Enterprise content management will be the next evolution of document management and represents a new functional area for users and vendors, according to analysts for Meta Group Inc.

Meta defines ECM as providing functionality from traditional document management vendors and mature Web content management vendors in a single package. Products range from digital asset management offerings to WCM packages reconfigured for ECM, the analysts say.

"Although the need for WCM packages is still present, users are demanding a more expansive feature set that covers both document management and content distribution," says Derek Keefer, research analyst for the Reston, Va.-based Spex division of Meta. "ECM systems offer broader impact and have a potentially greater value to the organization than WCM packages."

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