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Section 5 - ECM Technologies

Page history last edited by ilavilvendhan@gmail.com 9 years, 4 months ago

Enterprise Content Management Technologies

 

Enterprise Content management technologies cover the broad categories such as document management, web content management, search, collaboration, records management, digital asset management (DAM), work-flow management, capture and scanning. With recent explosion of technologies the ECM domain is moving towards maturity. This section will cover the Content Life cycle, ECM Maturity model, Product Selection Criteria, Vendor Selection criteria and Product Listing.

 

Content Life cycle:

Content is the heartbeat of the Enterprise Content Management system. Understanding the content lifecycle will help better manage the technology layer and processes that encapsulate the content. The ECM products in the markets are developed based on all or some parts of the content lifecycle. The content life cycle defines how the content flows in an organization.

 

There is no one single authority that provides standardized content life cycle. A group of esteemed content management professionals put together the content management life cycle based on the experience in the CMS domain.

Plan Phase: In the planning phase organizations identify business need and map it with the features of the enterprise content management system. Once the business requirements are identified use cases or scenarios are designed to meet those requirements. The Activities performed during planning phase are:

  • Align
  • Analyze
  • Model
  • Design

Develop Phase: In develop phase content creation and processing happens and context sensitive Meta data is added. Activities under Develop Phase are:

  • Create
  • Capture
  • Collect
  • Categorize
  • Edit

Manage Phase: In the Manage phase of the content lifecycle, Content classification, storage and search is enabled to secure data access functions are performed.

  • Classify
  • Store
  • Search
  • Secure

Deploy Phase: In deploy phase the content is made available to the end users. Activities performed during Develop phase are:

  • Assemble
  • Syndicate
  • Personalize
  • Localize
  • Publish

Preserve Phase: In preserve phase, based on the policy set the content archival, retrieval, back up and migration happens.

  • Archive
  • Destroy
  • Backup
  • Migrate
  • Reuse

Evaluate Phase: In Evaluate phase organizations measure the effectiveness of the Content management system using metrics and auditing.

  • Measure
  • Audit
  • Research
  • Adapt

Each of the phases of the content lifecycle has generic applicability to the above mentioned ECM Technology spectrum. The content life cycle defines the critical features/functionalities expected out of ECM product. In a collaborative environment, the content lifecycle plays an important role as all the team members will be involved in all phases.

 

ECM Maturity Model:

When an organization considers implementing Enterprise content Management system, it is imperative to understand if the product to be selected is at a mature level to support the organizational needs. The product maturity for ECM is a recent change in the content management domain. The Enterprise Maturity Model (ECM3) provides structured framework for identifying organizational needs against different traditional ECM areas. This model does not cover web content management area.

The framework provides 13 maturity dimensions categorized into one of the three areas: Human, Information and Systems. Under each area the dimensions are grouped. In Human area dimensions give forth to finding if the organization has the needed business expertise, IT personnel to support, Processes in place to welcome the CMS system and if the business needs are in alignment with the Content Management Strategies. Under Information system area, dimensions   are grouped in to Content/Meta Data, Depth of data, Governance, Reusability of content and find ability of content .In the systems area, dimensions are grouped into identifying Scope, Breadth, Security and usability. This model is licensed under Creative Commons License and available for download from the ECM3 website.

 

There are five levels to each dimension such as:

  • Unmanaged
  • Incipient
  • Formative
  • Operational
  • Proactive

Using the ECM3 Model, organizations can assess the level of ECM maturity within their organization. The dimensions that are in the unmanaged area have to be improved to proactive area. That will be the goal the organizations will have to work towards.

 

Product Selection Considerations

 

When it comes to selecting the best product the industry experts stand by the mantra “know your needs”. In expanding the analysis, we came across many factors that are critical for a successful ECM implementation.  

 

Technical considerations and Integration: The foremost consideration is to assess the Integration capabilities of the Enterprise content management products with other Business/software systems already existing within the organization to leverage existing resources.  Multi-platform support, connectors to other software, syndication capabilities, federated search capabilities, system administration skills for central or local administration, Content Authoring tools integration, hardware and software requirements are some of the long list of technical and integration aspects to consider in product selection.

 

Scalability and Disaster Recovery: The size and complexity of the content management system determines the Scalability and Disaster Recovery needs. Understanding how the system will scale based on load demand, performance limitations , number of concurrent users, Parallel processing of templates, file storage capabilities,  accommodations for any future upgrades, automatic fail-over options, archiving and Disaster recovery features are important.

