35 Key ECM Questions To Ask Your ECM Vendor

If you are reading this post then you may be entertaining the idea of implementing, migrating or even upgrading an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution.  By now you should understand the benefits of a paper-free office, how process automation can increase business productivity and that Microsoft SharePoint has been recognized as the leading Enterprise Content Management platform.  You realize there is an urgency for change but need to find a solution that is reasonable, doable and most importantly a good fit for your needs.

Since understanding your business needs may not be as obvious as you would like, we’ve provided the following 35 critical questions to help you determine the viability of a potential ECM vendor.

  1. How long have you been in the industry?
  2. How does your product road map compare to the current and/or future market trends?
  3. Do you provide an ECM assessment and of what does it consist?
  4. What is your support process?
  5. What does the Enablement process look like?
  6. How much is maintenance and what are the benefits?
  7. Can licensing be concurrent or does it have to be named users?
  8. Who is your competition and why should we choose you?
  9. Explain your expertise with SharePoint as your repository platform.
  10. Is your solution scalable?
  11. What type of workflow can be provided?
  12. Does your solution integrate with my existing technologies?
  13. Are there any click or page charges?
  14. My databases are hosted, how does that effect ECM in my organization?
  15. We are moving towards the cloud; is your solution suitable?
  16. Can I retrieve documents from my LOB applications?
  17. Do you have departmental solutions?
  18. Will we need to hire an admin to manage your solution?
  19. How do we search for documents when we need them?
  20. Do we need Adobe to view our imaged documents?
  21. Do we need to download a copy to the desktop each time we want to open the document?
  22. How is version-ing supported?
  23. How about annotations?
  24. Do you provide encryption?
  25. How do we manage security/permissions?
  26. Do you offer migration services?
  27. Do you provide records and case management?
  28. What auto-indexing and automation capabilities do you have?
  29. Do you have OCR?
  30. Can you batch release documents after business hours to save bandwidth?
  31. What are the system requirements?
  32. What file formats can I use to save documents?
  33. What is your disaster recovery process?
  34. What professional service assistance do you provide?
  35. Last but not least:  How can I assess ROI?


The correct answers to these questions should be determined by your organization and responses may vary from vendor to vendor.  Don’t forget to ask for customer references and case studies.  Remember if you are migrating from an existing system, there are other considerations to discuss with a potential vendor.  Do your research, and a great place to begin is right here: Contact KnowledgeLake