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Enterprise Content Management is a Key Success Factor for an e-Business Infrastructure, Mike Zimmer

This article is part of the Best Practices White Paper Enterprise Content Management [May 2001]

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The growth of e-business is driving organizations to manage and distribute digital content, including images, computer-generated output, business documents, rich media and more. Many people believe that more than 85% of today’s business information resides in sources beyond traditional databases.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a new market formed by the convergence of several existing markets including the traditional integrated document management (IDM) market, the media asset management (MAM) market, and the web content management market. Enterprise Content Management is a key component of an e-business infrastructure and IBM Content Manager provides a full range of capabilities to capture, manage and distribute any kind of content, and is uniquely capable of handling all three types of applications.

“Simply put, Enterprise Content Management is viewed as the heart of e-business, “ says Marcel van Hulle, Director, Worldwide Content Management Sales, IBM. “Why? Because you want your customers and employees to have seamless access to your company, and this requires managing all types of content and delivering it in a personalized way. IBM accomplishes this with tight integration between IBM Content Manager and the WebSphere ebusiness platform with partners’ web authoring tools. With an IBM infrastructure, the same content in CRM or ERP business applications can be delivered to web sites for the most up-to-date accurate information, without the need for multiple copies. This is enterprise content management for successful e-business deployment.”

IBM provides the core infrastructure software (IBM Content Manager, IBM Enterprise Information Portal (EIP), IBM WebSphere ebusiness platform, and IBM MQSeries Workflow) to support the needs of all three content management areas. A rich layer of API’s enables partners to build or integrate applications on top of this middleware.

IBM Content Manager is an end-to-end product designed to electronically manage, protect and share critical business information, in any format, including XML and HTML. IBM Content Manager is the only offering of its kind, providing a single, consistent, open programming interface that enables rapid application development with unparalleled scalability and flexibility.

IBM EIP provides information integration so that companies can have a single point of access to multiple information repositories throughout the enterprise and beyond. The IBM WebSphere platform for e-business provides tools for personalization and web site analysis for creating a valuable end user experience. For Web Content Management, IBM plans to partner with multiple companies to provide the web authoring tools for assembling, approving and publishing content to web sites, linked to IBM Content Manager for leveraging information throughout the enterprise.

Archiving for mySAP and Lotus Domino

IBM Content Manager also provides capabilities to archive and retrieve content from ERP and E-mail systems. Content Manager allows mySAP users to archive inactive SAP data into Content Manager and access print lists (reports), invoices, images, and other documents stored in Content Manager directly from their SAP GUI. Archiving of data and objects in an SAP environment can improve system performance and user response times, while giving mySAP users fast access to the documents that support their mySAP applications and significantly improving their productivity and customer service.

Lotus Domino customers can archive e-mails, attachments, and other Notes documents in Content Manager. The volume of e-mail within and between organizations has literally exploded. Compounding the situation is the content of the e-mails. Critical business information, that once was on paper and mailed, filed, and stored, is now routinely sent via e-mail. Space-hungry attachments, a feature that users love, are consuming disk space at an accelerated rate. Archiving e-mail can reduce overall e-mail infrastructure costs, improve system performance, and provide a critical audit trail for this information.

Customer Relationship Management

An Enterprise Content Management system is particularly critical to Customer Relationship Management solutions. IBM has teamed with Siebel Systems, Inc., the world’s leading provider of e-business applications software, to increase productivity of call centers by integrating IBM’s Content Manager with Siebel Call Center. The integrated solution can cut response times and increase productivity at customer call centers by enabling call center representatives to access customer bills, correspondences and transactions regardless of the format in which they originated.

Tryg-Baltica, one of Denmark’s largest insurance companies and the third largest purveyor of life and pension products worldwide, implemented a solution from IBM and Siebel Systems to provide more personalized service to its customers, giving representatives faster and more complete access to policies, agreements, and claims status.

“Insurance customers demand easy and immediate access to personalized service,” says Carsten Dalsgaard, director of development, Tryg-Baltica. “To continue to improve our ability to meet this demand, we have made significant investments in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. We chose products from Siebel Systems and IBM, the world’s two leading e-business software vendors. Our CRM project will deliver a technological quantum leap that will include electronic document management, elimination of unnecessary case processing steps, and the first step towards web-based customer service.”

e-Bill/e-Statement Presentment

Another key application for Content Management technology is electronic bill (e-Bill) and electronic statement (e-Statement) presentment. IBM Content Manager OnDemand excels at capturing, archiving and presenting (via the web) large volumes of bill, statements, invoices, and other transactional documents. This enables customer self-service and when combined with applications from IBM Business Partners can also provide a total solution for electronic payment as well.

AT&T Corp., a leading global voice and data communications company, partnered with IBM and CheckFree Corporation to extend its internal bill presentment solution to its small business customers, allowing them to interactively manage their bills and statements online. The company created a number of applications targeted at improving customer service for its small business customers, including e-bill presentment and, more recently, online bill payment. The initial results of the AT&T Small Business Center show improved customer self-service and satisfaction. Tools are now at the fingertips of the small business owner and quantifiable added revenues have been achieved through promise-to-pay commitments from online customers. AT&T is currently working on extending its bill presentment solution with easy online payment choices for its small business customers.

Whether the technology derives from integrated document management, web content management, or media asset management, IBM provides the infrastructure and integration for key e-business applications.

IBM Corporation

IBM is the world’s largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about is by visiting our home page at IBM Content Management Software

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