The Low Hanging Fruit of WebCenter Content: Maximizing Your Investment

May 16, 2014

By: Dwayne Parkinson – Solution Architect

Many clients I encounter have an opportunity to leverage some of the low hanging fruit that WebCenter Content can deliver to solve pressing business needs, but they’re often unaware that these features exist.   For that reason I thought it would be useful to create a brief list a few of the most widely applicable and often overlooked features of WebCenter Content.

WebCenter Content: Desktop (previously Desktop Integration Suite)
It seems that the longer a customer has been using WebCenter Content (aka UCM & Stellent), the less likely they are to use this wonderful feature.  Oracle WebCenter Content: Desktop makes the connection between your PC and the content server virtually seamless.  Windows Explorer suddenly has direct access to the content server folders and functions.

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Likewise the Microsoft Office Suite has convenient access to most many common content server functions via ribbon bars in products like Word and Excel

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Additional menus with special functions suddenly appear in Outlook as well.

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Implementing DIS will often achieve a higher adoption rate of WebCenter Content by the user community and it provides tremendous advantages in terms of ease of use and reduced training costs.  For more information on the Desktop Integration Suite please refer to this bit of Oracle documentation:  http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E29542_01/doc.1111/e10624/toc.htm

 

WebCenter Content: Records (control electronic AND physical records)

For legal and regulatory reasons your company may need to establish (and adhere to) corporate retention policies.  With the 11g version of WebCenter Content, significant changes in the records management capabilities came along for the ride.  Consider leveraging those capabilities to meet this need.

Records Management allows you to organize information into a “File Plan” which controls how long you will keep content and what will happen to the content over its lifecycle.

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Suddenly your company will have control over how long it should keep content, what can still be maintained and what should be removed from the system.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter whether the content is an electronic document stored in a PDF, MS Word or other electronic format OR whether the content is a physical piece of paper.  There are capabilities to handle both physical and electronic records.

Physical records includes such features as locations, billing, integration with Iron Mountain, barcoding and a reservation and check out system.

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To get started with Records Management review the following Oracle documentation.

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E29542_01/doc.1111/e26695/records.htm#CIHGBGJE

 

Workflow & Document Approval

Virtually every organization has the need for some kind of content related workflow.  It could be submitting and approving expenses, approving engineering changes, approving the verbiage on a marketing campaign or an endless array of other possibilities.  WebCenter Content has a built in workflow tool which was designed to quickly address the common document approval situations while still providing a means for implementing more complex workflows.

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Building simple workflows and allowing the user community to access the workflow features via WebCenter Content: Desktop provides a quick and easy way to get up and running with little end user training.

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For more information on using workflows in WebCenter Content please refer to the Workflow section of the Oracle documentation below.

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E29542_01/doc.1111/e26695/workflows_newui.htm#CBBEHJDE

 

Folios

There is often a need to group content items together logically within the content server.  For example, a new product release may have instructions, warranty, product drawings, QA documents and dozens of other related content items that should all be grouped together for the release.  A folio is a special content item that can be created to store related documents.

There are two types of folios.  A Simple Folio allows you to link a number of content items together while an Advanced Folio allows for the creation of a folio template which contains pre-defined nodes (folders) and slots within the nodes that contain content.

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A Simple Folio allows the addition of any content in any order and is a “flat” structure without any folders for organizing content within the folio.
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An Advanced Folio uses a Folio Template to create a predefined structure for storing content items including folders for organizing the content and pre-defined slots to hold specific types of content.

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When using an advanced folio, the user searches for, and then selects content items using a familiar WebCenter Content search interface.  The selected content items are dragged and dropped from the Source Items pane into the appropriate slots as shown above.  Once all of the content items are in place, the folio is saved to the content server.

Since each folio is saved as a unique content item, folios can also be sent through workflow for approval, secured and managed through records management.  For more information on Folios please refer to the follow section of Oracle documentation:

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E29542_01/doc.1111/e26695/folios.htm#CHDJFJJJ

 

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your software is one of the easiest ways to bring value to a company, improve efficiencies and increase your return on investment.  WebCenter Content can help you do that in many ways.  If you would like more information on how some of WebCenter Content’s features may bring additional value to your organization please contact TEAM Informatics and see how the software you already own can be used in new ways to meet your current business needs.

