I’m currently looking/studying the different solutions to host an ECM in the cloud (PaaS or SaaS).
Do you have any experience regarding that?
Or any feedback from your experience? Are you aware of SaaS solution like Office 356 or Alfresco Content Services Online?
Many thanks for your help.
In addition to 365 and Alfresco that you mentioned, OpenText, Hyland, IBM (FileNet), and Oracle all have cloud versions of their ECM platforms in a SaaS or PaaS model. Of course there are then a slew of lower priced offerings.
The biggest thing to keep in mind going to a SaaS offering is the more limited ability to specifically “fit” to what a particular organization thinks they need. You have to be prepared to turn in the opposite direction (i.e. change how the organization works somewhat to fit the solution). Most times this is actually a good thing. There are instances though where this can potentially decrease some aspect(s) of the organizations competitiveness.
Another consideration is that, in order for a cloud offering to interop with on-premise applications/data, you typically have to implement some form of hybrid which increases complexity and cost both initially and ongoing for sustainment. Obviously, a portion of that increased cost is recouped through the deletion of capex and opex costs for on-premise infrastructure.
Finally, with any SaaS/PaaS offering, you also sign up for a, typically, MUCH more frequent change cycle with the solution. So, the organization has to be able to absorb that. Since SaaS/PaaS is typically end-user facing (vs. IaaS which is IT-facing), this is something to really consider.
I’m just new in this ECM world but here are a few thoughts for what it’s worth.
We just completed an evaluation of different solutions. We are a SMB and in the manufacturing sector. We have some employees that need to be engaged but have limited computer skills. So, simple UI and focus on user adoption was also important.
Being that we use Salesforce.com, we were at first hoping for a fully cloud-based solution. But taking into consideration all of our requirements, we decided to go with a hybrid solution. From my evaluations, I didn’t see many that offered the functionality we needed and were completely cloud-based.
What I did take away from our evaluation was this: You need to review all of your requirements (must haves vs like to have) and determine which system is best for your company. Don’t limit yourself and ensure that all of the “must haves” and as many of the “like to haves” are ticked!
If you want to have a further discussion, feel free to contact me. I’ll also be down at the AIIM conference next week.
Green Belting Industries
Many thanks Lorne and Linda for your helpful advice!
In addition to the vendors that Lorne listed, I’d like to point out that most vendors have a cloud solution available. If you are interested hearing about M-Files’ offerings, feel free to contact us at m-files@….
I could highlight a few things that come up very often in discussions that I have with our clients and prospects:
1.) Single Sign On is often requested and it makes a lot of sense to add that to your requirement list.
2.) Ability to decide where the data is going to be stored (e.g. only within USA or or only within EU)
3.) Encryption options for the data
4.) Multi-factor authentication
5.) Data migration options to the new system and from the new system if you want to move away from the system later.
Hopefully this helps.