Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) - Filenet

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a formalized means of organizing and storing an organization's documents, and other content, that relate to the organization's processes but the actual definition as per Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) International :

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM covers the management of information within the entire scope of an enterprise whether that information is in the form of a paper document, an electronic file, a database print stream, or even an email’

Vendors recognized by the 2009 Gartner ECM Magic Quadrant include Alfresco, Autonomy, Digitech Systems, Dess Technologies, Day Software, EMC, Ever Team, Fabasoft, HP, Hyland Software, IBM, Laserfiche, Microsoft, Newgen Software Technologies, Objective Corporation, Open Text, Oracle, Perceptive Software, SAP, Saperion, Siav, SpringCM, SunGard, Systemware, Xerox and Xythos Software

Prior to 2003, the ECM market was dominated by a number of medium-sized independent vendors that fell into two categories: those who had originated as Document Management companies (Advanced Processing & Imaging, Documentum, Laserfiche, FileNet, OpenText, Db technology) and had begun adding on management of other enterprise content, and those who had started as Web Content Management providers (Interwoven, Vignette, Stellent) and had begun trying to branch out into managing other types of content such as business documents and rich media. Larger vendors, such as IBM and Oracle, also had offerings in this space, and the market share remained largely fragmented.

In 2002, Documentum had added collaboration capabilities with its acquisition of eRoom while Interwoven and Vignette countered with their respective acquisitions of iManage and Intraspect. Similarly, Documentum purchased Bulldog for its Digital Asset Management (DAM) capabilities while Interwoven and OpenText countered with acquisitions of MediaBin and Artesia. OpenText also acquired European companies IXOS and Red Dot to shore up its software portfolio. In October 2003, EMC Corporation acquired Documentum. Soon EMC's primary competitors in the database space responded as IBM purchased FileNet and Oracle purchased Stellent in 2006. OpenText also purchased Hummingbird in 2006. Hewlett-Packard (HP) entered the ECM space with its acquisition of Australian company Tower Software in 2008. In March 2009, Autonomy purchased Interwoven, in July 2009 Open Text acquired Vignette, and in February, 2011 OpenText acquired MetaStorm.

FileNet is an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution product suite from IBM. Enterprises uses FileNet to manage their content and business processes.

FileNet P8 platform, the latest version of FileNet system, provides a framework for developing custom enterprise systems, offering much functionality out of the box and capable of being customized to manage a specific business process.

FileNet Enterprise Content Management (ECM) product suite includes:

Content Management Products:

1. FileNet Content Manager (CE) – CE is the core content management solution for the FileNet P8 platform.

2. FileNet Image Services (IS) – IS is used to store and manage documents.

Business Process Management Products:

1. FileNet BPM - BPM manages workflows to reduce cycle times and to improve productivity by streamlining and improving complex processes. BPM component includes Process Engine, Process Analyzer and Process Simulator.


1. An insurance company receives address change requests from it policy holders though a signed form mailed to one central location. The requirement is to digitalize the request came though paper form, process it quickly, send the response to customer and keep the digital images (for say 7 years) for regulatory reasons.

FileNet technology provides a platform and out of box products which help automating this kind of processes quickly. After manual prepping of mails received in mailroom, 'FileNet Capture' allows scanning paper documents. Once scanned, digital images (documents) can be stored in 'FileNet Content Engine (CE)' and a workflow is launched in 'FileNet Process Engine (PE)'. The work of address change is now assigned to an employee located in different part of the world. The employee gets the work request in 'FileNet Business Process Framework (BPF)' web application's user in-basket. The employee checks the request assign to him and performs the address change activity on the customer policy. After performing the address change work, communication is sent back to customer and digital documents are moved to 'FileNet Record Manager' for archival.

2. Many banks have converted to storing copies of old checks within ECM systems versus the older method of keeping physical checks in massive paper warehouses. Under the old system a customer request for a copy of a check might take weeks, as the bank employees had to contact the warehouse to have someone locate the right box, file and check, pull the check, make a copy and then mail it to the bank who would eventually mail it to the customer. With an ECM system in place, the bank employee simply searches the system for the customer’s account number and the number of the requested check. When the image of the check appears on screen, they are able to immediately mail it to the customer—usually while the customer is still on the phone

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