In this article, we will discuss the difference between ECM system and content services platform (ECM vs CSP).
Back in December 2016, Gartner has officially retired the term ECM and replaced it by Content Services Platform.
Traditional ECM systems rely on providing a centralized repository for all corporate digital content, and while many companies have seen success with this strategy, there is a need for new information management practices with the ability to efficiently handle all of the content being created today, including video, audio, social media, and so on.
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Having completed that there was a necessity for a vision modification of how organizations are managing their content especially that info generated is predicted to become large, Gartner has introduced a brand new term Content Services Platform that has similar goals however completely different approach from enterprise content management.
Check out my article What is ECM? to have more detailed information.
What is Content Services Platform?
Content services platform is “a set of services and micro services, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.”
In a simple definition, it is the next generation of ECM system based on single API. It supports multiple repositories, end points and business cases permitting them to be utilized in totally different departments.
ECM vs Content Service Platform
In a broader view, the two may look alike however there are significant differences as detailed below.
Single vs Connected Information Sources
As mentioned above, ECM systems were designed with the main focus of having all organization digital content stored in a single repository. However organizations ended up adopting more than 2 systems to manage content.
Did you know 52% of organizations have 3 or more ECM/DM/RM systems, and 22% have 5+ systems.Tweet
CSP connects all information source and allows users to access content stored in an old ECM system. In addition to data stored in a legacy application all from a single location.
Multiple End Points
An ECM system has one interface most probably a web portal to allow users to manage their organization’s content. Content services platform focus on delivering information to the right recipients (users, legacy applications, etc.) at the right time and the right place. Users can access content from a web portal, mobile app, Office addons, and from third party application integration.
One Center API
One API is used in all the above possible mentioned end points to access your information. That may certify all the business rules to be managed the same way in all these different end points. Additionally these API or REST services can offer your organization the power to integrate with totally different line of business applications used across departments.
Integration with 3rd Party Applications
Today employees use a variety of business applications during their day to day activities and content services platform provide integration with most common line of business applications to move content around. Major integrations available are with Office365, SAP, Salesforce, EFSS tools, etc.
Some major ECM system providers have also addressed the integration with major business applications to help their users access and circulate content efficiently.
Content Services Platform Customizable User Interface
Through decades, enterprise related systems suffered from the lack of a fresh user interface. Content services platform providers are concentrating more on the user experience to help users achieve their daily work.
Content services platform should have a customizable user interface allowing the portal administrators to configure it as per department needs.
Artificial Intelligence Adoption
Artificial intelligence is improving our daily quality of life and can play an enormous role in information management which will result in improved productivity, improved efficiency, and reduce cost. Using advanced cognitive technologies will allow content services platform to automate classification, automate capturing (single and in batch), extract metadata, content redaction (hide personal identification information) and a lot more.
Low-Code Process Automation
A major capability is the ability to allow citizen developers to create application to address departmental business needs without much development. Content services platform providers offer full graphical workflow and form designers with advanced capabilities to quickly access and route content across different stakeholders.
Most ECM system providers have a complete business process management (BPM) module which will allow to automate processes and router information but it needs more advanced development skills.
Both platforms have similar goals but each solution provides a different approach to manage the information chaos in organizations.