Tag: social content management

Content Management + Social Business = Social Content Management

Posted by on September 12, 2011

A recent CMSWire article noted that content management and social business are two very different technologies, and while vendors try to incorporate social business functionality into traditional ECM solutions, that there is no real effective way for a system to fill both shoes.

While traditional ECM systems are considered “systems of record”, social business tools are in a newer category of “systems of engagement“, and the differences between the two seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

“These aren’t just differences of philosophy or look and feel. They extend to the software architecture itself. CMS has its roots in transactional, database-driven systems. There are no provisions for essential social constructs such as activity streams, user profiles, social feedback and reputation mechanisms, a centralized view of community activity and collaborative messaging. These capabilities come from a bottom-up design, not just slotting in some new modules or slapping a new UI on top of an existing CMS foundation. Actually, adding social features after the fact can make matters worse, creating more walled-off information that is hard to manage and search.”

To support the argument, SharePoint was used as an example, where a user survey concluded that enhancing SharePoint for Social Business could cost between $500,000 to over $1 million, with more for ongoing maintenance, and that organizations serious about social business should consider a purpose-built tool, rather than a customized SharePoint solution.

While a lot of what this article states is true, I don’t necessarily agree with the argument that the same application can’t have both traditional ECM and social business functionality, and be able to do it well. A good example is Alfresco, which has a robust content platform for building a variety of content-rich applications, along with a social user-interface for collaboration and document management. Alfresco’s focus is on a new vision of Social Content Management, which sits at the intersection of traditional ECM and Social Software, with its own social applications to the left, and a strong content repository on the right.

Social Content Management

And by focusing on this intersection of Social Content Management, users have the ability to discuss content, and then capture the results of that discussion inside an ECM solution in order to retain it and derive value from it.

So while ECM systems and Social Business solutions do serve very different purposes, it doesn’t mean the same technology platform can’t be used to satisfy both sides and be able to do it in a cohesive manner.

Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 Release Delivers Vision of Social Content Management

Posted by on January 31, 2011

Last week, Alfresco announced the availability of its Enterprise 3.4 release. This significant new release delivers on Alfresco’s vision of providing the open platform for social content management by delivering both a more robust content platform for building any kind of content-rich application, along with a more social user-interface for collaboration and document management. This platform will be used by developers and companies to build applications where enterprise content is “social-ready” — or shared, collaborated on and syndicated across the web – and captured for compliance, retention and control.

To accommodate the shift from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement, Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is built to manage content in a social world and co-exist with social business systems to help manage and retain the content created by them.

Some of the new product capabilities of the Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 release include:

  • User-interface enhancements to make document management more social – Alfresco’s refreshed Share interface for collaboration and document management now includes status updates (similar to Facebook and Twitter), content activity streams and enhanced search capabilities to make content easier to find.
  • Folder-based actions for simple workflow, along with advanced workflow (using jBPM) – Business users can now set-up simple document workflow, such as approvals or content transformations, inside the Share interface. For robust workflow, Alfresco Share now exposes workflows created with standards-based enterprise business process management tools.
  • Distributed Content Replication – Native support for content replication allows organizations to run federated content repositories. Key documents can now be replicated to support large geographically dispersed companies, reducing access time, removing single points of failure, and removing the dependency on a single system.
  • Collaborative Web Authoring – Alfresco Web Quick Start is a set of best practice templates for building content-rich websites on top of Alfresco Share. Quick Start combines the power of Alfresco Share for web team collaboration, with powerful content process control and publishing services like office-to-web publishing.
  • Integration with Enterprise Portals and Social Software – Alfresco now includes a DocLib portlet to enhance its JSR-168 support, which exposes a document library in standards-based portals like Liferay or Red Hat’s JBoss Portal. And using CMIS, Alfresco continues to integrate with Drupal, Lotus Quickr and an expanding set of social business systems.

To learn more about the Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 release, its new product features, or to download a trial, click here.