A long week with an inordinate amount of time on planes and at airport departure lounges (thank heaven for iPods) - but a productive one I hope. On Wednesday I co-presented with my colleague Shelley Leftwich a webinar for AIIM (link will be here) that focused on the next generation of Insurance WebSites - and though there was a lot that was specific to Insurance, there was also much that is worth thinking about in any large enterprise:
- Moving from static sites that are little more than huge brochures to self service environments is a major new undertaking not an upgrade to a WCM system
- It's no longer about WCM its about integrating back office applications via the we to our customers - you probably already have enough WCM, its the intergrations to the back office and usability issues you need to address now (along with keeping information dynamic and meeting regulatory requirements)
- We need to be sure who our customers are and what their priorities are - as opposed to assuming we know, or pushing our own priorities. Almost everyone got this wrong last time round - usage and churn monitoring of customer facing sites is a very good idea
- It's better to do one thing really well - rather than everything mediocre (see www.progressive.com as an example of doing one thing well) - too numerous are the examples of those that who do nothing terribly well, but spend a fortune doing all these things to a mediocre standard
Value of Traditional ECM vendors
Whilst in Las Vegas (fortunate to watch the sun set over the Nevada desert as we flew in - quite an experience! as was staying at the new and very nice TheHotel at the Mandalay) I was reminded of the important role that the traditional ECM vendors still have. As I/we focus more and more on the infrastructure vendors such as Microsoft & Oracle, its easy to forget that companies such as OpenText deliver deep integration to ERP systems with associated reporting capabilities - they also have deep dive expertise in Pharmaceuticals, likewise FileNet in Governement etc. Some of the major ECM players are without doubt losing their way - but others such as OpenText and Documentum are doing an excellent job of repositioning to offer substantial value in the new environment.
The major ECM vendors are not going away - their role is changing though to adding value in terms of domain expertise or specific horizontal functionality on top of the infrastucture.
Records Management & ECM
Wherever there is an ECM project, somewhere there is a Records Management project on going - oddly or interestingly enough they are almost always disconnected and not considered part and parcel of the same thing - this came up in a number of meetings and conversations this week. I think that:
- Compliancy drives RM initiatives and crosses many boundaries not just unstructured data management - the best case scenario
- The industry has done too little to explain the synegy between ECM and RM
- DM & ECM vendors don't get RM and never have, but have made a lot of money in RM failed projects in the past - more established buyers are very leary of mixing the two together again (most probably scenario)
Its something that deserves a lot more thought - as though there are major differences between RM & ECM - I firmly believe that any projects should embrace to a fair degree both issues - if they are done separately there is seldom a positive outcome.
I will be on vacation next week so the blog will be quiet - and when I return I will be preparing for a trip to Bangalore via London in mid July. I am partly dreading the trip due to the long haul and time differences that just knock the stuffing out of me. But hoping to get a lot done, and really looking forward to meeting with all the ECM guru's in India and getting their perspectives - its where I can come down to earth, and my 'expert' status is challenged thoroughly! Our ECM and Search Leads are just incredible and I know I will return with a much better perspective on things than I arrive with.