Transactional Document Management - The core of ECM

"Transactional document management" is a term not used often enough in my opinion. For it is, as the phrase goes, the "meat and potatoes" of ECM. 

Transactional Document Management encompasses process-centric functions, from imaging, forms and capture, through workflow, to case management.  It's not sexy or exciting like social collaboration; there are no funky, Facebook-like features. Watching transactional products getting demonstrated is like watching paint try.  The user interfaces are essentially Windows 3.1 lookalikes, and the most exciting thing you can expect to see is a form moving magically from one folder to another. It can be hard to perceive the magic at times, but it is there, under the covers, if you know where to look, and you need to look deep.

We evaluate a wide range of vendors and products that play in the transactional space, from IBM and Oracle, through Hyland, Perceptive, and NewGen in our ECM Report.  I can tell you that some transactional products do well in simple, high-volume environments, while others excel at complex capture, and others still at sophisticated business process management.

They differ further in the vendor's understanding of particular vertical environments. For example, one vendor does really well in healthcare, where they have a very thorough understanding of the particular business processes around client billing. Another understands eGovernment and all the related forms processing required there. Another still does well in customer support, analytics, and exception management.

It's easy to forget about the primary importance of this branch of ECM, as the collaborative branch gets all the headlines (think SharePoint and Social Media), on account of seeming so much more exciting -- or at least less dull.

But the transactional side of the equation is something we have no intention of forgetting. If anything we'll be furthering our coverage in this area in the new year. The reason is simple. Buyers of ECM systems are increasingly asking us about transactional systems. That is what drives our business: you the buyer, not market noise and hype.

Our customers say...

"The analysis of the current technology vendors and products is very comprehensive and it provides an excellent guide for potential purchasers to frame their functional, architectural and usability benchmarks."

Len Asprey, Director, Practical Information Management Solutions, and, Author, <i>Integrative Document and Content Management</i>

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