10 Best Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software In 2021

Read this review to compare top ECM Software services and select the best Enterprise Content Management Software for your requirements:

How often have we heard the saying ‘Content is King’ in the modern age?

These words are nothing short of golden, as it speaks of a truth that businesses today must honor if they wish to succeed in today’s cutthroat environment. Content is literally everywhere and is driving almost all key decisions made by managers and c-level executives.

Therefore, the management of this content, no matter what form it might take, is crucial for the efficient functioning of an enterprise’s day-to-day operations. With businesses now being encouraged to embrace the merits of a world becoming rapidly digitized, we need tools that help in the intuitive management of digital content.

Fortunately, businesses today are blessed to have a plethora of options at their disposal with enterprise content management software. A good ECM software helps users create and modify content while also helping businesses manage their documents.

enterprise content management software

Enterprise Content Management Software

ECM tools understand the dire need to manage oodles of content in the form of images, videos, or text. Thus, they arm their users with an intuitive UI and tons of advanced features in a bid to effectively manage these dynamic files.

There are countless numbers of ECM tools to choose from. So it is only natural to feel overwhelmed with the idea of choosing the right software from an ocean of tools vying for your attention.

In this article, we will look at some of the best enterprise content management tools you can try. We were able to devise this list based on our own personal experiences. After studying considerably the features they offer and comparing them with other tools of similar nature, we can confidently recommend the top 10 tools.

Pro-Tips:

Consider the following tips before settling for ECM software:

  1. The ideal ECM software will provide users with a quick and convenient way to create and modify content. Look for features such as a drag-and-drop interface that helps in adding elements to the page you’re creating.
  2. The software must allow users to conveniently share data with their colleagues and team members for editing, review, or any other legitimate reason.
  3. The software must come with tons of add-ons and extensions to provide an enhanced user experience and help solve issues within the system as they arise.
  4. Finally, the tool must provide users with a comprehensive guide to help and support a user if they find themselves stuck while operating the system.
Fact-Check: According to the report published by Markets and Markets, the Enterprise Content Management Market which stands at $40.1 billion in 2020 will reach $66.9 billion by 2025.

report published by Markets and Markets

[image source]

FAQs About ECM Tools

Q #1) What does an Enterprise Content Management System do?

Answer: Enterprise content management software helps businesses manage crucial documents in the form of Word files, spreadsheets, PPT’s and more. It also stores these documents in secure databases, which it makes readily available to individuals with the authority to access them.

Q #2) What are the key benefits of enterprise content management software?

Answer: A good ECM software will help you cut drastically on printing, shipping, and storing costs by eliminating physical files in favor of the digital alternative. It also makes your staff more productive by making documents instantly accessible to them with a few clicks. They also help minimize the risk of data loss and theft.

Q #3) Who are the staunchest users of ECM services?

Answer: Law firms and educational institutions are believed to be the most common users of ECM software, largely due to the number of documents they have to deal with on a regular basis.

Recommended Reading =>> Best Content Marketing Software Tools

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List Of Top Enterprise Content Management Systems

Here is the list of popular ECM Tools and Companies:

  1. PaperSave (Recommended)
  2. Alfresco
  3. Ascend Software
  4. Laserfiche
  5. DocStar
  6. DocuWare
  7. Microsoft
  8. Hyland
  9. IBM
  10. Box

Comparison Of Best ECM Software

NameBest ForRatingsFree TrialFees
PaperSave Robust Document Capture and Streamlining of business processesStar_rating_5_of_5Free Demo AvailableContact for Pricing
AlfrescoSmart AI-enabled Content ManagementStar_rating_4.5_of_530-day free trialPricing revealed upon request
Ascend SoftwareAutomated, Cost-effective content managementStar_rating_4_of_5Free Demo AvailableContact for Pricing
LaserficheAutomated Capture and Organization of DocumentsStar_rating_4.5_of_5Free DemoStarter plan - $50/month per user, Professional Plan - $69/month per user, Business Plan - $79/month per user.
DocStarAutomated Document Management for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses.Star_rating_4_of_5Free DemoContact for Pricing

Let’s proceed further and review the ECM tools below.

