Posts Tagged ‘SharePoint Integrations’

ECM and two worlds of content

October 13th, 2011 Comments off

ECM nowadays is a confusing area. On one hand we see that the adoption rates for solutions such as SharePoint that support users in collaborating and interacting rapidly growing. On the other hand it seems that a lot of traditional ECM projects seem to fail, costing way too much money while the acceptance of the final solution by the users is at a minimum. Customers seem to move away from ECM and go for a more free-format, easy access type of solution.

Traditionally ECM is focused on the value of content for the enterprise. Content is recorded, managed, maintained, approved or even phased out based on its importance towards the goals of the enterprise and the fulfillment of its obligations. Of course this also translates into the day-to-day business of the users in terms of capturing content, performing assessment and approval processes, managing records, etc. But mostly this is the world where content has to be managed, where its use has to adhere to strict rules and regulations, often enforced by entities outside of the enterprise. The focus here is primarily on the actual management of content in all its aspects. How users interact with this content is quite often a secondary concern.

Besides that there is also a whole different world of content. One where content roams freely, not limited by the boundaries of the enterprise. Where content is like a drop of water in the ocean, you can get it anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Where knowledge workers collaborate with each other and exchange content using a mobile device. Where information is found by quick and simple searching and is easily accessed and easily shared. Which also means that content that cannot be found simply is not there. The focus here is not just on the value of the content but also – and sometimes even more so – on the user experience: easy to create, find, use and share.

These are not disparate, disconnected worlds as content transitions from one world to another. Content such as an RFP that is the result of collaboration may be reviewed, approved and finally filed as a record. Managed content that describes best practices, solutions or design patterns is referenced during the collaboration process. When doing their job a user lives in both worlds. Or at least, they should be.

Currently at some point these two worlds collide. The content in the second world is a nightmare to manage. It is hard to determine its value, quality and ownership. It can be in small pieces or linked with other content. The content in the first world is a drag to work with. Archaic user interfaces and complex access mechanisms drive out any desire to search for and use content. Simple tasks take forever to perform instead of a single click.

Of course this is an exaggeration, but it is the reason a fair number of ECM projects fail. The user experience of traditional ECM systems has not kept up with the developments of the last five years. These systems are not geared towards supporting users who are collaborating and performing different tasks at the same time, using content from different sources. Users have become comfortable with user experiences that conform to the way they work; they turn away from having to work in a way that is dictated by the user interface.

But the systems that support the user’s collaboration and knowledge sharing tasks lack the ability to decently manage the content that is created. Because a lot of these systems grow organically – content and structure being added “as we go” – they run a high risk of ending up in chaos. Content can no longer be found or when found it is hard to decide what its status, quality and relevance is. Content stays largely unmanaged.

So where does that leave us? First of all we have to realize that content is everywhere and that it will always be created, stored and accessed in different environments. There will not be a single content management system but content management will be handled by different systems with their own strengths and weaknesses. It is the job of the ECM experts to join both worlds. To determine with the customer what content is managed by which system in which way. To integrate these systems so that when content transfers from one managed state to the next it may transfer to another system. And of course to ensure that all necessary content can be found and accessed from the environment that best supports the user in performing his job. In other words: a single content management solution based on a number of (hopefully best of breed) content management systems.

So there’s our challenge for future.

Jeroen Teeling

ECM Consultant

Categories: ECM Tags: ,

IC View – 3 QTR 2011

October 7th, 2011 Comments off

IC View                      3 QTR 2011


We’ve had a great third quarter and what looks to be a very busy and exciting 4th quarter. We are seeing a lot of new requests for integrating SharePoint with various ECM solutions. Companies are seeking to gain all the benefits of SharePoint while meeting their more advanced ECM needs such as compliancy, records management, case management, and business process management in the other solutions. To support this growing demand we are happy to announce the following new service offering.


SharePoint Integration Services (SIS)


Microsoft SharePoint has seen wide scale adaptation by organizations across the globe.  Allowing users to find, collaborate, and act on critical business information. Supporting knowledge workers who need basic ECM to support their business requirements, SharePoint provides a familiar interface and framework which promotes common ECM functionality such as check-in, check-out, versioning and similar ECM operations which are readily available out-of-the-box.

