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The Changing Face of ECM: Microsoft Dynamics users should consider options beyond SharePoint

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

In his recent blog, Why Enterprise Content Systems Matter, Elias Khnaser singles out data as the most important asset that any organization has. "Users getting immediate access to relevant data is the most important enabler an organization can offer its employees for competitive and sustained success in the marketplace," says Khnaser, CTO at Chicago-based Internet and database consultancy Sigma Solutions.

Unfortunately, many enterprises are struggling under a crush of content artifacts, unable to effectively leverage them into competitive advantage. That's where Enterprise Content Management or ECM comes into play. ECM solutions provide the technology necessary to capture, manage, access, store, search, and deliver content related to business processes and workflows. Information can be collected from a variety of corporate repositories including: email, text documents, images, videos, audio files, websites, paper documents, and more.

SharePoint: The logical choice for Dynamics users?

In many cases, Microsoft Dynamics customers turn to SharePoint as the most logical ECM option. Khnaser says many users would do better by digging deeper to find ECM solutions that play well with their existing Dynamics setups, but that also offer more functionality than SharePoint. After conducting a data assessment on a company that was in the middle of a SharePoint implementation, for example, Khnaser says while SharePoint "most definitely has its place in the grand scheme of things," it's not an end-all ECM option for most enterprises.

"While SharePoint is very effective, it's also difficult to work with and to navigate," says Khnaser, who sees the "accessorization" of platforms like SharePoint with, say, social capabilities as a good option for companies in search of a more all-encompassing ECM. "SharePoint can be ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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