What is the best ECM solution for a midsize management consulting firm?

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We have been working with MS SharePoint 2010 but are looking to migrate. Our content management needs are very different from a construction or a retail company, for example. 

What would you suggest would be the most suitable ECM solution for a management consulting firm? 

Our content basically consists of presentations, documents and tools developed in our projects and methodological type of content. 

Anonymous avatar x30
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28 Answers

Anonymous avatar x30
no oneReal User

Indeed, I have been a Confluence user for the past ten years and it is an
excellent document repository. It can take some getting used to for some
people, but with a little homework on their own tags you can set up very
easy to maintain sites with label/tag searching, and group pages and
documents anyway you want. It's an excellent tool and I wish they had it at
my new employer.
-Steve

Like (0)20 March 15
Shripad kulkarni li?1426597360
Shripad KulkarniReal UserTOP 20

Hi,

Choosing ECM tool is completely based on data of organization as well as core requirement, we can not choose simply by suggestion, requesting you to invite some content management tool owner's/consultants and work on some POC upon your core requirement.
for example if you have MS files like word, excel powerpoint etc and if you want to open it on browser directly and work accordingly or basically if you are seeking for best integration with MS office file then go for Office 365 or if you wanted to use native application then you can choose any one depends on your need. without basic Input it is difficult to suggest which one is better.

there are so many factors which supposed to be consider before choosing any tool.
1. Cost effectiveness.
2. simplicity or ease to use.
3. adaptability of user.
4. integration.
5. basic need fulfilment.
... so on.

for example you have only requirement of normal content management then may SharePoint is best one but Content Management is one of basic feature of SP but not gonna use complete power of SharePoint its for like you are going to use 20% feature of SP but paying for 100% feature.
give it a try for Confluence Wiki, it is also one of the best tool with simple design yet with power.

Like (0)20 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hi Felipe,

I work in a food and beverage industry, and we started the implementation of knowledge management here using Confluence.

https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence

The first wave is going on in the IT area, were I work, and now we are going to the second wave, including other areas.

Confluence looks like Wikipedia, it´s easy to use and helped us keep the knowledge in a unique base and improve our agility.

Like (0)20 March 15
Felipe fernandez castro li?1426598819

Hello everyone. Thank you all very much for your comments and insights, all very helpful indeed.

I will proceed to try to explain our situation in more detail as my initial post might has been quite broad:

Our current situation:
We are working with an Intranet which has been developed and customized over SharePoint 2010. Here we have two big problems which do not have much to do with SP per se (as far as I'm concerned with my little knowledge on the subject):
1. The initial development of our intranet was done by a third party and apparetly not in the most efficient and logial way, so our current provider of all our developments and maiteniance have quite a hard time configuring and implementing further developments on our intranet site, which makes it quite costly.

2. The structure of the site, metadata associated to the documents and overall user experiencie in the site is very unfriendly, so nobody in the organization uses the intranet very much. Know we have a Knowledge Management area in the company (this is where I came in), and one of the things I'm working on is taking our content portal to the next level. For this we have already started and implemented the process where all our knowledge and content is created, captured and classified (we have redefined our taxonimies, which is very important as Jonathan Lewis was pointing out). All we need is a good platform where this content can be shared according to this taxonomy we have defined, which will allow our search tool to provide very relevant search results according to the users (consultants) neeeds.

What are our requirements:
1. We need to have a corporate intranet where consultants can access key content that can enhance their productivity and deliver more value to our clientes, which is basically:

a) Access to our methodological content (methodologies, reports, models, industry benchamrks). These are mostly Powerpint presentations and Excel worksheets.
b) Access to our applied content from past proposals and projects. These are the proposal documents and all documents and deliverables which are generated during a project with each client
c) Access to internal experts in the organization. These experts can be classified by industry or/and capability (Strategy, Organization, Finance, Productivity)

2. We do not need a CRM application

3. The amount of documents and general data is relatively small

4. We would like to have some sort of enterprise collaboration tool, which some of the ECM incorporate (with features such as document reviews, ranking, popularity, likes, etc), Although we could also use and integrate some other existing tools such as Yammer or Slack, for example.