SharePoint’s success notwithstanding, different tools are often needed for different jobs. There is no one solution for all problems. This maxim applies to other Enterprise Content Management solutions as well. The benefits of collaborating in SharePoint are well known, but it is not always the tool of choice for more advanced ECM problems. Records Management, ECM, Digital Asset Management, Business Process Management, Case Management and Adaptive Case Management can all require additional solutions. In addition enterprises often have existing legacy tools fulfilling certain ECM needs. With solutions such as Documentum, OpenText, FileNet or ISIS Papyrus in place to meet more advanced ECM problems.

When different tools are need for different jobs a bridge is needed to connect the collaborative environment of SharePoint to another solution that will meet the additional ECM requirements.  Informed Consulting is able to bride this gap with our SIS methodology and services, allowing organizations to utilize the best tools, for any given ECM problem.

A few solutions where SIS can bridge the gap are:

  • Documentum
  • ISIS Papyrus
  • Opentext
  • IBM Content Manager
  • FileNet
  • Perceptive Software ECM Products
  • PeopleSoft
  • SOA and ….


As I mentioned above Q4 is going to be a busy period as we ramp up for several events.


Momentum Europe, Berlin


EMC’s Momentum is always interesting as we get the opportunity to visit dozens sessions, demos and tracks as we learn about the latest trends within Enterprise Content Management and Documentum’s approach and solutions. Better yet we get a chance to catch up with all of our colleagues in the Documentum area. If you’re going to Berlin drop us a line and we would love to connect and catch up.


Sponsoring the 3rd annual SharePoint Connections Congress


This November, as Microsoft launches their latest product updates, the 3rd SharePoint Connections conference will take place at ”de Meervaart” in Amsterdam. This is set to be a very exciting event and critical for all who use SharePoint, to keep up to date with the latest developments. We are happy to be able to sponsor SharePoint Connections for the first time. So please come out and see us at our booth where we will integrate SharePoint with other ECM solution, and bring together the different worlds of content.


Calling all Young Professionals


In December we will be making the final preparations for our next Young Processionals Academy which starts in January. The first steps in a young processionals’ career is often the most important as they lay down the foundation which will be used to build a successful career. The opportunity to join a company which supports and encourages the building of a strong foundation offers a rare chance at success.  Because we understand the importance of these first steps we are looking to build young professionals who are able to grow into Enterprise Content Management (ECM) consultants.

The Young Processionals Academy is focused on providing the building blocks to allow you to become ECM proven professional and consultant. Our academy offers a two month program where our young professionals touch all aspects needed to be successful as an ECM consultant. Our academy is split between theory and hands on projects allowing our young professionals to polish both their technical and soft skills.

A few of the topics they will be in contact with are:

  • Introduction into Enterprise Content Management
  • Project planning (Prince 2, …)
  • JAVA
  • .NET
  • Documentum
  • SharePoint
  • ITIL
  • Social Media
  • SEO

After successful completion of the ECM academy they will work with our senior developers to continue to develop their skills as ECM consultants.  As part of the Informed Consulting they will be responsible for the creation of technical design, development, testing, deployment and maintenance of SharePoint and Documentum solutions for our enterprise customers.


The world of ECM


Help! My users are spreading content everywhere. It‘s great we’re innovating, but I have no control, and there is an audit coming, what do I do? This common worry is touching almost every enterprise today. With devices, the cloud, and social tools, creating and driving innovation while at the same time creating risk as enterprises struggle to capture and manage the results of this collaboration. The greatest idea has little value if those who could benefit are unable to find it.

Much of SharePoint success has been driven not so much by the enterprise, but by the void left by having no ready means of collaborating within the existing ECM solutions. The very ECM tools which sought to answer the question of how to find the results on collaboration within organizations.

Is your organization struggling with the above? If so, we have the answer.

Timm Scalf




Categories: Informed Tags: ,