EDMS/ECM system selection terms
TAdviser asked developers and SED/ESM-sistem integrators to answer a question of selection terms of such solutions. Features of systems to which modern customers pay attention were as a result defined.
Russian EDMS/ECM Systems Market overview
2019: Selection terms of a modern EDMS/ECM system
Easy adaptation and instruments of independent setup
In comparison with the middle of the 2010th years when customers spoke about uniqueness of the processes and need to seriously rebuild under them functionality of systems, recently even more often the choice is made for benefit of "box" with opportunities of easy adaptation of a system.
According to Konstantin Istomin, the chief executive of Directum, the boxed option is cheaper, it is simpler to accompany and update it — the price becomes more powerful criterion when choosing a system. At the same time it is important that in boxed option there was a broad set of solutions for closing of a big range of tasks of the enterprises. For example, the ready functionality for exchange of documents with partners becomes one of mandatory requirements.
As we are engaged in project activity it is necessary to adapt and finish our solutions under specific requirements. It is effective to do it using ready tools. In our case it is the universal designer who allows to modify business process or any other element of the solution for the shortest terms. If there is no ready configuration under the customer, we can quickly zamaketirovat and show the solution which for 90% will meet expectations of the customer. And as EDMS it is almost always crossed now with BPM and ECM, such opportunities of the platform become especially relevant, - he tells.
Elena Piskunovich, the Head of Department of portal solutions of Corus Consulting Group, adds that for many companies it is important to have an opportunity to configure EDMS without additional programming. Therefore most often they select platforms with existence of a large number of the built-in instruments of independent setup of a system.
According to Ilya Zaychikov, Product owner of EDMS THESIS, an optimal variant — when right after installation it is possible to use EDMS and to solve standard problems, such as workflow automation, offices or management of instructions. At the same time, he notes, many did not get used to adapt to restrictions of different information systems therefore advantage is the flexibility, a possibility of adaptation under specifics of business processes of each organization and further development.
Important selection term is also the system interface. It should be simple, convenient and not demand from users of accomplishment of excess actions.
According to Vladimir Andreyev, the president of DocsVision company, customers pay attention to degree of convenience of the interface and simplicity of training and also to existence of beautiful counters. All this continues to attract customers, he says.
Konstantin Istomin, the chief executive of Directum, adds that improvement of the user interface (UI/UX) directly influences work speed in a system.
If earlier only the efficiency for the company was at the center put, then now bigger emphasis is placed on convenience of employees. And the personnel — nearly main resource of digital economy. The new generation of workers appreciates personal comfort more corporate, and this real situation with which it is necessary to reckon, - he explains.
Until recently existence of mobile application in principle was one of selection terms of EDMS. However now it is already must have, and comparison goes on richness of opportunities.
Mobile application should be not "makeweight" to a system, and to maintain almost complete functionality desktop or the web client, and ideally also to expand it at the expense of opportunities of the modern smartphone, - Denis Seleznyov, the CEO of First Form considers.
Also the representative of SER Dmitry Mervitsky agrees with colleagues. According to him, the trend on mobility proceeds therefore existence a web of the client and mobile version almost always is the mandatory requirement.
Simplicity of integration
Important factor of the choice of a system are possibilities of its integration into other solutions. According to Vadim Ipatov, the deputy CEO of InterTrust company for business development, integration opportunities of EDMS draw attention.
Many customers are in process of digital transformation now that means the uniform culture of the automated processes on the scale of the organization and seamless information flows. From here great interest to creation of the business solutions involving several information systems, - he notes.
Dmitry Mervitsky, the head of representative office of SER in Russia and the CIS, adds that existence of ready connectors to different ERP and CRM systems and also connectors to the main operators of e-document flow is important.
In case of the potential large solution much attention is paid to architecture of the platform. According to Vladimir Andreyev, to customers possibilities of smooth scaling, performance, independent development and creation of new solutions based on a system are important.
