What Is Transactional Content Management?

What Is Transactional Content Management?

By Mike Miller on August 26, 2019

Transactional Content Management.

It sounds complicated. Trust us, we know. But in a few words, transactional content management (TCM) means processing your transaction-based content. Here at KnowledgeLake, we call it “Intelligent Content Management,” because we specialize in intelligently managing and automating organizations’ most important documents—otherwise known as their transactional content. Transactional content is the content that keeps your organization’s lights on. You know all those filing cabinets in your accounting department that hold already paid invoices? You can think about TCM as the routing of each of those invoices around your organization for review, approval, and payment before they get stored in those filing cabinets. But why does all this matter to you? It matters because understanding how transactional content differs from other kinds of content is the first step to managing it efficiently.


It’s also important to understand the difference between ECM and TCM. You've probably heard us use the phrase enterprise content management—or ECM—multiple times. You may have also more recently heard people calling ECM “Content Services” or “CSP.” You can't truly understand transactional content management until you're up to speed on ECM.

Enterprise content management is a set of defined processes, strategies, and tools. These allow an organization to effectively obtain, tag, organize, store, and deliver critical information to their employees, partners, and customers.

So how does transactional content management differ? Well, transactional content management is a subset of ECM. It’s focused on document-driven business processes rather than collaborative or creative processes.

Understanding how transactional content management works in the real world of business is also important because it will help you decide how to organize your taxonomy and metadata structures in your repository of choice. To do this, you need to understand how your organization uses and processes each type of content. Let’s go over the most common types.

Collaborative Content

Collaborative content is the stuff that’s frequently edited. It's created by an employee. Usually, many versions are created by that employee and shared with other employees. Collaborative content is very flexible, creative, and project-focused. Collaborative content includes things like proposals, reports, presentations, and Microsoft Office documents.

Transactional Content

Unlike collaborative content, transactional content consists of documents that are created outside of your organization. These documents rarely change and typically have few versions made. Although they’re not edited much, they’re accessed a lot during the transaction. Transactional documents are usually cross-functional and process-driven—requiring review, approval, and information from multiple sources. After the transaction is finished, the document is usually placed within an archive and retention system. Examples of transactional content are vendor invoices, employee onboarding/offboarding documents, insurance claims, and financial account forms.

Now What?

So now that you know exactly what transactional content is, you’re ready for the next steps in building a well-oiled TCM and ECM machine. What are those steps?

Taking inventory of the different types of content your organization handles, how that content flows through your organization, and what your company does with that content after it’s no longer needed. Like we said before, managing transactional content requires an entirely different approach than managing collaborative content. But most content management tools that you see on the market are geared toward collaborative documents and processes.

The KnowledgeLake platform, on the other hand, is designed especially for managing your organization’s transactional content. We are experts in transactional content management and are happy to answer any questions you have about managing your organization’s most critical content.

About KnowledgeLake:

KnowledgeLake provides content management solutions that help busy organizations intelligently automate their most important document processes. Since 1999, we've created award-winning, Microsoft-centric solutions that have helped thousands of companies around the world focus on their mission rather than their mission-critical documents.


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