No love lost: 3 reasons to break up with your legacy ECM on Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day. Singles Awareness Day. Regardless of what you celebrate on February 14 – it’s here.

Nowadays, my husband and I default to our standard V-Day exchange, a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the cheapest card we can find that has a cat on it.

Cupid’s arrow didn’t miss – we Simers are a simple people. But for some, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to shower loved ones with chocolates, flowers and fancy dinners as a token of their love and affection. Americans will spend an average of $136.57 on Valentine’s Day, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation, for a total of $19.7 billion.

Think of all the peanut butter cups that would buy!

“It’s not you, it’s… Okay, it’s you.”

For many others, however, it’s an occasion to re-evaluate their current relationships. It’s a time to ask, “Do I even like this person? Are they the one for me?”

And the big one, “Can I do better?”

In fact, a study of Facebook statuses several years ago showed that break ups actually spike around February 14. I know the feeling. In a time before Reese’s and cat cards, I found out on Valentine’s Day that my then-boyfriend “didn’t believe in it” and, therefore, did not want to celebrate. This, despite having gifted me with a necklace the year before.

Message received, pal. Message received.

Not all vendor relationships are a match made in heaven

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a point of reflection for personal relationships alone. It could and should be an opportunity to evaluate business and vendor partnerships – like your relationship with your current enterprise content management (ECM) provider.

Here are some questions you should ask:

  • Has your ECM vendor stopped providing meaningful product enhancements?
  • Does its development roadmap still align with your needs?
  • Has it been acquired by or merged with another company?
  • Will the merger affect ongoing product support and training?

Whatever the situation, if your organization has evolved to meet new service expectations and operational standards – but your ECM system hasn’t – it could be time to stop settling and move on.

When your ECM relationship starts feeling more Greek tragedy than love story, here are a few ways and reasons to break it off with your outdated or underperforming solution.

“I don’t see a future with you.”

If your ECM system doesn’t provide the features your organization needs, or can’t develop them, your business processes can’t evolve to create new efficiencies. Without continual product improvements, your legacy solution will require time-consuming workarounds, adding to your system’s mounting total cost of ownership (TCO).

Conversion is an opportunity to gain new functionality like workflow management, document capture, records management or integration with email systems or mobile devices – all of which greatly improve your processes.

“We don’t talk anymore.”

You’ve invested in a core system – ERP, EMR, HCM, etc. – to manage key data and day-to-day operations. But you also have critical related content – from documents and forms to notes and emails – that these systems can’t effectively manage.

If your ECM solution runs on an outdated platform that doesn’t easily connect with other core business systems, you risk leaving your employees without easy access to all the information required to make decisions, manage processes and provide excellent customer service.

“You take more than you give.”

The cost to go-live with a software solution is only a fraction of the lifetime TCO. Often, the system you’ve relied on for years grows too costly or too complex to maintain. Whether it’s heavy administrative overhead, third-party services or custom development, maintaining an outdated system that no longer serves your needs drives up your TCO.

If your legacy ECM solution continues to add costs without continuing to add value, conversion should be part of the conversation.

Finding your ECM soul mate

Reducing costs, aligning IT investments, gaining efficiencies, mitigating risk – there are multiple reasons why you might want to replace your ECM solution. Doing so will give you the opportunity to find a solution that better fits the needs of your organization today, helps you plan for the future and will evolve with you as your organization grows.

When you’re ready to evaluate new options, make sure your new solution comes from an experienced ECM vendor with an uncompromised focus on product development, as well as an expert in-house database conversion team with a proven toolset and methodology.

Otherwise, you could end up broken-hearted all over again.

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate paper-based processes and improve operations across accounting and finance, human resources, and contract management. Danielle joined Hyland after more than six years with a research and advisory firm devoted to helping senior executives manage their departments and teams more effectively. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate... read more about: Danielle Simer