Enterprise Content Management Solutions: Expert Advice from Real Users

The Enterprise Content Management category at IT Central Station boasts 135 user reviews. What advice do users emphasize in their Enterprise Content Management reviews to potential software buyers?  

In this week’s blog post, we’ve handpicked advice from our most useful Enterprise Content Management reviews, where users give tips on software cost and licensing, initial setup, ROI, and more.

Cost and Licensing

Advice from Martin Nwoseh, SharePoint Expert

Regarding cost and licensing decisions, “set up an initial trial account with a pilot group to ascertain what is best for your environment.” That being said, Martins also points out that “If your users are already familiar with an existing windows product such as Office applications, you won’t regret jumping in.”

Martin has been a member of the IT Central Station community since October 2015, and is in the top 10 percentile for points among IT Central Station review contributors.

Advice from Praful Sharma, HPE Content Manager Expert

With regards to cost and licensing, “HPE Content Manager is expensive, especially the CM versions. But if you need it, you pay for it…go for it. It works reliably for average-sized organizational structures.”

Praful has been a member of the IT Central Station community since March 2017, and is ranked the #1 expert user in our HPE Content Management Leaderboard.

Improvements to Organization

Advice from Directorc934, IBM FileNet Expert

“Throughout our journey using FileNet, we were able to significantly improve our business process operations’ efficiency. Think of scenarios where we provide access to the business documents to people who are dispersed across the world…The authenticity of those documents allows our call centers, which are dispersed in different locations in the world, to instantly access the client documents to verify any piece of information.”

Directorc934 has been a member of the IT Central Station community since October 2016, and is ranked the #3 expert user in our IBM FileNet Leaderboard.

Initial Setup

Advice from Ashwin Almeida, Oracle WebCenter Expert

While “initial setup was simple for standard things…for customization and third-party integration, it can get cumbersome.” Additionally, Ashwin adds “it has excellent features and possibilities for collaboration; you will need skilled resources, though.”

Ashwin has been a member of the IT Central Station community since October 2016, and is ranked the #3 expert user in our Oracle WebCenter Leaderboard.

Advice from Kush Arora, IBM FileNet Expert

“I was not involved in the initial setup of FileNet at my current organization…from when I set it up in the past, while not exactly straightforward, if the methodology is followed, it is pretty streamlined and not so complex.”

ROI

Advice from Director3290, HPE Content Manager Expert

It’s never easy to put a monetary ROI on an EDRMS. However, the value of managed information is becoming more evident to organizations and they can see the value in investing in systems such as HPE CM or Objective, for example.

It is worth doing the homework when deciding on where to purchase licenses. Part of that research should include aftermarket support and any hidden additional costs that might be incurred.”

Director3290 has been a member of the IT Central Station community since February 2017, and is ranked the #5 expert user in our HPE Content Management Leaderboard.

Room for Improvement

Advice from David Charles Castano, SharePoint Expert

Unless you have worked with a SharePoint business analyst, designer or power user, managing individual sites does require training to understand the components of the site settings and content. Folks usually start using SharePoint as a file repository without any structure. It can be overwhelming when you have 1,000’s of document that a user has to parse through if just looking for a specific title. Without a consistent framework consisting of a standard nomenclature established in the initial strategy of rolling out SharePoint, using SharePoint as a file share becomes unruly.”

David has been a member of the IT Central Station community since November 2015, and is in the top 10 percentile for points among IT Central Station review contributors.

Technical Support

Advice from Jason Campey, HPE Content Manager Expert

HPE has a self-help web page and a very active forum for HPE Content Manager. When lodging support tickets, the response time is very quick and the personnel are very professional. It helps to include as much information in the support tickets, as often you will be asked the same questions up front.”

Jason has been a member of the IT Central Station Community since February 2017, and is ranked the #3 expert user in our HPE Content Management Leaderboard.

Interested in reading more Enterprise Content Management advice from real expert users at IT Central Station?

Read our full collection of Enterprise Content Management reviews.

New Reviews: Enterprise Content Management Roundup

In IT Central Station’s user community, 5,154 users follow the Enterprise Content Management category.

But what do these users value in the various software they use, and where do they hope to see improvement in the future?

Continue reading to learn more about how Enterprise Content Management is reviewed in the IT Central Station community.

SharePoint

Valuable Features

Igor Chernov explains that “SharePoint provides out-of-the-box data indexing and caching. BI is optional and driven by content population as well as external sources import. Custom App model is a platform allowing for a variety of home-grown or enterprise based solutions.”

For Alexey Bugaev, SharePoint is particularly valuable for its “high number of ready-made snippets, easy basic process automation functionality, security model, and good integration with other Microsoft products.”

Room for Improvement
With that, Ron Fowler hopes to see improvements in Sharepoint’s “out of the box functionality”, which would cover easier conditional shading as well as “creating calculated fields with dynamic dropdown values.”

Jim U Wilson shares that his experience with migration from on-premise to the cloud, which he says “has no automation tools to help in migrating the enterprise content, and so this requires throttling the bandwidth to guard against attack.”

IBM ECM

Valuable Features

“I like the granularity that Datacap offers” says Manesh Gurav, explaining that he’s “worked with other capture solutions before, including FileNet Capture, Kofax and Captiva, to some extent. I haven’t seen such a granular capture product. Because of that, we can achieve any level of customization.”

For Joseph Lee, “the most valuable feature of Content Manager is its flexibility in handling a lot of documents and document images.”

Lee elaborates that IBM ECM is “flexible enough that you have the choice to choose a different back end. We use Oracle, which is a different database back end.”

