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Enterprise Content Management Systems


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Box logo
 

Box

Box is a cloud content management platform for companies of all sizes and industries. It offers security and controls for admins as well as sharing and collaboration capabilities for end users across the globe. The Box platform allows... Read More
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Box is a cloud content management platform for companies of all sizes and industries. It offers security and controls for admins as well as sharing and collaboration capabilities for end users across the globe. The Box platform allows... Read More
 
Workfront logo
 
Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
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Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
 
Widen Collective logo
 
Widen Collective is a cloud-based brand and digital asset management solution designed for mid-size and large businesses. It offers features like content creation, distribution and analytics within a suite. It also offers document... Read More
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Widen Collective is a cloud-based brand and digital asset management solution designed for mid-size and large businesses. It offers features like content creation, distribution and analytics within a suite. It also offers document... Read More
 
eFileCabinet logo
 
eFileCabinet is a document management solution (DMS) that is suitable for companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries such as accounting and financial services, manufacturing and healthcare. The solution can be hosted... Read More
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eFileCabinet is a document management solution (DMS) that is suitable for companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries such as accounting and financial services, manufacturing and healthcare. The solution can be hosted... Read More
 
Libris logo
 
Libris by PhotoShelter is a cloud-based digital asset managemnt solution for businesses in many industries. Users can upload, organize and share digital assets such as photos, videos and more, with no limit on asset size. Users can... Read More
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Libris by PhotoShelter is a cloud-based digital asset managemnt solution for businesses in many industries. Users can upload, organize and share digital assets such as photos, videos and more, with no limit on asset size. Users can... Read More

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M-Files logo
 
M-Files is a content management tool that helps users organize, manage and track documents and information. The solution is suitable for small and large businesses in multiple industries. On-premise, cloud-based and hybrid deployments... Read More
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M-Files is a content management tool that helps users organize, manage and track documents and information. The solution is suitable for small and large businesses in multiple industries. On-premise, cloud-based and hybrid deployments... Read More
 
IntelligenceBank logo
 
IntelligenceBank offers a comprehensive approach to Content Management suitable for many companies. These web-based solutions are designed to be easy to use, and a free trial allows users to test drive the system.
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IntelligenceBank offers a comprehensive approach to Content Management suitable for many companies. These web-based solutions are designed to be easy to use, and a free trial allows users to test drive the system.
 
Brandfolder logo
 
Brandfolder is a cloud-based asset management solution that provides various processes to organize, store and retrieve media assets and manage digital rights and permissions. The solution can be customized for businesses in industries... Read More
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Brandfolder is a cloud-based asset management solution that provides various processes to organize, store and retrieve media assets and manage digital rights and permissions. The solution can be customized for businesses in industries... Read More
 
FileHold Document Management logo
 
FileHold Enterprise is a document management solution that helps large organizations to transition to a paperless work environment. FileHold can be installed on premise or on a secure private or public cloud. Features include multi... Read More
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FileHold Enterprise is a document management solution that helps large organizations to transition to a paperless work environment. FileHold can be installed on premise or on a secure private or public cloud. Features include multi... Read More
 
PolicyTech logo
 
PolicyTech is a policy and procedure management solution from NAVEX Global suitable for all industries including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, energy and law enforcement. PolicyTech offers tools... Read More
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PolicyTech is a policy and procedure management solution from NAVEX Global suitable for all industries including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, energy and law enforcement. PolicyTech offers tools... Read More

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HotDocs logo
 
HotDocs is a document automation solution designed for businesses of any size or type. It enables users to convert frequently used documents and forms into ready-to-use templates to automate customer documentation. The solution offers... Read More
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HotDocs is a document automation solution designed for businesses of any size or type. It enables users to convert frequently used documents and forms into ready-to-use templates to automate customer documentation. The solution offers... Read More
 
Dokmee logo
 
Dokmee from OfficeGemini is a document management solution for businesses of all sizes. It can be installed on-premises as well as hosted on the cloud. Key features include document management, multi-user access, file and folder restrictions,... Read More
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Dokmee from OfficeGemini is a document management solution for businesses of all sizes. It can be installed on-premises as well as hosted on the cloud. Key features include document management, multi-user access, file and folder restrictions,... Read More
 
