Doesn’t matter too much…

… what ECM system you use. (disclaimer following…)

In the past few days I’ve been involved in making effort estimation for various business solutions on various ECM platforms (EMC, IBM, MS).

Usually each estimation was done on at least 2 different platforms. To my surprise the customization / development effort was almost the same (15-20% difference) for any given platform.
Of course, the finished solution would have looked almost totally different in terms of look and feel or way of performing some actions. But the customer requested functionality would be there in a reasonable way.

Is this good? Is this normal? What next?

Good it is. At least for the customer, since it can fairly budget independently of the chosen ECM given he is willing to adapt to certain ways of doing things.

Normal it is. Each major ECM out there has the same core functionalities as the next one. The older the ECM world gets, the smaller the differences between major players. At least comparing to the usual customer requirements level. Of course, some products are a lot better than other in specific things but i think on the average “ECM” deal the same level of functionality is provided by all.

What makes the difference? A lot, but this really depends on the actual need.

if you’re shopping for a general ECM/Document Management solution, then you can pick either on of the top 10 vendors and you’ll get the same functionality with the same implementation effort. How to choose?
Apply politics. 🙂 That was meant as a joke but it’s actually how it’s done in the majority of deals.

The other reasonable ways to do it is evaluating a lot of criteria (eg. resources to support it locally, implementation partners… etc.). I’ll not go into that, this is a different story.

What next?

For who? For us, the implementation partners. For us, the customers.

Build vertical / specialized solutions. Let the ECM vendor munch its way through improvement of core functionality and focus on leveraging them as part of the real solution to the customer’s need.

End of post.

Yes, i’ve been away for a while. Working sometimes or traveling. Canada was nice, by the way.


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