Putting the Content Back in Enterprise Content Management

Putting the Content Back in Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise content management systems have truly changed the way organizations work. The big players—IBM FileNet, Microsoft SharePoint and OpenText—have in many ways transformed day-to-day document-centric processes, helping to automate tedious manual tasks and increase business efficiency. Still, something is missing; we haven’t quite achieved panacea … yet.

The ECM enterprise features—scalability, high availability, fault tolerance, cloud readiness and more—help to ensure that systems function at peak times and can be scaled across the organization. Similarly, ECM management aspects such as taxonomy, rules, permissions and governance, excel at ensuring the right files end up in the right hands. However, is the actual content being left behind?

More and more, ECMs leave out the unassuming “C”—the content, the reason those systems exist in the first place. There is so much focus on deployment and process that the primary goal of the system, certainly for end users, managing content effectively, gets ignored.

Creating Usable Content in the First Place

Within a repository, it’s important that content is high-fidelity, searchable, accessible and usable. Too often the content that exists in many ECMs is flooded with “dirty data”—information which is poorly rendered and often unable to be leveraged. Despite many added features, ECMs often still come up short in a number of critical functions, such as records management, workflow, governance and document output management—including advanced rendering.

Adlib’s document conversion solution describes a set of attributes that take simple document-to-PDF conversion to the next level by adding enhancement features, focusing on fidelity, integrating with multiple business systems, and providing enterprise-grade deployment features. Adlib’s document conversion meets the needs of organizations that are looking to enhance their ECM’s document output management capabilities and create high-fidelity PDFs on an enterprise scale in an effort to put the content back in enterprise content management. Collaborating with colleagues using myriad file types is challenging. Successful document output technologies address this by converting the volume and variety of content into standardized formats like PDF—a platform-agnostic format that enables ease of use, long-term access without reliance on native applications and greater control for administrators.

Extracting Information from Content

The files within an ECM are not just about displaying or archiving pertinent information. Once the content is housed there, it needs to be analyzed—used, essentially—in a way that benefits the organization. Extracting value, or taking insight and intelligence from documents, is why the content is filed in the first place.

For example, an end user might take a collection of high-fidelity PDF documents, convert them into XML to extract information for rapid analysis. Automating this process increases efficiency, compared to the alternative way of having to manually view each and every document and copy and paste relevant information. Energy companies dealing with well log agreements or large banks, assessing information from thousands of ISDA contracts, automate these processes today through Adlib’s document conversion capabilities integrated into their ECMs.

In the same vein, extracting document metadata, such as author name, date and location, to populate the Enterprise Content Management tool, is something that can also be automated. Organizations looking to improve system information governance or facilitate content migration can take this route to classify or attribute document properties and help end users find documents faster.

Putting It All Together

By integrating with the key ECM solutions such as IBM FileNet, OpenText, and Microsoft SharePoint, document conversion technology can be extended across the enterprise and used as a shared service to support multiple repositories and departments. Deployed as a shared service, Adlib’s document conversion solution not only integrates with multiple enterprise content management systems, but also connects with a wide array of other content tools. From product lifecycle management systems, to unstructured data stores like CRM and ERP and even to the most common content tool of all—email—a strong document conversion solution acts as a sort of bridge between multiple disparate systems. It’s not a fix for rationalizing repositories, but in the reality where close to 30% of organizations surveyed by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) said they had two or more ECM systems in place and 20% had three or more, it’s a great solution to address end user need for consistent, compliant, accessible information.

With a shared services deployment, content control and consistency can be applied throughout the organization. This approach can lessen the burden on IT, reduce the training requirements for end users and minimize external costs through vendor consolidation. This allows departments from accounting to human resources to ensure compliance regulations are being met automatically when it comes to document control.

Document output solutions like Adlib’s document conversion solution can help organizations to put the content back in enterprise content management, and help them run more efficiently. When organizations are able to create usable content and extract valuable information from it, they are able to effectively run their business processes and ensure proper use of their technology resources.

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