#1) PaperSave (Recommended)

Papersave is best for robust content capture and streamlining of business processes.

papersave

PaperSave is a robust document management solution that arms businesses with the pedigree needed to manage an overwhelming number of digital files in a hassle-free manner. It is a tool that provides cutting-edge features to conveniently capture documents and store them in a secure electronic repository.

The browser-based experience PaperSave provides is a prominent reason why it is so high on this list. It offers flexible capture methods from scanners, Microsoft Office/Outlook integration, Print to PaperSave, and more. This coupled with a mobile-friendly app ensures that documents are accessible to all authorized parties from anywhere in the world whenever required.

PaperSave understands how important it is to find critical information without wasting any time. So it provides users with advanced search functionality that makes it easier to retrieve documents directly from the ERP/CRM solution or from the PaperSave portal quickly.

Features:

  • Smart capture of documents in any format
  • Streamlining business processes with consistent workflows
  • Seamless integrations with ERP and other business software
  • Strong security for stored content, regardless of volume and capacity

Verdict: PaperSave is the ideal document management software to help businesses of all sizes organize and manage valuable content. It is capable of capturing tons of information in its physical form and proceeds to store them in readily accessible electronic formats. It works magnificently well as both a browser-based software and a mobile-friendly app.

Price: Contact PaperSave for pricing.


#2) Alfresco

Best for smart AI-enabled content management.

Alfresco

Alfresco is intuitive content management software that offers a plethora of advanced features for efficient management of your organization’s information. It serves its purpose well by scanning documents, storing files in a secure electronic archive, and sharing them to encourage collaboration between multiple parties.

It is undoubtedly a full-service ECM tool that delivers on all anticipated aspects of such software. However, Alfresco distinguishes itself from other tools due to its smart AI. Most of the functionality of this tool is powered by an intelligent AI that serves its users in more ways than one.

It can automatically group content similar in nature under one common folder. It is also smart enough to study the content you feed it, in order to eventually provide you with valuable insight and analytical reports pertaining to the same.

Features:

  • Document scanning and capture
  • Powerful AI
  • Multiple integrations with major applications
  • Smart folder creation

Verdict: Not many ECM tools offer their services in a manner, Alfresco does. A major credit here goes to its impressive AI-powered features. So if you are looking for Enterprise Content Management software that is smart enough to drive your company’s content management on auto-pilot, then Alfresco is the ideal software for your business.

Price: 30-day free trial. Pricing revealed upon request.

Website: Alfresco


#3) Ascend Software

Best for automated, cost-effective content management.

Ascend Software

Although Ascend primarily positions itself as an accounts payable software, it is also quite efficient when it comes to content management. Ascend offers an ECM tool that helps you capture, distribute and automatically manage large volumes of important content across various departments of your organization.

It eliminates paper completely, focusing instead on the capture and archiving of electronic documents. The tool also implements strong security protocols to protect sensitive documents from unauthorized access.

It also seamlessly integrates with ERP, thus allowing hassle-free access to any file you seek from the repository. The software also ensures that your documents are archived in compliance with the necessary auditory and regulatory requirements.

Features:

  • Capture, Distribute, and Archive documents
  • Set custom group and user roles to prevent unauthorized access to files
  • Archive files in compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Gain access to all types of files from your ERP

Verdict: Ascend caters to businesses that often have a tough time managing an unfathomable pool of documents. It provides a comprehensive interface that allows for the simple capture, archiving, and retrieval of documents to make daily business operations easier. It is a tool we can recommend to all kinds of businesses, irrespective of their size.

Price: Contact Ascend for pricing

Website: Ascend Software


#4) Laserfiche

Best for automated capture and organization of documents.

laserfiche

When it comes to robust enterprise content management vendors, Laserfiche has a very simple approach to how they like catering to their clients. It emphasizes its offering on two fundamental features of content management – Document Capture and Organization.

