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Micro Focus Content Manager OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is Micro Focus Content Manager?

Micro Focus Content Manager, formerly Records Manager, is a governance-based enterprise content management system designed to help government agencies, regulated industries and global organizations manage their business content from creation to disposal. Regardless of how you create and collaborate on your content, Content Manager gives you the ability to leverage accurate, contextual, and complete information throughout its lifecycle. Managing your content in this way helps you significantly improve services to your customers, business decisions and insight for future strategy.

Micro Focus Content Manager is also known as HPE Records Manager, HPE Content Manager.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Enterprise Content Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Micro Focus Content Manager Customers

Missouri State Courts

Micro Focus Content Manager Video

Archived Micro Focus Content Manager Reviews (more than two years old)

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EW
IT Director / CIO at Matanuska-Sustina Borough
Real User
Leaderboard
Difficult to learn, poor technical support, and needs better integration with SharePoint

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a robust search but has often been difficult for people to learn."
  • "Due to very limited use in the industry, vendor and contract support are hard to find."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use is Records Management, with a secondary push by some to use it for all document management to include all draft work and convenience copies.

How has it helped my organization?

We are required to have a robust Records Management system. It does this job. We had it integrated with HPRM ver 8.3, but dropped the integration when we moved to HPE-CM 9.1.  Integration was not well documented.                                                          

What is most valuable?

It has a robust search but has often been difficult for people to learn.

What needs improvement?

This is a client-side app, and a web-based app would be easier to support. 

Easier integration with SharePoint and other apps would be an improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our Organization has had it since 1999 as TRIM, by Tower. I personally, for 5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is reasonable. Although, like any software, it has areas to improve. It seams sensitive to configuration changes. Misconfiguration causes problems very quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't know the server model enough to know if it is scalable. I have brought up the topic with a Micro Focus sales rep and did not get much of a response. 

For our organization to fully utilize HPE-CM, we'd need a more robust server farm. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Over the earlier owners, the support was lacking and we had to use third-party vendors. We are using a third now and have had no interaction with Micro Focus directly.

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

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

How was the initial setup?

We contracted it out to avoid problems with complexity.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team for implementation. They seemed reasonably well versed in the system, although there were a couple of misconfigurations that caused downstream issues. 

What was our ROI?

Hard for us to gage. We are required to have a RM program. This system eats up a lot of staff time for support, administration, and use.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would suggest that you do a thorough evaluation of all competing products and look for support for these products in your local area.

What other advice do I have?

Due to very limited use in the industry, vendor and contract support are hard to find. We are using a consultant on the East coast which is four time zones away. 

There is more call for this product in Australia. The development of the product has moved to the UK. 

US support will probably remain spotty. 

This product has changed hands twice, from Tower to HP and then to Micro Focus. This has made support more difficult for us. 

Setup within the system is important. We have many users that really dislike the system, and I believe much of that has been due to setup and training. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user616503
EDRMS Compliance Lead Senior Business Analyst at a non-tech company
Vendor
We can ingest all inbound traffic to a reliable ECM system. Cloud computing feature would be useful.

What is most valuable?

All features are important for a complete solution since any solution will need to cater to drive the transformation from the reliance on paper-based processes to digitized solutions, as per the following:

  • Inbound processing – capturing incoming traffic through inbound scanning, conversion to long-term preservation PDF format, document classification, metadata extraction, capturing emails.
  • Repository/storage of content – ingesting all inbound traffic to a reliable ECM system with governance capabilities relating to records and information management with the capacity to identify records, storing, retrieving, collaborating, tracking, security, lifecycle management – disposal and retention, etc.
  • Outbound processing – documenting composition and dispatch and database storage.

How has it helped my organization?

Many organizations are facing the same problems with their operating environment and scope of responsibilities. Due to the fact that collaboration with external stakeholders has grown in scale and complexity, keeping track of important business decisions and ensuring that all relevant internal and external stakeholders have timely access to this information, is now a major corporate challenge, as in the exponential growth of paper, shared drives and emails.

Government agencies and private organisations alike expect to do more with the same or fewer resources. Giving staff the tools to enhance productivity is essential to help meet the increasing demands and expectations of the Government and public in a constrained fiscal environment. Changes to Government policy concerning digital records management, security and amendments to legislation such as the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts are also expanding compliance requirements for employees and corporate IT systems. Digital Continuity is an approach to creating and managing information that can be trusted and used for as long as needed despite technological change.

This is how the solution has helped transform business organisations. Businesses are facing the same problems. Network drives, accumulation of paper records, and email used to manage documents and other digital format records of business value do not adequately support the information management compliance requirements. This lack of an enterprise approach to information access and management is limiting organisational efficiency, responsiveness and capacity to maximize business opportunities.

