While Salesforce is a superstar and widely known, Micro Focus Content Manager is software known only to a small group of record management specialists. Talk to these experts and you will discover a world different from what you might imagine.
While application users usually stress the importance of data quality, the focus of record managers is on the integrity of complete records (or documents). It came as a surprise to me how different the two entities are. For example, good data can be described as complete, relevant, accurate, timely, and accessible (CRATA). On the other hand, the International Standard on Records Management (ISO 15489) cites authoritative records as having reliability, integrity, usability, and authenticity. To achieve these lofty ideals, record systems must manage records from the time of creation (or receipt) through to the eventual destruction. This includes identifying, classifying, storing, securing, retrieving, tracking, and destroying or permanently preserving records. This is a far cry and much harder than just managing data.
Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud are different again. Their focus is on people, specifically leads and contacts. People often have records or attachments associated with them so there is an opportunity to add robustness using Content Manager. This association is the first business consideration if you are thinking of integrating the two systems i.e. Salesforce leads or contacts must have important records in Content Manager that belong to them.
The second consideration is that Salesforce users (like sales reps or agents) need to post records in Salesforce to Content Manager. For example, a rep may be working with a contact on a property deal and wants to save the signed Real Estate Purchase Agreement to Content Manager. This is where Content Manager may want more information than just a simple record:
- Chain of custody that reflects who created, received or used the record (provenance)
- Associations with other records
- Date created
- Owner (usually you)
- Descriptive title
- Version information if there is more than one revision
- Disposal or sentencing date
- Others that your business may require
Converse to the previous example, another rep may need to retrieve a record from Content Manager and view it in Salesforce. In this scenario, the rep doesn't have direct access to Content Manager but is able to view a contact's insurance policy in Salesforce. To adhere to Content Manager's strict security model, the Salesforce rep accesses this information using generic or shared credentials.
Integrating between these systems has more benefits than just transferring documents between systems. Automating the transfer saves time and money on many fronts. To name a few, users stay in the context of Salesforce making them more efficient, many tasks can be automated, and the Content Manager user base can be expanded to include Salesforce users without additional costs.