Enterprise CMS vs Business Process Management: Do You Need One Platform, or Both?

June 2, 2011 No Comments


Enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM), while separate technologies, often overlap. As a result, some organizations struggle with understanding whether they need an ECM solution, a BPM solution or both. This article takes a look at the options.


Recently, I came across quite a few interesting posts on Enterprise CMS (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) dematerialization — or ECM & BPM cross-cutting. While some of the leading pure play BPM vendors are claiming that ‘they have an ECM container in-built and take care of content management needs’, almost all leading ECM vendors also offer a BPM engine and it can take care of   an organization’s content centric business process/workflow needs. So it is not very difficult for customers to be confused while making their tools/technology decision for managing content and process using one or the other.

I had touched upon some specific area(s) related to this in one of my previous articles Integrating an enterprise CMS with BPM — A strategy for bridging the gap. I also see, I have been quoted in the article Closer look where BPM and ECM collide. I would like to take a stab at detailing my stand on this subject. This is absolutely my independent view point and not to promote or demote any specific kind of product stack and readers have every right to agree or disagree with me.

In general any tool/technology decisions will be driven by some of the following factors:

  • The business problems the customer want to solve and feature set the customer is looking for.
  • Current tool/technology stack the customer has already opted and has running for several years on the customer’s premises.
  • Size of the implementation — scaling and other non-functional aspects like integration, ease of use etc.
  • Standards — the specific implementation the customer wants/needs to adhere to.

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