ECMContent management is the process of collecting, managing, and publishing content. Your job probably helps determine what you think content management is, but ultimately it is about business value. For example, if you work for an educational system then student transcripts may be valuable. If you work in Human Resources, then employee benefit information is important. For people in transportation, weather information is extremely valuable. “Content management is about gaining control over the creation and distribution of information and functionality. It’s about knowing what value you have to offer, who wants what parts of that value, and how they want you to deliver it. Knowing that, you can build a CMS machine to help you get the right stuff to the right people in the right way.” (1)

ECM systems contain 5 basic components: capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver (2).


Capture is the ingestion of content into the system. This content can come through different channels and different sources – paper, email, the web, chat, sticky notes, fax, phone, camera, and so on. Video and audio are also forms of content. Paper and other physical media can be difficult to manage during retrieval. It can be lost or difficult to find, as well as expensive to store. Email is a great communication tool, but can be difficult to manage and control content securely.


Manage is organizing the incoming content. We want to make sure data and information “get to the right people in the right way”. Tagging and naming are important for retrieval, automation, and analytics. Finding content later is critical – if you can’t find it again later, you can’t use it. Consider the value of automation, to speed repetitive tasks and to eliminate unplanned processes that introduce risks and problems to the organization. It is important to measure at least some aspects of business processes, to get indicators of need or success.


Storing is the location of content at rest. Consider how much information you will be storing, and in what format. How frequently is captured content retrieved after being stored? Storage can be more affordable if it isn’t accessed as frequently. How long do you need to store certain content? For some businesses, records management is important for compliance and legal purposes.


Preserve is the act of securing the content. We secure content in 3 different ways; in-transit, at rest, and by information. In-transit is securing the data while it is being captured and delivered. At rest is securing the data while it is being managed and stored. We also secure by only allowing appropriate access based on requirement or need.


Deliver is, as mentioned above, getting “the right stuff to the right people in the right way”. Heavily consider your audience in the delivery phase. How would they like to have content delivered to them? I would also add that timing is important to delivery. (I would like to ask one of my local pizza delivery places why I need to get an email that my pizza is on its way 5 minutes after I have started eating)

Consider these 5 components of Enterprise Content Managment to get, “the right stuff to the right people in the right way”.

Adrian Enders -Senior Sales Engineer at DoxTek
(1) - Content Management Bible, 2nd Edition by Bob Boiko

(2) - AIIM; Association for Information and Image Management

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