As your business grows, your amount of content grows. You have more blog posts, more web pages, more documents, more videos, more emails, more forms, more spreadsheets, more presentations, more personnel files, more surveys, more invoices — you get the idea.
This is particularly true at the enterprise-level. With thousands of people working together, often in different parts of the world, it’s crucial to share information. The problem is this content is shared in so many different ways — over email, or Slack, or fax, or Dropbox, on a hard drive, or in person — that it becomes difficult to manage or even know where to find it.
This leads to lots of manual processes, poorly documented workflows, and disconnected legacy systems — all of which can hinder your organization from growing.
This is where enterprise content management comes in. An ECM system will help you reduce the time and resources you spend managing unstructured data by storing all of it in one place. That way, anyone at your organization can find, access, and use the information they need to do their jobs and do them well.
Let’s take a closer look at what ECM and an ECM system is below.
What is enterprise content management (ECM)?
Enterprise content management is the process of collecting, organizing, and sharing content at the enterprise-level in the most efficient, consistent, and secure way possible. This content is stored in a single place — known as an enterprise content management system — so it can be easily accessed and reused across different channels.
It’s similar to a content management system, just more complex. An ECM system has to manage all content within an organization — not just web pages and blog posts but emails, business documents, onboarding materials, training videos, invoices, Excel spreadsheets, scanned images, and much more. It also has to make sure this content is scalable for use throughout the entire enterprise.
To do this, ECM systems combine a robust collection of technologies, workflows, and strategies that a company can use to digitally manage its information. They also typically support integrations with other tools and systems that can help make enterprise content easier to access and use at any point in the content lifecycle.
Most ECM systems combine or support integrations with a variety of software tools to help organize and manage unstructured content. This includes:
Big data tools for storing and analyzing unstructured and structured data
Analytics, data mining, dashboards, and reporting tools to help companies make sense of their structured and unstructured data
Data integration tools for combining data from disparate sources into a single application
Information management tools for tracking structured and unstructured enterprise data throughout its lifecycle
Search and indexing tools for retrieving information from unstructured data files such as documents, Web pages and photos
Ideally, your ECM system will provide enough built-in functionality and flexibility to help you automate repetitive tasks like data entry, identify bottlenecks, and streamline processes and workflows across the enterprise. By doing so, you’ll be able to collaborate better, increase productivity, improve the customer experience, and drive enterprise growth.
Below we’ll look at some of the best ECM systems that can help you achieve these goals.
Best Enterprise Content Management Systems
IBM FileNet Content Manager
Adobe Experience Manager
Below we’ll take a look at the G2 ratings, features, and pricing of each of these ECM systems. Please note that some companies did not include pricing information on their product pages. In that case, there’s pricing information included from a third-party site, denoted by an asterisk. You can request an exact quote from the company by filling out a form on their site.
With CMS Hub Enterprise, you have complete control over your content and users on up to two brand domains. You can restrict your HubSpot-hosted pages and blog posts to members only. You can configure the CDN to control how external visitors access your HubSpot-hosted content for an additional layer of protection. You can even build out content on HubSpot and deliver it to visitors on a non-HubSpot-hosted domain or subdirectory.
Internally, you can give your teams different permissions for blog posts, pages, emails, forms, CTAs, lists, or workflows based on their role, region, and other demographics, so they can see and edit only what’s relevant to them. You can also track down what changes were made to HubSpot content, including pages, modules, blogs, images, CTAs, and more, and by whom.
You can organize these users on multiple levels based on team, region, business unit, brand, or any other dimension, to reflect your businesses’ hierarchical structure. And you can assign these users to single sign-on credentials to simplify the log in process while enhancing security and maintaining control over who has access to the HubSpot platform.
Using a public API, you can build custom tracking dashboards for your HubSpot-hosted content to monitor its performance. This will also enable you to not only measure how the site is performing over time, but also track down errors reported by your customers, identify areas of the site that are slow or high-traffic, and see the site’s overall uptime in any given period. Code alerts will also help you identify infrastructure or design bugs that could cause a page to fail, slow down your site, or disrupt the customer experience with errors in syntax, HubL, or missing tags.
Finally, you can use serverless functions powered by AWS Lambda to add interactive elements, like event registrations, guest books, and dynamic calculators, to your HubSpot-hosted content, without needing to configure an external server, SSL certificate, or data transfer process.
All of these features come on top of the Professional tier as well, which includes website themes, responsive drag-and-drop editors, SEO recommendations, multi-language content creation, contact attribution report builder, and 24/7 monitoring and threat detection. That means you can manage your enterprise content in the same place you create it.
You can collaborate with people in and outside organization while setting guidelines for record management to ensure compliance and security across the enterprise. You can eliminate manual processes with AI-powered workflows and e-forms. And, using the built-in reporting and analytics tools, you can identify inefficiencies and hidden opportunities.