Investment in a modern EDRMS solution has been identified as a key component for addressing efficiency and compliance business needs. Electronic business will mean the necessity to become more diligent and smarter in terms of the information management of the department. Usually a staged approach is taken to select and implement a commercial-off-the-shelf EDRMS. Hence the above vendors cater for these goals and objectives to some degree with integration to Record Management software capabilities, as well as OCR, conversion capabilities and content management.

In line with any digital continuity policy an EDRMS solution is about making sure that information is complete, available and therefore usable for business needs. Information is usable if people can:

  • Find it when they need it.
  • Open it as they need it.
  • Work with it in the way they need it.
  • Understand what it is and what it is about.
  • Trust that it is what it says it is.

So any product vendor solution must be able to meet the above minimum requirements closely aligned to an out of the box solution such as MS SharePoint has perfected.

What needs improvement?

Perhaps:

  • Cloud computing could be added.
  • The ability to substantiate adherence to Australian security standards.
  • Better ways in managing extraction of metadata.

In the case of SharePoint you rely on user selection but vendors should try to alleviate human intervention where possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the above products for the last 20 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Many projects I've worked on encounter issues in production relating to load balancing and throttling where systems cannot cope with the volumes and capacity of transactional processing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the case of conversion of Adlib software polling MS Exchange and writing to an HNAS drive, it managed to bring down both servers. It's paramount to adequately plan capacity and preventive maintenance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

They need to support the processing by adding CAS servers, etc to manage extra loads. Also there is the importance of creating an active/active redundancy topology.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is OK as long as you pay for ongoing technical support structure to get appropriate support during critical breakdown when time is money and have the vendor understand your backup and recovery needs for transparent BAU continuity.

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

We have used many that do not deliver what they say so we chose the above because they deliver the goods. However, licensing is always an issue.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is always complex to get all integrated processes/technology/software working together. For example, Adlib software will poll exchange mailboxes to ingest and process emails and create conversion and content metadata XML output as well as PDFA documents including native formats. OpenText OCC will poll the HNAS drive to ingest the output files that Adlib produced and to OCR all documents and create full text index to extract all metadata and them apply customization code that ingests the Adlib conversion metadata and merge the OCR content metadata then output the transformed XML with the PDF files ready for the next step.

Any content management software will then poll the output directory and ingest all files into the ECM system to store in a database record management system. Paper documents digitized by an external provider were transferred via secure FTP to a shared drive which the ECM system utilities would also poll to ingest and create the records in the EDRMS.

What about the implementation team?

Some implementations were in-house and others were through vendor engagement.

What was our ROI?

Initial ROI is not appreciated but if you look at the time it takes to process for example, claims, then you are providing an optimized business model where you are competitive because you are more responsive to customer requests and processing.

Claims don't take a week or a month, instead they are processed daily and get into a downstream workflow system that sends notifications and gets assigned to the relevant teams to action. This creates a more sustainable, competitive, government compliant, and secure solution in the long term which pays off on the investment.

What other advice do I have?

Be very clear with functional and non-functional requirements. Set forth minimum mandatory baseline business requirements in order to meet overall EDRMS objectives, aligned with the Principles and Functional Requirements for Records in Digital Office Environments and compliance. Also identify non-mandatory features deemed desirable but not mandatory.

In addition:

  • Provide the organisation functional requirements specific to the use and operation of the EDRMS.
  • Detail the relevant standards and specifications applicable to the efficient management of public/private records – NAA or PROV.
  • Provide the mapping and traceability between the Business Requirement and NAA standard/business and specification with the functional use case as context.
  • Provide guidance to vendors in the implementation of the EDRMS system, testing and user acceptance testing.

All requirements should be uniquely identified for tracking purposes and have a business priority assigned to provide an understanding of business importance.

The priorities should be derived from an EDRMS strategy to ensure consistency across business units. A code should be provided to indicate EDRMS’s (Vendors) ability to meet the business, compliance and functional requirements. There should be clear traceability in their ability to meet expectations. What is their ability to meet functional and non-functional requirement statements? Can they fully meet, partially meet, conditionally meet, solution not concluded, cannot deliver, etc.

Stipulate your complexity model to identify what requires complex customization, requires complex configuration, requires minor configuration or is an out of the box requirement. Identifying these components will make it easy to manage the vendor's deliverables and gives the business a better grasp on the monetary bottom line expectation and where the money is being allocated to. Create transparency where you can.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Micro Focus, Microsoft, Alfresco and others in Enterprise Content Management. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user618960
Deputy City Clerk at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
I like the records management tracking and workflows. I would like to see a smarter workflow tool.

