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Guide to Enterprise Content Management & Collaboration

By Andrew Conry-Murray, InformationWeek, December 15, 2008 11:00 AM

Larry Hawkins has a problem. Actually, he has several million. The company he works for, First Energy, generates 2 million e-mails a week. Then there are untold Word documents, spreadsheets, CAD files, videos, and other pieces of content flooding the company.

"We are great at creating information, but really bad at deleting low-value information," says Hawkins, First Energy's director of records and information compliance. "The more stuff laying around out there represents a risk to the company."

It may be cold comfort, but Hawkins isn't alone. At companies everywhere, e-mail, collaboration tools, and Office applications generate a rising tide of unstructured business content. It's not enough to simply soak it up with additional storage. Compliance and e-discovery requirements demand more discrimination, identifying which information should be retained and which can safely be destroyed. At the same time, companies must make sure employees and other users can access the content they need to conduct daily business.

Companies have two choices: manage this business content, or drown in it.

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