Outsourcing ECM Implementation? What to Look for in a Partner

In complex technology implementations like upgrades and migrations, some enterprises enlist professional services to reduce risk and maintain high service levels during the transition. Typical scenarios that might require outside help include upgrading operating systems and databases, migrating to new hardware, going to a new database, changing server architecture, or implementing new ECM add-ons. Upgrading an ECM system can present particular challenges, because it can be woven into so many areas of a business and the upgrade may require migrating legacy data and content.

Outsourcing implementation services is nothing new, because the approach has attractive advantages. Outsourcing ECM implementation tasks can take a big load off your own IT resources, for one thing. When organizations use implementation professionals, deployment is fast, and end users adopt the change more readily, so you realize cost savings and ROI within the required timeframe. You also gain assurance that your project will have the right skills and experience for every stage, without you having to find and hire them.

What Professionals Can Offer
When you work with implementation professionals, they will review your existing infrastructure, consult on overall system requirements, recommend new platforms (hardware, software, architecture), develop test plans, conduct acceptance testing and establish maintenance tasks. It’s an important job that requires experienced resources. A professional implementation team should be able to plan and complete a fast, efficient deployment, whether on premises or in the cloud. Without the best-qualified team to help, your digital transformation could become an extended, negative experience.

To ensure you find a partner truly qualified to help with your transition, look for specific capabilities and experience. The list should include:

  • Solution configuration
  • Integration with back-end CRM, ERP, financial and other systems
  • User and group setup
  • Establishment of automated maintenance tasks
  • Acceptance testing of the overall solution
  • Administrator and end-user training

Content Management and Capture Scenarios
When the ECM change involves content management and capture, specific capabilities and steps are required. The implementation team should conduct a comprehensive system requirements analysis, with assessment of hardware and software architecture and infrastructure. Other responsibilities include:

  • Storage structure (hierarchy) and security requirements and design
  • Content intake and process planning
  • Implementation of custom document objects classes and custom metadata
  • Installation of desktop clients and mobile apps

What About Tune Ups?
Optimization or “tune up” services might be needed to to ensure a new ECM system stays at peak performance and reliability. The results are:

  • Improved security – Audit, remediation, and best practices education around security
  • System reliability – Full audit of the ECM identifies performance or reliability issues
  • ROI – Leverage your investment, ensuring users are optimally using the solution

Training Options?
Training is an important part of any transition. Find out what whether workshops can be delivered onsite or remotely. Live webinars can be recorded and viewed on demand. Can the vendor adapt or develop training to meet your needs, or does it work the other way around?

The transition to a new technology is an exciting time for any business, but also one that can be fraught with obstacles. By enlisting a partner to help, enterprises experience more of the positive side of change.

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