What is most valuable?

Records management tracking and workflows.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Eliminated the need for paper records.
  • Increased compliance with our internal approval processes.
  • Helped us with grant, contract approval, and retention.
  • The workflow routes the contract/grant through our legal group and then on to the department and/or finance department and/or city manager for approval.
  • Can use the workflow to see where in the process their contract/grant is and where it may have gotten stalled.
  • The contract/grant route is dependent on what kind of document it is, what agency it is with, and the cost.
  • Helps with the filing of the records and to track and close contract tasks.
  • Our agency doesn’t want too many different workflows: It gets confusing for users to decide which one to use.
  • Too many options on the workflow for users to select

What needs improvement?

  • Having a workflow tool that is a little bit smarter. This means being able to leverage the metadata entered about a record in order to make workflow decisions.
  • Having a workflow template designer that didn’t require adding in a whole lot of steps in order to make the circuit work.
  • The retention tool is probably fine. It just needs a lot of trial and error to get more comfortable. That is probably a user issue on my end with me.
  • The reporting tool is very clunky and it is hard to make it do what I want it to do.
  • There is very little information in the online help. Just this week I was trying to build a report that would have a simple signature line at the report end with some standard text. I was limited to how much text each box could have. I couldn’t find a simple way to set a margin for the report that wouldn’t have the signature line drop off the page.
  • Trying to figure out which versions of which fields to add to the report.
  • Tying everything to the “bands” isn’t that intuitive either.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used HPE Content Manager since 2006.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very frustrating. It is difficult to get a good response from HPE and even more difficult to find anyone that can really help us with the product.

It doesn’t fail often. When it does, it is usually something unusual and out of scope for our regular group that handles common errors.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Make sure this is really a product you are going to use fully. Otherwise, you are paying for a lot for a product that won’t get utilized.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC and OpenText.

What other advice do I have?

You can’t pre-plan enough on how you want to organize the records. The more planning you put into the implementation, the more you will get from the product. Don’t discount the amount of hand-holding and change management your organization might need.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Manager, Records Information Management at a hospitality company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The Retention Hold process allows for the suspension on the standard retention process when records are identified as part of a hold order.

What is most valuable?

The product offers many features and functionality. A few of my favorites include:

  • Integration with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook), allowing for streamlined archive of business documents.
  • Retention Schedule allows us to incorporate our company schedule directly into the system. By doing so, we are able to confidently manage our destruction process.
  • Retention Hold process allows for the suspension on the standard retention process when records are identified as part of a hold order.

How has it helped my organization?

One of our prior products required all records to pass through our Records team to be added to the repository. Thanks to the Microsoft integration, our users are empowered to check their records in as they are created, saving both time and money.

What needs improvement?

We have not yet utilized the web version, as we encountered a few issues during testing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We upgraded to HPE Records Manager 8.1 in 2015.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have only encountered minor issues during the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not experienced any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not experienced any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We appreciate HPE's team of resources, who assist us as issues arise.

Technical Support:

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate technical support at 9; great group, always willing to share insights, very empowering team.

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

We actually had two systems in-house for many years. We consolidated down to one.

How was the initial setup?

We had a great Value Added Reseller (VAR) in place. They handled the initial setup and configuration wonderfully.

What about the implementation team?

A vendor team implemented it. I rate them a 10; they were extremely knowledgeable.

What other advice do I have?

We are very pleased with HPE Records Manager.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Scott Brown
Records Manager at a sports company with 51-200 employees
Real User
When dragging and dropping multiple items at once, a Queue window is bought up. There is no integration with social media.

What is most valuable?

Drag and drop: With users having dual screens nowadays, this functionality is used a lot by staff and is also a good way to show people who are new to TRIM (HPE Content Manager) the simplicity of how things can be done. It is also handy if your MS Outlook integration breaks or crashes; the drag and drop of an email into TRIM usually still works. Then you can fix the actual problem with the integration later, as it becomes less of a priority. It is also handy to show people how they can drag and drop from the desktop (or network share) into TRIM, as well as drag and drop internally within TRIM. When dragging and dropping multiple items at once, a TRIM Queue window is bought up, which is pretty neat.

The online audit log is part of the reason people buy and use TRIM, as there is a requirement to have an audit trail. The audit trail is very handy, though, to be able to see exactly what has occurred when there is a problem or issue. The audit trail does not lie. Also, when sending out information in emails, I attach a TRIM reference in the email to the actual information, which is in TRIM. I can then see who has actually looked at the information via the online audit log rather than wonder who has actually read it.