The customer pays attention to such criteria of a system more and more as high performance, the scalability, the developed services for operation in difficult corporate IT to infrastructure, etc., - are confirmed by Dmitry Arefyev, the head of business process automation Digital Design.
Practice of use of a system in similar projects
In addition to the technical moments of the customer real practice of use of a system in the cases similar to tasks which he is going to solve interests. At customers the opinion was created that in basic platform functionality all systems presented at the market are similar, and here solutions for automation of specific subject objectives and define degree of compliance of a product to real needs of the customer.
The supplier of a product and service should not only own basic technologies, but also be guided in data domain of the specific functional customer and have an opportunity to quickly show subject functionality in the solution, - Vladimir Andreyev is sure.
According to Dmitry Arefyev, professionalism of a command plays the increasing value both in data domain of automation, and in the field of project management.
Acquisition value and ownerships
Modern customers can approach the choice of a system from different points of view. If tasks at the company standard, for example, automation of some business processes, approval of agreements, setup of exchange of documents with partners and integration with YuZEDO providers, then, according to Svetlin Savov, development directors of FTS Russia, customers are inclined to select a system taking into account a ratio "cost functionality" where they do not want to overpay.
When the companies automate point functions of business, they select technology proceeding from requirements to accomplishment of assigned tasks and rather low cost. For example, functionality of management of invoices from suppliers or automation of process of management of claim and claim work, - he says.
When replacing an old system by new the factor of economy can play a crucial role.
We have a number of successful implementation projects of EDMS Docsvision at commercial customers, and the low cost of ownership of a system became the driver of their choice. At the same time they received higher performance, a bigger functional scope, high customization and an opportunity to develop a system independently regardless of unique specialists, - Dmitry Arefyev from Digital Design explains.
Besides, at discussion of the price by customers it is positively perceived offers on the basis of a competitive model of licensing. It is also important to customer to understand that he does not buy functionality which is not necessary to it, i.e. it is necessary that the functionality of a system (platform) was divided into functional units or services.
It is possible to refer to an issue of optimization of the price also lack of the hidden licenses, for example, need of purchase of additional licenses for DBMS. As a result, support of PostgreSQL becomes more and more relevant, - Dmitry Mervitsky says.
According to Artem Moiseenko, the head of department of examination and development of Business Logic company, such criteria as aggregate value and convenience of using under a specific objective, are important for the small companies. He notes that in this case the cloud services giving an opportunity of fast connection and shutdown of necessary functionality come out on top.
Presence of specialists in the market and ecosystems of community
If ECM is selected as the platform, join the game and other selection criteria. As the expert of TerraLink Evgeny Kuchiyash notes, customers, except the price, even more often look at a technology stack and its availability, presence of specialists in the market, an ecosystem of community, existence of successful implementations and investment of vendor into Research and Development.
Among the international organizations with wide network of divisions support of multilingualism at the level of the interface and content becomes the important requirement to a system.
It allows to work with documents in a single system to the staff of the company in all divisions and at all levels of management, - Elena Piskunovich, the Head of Department of portal solutions of Corus Consulting Group tells.
- Customizability – objects, sets of metadata, processes, representation of results
- Cross-platform, availability for service with different hardware and software platforms
- Speed making changes in settings and processes
- Import substitution, compatibility with other domestic goods and close integration within necessary scenarios of work.
The expert of Business Logic Artem Moiseenko, adds that the large organizations stake on own single technology platform based on which they will be able to develop services necessary for them. Therefore to them performance, scalability, fault tolerance and functional expansibility of the platform are important. And quite often large corporations think of independent providing industry cloud IT services based on the created platform to other, less large companies.
According to Alexander Rodionov, the director of the department of management of documents, the head of the Center of innovations Lanit, the big customer looks at existence of the ready-made application solutions implemented on a core which accelerate system implementation. It can be horizontal solutions as, for example, administrative document flow or industry solutions.
