Enterprise content management platforms in 2004 will be part of the product strategies of many vendors. In a recent report, Geoffrey Bock, senior vice president and senior consultant at Patricia Seybold Group, examines how seven vendors will tackle the technology in the coming months and how enterprise companies can benefit.Bock explains how in the past organizations would manage separately Web content, print catalogs, marketing collateral, product data sheets, press releases, investor relations' material and many more types of content. Today smart technology architects and business planners, he says, realize they need to standardize their ECM approaches to make content reusable."If they can standardize on a single, reusable content management platform across the enterprise, they can save money and leverage user straining and support," Bock writes. Content management tools also come in many shapes and sizes such as portal platforms, records management products, legal compliance software and e-commerce packages. But according to Bock, vendors are realizing they need to standardize and consolidate products as well.Bock details the business strategy, viability, product strategy and cultural fit for seven vendors in the ECM market. Here are just a few thoughts on the ECM products:* Documentum 5 ECM Infrastructure (being acquired by EMC): Documentum fits best as a product for large, networked organizations, such as large companies, government agencies and other organizations familiar with managing electronic documents through a central repository. Documentum's strength is due to it ability to adapt to a variety of management cultures.* FileNet P8: FileNet's strength lies in the insurance, banking and financial services industries, where companies expect to achieve operational efficiencies of scale by growing through mergers and acquisitions. FileNet P8 supports organizations in the midst of change and seeking to adapt to changing customer circumstances, market conditions and regulatory issues.* IBM 5.5 Content Version 8.2: IBM's ability is to centralize the management of information through a comprehensive set of enterprise repositories. IBM centralizes all access and control by providing a single server that manages connections to multiple resource managers. This approach will appeal most to large companies that want to put some controls on the information flows across an enterprise network.* Interwoven 5.5 Content Infrastructure: Interwoven provides products that support distributed content management through linked repositories for organizing, storing and managing Web-based content. This approach will work best for organizations looking to link together task teams into virtual work environments.* Merant Collage 4.0: Merant is a product for companies that need to focus on the creation, organization, storage and staging of Web content - separate from the runtime environments in which it is deployed. The product provides a flexible infrastructure where companies can organize their content management based on projects, and it can adapt to both a centralized and distributed model. Companies looking to mostly support Web-centric enterprise applications should consider Merant.* Microsoft Content Management Server 2002: MCMS 2002 is a Web content management product designed for an organization that has standardized on Microsoft servers, applications and frameworks. As a .Net server, the product is designed to encompass the enterprise-wide scale and scope of the underlying Microsoft architecture. The product is slated for maintenance mode as the company begins to focus on unifying all its E-Business Server products as part of a project called Jupiter.* Stellent Universal Content Management Version 7: Stellent is a good fit for organizations with defined operating policies and procedures - such as departments within large corporations and government agencies - that need to manage electronic documents and publish content to the Web. Stellent combines the key capabilities of a Web content management system, an electronic document management system and a digital asset management system.In the conclusion to his report, Bock advices enterprise IT managers to consider product functionality, vendor viability and corporate business goals when considering an ECM product or platform."We believe you need to take stock of how you expect to manage your unstructured business information, now and in the future," Bock writes.