Combined, these features can help you improve productivity, provide a better user experience, and optimize your operations.
You can also integrate your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, CRM, and other applications using robotic process automation and tools that don’t require coding. Integrating these tools can help fill in the gaps in Laserfiche’s product for managing your customers and business better.
Shopify Plus is designed to help enterprise-level businesses in ecommerce provide seamless shopping experiences to their customers.
With Shopify’s easy-to-use store editor, you can add augmented reality, video, and 3D on product pages to replicate in-person retail experiences. You can fully customize your checkout with personalized discounts and shipping rates to make it faster and more engaging for all your customers. Or you can allow customers to skip the cart and buy directly from the product page with their preferred payment method using one-tap accelerated checkout.
You can also release promotions across multiple channels, automate discounts for specific products or entire product lines, and schedule sales, product releases, and restocks.
Apps including Launchpad, Shopify Flow, and Scripts, as well as third-party integrations will enable you to automate customization and extend the overall functionality of your site. You can, for example, plug in your CMS to the Shopify Plus platform, which will help you generate and manage content as you do sales. You can plug in other business tools and systems as well, like your CRM and ERP, to have all the tools you need on one platform.
Since Shopify Plus takes care of the technical aspects of running an online store at the enterprise level, you can focus on retail.
Pricing: Minimum of $2,000 per month. Once you pass a certain threshold of monthly revenue, you’ll pay a percentage of that revenue.*
With IBM FileNet Content Manager, you can manage all your content from any source. The platform leverages AI to deliver deep insights from unstructured content like videos. You can also share your content with external users without compromising consistency, organization, or security. You can also extract insights from content like invoices, videos and other unstructured documents.
IBM FileNet Content Manger can be integrated with a CMS, CRM, and other applications in and outside of the IBM product suite. This can allow you to create a microsite, keep track of your visitors, and fulfill other business needs. But t integrations require you to use coding tools and modern GraphQL APIs and the parts don’t always work great together.
While this solution excels in terms of security, classification, organization, and encryption, it is not easy to use, extend, or upgrade — even for developers with specialized knowledge.
Magento Commerce is a hosted ecommerce platform like Shopify Plus. It offers many of the same features, including instant purchasing, customer segmentation and personalization, and automatic inventory management.
What sets Magento apart is its more robust content creation features. In addition to a drag-and-drop page builder, it also comes with content staging and preview tools so your teams can easily create, preview, schedule, and update content. This content can be tailored to customers based on properties such as their location, gender, order history, lifetime purchase value, wish list items, and more to provide them with personalized shopping experiences on desktop and mobile. You can also set automated rules to determine which products to present as up-sells, cross-sells, and related products to different customer segments.
While these features can help boost your conversion rates, they can be difficult to find and configure since Magento’s dashboard is less intuitive than Shopify Plus and other ECM systems. For example, there are over 5,000 extensions available to download but they aren’t plug-and-play tools that can be activated and deactivated. Instead, they have to be manually coded into your Magento Commerce API. That means it will likely take longer to learn the platform and set up your store.
Designed for midsize organizations of 100-1,000+ employees, DocStar ECM helps businesses grow with intelligent data capture, workflow, and retrieval.
DocStar allows you to capture, store, and manage your paper documents as well as any native file type— including .wav, .pdf, .jpg, .html, and more— electronically from any location, on any device. You can create and process electronic forms, assign user permissions, search your entire content repository by keyword, and create custom workflows with drag and drop technology.
Together, these features will help you reduce errors, improve collaboration, and increase productivity while adhering to corporate or regulatory compliance requirements.
Since its primary focus is data, it appeals to enterprise companies in the healthcare, manufacturing, education, government, banking, and insurance industry. But DocStar can integrate with your existing software applications, including your ERP and CRM, to help you better manage your users and customers in addition to your data.
Adobe Experience Manager is designed to combine digital asset management with the power of a content management system.
With Adobe Experience Manager, you can create and re-use digital assets (known as “content and experience fragments”) across different channels and devices to streamline your content creation. These fragments — combined with data integrations, communications management, and advanced targeting and customization features — will enable you to deliver personalized experiences to your visitors.
You can also use AI to automate tagging, workflows, and content distribution so that your teams work better and faster together. Finally, with Adobe’s modular architecture, you never have to plan for product updates or worry about downtime. The platform is designed to auto-scale within seconds so you stay at peak performance.
Any of the ECM systems above will help you find, manage, store, and use all your data in one place. To pick the solution that will help you make better business decisions, make sure its capabilities align with your enterprise needs and goals. You might need a solution not only with business intelligence tools but website building, SEO, and development tools so you can maximize your digital efforts on an all-on-one platform.
Originally published Apr 27, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated April 28 2020