Anyone who has been involve in “Enterprise” Content Management projects will tell you that usually they are nothing but simple. This complexity rises from a number of from education to procedures, politics, skills, adoption, competence, technical chracteristics.. etc
The quick answer to this is to mount a big implementation project. And everybody is happy: the vendor sells licenses, the consulting team has billable months and the customer feels he gets something important since he spends the big bucks on it.
The problem is that this is the default approach from everyone at the table although it’s clear to any sane-minded person that at least half of such projects would be better if tackled with a different approach: give the customer a tool which he would want to use.
Most of the vendors identified this opportunity and addressed it with the “out of the box technical tool” or “platform” approach. These are at best some DIY kits for customer internal IT staff to still try to do a complex projects to address the ever complex business challege. SharePoint executed this quite well at least until it also hit the wall of complex projects/
Because the answer is not a technical tool or a platform.
There is no universal answer either. At least not about ECM 🙂
We need to diversify. We need strong competence for complex projects but equally we need to have a market for simple to use and access business solutions / applications. There are probably very very few who can do both well, I’m looking forward for a disruption in this area.
This requires a culture change for all participants. I can’t count the meetings I’ve been into where the customer pushed to have feature after feature inside the solution while the supplier said mostly “yes” since it would bring him more money. I call this the hunt for more muney and the fear of failure. After all, the supplier needs to eat and the customer to succeed.
From this situation we can’t escape easily. But we do need to.
Cloud is here to help. Is an enabler, not the answer. But it generates the kind of focus which can lead to a new market. The market for simple ECM solutions. Cheap, easy to use and easy to dispose.
Imagine buying a business solution for under 5k. Or paying under 1k/month for the use of your entire business unit.The CRM space is doing it so why can’t we? Basic Office is already like this, are we so much different?
And how do you tackle the complexity I’ve presented at the beginning? You don’t. You just let the customer decide and adapt. Money is the blood of enterprises and if you lower that entry point with a quality product then you just got yourself a new market. This does not exclude the big multi-million projects… it just adds up.It’s tough but it can be done and when can reach with it the impulse buy area for business owners, you struck gold.
But remember: business solutions, with the right equilibrium of features.
See you there!