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ECM, “Reports of my death are premature.”

For a while I’ve seen the various posts of the death of ECM. What has happen is that “enterprise” has become an adjective rather than a noun. Often, as vendors, we think enterprise means a big deal size rather than a wide venture. Enterprise solutions have come to mean solutions to large problem encountered often by a small audience. ECM sales were often made as enterprise-deal but the solutions rarely left the large complex problems they were envisioned to solve.

I believe that ECM is about to have a revolution, a revolution towards EwCM (Enterprise-wide Content Management).  That revolution is being lead by the customer.

Few are able to articulate what content management can do across the enterprise. Vendor can explain a complex solution in simple terms but often can’t describe the daily valued of content management. It’s often hard to communicate with how easily content management technologies can be configured to the organization’s needs. It’s often hard to describe the costs and returns associated with deploying content management enterprise wide. Usually this is because the savings are small over a long period of time. Or are they?

The revolution I seeing is being driven by existing customers. As IT looks at how to stretch their budgets they are looking at existing “shelf-ware” investments. In their efforts to support organizational efficiencies they are looking at what more their solutions can offer. They are asking which solutions will make the cut. Ease of use is critical in enterprise-wide adoption of content management.

What can Enterprise-wide content management do? That’s still the question. Often vendors treat customers like “one-hit wonders.” After the deal closes, the proactive education of the customer stopped. I think this has been one of the problems with enterprise adoption.

As vendors, it is time for us to step up and show our existing customers how to utilize their investment or we will be reading the obituary of Enterprise Content Management.

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