Is social media making ECM redundant? For a long time this was the most likely scenario. A glance at the figures appears to confirm this trend: Whereas recently three-quarters of businesses used social media, barely a third used Enterprise Content Management software.
However, opposites attract – as can be seen in the "ECM Trend Check 2015" by Bitkom. Inspired by Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, ECM providers have integrated new functions into their software. The major focus is on collectively compiling documents, and making sure that they contain the latest information. In addition, ECM aids in distributing information to the correct targets, and revision-safe archiving of social media content.
"ECM and social media are closely linked under the key words of business collaboration, unified communication, social enterprise and similar terms," asserts the ECM Trend Check. Bitkom sees "internal business communication being transformed from a command & follow structure to transparent, interactive, and open collaboration." Here information – text, images, videos, etc. – from business processes within and between companies is exchanged via social media or Web 2.0 technologies in a partner network.
"Business collaboration connects ECM to social media. The platforms create transparent, interactive and open collaboration in businesses," explains Bernhard Zöller, deputy Chairman for ECM at Bitkom. Bitkom also sees new points of contact between ECM and social media in crowd sourcing, where data collection is no longer allocated to a service provider, but is processed by many people via the Internet.
According to Bitkom, individual SMEs are already reaping the benefits of new intra-company communication via social media – especially family firms which are being taking over by the generation who grew up with Facebook and Twitter. The growing flood of e-mails will only strengthen this trend. Bitkom assumes "that the transformation itself will take place more quickly at SMEs than at larger concerns due to their greater agility and less complex structures." Nonetheless, the point at which the wave of change will roll over SMEs is still "in the long-term future". On the one hand, the majority of SMEs have "less mature software levels with social components than large enterprises," so that an understanding of the advantages will take time. On the other hand, it will take several years for social media savvy decision-makers to hold key positions.
Enterprise Content Management
"Enterprise Content Management is a key area for digitalization," says Werner Lütkemeier, Marketing Director at d.velop AG. With its social ECM strategy, this software developer from Westphalia is attempting to "facilitate the main information platform for up-to-date business procedures and information processes." According to Lütkemeier, social ECM supplements "the advantages of traditional on-premises ECM systems with collaborative elements like working in teams and project groups." At CeBIT 2016, d.velop will exhibit at " ECM, Input/Output Solutions " in Hall 3. A total of around 250 companies will showcase their answers to the challenges presented by social media and other trends such as Big Data and cloud computing.