Information Strategy, Integration and Governance

Putting Smarter Content in Motion for Better Business Outcomes

Using enterprise content management (ECM) to capitalize on large volumes of unstructured data

It’s no secret that today’s organizations are awash in information. We’re surrounded by massive, growing volumes of data. Unstructured content—from printed documents to social media posts—is growing uncontrolled in most organizations. For many organizations, unstructured content already constitutes 80 percent or more of total enterprise information. The growth of this content is driven both by lingering reliance on paper-intensive processes and by the rapid, chaotic proliferation of digital content for individual and collaborative use.

The good news is that every piece of information generated by the people, devices, and systems in your organization can be exploited for competitive advantage. Forward-thinking organizations realize that successful interactions between users and content play a key role in driving better business outcomes. For example, in many organizations, customer engagements are not limited to a single touch point. Conversations across a customer lifespan usually include many interactions with a company’s different internal organizations. Processes can be dynamic, nonlinear, and unpredictable. Examples include dispute resolution in banking, claims processing in insurance and care coordination in healthcare, which typically involve customer cases with extended and unpredictable life spans, heavy reliance on content in context, and collaboration across multiple actors during case execution.

To capitalize on all the available content in your organization, you need a flexible, scalable enterprise content management (ECM) system—one that can harness the large volumes of structured and unstructured information, provide mobile access and management capabilities, combine search and analytics to facilitate fact-based decisions, and provide lifecycle capabilities that help defensibly dispose of excess information. ECM systems must also be accessible to the modern end user, one who expects the ease of consumer web applications when interacting with and managing business content.

 

IBM Content Navigator

Recognizing these needs, IBM recently released new software designed to dramatically improve the way users interact with and manage business content. IBM® Content Navigator is a collaborative and mobile content solution that can help organizations maximize the value of information by putting content in motion.

Content Navigator:

  • Provides a centralized user interface that offers simple, unified control and clear views into multiple ECM repositories through virtually any browser and popular mobile devices.
  • Offers rich user-initiated intelligence and control, delivering a powerful out-of-the-box, multi-use case content platform that can be seamlessly extended to address specialized content applications.
  • Enables users to access, manage, and work with enterprise content directly from mobile devices and tablets anytime, anywhere.
  • Helps collect and manage the massive volumes of unstructured content created through the modern collaborative user experience.
  • Includes intuitively designed tools that make it easy to customize functionality, create security-rich team collaboration spaces, and provide custom views based on user roles.

 

Benefits to business

Most companies have had some form of content management or document management infrastructure in place for years—but legacy strategies are no longer adequate for today’s business environment. Traditional content management platforms lock content in multiple siloed repositories, which can lead to uncontrolled proliferation, inconsistent access, and mounting costs and risks. Even with substantial investments in an ECM solution, many organizations struggle to keep up with the pace of change and the dynamic increases in content creators, consumers, formats, sources and locations. Many deployed ECM environments address only a fraction of the total opportunity to improve content management, leaving significant performance gaps and opportunities for more systematic, strategic and consolidated approaches.

However, by taking advantage of the latest technologies, processing power, functionality, and integration points, organizations can now obtain significantly greater value from the documents and content associated with core business activities. By fully integrating document capture, case management, social content, content analytics, and governance capabilities, Content Navigator empowers companies to unlock the value of their unstructured data and transform key business processes to reduce risk, cut costs, and increase revenue.

The marketplace now expects high-value solutions for specific business issues. These solutions are designed to capture and activate information to drive better decisions. In addition to content and process management, the solutions rely on advanced analytics, business rules, collaboration, and social software. As a result, there is better collaboration, insight, responsiveness, flexibility, exceptional customer service, and regulatory compliance.

Applying ECM capabilities to core business activities has the potential to transform the way in which an organization manages key areas of the business, such as customer service or supply chains. By helping to transform current business activities into more streamlined processes, Content Navigator can help organizations reduce costs, increase productivity and efficiency, obtain market insight, reduce risk, and become more responsive to continually changing business climates.

 

Benefits to IT

Content Navigator also can help IT groups address rising storage costs and the added risks of storing tremendous volumes of content for long periods of time. For the most part, IT has little control over content, which is often stored across multiple desktops, file shares, email, and isolated document repositories. Storage costs can rise quickly as business groups copy and duplicate content to make it more accessible across departments.

With critical corporate content remaining “in the wild,” many organizations also face the risks related to keeping content longer than legally required. Information lifecycle governance strategies should be applied to critical corporate content, regardless of source or format, enabling an organization to classify content at the time of capture or creation, and apply an appropriate retention schedule, thus ensuring that content is retained no longer than legally required.

Content Navigator can also help organizations make the most of ERP, CRM, asset management, and legacy systems by enabling users to easily access documents associated with transactions, assist in decision making, and provide details about customers, assets, suppliers, and more. Users no longer have to seek supporting information by accessing another system or manually searching for that information.

 

What’s new in the IBM ECM portfolio
  • IBM Datacap Taskmaster Capture extracts information from document images for use in ECM and line-of-business systems. It operates as a universal capture portal that transforms all forms of documents entering the organization.
  • IBM Content Manager OnDemand for Multiplatforms helps organizations gain significant and fast return on investment by delivering instant access to bills, statements, and other print archive information.
  • IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search leverages sophisticated natural language processing technology like that found in IBM Watson™. It is a unified content analytics and search platform that helps anticipate and shape business outcomes by surfacing new actionable insights from enterprise content and tackling complex analytics issues even as information grows to big data scale.

 

Conclusion

IBM ECM solutions help companies realize the value of content for better insight and outcomes by putting content in motion: capturing, activating, socializing, analyzing, and governing it. IBM can help organizations identify critical content within large data volumes, and prioritize that content to gain insight to inform business decisions. IBM helps businesses put the right content in the hands of the right people, at the right time, while effectively managing the cost and risk of enterprise content from capture to disposal.

To learn more about IBM ECM solutions, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit ibm.com/software/data/content-management.

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Ken Bisconti

Ken Bisconti is vice president, product marketing and strategy, for IBM’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software. In this role, Bisconti oversees business management, product direction and strategy for IBM’s ECM products.

Bisconti previously held the position of vice president, Messaging and Collaboration Products, for IBM Software, and was responsible for IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino, Lotus Quickr, Workplace Forms and Workplace Collaborative Learning product families.

Bisconti holds a bachelor's degree in quantitative economics and decision sciences from the University of California at San Diego.