Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
More than just archiving: the capture and management of documents are becoming a critical business factor
Modern enterprise content management automates processes and needs no paper whatsoever
In 2010 the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) first introduced the term ECM, defined as the “strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes“ (Source: Wikipedia).
As the definition states, the components of ECM are capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver documents.
The question of when to move a document from “Store” to “Preserve” is a subject of current debate and the answer certainly differs from industry to industry. If a bank customer calls his credit institution requesting a copy of six-month-old account statement, it is certainly helpful if it is in some type of interim storage. Many banks archive only raw data under “Preserve” (what transaction occurred on day X, what was the account status on the due date), but not the layout of the document. Ultimately it’s impossible to save all information as printed pages.
To begin with, a bank transaction is a data record, and the account statement just one of many possible views of it. If we attempted to preserve all the possible forms of depicting the data, we would quickly reach the limits of technology.
ECM is becoming a critical success factor
Enterprise Content Management is therefore more than simply archiving and preserving data and documents, even though that is where ECM has its origins. Today the model includes the following processes:
- Document Management System
“Loose” designation for database-supported management of electronic documents.
(Interactive documents) Processing of documents in work groups, including releases, authorizations, signatures, and additions.
- Web Content Management System (WCMS)
Interaction with recipients/customers via Internet portals (Web 2.0).
- Records Management (RM)
Data-oriented document management, such as account statements.
- Workflow/Business Process Management
Definition of processes and rules for both batch processing and interactive documents. Examples: What documents need to be released when? When should an invoice be processed for payment? What are the restrictions for individual authorized signatories??
In sum, ECM is becoming a critical business factor that offers, ideally in combination with ADF 2.0 (process automation), significant optimization potential.
Link ECM and ADF and benefit from universal workflows throughout all of document processing
Domtrac: a standard for integrated document process management
Domtrac is a process management solution that unites inbound and outbound communications technologically and organizationally under one roof. This integration platform is designed to link a company’s document processing applications and solutions, and seamlessly integrate new ones (capture, format, convert, archive, bundle, and send documents). It is also possible to tie in external service providers.
One major advantage of the solution is that it supports both input and output workflows (releases, automatic processing of inbound documents, data read-out), in batch processes as well as interactively. Unlike conventional automation tools, Domtrac can be deeply embedded in actual document generation.
By combining ECM and ADF in a single system, the user has an end-to-end view of all document-related processes and can therefore better identify potential for optimization. The company also profits from greater production reliability because the generated documents conform better to existing regulatory and company-specific templates because the entire workflow can be seamlessly tracked and monitored.