5. I'm not too sure of the difference betwen content and document management, but maybe a document management system is what we need as some have pointed out. As long as it can provide indexing and configuring all metadata and also allow us to develop a corporate intranet with it, which will cover the consultants content needs (points a, b and c).

6. The Knowledge Management area in the company will be in charge of classifying, curating and reviewing content, which is fundamental as some have also pointed out.

Basically what we need is a good search tool which will allow users to find exactly what type of content they need. I have also been researching about the Google Search Appliance which can be integrated with different ECM. I think this could be very aligned with what we need.

Thanks again!!

Like (0)19 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hello, I have been working for years with ECM, starting with a lotus notes
based Anderen's Knowledge Exchange in the early 90's. Main obstacle for all
these systems is that you have to open every "interesting" file that the
search engine produced. In my latest project I have deployed Atlassian
Confluence to manage the application documentation of a medium sized bank.
Using Confluence we have avoided the file saturation put focus on content
and mainly in content evolution. So it is very easy to find the most
updated content. You can have files too of course, but as a complement.
Hope this help.
Best regards,

Bonifacio.

2015-03-18 14:22 GMT+01:00 Russell Rothstein - CEO of IT Central Station <
site-admin@itcentralstation.com>:

Like (0)19 March 15
Brian meek li?1426793408
Brian MeekReal User

As others asked, what's wrong with SharePoint for the OP? I see a lot of plugs for alternatives without any information about what the requestor's issues are.

Like (0)19 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hi,

We need to know what are their issues with SharePoint. This sounds like a problem with their implementation and not with SharePoint.

Christine Zmich

Like (0)19 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30
Jonathan LewisReal UserTOP 20

IF your issues are in user interface there are plenty of clients for SharePoint that ease its use, like harmon.ie or Colligo. Otherwise Office 365 and some metadata organization, view and proper taxonomy should make your SharePoint work exactly for your needs .

Like (0)19 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30
Chris HallReal User

Sharepoint is changing in some many ways that Gartner now recommends people reconsider the platform. The really serious solution for ECM is IBM's Websphere Customer Experience Suite. This has continually ranked at the top right of Gartner's quadrant for many years. Historically this was only priced for the large end of town; we now offer it as a SaaS solution at a low price point. Serious content management, portals, social, forms and digital engagement. Send me your details to find out more.

Chris

Like (0)19 March 15
Krishna murthy li?1414335834

With your requirements and considering future perspective, Microsoft SharePoint online would be the ideal solution. As you dont have any scanning requirement or saving office files directly to sharepoint, SharePoint online would be the right solution. Microsoft would be focusing the future tools to cloud.

With proper planning for information architecture and the features what Microsoft SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online provides, it would solve your problems.

As above mentioned by gentleman, not only SharePoint any tool you use, you will end up having one person for maintenance.

if you have any requirements such as saving of files directly to SharePoint without opening a portal and scanning solutions, you can look for KnowledgeLake Inc product.

Like (0)19 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

I gather that this is basically a document management problem rather than
"content management" as used in the Web services world. I have dealt with
this problem several times. It is not really a technology issue it is a
library content management issue. Your client/friend needs staff that can
categorize and write descriptive information about each document. Without
description standards and someone to enforce them these repositories become
useless. I have seen companies change technologies as a solution and
quickly wind up with the same problem.

Like (0)19 March 15
Sharepoi144594 li?1414337752
DylanTReal User

I think it would be beneficial to know what the needs are. SharePoint is without competition if you are wanting to leverage existing active directory data for a people directory, need workflow to automate processes, use document automation, use Microsoft Office on the desktop and need custom integration to other software. It is quite easy to be caught out by authentication issues - for example few pieces of software that I have seen can integrate with windows claims authentication without a lot of work and third party software.

The good news is that if you only need document management with no integration then you have quite a wide choice. You could even use a full records management system.

