Active-ate Your Content with FileNET P8

FileNET wants content to get up out of its silo and do something. With the release of its P8 Architecture, the company has shifted the emphasis from simply managing content to making content active in the information workplace. With P8, the latest release of FileNET's Enterprise Content Management suite of solutions, the company seeks to distinguish itself from the pack by approaching content management as a three part equation: "Content plus Process plus Connectivity equals Better, Faster Decisions," according to Chris Preston, FileNET's vice president of product marketing.

P8 offers an integrated framework that leverages content, process, and connectivity in an effort to speed critical business decision-making. By making content "active" FileNET hopes to make information, and the organization as a whole, more agile and streamlined. They are working to make content (and those using it) able to "react" to business or transaction events immediately. Preston says that, while most ECM has been "all about the content" in reality, "this doesn't take into account the business processes that underpin the need for ECM." Thus, he says FileNET is focusing on process and linking content to other enterprise resources. Preston says, "We are redefining the meaning of Enterprise Content to be not just about the content, but more about processes."

These processes, according to Preston, include working with ERP and CRM systems, as well as custom solutions developed in house. He sees that, for example, when users visit a portal, they interact with any number or different applications. "What FileNET does," he says, "is create a content container and manage the content so that it can be used in a variety of ways." Previous generations of ECM viewed content as a passive element, according to Preston. With P8, he says information can be made available via the Web immediately so users can interact with and act upon that information immediately. The information is then passed from the content management system to other information systems. He says, "We are the glue that brings the front and back office applications together."

FileNet's P8 architecture is a scalable framework that combines the capabilities of FileNet's Panagon platform with its BrightspireeBusiness Framework. The P8 architecture features pre-packaged suites: Business Process Manager for process-centric activities; Content Manager for content management-centric activities; Web Content Manager for Web content management-centric activities; and Image Manager for high-volume imaging activities. This approach enables customers to choose the capabilities that best meet their needs and add modules and components as required. Preston says, "We make this modular so customers can have the flexibility to buy only what they need. This way we can provide a spectrum of applications for the entire Enterprise or meet the needs of a specific department, but allow them to plug in components as they grow to need them."

CM that's not all about the content. With P8," says Preston, "content can uniquely be made active and more responsive than ever before."