 

 

 


Press Release: TEAM Informatics offers Alfresco Customers the ability to index and search content with the Google Search Appliance using their GSA Connector for Alfresco

November 13, 2013

ARDEN HILLS, Minn., November 13, 2013 

product thumbnails - alfresco connectorTEAM Informatics, Inc., a leading enterprise software products and systems integration firm and recognized expert in Oracle® WebCenter, Alfresco®, and a Google® Enterprise Partner, announced the alpha release of a Google Search Appliance (GSA) Connector for the Alfresco enterprise content platform. The connector product allows the GSA to index and search content held within the Alfresco repository, allowing customers to search content with the familiar Google interface.

“Our customers and market expressed a need for Alfresco users to find their content faster. The familiar Google Search interface increases productivity and minimizes the time to find content,“ said Doug Thompson, Executive VP of TEAM.”With our proven success in connecting repositories to the Google Search Appliance, we know this will also succeed.”

TEAM’s proven ability to provide customers the tools needed to succeed in their competitive markets puts them at the forefront of their enterprise content niche. Find more information on the Alfresco Connector and other TEAM products at www.teaminformatics.com

About Alfrecso

Alfresco is an enterprise content platform that can be used in the cloud or behind a firewall. It helps companies store and share the documents that every business depends on. Alfresco is built for the portability of the tablet and the power of the cloud. See more at www.alfresco.com


Common Mistakes in WebCenter Content Implementations

September 11, 2012

By: Raoul Miller – Enterprise Architect

I just read a great white paper by Dmitri Khanine on mistakes people make with their Site Studio implementations (here) and it inspired me to respond with my take on some of the common mistakes clients make in their broader WebCenter Content / Universal Content Management implementations.

1.    Too Much, Too Soon

You’ve spent a lot of money on license and hardware and probably many months in the selection process, so it’s natural to want to jump in with both feet. Don’t. A phased approach is always better and TEAM always encourages our clients to start with a pilot / phase 1 to learn about the business and get quick returns on investment.  There’s nothing worse than having to explain to the CFO why you are 18 months into a project and still in design phase.

2.    Making it Too Complex

Project managers and internal implementers want to keep their colleagues happy, but too often this turns into managing exception after exception. In order to get any system up and running, you need to accommodate the normal business flows and only those common or vital exceptions. Is it worth spending $100,000 and 2 to 3 months to manage a once a decade exception? Only if the future of the business would depend on it.  Start with the out of the box functionality and watch your users adapt to it.

3.    Failure to Tune

Having encouraged you to go OOTB, don’t think that applies to the application level.  WCC/ UCM will run fine with a standard install, but it won’t run well – see my white paper here for tips on tuning and architecture to get the best performance.

4.    Lack of Participation

The greatest system in the world won’t provide ROI if your users don’t embrace it.  You have to involve users and demonstrate to them why using the new software will help them and your organization. Find out if there’s resistance and address the concerns.  In this challenging economy, people worry that if they submit all their “knowledge” to a new system they can be replaced.  If you got the ECM system so you could replace your experienced contributors, then you’re on your own as to how to address that.

5.   Leadership Vacuum

Someone in your organization made the decision to buy and deploy an ECM system – that person (or group) needs to continue in that leadership role and be visible during implementation. Otherwise the new content management system just becomes another burden or task to all involved.  Communication has to come from the internal project advocates. Why does your organization need to deploy records management (e.g.,cost, exposure, liability, best practice, knowledge sharing)? What are the advantages of an integrated digital asset management and web content management platform (e.g., speed, delegation, response, flexibility, etc.)?

TEAM can help you meet these and many other challenges head on.  Most organizations implement content management once – we do it every day and see the patterns that emerge.  We can bring that experience to your unique situation and guide you through the process smoothly and quickly and prevent you from making the same mistakes others may have made.