SpringCM Updates Hosted Software

CRM application offers enhanced collaboration and routing.

Hosted applications provider SpringCM launched a new version of its enterprise content management software as part of its continuing push to recruit midmarket customers hungry for better data administration tools.

Chicago-based SpringCM, which was rechristened in January after being founded last year as DocExchange, said that the newest version of its hosted application, released Feb. 7, boasts several upgrades, including expanded collaboration features and an augmented content routing system for files and documents.

According to SpringCM President and CEO Christine Mason, midsize companies will soon begin turning to hosted ECM tools for the same reasons they bought into Salesforce.coms CRM (customer relationship management) services: because the online applications are cheaper to run, easier to implement and demand little to no maintenance.

"Much as with enterprise software, ECM has been largely available only to large companies based on its price tag and related implementation challenges, as well as the usability of existing products," said Mason.

The new release marks the third major iteration of the companys online ECM services.

Specific additions to SpringCM 3.0 include a document checkout function designed to make it easier for workers to collaborate and share edits on a specific piece of content or group of documents, and a technology known as dynamic content routing that promises to automatically notify workers when someone has updated content being shared among team members.

The hosted service also added the ability to support multiaccount memberships, allowing users to sign in to its applications once and gain access to multiple accounts.

Software as a service, or applications hosted away from an organizations physical premises by a vendor that maintains the data and programs, can offer several advantages over traditional enterprise software, proponents say. Those benefits include faster installation, lower overall costs and increased ease of use.

In the enterprise applications space, hosted software provider Salesforce.com has proved the potential for such online tools by growing its business rapidly and even driving its rivals—most recently, business software sector leader SAP—to create their own competing services.

SpringCM officials said they hope their new offering will help midsize businesses overcome the pricing hurdles of more enterprise-focused ECM solutions.

"By moving to a software-as-a-service model, we think we can eliminate a lot of those issues; the midmarket is still very underserved by ECM, and we think our model will encourage more of these companies to take a look," Mason said.