Let’s start at the basics, shall we? You’re a big business or perhaps a mid-size one or, even one that’s growing. You have your documents, records, digital assets and web content – all stashed up, just like different ingredients that run your business, in different places around the house. It is in the hands of your employees to be able to manage these ingredients in the right way to help your business bring to the table the perfect recipe to please your customer.
Enter Enterprise Content Management
The need for Enterprise Content Management, or ECM, began as early as the hay days when digitization took its baby steps into businesses. From the moment business critical information turned digital, arose the need to capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content between the various departments of the business, between the business and the customer and all associated stakeholders.
While at a first look it may seem like an ECM system is just another shelf in the kitchen, it plays a far more important role. ECM systems, though dating back to simple document and record management systems, today have grown into versatile, scalable parts of an enterprise that work in synchrony with the business process software and other IT investments/systems.
To state an example, let us consider an insurance company. Business critical data begins its evolution from the point when a customer approaches the company to buy a policy. And, so begins the need to capture information accurately, and the need to be able to bring out this information as and when needed throughout the lifecycle of the customer’s association with the organization. In such cases, ECM systems continuously supply and support customer information and business related data to enable smooth business processing and operations – working in alliance with Case Management Solutions, Business Process Management Software, Line of Business Systems, Databases, Business Rules Engines, so on and so forth. As the customer goes through various stages of policy purchasing, claims processing, amendments to his policy through his life cycle, the ECM system helps with storing all related information along with proper clarity, chronology and versioning. This aids the employees across departments in the insurance company to quickly access any information required to process the customer case delivering operational excellence.
Over the years, ECM systems have evolved. They encompass complete capture, management and delivery of various forms of content such as paper records, scanned documents, web content, digital assets, business documents, videos, photos, emails, voice call records, blogs and even tweets! Analysts and information professionals agree that businesses are looking at ECM systems to go further than just improving business efficiency. ECM systems aid in optimizing business processes, increase compliance, reduce costs, mitigate risks and enabling collaboration all leading to better customer service with a competitive edge. Now, that’s truly a kitchen shelf worth investing in!