Micro Focus Content Manager Review

We create custom reports using the print merge functionality.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to search, sort and retrieve using metadata; in particular, the ability to create custom reports using the print merge functionality as per the requests that are issued from clients.

How has it helped my organization?

Official records are managed, thereby being able to identify information that cannot be disposed; managing the lifecycle; and locating our records.

What needs improvement?

The space management functionality, whilst incredibly useful to locate records, lacks the ability to perform a census of records. As a result, reports have to be printed and reconciliation of records on shelves conducted, which is incredibly laborious and time-intensive.

Also, the triggers and workflows could be improved upon. The system is difficult to navigate and understand the full scope of functionality available for end users to appreciate the value.

It is also challenging for end users to manage digital information in HPE CM, as physical records management practices and processes do not always translate to a digital environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our organisation has been using HPE EDRMS solutions for well over 10 years. We introduced managing information in a digital format seven years ago but have since lost executive support for this to be our primary document management solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our organisation uses VDIs instead of hard drives. Our experience has been that conducting simple tasks such as sorting by columns results in latency in the system, to the point of stalling it, despite having minimum people using the software.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service and technical support is certainly better than going through a third-party vendor; however, there is still much to be desired. Often times when an issue is escalated to HPE, we are advised that it will be fixed in the next patch or release. However, this does not always eventuate.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The organisation did not use an EDRMS to manage records prior to implementing HPE CM. In the past, Access databases and catalogue systems have been used.

How was the initial setup?

HPE CM is a highly customisable product. If it is rolled out ‘out of the box’, it is quite simple. However, like most organisations, we need it to do certain things. Defining record types, business classifications, security classifications, locations, additional fields will never be an easy task. If we were to have a do-over, I think we could have had a little more rigour around what was necessary and what was not, which could result in a much cleaner end product.

What about the implementation team?

Our organisation employed a Records Manager technician to help in the design and configuration of the system. Over time, we have had upgrades to the system and engaged project staff to assist. This did have its pitfalls, however, in that the technical people were system-focused without a holistic understanding of what the Information Management specialists need to be able to perform their role.

On top of this, the technical team was a part of Information Management. As a result, they were defining the business requirements (without fully understanding them) and implementing them. Since then, the technical team have been moved into a different part of the organisation, which allows us more scope to define what the system needs to do and test it thoroughly prior to upgrades being performed.

What was our ROI?

It’s never easy to put a monetary ROI on an EDRMS. However, the value of managed information is becoming more evident to organisations 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 licences. Part of that research should include aftermarket support and any hidden additional costs that might be incurred.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise any organisation to really define what their information management business requirements and end-user requirements might be, noting that they are not going to line up. Additionally, it's important to include in that assessment what the format of that information will be in. Accessibility and transfer of information are also highly important for some organisations.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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