Tag: content

Why Your Business Needs Enterprise Content Management

Posted by on August 28, 2018

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Having the right business solution that will drive operations makes a difference in productivity and efficiency. As content continues to remain an integral part of an organization’s communication, marketing and sales strategy, learning how to properly manage this content is key.

Getting Down to Basics – Enterprise Content Management in a Nutshell

Enterprise content management (ECM) collects and organizes information that will be used by a specific audience. It combines a number of elements, such as methods, strategies and tools that capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver information to keep the organization running.

What are these elements, and how do they affect enterprise content management?

The following elements are needed for smooth processes. Let’s break it down:

  • Capturing information requires entering your content into the main system.
  • Management of this information is crucial, as it determines what can be found and used by the person who needs it.
  • Storing this information requires finding the right place within the system. Finding the right system and solution is key.
  • Preserving this information for long-term use makes a difference. It’s archiving and protecting information so it will be available whenever it is needed within the organization.
  • Delivering is putting the information into people’s hands when they need it.

Defining the structure of this content helps determine how it should be compartmentalized. There are a number of sources where content can be derived from, and proper management of these sources can protect your organization now and in the future. There are three types of content: structured, unstructured and semi-structured. This is how they differ:

Structured content

Structured content is well defined and is processed by computers, databases and is a factor in line-of-business solutions. It is comprised of independent parts that can be pulled together in a number of ways to get information needed for a particular purpose. Examples of structured content would be the different fields of a blog post, like the author name, title of the blog post, organization where the author is from, description of the post, meta data, and so forth. This information can then be used in a CMS. These elements are independent of one another, but can be used together.

Unstructured content

This type of content does not have a structure that is fully defined, and is read mostly by humans. Most of this information is produced by office applications such as presentation and word processing programs.

Semi-structured content

This information is between the other two types of content, and includes data that is processed by a computer, but have their own layouts, such as purchase orders, invoices and receipts.

Enterprise content management helps do business better. There are 5 top elements of ECM:

Digitally capturing documents

This includes documents that are created, captured, stored or shared through scanning, content that is already digital, filing and categorizing documents automatically, and electric forms. ECM helps capture these documents in a digital repository to eliminate challenges occurring from using paper.

Storing documents in a digital repository

ECM systems are used to store documents that are critical to business operations while being able to view or make edits, view metadata, and organize those documents in a structure that works. Additional features and benefits include duplicating existing file structures, making full-text searchable scanned and electronic files, direct documents where to go automatically when imported, preview content and navigate through thumbnails of documents. You can also save any changes you make with document check in and out.

The metadata system allows users to build document templates that can be used across documents and folders; create document fields that are reusable to note key document information, including the author and approval time; connect any related documents with attachments through document links; sign and validate documents with digital signatures; and track, display and compare various versions of documents.

Retrieve documents, regardless of location or device

An ECM will help you with finding documents with full-text search, identifying specific elements, words, or other identifiers, and use preset search options once the records have been securely stored. You can conduct a search identifying metadata, annotations or entry names to find the information you need.

Enterprise search helps increase efficiency, cutting down on the time needed to find information, answer requests and more. The need for manual tagging is removed, and users have visual images to quickly find documents without going through numerous files and folders. Users will be able to have the right information at the right time to make better decisions that impact the bottom line.

Automate processes

Some ECM systems have digital automation features that will help eliminate manual tasks to get better results within the organization. An automated process will help the document move through the system, acquiring all the necessary signatures and review needed. You will also be able to identify where any breakdown occurs.

Securing documents

ECM systems can help strengthen compliance risk and optimize records management, from the processes to protections. It can provide restrictive access to content, monitor who uses the system, creates documents, changes passwords, and protect sensitive data.

Integration

Although ECM systems were initially designed to capture, store, and manage content for administrative or financial purposes, it has evolved to include workflows, case management, business process management and enterprise search. ECM’s are often integrated with Web Content Management (WCM) systems or portals to create cohesive digital experience solutions ranging from corporate websites to intranets, social communities, customer portals, and more.

With a system in place like this, your organization will be able to run smoothly and efficiently. Enterprise content management is a viable solution for streamlining processes to focus on business productivity and growth, now and in the future.

Utilizing the Employee Experience Maturity Model to Optimize Your Enterprise Collaboration

Posted by on February 19, 2015

What comes to mind when you think of an intranet? In theory, intranets should deliver results in real time. HR should be able to easily publish new policies and other documents, marketing should be able to easily find an inside expert when researching a new technology, and sales should be able to quickly get help on a new presentation. But in reality, this usually isn’t the case.

Legacy intranets are plagued with information that can’t be optimally leveraged –1) outdated old documents, 2) static content instead of useful conversations that draw out important ideas, 3) half-baked people directories instead of rich user profiles, 4) irrelevant company news that doesn’t help get our job done, and 5) lack of mobile access.

Unfortunately, due to these issues, many organizations consider their intranet the place where information goes to die. In fact, a recent survey showed that while a vast majority of organizations have had an intranet for over five years, and over 70% also utilize social business tools (e.g. wikis, forums, messaging, etc.), almost 3 out of 4 would rate their tools as BAD.

Part of this can be attributed to the strategy and approach. Just because you have an intranet and social tools, doesn’t mean it’s a social intranet solution. Organizations need a fresh approach to this problem.

Social Intranet Strategy & Tools

First, a social intranet is multi-faceted. In addition to supporting social collaboration, it needs to support the people and their profiles, user groups, tasks, files and documents, departments, projects, and communities with an organization. An intranet must also integrate easily with other enterprise systems – ERP, CRM, WCM, cloud services, and even outside social networks. In addition, a social intranet should also support the development of custom apps as necessary.

