Tag: ECM

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.

Alfresco is the Answer to Documentum’s Future Uncertainty

Posted by on December 13, 2016

Managing enterprise content is something that many organizations struggle with. Digital content is around us everywhere we go; enabling secure, enterprise-wide access to that content is critical for any business to remain competitive. Organizations often find themselves turning to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions to help address these business challenges.

However, not all ECM systems are created equal. As the ECM and digital landscape have evolved, modern ECM solutions are offering many benefits that their legacy counterparts lack, including more out-of-the-box functionality, platform flexibility, ease of integration, open standards, and cost savings. If your existing ECM has become too costly to maintain or no longer aligns with your IT strategy, then it’s a good idea to start looking at alternative options.

In particular, if you’re a current Documentum customer, then you’re probably also aware of OpenText’s recent acquisition of Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD), which may have you wondering how the acquisition will impact you and your business. Will investment and innovation stall as Documentum products gets absorbed into a crowded portfolio of products? Will the people behind the products stay involved and remain there to help?

One alternative to consider is Alfresco, which provides a modern platform that can really help you to accelerate Digital Transformation initiatives and move from older technologies in a way that makes sense to your business.

Did you know that Documentum co-founder John Newton also co-founded Alfresco? While the two products have similar roots and both offer robust content management, collaboration, Records Management (RM), and Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities, there are also many differences that make Alfresco a more attractive option for better long-term ROI.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how the two platforms differ:

Alfresco Documentum
Technology
  • Modern infrastructure supporting open standards
  • Proprietary infrastructure relying on aging technology
Pricing
  • Software subscription model with no software purchase cost
  • No vendor lock-in: Flexibility in choosing system integration partners for solutions
  • Traditional software purchase fee with maintenance costs
  • Vendor lock-in: Solutions & add-ons can only be implemented through pricey Documentum consulting
Out-of-the-box Features
  • More robust set of features available out-of-the-box leveraging best-of-breed open source components
  • Integrated enterprise search through Solr and Collaboration through Share
  • Additional features available as add-ons for extra cost
  • Enterprise search requires additional installation & configuration; Collaboration available through third party integration offerings
Integration
  • Easy integration with third party systems through a variety of industry standard protocols (CMIS, REST, CIFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.)
  • Difficult integration through a proprietary web services layer with limited functionality and lack of industry standards

Your ECM needs will continue to evolve, and the technologies you implement should be flexible enough to adapt to those changes. If your existing ECM no longer meets your business needs, then it’s time to consider switching to a solution that can help maximize the value of your content.

Alfresco Software Positioned in the Visionaries Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization & Sharing

Posted by on July 16, 2014

Many of us are familiar with Alfresco as an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform and its robust content management capabilities. And they’re no newbies in the world of Gartner Magic Quadrants as it’s been positioned as a Visionary in the Magic Quadrant for ECM for the past five consecutive years.

However, yesterday marks a first for Alfresco in another Magic Quadrant as Gartner positioned it as a Visionary in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization & Sharing (EFSS).

According to Gartner, “EFSS refers to a range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that enable individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.” Gartner adds that, “Security and collaboration support are critical capabilities of EFSS to address enterprise priorities.”

Fueled by a differentiated hybrid model and open-source DNA, Alfresco Software serves a customer base that requires enterprise-grade content management that works across cloud, mobile, hybrid and on-premise environments.

“EFSS are basic features that any modern ECM system must have,” said Doug Dennerline, Alfresco CEO. “We believe that Alfresco’s vision to offer customers a unique, hybrid approach with built-in file synchronization and sharing capabilities has been validated here.  More importantly, our customers appreciate our open architecture and have the flexibility to customize their solutions to their unique business need.”

In the report, Gartner also predicts: “By 2017, part of the enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) market will be absorbed into adjacent markets (e.g., collaboration and content management).”

“As Gartner indicates in the report, the shelf life of EFSS as a stand-alone product is short lived. File sync and share is moving to be just another feature within larger enterprise applications,” added Dennerline. “Besides, in our experience, the more highly valued the content, the more likely a customer is to use the Alfresco solution.”

To access the Gartner report, go to: https://www.alfresco.com/gartner/efss.