I know I’m not the only person this has happened to. You have a friend, loved one or even a stranger ask you what you do for a living or what industry you work in. What I’ve found is that being in the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) space sometimes makes it difficult to describe what ECM is exactly (in plain English).
My grandma has asked me at least five times what exactly I do and more specifically, what the industry is about, and the dialogue goes something like this:
Grandma: “So Kristina, what exactly does your company do? I know you’ve told me before, but I can’t really remember.”
Kristina: “We are an enterprise content management solutions provider, an integrator and we have our own line of products called ILINX®. We also have this really cool conference every year called Nexus® with presenters, networking time, a vendor expo, etc.”
At this point, my grandma is just staring at me, blankly.
Grandma: “Um, so what does that mean?”
Kristina: “It basically just means we help people try to automate their business processes by scanning in documents, implementing automated workflows, utilizing capture software, storing information in electronic databases, things like that.”
My grandma’s eyes are beginning to glaze over…
Kristina: “In a nutshell, grandma, we help businesses become more efficient and more paper-conscious.”
After being in this industry for a few years, living and breathing it every day, I can sometimes easily forget that others don’t understand what capture is, how workflows come together, or why you’d ever need to get rid of fax machines and paper. They don’t throw acronyms around like OCR, BPM and ERM, which have become part of my everyday language.
I am glad my grandma isn’t the only person who doesn’t know or understand what ECM is. Check out this awesome video played at Nexus ’10 this year where people were asked to answer the question, What is ECM?
My grandparents just mastered text messaging. I’ll continue to work on a good description of my industry that doesn’t make my grandma ask me the question every time she sees me, “Kristina, what does your company do again?”