Welcome to our inaugural SirruX-ly Speaking post! My name is Lloyd Charlier and in this space over the coming months, I hope to explore with you the place of engineering content within the larger overall business space. Some background…
SirruX Cloud Solutions is a new venture which has evolved from SpatiaX Infosystems, a longtime developer of document management-enabled solutions for the enterprise. For years now, SpatiaX developed CAD, GIS and collaboration solutions that integrated with high-end content management (ECM) platforms like IBM’s P8 Content Management (formerly FileNet). Targeting large enterprise customers who had already deployed powerful (and necessarily costly) content management systems on-site, SpatiaX provided solutions that enabled engineering departments within those organizations to leverage the power of ECM to manage their engineering content. This was (and continues to be) a viable market segment. The problem for us however, has always been how to make our solutions available to the remainder of the market that will never deploy a dedicated ECM on-site because they are not part of the Fortune 1000 or even the Fortune 5000.
In 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 5.73 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses, and businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.6 percent. Add in the number of non-employer businesses – there were 23.0 million in 2013 – then the share of U.S. businesses with less than 20 workers increases to 97.9 percent. Among employer C Corporations in 2012, 99.2 percent had less than 500 workers, and 86.2 percent had fewer than 20 employees.
What does all this mean? Due to the cost and complexity involved with deploying on-site ECM, the overwhelming bulk of American businesses are not able to leverage true ECM within their organizations. Engineering and architecture consulting firms, small-to-mid-size discrete manufacturing companies, public utility cooperatives, discrete and process manufacturing concerns, city and county public works departments, et al… All of these organizations need ECM. Just like their larger corporate counterparts, they too are buried in documents and subject to burdensome regulations that only generate more paperwork yet they are excluded from harnessing the power and productivity of ECM. Now there is a solution to this problem – cloud-based ECM. It’s not the best choice for every organization but for many – if not most – it represents the perfect balance of power, productivity improvement and cost efficiency these organizations need.
In our next post, I will explore the pros and cons of hosted vs on-premises solutions and how to make the best decision for your particular organization. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and welcome your feedback!