ECM wares control records creation, management

Under the shadow of government regulations IT must comply with, a host of ECM (enterprise content management) vendors are blending previously stand-alone RM (records management) capabilities into their CM and compliance recipes.

Next week FileNet Corp. will release Records Manager, a move that comes on the heels of Interwoven Inc.’s acquisition of RM technology from Software Intelligence Inc. this week. Next month document management vendor LaserFiche plans to update its product in order to address security and reporting issues pertaining to regulatory compliance. Other vendors such as EMC Corp. and IBM Corp. have already added RM to their ECM supersets.

Enterprises are struggling to comply with a variety of regulations that span numerous asset types, from Web content to e-mail to structured content within a database, according to Stephen O’Grady, senior analyst at RedMonk.

“From a compliance perspective, it doesn’t matter what asset type it is any longer,” O’Grady said. “It used to be that records management was for niche purposes, (for assets) like e-mail for SEC-compliant companies (or) CAD drawings for manufacturers.”

Indeed, because of regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Patriot Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, RM no longer pertains to a single asset type, O’Grady said.

FileNet’s Records Manager is designed to automate records-based procedures and to remove unnecessary end-user participation in the RM process, according to FileNet officials.

The product builds on FileNet’s P8 CM and BPM architecture, which enables RM policies to be enforced at the technology layer rather than by users, said Craig Rhinehart, director of product marketing at FileNet.

“(Compliance) called for a process-oriented approach to records management. If you relied on users to make decisions, there were a lot of records you didn’t capture,” Rhinehart added.

Interwoven, meanwhile, unwrapped its Records Manager product through the acquisition this week of records technology specialist Software Intelligence. The software will allow users to manage paper documents, electronic documents, and e-mail under a single records system, said Dan Carmel, vice-president and general manager of legal professional services and compliance solutions at Interwoven.

The first phase of the acquisition integration offers paper and electronic RM capabilities, with tighter integration between the Software Intelligence platform and Interwoven’s WorkSite due early next year.

LaserFiche next month will roll out Version 7 of its document management solution. The update will include bolstered security, enhanced audit tools for improved visibility, and customizable reporting capabilities.

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