Content Services Platform: How to see beyond the buzz-words and make an educated choice
According to Forrester’s August 2018 Global Enterprise Content Management Online Survey the outlook for content management in 2019 is healthy…but requires fresh thinking with 93% of current program leaders intend to expand deployments and digitization of business processes acting as the top driver for investment.
Although digitization is now a buzz-word and it might seem easy to quickly find you content services platform supplier it’s important to have a broader view of things that will ensure a sustainable deployment and a quick adoption among your knowledge workers. Here are a few guidelines in specific areas that you should consider before choosing your partner:
Digitization of Business Processes
- Make sure that the platform ensures Digital Business Processes for Everyone. Ask about the technical capabilities but also how simple-to-use the interface is for line of business users. Aim for the best user experience for non-IT users;
- You are in the actual search of a Content Productivity Hub. Ask your supplier if their solutions cover for example digital mailroom, smart workflows, automated tasks assignments following business rules, flexible routing, approvals and case collaboration functionalities. Find out how the platform is using the content’s metadata to achieve all the above taking into consideration that there is no unstructured content, only content without metadata;
- At the end of the day a platform for content services is good but not enough in real life. Ask what your supplier’s vision is on enabling business users to run as simple and as fast as possible real business processes and how well defined are these processes in the platform. How do they cover horizontal use cases (digital mailroom, contracts management, HR files management, etc.) and industry-specific processes like loan origination for example;
- Fully paperless processes. Look to enable seamless digital processes end-to-end. Ask for example if and how are the electronic (QES, AES) signatures functionalities integrated into the platform for contract approval;
Pricing and licensing models
Check if the pricing model is flexible enough and is built in your advantage to optimize the Total Cost of Ownership.
- Licensing model.
Usually, most of the features are available at an extra cost and not as part of the core licensing. Ask about the functionalities regarding document capture, viewing the archived content, Outlook and Office integration, etc.
Also, please take into consideration that a capacity-based licensing (unlimited number of users) can bring you savings up to 70% in licensing and maintenance costs for large number of users.
For extended flexibility check if your supplier offers the freedom of choice with On-Prem / On-Demand (subscription) or as a full SaaS deployment;
- Implementation and adoption. Take into consideration not only the initial cost with licensing but also how long does it take to implement and how much you need to pay extra for professional services. Usually a traditional ECM implementation can take 18 months to deploy but, running an agile methodology, a next generation content services platform can be ready to use much faster (3 to 6 months). Check how well can the application be configured be non-IT users with low-code or no-code and convince yourself about the user experience when working
APIs, integration and cross-system interoperability
- Check whether there are in place ready-made connectors for top enterprise applications like SAP, Salesforce, Office, Outlook, SharePoint etc.
- Does the platform embrace and uses APIs and open standards such as Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) and therefore content managed is accessible in non-proprietary format from any system or mobile device?
- Ask how well the platform is suited for the mobile first era and whether there are in place own mobile application for iOS and Android empowering users to easily view and collaborate on content using a variety of devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
If you need a deeper dive in planning and executing your strategy for digital transformation, please do not hesitate to drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org