I’m really pleased to have Chris Riley participate as a guest contributor to the Colligo blog. Chris (@HoardingInfo) is a pure technologist and recognized industry expert in SharePoint ECM, SharePoint Governance, SharePoint Information Architecture, Document Imaging, Analytics, and Cloud Virtualization. He’s also the Product Manager and Evangelist at CloudShare, a cloud computing company with extensive expertise in SharePoint. And with that brief introduction, I’ll turn the blog over to Chris.
Thanks Barry and thanks for being invited to participate in the Colligo blog. I’m always happy to talk about important SharePoint issues, especially issues related to deploying SharePoint as an ECM.
With the introduction of SharePoint 2010, the platform is now fully accepted as a solution for Enterprise Content Management (ECM). But what does that really mean? In this blog series, I’ll try to answer that question and provide some tips to a successful SharePoint ECM deployment.
All versions of SharePoint have allowed the upload of documents. One would think if an enterprise application allowed you to upload a document, it’s good for ECM. While content storage is the foundation of ECM, there is much more too it. Earlier versions of SharePoint had some aspects of ECM but were missing a few critical elements. Namely:
- Robust meta-data model
- In-Place Records Management
- Audit Trails
- Retention Schedules
The inclusion of these features to SharePoint 2010, in addition to the already existing document check-in, check-out, versioning, collaboration, and security, make SharePoint 2010 a great fit for ECM. However, like all ECM platforms, to actualize a robust solution you have to do a little work.
Here are two things to keep in mind always.
1. SharePoint is a platform NOT an application. This means, it’s a collection of robust features that need to be formed into a solution. The right combination of features and settings, with the proper planning will make an ideal ECM solution. Trying to use it as an application is not the right way to go. A lot of ECM requirements will be met with out-of-the-box SharePoint features, but there might also be times when 3rd party plug-ins (like Colligo for email management) are very useful, especially in the area of content on-boarding.
2. ECM, while implemented via technology, is not technology, it is a set of practices and methodologies for gathering, storing, securing, and delivering content. There is no one technology that makes ECM; it’s a combination of technologies in the correct orientation that make great ECM solutions.
With this proper state of mind, an organization is ready to form SharePoint into a great ECM solution. In the next blog entry, I’ll talk about some of the top things you need to consider when building your ECM in SharePoint.