Tag: Document Management

Why Your Business Needs Enterprise Content Management

Posted by on August 28, 2018

laptop-content-on-screen

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.

Morpheus Drive – A Simple File Sharing UI for Alfresco that Solves the Dropbox Problem

Posted by on July 18, 2013

We all know that file sharing is necessary and much sought after by those in both the consumer and enterprise spaces. In fact, file sharing has become ubiquitous, meaning the ability to share files with anyone and anywhere with the availability of an internet connection, without the need to be inside a private network.

There are many reasons why people love ubiquitous file sharing. For one, it’s extremely user friendly and promotes high productivity – people aren’t wasting time trying to figure out how to use foreign tools. Good software is simple and doesn’t require much training, if any at all.

More importantly, what knowledge workers truly appreciate about these tools is the sense of freedom they get – the freedom to share files. Most people have probably experienced some common difficulties with file sharing in the workplace – from large file sizes, to file type restrictions, to inconveniences created by traditional file sharing methods (email, ftp, etc.) due to security policies in place that prevents document sharing outside the firewall.

The Dropbox Problem

As a result, users have turned to, and have become big fans of, tools like Dropbox, which give them the sense of file sharing freedom they desire. However, when presented in front of an organization’s legal counsel or CIO, these tools will often encounter resistance, fear, and ultimately rejection.

What’s so scary about tools like Dropbox? Here are two important reasons to consider:

  • Legal Issues – When you put your content up on a public infrastructure, you don’t really know where your data physically resides. This becomes an issue if you’re under contractual obligations or NDAs that disallow this.
  • Access Control Issues – What happens when an employee leaves a company and the content he/she uploaded is sitting out there? Or even worse, if that employee leaves under less than ideal circumstances, the problem is magnified because you don’t know what they could potentially do with the content. In the worst case scenario, those documents could be assets that affect your bottom line (e.g. internal strategy documents, intellectual property, etc.).

The above examples indicate real and serious concerns behind legal and CIOs’ reluctance to embrace the Dropbox’s and Google Drive’s of the world.

In addition, there’s also the issue of customization with these tools – you can’t just simply customize Dropbox. If you want something specific to your organization, then you’re pretty much out of luck going the Dropbox route.

Solving the Dropbox Problem

So how do organization go about to achieve ubiquitous file sharing without Dropbox?

The solution is Alfresco – an enterprise grade content management platform – that’s equipped with a variety of products that can help solve this problem with features such as an enterprise class repository, fine grained permissions, auditing, locking to help facilitate collaboration, versioning to manage content history, and workflow. Alfresco is also very flexible with its deployment options – it can be on premise or you can leverage Alfresco Cloud.

Alfresco in the cloud is a fully managed SaaS offering that helps organizations keep control of its content while providing users with powerful ways to access their content securely on any device, anywhere.

While Alfresco on premise allows certain content that needs to be kept behind a firewall to safely reside there, Alfresco Cloud provides the necessary freedom of access. However, given that a single piece of content’s lifecycle might require that it move in and out of the firewall, we don’t want to have to manage two distinct repositories.

The solution is Alfresco One, a hybrid cloud solution that enables an on-premise repository to maintain a bi-directional sync with a cloud-based repository. This solution also allows you to fully control permissions and access control for all your content in a single manageable store, allowing for content sharing across organizational boundaries without sacrificing internal processes.

 

CIO Approved Ubiquitous File Sharing

This hybrid solution meets all of your ubiquitous file sharing needs – large file uploads, consumer-like internet based file sharing – while also providing rich content services and eliminating the CIO’s and Legal’s headaches.

Organizations have the flexibility of picking and choosing what constraints to place on specific content, and content can now flow in and out of your firewall as needed.

As a web-based solution like Dropbox, you can easily interact with the system through two available web-based interfaces provided by Alfresco. Alfresco Share is a collaboration-based interface with a document library, calendar, and discussion forum, among other collaboration tools. The other option is Alfresco Workdesk, a configurable case management oriented user interface that enables organization of content into dynamic query-driven folders.

While these are great interfaces, they’re also tailored to meet specific user needs and aren’t always appropriate for all use cases – Alfresco Share is project oriented so all your content is boxed in this way, and Alfresco Workdesk is oriented around case management. Although it’s possible to customize in both cases, there are framework limitations imposed by best practices that maintain supportability and upgrade paths.

The Morpheus Way

Luckily there’s Morpheus Rivet, which gives users the best of both worlds by providing a highly customizable consumer-oriented, simple-to-use user interface without sacrificing any of the features of Alfresco.

Morpheus Rivet is composed of two components – Morpheus Drive and Morpheus IDE. Morpheus Drive is a simple, easy-to-use and customizable web-based user interface that communicates with the Alfresco repository to expose all of its powerful enterprise features. The UI is simple – similar to Dropbox and Google Drive – intuitive, and more importantly, is highly flexible for customizing the UI.

Morpheus IDE enables these customization by providing a development environment that allows users to easily customize Morpheus Drive to fit specific needs. The development environment allows users to code, edit existing Drives, preview and test the environment, and publish it out to a live Morpheus Drive.

With Morpheus IDE, you can also manage UI’s not only how it appears on a browser, but also on tablets, mobile devices, and virtually any channel you want to publish the interface to. This helps to greatly reduce costs from having a separate system for each channel.

With Morpheus Rivet, organizations can now achieve ubiquitous file sharing through a user-friendly interface, without compromising on security and customizability.

For more information about Morpheus Rivet, contact sales@rivetlogic.com.