Nine Criteria to Help You Find the Best ECM Solution
Finding the best Electronic Content Managment or Electronic Document Management solution isn’t just about researching a good product. You need an ECM reseller that can be your partner in transforming the way you store and find your documents and data. In order to do that, they need to do more than just sell a solution. The vendor you choose needs to understand your business! Nobody wants to sign on the dotted line and find out 6 months later that the solution they chose is not working for their company. The criteria below will help you to find the best solution AND a trustworthy vendor.
- A Company You Can Trust
Strategic partnerships, certifications and a strong company foundation are all important differentiators that set apart reputable ECM vendors with superior products and strong customer support. A successful conversion from paper files to ECM depends upon the ability of both parties to work together. Investigate the vendor’s company culture and references. Sometimes, no matter how careful both parties are, something can go wrong, and you want a trusted vendor who will make it right.
- Years of Experience
Look for a vendor that has at least ten or more years of experience offering ECM solutions. More experienced vendors better understand the technology, offer superior products, have seen and solved more document management problems than you can imagine, and adhere to a higher standard of excellence. If you’re going into the Cloud, make sure both the solution and the vendor are ahead of the curve in cloud technology.
- Legendary Technical Support
Nothing irritates a customer more than waiting on hold. The vendor you choose for your ECM solution should offer timely live telephone support from product experts that are both located in the U.S. and are easy to understand. Don’t rely solely on an email address to answer technical questions. The best vendors will answer phones within seconds, not minutes and close at least 85% of customer cases the same day.
- Professional Services
More and more companies expect sophisticated software integration and help consolidating their departmental systems that were installed years ago or inherited through acquisition or consolidation. Professional service should offer everything from needs assessment, implementation, configuration and user training to custom integrations, custom reports and special software coding. You should expect free quotes for professional services and receive assistance only from certified experts.
- Accommodation of your Needs
The conversion process from your current system to the new ECM should fit easily into your overall business strategy, without disrupting your day-to-day business activities. The best vendors will work to accommodate your needs and keep your business flowing throughout the conversion. Look for a vendor who is flexible in the implementation schedule and willing to listen to what’s important to you.
- Comprehensive Resources
Excellent training and a toolbox of resources will jump start your ECM conversion and adaption in your company. Product training should be part of the total package.
- Flexible ECM Product Suite
The more flexible the solution you choose, the more likely you are to use it, retain it, and grow with it throughout the years. The solution should easily scale up for more users and scale out to expand the system across multiple locations and distributed environments. Features like unlimited index values and the ability to handle hundreds of file types are signs of a highly flexible solution. Flexibility adds to ROI.
- Scalable Suite of Integrated Products
ECM products vary from limited storage and retrieval solutions to complete product suites with add-on components like workflow, document capture, email management and more. Choose a trusted solution that offers a complete product suite, so you don’t have to stitch together multiple products (from different manufacturers) in order to have a comprehensive system in your company. Most importantly, make sure the product suite is fully integrated and scalable.
- Pain-free Installation and Integration
The best solutions and vendors are those that impact your company the least during the transition. While there will be a learning curve for your employees when they start using the new system, they should not have to be unduly interrupted from their daily duties. Watch for our next blog post and learn the four additional considerations for Cloud ECM vendors.