How has it helped my organization?

Simple workflows (actions/procedures) such as “Review” and “Approve” are better than multiple copies in various iterations existing within emails. The “Actions” also replaced the need for a signature (for internal documents), which means there is no printing of paper, signing, and scanning back in as a PDF.

What needs improvement?

There is no integration with social media. Functionality gets removed as new versions are released. The full client has had no new functionality since HPE bought it in 2008; only functions and features removed. (Document Assembly, Web Content Management, long-term email preservation format VMBX, all removed. The Meeting Manager was rendered useless.) A simple and important feature was to be able to default a record type at the document level. This can no longer be done with the release of HPE Content Manager. This means you now have to teach everyone about record types, and therefore records management, which they may not be interested in. So you lose them at the start, rather than just being able to keep things simple, such as default record type.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the current and previous versions since 1997.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The database configuration would need to be redeployed to servers after a restart, even though everything looked OK and reported as OK. Clients could not resolve the data-source until the configuration was redeployed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven’t used technical support that much, but the times I did use it, it was OK.

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

We did not have a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Try and do a deal. The prices may seem fixed, but are not really, and if you can get hold of an account manager and say “this price or nothing”, then you might be able to strike a deal, especially if you offer to pay maintenance as if you bought it for the full price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

Know what you are doing from an information management (IM) perspective. The IT side of it is easy. If you get the IM components wrong, or not optimised, then you usually become part of the problem that the solution is trying to solve.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user618117
Records Management Consultant at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Associated products offer OTS integrations. It has extensive configuration restrictions for administrators and file extension limitations.

What is most valuable?

The product is valuable generally due to its wide use and acceptance in the public sector in my region. The skills and knowledge are transferable.

Many associated products offer OTS integrations.

How has it helped my organization?

Some of the tools are useful for sharing information; however, organizational culture inhibits records management compliance and TRIM acceptance, in general, is low.

What needs improvement?

It has extensive configuration restrictions for administrators and file extension limitations.

Clunky in look and feel.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for approximately seven years over different versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had regular and different experiences related to user profiles and control over client product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is good from a preferred vendor.

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

Our previous solution was outdated and non-compliant.

How was the initial setup?

It was an easy installation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing is competitive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate alternatives.

What other advice do I have?

There are serious considerations of compliance for the product role. HPE TRIM has limitations beyond a document repository.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user618120
Application Specialist at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The security model, locations management, records options, and metadata search are valuable features.

What is most valuable?

HPE Content Manager is a complex product with a great deal of functionality for managing paper and electronic records on a very large scale. The security model is excellent, the locations management is extensive, records options are abundant and metadata search is very efficient and allows for precision searching. Functions to modify records en-masse are handy and powerful, integration with other products is better established these days and the ability for HPE Content Manager to manage large amounts of content is integral to many organizations. Not only does it handle large amounts of content, but if configured and structured properly, it can manage content for you over the long- to very long-term and in accordance with legislation, many international standards and other compliance requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

HPE Content Manager provides organizations with a reliable system for managing massive amounts of information. It does so in a structured, compliant and secure way. This is not easy to achieve. I have seen custom-built systems and other systems used to try and manage various types of content, and I can say that none of the ones I have seen provide the same level of functionality and reliability as Content Manager does. It just works. All organizations I have worked with use Content Manager in a different way, because each organization functions in a different way. This flexibility to set up a structure that works for us has been vital to managing our records properly. When it comes to organizing information at the organizational level or the organizational-unit level, Content Manager has no match.

What needs improvement?

Many government (and other) organizations struggle to find a system balance between user requirements and records requirements, and HPE Content Manager is no different. Users are intimidated by the Content Manager client application, especially when it comes to searching and managing content at an individual’s level. The “tray” system, the limited “favourites” options and the inability to “share” content in an effective way (at the user level) means that users are confused about how to find content and manage content for themselves. This means that the power inherent in the product, particularly with the “trays” and metadata searches, is lost on users. Extensive training is required for users to get the most out of the product The good news is that if you train users to a certain level of competence, they tend to love using it.

Other feedback regarding the client suggests that the check-in/check-out requirement for records is cumbersome. It does not allow for concurrent editing of documents. Document preview and search-word highlighting could be improved.

