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ECM360 Insight 1
What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

ECM360 Insight 2
Transactional Content Management

ECM360 Insight 3
Collaborative Content Management

ECM360 Insight 4
Web Content Management

ECM360 Insight 5
Why Do I Need ECM?

What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

If you are new to the concept of ECM and its solutions, you may find it confusing at first. And for good reason. The enormous number of terms associated with ECM - document management, BPM, case management, imaging, records management, full text indexing - can leave you bewildered. What are these things? What do they mean? Do I need them all? Where do I even get started? If you are asking these questions, you are not alone. So read on to discover the basics…

Wikipedia defines ECM as a formalised means of organising and storing an organisation's documents (emails, invoices, contracts and other content), that relate to the organisation's processes. The term encompasses strategies, methods, and tools used throughout the lifecycle of the content.

By taking control of that information, you can:

1. Reduce operating costs

  • Eliminate the costs of printing, shipping and storing paper because your content is captured digitally
  • Improve productivity by providing instant access to content and processes from anywhere, even a mobile device
  • Speed up processes by automating predictable decisions and providing useful tools to manage all the surrounding tasks, activities and case work, allowing you to increase productivity without increasing staff

2. Improve customer service

  • Recover time spent searching in multiple locations for documents, and waiting for files to be pulled and delivered
  • Allow customers, constituents and students to complete forms and make requests online
  • Provide online real-time visibility into status of requests, transactions and orders

3. Minimise risk

  • Allow easy enforcement of your security policies and track all access and activities
  • Facilitate reporting and auditing on the information you do and don't have
  • Automate your retention and records management requirements
  • Provide online real-time visibility into status of requests, transactions and orders

There are three types of ECM:

  1. Transactional content management
  2. Collaborative content management
  3. Web content management

Figuring out where your company’s ECM needs fit is possibly the biggest step to identifying both the right solution and the right vendor for your organisation.

Transactional Content Management

This week, read along with us as we explore Transactional Content Management, - a system for managing process related documents.

What is transactional content management?

Do you know when you need transactional content management (TCM)?

If you have a lot of physical documents - insurance claims, medical records, government forms, payroll, student admissions - and you need a more efficient way to capture, process and access those documents, then you're looking for a transactional content management solution. TCM allows workflow solutions to automate repeatable business processes and provide seamless integration with established core applications. Read on to discover more about TCM...

As we have previously outlined, TCM is one of three types of Enterprise Content Management (ECM):

  1. transactional content management (TCM)
  2. collaborative content management
  3. web content management

Like everything dealing with enterprise content management, TCM is sometimes known by different names - document management, document imaging and others - that are more parts of the TCM picture than the picture as a whole. For simplicity's sake, we'll stick with Gartner's definition: A system of record for managing process-related documents.

It's important to note that TCM is not just paper scanning as some would suggest, solutions in this segment of the market serve as systems of record for content files, specifically when used in the context of transaction and case-driven business processes. Far from being static repositories for scanned images, leading software suites in this space provide sophisticated process automation and case-based applications.

TCM software solutions are designed to fill in gaps between related processes, applications and departments. TCM lets you:

  • Capture documents in any format - including paper, e-mail, mainframe reports and e-forms
  • Manage content according to your organisation’s business rules and gauge the health of processes in real-time
  • Store, organise and track your content so documents are there when you need them
  • Deliver documents as soon as they're needed so processes run fast and costs stay low
  • Preserve and protect your documents so you meet and stay in compliance with internal and external standards

TCM is the most mature segment of ECM, and, it's the one that demands the deepest functionality and domain expertise for horizontal (e.g. accounts payable invoice automation) and industry-specific processes (e.g. patient chart deficiency management, insurance claims processing, agenda and minutes management).

If you're ready to discover measurable benefits to your business processes, eliminate paper and file folders. If you're ready to give your employees the ability to tackle high-value tasks and forgo low-value tasks (like fetching paper and file folders), and save money - then you're ready for ECM....

For the record, OnBase, Hyland Software's ECM software solution, is a leader in transactional content management.

Collaborative Content Management

Thanks for joining us as we explore Collaborative Content Management – sometimes called collaborative document management – which is a system designed to process and assist the simultaneous creation of content by multiple authors across a network-based infrastructure.

What is collaborative content management?

Maybe you work in a pharmaceutical company or financial services organisation that demands several people work on the same document in various iterations and those folks are miles – or even oceans – apart. This solution allows for an entire team to work off the same master document, tracking changes, saving minor drafts and embedding files. Sound like you? Then read on to learn more about collaborative content management systems (collaborative CMS)..

There are three types of Enterprise Content Management (ECM):

  1. Transactional content management
  2. Collaborative content management
  3. Web content management

If it were dictionary defined, the entry for collaborative content management might read something like: A system designed to process and assist the simultaneous creation of content by multiple authors across a network-based infrastructure. A mouthful, we know.

But here’s a simple way to picture it. Imagine a table with a blank piece of paper in the centre. Now picture a group of people around the table, each with his or her own pencil and eraser. One after the other, each person gets time with the document – to write something new, correct a remark, add an image, review, approve and sign off on the document. In the end, there aren’t multiple documents on the table. Just one. The one everyone works from.

Collaborative content management – sometimes called collaborative document management – is the same thing, only living in a digital world where a software or online portal serves as the table and the group around the table is, in reality, sitting anywhere in the world, working on the document at any time of day.

