May 22, 2013
It’s difficult to say what the “best” enterprise content management solutions are for 2013. At the end of the day, the functionality and quality of the ECM solution depends on the needs of the user. There are many different options to choose from, just as there are many different end users. There are easy-to-use, organizationally-based content management systems that are designed to resemble social networks, with intuitive layouts and simplified navigation. There are serious, robust enterprise solutions with complex, highly governed, enterprise-based software. There are on-demand enterprise content management systems or there are in-house systems that companies can set up within their current organizational structure. There are even a few free, open-source solutions, although these tend to be fairly limited in their capabilities. It all depends on what a company needs, what they’re willing to put on the line and what kind of structure they currently have for their information and communication systems. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all enterprise content management solution, there are a few big winners that are standing out so far in 2013.
Tens of thousands of businesses around the world use SharePoint to manage their data, communicate, collaborate on projects, access documents, store files, send information, build and manage various websites and so much more. This Web application has been on the market in some shape or form since 2001, but there are many new distinctions that set the 2013 version apart from previous incarnations. The latest version includes more comprehensive business process optimization solutions for the information age, in an effort to connect people across the network of an organization without losing the basic principles of compliance and structure, or completely losing sight of time-tested current processes. New features make it possible to manage mobile devices, web content, e-discovery, search optimization, social computing, business connectivity services, business intelligence, branding, online and “real world” corporate identities and records and compliance – all from one easy-to-navigate system with new cloud computing capabilities.
Documentum has been a consistently well-respected enterprise content management solution for many years, even since before EMC Corporation acquired the platform from the company that gave it its name back in 2003. It was EMC that innovated this platform and kept it relevant for serious enterprise customers after all these years. It is designed for large corporations and organizations that have very complex IT demands requiring carefully structured solutions. It was one of the first to integrate capabilities for storing almost unlimited amounts and types of data with business process optimization, and it’s still a popular tool for managing content and infrastructure in the enterprises of today, with many new capabilities for social computing and more.
P8 is another one of the full-on enterprise content management solutions designed for large businesses and organizations with complex content and structural issues to consider. Although it was developed by FileNet, it is now considered an IBM product since the company was acquired by IBM some time back. P8 is especially useful for creating, managing, updating and sharing customized enterprise systems, and the latest model offers more potential for customization than ever before, with applications to suit different users’ needs.
In-House ECM vs. On-Demand ECM vs. Free, Open Source ECM
With so many different enterprise content management systems to choose from, it can be easy to forget some of the fringe choices. Many companies outsource their ECM systems so they become someone else’s problem, while others use an ECM software platform with dedicated staff to mange it in-house. Some even choose free, open source content management systems, although these are usually only useful for very small businesses with limited amounts of data and small networks of people to communicate between. It really all depends on the needs of the end user to determine which system works best.
Walton Walker is experienced in offering enterprise content management solutions and is involved in enhancing efficiency and revenue growth by optimizing the business processes of clients. His vast expertise in data management has helped several companies to increase their growth.