Alfresco has taken another step to close the gap between its enterprise content management platform (ECM) and its business process management (BPM) offering.

It's enhancing both platforms — Alfresco One and  Activiti — with the release of new modules for analytics and media management and upgraded BPM capabilities.

Pulling It Together

The release of these elements add new functionality to the platforms and pull BPM and ECM closer together, said Paul Hampton, product marketing director at Alfresco. "Our tag line is ‘simple, smart and secure,” Hampton said. “What we're trying to do is to focus on the simple aspect of it."

Hampton said companies want easy-to-use tools to manage content. "They want something that can identify the most popular content. They want something that identifies where the [BPM] bottle necks are. They want to see how long it takes to complete tasks, who is preforming well, what process are performing well," he added.

The upgrades build on Alfresco's open source BPM offering, which many enterprises were already incorporating into their apps as a pure BPM engine. Now reborn as an enterprise version, Activiti v1.0 provides integration with Alfresco Share, Alfresco’s collaboration tool.

It effectively merges the worlds of BPM and ECM in one simple-to-use application.

It also added new languages in anticipation of global deployments, a .PDF process audit to ensure compliance monitoring, and a process map to analyze and improve process efficiency.

In addition, "business developers or citizen developers, as Gartner defines them, have the ability to develop their own minor processes," Hampton said. "It’s for someone that says ‘I can improve my own department’ and then goes and designs his own process to do just that.”

Alfresco Analytics

Alfresco also released an Analytics Module, which can sit with any of the Alfresco products. It offers new insights and reporting capabilities on content, process and people-related events.

The result, Hampton said, is increased visibility into how content is being managed and shared, who is accessing which documents, how often content is being shared and accessed, and what tasks are being completed by which employees.

It also provides insights into the unstructured content in the system and how that content may effect processes, enabling users to avoid bottlenecks and identify what is needed to complete those processes.

Alfresco's new Media Management module is designed to make it easier for companies to store and manage rich media files, including high definition video. It also has photo and video editing capabilities.