One of the best examples of just such a collaboration system is Wikipedia, the mammoth online encyclopedia written and edited by users from around the globe. Wikis, used more and more often by businesses to collect intellectual knowledge and drive projects and ideas from across the company, are natural collaborative CMS's. They allow various editors to create, tweak and edit the same content from anywhere.

If your business relies on key business knowledge and research that you continually duplicate (i.e., reinvent the wheel), and more and more often your employees telecommute (i.e., live miles, states or countries away), collaborative content management is a business solution to consider. Collaborative CMS will allow you to create “shared workspaces” – the electronic version of the table top we talked about earlier. More advanced systems can even allow for online meetings, white-boarding, collection and storage of project documents and version control and tracking.

Web Content Management

Thanks for joining us as we explore the final of the three types of ECM - Web Content Management which allows consistent control of website look and feel while giving several content producers the ability to dynamically create and publish content.

What is web content management?

If you woke up this morning sweating about whether your customers can easily find valuable content on your company’s website, or have doubts about your employees’ ability to simply and efficiently manage that content, then read on to discover more about choosing a web content management system...

There are three types of ECM

  1. Transactional content management
  2. Collaborative content management
  3. Web content management

Different than collaborative content management or transactional content management, web content management (web CMS) is a software business solution that allows consistent control of website look and feel – brand, wire frames, navigation – while giving several content producers the ability to dynamically create and publish content – articles, photo galleries, video and so forth.

So if your company maintains a large, content-rich website or suite of sites focused on brand consistency and personalised content for each public-facing presence, the solution you’re searching for a is a web content management system.

A good web CMS should be intuitive for your users. It should give content writers the ease of creating and updating content on their own, freeing up web developers and SEO managers to design and tweak the system. It should be a collaborative system, allowing authenticated users the ability to edit, design, post and publish quickly and easily.

Some things to Consider

  • User experience: Make sure the system you choose offers simple, built-in text editors and the ability to add pre-defined functionality to the page. Make sure any training necessary isn’t too complex for non-technical employees.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, so should your web CMS. As business booms, you’ll discover the need to add more content, more functionality and the desire to branch off with niche sites.
  • Content Tools: Make sure you can control what, when and how content is published. Chances are, as your business grows, more editors, writers and content creators will have access to the CMS. You want to make sure the tools to control content workflow are in place.
  • Support and Updates: Understand the level of technical support you will receive from the makers of your web CMS system (some? none?) and be comfortable with your choice. Also, make sure you are notified when updates to the software occur – and that you have easy access to those updates.

This brings us to the end of our journey in learning about the three different types of ECM, we hope you have found the information useful. Please check out "Why do i need ECM" to discover why your organisation needs Enterprise Content Management.

Why Do I Need ECM?

Now that we have outlined the difference between the three types of enterprise content management,and you know that Hyland Software’s OnBase solution is at its core transactional, let’s talk a bit about why you might need a transactional content management (TCM) solution.

One of the first steps in creating an ECM project strategy is identifying the business problem you are trying to alleviate. With that in mind, let’s start by focusing on five of the most common problems we hear from customers:

  • I have too much paper!
  • I am losing track of documents!
  • My employees are engaged in low value tasks!
  • I have too many versions of critical documents!
  • Compliance is keeping me up at night!

We’re guessing one – if not all – of these will sound familiar. Take time to read them all, just to get a sense of how ECM can help you resolve these wearisome time stealers, productivity killers and ulcer promoters. But if you see your specific issue, by all means, jump ahead and learn how TCM can help you.

Do you have too much paper? Problem Solved – Document Management

Paper, by way of applications, CV’s, receipts, work orders, invoices, bills and more consumes time across an organisation because of the way the company interacts with it. Human resources, accounts payable, customer services – are all affected by the way paper is handled. No transactional ECM solution is going to completely eliminate paper from your business life, however, a smart easy-to-use document management solution can seamlessly collect, organise and index the multitude of documents and content into a single 360-degree view for smart decision making.

Are you losing track of documents? Problem Solved – Records Management

Information is the lifeblood of a competitive company, the more the better, but not if it is disorganised, misfiled or critical documents are disappearing. In implementing an ECM solution you will immediately benefit from clear records management. Time to retrieve project files will reduce making staff more productive. A transactional ECM solution allows for complete document lifecycle management, from input through destruction. Documents are centralised, searchable and, with the right solution, automatically linked to the appropriate account, customer, patient, employee and so forth.

Employees engaged in low value tasks? Problem Solved – Workflow Management

Is time being wasted on the low value tasks of calling the main office, finding someone to retrieve a hardcopy file, time spent retrieving and faxing the file and reviewing the fax once it has arrived, all the while your customer is waiting – service times blow out and customer satisfaction plummets. With an ECM Workflow Management module employees will have instant access to member files and information. Time previously swallowed up by calling, faxing and waiting (the low-value task) is spent meaningfully helping customers (high value task).

Too Many Versions of Critical Documents? Problem Solved – Document Management

With an ECM solution that allows for document management and version/revision control businesses big and small can centralise the management of changing business documents, and provide offline synchronisation for remote users, ensuring that everyone accesses the most up to date version of the document.

Compliance keeping you up at night? Problem Solved – Records Management

With increasing levels of compliance regulations and required audits, both internal and external, just keeping track of necessary documents is more important than ever. A well thought out ECM system can ease minds and facilitate audits and other compliance requirements.

Just realised your organisation needs an ECM solution? Contact us to walk you through the next steps.