Buyer's Guide

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A buyer's guide to selecting the best ECM tool

Here we provide the insight you need to choose the ECM tool that's best for your organization, whether its focus is on document or records management, workflow, collaboration, Web content or a combination of areas.


Enterprise content management (ECM) tools help enterprises manage and preserve content. Traditionally, ECM was limited to document management -- checking documents in and out of storage, controlling document versions, and searching and retrieving content. However, as the needs of organizations have become more complex and their teams more dispersed, the scope of ECM has expanded to provide additional capabilities such as records management, workflow, collaboration and Web content management.

Today's companies, with remote workforces and multiple offices, need a common repository from which to share and edit files, as sharing via email is no longer viable. The amount of content in most organizations has grown substantially and, in many cases, it's necessary to configure access rights and track changes. Email and chat programs have been replaced by tools that allow both group communication and one-on-one exchanges across the entire project team, and content feeds that enable workers to see updates in real time.

With so much information being collected and managed, many organizations must demonstrate compliance with various regulations. They need to store and access files for a certain period of time and to be able to destroy the data after that time has elapsed. Still, other companies need a system that will consolidate content from customer relationship management or ERP applications.

Today's ECM tools address these and many other needs. However, not all products are created equal, so choosing the ECM tool or suite that's best for your organization does require some research. Fortunately, we've simplified that process for you. This guide is designed to make ECM tool selection less daunting by helping you determine your organization's needs and core objectives, as well as the key features to look for when selecting an ECM tool or suite. Using this information, you can then analyze the top ECM products to best match your needs to the software's functions.

In this buyer's guide, we examine the top nine commercial and open source ECM products as well as three products that hover on the periphery of ECM and offer file-sharing platforms. We hope you find this information useful.

1What is …?-

The evolving features of ECM tools

Learn about the different products on the market and how an ECM tool can help you manage your content.


ECM tools help companies overcome content challenges

Expert Pat Brans examines how ECM tools have become a cornerstone application in the enterprise information toolkit. Continue Reading

2Do I need …?-

Examining the use cases for ECM products

You can justify your organization's purchase of an ECM product by pinpointing your specific business needs and looking at how other companies are using this technology.


Using ECM tools to solve business problems

To determine if your organization could benefit from ECM tools, examine how other organizations are using this software to address their content management challenges. Continue Reading

3How to buy …?-

Key features and functions to look for in an ECM tool

Does your company need a full-featured ECM suite or would an ECM product with your must-have features suffice?


Tips for buying an ECM tool

Once you've addressed your business needs, it's time to put together a set of must-have features to help you find the right ECM tool for your organization. Continue Reading

4Which should I buy …?-

Which ECM product is right for you?

Now that you've identified your business objectives and your list of must-have features, it's time to match those requirements to the ECM products examined here.


Choosing the right ECM tools

Expert Pat Brans examines the top nine commercial and open source ECM tools to help you determine which product is best for your organization. Continue Reading

5The top ECM products-

ECM products from the market leaders

Choosing the right ECM product can help your organization meets its content management challenges.


Alfresco One ECM product dovetails with Activiti BPM

Alfresco recognizes the connection between ECM and BPM with the Alfresco One hybrid ECM product and the Alfresco Activiti workflow and BPM suite. Continue Reading


Dell EMC Documentum provides foundation for ECM tools

Originally rooted in document management, the Documentum suite provides ECM tools for ensuring regulatory compliance amid high transaction volume. Continue Reading


Exploring HPE's enterprise content management tools

HP offers a set of enterprise content management tools that provide integrated document management, records management, workflow, capture and search. Continue Reading


OnBase by Hyland manages enterprise content

OnBase by Hyland helps organizations manage documents and data to streamline business operations, with specific enhancements for the healthcare industry. Continue Reading


IBM Enterprise Content Management provides tailored content management

IBM Case Manager is built on the IBM content platform, FileNet Content Manager, which includes workflow, collaboration and compliance tools for desktop, mobile or cloud. Continue Reading


Lexmark's Perceptive ECM tools for content management

To address content management needs for midsize to large enterprises, Lexmark's Perceptive ECM tools are grouped into four categories: capture, content, process and search. Continue Reading


Microsoft SharePoint ECM suite for content management

Originally designed to help companies create Web portals, Microsoft SharePoint ECM has been integrated with other proprietary software to create an ECM suite. Continue Reading


OpenText Content Suite targets governance and compliance

This overview examines OpenText Content Suite, a set of ECM tools for managing content from capture through archiving and disposition. Continue Reading


Oracle WebCenter Content provides scalable content management platform

Oracle WebCenter Content provides a single content management platform that helps companies consolidate assets with a unified set of tools. Continue Reading

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