11 enterprise content management solutions to consider

ECM for businesses of all sizes

Enterprise content management (ECM) systems are ideal for paper-intensive businesses that are looking for a cost-effective way to eliminate their paper-based filing systems.

Companies using ECM tools to communicate and collaborate more easily find that they are able to share information and make it easier to locate because all the information is based in a central location.

Vendors are addressing increased demands for better mobile and cloud capabilities, as well as more rigorous expectations for vertically specific needs. According to the Association of Information and Image Management, ECM software is meant to enable companies to "capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content and documents related to organizational process."

So which systems out in the IT marketplace actually achieve these ends? Can one solution cover all organizational needs? We've pulled together a roundup of 11 systems you should evaluate when choosing an ECM vendor.

1. Alfresco

Alfresco is touted for being one of the most portable enterprise CMS products on the market. You can access this solution on your mobile phone or tablet and have access to cloud storage. This is extremely valuable in fast-paced, multi-screen environments. The solution also offers a number of cloud and on-premise backup capabilities, providing its users with a 99.9% service level agreement for limited downtime or data loss.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of support resources including live chat (like many other systems) and FAQs. Users of this system need to weigh the importance of portability and cloud storage versus a support system.

2. Dokmee

Dokmee is one of the most seamless solutions to begin using - easy to setup, easy to use. The system is very scalable, allowing for additional upgraded features as an organization grows and matures.

The downside: This solution only allows one proprietary user at a time, which can make collaboration problematic. This is a perfect introductory solution to ECM software as it isn't overly complicated or expensive. This product is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, but likely isn't complete or advanced enough for large enterprises.

3. FileNet Content Manager

FileNet Content Manager comes from the IBM camp and provides an extensive audit trail and version control system, as well as full-text search capabilities. However, this is one of the few ECM systems that lacks a cloud storage option, as well as backup capabilities.

As for customer service, users haven't touted IBM's support team for its help much, which can be expected for a small sect of a large tech behemoth with many functioning arms. Luckily, a saving grace is the seamless, effortless integration with Microsoft systems like Office and SharePoint to help increase productivity.

4. Huddle

Huddle has recently made a pivot from simply a cloud-based collaboration tool to a project management software for enterprise-level collaboration. Huddle is web-based, providing tools for sharing files and seamlessly collaborating with partners and colleagues with features that ensure version control management, and workflows that give different levels of restrictions across varying users.

The system has changed from being free to providing baseline prices of $20/month for small businesses, with increasing prices for larger businesses. While this tool is fantastic for online collaboration across organizations, it will not be your Swiss Army knife tool - in other words, you'll need supplemental solutions to get the full suite of ECM capabilities.

5. LaserFiche

LaserFiche has some great routing, import and export tools, as well as reporting features to enhance a company's workflow. Like Alfresco, the system is lacking FAQs for additional support and backup capabilities.

Laserfiche has separate solutions for varying business sizes: Laserfiche Rio for large organizations, providing tiered pricing with significant volume discounts and unlimited servers and repositories; Laserfiche Avante is for small to medium organizations with fewer than 100 users, providing a simple and affordable pricing structure with individually sold servers.

This is a great starter platform for companies not looking for a complicated solution - it has all of the basic tools that would help manage a corporation's documents but does lack some tools that would enhance this system.