More likely, it is possible to speak about functional niches of each vendor. Happens so that standardly the customer selects for support of a contracted work of one vendor, and for organizational and administrative documentation – another, - the expert adds.
2013: Experts about EDMS selection terms
Each customer has priorities, otherwise it would be very easy to make EDMS. However most often system selection terms (actually of course solutions based on one of systems) can be reduced to the following basic coordinates:
1) Completeness of ready functionality in relation to the customer's tasks
2) Possibilities of setup of the available functionality under specifics of the customer, including the customer's forces. Labor input of such setup and qualification requirements to adjusters.
3) Possibilities of development of functionality at development of requirements of the customer, including the customer's forces. Labor input of such development and qualification requirements to developers of new functionality.
4) Degree of dependence of the customer on the solution designer. Very important – the more direct programming, the this dependence is higher, the amount of works (items 2 and p3, the are higher qualification requirements) is more the this dependence is higher. It is important that this point actually represents money which should be paid the developer in the future. It allows to measure points 2 and 3 in cash.
5) Ownership cost (the amount of non-recurring costs on an implementation project and operating costs, turning-on license fees, technical support of vendor and the solution designer, costs for the internal personnel which is engaged in support and operation). It is important to consider at the same time life. Usually nonflexible system is brought to be taken out of service it turns out above earlier therefore initial costs are carried for the smaller term and TSO. The TCO, subjects short terms of payback and the less real costs for the project is lower.
6) Implementation cost. It is actually not the most important indicator. It plays a role, only if the competing products close the first two points. But it is important for decision-making. If the budget is selected – in it it is necessary to be located. The customer understands everything about TCO and future costs, but future budgets are tomorrow. And today there is here such budget and in it it is necessary to be located or the project, important for the customer, will be postponed.
Most correct to the customer to make "wind rose" in these coordinates, to approve it inside and to use then as base for comparisons and estimates of the competing offers. Each coordinate can compare the list of opportunities and to carry out for itself their ranging.
First of all it is necessary to be convinced that in the considered system there is all necessary functionality which is required to the company.
Often developers say much, as a result it turns out that the required functionality is implemented not as the "boxed" solution - quickly and cheap, and is developed long and expensively during an implementation project. It is necessary to gain from the developer "road map" developments of his solution. Well, and of course, it is necessary to look how a system in other organizations works and on how many they are satisfied with it.
The majority Russian EDMS are guided by standards of yesterday so far - classical office. Our company uses the tool today's and tomorrow already now - the organization of document flow by means of Business Process Management Suite because the guaranteed complete circuit of work with the document is only this way provided.
Such approach allows to approach in a complex a question of work with the document and to provide the working tool both for the contractor and for the head, and not just to provide operational activity of final contractors as in classical office so. The document should live in a system. Today simple storage and archive of documents are not interesting to many companies any more, there is an accurate created need for routes, approval, discussion, acquaintance. Use of document flow with the digital signature is also perspective – this opportunity will become a necessity over time. At the moment our legislation up to the end did not regulate the digital signature, but the first steps are already taken. This opportunity for the present rather expensive.
All companies are unique, at everyone the specifics. Therefore before starting the choice of an electronic document management system, the company management needs to define and formulate for itself what problems face it and, respectively, what problems EDMS will have to solve. After that – to try to analyze the solutions existing in the market on their compliance to your tasks. EDMS can be subdivided on:
- Electronic (departmental) archives of documents
- Systems of office-work (clerical systems)
- Niche (on functions or on subject)
- Custom solutions, etc.
Such classification gives the chance, proceeding from the task and opportunities, to narrow the choice to several solutions.
Having defined the necessary category EDMS, it is possible to make a choice on the basis of the system of criteria. Are important, in particular:
- Characteristic of the producer (its reliability, experience of implementations, etc.)
