Microsoft SharePoint is a flexible technology platform that allows you to Organise, Share, Build and Manage business solutions. One of the core features of SharePoint is its rich Document Management capability. Most organisations today use Microsoft SharePoint as an intranet or as a general Document repository. As organisations today are looking at doing more with less, they are now looking at using SharePoint to drive content associated with their core revenue generating and revenue supporting business processes that goes beyond general document management.
While general document management capabilities SharePoint is sufficient for most sharing and collaboration tasks, you need a more controlled mechanism to manage the lifecycle of enterprise content when it comes to information intensive business processes. This is why you need to explore Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and what it can do to support your organisational processes. General document management focuses on document storage and retrieval and sharing content. However complete ECM solution allows you to take control of your content from the point they arrives, extract meaningful information out of the content, deliver critical data into database driven applications and workflows.
Is SharePoint a true ECM solution? Can we adopt Microsoft SharePoint to drive those mission critical content associated with core organisational processes?
The short answer is yes. However SharePoint is not a ready to use end solution for most of the practical enterprise content management challenges that organisations are facing today. However when deployed and configured correctly it will provide 60%-70% of rich ECM capabilities. Taking this base capabilities to a complete ECM solution requires:
- Integrated scanning, automatic content classification and meaningful data extraction.
- Dynamic workflows that can adopt with rapidly changing business requirements
- Agile data integration with other line of business systems for content delivery and distribution
- Content Analytics and intelligent content search experience
At Data Capture Experts we have a rich ECM framework to bring all of the above capabilities together on Microsoft SharePoint as the core platform. All of our departmental information intensive processes are configured on this flexible framework. With this framework we work with organisations in regulated industries in solving complex information management challenges using their existing IT investments.
In summary, the core benefits of adopting Microsoft SharePoint or Office 365 into an ECM solution are:
- Ability to create a seamless connection between content and processes in a single solution
- Ability to drive all content workloads (collaborative, transactional, contractual and regulatory ) in a single ECM solution
- Ability to configure the ECM solution at departmental as well as across the organisation to support cross team collaboration and activity based working model.
- Using existing SharePoint infrastructure that you may already have
- Open standards, interoperability and usage of main stream technology
- ECM solution can be deployed on premise, in the cloud (in office 365) or as a hybrid solution
- Minimal risk and disruption to the organisation with higher user adoption
- Rich integration with familiar Microsoft Office suite
- Integrated analytics and data discovery capability
- Records management automation as an integral part of your ECM solution
I hope this post provided you some important elements to consider in planning to take your existing SharePoint investment from a general document management system to a rich ECM solution. If you keen to know more about how you can leverage our SharePoint ECM framework please contact us.