2021.11.23 – Blog post
Many of our customers are investing in OpenText Extended ECM as their central platform for content management and they connect it to many leading applications where they execute different business processes that rely on the content stored in xECM. At the same time, they determine their Cloud-strategy. Quite often the leading application is already up and running in the Cloud. Therefore, an obvious consideration is to determine, if xECM should be Cloud-based as well. And if yes, then in which one.
xECM can provide excellent value. Especially in large organisations, which create large amounts of workspaces and content in xECM systems. xECM can handle this, but it requires optimizations on the infrastructure on server-level and most importantly on database-level.
Therefore, it is important to choose a setup where such optimizations are possible. It must allow administrators to apply e.g., the database best practices provided by OpenText. Furthermore, it needs to grant access to potentially additional tuning that we determine during the project, e.g., based on the customer’s specific metadata structure.
Default settings may be sufficient with some thousand workspaces and documents. But some of our customers have millions of workspaces and 10’s of millions of documents. In these scenarios infrastructure optimization is needed to provide acceptable processing time and a reliable user experience.
Often such optimizations are limited in cloud subscriptions for database and servers and may not be the right fit for the customers xECM system.
Customers implement xECM to connect it to one or more leading applications. This is the great value of xECM. You get the benefits of a proper ECM system and it is connected to your business process in other applications.
However, the implementation project and the system need to anticipate that xECM cannot control the leading application and what is done there by others. Often, it might be decided that xECM is connected to a mature leading application, even if it is decided to start with xECM on a small scale. E.g., xECM is only implemented in a handful of departments or just one country. The leading application might already be used for other things on a broader scale. This affects xECM – and not in a beneficial way.
It needs to be anticipated in the project plan and the system design, that xECM is affected by activity in the leading application outside the scope of the xECM project. E.g., the system might be sized to hold just a few thousand account workspaces for the departments that go-live with xECM. However, if not optimized, all account business objects in the leading application may trigger account workspace creation and updates in the Content Server. This can then easily fill the queues of search index or facets processes in the Content Server. This then results in issues for the xECM system that inherently affect testers during the project or users after go-live.
The best solution is to have a good balance between pre-optimization and scalability. But do you fall into the trap of overthinking and over scaling the application either. This can easily affect the budget negatively, meaning the danger of overspending. There is a fine line of using the right resources for the specific business and its technical needs.
In conclusion, to answer the questions that we stated in the beginning. It depends on your business needs if you should go Cloud-based. However, for large volumes the more likely the answer will be to not go Cloud-based for OpenText extended ECM, due to the nature of xECM software and database, and to secure good performance. Often it requires SQL Database optimization settings which in certain Cloud set-ups can be restricted.
That being said, extended ECM can perfectly be your Cloud solution providing the great benefits of being Cloud-based, if your use cases fit for it. The right solution is again up to you and depends on your business needs. Our experience with OpenText solutions is that some of them perfectly fit for Cloud. The include Core Capture for SAP (OCR software), Archive center (Archiving software), Core for SAP SuccessFactors and more.