What is Content Services?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has evolved to become content services—a change driven as much by a new way of thinking about information management as it is about…

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Alison Clarke

June 20, 20236 minute read

An image to symbolize the ease of using cloud-based content services platforms

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has evolved to become content services—a change driven as much by a new way of thinking about information management as it is about new technologies.  

ECM focused on the preservation and protection of content. Content Services builds on that, and uses innovative technological advances to extend the focus to include information access, sharing and collaboration.

What is Content Services?

According to Gartner®, content services platforms (CSPs) are foundational for managing and utilizing content within an organization. CSP technologies enable employees to retrieve and work with content in a modern and seamless way across devices and organizational boundaries. Core CSP functionalities include content capture, creation, consolidation, processing and retention to support personal, team, departmental and enterprise business operations.

The era of trying to implement a monolithic, enterprise-wide ECM platform for the all-inclusive control of content is over. While the objective is still necessary, the traditional approach was too unwieldy and complex to work consistently.

Everything from scope to training took too long and rarely met organizational needs. And the growth of vast new pools of digital information has just made the idea even more untenable.

What are the capabilities of CSPs and content services applications? 

A CSP can be seen as the evolution of existing ECM solutions. The content services platform has its own repository and integrates with other repositories to deliver enterprise-wide content lifecycle management, information access and governance.

Common services available from these platforms include document and records management, data capture and indexing, categorization, workflow management, version control and analytics.

Content services applications, on the other hand, provide solution-focused capabilities that address specific use cases across the organization. Examples of content-enabled applications include vendor invoice managementemployee information managementcontract management, as well as vertically focused applications such as those for life sciences or engineering.

What are content services components?

Content services components are utility-based services that add additional functionality to existing applications. For example, a content services component may be a utility that enables language translation, external file sharing or document capture.

CSP providers—such as OpenText™—deliver a variety of content-enabled services, microservices, tools and repositories that allow organizations to design the best CSP for their individual needs.

What is the difference between content services and enterprise content management?

Content services does not take the place of an ECM system. Rather, it’s an evolution in ECM solutions. It’s not about “rip and replace.” It’s about building on the investments you’ve already made in ECM systems—and enhancing the value in those systems by integrating new capabilities.

Specifically, ECM solutions allow you to capture, manage, store and preserve content through the organization, while content services extends that and improves information sharing, automationcollaboration and analytics.

As mentioned earlier, the real change is not about technology. It’s about asking different questions related to the use of content within your organization—and now being able to integrate solutions that give you the answers you need.

Traditional ECM software focused on the capture, storage and management of content. Content services, on the other hand, addresses very different questions: “How do I give users access to the information they need, when and where they need it, and in a format that’s easy for them to work with?”

What are the benefits of content services?

Content services allows organizations to realize the full value of the content and data they have available to them. Rather than isolating content in a separate repository where it’s difficult to access and out of context, content services is a major step forward in connecting people, processes and content across organizations—and with their customers, suppliers and other business partners.

Key benefits include:

  • Empowering knowledge workers
    Content services software enables you to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. Users can access and interact with dynamic and personalized content from within the application they’re using through customized workspaces.
  • Becoming repository agnostic
    Content can be stored in multiple repositories across the organization. Rather than trying to identify, capture and centralize it, a content services platform allows users to access content where it lives, while maintaining governance and access controls. Only when content is managed this way can you begin to apply advanced analytics to improve decision-making.
  • Improving information access and sharing
    The best CSPs ensure that content is “born managed.” Intelligent and automated metadata and categorization capabilities mean that any piece of content can be managed throughout its entire lifecycle. All content, wherever it resides, can be quickly and easily searched, retrieved and shared across departments or with customers and partners.
  • Enhancing information governance and compliance
    A CSP provides a single, trusted source that delivers integrated records management, intelligent metadata management, archive and search capabilities, and version control—whether content is stored within the platform or in other enterprise repositories such as Microsoft SharePointSAP applicationsSalesforce or email. This ensures that all activity complies with internal information governance policies and procedures and external regulations and mandates.
  • Moving to “Cloud First”
    Delivered as web-based services, CSPs can be quickly deployed and are easily scalable. Their benefits are available to on-prem and cloud enterprise applications and can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. The best content services platforms enable the seamless integration of new content services with existing on-premise ECM systems to provide hybrid content services.

Why consider OpenText for your CSP?

OpenText is a recognized leader of both on-premise content services and managed content services, allowing for flexible deployments of CSPs that meet your specific business requirements.

Here are three reasons to choose OpenText as your CSP provider:

  • Named a leader in Content Services
    Gartner named OpenText a leader in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms. In the report, Gartner states, “Organizations are increasingly looking to consolidate their content services portfolio using cloud-based services that are simple to deploy, configure and operate. Vendors are responding with increasing SaaS capabilities.”
  • Industry-leading integrations
    Organizations need a digital workplace that enables frictionless information flows and improves process management. Integrate with SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft and other leading applications and seamlessly embed OpenText content services and content collaboration solutions to minimize application switching and boost user productivity.
  • Future in cloud
    OpenText offers the flexibility to choose from all deployment options, whether private, public or hybrid cloud, multitenant SaaS or on-premises. Organizations can future proof their operations by leveraging a robust roadmap and quarterly, innovative feature enhancements.

Learn more about how we can help.


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Alison Clarke

Alison is Director, Product Marketing for OpenText Content Suite and Extended ECM. Alison and her team are passionate about helping organizations use content services technologies to distill more value from information, supporting the needs of individuals and teams to improve productivity and strengthen information governance for the organization with content services-enabled solutions.

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