We are glad to inform you they perform these dual duties with remarkable perfection. First and foremost, it can easily capture content in its physical form and archive them in a relatively desirable digital format.

Once captured, the documents are stored in secure central repositories from where they can be accessed without wasting any time. These repositories can also streamline business processes by encouraging efficient collaborations between multiple authorized parties.

Features:

  • Capture content in any format
  • Store files in electronic archives
  • Automatic indexing to easily retrieve information needed
  • Share files and collaborate on them.

Verdict: Laserfiche focuses its efforts on providing a user-friendly experience to its many clients. Therefore, what you get is content management software that is easy to use and deploy. It is a great tool to manage large volumes of data under one roof.

Price: Starter Plan – $50/month per user, Professional Plan – $69/month per user, Business Plan – $79/month per user.

Website: Laserfiche


#5) DocStar

Best for automated document management for small and mid-sized businesses.

DocStar

DocStar has a ton of advanced features to offer, each working in collaboration with another to provide a robust ECM tool. The tool can be used to easily capture, classify, and index documents. It is smart enough to identify and eliminate errors in a document to enhance its quality.

The software also allows you to create streamlined workflows that drastically improve the performance of your business processes. Apart from the above features, the tool also enables users to create e-forms to process and verify data.

Because of its convenient cloud-based interface, the tool can be used to capture physical files in electronic format for efficient management from any device or location.

Features:

  • Create streamlined workflows
  • Capture and Index documents
  • Create secure E-Forms
  • AP Automation

Verdict: DocStar serves to completely digitize the entire content management system across your business. It is a tool that can be used to capture, manage, and store documents from various departments under one comprehensive system.

Price: Contact DocStar for pricing

Website: DocStar


#6) DocuWare

Best for cloud-based document management.

DOCUWARE

DocuWare is a cloud-based ECM tool that optimizes the entire process with the help of impeccable digitization and secures archiving. It is a tool ideal for businesses that harbor a remote workforce. The tool effectively captures information in its physical form and archives them in a secure cloud repository.

You can later set custom permissions to allow remote employees access to these files from any location and device. From here, your employees can edit files, share feedback, and review the documents in real-time.

Apart from the above primary features, the tool can also be used for automated invoice processing, employee management, and managing your enterprise’s sales and marketing information.

Features:

  • Create, Manage, and Archive documents
  • Allow and deny access to files with custom permission settings
  • Digital Workflow Automation
  • Securely store documents in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Verdict: We highly recommend DocuWare if you run a business that has employees working remotely. It is a tool that can help you easily capture, create, manage and archive your content effectively. DocuWare is competent enough to add immense value to any department within your company.

Price: Free demo, custom pricing

Website: DocuWare


#7) Microsoft 365

Best for create, manage and store content compatible with MS Office.

microsoft365

MS Office is the most widely used content creation software around the globe. From MS Word to Excel, people still find it to be the most convenient tool to create documents, spreadsheets, or slide-assisted presentations.

Well, Microsoft 365 goes a step further and provides MS office users with dynamic cloud-based software that helps in the management of MS office content. The tool offers hundreds of unique templates, photos, fonts, and icons to assist MS office users in the creation of their content.

It also helps users store files securely with OneDrive and share them across multiple devices with other users. The software provides 1TB of cloud storage and works across multiple operating systems and hardware devices without an issue.

Features:

  • Compatible with multiple devices and OS
  • 1TB cloud storage
  • Provides tons of new template, fonts, icons, and photos for MS office content creation
  • Save and share files with other users

Verdict: Microsoft 365 is especially suitable for users who use MS office for their day-to-day operations. It is content management software ideal for personal and family use only. If you are looking for a tool that serves your commercial interests, then you will be well-advised to skip this one.

Price: 30-day free trial, starting at $9.99 per month

Website: Microsoft 365


#8) Hyland

Best for customized content management service for large enterprises.

hyland

Hyland is one of those ECM vendors that take their sweet time studying the business of their clients. Doing so allows them to fashion their services according to the specific need and industry of your business.

