business · document management · Making things work · Technology

What is ECM? Document workflow work in an ECM?


Quoted from Wikipedia: “Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM covers the management of information within the entire scope of an enterprise whether that information is in the form of a paper document, an electronic file, a database print stream, or even an email”

ECM is also known as document management system (DMS) or even digital asset management system.

 ECM  can have various components to it

When I think of an ECM, I imagine a system which can manage to handle document collaboration related work in a business environment. It should have features like to be able to  capture, manage, store, and send notifications, preserve, and delver documents. In a system should be able to string all these activities together in a simple or a complex process to meet the organizations document management and collaboration flow as per the business requirement.

Even if some of us are not used to working with an ECM, we are used to features like document capturing, editing, storing, publishing, sending notification, simple sharing etc.

An ECM is expected to pick-up a document for storing and publishes it when appropriate. In this work flow document collaboration and notification based on tasks is one of the most interesting and innovative feature I find.

A simple workflow would look like this. Refer to my earlier blog on workflow
document management system, DMS, Enterprise content management system, ECM, digital asset management system,  workflow, document collaboration

Please click on the image for a full size view

It all starts with contributes uploading or creating a new document for collaboration. A collaborator is a group or people responsible for selecting the appropriate document from “uploads” folder, store them in them in “working-document” folder and work on them. Once the document is ready to be published document is sent to the “request for approval” folder where an approving authority is notified.

Approving authority can approve or disapprove the document. It may go back to the “working document” if disapproved with a notification to the collaborator(s). If approved the document moves to the “Approved version” folder and can be published in a desired format (pdf/doc/html) and location (published folder/intranet site/social networking site) as per the predefined rule set.

All these roles and workflow can be re-fined and redefined based on the business process. This is an example workflow and was created for basic understanding of a document workflow.

Once a workflow is established, it can take care of the process. Workflow can also be deployed as a template saving time.

Some of the popular ECM are following.

Microsoft share point portal

Alfresco document management system

OpenKM

Tag: document management system, DMS, Enterprise content management system, ECM, digital asset management system,  workflow, document collaboration

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2 thoughts on “What is ECM? Document workflow work in an ECM?

  1. Hi, thank you for this post best part is its features like to be able to capture, manage, store, and send notifications, preserve, and deliver documents. very useful information I will bookmark for future use

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