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March 2013

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Top Five Big-Picture Considerations for a Successful Enterprise Content Management Implementation

The sheer quantity and variety of enterprise content can be dizzying. However, this is clear: to maximize the value of that content, organizations need a single, integrated solution that encompasses both structured and unstructured content—especially if they want to incorporate content seamlessly into business processes.

We asked Oracle's Lance Shaw, senior principal product marketing manager for Oracle WebCenter, to spell out the key, big-picture issues organizations should take into consideration as they select, design, and implement such a solution. Here’s what he said.

Select solutions that provide configurable integrations out of the box. To maximize the value of content, users must be able to easily access and view content directly within their business applications. This, in turn, requires out-of-the-box integrations between a single repository and a wide variety of business applications.

Oracle Application Adapters for Oracle WebCenter make this possible. And unlike less flexible solutions, these SOA-based adapters allow you to upgrade without fear of breaking the integration. By contrast, many other systems typically require you to upgrade connector code—or the entire integration may fail.

Minimize the total number of content repositories. With fewer content repositories, you reduce both capital outlays and administration and storage costs. Since content migration can be both complex and expensive, the best chance for progress involves standardization on one repository. When this isn't possible, the goal should be to minimize repositories. One thing is for sure—a centralized approach is vital, even if the size and scope of your organization demands separate physical repositories.

Start small and strategic. It isn't necessary—or even necessarily wise—to roll out a single, global content management solution all at once. Even with the best of intentions, there's the danger that such a huge undertaking could collapse under its own weight. On the other hand, if you proceed by individual department or function, you could end up with yet another fragmented solution. So it's vital that each new expansion of the solution be validated as you move forward.

If you opt for an incremental approach, concentrate on a key problem area that can deliver a rapid ROI—for example, doing away with paper documents in a process such as accounts payable invoicing using Oracle WebCenter Imaging.

Establish a clear, unified system for classifying documents. To minimize repositories and management complexity—and to ensure that content is available to the right person at the right time—every company needs an integrated, organizationwide approach to taxonomy and meta tagging. But change is inevitable, so the approach should allow for updates and tweaks over time.

Getting this right upfront will mean better search and overall usability, enable flexibility for growth and change going forward, and dramatically simplify administration costs.

Ensure security and governance. When content is scattered across multiple devices and file system repositories, risk is significantly increased. Instituting a policy-based approach to managing content ensures that sensitive content is handled appropriately.

A single, centralized enterprise content management solution can make it far easier to enforce corporate policies for storage, access, and disposal. For example, Oracle WebCenter Content provides a centralized method of managing retention, making it easier to enforce record schedules and retention policies. Just as important, every item of content has a digital record that can be tracked and audited—from creation to destruction.

As a result, organizations can lower operational costs with automated enforcement and multijurisdictional policy management. And in the case of ligation, Oracle's solution also helps minimize legal costs by allowing for the placement of legal holds on critical content.

Oracle WebCenter Content was recently named a "Leader" in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management. Find out more about Oracle WebCenter Content.

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