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On storing information. What is ECM? What is the difference between ECM and DM?

Many companies encounter difficulties when storing their corporate data. In lack of unified archive, employees store data on their hard drive or in the cloud storage, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. This is not secure, to say the least. Corporate data could easily get into the bad hands, as it is difficult to control the security levels of the data, as well as to have easy access to the necessary files all in one place.

Throughout the recent years, Russian businesses started to actively implement document management systems (DM), as well as enterprise content management systems (ECM). Those terms are usually considered as synonyms, but it is quite incorrect to unite them.

In order to get things clear, let us go through most commonly used data types. In any company, there are two types of data: structured and non-structured.

Structured data is stored according to specific rules. It is usually represented in the form of tables or notes, and stored in the specialized accounting systems. For example, invoices and dispatch notes, acts, mandates, etc. – are this kind of data. 1C, SAP and other systems are used to manage this structured data. The amount of such data in one company could reach up to 20-25%.

Non-structured data would be the rest of the corporate content: contracts, photo-, and video data layout, PDFs, E-mails, etc. The amount of such data could be up to 75-80%.

Getting back to the comparison, DM systems are managing the structured data. These systems conduct accounting, registration, control incoming and outcoming correspondence, orders, as well as allow controlling and executing assignments.

ECM is, on the other hand, a much broader term. The ECM system could work with both structured and non-structured data – to put it the other way, with all of the corporate data. This type of system is implemented in order to help employees work on projects, create and manage workflows, edit documents and connect with their colleagues. And, as for the employers, ECM system has the functionality to control task execution by the employees, and to track workflow performance statuses in real time.

Besides that, every ECM system has its own repository – the data storage. These storages are usually used for the systematic, centralized and secure way of storing the corporate data.

The advantages of the Citeck Ecos electronic archive.

Citeck Ecos storage is based on the open source Alfresco ECM platform. Our solution is adapted to become the versatile and powerful tool for storing corporate data, structured or not.

The access to the archive is conducted through the web-interface, which makes it available from any corner of the world, and by any device.

Citeck Ecos supports many file types, and mostly any available format. Besides that, the files – audio, video, text or other documents – could be browsed right through the server, without downloading them on your computer.

These files do not have specific types, which means, that any properties could be added to them, even ones that are not typical for the given format. This may come in handy when many employees use the file during their teamwork.

If you have the necessity to scan many documents at once (for example, accountant documents), our system supports the stream input through the open source Ephesoft software.

Searching for specific files in the archive is also an essential task for many companies. Citeck archive implements documents and file search, using any attribute (property) or text. This solves many problems at one. For example, you could easily find the contract that was created 2 years ago and collect primary documents for the tax agency or contractors.

Who would benefit from the electronic archive?

First, the electronic archive would be essential for the long-running businesses that have many staff.  The document-oriented businesses could also profit from the electronic archive, as well as businesses from the financial, juridical sectors of economy, as well as trade industry. Engineering and manufacturing industries could now effectively store and easily access technical documentation and new developments. Small and medium businesses could structure their content, simplify the access to the necessary files and documents, and prevent file leakage to the opponents.

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