SharePoint casts shadow over AIIM

GCN Insider

Each year, vendors of enterprise content management (ECM) systems show off their wares at the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) International Exposition and Conference, held this year in Boston. And if you talk with enough marketing people from enough different companies, you can see the direction they are taking, much like watching a procession of ducklings follow the mother duck across a busy street. This year, the mother duck seemed to be the Microsoft SharePoint Office Server collaboration portal.

Digitech Systems' new version of PaperVision Enterprise software, used to set up secure content repositories, could provide SharePoint portals with repository search and workflow capabilities, Digitech marketing manager Christina Robbins said at the show. Captaris announced that the new version of its RightDoc software, which routes scanned images and faxes, can now be used with SharePoint.

One of the most highly touted improvements in LaserFiche's recently released LaserFiche 8 content management software is its SharePoint integration, said strategic solutions director Brian LaPointe.

Such popularity suggests SharePoint has finally arrived. At the same time, it reveals the usability problems with ECM.

SharePoint has been out for several years, but in true Microsoft fashion, it took a few revisions ' the latest of which was released last year as part of Microsoft Office 2007 suite ' before it started to take root in the enterprise.

Interest in SharePoint seems to be growing in the federal community, said Jeff Schulman, a vice president and general manager at the company.

Earlier this year, Tower and Microsoft demonstrated a prototype that showed how SharePoint could be used within the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, which uses Tower's Trim Context software for content and records management.

We've heard the latest version of SharePoint is easy to deploy. It might be too easy: Content management software analysts CMS Watch warned that rogue SharePoint instances set up by employees threaten security at many companies.

Ease of use is not usually what comes to mind with ECM systems.

EMC released a survey showing that 47 percent of 200 IT executives felt today's content management offerings 'require too much effort to implement.'

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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