Asset Bank logo
 
Asset Bank is digital asset management solution that can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. The solution caters to large organizations. Asset Bank enables users to share and manage digital assets such as videos, logos,... Read More
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Asset Bank is digital asset management solution that can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. The solution caters to large organizations. Asset Bank enables users to share and manage digital assets such as videos, logos,... Read More
 
Document Locator logo
 
Document Locator is enterprise document management software that is uniquely integrated into Microsoft Windows. The platform is integrated with Microsoft Office and other business applications, and works directly inside of Windows... Read More
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Document Locator is enterprise document management software that is uniquely integrated into Microsoft Windows. The platform is integrated with Microsoft Office and other business applications, and works directly inside of Windows... Read More
 
Doc.It Suite logo
 
Since 2001, Doc.It Suite, a document management platform, has been available to accounting and tax professionals. Doc.It Suite offers the user a variety of applications including document management, document capture & image-processing,... Read More
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Since 2001, Doc.It Suite, a document management platform, has been available to accounting and tax professionals. Doc.It Suite offers the user a variety of applications including document management, document capture & image-processing,... Read More

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Contentverse logo
 
Contentverse is a cloud-based content management system designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. It is suitable for large and midsize businesses in all industries and allows users to upload, store and edit documents, search... Read More
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Contentverse is a cloud-based content management system designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. It is suitable for large and midsize businesses in all industries and allows users to upload, store and edit documents, search... Read More
 
Apparound CPQ logo
 
Apparound CPQ provides a CPQ (configure price quote) module that helps sales teams create quotes without errors, engage customers in the sales meetings and simplify sales management. Apparound solution is designed to improve the speed... Read More
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Apparound CPQ provides a CPQ (configure price quote) module that helps sales teams create quotes without errors, engage customers in the sales meetings and simplify sales management. Apparound solution is designed to improve the speed... Read More
 
CaptureFast logo
 
CaptureFast is a cloud-based content management system (CMS) that is suitable for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include document capture and image processing. A mobile app is also available for Android and iOS... Read More
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CaptureFast is a cloud-based content management system (CMS) that is suitable for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include document capture and image processing. A mobile app is also available for Android and iOS... Read More
 
Synergize logo
 
Synergize is a document management solution designed for large and midsize transportation businesses. It offers business process management, image capturing, workflow management tools and records management. The software is available... Read More
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Synergize is a document management solution designed for large and midsize transportation businesses. It offers business process management, image capturing, workflow management tools and records management. The software is available... Read More
 
Centralpoint logo
 
Centralpoint by Oxcyon is a content management solution that can be installed on-premise or accessed on the cloud from any mobile device with an internet connection.The modular applications can be deployed in a configuration that suits... Read More
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Centralpoint by Oxcyon is a content management solution that can be installed on-premise or accessed on the cloud from any mobile device with an internet connection.The modular applications can be deployed in a configuration that suits... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 6, 2018


Enterprise content management (ECM) systems could very well be the most complex, feature-rich type of business software. These systems have all the complexity of a Swiss watch and, when selected with care, can keep a company's workflows running with the same precision.

As the ways companies use content have changed and grown over time, ECM systems have also adapted and expanded. In fact, they've changed so much that the term itself is now a little outdated. (More on that in the Market Trends to Understand section.)

Despite all that change, the need for content management tools and platforms is stronger than ever before.

Hold on, you might be thinking, why are they making this so complicated? I just need something simple to manage my sales, marketing and service content. If that's the case, you're probably better suited for a simpler content management system or something purpose-built to manage company documents.

However, if you still have your sights set on the most feature-rich system for managing content, then read on! This guide will give you the perspective and understanding you need to move forward with an ECM system purchase. In it we cover:

What Are Enterprise Content Management Systems?
Common Features of Enterprise Content Management Systems
Market Trends to Understand

What Are Enterprise Content Management Systems?

Content includes nearly all of the written information companies use internally and externally. This can range from (internal) process documents, policies and projects to (external) marketing and sales-focused content, content for websites and content only available to paying customers. While content can refer to audio-visual and graphical content, it typically refers to text-based digital content.

