Companies have always had to manage paper files. Initially, it was photocopies and faxes, more recently it’s Word documents and PDFs. In the digital era, however, there’s a much broader range of digital content enterprises must learn to control.

“There’s content involved in just about every individual business transaction that takes place,” said OpenText Program Manager John Klaren at a recent ITWC webinar. “And it’s evolving. It used to be just pure documentation — paper, fax, Word documents, PDFs — but now, there are digital assets: photos for every device type, as well as audio.”

As competition intensifies in a crowded digital marketplace, with disruptors new and old introducing changes to the rules almost daily, companies that fail to first recognize and address their inefficiencies around content access and control are standing on shaky ground.

Now trending: the “super-office”
While the customer relationship management (CRM) software industry has been around for a few decades, it has been flourishing in recent years. According to Forbes, its growth is estimated to be 27 per cent year-over-year for Q4 2016. For 2017, experts predict the total market value will exceed $40 billion.

A webinar poll that showed wide-ranging differences in the number of pieces of electronic content generated per customer engagement, did not surprise Klaren.

“It all depends on what industry you’re in,” he said. “It might be customer support, or it might be a consumer goods product like a stapler or flashlight. It might have only a few pieces of information and not much correspondence. Or you might have industrial equipment, from which you have a lot of specifications even before you’re dealing with individual selling opportunities or customer support.”

“From there, you have the highly complex. You might not sell or support a lot of items, but each of them is highly complex and involves hundreds of pieces of information.”

All-enterprise view
With all the information being generated, digital enterprises that want to streamline their sales and engagement process are faced with important questions:

  • Is information available across the whole organization for all parts of the Customer Engagement process? (Does Customer Care, for example, have access to the same material as Marketing, Finance, and/or Fulfillment?)
  • Is information being harnessed to best result?
  • When employees cannot find the information they are looking for, do they have the support they need to find that information?

To Klaren, files should be seen in the context of an entire organization, not just as pieces of individual parts of an organization. Documents, he said, are the vehicles by which humans interact with each other, especially from one company to the next. Many businesses may be business- and process-focused, with data screens and analysis, but people work with each other through content. The management and control of this content, proliferating as it is in the digital era, requires more than CRM software.

Single repository for all content
This is where enterprise content management (ECM), such as the one offered by OpenText, can help companies drastically reduce the amount of time employees spend searching for the content they need.

“A single repository for content is important to get the full customer picture,” said Klaren. “Getting content into one place from a lot of different places and methods makes things easier for the user.”

Webinar host Jim Love touched on the fear being expressed by more and more companies that they are not getting all they can get out of their CRM.

“You want one copy of each document,” said Love. “You don’t want multiple copies and have to worry about which one is current. OpenText operates seamlessly in the background, and will integrate well with a company’s current system.”

Klaren agrees with this assessment, focusing on the ease of use OpenText’s ECM solutions offer.

“You always want to make it easy for the customer, with the hope that they’ll like what they’re using and as a result use it more, and more effectively. This can only come out of better capabilities that are simple and straightforward, and no longer having to jump around to many different places to get all the content you need to perform a simple task.”

“This is the big picture. This is where we look at a full business process that crosses multiple data items inside one platform, where everyone is seeing the same information all the way through the process, from a single repository.”

Register now to watch on demand the OpenText webinar “Learn how to effectively manage your digital content with Salesforce.”

To learn more about OpenText ECM solutions, visit the OpenText website.

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