ECM: It’s a Whole New Ballgame!

Welcome to the inaugural issue of my monthly communiqué to the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) community – I’m very excited to have this opportunity to provide a feature column of industry perspectives and emerging issues to the readership of ECM Connection. As a long standing veteran of the content and document solutions market space, I can see that we are going through some very interesting times…in fact, we may be just getting warmed up for the changes and advancements to come over the next 12 to 18 months. So in an effort to keep you abreast of the dynamics and key elements of this new era of ECM, each month I will highlight discussions and viewpoints around key topics that I believe are reshaping our industry (along with the vendor and product landscape) as we now know it.

Beginning with the May edition of ECM Connection, I am going to dedicate our column discussion on perhaps the most significant change that is underway, the one that is going to have immediate and far reaching impact on the market and our industry. This change – if you haven’t already guessed – is the the formal and accelerated push into the ECM space with the launch of Office 2007 and SharePoint® Server 2007 (MOSS). After recently attending an AIIM Advisory Trade Member executive meeting, it was clear that the introduction of Microsoft as a significant player and platform provider in the classic ECM market is going to alter the landscape of products and solutions that are offered to our customers forever.

As we look toward the remainder of the year, I will focus our conversations on some of the modern and emerging technology elements and aspects that are transforming ECM solutions – those that end user buying organizations, or value-added system integrators, should be carefully examining when making purchase evaluations or partnering decisions.

I’m also going to dedicate articles to the emerging business challenges that ECM can address, such as new business operation or process requirements, and compliance issues and corporate governance such as the recent changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (commonly referred to as FRCP).

The traditional ECM value proposition of creating the paperless office environment has been far expanded (but should not be forgotten) by the new and emerging compliance related areas, as well as operational and process elements in which ECM provides substantial business value. The annual AIIM Conference & Expo is undergoing an evolution too – it should be pretty interesting to see what AIIM 2010 will look like. So to that end, I’m going to help readers understand some of the emerging elements and issues that are reshaping and changing the way products and vendors have been evaluated and scored up to now.

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