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Deploying a hybrid ECM: Reducing risk from natural disasters - and human error

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

Located in a region that's prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and storms, Third Coast Terminals of Pearland Texas knows where its vulnerabilities lie - the ongoing risks from weather and natural disasters. As part of its ongoing initiative to mitigate those risks, the chemical packing and shipping company discovered it was an excellent candidate for a hybrid enterprise content management (ECM) solution. It rolled one out in early-2014.

Third Coast Terminals rail transportation serviceOn the Third Coast Terminals hybrid deployment, the cloud/SaaS component is their new ECM system, which they've integrated with their on-premise Chempax ERP system - soon to be replaced with Microsoft Dynamics AX (the target deployment date for AX is January 2015).

The hybrid approach achieves two main goals. It allows Third Coast Terminals to access all of its content 24/7 online while also retaining the level of control over its systems that it demands.

"It gives us an additional safeguard for our information and ensures that we can access it when we can't physically be at our location due to a hurricane or some other event," says Paul Glenn, human resources director.

Streamlining the Process

Ismael Guillen, systems administrator, said Third Coast Terminals previously used a file server to store all of its documents and data. After reviewing several other options, the company selected a cloud-based ECM solution from M-Files due to its ability to "retrieve the information queried via metadata."

"We have a large number of records and files that we need to access on ...

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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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