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Document Composition and ECM

September 9, 2006

Document Composition, as the name suggests is dynamic assembly of documents based on business rules and templates. Examples include creating insurance policies, credit card communications, customized investment advice, bill presentment and so on.

Many of our clients, especially in the BFSI space have been asking for document compositions solutions. Most ECM solutions do not have document composition features in place yet. Some of them do try and force fit their solutions but most of them work with niche products in this space. Interwoven for example, works with Whitehill Technologies and Perfectus Solutions. Other leading vendors in this space that I know of are:

Among the bigger vendors, Adobe leads the show.

I think document composition should be part Content Management systems. However, the integration with ECM products is still not very common. Based on the trends that I have seen, I think this is a feature that more and more clients would want to implement. Hence, the ECM vendors will certainly need to offer this feature to differentiate from others. They will either need to build this capability or buy niche products and integrate them.
In another post, I’ll write about how document composition differs from what most ECM systems already do – separate presentation from format and create templated output?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Karthick permalink
    September 13, 2006 9:15 am

    I would like to give my views on Document Services.

    Document Services (Content Composition and content distribution) which is at the fag end of the ECM spectrum would attract greater attention in the future.

    Organizations were initially focussing on optimizing their business process (reducing the cycle time for loan approval process,credit card application processing,for customer queries)

    Consider the below example.

    Even though the processing time for a customer query has been reduced drastically the number of queries posted to the customer services department is always on the rise (mainly due to ineffective and delay in communication to the customer).

    Below is an example where effective and prompt content delivery would be a boon to the organization.

    In developed countries mobile operators are coming up with innovative/competitive tariff plans for their customers.End of the month confusion prevails over the monthly bill which leads to the rise in number of customer queries.

    To cut down the number of queries posted by customers, the communication made to the customer has to be effective and prompt.

    In the past, CM vendors embraced content capture features to provide a wide range of services.(EMC’s acquisition of Captiva is an example).

    ECM Vendors by providing document services feature (which they lack now) will provide the entire spectrum of offerings (Content Capture,Content Composition,Content Management and Content Distribution).

    Till then, fine balancing has to be done while choosing the products.For example few products (like ISIS Papyrus) provides content capture,repository and portal features apart from their core feature (composition and distribution).

  2. September 13, 2006 4:59 pm

    Karthick,
    Many thanks – you’ve made some good points.

  3. Mark Thomas permalink
    September 19, 2006 5:33 pm

    Document Composition, Content Composition, etc. are general, nebulously-defined terms. It would be best to define document composition and thus the scope of your list, otherwise it will look arbitrary, random, or incomplete.

  4. Deepak permalink
    October 28, 2006 2:59 am

    Based on my experience, this aspect of ECM has to mature a lot. There are several players in the arena and from what I’ve seen, scalability and performance have to be improved in all / most such products. I feel that this is one of the reasons that you don’t see the bigger ECM players like Documentum, Stellent, Vignette, etc acquiring companies that focus on content/document composition products, although I bet they are definitely looking in that space …….

  5. April 22, 2007 2:08 pm

    Speaking as a vendor in the space (www.exari.com), we have seen growth in our area of speciality, namely contracts and more complex legal documents, typically in B2B scenarios. There is a blog post on what we see as the sweet spot for this approach here…

    http://exari.blogspot.com/2007/01/sweet-spot-of-document-assembly.html

    Most of the vendors you list are what we called “high volume” and “standard form” players, whose approach is best in relatively simple B2C scenarios, like pumping out 10,000+ bills and bank statements. They are not so good when they hit B2B contracts which tend to vary quite a bit due to negotiations.

  6. Bharat Agroya permalink
    May 10, 2007 12:31 pm

    Aproov, you are right.. It is high time that ECM solutions should integrate document composition tools with their products. Document Desing and composition tools have become important part of a business strategy to communicate with their customers and enhance opportunities for cross-sell.
    Major players in the BFSI spaces are now working out a strategy to zero in on document composition tools and integrate them into their business process.

  7. Srikanth permalink
    September 5, 2007 3:44 am

    Hi All,

    Can any of you help me in getting the Market Analysis of Dynamic Composition in US.

    I mean…
    What is the current and potential size of Document Composition in US? What is the future trend? What are all the companies and their share in Document composition in US? etc.,

    Where can I get all this information.

    I had taken this as an assignment for my project work. Any help in regards to this is highly appreciated.

  8. Arbind permalink
    March 26, 2008 1:56 pm

    Hi could anybody help me sizing Indian Market for Document composition and ECM….Would appreciate help in this regard.

  9. Purnendu permalink
    January 11, 2011 9:35 am

    I had used GMC Print Net T and tested others and it seems it address CCM & ECM in a single go.

  10. March 9, 2011 7:54 pm

    The Military Payroll Calculator is a very good example of how a macro can make dynamic document composition quick and easy with no need to add payroll calculations to the data source.

  11. koziol666 permalink
    April 26, 2011 12:55 am

    Document generation software can be affordable and quick. The key to this new approach is using Microsoft Office as the design tool. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, coupled with Windward Reports, give business users the flexibility and features they need to create top-notch enterprise docgen templates.

    When you use Microsoft Office for dynamic document composition, you save your company significant time and money.

    document generation software

  12. April 26, 2011 9:17 pm

    Document generation software can be affordable and quick. The key to this new approach is using Microsoft Office as the design tool. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, coupled with Windward Reports, give business users the flexibility and features they need to create top-notch enterprise docgen templates.

    When you use Microsoft Office for dynamic document composition, you save your company significant time and money.

  13. Oscar permalink
    April 27, 2011 10:23 am

    [URL = "http://www.document-generation-software.com/2011/03/how-to-smash-the-document-generation-bottleneck.html"] Document generation software [/ URL] can be affordable and quick. The key to this new approach is using Microsoft Office as the design tool. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, coupled with Windward Reports, give business users the flexibility and features they need to create top-notch enterprise docgen templates.

    When you use Microsoft Office for dynamic document composition, you save your company significant time and money.

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