Link enterprise content management (ECM) to Microsoft 365 and unleash its full potential for digital collaboration

Quick access to information is often a challenge for office and remote workers. Solve it by linking enterprise content management (ECM) with Microsoft Teams.

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Microsoft 365 has been a real boom for many organisations during the pandemic, with Microsoft Teams proving to be a perfect tool for digital collaboration. Now you can build on that capability by linking an enterprise content management solution (ECM solution) to Microsoft Teams. This removes information silos and ensures users have quick and easy access to the information they need, no matter where it’s stored or where they’re working.

When governments set ‘work from home’ mandates in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations switched their employees to cloud-native solutions like Microsoft 365 almost overnight. Services like Microsoft Teams provide communication and collaboration tools that enable knowledge workers and other staff to work from home. It’s no wonder that, today, Microsoft Teams has 145 million users around the world.¹

Although Microsoft Teams is great for collaboration, organisations may still need to solve associated challenges around information management. In particular, they need to ensure users can access the right data and information at the right time to support business processes and document-driven workflows.

Ideally, users would have a search tool that works like Google, enabling them to:

  • Search seamlessly across every corporate repository
  • Retrieve all relevant information and data (both structured and unstructured) to meet business needs
  • See everything they need in one place, no matter where individual content assets reside

When you link enterprise content management software (ECM software) or an ECM system with Microsoft Teams, you give users what they want. At the same time, the content management system helps your organisation improve information security and governance, streamline document management, and simplify regulatory compliance.

‘It’s not enough to “manage” content. The ability to access the correct version of a document or record is important. Content must be managed so that it is used to achieve business goals.’

AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management)

Time to take control of your information

Since switching to remote and home-based working and increasing their reliance on Microsoft Teams, organisations have typically found information and content management more challenging.

For some organisations – especially those that didn’t already have clear policies on document storage and content life cycle management – the move to Microsoft Teams led to some using it as a filing structure.

A recent Konica Minolta survey² shows that document storage is still not well organised in 66% of organisations. For example:

  • 9% rely on email attachments and personal local drives
  • 34% are already in the cloud but have multiple or poorly organised cloud-shares
  • 23% use a single network file-share, but it is chaotic to some degree
  • Only one third of organisations (33%) have a reasonably well organised network file-share

Source: Digital Transformation Survey, Konica Minolta & Keypoint Intelligence, 2021

Unfortunately, a disconnected and decentralised approach to content management, information storage and archiving can lead to all sorts of issues, including:

  • Employees spending too long trying to find the right information to meet business needs or workflow requirements, which hampers efficiency and productivity
  • Inability to get full value from corporate information resources if they can’t be located
  • Lack of version control, leading to out-of-date information being shared, relied on and even sent to customers
  • Risk of duplicating existing documents – a waste of time and effort
  • Ineffective content management and information governance
  • Risk of non-compliance with data protection regulations (GDPR)

Boost Office 365 with Intelligent Information Management

Combine Microsoft Office 365 with M-Files Intelligent Information Management - Find information in business systems, company network drives and other repositories directly from a Microsoft Office 365 view. Automate business processes with document and project management workflows and built-in artificial intelligence.

With M-Files as your ECM tool, information access is authorised via single sign-on to your Azure Active Directory. M-Files uses a metadata-driven architecture to allow both structured and unstructured data to be automatically and dynamically secured and accessed in the right context, regardless of its storage repository or location.

Built-in artificial intelligence (AI) allows M-Files ECM to analyse documents in order to classify them; create insights into the meaning, value and sensitivity of the information they contain; and ensure that sensitive data (such as personally identifiable information, PII) is handled correctly and in line with relevant regulations, such as GDPR. M-Files also provides further guidance for users on information usage, and automates processes for maintaining information governance and regulatory compliance.

How hard is it to find the right information?

18 minutes is the average time workers spend searching for a document.³

93% of workers can’t find a document because it was poorly named or labelled when it was filed.⁴

82% feel that navigating through different systems to find the most up-to-date version of documents hurts their productivity.⁵

An easy-to-use, non-disruptive ECM solution

Fortunately, you can resolve all these challenges with an enterprise content management system (ECM system) – without migrating data and documents or forcing users to learn a new system. An ECM system – like cloud-based M-Files ECM software from Konica Minolta – provides an intelligent content management platform that:

  • Brings order to data storage and document management across all your repositories, storage systems and line-of-business applications
  • Simplifies information governance, and supports and streamlines your regulatory compliance efforts through automation
  • Saves time and effort for users, who can find the business-critical information they need quickly and easily
  • Brings peace of mind that information is always up to date, secured, and protected against accidental deletion throughout its life cycle

Through API-based integration with Microsoft 365, M-Files enables Microsoft Teams to become the single point of access to all your enterprise information. So people can use the familiar Microsoft Teams user interface to find whatever they want.

The benefits for users of such an ECM implementation include:

  • Direct access to enterprise data, no matter where it’s stored, from within Teams itself. There’s no need to switch between applications. M-Files even allows them to bring content from other systems into Teams channels.
  • An intelligent search engine that enables users to quickly and efficiently find the information they need to support everyday business processes, workflows and tasks. They may even uncover data and documents that have previously proved elusive.
  • Confidence that everyone is using, sharing and working with the most recent version of any information or data.


Making a difference over the long term

When you integrate M-Files enterprise content management software (ECM) into Microsoft 365, you empower your people to be more efficient and productive. Without learning a new system or switching between applications, they can find whatever information they need via a familiar interface, while maintaining their focus on the task at hand.

Your organisation benefits from knowing that information access is properly controlled and that information can be more easily managed in line with policy and regulations, with no need for a complex or time-consuming data migration project. At the same time, M-Files integration can help enterprises get more value from their Microsoft 365 investment.

Many organisations expect homeworking to be a core element of their blended or hybrid working future. So it makes perfect sense to roll out the M-Files ECM solution now — and start reaping the long-term benefits of easy information access via Microsoft Teams, improved information governance, and more intelligent enterprise content management.


Intelligent information management solution


What remote workers need: a collaborative digital workspace

As well as solving information access challenges, your remote working strategy needs to ensure dispersed teams can work effectively together. Find out about creating a productive environment for online collaboration that enables document co-creation and electronic signatures.

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