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What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's unstructured information, wherever that information exists.
(According to AIIM – Association for Information and Imaging Management)

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What benefits can my organization get from ECM?

  1. Cost reduction: Save money in paper and human resources in paper handling processes.
  2. Productivity increase: The same tasks will take less time, producing timely responses and decisions.
  3. Reduce phisical storage needs: By reducing paper you reduce you paper storage needs, gaigning space/money.
  4. Improve satisfaction: By being more efficient and having better organization, you improve employee, partner and customer satisfaction.
  5. Total Security: All your business relevant information and processes will be more secure.
  6. Compliance: Full legal and certified compliance.
  7. Better control: Tight control over enterprise knowledge through centralized security.


The strategy to improve your business.

Your business information is your power, and it must be managed so that it can be used to achieve your business goals. Enterprise Content Management is all about a strategy that you must define to help you empower your business: you must match up the ECM technology tools (that manage the complete lifecycle of content) to address your business needs.

Enterprise content management systems combine a wide variety of technologies and components, some of which can also be used as stand-alone systems without being incorporated into an enterprise-wide system.

Check the diagram below to see where you may find place to improve your business:

The Capture category contains components for generating, capturing, preparing and processing analog and electronic information. This includes tecnologies such as:
  • Document imaging
  • Forms processing
  • Indexing and categorization
The Manage category includes all the components are for the management, processing, and use of information. This includes the following subcategories:
  • Document Management 
  • Collaboration (also known Enterprise 2.0)
  • Web Content Management 
  • Enterprise Portals
  • Records Management 
  • Business Process Management (BPM)
Store components are used for the temporary storage of information which it is not required or desired to archive. Even if it uses media that are suitable for long-term archiving, Store is still separate from Preserve.
The Deliver components of ECM are used to present information from the Manage, Store, and Preserve components. The "Deliver" components comprise three groups of technologies:
  • transformation technologies: personalization, conversion, compression, syndication, etc.
  • security technologies: electronic signatures, digital rights management and watermarking.
  • distribution technologies/channels: web (Internet, extranet and intranet)
    • e-mail and fax;
    • data transfer by EDI, XML or other formats;
    • mobile devices;
    • data media (CDs, DVDs, etc);
    • Digital TV and other multimedia services
    • Paper.
The Preserve components of ECM handle the long-term, safe storage and backup of static, unchanging information.