Personally I like Alfresco for document management, workflow and search via a web browser, but it really depends on how the users work. Would desktop integration be an advantage? Then I would suggest SharePoint 2013 Foundation Edition - which is free, low of server requirements, and generally a fast and nimble version of SharePoint without the extras that you won't use. SharePoint 2013 also has the ability to compose and edit documents in the browser without client software, which is often a unique advantage in terms of saving on desktop licenses, so that's worth considering.

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hi,

Assuming the requirements for a management consulting firm would be:
1. Ability to store and retrieve documents (MS Word, XLS, PDF, PPT)
2. Enable document editing across devices and locations
3. Enable document review and approval
4. Share documents with internal users and/or Publish document to public
5. Associate metadata for quick search and access management
6. Allow users to review documents, provide feedback and/or ratings

Based on this, SharePoint 2010/2013/Office365 should be able to serve the need if configured properly. Office365 can enable editing across devices and locations.

Regards
Paresh

Like (1)18 March 15
Vladimir vukadinovic li?1423753711

Hi,

Liferay in combination with Alfresco is my suggestion. Depending on real requirements maybe Liferay alone.

Regards,

Vladimir

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

I used the sharegate tool and it was so easy for content /document/sharepoint site migration. It was a user friendly tool. I had done 2 tb of documents data with same permissions/versions has been replicated.

Like (0)18 March 15
James davidson james davidson gmail com li?1417624557

We use a combination of Salesforce for CRM, Jive for a Collaboration and Box for document management. It's a great and flexible combo. More information in my blog here:

http://www.7summitsinc.com/blog/we_are_a_social_business

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hi.

Well, firstly, it is important to understand the reasons why you are looking to migrate from MS SharePoint to another tool.

This point is fundamental to evaluate the tools available on the market and indicate the most appropriate for your business.

Best regards

Pedro Goulart Filho

add Consultoria

Like (0)18 March 15
Reviewer194778 li?1424033803

Hi!

I don’t have very much experience about EMC systems. I have used Documentum (now EMC Documentum) years and years ago. Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 and SharePoint Online is also used.

SharePoint is quit messy software but you can live with it. Unfortunately Microsoft have limited some features in SP Online cloud service and some rumors are ‘in air’ that MS will deliver totally new product in the future. We (Citrus Solutions, a IT consultancy and software developing company) is MS Gold Partner so license fee is not a problem.

M-Files is a ricing star in the Gartner-4 ECM. I have used it. It comes from Finland. It has tons of adaptors for documents and files done by almost any old systems. And connections to Microsoft stack, too. We have used it but quit lightly way.

Open source site have for instance <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfresco_(software)> Alfresco, but I have not used it.

Regards,

Antero Karjalainen

Like (0)18 March 15
Sam montoya csm li?1421781834
Sam Montoya, CSMReal UserPOPULAR

Based upon user feedback, I'd actually look at HP Worksite's solution. You technically can use Salesforce as mentioned, but using a CRM as a content management solution may not be your best bet as you'd be buying a tool that's focused elsewhere. The other option would be to use a cloud based solution, but again, depends on what level of security you require for it. There's really not enough information in your request to base any real analysis upon.

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

My last experience with SharePoint was while working for a consulting company on a project for a Fortune 500 companies. We used SharePoint to manage’ project documentation such as technical requirements documents, SOWs, business requirement documents, QA plans, presentations, spreadsheets and other project related documents.

SharePoint is an expensive solution that requires its own IT administrator. We struggled using SharePoint for project documentation. In my opinion SharePoint would not be a great choice for a management consulting firm needs. Our team of 100+ employees spread across 3 continents and 5+ offices spent far too much time looking for information, trying to determine if we had the latest information and wondering if someone else was working on the document at the same time. The same document can be saved in SharePoint in multiple locations making it nearly impossible to determine which is the latest version.

I have also used SharePoint while working for a large publishing company Although I found it useful as a way to find colleagues in my company who were working on similar projects in different parts of the country, it was clunky in terms of drilling down to information quickly. We had SharePoint in place for other needs related content generation and there was an internal initiative to leverage the investment for other needs. In my opinion, newer tools have emerged that do a better job of managing content.

docSTAR Eclipse ECM provides one central repository for all project documentation. It is easy to use, scalable and provides instant access to any document, any time, anywhere using any device.

