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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Enterprises in today’s world are becoming more and more knowledge centric. Since, the term “information is a power” comes into existence the hunger for information is grown in the enterprises phenomenally. In the yester years, information was managed by various pockets in the organizations, and was distributed and isolated, since the information revolution happened after the arrival of Internet, companies have started a race to centralize their sources of information and the storage and retrieval of the information.

This is where the Enterprise Content Management comes into picture. Content management existed in most of the organizations in one form or the other in terms of registers, account books, gate passes, user manuals, product catalogs, project reports, inspection sheets, production data, sales data, managerial reports etc, but they were not linked and there was no easy way of finding the information from the sea of information where the knowledge was divided as islands. The Content Management need became stronger and stronger since the internet revolutionize the sharing of information eliminating bottlenecks like boundaries, time differences, geographies etc.

The need to centralize this content or knowledge in the organization, the when you want and where you want information, collecting all information or knowledge in one place and to organize it in relevant way for easy searchability, so that people can take timely and informed decision about their work was the primary driver for Content Management in an organization.

Enterprise Content Management came in as a pure content management requirement, which started growing by the need of building intelligence and collaboration in the ECM solutions. That’s when the terminologies of Enterprise Content Management and Enterprise Collaboration Management came in being.

The Enterprise Content Management consists document management, web content management, content database management, business intelligency and data warehousing, building workflows around the solution, so it requires workflow management, there will processes created around the content management so business process management will also be part of the Enterprise Content Management.

The tool which is used for Enterprise Content Management nowadays are mainly Web Based tools called Portals. The portals are kind of websites which can do document management, web content management, content database management, workflow management, business process management, Reports management, Enterprise Search and lot of other collaboration and content management related activities.

There are many tools available in market today for this purpose namely: Microsoft SharePoint, Documentum, Livelink etc. also, there are lot of IT service provider companies like Zensar Technologies, which provides specialized ECM solutions.

Considering the rush among the companies to streamline the information flow and looking at the growing market of ECM products like Sharepoint and Documentum the ECM boom is here to stay atleast for a while.

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