Enterprise Content Management System

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Whether it’s a big organisation or a small organisation, a lot of documents are generated each day and every single document is important which means it needs to be stored in an easily retrievable manner. The need to manage the content produced by an organisation in a variety of forms has given rise to a huge variety of enterprise content management systems.

In simple terms, an enterprise content management is defined as the process of managing documents or records including Word docs, printed documents, Excel spreadsheets, scanned images, PDF files and other such things to improve productivity and efficiency as well as customer service by eliminating paper-based tasks. The ideal ECM system allows an organisation to ensure that all the content is kept secure and easily accessible.

Thanks to the huge demand for the right enterprise content management system, a number of solutions are available in the market today at a variety of price points. However, choosing the right ECM system can be a challenge and therefore, you need to be careful in order to choose the right ECM system. Here is a list of some of the important parameters you need to consider before choosing an ECM system for your requirements.

One of the first things you need to ensure is that the new system integrates with the existing system. A high quality ECM will talk to a variety of other applications through APIs or custom developed connectors in order to ensure that all the data available in the organisation can be searched and found at the click of a button. Another important point to keep in mind is that the system should be accessible from anywhere. In today’s BYOD environment, it is important for employees to be able to access the required information at any time, from any part of the globe.

Before you start looking into features offered by different vendors, you need to find out more about your needs. In simple terms, you need to be extremely clear about your requirements before you start looking at different kinds of solutions available in the market today. It is recommended to gather feedback from all the different departments who will use the system in order to make sure that their requirements are met.

This is extremely important as there is a huge list of products with a variety of features which means you might end up spending a lot more money than needed in case you are not clear about your requirements. Some vendors might try to sell you a system with a lot of bells and whistles at a pretty high cost. Being clear about your main requirements will allow you to ensure that you do not end up spending more money than necessary.

As mentioned above, there is no dearth of ECM suppliers which means you need to do a lot of research in order to choose the right supplier for your requirements. You need to ensure that they are the right fit for your company. One thing you can check is the list of their current customers. A list of their current customers tell you a lot about the reputation of a company. If they already have some reputed customers, it makes your job easy.

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the type of training and support offered by them. It takes a lot of time to train employees in using a new system in the correct manner which makes training and support extremely important for an ECM supplier. It is also recommended to partner with a supplier who is already aware of your industry as well as common problems faced by businesses in the industry.

You also need to ask the vendor about post-implementation support. It is the support that is provided once installation is done and the system is configured as per your requirements. The support is usually paid but it should be there and they should be upfront about its cost for that particular support. You also need to ensure that your employees are comfortable dealing with the support staff.

One of the biggest mistakes made by businesses when it comes to choosing an ECM system is that they do not take into account the flexibility of different licensing options. Business requirements keep changing and sometimes, a particular type of licensing option makes sense but at other times, you might want to buy a different kind of license. Your vendor should allow you to have users with a variety of configurations as per your business needs which means they should have a flexible licensing option to allow you to customise the system as per your requirements.

As far as the cost of an enterprise content management system is concerned, most vendors follow different types of pricing structures. Some of the systems available in the market today are completely subscription-based whereas others are user based or available at one time cost basis while charging annual maintenance fee.

When it comes to cost of the system, you need to carefully narrow down the choices by taking into account the number of users expected on the system. Also, you should carefully consider your goals when it comes to return on investment. Ideally, you should reach your targeted ROI in the first 18 months. It’s a business investment that is going to save a lot of money for your company over the long term.

Needless to say, the solution needs to be scalable. It should allow you to add more users to the system as and when your business needs. For instance, if you implement a paperless solution in one particular department, the system should allow you to implement the same in various other departments once the trial is successful in one department.

Conclusion

Overall, it is essential for today’s businesses to take advantage of technological solutions that allow their employees to get the required information at any time. A good enterprise content management system provides the required information to employees and allows them to easily manage all the content. However, it is important that you take into account the above mentioned points while choosing an ECM system to make sure that it fits your organisation’s requirements for security, processing, data, accessibility and privacy.

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