Many organizations that pay for a version of Microsoft Office don’t understand the need for document management software (DMS) on top of it. While we understand that Microsoft Office provides effective solutions to some of your problems, it doesn’t have everything you need to run your organization effectively.

Microsoft Office comes in several versions. Your company may currently use Office 2016 or Office 365. Office 365 is an online service giving you access to several different Microsoft products from different devices. It’s subscription-based and requires you to have internet access. There are many advantages to using Office 365 over other versions, the most notable benefits being the ability to access it on mobile devices and move to a paperless office with cloud storage.


What Microsoft Office 365 Has to Offer

Office 365 offers the ability to share documents and collaborate in real time. You can actually see the other person typing inside of the document while you’re looking at it. Office 365 is very useful when your employees work from different locations while they collaborate on a project, whether they’re telecommuting or working in different offices around the country.


Why Microsoft Office Is No Substitute for DMS

Microsoft Office offers a range of great features—creating Word or Excel documents is something most businesses take advantage of quite regularly. But as helpful as Office is for your organization, it’s no substitute for document management software (DMS).


The Lack of Workflows

It’s easy to create new documents inside of Microsoft Office. It’s also easy to share documents with others. However, you cannot create and follow a workflow inside of Office. This means your organization has to rely on written policies and procedures, manual reminders, or other cues to help employees get the right work done.

Document management software organizes the tasks inside of a workflow system. This helps employees get the right work done and ensures that all the important deadlines are met. Your employees never have to wait around for their boss to tell them what needs to get done next. With workflow, they can move on seamlessly from one task to the next.

Best of all, your document management software has deadlines and reminders built right in. You don’t have to wait for employees to get up the initiative to organize their tasks by importance. Instead, you can make life easy for them and schedule their work accordingly.


The Difficulty of Restricting User Access

One of the most important things organizations have to worry about is keeping their information secure. Most companies deal with sensitive information on a daily basis. It could be trade secrets, financial records, HR records, or vendor contracts. It’s important to restrict access to your documents to only the employees who need it.

While you can certainly designate authorized users for specific documents when you create them inside of Microsoft Office, it’s hard to do this when you’re sharing the same cloud-based storage. Each time you create a new account, you’ll have to designate which user is allowed to view and/or edit it.

In contrast, your document management software allows you to restrict document access by assigned user-based roles. For example, your HR employees will have access to your HR records but not accounting records. This ensures that employees have access to the documents they need while restricting access to documents that don’t concern them.


The Absence of an Audit Trail

Word 2016 gives your company the ability to view different versions of a file by looking through the history of a document. Unfortunately, not every Microsoft Office product gives you that ability. Plus, you won’t be able to see who had access to the file and who made changes to it.

Your document management software creates transparency with the audit trail. Your audit trail keeps a record of every action taken inside of your paperless filing cabinet. It allows top level administrators to ensure that employees are using the document management system according to company policies.

Having an audit trail is just another step your DMS includes to ensure that your documents remain authentic. Of course your audit trail needs to be unalterable in order to be effective.


How Microsoft Office and DMS Can Work Together

Office and DMS both deal with information. Office is necessary for your company in order to create important documents, including policies, tables, letters, and contracts. DMS is invaluable when it comes to managing the flow of paperwork.

Document management software is critical in order to keep track of your documents. DMS allows you to streamline your work processes, helping employees create, edit, transfer, share, and archive documents created inside of Microsoft Office. DMS makes your workplace more efficient, reduces your paper-related costs, and ensures that only authorized personnel have access to your sensitive files.

DMS and Office can work together seamlessly right now, because eFileCabinet already integrates with Microsoft Office. Email us or give us a call to learn more about what we have to offer that Microsoft Office simply can’t compete with. We’ll also be happy to help you with software integrations of eFileCabinet and Office or another product. Fill out the form on this page to start your free 15-minute demo.