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How to manage content chaos

Ana CanteliWritten by Ana Canteli on 21 December 2018

The increasing amount of data and enterprise content that we create and how to manage it all is one of the great challenges that organizations and public institutions of the 21st century must confront. We are no longer in the information age but in the era of information management and the ability to properly manage our data will determine organizational survival in the future.

Each document and task needs a place to be in use and a place to be in order. If not, we run the risk of becoming like firefighters who, instead of directing their agenda, are dedicated to extinguishing fires and managing tasks as they arrive, or because of the problems they cause. And this can be exhausting.

Whatever work you do, you don’t work alone. Around you, there are colleagues, collaborators, clients, suppliers, and stakeholders. People with their own agendas, points of view regarding the digital transformation, priorities, and ways of working; with which you must coordinate so that your work and the projects go forward.

Many times the chaos comes from the lack of synchronization between people, tasks, and departments. Sometimes the most organized create their own documentary directories, organize the content marketing archive as best suits them, use and implement management tools of their choice. And all this, without centralized supervision or an intelligent information management policy; ignoring the fundamental fact that enterprise contents are the basis of organizations' knowledge.

The first thing to do is to give the importance that the enterprise content management in the company must have; for which it is essential to have the commitment of senior management.

If documents within the organization are poorly managed, not digitized; or disconnected from critical business processes, this creates content chaos. This situation directly impacts our ability to offer good customer experiences; slows down business cycles, increases security risks and finally compromises the digital transformation efforts of your company.

Secondly, the enterprise content management of the organization must be integrated into the company's intelligent information management solutions. It is necessary to consider enterprise content management as a unique and transversal process that affects your entire company. For this, it is necessary to implement and develop methods and tools that allow the capture, identification, classification, distribution, processing, and archiving of the documentary contents in the information systems of the organization.

In this scenario, OpenKM offers a content manager, capable of integrating transparently with the suite of software of your company. The document management system can be used both to provide information to other software and to collect and manage data from third-party applications. And it is due to the content manager of OpenKM offers SDK's in Java, PHP, and .NET that allow and facilitate the integration of the intelligent information management within the software architecture of the company: social media, content marketing information solutions, etc.

Can a document management system be the place where people access, find and manage relevant and current document resources? Of course, as long as the tool is friendly, intuitive and easy to use.

In this sense, OpenKM offers, thanks to the KCenter platform, the possibility of creating customizations of the document management solution, tailored to the needs of each department or area of the company. You can create a customized user interface for the customer service area, where the sales team can provide the best customer experiences possible, support the digital marketing team through social media, manage content marketing information, etc. Or a personalization for the accounting department, which will help the records manager to manage the flow of invoices. In this way, the company can create its own digital workplace, with OpenKM open source technology.

With OpenKM, digital transformation is possible at any scale. The document manager is offered in 2 main versions:

  • As a service - OpenKM Cloud: The client enjoys all the professional features of the document manager, but without worrying about technical support or server maintenance. On the other hand, applying a privacy policy and cookies policy can fit the most demanding laws and regulations.
  • OpenKM Professional: for those who prefer to install the software on their own server, it is the ideal solution. Designed for high availability ecosystems, the system remains scalable and adaptable to the changing needs of the environment.

The creation and maintenance of documentation and information is a task that in theory should be easy. A content creator made a document, edits it, saves the changes. They send it to the supervisor to review it, approve it and then that file becomes a record, of internal use or even a document to be published.

However, the reality is usually much more complex. A manager assigns the creation or management of a document to a user. This user creates it, endows it with content, checks against the clock, approve it; and shares it with the customer by email. The customer makes some appreciations; the document is corrected. Wait a moment, what document, the one that is stored in the company's information system or the one in the mailbox?

As we can see, the importance of information governance is not a trivial matter. Planning, management and proactively measuring the activities and their relationship with personnel around policies, procedures, regulations, and standards, should be a priority for any manager with a vision of the future.

The OpenKM document management system, in addition to having all the necessary functionalities to manage the documentation from its origin - either electronic or digitized - in all stages of its life cycle; it is supported by a series of satellite applications that complement it in a multitude of use cases. The MS Add-in for the Microsoft office-package allows users to create documents from their device and upload them to the document manager. Or for those documents already present in the system, import or update them. The signature client allows inserting the electronic signature on the documentation. The scanner client allows connecting the document manager with the company's scanner and channelling the digitized documentation onto OpenKM; among other cases.

All this information is registered in the OpenKM business content management system CMS.

Version control can be performed: download versions different to the current one and restore versions of the document different from the most recent one. See the contributions of each author highlighted. A complete audit of everything that happened to the file can be seen in the Activity Log section. In the Relations tab, the files with which the document is related are shown, as well as defining the type of relationship that binds them: equivalent, parent-child or group. For users to share opinions and different points of view on the topic they are working on, the Forum section can be useful. And in the wiki, you can consult the bibliographical sources or check the legislative changes or updates of regulations that affect them in their work.

If users need to add more information, metadata can be a good tool. The metadata groups allow you to search for documents by attributes that can be added manually. Or they can be part of an automatic process - the OCR engine of OpenKM can extract information contained in the paper document, which is digitized, and this is managed as metadata - which in turn can be used to index, classify and categorize the information, based on processes already defined by the company.

Automatic tasks facilitate compliance with business processes and therefore optimize time, practice business intelligence together with the monitoring of document management policies, regulations, standards, and applicable laws.

In addition, OpenKM offers a workflow engine integrated into the document solution, which allows organizations to create univocal workflows for information management. So that the documentation does not advance to a new step without the fulfilment of all the previous requirements.

On the other hand, management will have advanced functionalities that will allow them to verify the relevance of the policies developed and update them when necessary. In OpenKM the organization can obtain reports on any event relevant to the business. The subscription service allows you to receive immediate information about the changes that have occurred on any content. The task manager can be used for the administration of more complex tasks: departmental meetings, projects, training sessions, etc. And the mail archive facilitates the complete traceability on the communications and attached documents that originate in the company or that this one receives.

With OpenKM, organizations create the document management ecosystem they need to create information, develop it securely; facilitate collaboration and communication among the members of the organization and archive it to access it in the most effective and efficient way possible.

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