Manage document lifecycles with OpenText Extended ECM

The document life cycle refers to the set of stages a document goes through from its creation or receipt to its final archiving or disposal. These stages may vary depending on the organization and the specific processes followed, but generally include the following phases: creation, capture, classification, storage, access and retrieval, use, retention and preservation, and final disposal.

Enterprise Content Management, ECM, is the software that allows you to manage, control and automate the entire document lifecycle. There are different software of this type in the market, being OpenText Extended ECM one of the most outstanding due to its ability to integrate with the main business applications (SAP, SuccessFactors, etc.).

Extended ECM Lifecycle Management

Next, let’s take a look at each stage of the document lifecycle and the value Extended ECM brings to the process.



Initial stage of the life cycle. Extended ECM allows the creation of new documents in different formats (Word, Excel, etc.) directly from within the system.


Documents can be created directly in the manager as we have seen in the previous point or they can be created outside the system and loaded later for storage and management. Uploading of these documents can be done in several ways: importing into the system, dragging the document from the user’s computer to the target folder in the system, automatically dropping the document in a specific location on the server, etc.

Classification and organization

After their creation or capture in the system, it is necessary to assign them certain categories and attributes (metadata) as well as classifications that allow their quick and correct organization within the system, thus allowing their later retrieval.

Access and retrieval

Documents must be easily located and retrieved when required by users, since during this stage documents are used to carry out specific tasks, processes or activities. Management controls are implemented to ensure that documents are used appropriately and are only viewed by users who have permissions to do so.

In addition, all actions performed on a document will be recorded in the audit. In this way, it is possible to have control over who has viewed a document, when, the actions performed, etc.

Retention and preservation

Some documents may be subject to legal or regulatory requirements that establish the minimum time for which they must be retained. During this stage, retention policies are established and measures are implemented to ensure the long-term preservation of documents.

These actions can be carried out in Extended ECM because it has a specific module called Records Management. This module allows you to configure events so that when they occur, the statuses associated with the document are automatically updated, limit the actions that can be performed on the documents according to the stage they are in, so that certain actions take place once a certain date has been reached, etc.

Final disposition

The final disposition depends on the legal or regulatory requirements of each type of document. It is usually of permanent conservation or elimination after a certain number of years.

As mentioned in the previous point, Extended ECM has a Records Management module that allows the automation of this final disposition thanks to the use of Records Management classifications, RSIs (Record Series Identifiers) and programmed dispositions. With these elements, it is possible, for example, for a document to be automatically deleted from the system at a certain date.

If you think you need help to manage your company’s document lifecycle, do not hesitate to contact us and our consultants will be able to guide you on which product best suits your needs and the best way to implement it.

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