- The platform on which the solution is based
- Compliance of the offered functionality to your requirements
- Possibility of completions under specific requirements
- An opportunity to test a system before purchase
- Convenience, simplicity and clearness of the interface
- Possibility of adaptation of functionality under requirements of different employee groups (clerks, heads, business specialists – all who work with documents)
- Possibility of user training of the customer to work with a system.
In conclusion I will add that such analysis requires a lot of time and forces therefore, perhaps, it is worth entrusting it to specialists. In particular, in InterTrust company the special Center of consulting and implementations which specialists are ready to conduct information examination of business processes of the enterprise works and to draw an expert opinion on document flow optimization.
It is no secret that today the companies impose more and more high requirements to electronic document management systems. Today's trends of market development of EDMS are directly dictated by needs of the customer. For example, if a few years ago only the EDMS few developers thought of providing web access to the systems, then now it is regulation for systems. The requirement of simple access to a system and ease of work in it is the cornerstone of any project.
As an example, it is possible to consider the THESIS system in which from the very beginning the web client provides 100% of functionality. It allows to work fully with corporate information from any place in the world where there is an Internet, without binding to a specific workplace. The full-fledged web client allows the customer to save essential means on an implementing solution stage as does not require works on deployment and setup of a system at workstations also. And it considerably facilitates life to IT service of the customer at support of ECM. On the other hand customers impose absolutely contradictory requirements to EDMS. Along with desire of use of a system for support of classical document flow, demand compliance to modern world IT trends of expansion of functionality from EDMS practically to scales of ESM.
In conditions of fierce competition to developers, naturally it is necessary to consider it. In particular, the new version of the THESIS system appears not less than 2 once a year. Each release is created taking into account the updated requirements and opinions of users. If to speak about the beznes-sphere or a public sector, here requirements are based on scales of the organization and need of automation of different business processes including unique. Today the companies feel the need for complete solutions which help to systematize unstructured information and to create a common information space. Considering these features, we created a system which gives to users a broad set of opportunities on the organization of office-work and electronic archive, process management and also a set of specialized modules. For convenience of work all these opportunities are implemented based on a single platform.
2012: 8 steps to implementation
From the translator. Implementation of an ECM system represents rather difficult process which result in many respects depends on the correct organization. We bring to attention of our readers translation of article of the chief executive of the American company Crest Businness Solutions Hemant Prasad devoted to problems of the choice and implementation of ECM systems. As the director of the company of Gartner on researches Tom Bell notes, in 50% of cases implementation of ECM solutions is unsuccessful if less than 6 months were spent for the choice of vendor and planning. If the number of unsuccessful projects is valid such is, then it should cause concerns in those who are going to implement the ECM solution, having spent for it several hundred thousands of dollars. ECM systems usually are implemented to save means, to reduce the number of paper documents and to create a uniform repository for all users. Quite often all this comes to an end with the fact that a system works slowly, and it is impossible to use it: it is too difficult for daily use moreover and works slowly. The increased complexity in combination with extremely low speed cause perturbation of ordinary users and spoil life to IT specialists.
What should the head of the organization or the IT manager make to avoid such fiasco? On the basis of own experience I will give in this Article 8 of recommendations which can significantly increase chances of successful implementation.
1. Outline a circle of own requirements. It is very important to define that it is necessary for you. ECM is very wide area. Therefore it is necessary to foreknow what components of an ECM system will be required to you: capture, storage, security, etc. To receive the answer to this question, it is required to poll heads of all divisions, and then to make the decision. Ideally the number of components of a system should be minimized: only in this case a system will not turn into information garbage can in which all necessary and unnecessary documents will be stored.
2. Select the consultant. If in your organization there is no employee with experience of implementation of ECM solutions or with good knowledge in the field of ECM, it is worth inviting the professional advisor who will define that it is necessary for you in your situation, will pick up the adequate solution and vendor.
