The term Enterprise Content Management (ECM) describes both a strategic framework and a technical architecture that supports all types of content throughout the content life cycle.
As a strategic framework, ECM can help enterprises take control of their content. It can contribute to initiatives around transactional processes, compliance and records management as well as sharing and collaborating around content and documents. As a technical architecture, ECM can be delivered either as a suite of products integrated at the content or interface level or as a number of separate products that share a common architecture.
Currently, the ECM market is going through a shift, from large enterprise suites to more business solutions focused on delivering business value in specific use cases. These use cases are highly varied and span the full commute from content storage to archiving, records management and disposition of files.
ECM suites feed individual and group-based file management and sharing, covering compliance needs and collaborative use cases. The era of large-scale single vendor deployments across the whole enterprise is being increasingly undermined by business-specific solutions, new content types and an expanding number of SaaS tools that are brought in by users themselves.
The three main ECM use cases that Gartner sees being regularly put forward are:
- Transactional content management, as a way of moving individual pieces of content through a business process. The line of business application requires deep integration with the content management system to make the document available through its interface, while the content management component might never become visible in the process.
- Records management and compliance, where legal and regulatory drivers require organizations to keep both tight control of their information assets and provide a full audit trail of how, when and where it was accessed.
- Digital workplace scenarios, where consumerization and non-routine kinds of work have disrupted traditional content management strategy, requiring a more open and agile approach to content management.
Additional drivers in ECM today include the need to mine content for either internal or external use cases. These include scenarios where a more contextual or personalized view of content is desired. Vendors that have a close relationship with an analytics vendor and have integrated analytics or search score better in these areas.
EMC, based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, has focused its content management strategy on its core Documentum portfolio of products, which includes Documentum xCP, Captiva, Document Sciences and ApplicationXtender, along with a set of key industry solutions to accelerate ROI. EMC Managed Services OnDemand, a cloud offering, rounds out EMC's extended product family. EMC offers numerous solutions that support most vertical industries and business processes including life sciences, healthcare, public sector, financial services, and energy.
According to Gartner, strengths of EMC include:
- EMC offers extensive ECM components in its Documentum portfolio and has advanced its product offerings with cloud and mobile capabilities that provide customers with various choices of delivery model. Public cloud and industry solutions are also available for select products.
- The Documentum D2 client — EMC's modern, persona-based UI — provides a better user experience and enhanced collaboration capabilities, according to clients who have adopted it.
- EMC's technology partner ecosystem is well-established and has a robust global presence.
The value of an enterprise content management strategy is priceless for most growing enterprises today. Simply managing content is far from enough to make an organization an efficient, effective operation. With intelligent content management strategy, tactics and technology, based on careful research and analysis, it’s possible to maximize the use of data in order to make an enterprise more productive, profitable and successful in the short-term as well as the future.