Business Issue 

The State of Michigan was using a number of commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom-developed software products for electronic document management (EDM). As the state continued to move from paper to electronic documents, it faced increasing complexity, a lack of standards, and growing cost from supporting multiple EDM systems.

The objective of this project was to analyze the features of the “top 10” commercial EDM products and to identify the gaps that existed between these products and the products currently used by the State of Michigan. The features that were selected were those that were relevant to the state’s departments and agencies, and included document and records management, workflow, image management, mobile device integration, and potential integration with custom applications. Another important evaluation criterion was that product should support electronic file formats that were suitable for long-term preservation.

Approach 

Iknow conducted a comprehensive review of the “top 10” commercial products. Information was collected from vendors’ product literature, independent product evaluations by market research firms such as Gartner, interviews with State of Michigan staff about their experiences with the products, and Iknow’s proprietary product database.

As a first step, Iknow compiled a list of EDM platform features and attributes to serve as the basis for the cross-platform comparisons. This list was created based on interviews with Michigan staff to understand the desired product functionality for their specific use cases. Iknow then performed a comprehensive analysis of features and functionality for ten market-leading products and the three systems most widely used within the State. Iknow incorporated data from the manufacturers’ product literature, expert reviews, and interviews. We also used literature and expert sources to analyze long-term file format storage options and made recommendations on alternatives.

The key deliverables from this project were:

  • Analysis of features and functionality for the latest versions of the three primary EDM products currently in use within the State of Michigan’s departments and agencies.
  • Analysis of features and functionality for the “top 10” commercial EDM products.
  • Description of the functionality gaps between the existing products and the “top 10” commercial products and an evaluation of their importance.
  • Analysis and description of alternatives file formats for long-term document retention.
Results 

Iknow’s analysis was used by the State of Michigan’s IT and Records Management staff to help guide their selection and negotiations with the top EDM vendors. The analysis also helped frame the discussions about EDM products with the State of Michigan’s departments and agencies.