Making SharePoint Part of the ECM Puzzle

By Bryant Duhon posted 09-17-2012 13:47


The following is a guest post from Garth Landers; the director of product marketing for the Documentum ECM Platform in the Information Intelligence Group, a division of EMC.  In his role, he is responsible for developing product marketing strategies and plans for the EMC Documentum product portfolio.

Join Garth and the rest of our guest panel on September 19 at 2 PM EDT as they discuss making the most of your SharePoint investment: The SharePoint Puzzle-Showcasing the Solutions.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over a decade since the world first met SharePoint back in 2001. Everything we expected to happen back when SharePoint was called “Tahoe” has occurred as expected-the natural integration with Office, the inevitable widespread adoption, its overall impact on the ECM marketplace. And over time, SharePoint has adapted and grown, such as delivering support for the social enterprise.

In the AIIM community, we know what SharePoint is good at -- document collaboration, traditional library services, and Microsoft Office integration; all while providing intuitive, easy-to-use features to end users. SharePoint has made content management mainstream during the last decade in way that didn’t exist previously. Think back to pre-ECM and pre-SharePoint. The industry we worked in was then known as “integrated document management”. That era contained a vital set of technologies, but back then in the mid to late 90s, organizations required a lot more hand holding, and education about what was possible and why it made sense. With the arrival and subsequent success of SharePoint that is, largely, no longer the case. SharePoint didn’t invent ECM, but it certainly has contributed to its acceptance.

For all of its aforementioned strengths, organizations are seeking to augment SharePoint in a number of ways. Organizations know what SharePoint is and what it’s good at, and what it doesn’t do it all. Looking at the marketplace today -- there are organization needs and third-party solutions for capture, business process management, records/retention management, customer communications, ediscovery, and archiving from a functional standpoint, and infrastructure requirements such as greater scalability and storage management. In this sense, SharePoint has become monolithic. Its ubiquitous and pervasive in its usage, and represents a starting point for ECM, but is not typically the end point for content-centric applications, vertically-specific solutions, or orchestrating business process management that spans across an enterprise’s IT and business landscape.

The requirement set for SharePoint customization, as you can imagine, varies quite a bit. However, organizations of all types have a few non-negotiable elements -- don’t disrupt the way users interact with SharePoint, meaning, retain the friendly interfaces and ease of use that SharePoint excels at, and just as importantly, any customization should be seamless, and not overly complex in design and execution. In essence, keep productivity high, and configure, not code, where possible. Time to value is of the paramount.

Don’t forget to register. Join us and share how your organization is using SharePoint, and customizing it for your needs.

If you have any questions that you’d like to see answered; ask it below and we’ll do our best to include them in the webinar.

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1 comment


09-26-2012 01:06

nice discussion point and great read. I focus on the client/customer communication area and would have to add to you comment about "friendly interfaces and ease of use that SharePoint excels at, and just as importantly, any customization should be seamless, and not overly complex in design and execution."
i see more and more people try to create solution from SharePoint due to having SharePoint, and end up wasting a lot of time and money in the process due to not engaging in user consultation properly upfront, and over complicating what they are trying to achieve. the second thing i see a lot is at the end of the process there is no room for people to move once it has been created in a certain way, to a certain process.
Plan up front and use SharePoint for what is should be and also look at how your holistic DMS plan or strategy aligns with the desired outcomes. You can integrate with SharePoint as the truth of source etc... and use other tools to achieve the outcomes as SharePoint does not do everything as well. if you want it too it could cost more than you anticipated, once again i see this a lot! This is from my point of view only :)