In determining a social intranet strategy, we’ve developed the employee experience maturity model to help organizations assess their current state based on employee behaviors, and establish new targets based on corporate strategy.

Employee Experience Maturity Model

The Employee Experience Maturity Model is comprised of four dimensions – Process, Collaboration, Integration, and Content. Each can be ranked along its level of maturity, from Low to High. Based on actual behaviors and not tool features, you can measure each dimension and plot your current overall maturity level.

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Together, these four measurements can provide an overview of how mature an organization is at delivering effective and productive digital experiences for its employees.

Content Maturity

Organizations that are high in Content Maturity typically allow their employees to own all content, making them both content producers and consumers. They also support all media types (documents, images, video, audio, etc.), and content is easily accessible by search and faceted navigation. In addition, content is published across multiple channels, with the ability for social commentary, and personalized to individual users, teams, and departments.

On the other hand, those low in Content Maturity tend to have top-down, one way communication, where documents and textual information predominates, with the use of ad-hoc repositories and no way of indexing, tracking or searching content.

Collaboration Maturity

On the Collaboration Maturity scale, companies that rank high tend to easily support collaboration both inside and outside the organization. In addition, a variety of social and collaboration tools are used, including collaborative work spaces, comprehensive user profiles, all with social content weaved throughout and the ability to easily share and subscribe.

On the low end of the scale, email and shared drives are the dominant tools used, along with other ad-hoc tools. The people directory is incomplete, and there are no social features, such as the ability to follow people and teams or comment and rate content.

Integration Maturity

On the Integration Maturity scale, those that rank high generally use standards-based, open architecture platforms that can easily be integrated with. In addition, enterprise applications are used in intranet/portal solutions, where capabilities and interactions are exposed as services. These organizations also utilize Single Sign-On (SSO) across all applications used, along with comprehensive user profiles.

Conversely, businesses on the low end use standalone apps with separate logins, often on proprietary closed systems, resulting in silo’d repositories of content, data, and people. There’s also no employees access to customized dashboards to meet their specific needs.

Process Maturity

Businesses than are high in Process Maturity have processes embedded in their intranet and other applications, which are monitored and managed by workflows that work seamlessly across applications. In addition, analytics are used for process optimization.

Those on the low end of the scale employ ad-hoc manual processes that are only available through desktop access and often not fully documented.

Strategizing With the Maturity Model

While the Employee Experience Maturity Model provides a way to assess where your organization stands, it’s important to keep in mind that a “high” rating on every dimension isn’t required, or even desired. Organizations need to choose their targets based on individual corporate strategies.

For example, companies that focus on innovation, such as startups, may be high on Collaboration and Content, but rank lower on Process. On the other hand, a cost leader may rank high on Integration and Process, but lower on Collaboration. Even more, organizations that want to maintain a singular voice would likely rank high on Collaboration and Process, but lower on Content. Determining your organization’s priorities and choosing your targets is an important part of your overall strategy.

Click here to learn more about the Employee Experience Maturity Model.

Case Study: Award-Winning Cloud Services and Communications Company Drives More Sales Leads with Crafter CMS

Posted by on August 01, 2014

The internet plays a huge influential role in our daily purchasing decisions, most of the time without us even noticing as it’s become so second nature. Whether it’s checking out a restaurant menu before trying it out, checking to see if a product is available at a specific store, or seeing if a business’s solutions can benefit you, a company’s online presence can drastically affect the impression it leaves on a visitor, making it crucial to have a site that delivers an engaging and lasting experience.

In our latest case study published earlier this year, we take a detailed look at how a leading cloud services and communications company is leveraging a Crafter CMS solution to deliver a dynamic, engaging Web experience while increasing site traffic and sales leads.

Rebranding Effort For a Cloud Services and Communications Company Leads to a New Dynamic Website for a Higher Quality Customer Web Experience

As a leading, award-winning cloud and communications services provider, this organization serves as the technology ally for small and mid-sized businesses by delivering services through their private, high-bandwidth enterprise network and data centers. By shifting the technology burden to the provider, they strive to help their customers save valuable time, money and resources.

Customer service excellence has been a big part of this company’s culture since its inception, making it imperative to maintain a cutting edge Web presence. This customer had recently undergone a corporate rebranding initiative, and as part of the effort, had sought to provide a far more dynamic and engaging Web experience for its users. With these objectives in mind, it was quickly realized that there was a need for a new enterprise-class Web Content Management System (CMS) with the robust functionality to effectively address existing needs, along with the flexibility to tackle any ongoing future requirements.

Unlimited Agility Through Open Source Innovation

Led by the Marketing Department, and working in conjunction with the product development groups along with senior executives, this customer wanted to ensure the new website produced the end result they desired. They knew that with any new Web CMS solution, flexibility was a top priority – flexibility of design, using in-house resources, customization, and adapting to ongoing needs.

As an organization that works with a variety of third party vendors for their projects, this customer saw the benefits of open source when it came to flexibility in choosing future development partners when the need arose to grow the Web application with additional components. So they also sought a content management platform that was open, agile and sported a rich feature set. After evaluating a number of potential products, an integrated solution based on Crafter and Alfresco emerged as a clear choice.

Paving the Way to Serve as a Full Fledged Technology Ally for Its Customers

With the new website, this customer has seen an increase in content production and publishing productivity, and are better able to quickly respond and adapt to the data received from analytics. The dynamic content pages provide a proficient way of cataloguing and repurposing content throughout the site. Since re-launching the site using Crafter CMS, overall website traffic has increased by 9 percent while the number of leads generated have more than doubled that amount.

Click here to read and download the full case study.