Integration with Outlook could be improved, and a more-intuitive and less-intimidating search function could be implemented.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Content Manager for 13 years; from TRIM Context versions 5 and 6 to HPE TRIM 7 and HPE Records Manager 8. I am now working on HPE Content Manager 9.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Considering the complexity/range of functionality, and the sheer amount of content it can handle, the stability of the product is impressive. The database side is excellent. The document store is reliable, as well as the workgroup and event services. Most user problems occur because of network connectivity issues or issues with client applications such as Word or Outlook and are not related to Content Manager directly. Outlook integration and, in versions 7 and before, content index searching has been a little flaky (it may have improved since they changed to IDOL searching). Other than that, I’ve seen the HPE developers continually improving the product and resolving any issues that arise (most of which are not significant).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is difficult to backdate the separation of your document store and the database. So, if you wanted to split your document store and then transfer older (and less used) content on cheaper storage, it is quite difficult to do so. This means planning document store/data tiers is advisable prior to implementation.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support has improved over the years, and the online forum and support content resolves most of the issues I cannot troubleshoot myself. The support desk is generally quick and will endeavor to help you as much as they can. The complexity and uniqueness of each organization’s infrastructure, standard operating environment and third-party applications make it difficult in some cases to get the help required. Also, many organizations I have dealt with have customizations of their own, which complicates matters.

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

I have used custom and integrated SharePoint systems that were not able to handle large amounts of content as easily as HPE Content Manager. Managing the moving of content was particularly difficult and SharePoint’s security model doesn’t allow for security classifications to be added to content to restrict access. The long-term management (applying retention schedules) of content for archiving was much more difficult to implement.

How was the initial setup?

Technical side: Initial software setup would benefit from specialist involvement. The documentation is comprehensive, so it’s not absolutely necessary to engage a specialist as long as all the documentation is read and understood. For experienced installers, the setup is actually very straightforward and can be done anywhere from a half a day to a few weeks (depending on existing infrastructure, database access and complexity of system). I would recommend specialist knowledge for software/schema upgrades to prevent potential loss of data.

Content structure and administration: A successful implementation requires an experienced Content Manager business analyst and administrator. Planning the management of content before you start is integral, and a good business analyst will be able to identify the functions and activities of your organization and structure your Content Manager environment accordingly. Setting up appropriate security classifications, security caveats, business classifications schemes, record types and locations structure would benefit from a Content Manager administration expert.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Ensure you have enough licenses for all your users. Invest in more intuitive search modules if available/required.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have seen several SharePoint-based products and other custom-built systems; however, I am not an authority on these.

What other advice do I have?

Firstly, plan, plan, plan: Hire a good business analyst and assess how your users work, what type of content they create and how you want it structured. Planning your content structure is integral to a successful implementation. Ask yourselves the questions: How do users want to search for content? How do users create content? How do users collaborate/share content? Then ensure you have a good migration plan to transfer content from your current system to your new one.

Secondly, training: Training your users comprehensively, to the point of confidence, will see a much larger user uptake. If they are unsure of themselves, they will not use the product.

Thirdly, infrastructure: Make sure you have good, reliable hardware for your Content Manager servers and database servers, and that your network is stable and fast.

Fourthly, change management: Different things could work for you here. Examples of things that I see work are constant, positive communication prior to implementation; lock down shared drives and easy migration to new system; top level-down migration. Management buy-in is integral and they need to use the product. If they do, then their staff will follow.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user618138
HP TRIM Consultant at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The most valuable features are the record web services interface and SharePoint integration. IDOL integration can be improved.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are primarily the record web services interface and SharePoint Integration, although there is a lot that can be worked upon in the integration space.

Integration helps organizations build internal relationships with other products and communicate effectively. No wonder sole EDRMs like Objective, etc., are losing their charm as they remain into their own space without considering the overall enterprise paradigm. Look at SharePoint. It is good, but cannot replace HPE CM, as it doesn’t handle a large capacity of storage units.

How has it helped my organization?

RM 8.3.9365 or patch 3 is still under development. I myself have suggested a lot of improvements and defects, and they are being addressed. Although it is user friendly, it needs work to be at it’s best.

What needs improvement?

IDOL integration: With as much as 180 million records and 80 TB of data and 18,000 users, I can see IDOL not behaving as expected, and I work with IDOL experts to seek workarounds to issues. IDOL is a good product, but more careful planning could have been done to see some more robust outcomes. Performance across 40 content engines is poor, as some CE’s don’t work compared to others in the engine layer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Records Manager 8 for about a year now, but TRIM for many years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had stability issues primarily with performance, where title searches slowed down compared to previous versions. TRIM was stable with DCI itself, although it had its own bottlenecks.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We now have 2 proxies, 5 distribution servers and about 40 IDOL engines with tons of data on CEs. It is a scalable solution, but we see performance degradation and maintenance nightmares. Design could be improved to allow vertical build up as opposed to the horizontal approach, which is what HPE proposes now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical staff/support is good. Some of them whom I deal with are pretty good and some of them are just smart spokespersonnel who could just confuse rather than convince.

