What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

Enterprise content management (ECM) is a concept that when first introduced, people often find confusing…and for good reason! An enormous amount of terms, classifications, solutions, and “experts” exist and it takes one google search to feel overwhelmed when trying to learn what ECM consists of, let alone how to go about implementing a solution. Have no fear! We are here to help you tackle ECM so you not only get a sense of what this industry is, but furthermore, how it can help you and your organization. So, let’s get started!

The Basics

Three types of ECM solutions generally exist: transactional content management, collaborative content management, and web content management. Figuring out where your company’s ECM needs fit is one of the most critical steps in identifying both the right product solution and the right solutions integrator / partner, so we’ll start here. (For the record, Naviant specializes in transactional content management.)

What’s the Difference?

Simply stated? If you have a large amount of documents and are looking for a more efficient way to maintain, access, and route those documents…you’re looking for a transactional content management solution. Are you instead looking for a system that is specifically designed to process and assist the simultaneous creation of content by multiple authors across a network-based infrastructure? If so, you’re more than likely looking for a collaborative content management system. And lastly—web content management allows consistent control of website look and feel while giving several content producers the ability to dynamically create and publish content. So now let’s get into the weeds of these three categories…

What is transactional content management?

Being the most mature segment of ECM, transactional content management demands the deepest functionality and domain expertise for both horizontal and industry-specific processes. If you have numerous physical documents—invoices, insurance claims, medical records, government forms, payroll, student admissions, etc.—and you need a more efficient way to capture, process, and access those documents, then you are looking for a transactional content management (TCM) solution, and Naviant can help! Naviant specializes in offering best-in-class transactional ECM solutions, one of which is OnBase by Hyland. We can go way beyond the basics as workflow solutions can automate your repeatable business processes, and use seamless integration with established core ERP applications.

Contrary to popular belief, TCM is much more than just paper scanning. Instead, these solutions serve as systems of record for content files and can provide sophisticated process automation and case-based applications.

TCM provides you with the ability to:

  • Capture documents in any format—including paper, email, mainframe reports, and online forms
  • Manage content according to your organization’s business rules and gauge the health and status of processes in real time
  • Store, organize, and track your content so documents are there when you need them
  • Deliver documents as soon as they’re needed so processes run fast and costs stay low
  • Preserve and protect your documents so you meet and stay in compliance with internal and external standards

What is collaborative content management?

If your business relies on key business knowledge and research that you are continually duplicating and most likely also has numerous remote employees, then a collaborative content management system is what you’ll want to look for. These types of organizations demand that several people work on the same document in various iterations even when being miles apart. A collaborative content management solution will allow an entire team to work off the same master document, tracking changes, saving minor drafts, and embedding files when needed.

What is web content management?

Looking for a software solution that gives you consistent control of website look and feel, while also allowing numerous content producers the ability to dynamically create and publish content? If so, you’re on the web content management team! A good web content management system needs to be intuitive for your users. It should give your content writers an easy way to create and update content without the need of web developers and SEO managers to design or tweak the system. If your company maintains a large, content-rich website or suite of sites focused on brand consistency and personalized content for each public-facing presence, this is the solution you’re going to want to look into.