Enterprise content management (ECM) systems are ideal for paper-intensive businesses that are looking for a cost-effective way to eliminate their paper-based filing systems.
Companies using ECM tools to communicate and collaborate more easily find that they are able to share information and make it easier to locate because all the information is based in a central location.
Vendors are addressing increased demands for better mobile and cloud capabilities, as well as more rigorous expectations for vertically specific needs. According to the Association of Information and Image Management, ECM software is meant to enable companies to “capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content and documents related to organizational process.”
So which systems out in the IT marketplace actually achieve these ends? Can one solution cover all organizational needs? We’ve pulled together a roundup of 11 systems you should evaluate when choosing an ECM vendor.
Alfresco is touted for being one of the most portable enterprise CMS products on the market. You can access this solution on your mobile phone or tablet and have access to cloud storage. This is extremely valuable in fast-paced, multi-screen environments. The solution also offers a number of cloud and on-premise backup capabilities, providing its users with a 99.9% service level agreement for limited downtime or data loss.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of support resources including live chat (like many other systems) and FAQs. Users of this system need to weigh the importance of portability and cloud storage versus a support system.
Dokmee is one of the most seamless solutions to begin using – easy to setup, easy to use. The system is very scalable, allowing for additional upgraded features as an organization grows and matures.
The downside: This solution only allows one proprietary user at a time, which can make collaboration problematic. This is a perfect introductory solution to ECM software as it isn’t overly complicated or expensive. This product is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, but likely isn’t complete or advanced enough for large enterprises.
3. FileNet Content Manager
FileNet Content Manager comes from the IBM camp and provides an extensive audit trail and version control system, as well as full-text search capabilities. However, this is one of the few ECM systems that lacks a cloud storage option, as well as backup capabilities.
As for customer service, users haven’t touted IBM’s support team for its help much, which can be expected for a small sect of a large tech behemoth with many functioning arms. Luckily, a saving grace is the seamless, effortless integration with Microsoft systems like Office and SharePoint to help increase productivity.
Huddle has recently made a pivot from simply a cloud-based collaboration tool to a project management software for enterprise-level collaboration. Huddle is web-based, providing tools for sharing files and seamlessly collaborating with partners and colleagues with features that ensure version control management, and workflows that give different levels of restrictions across varying users.
The system has changed from being free to providing baseline prices of $20/month for small businesses, with increasing prices for larger businesses. While this tool is fantastic for online collaboration across organizations, it will not be your Swiss Army knife tool – in other words, you’ll need supplemental solutions to get the full suite of ECM capabilities.
LaserFiche has some great routing, import and export tools, as well as reporting features to enhance a company’s workflow. Like Alfresco, the system is lacking FAQs for additional support and backup capabilities.
Laserfiche has separate solutions for varying business sizes: Laserfiche Rio for large organizations, providing tiered pricing with significant volume discounts and unlimited servers and repositories; Laserfiche Avante is for small to medium organizations with fewer than 100 users, providing a simple and affordable pricing structure with individually sold servers.
This is a great starter platform for companies not looking for a complicated solution – it has all of the basic tools that would help manage a corporation’s documents but does lack some tools that would enhance this system.
MaxxVault allows users to create a direct route for documents to flow, easily integrating with Microsoft Office and offering full-text search capabilities. While there is a range of integration options, the system doesn’t have compatibility with many applications, including Lotus Notes and AutoCAD.
MaxxVault is a very secure solution that provides options for editing, viewing and securing an organization’s most important files. This solution is perfect for small, medium, and large businesses, with features tailored to needs (departmental or cross-organizational).
M-Files, a Microsoft partner, offers cloud storage, backup capabilities and document imaging. Users tout this as one of the most user-friendly systems available on the market. Unfortunately, they rely heavily on its user experience and intuitive interface, as the company offers no live chat support systems.
M-Files recently announced several new enhancements to its mobile apps, available for free on iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone devices. New features include enabling users to quickly and securely create new documents while on the go from their smartphones and tablet. This flexibility is a top priority for ECM platform buyers.
8. OpenText ECM Suite
OpenText ECM Suite is supported by Open Text Content Services and facilitates agile information governance strategy designed to reduce risk and mitigate the cost of growing volumes of content in the enterprise. The system provides extensive ECM functionality for managing content and integrating it with business systems from Oracle, Microsoft and SAP for document management, records management, Web content management, digital asset and email management, and information life-cycle management.
This platform has one of the stronger team collaboration systems with wikis, blogs, forums and instant messaging available for maximum connectivity. This is one of the more complex systems which will require some extensive on-boarding and training, but it is likely one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market.
OnBase was developed by Hyland more than 20 years ago with the specific focus of transactional content management abilities that deploy incrementally, but are scalable to the enterprise. This continues today as the platform has developed product document imaging capabilities, a variety of production-oriented content ingestion methods, eForms, automated record retention, CD/DVD authoring, and more.
This system is great for optimizing and reducing risk in business processes that are case-oriented or transactional in behavior.
10. Perceptive Software
Perceptive Software provides a powerful workflow process that simplifies reviewing and approving documents, delivering a useful auditing trail and cloud storage. While this enterprise CMS does not provide online resources such as FAQs and whitepapers – which seems to be a trend with these types of platforms – this isn’t a huge problem as the offering is relatively basic.
Perceptive Software, like LaserFiche, isn’t as advanced as some of its competitors, but it does provide everything you would need for version control, permissions and full-text search capabilities.
SmartSearch by Square9 is arguably the most scalable solution, offering both departmental and enterprise-class document management solutions. It provides mobile access and 24/7 availability to all documents. Added benefits include a detailed auditing trail and email notifications. Like M-Files, the system doesn’t offer live chat support, nor does it offer cloud storage.
The solution comes prepackaged with a unique tool for OCR-assisted data entry called KeyFree Indexing, as well as Data XChange for internal ODBC data updates. This solution is fully comprehensive for businesses of many different sizes.
By Gabie Kur