Those of you who follow my blog posts will already know that my company has its own ECM platform, something we have worked very hard to write over the past 4 years. We are currently working on a new “out of the box” interface and upgrading the core ECM product itself with additional features….
This work has got me thinking quite hard about additional features and functions that our ECM platform could deliver, offering something different and more to what we already provide.
Expanding ECM functionality…
So, what features and functions fit into an ECM world, or what could fit into an ECM world? Well there are lots of options, many of which I won’t discuss here, but I wanted to see what other people thought, so I posted out into the Twitter universe and got a lot of interesting replies. Very interesting. If you use twitter, is well worth following:
I have already had a number of discussions with Sandy Kemsley (http://twitter.com/skemsley) about Wikis and ECM (see my post https://andrewonedegree.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/wiki-or-document-management-ecm/) For me, Wikis are an obvious feature to include into an ECM platform, after all they deal with content and ease of access. I like the idea of them being incorporated into an ECM platform because ECM brings to the wiki so much more in regards to security, retention periods, management etc etc.
Well with Twitter, we all know how popular micro-blogging has become, and how useful it can be. Within an enterprise there is definitely place for micro-blogging functionality, helping keep people up to date with things happening around them. Again, by incorporating this functionality into an ECM platform, you gain all the benefits ECM solutions can deliver. There is also nothing stopping the end user interface from pulling in content from such sites as Twitter too, allowing users to review more public tweets along with private work based posts…
Discussion threading, forums and collaboration
Collaboration tools are already quite popular with ECM vendors. However, is the content that is generated in such collaboration sessions stored? Are discussions and discussion threads stored and managed? Not at the moment…There is great benefit in storing this content, especially as it can provide reasoning and arguments for why something was done. For example, why does a particular publication have these images selected? Wouldn’t it be of great benefit to see / listen to discussions that took place while in meetings, real or virtual, about that publication?
By storing such additional content against files, the ECM platform delivers additional knowledge and insight, something that could prove invaluable for the lifecycle of any content.
External web sources
This is something I like. I am very aware that many users leverage the web to gather information. More often than not, such users carry out research on x number of websites (often not diverting away from these). Users often visit each website checking for updates, or they view feeds to check for these updates. However, this isn’t searchable as in the sense a user may search for something from Bing or Google.
By storing external content from websites for users, users can search that content whenever they need, with the ECM platform updating this content at specified periods.
ECM platforms have the potential to encompass so many other functions that are performed currently by other types of software, and “do it better”. In today’s enterprises and climate, it’s more important than ever to maximise staff and business process efficiency. ECM solutions are ideal for doing this, bringing together different software features and functions into a single, manageable enterprise wide solution…
For those of you who may be interested, our ECM platform is workFile ECM. Our workFile Vision offering is not yet available, however all of the features looked at in this blog are on our product roadmap and will be delivered via our workFile Vision solution very shortly…(Thought I had better mention that)
Have your say…
I am always interested in reading what others have to say on this, please, please post your own comments on features and functions that you would like to see in an ECM vendors platform.