Recently, the Blue Fish team sat in on a training with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provider, M-Files, to receive updated training on their system. We learned about the latest features in M-Files, and how M-Files is uniquely positioned to help companies keep up with the challenging task of managing their data and content today. Interestingly, in 2017, AIIM Chief Evangelist, John Mancini put out a report The Next Wave: Moving from ECM to Intelligent Information Management, in which he describes the changes that are coming to ECM and how “content management” is not going to be an appropriate name to describe these systems going forward. Rather, he explained, the best name will be “Intelligent Information Management.” Many analysts, such as Forrester and Gartner have even stopped using the term “ECM” altogether, and now refer to this technology as “Content Services.” The core capabilities necessary to keep up with this new wave of ECM include cloud content management that supports integration and migration between multiple platforms as well as the use of artificial intelligence to automate and expedite the workflows within the system, among other features. We are pleased that M-Files is already providing these features in their platform. Here are some of the capabilities and features that we are most excited to offer our customers through our partnership with M-Files.
Use of AI Improves User Experience
M-Files is ahead of the curve in the ECM world as it has integrated AI into its solution. Manually inputting basic information about a file can be tedious and time consuming, so when M-Files auto-suggests metadata it saves the user a significant amount of time. It suggests how to categorize the type of document, the project, or customer to which the document relates. As these selections are confirmed, it gets smarter and smarter, becoming more accurate with its suggestions. Even better, it actively ‘reads’ the content so a document can be completely unstructured or it can even scan a photo and make these suggestions. Because there is more uniformity in the naming and tagging of data and information, users don’t waste time trying to remember where the document was saved. M-Files explains that this use of AI to leverage metadata focuses on what of the content vs. where it is saved, eliminating the pitfalls and content chaos that is present in traditional systems. This intuitive ease of use also provides a better user experience, which means there is a much quicker path to adoption.
Repository Agnostic Approach Reduces Migration Challenges
Another feature we love about M-Files is that it doesn’t matter what solution is in use right now, M-Files can work with it rather than immediately replace it. This is important because some clients resist making a change to their ECM system, even when they know it is completely outdated and no longer serving them well, because they can not afford the downtime that will be required for migration of the system. They can not leave employees with the inability to access documents and data necessary for continuing operations as normal. M-Files is different from other ECM solutions because it is uniquely positioned to break down silos of information stuck in systems that don’t talk to each other. It connects to other databases and allows users to access stored information on day 1 in the old repositories. This is crucial in reducing downtime during migration, that we all know can have a huge cost in both time and money to the organization.
The ability to interface between other systems has another benefit. Even though all data can be accessed on day 1, it doesn’t mean it all must to be moved on day 1. This provides a choice for the user and time for old documents to be accessed, considered, and moved over to the new system, as they are determined to still be relevant and helpful. Like the utilization of AI, the repository agnostic approach assists in user adoption as it slowly weans users away from the old tech and eases them in to transition, minimizing the typical challenges with adoption of new technology.
ECM Solutions Sweet Spot
One common theme we hear from members of our Blue Fish team is that they love how the M-Files system is easy to configure. In fact, they say that “configuration” is the perfect descriptor. Many of the ECM solutions offered today either do not provide enough configuration flexibility, or they are extremely complex and typically require additional development to customize the system to meet the customer’s needs. M-Files has found a sweet spot in the middle that fully meets client needs without adding unnecessary difficulty or too much additional work to make the system usable for each unique customer.
Overall we are pleased with the solution M-Files offers and we are proud to partner with them. To learn more about making your business more competitive through Intelligent Information Management grab a copy of M-Files recent article by contacting us here.