Support staff overall rating in my view is 4/5.

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

TRIM is a reliable solution and has EDRMS compatibility, which others products lack. Hence, we never really looked at other products.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward and clear.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is expensive, especially the CM versions. But if you need it, you pay for it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Objective and SharePoint mostly.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. It works reliably for average-sized organizational structures.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user616530
Assistant Director - Information Management at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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.
JC
HP TRIM/HPRM Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Emphasizes record lifecycle and compliance with government standards.

What is most valuable?

HPE Content Manager 9, and its predecessors, is an excellent EDRMS with a strong emphasis on record lifecycle and compliance with government standards. It provides unparalleled storage and search capabilities, and is an invaluable tool to information management units across all sectors.

How has it helped my organization?

HPE Content Manager has built-in workflow components allowing users to manage business processes with ease.

What needs improvement?

Currently in development is a web client version of the software, doing away with the need to deploy full software clients to staff PCs. This web client requires more refinement to be viable as a desktop client replacement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using and supporting HPE Content Manager in its various versions and names for around six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment comes in two parts:

  • Server-side deployment, which, depending on the scale of deployment, can be fairly straightforward.
  • Client-side deployment, on the other hand, can be complex.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In order to maintain stability, some monitoring from ICT staff is required to catch any anomalies before they become issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The system is very scalable with the ability to add infrastructure as required.

How are customer service and technical support?

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.

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

I have trialed other EDRMS solutions, though Content Manager is the software leader.

How was the initial setup?

Initial software setup is straightforward, though quite a lot of preparation is required for the information management processes. As the software is very customizable, the actual configuration for business use requires a lot of input from information management staff.

What about the implementation team?

My primary role is actually to implement this solution and, as consultants, I would suggest using vendor/partners.

What was our ROI?

Content Manager is a software seat license agreement. I would suggest ordering bulk licenses as running out of licenses can be disruptive to business.

What other advice do I have?

Look for vendors or partners in your area to offer advice.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a software partner with HPE.
it_user613548
FOI Analyst 2 at a government with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Provides the ability to manage retention and disposition. I think it should be easier to set security/access at all levels.

What is most valuable?

  • Audit events on documents, folders
  • Ability to manage retention, disposition
  • Sharing documents, setting security on documents and folders
  • User labels (we wish they were ‘shareable’)

How has it helped my organization?

  • Sharing of documents
  • Reduction of duplication
  • Ability to manage retention, disposition and overall records management

What needs improvement?

  • Easier to set security/access at all levels.
  • Make the job of the administrator managing the system easier (client setup, position setup, org changes).
  • The system options > Permissions tab for each user type: There are too many permissions with our recent upgrade that were ‘clumped together’ that make it difficult to manage what people in the system can do (e.g., Records Coordinators’ vs Records Managers’ ability for document deletion and removal).
  • Copying datasets is difficult and time-consuming
  • Enhancement requests that have been submitted are either not implemented or take a very long time to be implemented (we’ve stopped submitting them because of this).
  • Emails used to be stored in VMBX format (now it is MSG format): This is problematic when trying to pull the emails out of HPE RM.
  • Compound/linked files (e.g., InDesign, Dreamweaver, AutoCAD, linked Excel): When filed in HPE RM, the links are broken. This means that several departments at my organization cannot use HPE RM for their documents.
  • Help file is not very helpful and has room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since Sept. 2008.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is hard to get technical support when you try to integrate HPE RM with other products. For example, when implementing a third-party load balancer, the response time was impacted significantly. It is a gray area between technical support and/or consulting, HPE did not provide much support.

Generally speaking, HPE’s support for the product has been weak since the acquisition from TOWER Software. There is a large gap between 1st-level support and the often-required 3rd-tier support. Escalation is often onerous and HPE seems to be focused on closing tickets rather than solving issues. More technical issues that need to go beyond support to the development group are extremely difficult to move forward.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The first level of technical support is not very helpful. All support calls have to go through the first level of support unless you purchase premium support. The application has a complex architecture with lots of arcane configuration settings. Complex issues often fall into the “try this” trap, which can cause serious impacts.

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

There was no document management system for the entire organization. However, one department (legal) was using Worldox, due the integration with their case management system.

How was the initial setup?

