Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ECM Tools: How to Find the Right Solution for You

Today, we have a new guest. Someone who works in a Law Firm and wants to share with us her experience about ECM software importance.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software is crucial for organizations to properly manage all of their documents, images and other important content. There are many ECM products out there, but it isn't as challenging as you might think to find the right one for your organization.

How ECM can help your organization get organized

Too many organizations are drowning in a sea of paperwork. Important files are locked in desks, filing cabinets, in warehouses - essentially, all over the place. Too often, not only is it hard for people to find what they're looking for internally, costing wasted time and hassles, it can make it harder to present your best image to external parties such as customers and stakeholders. An ECM solution helps get everything organized and instantly accessible. You can get rid of wasted space and have all of the information that you need right at your fingertips.

Finding the right solution for your organization

There are three main sub categories of ECM, and to figure out what solution you need, it's important to focus on what kind of content your organization needs to manage.

  • Web Content Management:  As its name implies, this type of ECM solution is for companies that have large websites with lots of content that needs to be accessed internally and externally. You will want to look for a solution that lets you fine-tune who has access to different kinds of content, as well as one that has robust features that let you create and publish content such as web pages, blog posts and image galleries. 
  • Collaboration: Collaboration tools help multiple users within your organization create and process information concurrently. These solutions often have virtual whiteboards and project management components that let users work off the same master documents and track their changes. The most important features to look for when choosing a collaboration-based ECM product are tools that let the users in your organization work as productively as possible. For example, if you know that video-conferences help to get work done, that could be a feature that can help your decision. 
  • Records Management: Records Management is the archiving of all of an organization's important documents, such as payroll records, financial documents, government forms and anything else your organization needs to keep a record of. Ideally, you would be best served by looking for a solution that can automate the archival process as much as possible, while also integrating with core business processes and applications. 
  • Documents and other digital content management: Storing all your companies documents in a digital format isn't often enough for most of companies. Mail, invoices, reports and digital assets need to be tracked. Besides, those documents must be easy to find, available to teamwork and protected from unwanted visitors.

The time to start using ECM is now

An ECM product can be a significant capital investment. However, using ECM provides measurable savings through improved efficiency, better compliance and reduced waste. Choose an ECM product that meets your organization's needs and you will begin to reap the rewards right away.

About the Author Rowena Kang is a writer and the Outreach Director for the Morgan Law Firm, a firm that represents clients going through a divorce in Austin divorce firm. See additional articles on the firm's Austin Divorce Blog.

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