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Document Management

Climbing a Pile of FilesThe cloud has transformed the way people backup and share documents.  No longer do you have to worry about backing up your files or if you have the latest version in your inbox.  For companies that do not want to leverage the cloud, but have an in-house solution, there are a great deal of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices that are a very cost effective alternative to buying a server that have the capability to securely backup to cloud services such as Amazon S3.

Most companies start with a well structured file system that is easy to navigate.  Over time this system can become cluttered or lose meaning as the business moves on.  Additionally, it becomes more and more difficult to find documents.  Further more, documents are quite often produced and then reviewed by peers or external parties.  The review process is usually initiated via email.  Most people will generally still send attachments in email which can lead to multiple versions of the document   Additionally, comments and feedback on the documents is within peoples email boxes which makes it difficult to review progress and what’s left to be done.

At some point, someone will declare that “We need a document management system“, and quite often “Sharepoint” will be declared as the ideal solution to the problem.

Document Management vs Document Collaboration

Document management is a term that we come across all the time.  When using it people seem to mean:  “We need help sorting out how we handle documents”.  In computer software terms, Document Management is completely different to Document Collaboration.

  • Document Management – Classification and filing of documents.  Think of it as a library system for documents that can be searched.
  • Document Collaboration – Sharing and discussion around documents.  May also include follow-ups (tasks) and calendars for meetings to discuss documents.  Some software also has whiteboards for brainstorming and version control.

We find that when we discuss with companies what they do with documents, most are looking for a document collaboration system.  A new phrase is also emerging for this type of system:  Cloud Collaboration.

Document Collaboration / Cloud Collaboration

Searching on Google for Document Collaboration yields a great many results.  We have been helping customers implement cloud collaboration systems over the last few years.

We are aware of a great many solutions that are out there.  The three most popular are:

Choosing the right system depends on how your business operates and what your needs are.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss Document Management for your organisation.