  • Issues with setting up and getting the retention schedule triggers to work: The help menu was not helpful and this was not a part of the basic configuration that was initially set up with the consultants.
  • Management of multiple offices of primary responsibility (OPR): In our system, we have multiple OPRs, and HPE RM clients were using the owner to manage only one OPR.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing model changed from the original model when we purchased the product. Initially, there was one license type (expensive) and you controlled what the user could do through the user security configuration. The new model breaks the licenses into multiple types, from Admin (full access) down to Read Only. Each successive level has functional areas they are prescribed from using. You will need to map those functions against your internal planned security wants to ensure you are buying the correct license type. For us, other than a handful of Read Only licenses, all new purchases tend to be at least the Records Manager level, as (for us) the lower license type are missing key capabilities.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Hummingbird document management was the only other shortlisted vendor. Others may have been in the initial RFP process. Keep in mind that we initiated it in 2008.

What other advice do I have?

Fully understand the impact of how you set up the system; for example, the internal locations directory, security groups, security/access on different levels (classification, folder).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user605049
Records Management Administrator
Vendor
We rely on it to accurately identify documents that are eligible for destruction each year.

What is most valuable?

The product allows us to run our Notice of Destructions seamlessly and produces our annual folders with ease.

Notice of Destructions: We rely on the software to accurately identify those documents/folders/boxes that are eligible for destruction each year and segregate them into a session. The software produces a list that we in turn route around to our Notice of Destruction approvers to obtain sign off electronically. Once all approvals are obtained, the session is processed and the documents/folders/boxes are deleted from the system.

Annual Folders: We rely on the software to identify those folders need to be duplicated for the following year. The software produces a list which we review before we produce the next year’s folders. We use the Duplicate functionality to produce 3,000+ folders each year during our Annual Folder process.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us manage records more easily and allows users to search for information without leaving their desk.

What needs improvement?

Many users have expressed that it is too hard to find what they are looking for. I’m not sure that the functionality can be improved. Most of this issue is due to user training and the users not using the system every day. Enhancing the full content searching capabilities by including some refiners could possibly help.

For how long have I used the solution?

We purchased MDY FileSurf back in 2007, went through the acquisitions of CA, Autonomy, and HPE. We are currently using Autonomy 12.6.2.2 and are in the process of upgrading to HPE CM 9.1.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not really had any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support was phenomenal when we were with MDY because we had more of a connection with the help desk. Through the acquisitions, the technical help has been OK, but less personal. Technical support for Autonomy Records Manager 12.6.2.2 will cease as of February 2017.

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

We previously used a custom “in-house” solution, which did not allow us to manage “electronic items” as records.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was complex because we were migrating from a custom “in-house” product to an “off-the-shelf” product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Research and understand pricing and licensing, especially the consulting services needed to implement the software.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time, we evaluated TRIM and others that I can’t remember.

What other advice do I have?

It always takes more time and money.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user607833
Records Management Coordinator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
The ability to add our own user-defined fields allows us to modify this product to suite our needs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are retention and additional field options. Retention is important because we need to know when records are due for destruction for compliance. The ability to add our own user-defined fields allows us to modify this product to suite our needs.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to be in compliance and we know where every single record is located. This allows us to be efficient.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see an improvement in the licensing process. It is very complicated and it seems to involve many different people throughout the entire process.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for over 15 years. It was a product originally developed by TOWER Software and purchased by HP.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

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

We used different in-house solutions over 15 years ago. They didn’t have many options and someone in-house had to create and manage them.

What other advice do I have?

This is a wonderful product with many options. We have never been disappointed by it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user607380
V.P. Information Technology - NAMICO at a non-profit with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Our approval process for claim invoices utilizes the annotation capabilities. It has reduced our reliance on paper.

What is most valuable?

Currently, we are just using the full client version of the application without using workflow or the web client. We do not use the desktop application (HPE Desktop) due to its limitations.

Our primary application has an embedded workflow, so we do not use the workflow capabilities of Records Manager.

How has it helped my organization?

There many ways that this application has improved our organization. The most significant is the reduction in paper generation and the ability to electronically annotate and manage all our documents.

Our approval process for claim invoices uses a manual workflow and utilizes the annotation capabilities of HPE Records Manager.

Along with our primary documents required for our insureds, we also store licensing and other departmental information in department-specific folders. This has significantly reduced the number of file cabinets and our reliance on paper. We have even extended the life of our printers from an estimated end-of-life in 2010.

What needs improvement?

Drag-and-drop in a Windows 10 environment has been an issue, but 9.01 resolves that issue.

Another resolution in 9.01 will be the removal of the custom email format. Currently, we must manually extract email messages when we want to distribute claim files on a CD.

There is no direct link from Adobe into HPE Records Manager. Since we work with a lot of PDFs, users must save to the desktop and then drag-and-drop into HPE Records Manager.

