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The M-Files Intelligent Metadata Layer: Fulfilling the Promise of ECM

As an M-Files sales rep, I’ve demoed our Intelligent Metadata Layer (IML) to many organizations and witnessed a variety of reactions. The overwhelming majority of them are positive, while a few are slightly cynical. Either way, it seems as though an IML demo spurs a deeper and more strategic level of conversation. To me, this means two things: one, we’ve got really got something here! And two, this is because IML actually allows organizations to realize the full potential of enterprise content management (ECM).

IML Delivers on the Promise of Enterprise Content Management

My enterprise prospects and clients are more dissatisfied than ever with their legacy ECM systems. My colleague, John Upham explores this in his blog post. So what gives?

Unfortunately, an ever-increasing load of data and content is scattered across a variety of siloed systems and repositories. Then the IT department is asked to provide the tools to manage, find, manage and automate this information and bring business value to content and data. And they can’t—so nobody is happy.

The vision of IML is that “context is king” and that information can reside in its native system or repository. This foundation ensures that information can be found relevant to the user’s current need, wherever it may reside. For example, the Smith Tools contract shows up in a search for customer-related information for sales. Normal right? However, the Smith Tools contract also shows up with pending legal contracts or associated with a customer account in CRM as part of an audit. M-Files can do this because M-Files uses metadata to define what the document or object is. Relevancy is the most objective, intuitive, and in our opinion, the most optimal way to manage content.

Managing information based on where it is—is old school, resulting in information being siloed within applications, disconnected business systems and repositories. When we spoke to this new approach with an IT Director, he said, “That makes sense, we all manage metadata why not leverage it and create value from it?” Why not, indeed!

The Problem of Integration and Migration Goes Away

Integration and migration is a problem that is particularly challenging to the enterprise due to the sheer number of different systems and applications involved, which dramatically magnifies information management issues. The good news for enterprise clients is that the decoupling of information based from where it resides eliminates the need for expensive, difficult integration and migration. By sharing metadata attributes with systems, IML acts as an intelligent middleware to serve up the desired content. Existing business processes and systems can continue as is and some of the “pain” goes away. Needless to say, this gets lots of “yes” votes from my clients.

If all these possibilities strike a chord with you let me know. We’d love to show you what all our clients are buzzing about.

If you are interested in learning more about IML and how it can benefit your enterprise, download this whitepaper.