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Hello all, this is my first blog so be patient. I have been in the ECM space since 1990 starting out with GTE Vantage Solutions, wow, we have come a long way. But really when I think about it not much has changed, I was doing imaging, workflow, multimedia, video conferencing, document management, search, storage (using optical disks and juke boxes) so maybe a little has changed. But we had Documentum back then and a number of imaging and document management systems that didn’t make it.

OK enough of the past, so what has changed? Volume, we have lots of stuff out there and its doubling every 18 months they are telling us. Also Social, a new highway for a new type of collaboration. Cloud is fairly new but not relevant we still have to manage the stuff.

OK NextGenECM, so let me know what you think, I am thinking the only way to put a handle on all of this unstructured information that we have in our midst is to use Natural Language Processing (NLP), text analytics and content analytics.

Would love to hear what you think.

Big Lake Analytics

I agree that CA will change ECM forever. But ECM is so broad, where do you start? Can CA/NLP help with more than just the obvious CLASSIFY functionality of ECM? Where is the best ROI? Most folks don’t want to tag anything, and in some cases, social content mini-blogs, you are lucky to get a hashtag. Can CA/NLP help in this case? In fact, it seems there’s a lot of untapped gold in social media, which is quickly becoming a large part of the enterprise unstructured dark data store. Can CA/NLP improve the SEARCH functionality beyond finding to “finding insights”. If so, hang on, ECM is about to be re-invented!

Lowe’s Home Improvement Mooresville NC

I agree that ECM is broad and when we think of NLP and CA we need to use them with a specific focus. Define specific business cases and cater to specific markets that can benefit from the technology. For example enhancing customer experience is a vital goal for Telecom providers. Swift response to customer complaints can lead to “improved” customer experience. Therefore, if an ECM system with CA can identify complaints (complaints coming from various channels email, post, social media etc) and respond accordingly can actually generate business. Calculating ROI in this case is tough (feel free to suggest here)

.Therefore, I think there exists no silver bullet and we need to identify the painful areas where ECM along with CA can help to improve the processes.

Does it make sense?
Insiders Technologies GmbH Kaiserslautern

Does it make sense – Yes and No It makes sense in respect to solving a specific business problem like customer retention, but what about protecting your brand for example. If we were to use NLP and CA to annotate content coming in from social and sales sites we may be able to catch a problem in its infancy, there are many real world examples that I know of but don’t want to mention companies where an incident happened at a store or with a product then the world knew about it instantly. Getting out in front of these types of problems can provide more than an ROI in respect to Brand protection.

I know that in the auto industry certain problems were found through the use of NLP and CA in such a way to understand why a problem happened. By parsing all of the accident logs they saw a correlation between a certain hybrid car and hitting bumps like railroad crossings. These types of analytics can save lives.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I agree with you this is a broad space. I really do think there is a NextGenECM where analytics are built for a company to annotate all of the content in all of its repositories so that you don’t have to go to a social site or a document management site or a customer service site. There is a 360 degree view of a customer, product, service, asset, basically any entity in your company that displays your structured content from your MDM systems and the unstructured content tagged with analytics that is associated with it. To me this is really the future of knowledge management. And I believe we are there.

ECM Practice Lead Charlotte NC

If you would like to see a webinar on ECM and Content Analytics you can view it here. You can also download the presentation if you like.

Resources | Big Lake Analytics

Big Lake Analytics remove preview

Resources | Big Lake Analytics

Here you will find presentations and other materials that will help you navigate the waters of the new ECM landscape. Links to webinars, white-papers and other collateral are found here. Featured Presentation – Content Analytics & ECM – The Next Generation Of Information Management With the growth of unstructured information ECM systems are failing to produce results.

View this on Big Lake Analytics >

ECM Practice Lead
Charlotte NC

The example you gave in your middle paragraph is, to me, not an example of “content” or “unstructured data”. Logs are fully structured objects and any large scale analysis of such would better be portrayed as the vastly over-mentioned “big data” (forgive me for even typing it, please).


HI all; The real change in our industry has been the transition from save/store/retrieve after content has completed processing to save upon creation/receipt and track all actions/history, apply automated retention locks and controls, and allow for orgs’ to have a system that incorporates all the various versions of documents that are heavily loading down all NAS/SAN’s in organizations where users save documents where they want and then only send certain docs to records management when processing completed.

This was a very critical transition in our industry about 5 years ago, and most organizations are now going back to utilize these technologies differently and getting greatly improved results. Other variations in how various modules are used will continue to change and become available,, the key for any production environment is to gain control over all your official records at time of creation/receipt NOT when processing is completed. This requires an enterprise strategy, but this is where org’s get the most value out of their existing ECM systems, or those they procure.

We are updating AIIM ARP 1 and have several other documents in the standards program that can provide more information. Please feel free to reach out to Betsy Fanning (AIIM Director of standards), or you can contact me (I am the chair of several AIIM Committees and the vice-chair to the US delegation to ISO)

Hope all this helps,

Robert you are right that much has happened in the last 5yrs to enable the official/recording keeping side the ECM coin. And many companies are aligning with that target architecture which makes great sense. Unfortunately, since human nature will keep many of them speeding along not wanting to disrupt their processes, cognitive computing and NLP should help immensely – post process.

Also, some content is by nature transient or temporal in nature. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value though. Social, click-stream and sensor content are being captured at ever increasing rates within the organization. To address this kind of unstructured content another step-change for ECM is needed – enabled by CA/NLP.

Minicucci, I believe is suggesting a broader vision for all ECM unstructured content – BIG C, little c, and all the “c’s” in between.

Working together, conventional programmatic and cognitive computing (pre & post business process) should converge on an overall better ECM solution space going forward.

Lowe’s Home Improvement
Mooresville NC

My 2 cents :
Use of natural-language question answering (NLQA) technologies continues to increase, as more devices enabled like SIRI on apple (or MS and Google has on their devices). The result will be a lots of interest in using NLQA in organizations.
ECM vendors are adding better content composition/generations and analytic capabilities to their systems. Mobile device support and the ability of ECM systems to listen to signals such as device location
and device type will provide opportunities to utilize content more effectively.

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
[City] [State]

I created just such a strategy, and associated implementation framework, for a large oil/gas pipeline company here.
It CAN be done


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