We currently use 8.x as our production client of Records Manager. That version does not support dragging and dropping of documents into Records Manager when your operating system is Windows 10 (It gives you an OLE error). This is a known issue by HP and they have no plans to upgrade and fix this in the 8.x clients. To resolve this issue we install a 9.x client on our Windows 10 machines. But this introduces another error. Now the Windows 10 users cannot edit custom properties on the records. This is due to a change between the 8.x security model and the 9.x security model. The 9.x client is not fully backwards compatible to the 8.x server. The solution is to upgrade our server to version 9.x (and all of our clients) and we have that scheduled for the spring.

In 8.x and earlier, Records Manager stored emails in a VBX format and the native format (optional). When you do a super-copy of the folder, for distribution on a cd, it extracted the emails always in the VBX format. Most people do not have VBX readers installed on their machines so our customers (or the lawyers who request the CDs) could not read any of the emails. Today we have a process of super-copying all of the appropriate records and then manually opening up and re-saving all of the email messages in an Outlook format.


It would be nice if Records Manager had a way to extract for offline reading and distribution, like ImageWrite, but we have managed to work around that requirement.

For how long have I used the solution?

We initially went into production in June 2008. We are currently running 8.30 in production but have validated and scheduled migration to 9.01 (HPE Content Manager) in spring of 2017.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft Office disabling the HPE Records Manager integration is an issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As our document stores have increased in size, we have a desire to split a document store into multiple stores. This has not been successfully tested with our current version. While this is not a pure scalability issue at this time, it does make it difficult to manage large document stores.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support as fair, as we have retained a consulting firm to supplement the support from HPE.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was somewhat straightforward. Our only major issue was that the guidelines for setting up our document stores were not geared to scalability.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have not had any issues with the pricing and licensing of this product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When we were evaluating this product, it was just being purchased by HP. This product was not very well known in the insurance industry and we located it through a general document management search. We also evaluated a number of standard insurance document management solutions including ImageRight and ImageNow.

What other advice do I have?

One advantage of this product is that it allows us to determine our own structure. Some insurance document management solutions require you to follow their structure. This has advantages and disadvantages, and you really need to understand and plan how you want to organize your data.

Organize your information in a way that makes sense for daily activities and working with documents. Do not fall into the trap of organizing data for searching. We have a few structures that have grown difficult for day-to-day work because they are optimized for searches that rarely occur.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user567567
IT Business Partner at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use it for document management and as a legal document repository.

What is most valuable?

We use it in the legal context a lot for document management and as a repository. It supports our legal document repository and document storage for working on cases.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps us in terms of efficiency when working with multiple people at the same time, on the same case. For example, if you have a legal case, there are multiple people interested in the case from various perspectives. It helps us keep everything together for making the case; collecting documents, emails, and many other elements into one environment.

What needs improvement?

We have not seen the working product yet, so It's difficult to talk about things that are not covered yet. We are still in a stage of getting it working. But we would like it to be more integrated. I would really like to see an ERP-type system for the legal community. There's much more to it than just a document repository. It's also about managing time registrations, and these type of things. So how can we further integrate it? How can we set up and organise an ERP system for legal, which is integrated with Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint-type services, and so on?

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Actually, we have not seen the product working yet, to be quite honest. We have seen a demo, but we have challenges getting it working with the metadata we have. In the demo, I think we have been using it for year. Since then we have been struggling to get it implemented.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is quite scalable if it is implemented correctly; at least within our environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

We used various experts from HPE to get it implemented. We've had a lot of talks, but not many results, to be quite frank.

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

We used various tools previously. We want to go to one integrated environment. But we have to benchmark the tools to determine whether they decrease or increase efficiency and then optimize all the processes. We have too many solutions that are too costly, and we want to go to one integrated environment.

How was the initial setup?

We've had it for a year now, and since we started implementation it has been, to say softly, a nightmare. I don't know what the complexity of the tool is, or if it is the environment, but we really have had big trouble.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked a some other vendors. OpenText is another one we have been looking at. We have also been looking at Microsoft.

From a product perspective, I would say HPE Content Manager definitely rates an 8/10. But, the experience we have right now is a 3/10. Our problems also have to do with the attitude of HPE regarding our autonomy to integrate it and work to get it done. We've had many conversations on that as well, so we feel a little bit like we've bought something, but at the same time, it is not working. Are we getting the proper support and commitment to really make it work?

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product. But HPE needs to step away from the commercial interest and really help us to get what it is that we are looking for. It always comes with a price, but it looks that it's not just a tick in the box. We want to really see it end-to-end that it's going to work for us as well.

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