At the end of 2010, it is hard to make any simple analysis of document management in the enterprise. By its nature, it is closely related to enterprise content management and as a result reflects many of the problems afflicting the ECM industry.
 

The State of the ECM Industry

In September AIIM’s State of the ECM Industry gave some insight into the condition of document management at the moment. The first thing that the report notes is that the management of content across enterprises is still, to a large extent, chaotic and disorganized, but that there has been a considerable improvement from last year, and many enterprises have finally seen the writing on the repository walls.

Taking document management and records management together, the highest current priorities for ECM activity are implementing electronic records management and managing emails as records, followed by the integration of multiple repositories.

This is not altogether surprising given that 41% are not confident that their electronic information (excluding emails) is accurate, accessible and trustworthy. And to a large extent, we found these are the principal drivers behind much of what is happening in the document management industry at the moment.

Here we present 10 of the top document management moments of 2010, some of which reflect those trends, some which don’t.

You may agree, or disagree, with their inclusion here, but you can’t deny their interest. Let us know what you think and maybe we’ll have a look at a revised list in early 2011.

1. Google (Finally) Opens Docs to Document Management

In January, Google Docs took the next step towards becoming a true document management system. Google announced that it would start rolling out the ability for users to store documents of any file type within the system. And you won't have to convert your files to do it.

This follows the announcement of shared folders in Google Docs. Not the rumored GDrive, but it enables users upload any file at all -- as long as it's less than 250MB --- to Google Docs and securely share it.

Maybe functionality-wise not a massive addition to the world of document management, but in terms of where Google is taking Google Docs, very interesting. Subsequent releases of over the year bore this out.

2. Xerox Finalizes ACS Buy-out

This is the first of two major plays by Xerox in the document management space this year. The acquisition by Xerox of business process outsourcing giant ACS has been given final approval after a majority of shareholders from both companies gave the go-ahead.

While the financial details of the deal were not made public at the time of the original announcement in September of 2009, we reported that overall it was a US$ 6.4 billion cash deal. It created a US$ 22 billion global enterprise for document management technology and business process management.

3. Document Management and SharePoint 2010

Between February and April we ran three feature pieces on document management in the new SharePoint 2010 that clearly struck a chord with a large number of readers.

With the help of Adam Harmetz, Lead Program Manager for SharePoint Document and Records Management, we looked at how new features in SharePoint 2010 built on SharePoint 2007 and what we might expect in the SharePoint 2010 release and beyond. You can follow all three articles by starting at the beginning.

4. Adobe Adds Online Document Collaboration

In March, Adobe added online document collaboration. Workspaces from Adobe aimed to take email out of collaboration and enable enterprises to coordinate work on projects with teams that span multiple organizations.

Released initially as a free edition and a Premium Edition, it enables collaboration on files across the widest spectrum possible, both inside and outside, of enterprise firewalls. By creating a Workspace, users extend their work team to everyone who needs to work on a particular file rather than having to share them using email, which as we all know is time consuming and risks major problems on multi-user projects.

5. Facebook and MS Team Up

Microsoft responded to some of the moves Google was making with Google Docs in the document management space by teaming up with Facebook to give Facebook users some of the functionality of Office 2010 -- and of course put Google Docs in its place.

The new release -- called Docs -- from Microsoft’s FUSE Labs enables users to create and share Office documents across Facebook and comes with editing and collaboration capabilities, as well as rigorous privacy settings.

6. State of the ECM Industry 2010

In May, figures from AIIM’s State of the ECM Industry 2010 report indicate that the management of content across enterprises is still, to a large extent, chaotic and disorganized. They also show that there has been a considerable improvement on last year.

Taking document management and records management together, the highest current priorities for ECM activity are implementing electronic records management and managing emails as records, followed by the integration of multiple repositories.

This was not altogether surprising given that 41% are not confident that their electronic information (excluding emails) is accurate, accessible and trustworthy. In addition, 56% of those surveyed said that there were not confident that the emails documenting staff commitments and obligations are recorded, complete and retrievable.

7. OpenText Offers Document Collaboration

At the end of August, OpenText announced the release of key integrations between its eDocs Edition document management software and its Social Workplace software.

While the integration was aimed at law firms, OpenText said it provides an alternative to any firm that needs SharePoint functionality, but doesn’t actually want to use SharePoint. It does this by offering users the ability to collaborate on documents stored in eDocs repositories using features like instant messaging and micro-blogging while at the same time taking into account corporate permissions and governance rules.

8. Xerox Rebrands as DM and BPM heavyweight

The second announcement from Xerox this year that caused some considerable stir was when Xerox decided to rebrand itself through a major ad campaign as a business process management and document management company rather than one that just provides copiers.

While anyone working directly in the document management industry would be aware of Xerox’s substantial document management software products, and many more would be aware of the BPM significance of February’s ACS buy-out, Xerox was looking to change the mindset of many SMBs and enterprises that see the company merely as a provider of office hardware.

9. Records Management in SharePoint 2010

In October, we looked at whether the new records management in SharePoint 2010 filled what was generally regarded as one of the failings of SharePoint 2007.

Doug Miles, Director of Market Intelligence, AIIM Europe, in a webinar on records management and SharePoint 2010, identified three principal weaknesses that SharePoint 2010 aimed to tackle. These included:

  • Record Management abilities aren't very robust
  • Insufficient granularity of security
  • No way to enforce classification template policy for new team sites

And yes, he says, some of these have been addressed in 2010, but many companies are still using SharePoint 2007 and trying to get to grips with SharePoint 2010.

10. Successful Document Management Deployments

Finally, in November, there was Nuxeo World, where we looked at best practices, lessons learned and key factors of a successful document management system deployment based on a Nuxeo DM example.

The presentation (delivered by Alain Escaffre, Nuxeo, and Thomas Choppy, Smile) focused on a use case based on the implementation by Nuxeo’s system integrator, Smile, of Nuxeo Document Management system at HEC.

The implementation focused on educational content distribution objectives: from training content, forums and blogs to a grading system. Permissions management was quite complicated with strict segmentation of which content is available to which groups of students. Integration with an internal IT rights management system was, hence, involved.

And there are just some of the moments we thought were worth a comment. Let us know what you think. Happy New Year!