Hyland aligns your business with an enterprise content management system that adapts to evolving requirements. According to your preference, they install and deploy the ideal Enterprise Content Management software that is capable of streamlining workflows and imperative business processes.

Moreover, Hyland offers everything you need to efficiently manage your content. This includes document capture, management, distribution, and archiving. They also ensure you have an ECM system that instantly retrieves any information you are searching for.

Features:

  • Streamline workflows
  • Produce insight and analytical reports
  • Enable sharing and collaboration on files
  • Software deployed on cloud or on-premises.

Verdict: If you are looking for enterprise content management vendors who offer customized services catering to your specific needs, then there is no better option than Hyland. They offer a system that is designed to satisfy businesses in the management of their information, no matter what industry they belong to.

Price: Contact Hyland for pricing

Website: Hyland


#9) IBM

Best for cloud-based ECM solution.

IBM

No enterprise content management software review can be completed without mentioning IBM. It is after all one of the most popular ECM tools that exist today. IBM’s ECM service encourages businesses to take full advantage of the information contained within a plethora of their critical documents.

Thus, it offers a tool that allows you to capture, archive, distribute and automate content. It effectively gathers content from across various departments of the organization and stores them in one secure cloud repository.

The tool then makes it spectacularly easy to protect these files or collaborate on them to enhance the quality of its content. The tool can be deployed on the cloud, on-premises, or as a hybrid.

Features:

  • Automate workflows and streamline business processes.
  • Capture, Manage, and Index files
  • Deploy on the cloud, on-premise, or as a hybrid
  • Share files and collaborate on content.

Verdict: With a plethora of advanced features, IBM encourages its clients to deploy the ECM tool to increase customer engagement, improve employee productivity, and reduce costs. This is one tool you must take for a test drive. Simply put, IBM is one of the best enterprise content management software companies in the world.

Price: Contact IBM for pricing

Website: IBM


#10) Box

Best for API-First content management.

box

Box has come a long way since its humble beginning all those years ago. It has evolved considerably from its original state, and the change is a welcome addition to this robust ECM tool. The UI has been drastically overhauled to appear less cluttered and more appealing to the eyes.

The addition of new features like version history, file locking, and co-authoring, make the tool even more captivating than before. It is extremely easy to manage, store and distribute your content across different departments of your organization using Box.

The tool also ensures that you are managing and storing your content in compliance with established regulatory requirements. The tool also provides enhanced efficiency thanks to seamless automation of workflows, and smooth integrations with cloud-based API and BPM.

Features:

  • Keep your documents up-to-date and relevant with ‘Version History’
  • Enjoy seamless API and BPM integrations
  • Streamline business processes for improved efficiency
  • Secure your files with ‘File Locking’

Verdict: Box is a tool that has evolved dramatically with changing times to accommodate new features that make the management of content considerably more convenient. With an exciting list of new features coupled with smooth integrations with other relevant software, Box is an ideal ECM tool for small and mid-sized businesses.

Price: Starting at $5/month per user

Website: Box


Conclusion

Content management software is essential for businesses to operate efficiently on a regular basis. With documents and sensitive content being organized efficiently, a business can improve customer engagement, increase employee productivity, and cut drastically on storage and security costs.

All the above-mentioned tools are capable of performing their intended function with remarkable finesse. These are some of the most revered tools in the industry and can help businesses manage their content, irrespective of the information’s volume or capacity.

As for our recommendation, if you are looking for a robust ECM tool that also performs a slew of other imperative managerial functions, then PaperSave is the perfect software for you. On the other hand, for AI-enabled assistance, you can try Alfresco.

Research Process:

  • We spent 13 hours researching and writing this article so you can have summarized and insightful information on what ECM software will best suit you.
  • Total ECM tools Researched – 25
  • Total ECM tools Shortlisted – 10
=> Contact us to suggest your listing here.