Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped dozens of companies choose the right enterprise content management software to better manage content and improve workflows.

Showing 1-20 of 199 products

eFileCabinet

eFileCabinet is a document management solution focused on helping businesses of any size to improve their profitability and productivity by reducing paper within their operations and streamlining their work processes. eFileCabinet’s... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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DocuWare

DocuWare is a cloud-based document management and workflow automation solution that helps businesses transfer digital and paper-based assets on a unified platform. Primarily catering to sectors such as finance, accounting, sales, marketing,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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ECM-X

ECM-X is a document management software that can be deployed on the cloud or on-premise. This solution is built to help small to midsized organizations securely manage various data and files, such as invoice approvals, expense reports,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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NAVEX Global

NAVEX Global is a fully integrated compliance management system that allows businesses to consolidate their entire GRC program onto a scalable cloud-based platform. The suite of GRC software and training tools offers functionality... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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ViewCenter Document Capture and Management Solution

ViewCenter by ICM Document Solutions is an enterprise-level document management system designed for businesses looking to automate and streamline the storage, retrieval, and management of their business critical records. The program... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Document Locator

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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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Contentverse

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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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
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IntelligenceBank

IntelligenceBank is a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution that helps businesses to streamline marketing processes. The solution gives users a way to control, centralize, create and distribute brand assets in the cloud,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Centralpoint Content Management

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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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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M-Files

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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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Dokmee

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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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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MediaValet

MediaValet is a cloud-based digital asset management solution that helps marketing and creative teams easily manage, collaborate on and distribute their digital assets. With data centers across the globe, MediaValet is available to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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WoodWing Assets

WoodWing Assets (previously called Elvis DAM) is a digital asset management solution for businesses of all sizes. Key features include collaboration, asset sharing, single sign-on, cataloging, archive management, metadata management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Brandfolder

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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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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HotDocs

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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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Cortex by Orange Logic

Cortex is cloud-based and on-prem digital asset management (DAM) solution that utilizes AI to help enterprises manage digital assets in a smarter and more efficient way. Cortex allows businesses to consolidate and securely manage digital... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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MediaBeacon

MediaBeacon is a digital asset management (DAM) system that is available in an on premise or SaaS model. MediaBeacon is configurable and modular so that it can serve the specific needs of your organization. In addition to the DAM system,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Widen Collective

Widen Collective is a cloud-based digital asset management solution designed to support the content lifecycle from creation to distribution.  The product offers a centralized library to manage images, documents, audio and video files... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Seismic

Seismic is a cloud-based sales enablement platform which helps automate content-related marketing processes and conversions. Primarily catering to midsize and large businesses, it provides custom-built solutions for wealth management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Amplifi.io

Amplifi.io is a centralized digital asset management hub designed to help medium and large size companies manage and share images, documents, logos, messaging, specs, videos and other marketing collateral.  Amplifi.io offers controlled... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: July 3, 2020

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

What Are Enterprise Content Management Software 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 software 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 Software 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 Software 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 software 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.