 

Content Authoring and Version Control: The features to look for in this section are authoring tools, file format support, type of multimedia content support, format conversion capabilities, metadata management, version control, collaborative authoring ability, audit trail capabilities, level of system roll back, granularity of collaborative authoring

 

Storing /Managing and Publishing Content: Product features to look for in this sub category are storage repository , character set support, link management, index and search capabilities, replication ,content distribution, content synchronization, System landscape such as Development/QA/Production, multi-file format for publishing and advanced search options.

 

Templates: Most ECM products are delivered with preset templates to help the customers get started quickly. It is important to understand how the template management works in the given product, Language support for the templates, publish to multiple channels /multiple devices and integration.

 

Personalization: With current customer expectation personalization is the key for improved user experience. The product features to look for are different levels and forms of personalization allowance, rule engine to drive the personalization, support different data input to the personalization engine and availability of feedback loop for enhancing personalization.

Language Support: With prevalence of globally distributed teams the multi-language support and translation features are important features to consider.

 

Workflow Support: In any content lifecycle workflow support is very important. The important consideration while selecting the ECM products are tools for work flow and integration capabilities, level of content applicability within the supported workflow, workflow management, role management, support multiple workflow and task queuing features, audit functionality for workflow and analytical tools.

 

Security/Access Control/Governance: Granularity of the security for the content levels, user/group/role management, ability to protect intellectual property rights, availability of digital rights management and encryption features are some of the features that are most  important to the organizations when considering an ECM Product.

 

Product Listing:

The products are categorized into 4 main groups. Some of the products cover multiple categories. That is an indication that the product is mature enough to serve entire organizations content needs.

 

Document & Records

Management

Web Content Management

Digital Asset

Management

Collaboration

Management

Kofax

KnowledgeTree

BrainWave

ABBYY

ReadSoft

SpringCM

Hyland

NewGen

Ever

SAPERION

Autonomy

Oracle

Microsoft

Adobe

IBM

OpenText

EMC

Nuxeo

Alfresco

HP

Xerox

Laserfiche

Perspective

Fabasoft

Docuware

Objective

Clickability

CrownPeak

Omniupdate

Precussion

Atex

Telerik

TerminalFour

E-Spirit

Kentico

SiteCore

Episerver

Enonic

SDL Tridon

Alterian

Coremedia

Escenic

Autonomy

Oracle

Microsoft

Adobe

IBM

OpenText

Ektron

Vyre

Hippo

Alfresco

Magnolia

Typo3

EZ Publish

Dotnetnuke

Joomla

OpenCMS

Paperthink

Ingenuiux

Hannon Hill

Drupal

Fedora

Chuckwalla

Avid/Blue Order

Elvis

Extensis

Kit Digital

Wave

Xinet

Autonomy

Oracle

Microsoft

Adobe

IBM

OpenText

EMC

Nuxeo

Vyre

Canto

Adam

Celum

Widen

North Plains

Med/Abeacon

Drupal

Wordpress

Joomla

Plone

MediaWiki

SocialText

Atlassian

Traction

Mindtouch

Awareness

Telligent

Bluekiwi

Jive

Cisco

IBM

Microsoft

Google

Oracle

Salesforce

Kickapps

MovableType

FatWire

Pluck

Lithium

Yammer

 

Key Performance Indicators for Enterprise Content Management Products:

The metrics or Key performance indicators define the success of any project undertaken. Organizations make strategic decision to implement software based on the Return on Investment (ROI) with the defined metrics.

There is no set method to create a balanced scorecard. The definition of metrics varies for different organizational needs. Find below a generic listing not specific to any ECM product category.

Some web usage statistics will help understand how the system is being used.

System Usage:

-          Web traffic

-          Number of hits

-          Search engine statistics like usage and search terms

-          Messaging statistics about email/forum/chat usage

-          Number of users accessing the system

Quality of information:

-          User Ranking of the content

-          Number of times the content has to be edited reflects  content quality

-          Number of links created

-          Age of the content

-          User feed back

Collaborative Authoring:  Reports created to find out about the distributed authoring process.

Transactions processed: The number of transactions processed is a reflective on ROI.

Other Organizational benefits: This includes employee morale improvement, increased learning curve,

Most of the top tier products and middle tier products come up with metrics to give way understanding the effectiveness of the implementation. As with the need for the Enterprise content management system the metrics   have to be approached with the clear understanding of organizational need rather than product capability.

 

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