Both paper and electronic documents can be imported into the system from almost any source including scanning, importing, email, fax, and print streams. Powerful search features allow users to search for and find a document and any related documents instantly. Documents supports storage of documents in their native file format to maintain legal integrity. Documents can also be converted to PDF files for sharing. Multi-level search features allow users to find documents based on client names, custom indexed fields or keywords. Once found a document can be previewed and opened instantly.

docSTAR Eclipse ECM collaboration and workflow features include version control, annotations, routing and approval and audit management. Eclipse also includes the ability to control the file naming taxonomy. Records retention features allow you to set documents to be retained based on regulatory requirements, placed on legal hold when litigation arises and set for review and destruction at the end of the retention period.

Documents stored in docSTAR Eclipse can be shared with third parties for collaboration via a variety of permission-based settings and features. Providing access to specific client or vendor related documents is quick and easy. Documents can be shared across locations and departments based on highly configurable permission settings. Eclipse can also be integrated with almost any OBDC/SQL compliant system such as ERP systems, CRM systems and other common business applications that should share data.

Eclipse is secure and scalable. It can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid configuration. Deployment is quick and easy and requires minimal to no IT assistance.

Choosing the right partner implementation partner is important when selecting an ECM solution. PiF Technologies (http://www.piftechnologies) is the number one docSTAR reseller in the United States. PiF has been implementing and supporting docSTAR solutions across multiple industries for nearly two decades. Our professional services team has vertical and horizontal expertise in enterprise content management best practices and can tailor a solution for any company-specific business process.

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30
no oneReal User

It sounds like you need a basic Intranet - a place for internal documents
and communications.
There are a host of cheap and easy tools that might work.
Do a search for small business intranet software. godaddy web sites, or any
of their competitors, could be used for a small office to set up shop -
with privileges managed for internal and external pages. Even the free
google sites tool can be used as a place to keep and share documents for a
small business. Or, you can buy a DNS and buy more space from Google and
make it more official. In general, Sharepoint can be overkill because it is
/ can also be a development platform. That said, there are sharepoint
services that are pre-packaged and subscription based that may also be
worth looking into. The first step would be to imagine HOW you want WHAT
documents organized for WHOM, and then look at a few of those tools on a
trial basis to see if they are easy and effective to do it.
Steve L.

Like (0)18 March 15
James osborn li?1423772160
James OsbornReal User

Hi,

I would look at a bigger solution, we use SalesForce.Com to run our whole business. If you would like more details please let me know.

Regards,

James

Like (0)18 March 15
Advait thakur li?1426245817
Advait ThakurReal User

Definitely Office 365 to allow some elasticity to scale on the go and a tight integration to Microsoft office products allowing a great level of collaboration.

Like (0)18 March 15
Doug mackay li?1418847372
Doug MacKayReal UserTOP 5

Hi,
Yes we see this all the time. We can help.

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

Hi,

For a management consulting company the ECM solution need not be too
much data intensive and it needs to have a workflow and focus primarily in
document management.I guess in this space the Alfresco ECM tool being Open
source can serve the requirement.for pure document management. This will
not only save the cost but also ensure it is followed in open standard and
can be platform independent.

Thanks,
Sayantan Mondal

Like (0)18 March 15
Ken kingery li?1414337812
Ken KingeryReal User

A company out of NY called Astria Solutuions group (AKA Docstar) has an HTML5 ECM platform called Eclipse which has a Fortune 1000 feature set at a Fortune 5000 price point. Very easy to use and powerful integration with Office. Hope this helps.

Like (0)18 March 15
Anonymous avatar x30

We implement HP Autonomy Worksite into Professional Services Firms and Law Firms. Most of the top global audit firms are using WorkSite because of the way it centres content around Clients/Projects/Engagements.

Happy to have chat and give a demo if this helps

Lee Huggett
RBRO Solutions

Like (0)18 March 15
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