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The ECM Balancing Act in the Pharma/Life Sciences Industry

One of the challenges that IT and Records Managers in Pharma/Life Sciences companies are facing is the idea of moving off the traditional ECM Platforms to an all SharePoint solution. Based on analyst reports as well as experience, most of the ECM platforms have fallen short on the user interface aspects and collaboration features that SharePoint has delivered to customers. Generally one of the biggest complaints. It does not mean that the traditional ECM platform companies have ignored this.  The ease of use and the rapid growth of SharePoint in organizations have driven many customer to contemplate this move to the all SharePoint platform, however the features which they have grown accustom in order to remain in compliant with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 requirements are not there as also noted by some analyst.
Do IT and Records Manager’s ignore user requests for more features around collaboration over the need to meet compliance or do they ignore compliance requirements and try to move to an all SharePoint solution to meet the user interface demands? In many cases compliance is going to win this argument, but leave disappointed end users. Do they really have to make this choice. The simple answer is no.
The answer to how they are balancing it and solving this issue. Well what we have seen and what is being suggested like mentioned in the most recent Forster Wave is the idea of coexistence or a hybrid model. Really taking the best of both worlds. EMC has developed the SharePoint Documentum Framework (SDF) that allows Documentum content and features to be exposed through SharePoint while leveraging the usability aspects. Thus really allowing for the best of both worlds. It may mean that IT has to have two systems but it also means that the company remains in compliance, really goal #1 and then provides end users with the tools they want, end result is a happier customer.
How does this all work out with SDF. When a customer looks to implement the solution they really evaluate processes into two categories. Audited and non-audited. For the audited processes those as you could imagine are driven by  traditional ECM solution like EMC Documentum and would need to be compliant with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 requirements or other key regulations. For the non-aduited processes, those are able to function within SharePoint and if needed content can be moved to an archive at a later time, this can be done quite easily. The SDF solution allows for MCL – Move, Copy, and Link. This is moving content from SharePoint to Documentum, Copying content to Documentum and linking content to Documentum. With these three options and a content mapper for mapping attributes from SharePoint to Documentum pretty much every scenario can be covered as it relates to content transfers.  The other key aspect of this solution is respecting security. With the single sign on capabilities of SDF, it allows a user to engage with the Documentum content he or she has access to from the SharePoint interface reducing complexity and the number of systems the end-user has to log into while still maintaining system integrity. Many of our customers have spent quite some time developing single sign on solutions to make this happen, with SDF it is right out of the box and we have seen it work really well with SharePoint. These are just some of the basic features. With SDF it is actually a framework that allows us to build out capabilities, develop tighter integration and flexibility with SharePoint and EMC Documentum.
The EMC Documentum SDF solution has been deployed with SharePoint to multiple Pharma/Life Sciences companies around the world. It is proven and it does solve the key business problems being faced. Many of our customers, once they have a chance to look at it are very excited about the possibilities it brings to the table.
If you would like to find out more on this solution please join us this Wednesday November 7th for a Webinar on the SDF solution, details provided below. If you would like to discuss this in person, please join us November 15th in San Mateo as we discuss EMC products including this one at a lunch event hosted by EMC, details also posted below.
Upcoming Events:
Wednesday November 7th – Bridge the Gap between SharePoint and EMC Documentum with the SharePoint Documentum Framework
To register for the event click on the following link:
All attendees of this event will be presented with a special offer at the end of the webcast – don’t miss out!  Register now!
Also for registering you will receive a copy of the white paper “Get the Best of Both Worlds Using Microsoft SharePoint with EMC Documentum via SharePoint Documentum Framework”. Your download link will appear on the registration confirmation screen.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 – EMC Lunch Discussion: A Modern Approach to Enterprise Content Management
11:30am – 1:30pm
201 South B Street San Mateo, CA 94401
Registration for this event:

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Omar Koudsi

Omar Koudsi is a National Director of Perficient's Enterprise Content Management Practice. He has over 11 years of experience delivering Content Management Solutions to large companies across many industries and functional areas. The ECM practice led by Omar is made up of 5 teams, Content Intelligence, EMC Documentum, IBM FileNet Operations, Image Capture and ECM Cloud solutions. Within these teams the following is delivered, Content Assessments, Contract Management, Claims Processing, Accounts Payables, Accounts Receivables, Supplier Portals, Content Capture, Archiving, Records Management, and General Content Management solutions.

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