Buyer's Handbook: How to select the best ECM platform for your company Article 1 of 5

Today's ECM tools assist with ever-expanding data stores

As the content needs of organizations have become more complex and their teams more dispersed, companies need a stronger platform to manage their content. Traditionally, enterprise content management tools have been limited to document management -- checking documents in and out of storage, controlling document versions and searching and retrieving content. Today, the scope of the ECM platform has expanded to provide additional capabilities such as records management, workflow and web content management.

Today's companies, with remote workforces and multiple offices, need a common repository from which to share and edit files, as sharing via email is not the most secure or efficient option. The amount of content in most organizations has grown substantially, and admins must have the ability to configure access rights and track changes. Tools that allow both group communication and one-on-one exchanges across the entire project team, as well as content feeds that enable workers to see updates in real time, have replaced simple email and chat programs.

With so much information to collect and manage on a daily basis, many organizations must demonstrate compliance with various regulations. They need to store and access files for a certain period of time as well as destroy the data after that time has elapsed. Other companies need a system that will consolidate content from customer relationship management or ERP applications.

Today's ECM tools address these needs and many others. Since not all products are created equal, choosing the ECM platform that's best for your organization does require some research. Fortunately, we've simplified that process for you. This guide makes ECM tool selection less daunting by helping you determine your organization's needs and core objectives, as well as the key features to look for when selecting an ECM tool or suite. Using this information, you can analyze the top ECM products to match your needs to the software's functions.