3. Select the suitable solution. In a situation when hundreds of systems are presented at the market, it is very difficult to pick up what is really necessary. We vydelyam three groups of ECM solutions:
- Minimum solutions. As it appears from the name, such solutions otvechatt to the minimum set of requirements, but at the same time they not could be are improved and will hardly conform to requirements of tomorrow. Their undoubted advantage is low cost. Undoubtedly, such solutions can be recommended to those who only begin acquaintance to ECM. Their main shortcoming is that it is impracticable to expand and modify them: in process of organization development they will hardly be able to help with the solution of the appearing problems.... The simple electronic document management system which is supporting all most widespread file formats and including feature set for control of versions can be an example of the minimum solution.
- Comfortable solutions. The solutions meeting the requirements of today and at the same time the expansions allowing an opportunity in the future belong to this group. In comparison with solutions from the previous group such solutions are represented by much more perspective.
- The best solutions. The thought-over solutions checked in practice belong to this group. Their cost can be high, and they are available to not all organizations. Such solutions are subdivided into components and can be implemented in parts.
4. Select the partner in implementation. I sometimes should organize reference visits of our some acting customers — to potential customers (generally it is clients from banking sector). Potential customers know about ECM very little and want that heads from the present customer shared own experience of implementation and use of ECM systems. I did not know that the client will tell about our services, but everything passed well. The CEO of bank told about about what errors it allowed, implementing at himself an ECM system and as it corrected these errors, eventually having successfully completed an implementation project. There are three moments to which he paid attention:
- the technology has huge value therefore it is necessary to select the platform which will meet the growing requirements of your business within at least next year (more universal solution can refuse for you too expensive);
- not the smaller value has also the choice of vendor. You need vendor which not only knows a system which you purchase, but understands also specifics of business processes of your organization. Otherwise you can spend a lot of time for explanation of specifics of business to developers. The staff of your organization penetrated into specifics of work as years; really you think that developers will be able to understand everything for several weeks?
- train and bring up future users of a system, explain them advantages of new technology.
5. Pilot implementation vs. widespread introduction. It is quite possible that you purchase the best solution of good vendor — but even it does not give a guarantee of successful implementation in your organization. Activity of all organizations has the specifics, behavior of users — too. In some organizations after the presentation the vendor performs the pilot implementation of the software product allowing to reveal as far as the last corresponds functional and to business requirements. It allows to reduce many risks which are involved by instant widespread introduction.
6. Integration into other applications: it is necessary or is not necessary? The majority of applications are based on the service-oriented architecture now that allows to integrate them with other applications. Such opportunity in certain cases can be very useful. Many applications save information in the xls or PDF format — and it is possible to place it in a repository at once. Many ECM systems can be integrated with ERP systems and also with Business Process Management Suite thanks to what it is possible to save time and means significantly.
7. Take care of due technical support after implementation. When in the organization all celebrate successful system implementation very few people think that this success can turn back a nightmare after a while. On the basis of own experience we can tell that it is only possible to speak about successful system implementation when it is actively used in daily work. Agree with vendor about technical support and error correction within at least 6-12 months after installation.
8. A system is regularly required to be updated. We live in the world where everything constantly changes. Activity of your organization changes. The relation of users to the used software changes. Most vendors of ECM systems offer free updates during the entire period while the client pays for year technical support of a system. With each new version developers correct errors and add new features to the software product. Therefore plan in the budget expenses on updating of a system and its reduction according to requirements of time.
- EDMS (more detailed)
- ECM – Enterprise Content Management
- EDMS (Software technologies)
- EDMS (implementation technique)
- ECM (world market)
- Main trends of ECM
- EDMS (market of Russia)
- EDMS in Russia: industry specifics
- Trends of the Russian EDMS/ECM systems market
- EDMS/ECM projects geography
- EDMS in the SaaS format
- EDI - Electronic Data Interchange
- System implementation of electronic document management: risks and methods of their overcoming