions, the AIIM and ARMA certifications will further enhance how we advise and assist our customers with their corporate data management, eDiscovery, and compliance requirements,” said Kevin Ogrodnik, president of Sherpa Software. “The rigorous certification requirements and ongoing education will allow us to keep our customers at the forefront of the evolving information governance movement. Our Sherpa Altitude IG platform and Corporate Information Governance Program white papers are examples of how these certifications have allowed us to educate our customers and address their ongoing information governance business challenges.”

    Rick stated that both programs are very much worth the time and investment for those planning information governance projects.

    “Often, we tend to view certifications as a ‘tick-the-box’ requirement for our professional development; however, it is apparent that both AIIM and ARMA have put a lot of thought and considerable effort into creating programs that offer actionable insights,” Rick said. “Governance initiatives tend to be large, complex efforts, and both certification programs provide an excellent framework for structuring a project and breaking the process down into manageable components.”

    For the AIIM Information Governance Practitioner program, Rick completed 10 modules covered in a 170-page workbook in order to prepare for certification testing. During the testing process, each candidate has 90 minutes to answer the 60 test questions – and must achieve a score of 70 percent or above to earn a passing grade.

    “For those of you who may be approaching a governance project from an IT background, this program is a great fit since it provides more guidance on how to analyze the various information silos within the organization and evaluate them with regard to the appropriate governance controls,” Rick said of the AIIM program.

    “The Information Governance Practitioner designation documents that professionals know how to manage information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud, and big data.  In short, IG Practitioners have the knowledge to turn information chaos into information opportunities,” said Atle Skjekkeland, COO of AIIM. “They understand how information can add value to the business, reduce costs, and manage risks.”

    Rick recommends the AIIM program for team members assigned to a governance project who want a better understanding of the overall process, or who have a specific focus area in the field.

    ARMA organizes their Information Governance Professional program into six distinct domain areas: the one-day certification overview program walks candidates through a high-level overview of those areas and provides study strategies and information about testing, maintaining certification and more. ARMA’s program requires a fair amount of independent study in order to prepare for the exam; these exams are taken at a certified Pearson testing center and contain 140 multiple choice questions that must be completed within two hours and 45 minutes.

    “The ARMA program requires knowledge about a much broader range of topics including project management process, regulatory constraints, industry standards, and more,” Rick said. “You certainly don’t need to be an expert in all of these topics to satisfy the certification requirements, but you do need a working knowledge on all of the subjects ‑ which seems reasonable, since they can be integral components of an information governance project.”

    For those tasked with being the project manager for an information governance initiative, Rick recommends the ARMA program.

    As for the individuals like Rick, who would like to pursue both programs, he believes they are equally important, well-rounded overviews of the information governance process.

    “If you are planning your organization’s first foray into information governance and you will be responsible for both designing and executing the project, both programs are worth considering,” Rick said.

    Rick is currently in the works of completing a four-part white paper series around the Corporate Information Governance Program. The latest edition (and prior editions) can be found by following this link:

    For more information on this overview and to contact Rick Wilson, follow @SherpaRick on Twitter, where he regularly posts on topics related to information governance. Rick can also be reached by email at

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    Contact:                  Mel Moraes, Sherpa Software

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