Room for Improvement

“I would probably like simpler admin screens, a simpler way to administer the product” argues SeniorDi5f2b, explaining that “ACCE and some of the other UI is not very intuitive for new users.”

SystemSu4907 would like to “be able to ingest reports that were created on the distributed side and get them into the same repository, where you have one repository for all reports.”

Box

Valuable Features

Lucas Bruch lists what he considers the three most valuable features in Box:

  • Collaboration: it’s easy, user-friendly, and allows data “that is necessary to be worked on to be brought to the surface.”
  • Security: “focus on compliance, encryption, enterprise grade management.”
  • Third party integrations: “allowing for Box to truly be a platform to be used with other software.”

For other users such as Andrew Wilson, features like file sharing and collaboration, as well as setting Metadata around content “has been a massive game changer.”

Room for Improvement

Tim Bohn has found Box’s security settings to be limiting, describing that “If I have a folder with subfolders several levels deep, whatever security setting I have for the parent folder gets inherited at all the subfolders.”

“Box Sync is still a bit buggy” writes Reviewer472392, sharing that “it is difficult to get used to not being able to organize your view of folders as it is determined by the owner of the folder.”

Alfresco

Valuable Features

Alfresco is noted by Solution970e for its ease of installation and configuration.

SeniorJa0d85 values Alfresco’s customization abilities, particularly those enabled by Surf framework. He explains that “with its content model feature, we can create our own content model with our own metadata.”

Room for Improvement

SeniorJa0d85 adds, however, that “in regards to the customization that we are doing from the back-end, they should provide some features so non-technological people can also do some level of customization easily.”

For users like ProjectM6f92, expected improvements would allow NoSQL DBMS for modeling metadata and document types.

Interested in learning more about Enterprise Content Management Solutions?
Read more new user reviews for Enterprise Content Management Solutions on IT Central Station.

What’s Trending in 2017 Reviews: Enterprise Content Management for Large Enterprise Businesses

For Large Enterprise companies (with over 1000+ employees) in the IT Central Station community, the top Enterprise Content Management solutions are narrowed down to:

  • SharePoint
  • Alfresco
  • Box
  • docSTAR eclipse
  • Documentum

Since 2017 has kicked in, two (Alfresco and Box) of these five solutions have been steadily trending upward among enterprise tech professionals. While Sharepoint is still ranked as the #1 Enterprise Content Management solution for businesses with 1000+ employees, both Alfresco and Box appear to be catching up.

What can we attribute these trends to? What can we expect to change or not change in this hierarchy, and finally, what are users saying that point to the changes brewing in Enterprise Content Management?

 

Sharepoint — What Users Love

In Q4 2016, 24 real user reviews on Sharepoint were published on IT Central Station.

When these users wrote their reviews, their answers for ‘What improvements have you seen in your organization since using Sharepoint?’ included:

Database Management

“Minimize our data center shared drive footprint and roll most user data into a searchable database…file level, content security, and shifting data management to the customer.”

Igor Chernov

“Have a hang management system with a simple list including views and reports, instead of purchasing a bloated application…easy data exports into other applications.”

ITManager807

Streamlined Documentation and Workflows

“We are now able to organize and control our documentation easily. Versioning, check in, check out and setting permissions for pages and sites enable us to manage our document and picture libraries without a fuss. We can now easily find documents within sites and pages, as long as documents are named and tagged appropriately.”

Caressa Naidoo

“Have a Web solution for running integrated test scripts across multiple applications, along with multiple testing resources in numerous physical locations.”

Ron Fowler

“Improve communication, collaboration and content/record sharing in the organizations I worked for. It helped us manage our documents and records effectively and at a reasonable cost.”

Wissam Halawani

Based on these samples of user feedback, Sharepoint has earned their favor for its abilities to provide optimal database management and maintenance, test script integration, easy data exports, and efficient content and file sharing and management.

Are Alfresco and Box making headway by excelling in these very areas, or is their (respective) rising credibility brought upon by other features?

This is what our users have shared so far re: how Alfresco and Box are each impacting their organizational successes:

 

Alfresco — What Users Love

Document Management

“Improved the working of our organization in terms of document collaboration, record lifecycle and search functionalities.”

Solution970e

“Work is reduced in terms of maintaining documents and facilities like record management and automated workflow are even better.”

SeniorJa0d85

“Users can categorize all documents and add expressiveness to data and conduct more powerful searches.”

ProjectM6f92


Data Modeling

“Document domain experts can model type and hierarchical associations and metadata constraints in a declarative way (such as an XML definition).

Moreover, Alfresco added a graphical user interface model manager in the last product version, so users that don’t know XML formalisms are able to build models.”

ProjectM6f92

“We can create our own content model with our own metadata”

SeniorJa0d85

 

Box — What Users Love

Document Management and Access

“Our employees can access content from anywhere, no-vpn, no special apps, no extra authentications.”

Matt Connors

“It has taken us from archaic means of document storage (local server shares) to a completely cloud based and mobile environment.  For the first time ever, our sales professionals and managers in the field are able to access company data from anywhere at any time.”

Dan Carroll

“File/Folder collaboration has allowed our users to work together, eliminate silos and reduce unnecessary email.”

reviewer474612

Across the board, it seems that document management features and capabilities within Sharepoint, Alfresco, and Box are decisive to user satisfaction.

As 2017 progresses, will the Enterprise Content Management realm’s trends and success factors among large enterprise businesses be primarily dependent on the document management features seen in its respective solutions?

Stay tuned for future review and feedback trends from users that will shed light on how document management features are determining the success and popularity of Enterprise Content Management solutions for tech professionals in large enterprise businesses.