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What is a good document management solution for mid-size and larger organizations?

Stan Fronterio's Profile

Electronic Document Management

I am working with a few mid-size and larger organizations -200-1,000 employees, and notice they constantly run into the operational challenges of losing documents or spending time tracking down documents.  Is there an electronic document management system that includes automation of the document lifespan? 

Answers

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Your question is a good first one, and it would be a good idea to extend the list to cover all your key requirements. Electronic Document Management can often morph into Content Management (where searching and finding info anywhere in your systems).
For example, apart from automating the document lifespan, do you need collaboration on its content, versioning, multiple file formats, etc, etc.? Are they invoices, legal contracts, spec sheets, FAQs, HR documents?
And finally, please take a look at the people and the process before looking for the technology...in other words, what are your requirements?
Your potential solution may come from a variety of sources, from the one mentioned above to Miscrosoft's Sharepoint to OpenText to Oracle's Stellent etc.

Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

So true. Most firms start by evaluating the technology, then select a 'platform' based on its technical capabilities and quickly discover that it doesn't address their requirements!

Paul Remington
Title: CFO
Company: Westbrook Technologies, Inc
(CFO, Westbrook Technologies, Inc) |

Stan,

There are many systems that includes the automation of the document lifecycle. I am assuming when you state "document" your meaning is both paper and electronic. If so, Sharepoint will only help you with Microsoft related electronic document management and not paper or non-Microsoft electronic documents. I am not going to mention my competitors, but there are a few. We find that organizations will implement a Document Management System in one department first, then expand it through out the organization. Ususally the department that is picked first is the most paper intensive, which could be AP, AR, or HR. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

SharePoint is actually document agnostic. While it works best with Microsoft documents, it will manage versions of any type of document. The downside of sharepoint is that if versions the entire document as opposed to just the changes - so version control can get a litte greedy with disk space.

Joan Nevins
Title: CFO
Company: Kalido Inc
(CFO, Kalido Inc) |

For minimal investment, we have found the Worldox product to fit our needs extremely well. It started with our General Counsel but has spread now to Finance also. It helps with both version control of newly created documents as well as storing final signed copies of documents or last versions of spreadsheets.

Laura Valentini
Title: VP, Accounting and Reporting
Company: IntraLinks, Inc.
(VP, Accounting and Reporting, IntraLinks, Inc.) |

A shameless promotion for my own company, but I can attest to the successful implementation of our own "product" (SaaS-based) for internal use as a corporate repository and facilitator of our external audit process. Please see the link below for details:

http://www.intralinks.com/customized-solutions/business-needs/corporate-repository?sfsearch=SF%3ACorporate%20Repository%7C&sfstart=%2Fcustomized-solutions%2Fproducts-and-services

Dave Webb
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: DWMC
(CEO/CFO, DWMC) |

I have experience with several, large and small systems. The real issue you may be facing is the need for good, solid work processes (naming conventions, document categories, etc.) rather than one system being a problem vs another not. Even the best system for your size and industry, when operated poorly, will result in lost documents, incomplete search results, and generally a big black hole into which your documents go and never come back.
I've used a firm in Carlsbad, CA called Interlogica to help me build the right work processes and then use the appropriate software to execute those work processes effectively and cheaply. Good luck!

Maria Smith
Title: SEM
Company: www
(SEM, www) |

We are using Content Central(http://www.ademero.com) last couple of years; this is an electronic document management system that operates under the server-client model. Administrators install the software package on one or more computer servers, and deploy it to personnel via a single hyperlink. Users access and interact with Content Central using a preferred Web browser, and software updates occur only at the server. Content Central is inherently remote-capable, but many organizations choose to use it only for internal operations, fitting well in accounts-payable processing.

Inside Content Central you can find tools to create, capture, retrieve, modify, manage, and distribute documents. Creation of documents occurs via PDF-based e-forms. Files of any type can be captured from scanners, folders, e-mail addresses, or user input. Content Central converts scanned images into completely searchable PDF files, and all documents can be retrieved using content keywords and other index information based on the document type. Integrated e-mailing and faxing tools let users distribute documents without requiring any e-mail or fax software locally.
I think you can go for this one.

Shamb Purohit
Title: CFO
Company: Smithnorthview Hospital
(CFO, Smithnorthview Hospital) |

We are using file bound for last 4 years. They are safe and HIPPA compliant.

Gregory Schomer
Title: CFO
Company: AVBC, Inc.
(CFO, AVBC, Inc.) |

What happens once you have spent a couple of years using a system and you need to make a change, say the company goes out of business or you want to bring back in house or migrate to a more robust application. How difficult is it to get your documents out and converted to a different system? It seems like it could be a difficult process to convert and you could get locked into a system.

Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

Document management systems (and their kin content management systems) can be expensive to acquire and manage. But a lot of firms already have some document management capabilities in-house already. A basic form of SharePoint is available for free on your Microsoft Windows Servers - gives you the ability to 'test drive' document management. If you like what you see you can upgrade to Microsoft's full-blown document management solution (SharePoint Server).

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