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December 5, 2006

Immediacy diversifies out of web content management

Immediacy recently launched a document management system that provides organizations with the ability to capture, store, manage, search, and deliver business-critical documents. While adding document management capabilities to a web content management offering is not unique, it is refreshing to see a UK-based company taking on the larger US-backed vendors with an easy-to-use product.

By CBR Staff Writer

Although the company describes the new product as enterprise-class, it claims that the system has been developed in response to customer demands for simpler and more cost-effective systems to manage documents and digital assets than those provided by the large enterprise content management (ECM) vendors.

Immediacy DMS is based on the .NET 2.0 framework architecture and supports protocols such as web-based distributed authoring and versioning (WebDAV). The product has been designed to enable customers to tailor it to their requirements. It also includes some collaborative capabilities, with the ability to create secure collaborative spaces online to share and update documents, prior to them being published on websites or intranets. There is also integration with eCopy, an external add-on product to copiers and scanners that allows scanned and copied content to be loaded into Immediacy DMS.

The system is accessed via a browser or the desktop, and it complies with current accessibility recommendations so that the whole of its user interface can be accessed through a combination of keyboard shortcuts, tabs, and menus. It complies with eGIF directives, and the company is extremely keen to ensure that, as it continues to be developed and enhanced, the product will continue to comply with future legislative changes.

The product supports the capture of electronic and paper documents, as well as unstructured information. It incorporates workflow to manage the process of creating, editing, approving, and publishing documents and other assets, in addition to providing analysis and reporting capabilities. A server-based repository is provided and documents are indexed to allow easy management. The product can be run in standalone mode or can be integrated with Immediacy CMS, which is the company’s web content management (WCM) solution. There is also a set of Office add-ins that provides integration with Microsoft Office.

Immediacy DMS is not intended to compete with the extensive document management (DM) systems of the large ECM vendors; rather it has been designed to provide organizations that do not require these complex and often expensive platforms to benefit from DM capabilities at a much more cost-effective price.

Adding DM capabilities to a WCM solution is not unique, and there are other WCM vendors that have diversified in this way, but it is still a positive move. There are many medium-sized and smaller organizations that require a web presence, and therefore implement WCM products to help them build and maintain their websites. Often, they also have large volumes of information to manage, but cannot afford one of the major DM products.

By expanding into the area of DM, these specialist WCM vendors are able to provide smaller companies with just the right level of functionality without including many of the more advanced features that a company of this size will probably never require or use.

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It is refreshing to see a UK-based company taking on the large US-backed vendors with products that are easy-to-implement, easy-to-use, and provide smaller organizations with just the right level of functionality that they need.

Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)

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