ECM systems are designed to manage all of the processes within the content life cycle, from creation and collaboration, revision and review to publication and even promotion. ECM systems contain a variety of tools to assist with each of these stages and typically include centralized reporting and analytics functions to help monitor these processes individually or on the whole.

Example process workflow diagram in enterprise content management system DocStar ECM

Example process workflow diagram in DocStar ECM (Source: docstar.com)

Given the great variety of ways companies use and produce content, it's no surprise there's an equally great variety of content management applications. Most of these applications—a selection of which are discussed below in the Common Features of Enterprise Content Management Systems section—fall into one of the following general categories:

  • Library services: Core ECM functionality, for storing content and making it accessible
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  • Record services: Records are a subset of content with stricter management policies
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  • Content creation and capture: Tools to start the life cycle for each piece of content
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  • Metadata management: Metadata includes information to describe and tag individual content
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  • Workflow and business process management: Handle the nuts and bolts of collaborative workflows
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  • Navigation and search: Help users organize, arrange and search for content
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  • Security and access control: Determine which users have which rights for specific content
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  • Architecture and integration: Provides integration tools for certain platforms or via an API

Common Features of Enterprise Content Management Systems

The following table lists some of the more common features and applications included with ECM systems. Remember that different vendor solutions emphasize different functionality and that this list is by no means comprehensive.

Secure repository Enterprise content management systems include centralized or distributed storage repositories for content and include tools for controlling levels of access.
Document IDs Provides reference names for enterprise content. These can be assigned either manually or automatically.
Format support ECM systems should provide support for a variety of file formats (.docx, .xls, .html etc.). Support can range from basic storage to full read, write and edit capabilities.
AV support ECM systems offer varying levels of support for non-text-based formats, such as audio, video and image file formats.
Check-in/check-out This function ensures that content is only modified by one user at a time. This is accomplished by extending read-only rights to some users while other users are in the process of modifying content.
Offline document access This lets users download content to be worked on offline. It usually also includes a sync function to update the content once the user returns online.
Template management Lets users create, deploy and work from content templates. Templates improve consistency and make it faster to recreate versions of commonly used content formats.
Record management Records are content that relate to business transactions. They can have higher retention and documentation requirements, which some ECM systems support.
Scanning and capture These tools help digitize paper documents with functions such as optical character recognition (OCR).
Document creation Lets authors enter new documents into the ECM repository directly from the authoring application, rather than through a separate upload process.
Automatic registration Automatically supplies the required metadata when new documents are submitted. Metadata includes document IDs, content types and file names.
Bulk import and export Lets users upload/download groups of files to and from the ECM system's repository, saving time and effort.
Workflow definitions Create and implement prescribed workflows (sequential tasks) for different types of content. These tasks can then be assigned to specific users or user roles.
Graphical workflow design An intuitive GUI-based means of creating and editing content workflows, an improvement over text or API-based editors.
Global content updates Allows for all instances of content types or metadata fields to be updated when a single update is made to the relevant template.
User work queue and task list Provides individualized workspaces to each user (or user group) with a list of tasks assigned to each individual user (or user group).
Workflow reporting Gives statistics on current and past workflows, including reporting on per-task completion time, per-workflow completion time and wait time between tasks.

Market Trends to Understand

In 2016, Gartner issued the following statement:

"Content is a critical asset, a source of business insights and a driver of processes. How organizations create, manage, disseminate and exploit their enterprise content has changed in response to external market forces and internal business drivers. To reflect the changing market dynamics, Gartner is retiring the term "enterprise content management" (ECM). We believe that, going forward, the practice of managing content will be enabled as a set of services that coordinate content usage by all parties: users, systems and applications."

Source: "Reinventing ECM: Introducing Content Services Platforms and Applications" (available to Gartner clients)

One of the changing market dynamics Gartner identifies is the fact that many content-related applications and services have expanded their functionality to include functions once solely in the ECM domain. These include file sharing services, business process management and collaboration tools.

If your ECM needs are largely focused in one of these areas, then those links might be the best place to begin your product selection. Of course, you can also skip all of that and just give us a call at (844) 687-6771. After a free consultation, we'll come up with a shortlist of products for you to focus on.

 

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