Today we’re here to foil a common prank that’s been played on businesses for years. Many have incorrectly described document management as being comparable to services solely focused on cloud storage or online collaboration.
Products like Google Drive, Dropbox and similar companies have been mistaken as document management services or alternatives. It’s true that most document management platforms are a means to effectively store files online, but the truth is that document management is so much more.
To debunk the myth that document management is just a way to store documents, let’s delve into the functions of eFileCabinet that separate it from the popular, consumer-based online storage tools it’s often compared to. While it’s true you can use eFileCabinet to just store your documents, but that’d be like buying a tractor loader for your morning commute. Sure it could get the job done, but it has a much more complex purpose. Document management is an opportunity to transform how your business handles important documents.
OCR and Organization
You’ll know the difference as soon as you begin uploading files. Uploading to a document management system is different than uploading it to a cloud service thanks to optical character recognition (OCR). eFileCabinet’s Zonal OCR processes documents’ full-text, allowing you to search for them using any text contained in the document. With most cloud services, you can only search by file name. Templates for standard forms can be applied to make the system recognize certain information contained in fields, so they can be categorized for you automatically. This technology also applies to physical documents that are scanned into PDF format.
This intelligent organization is what really separate the kids from the adults. While cloud services organize files almost identical to a typical Windows or Mac folder structure, document management utilizes metadata and document profiles to organize files in a number of ways. You can browse and search according to several factors, besides just file name and wherever folder you happened to save it in. This system is meant so you never lose a document ever again.
Sharing and Security
When sharing files through a free, online service, it may be fine to share casual notes or content, but for businesses that deal with sensitive financial numbers or clients’ personal information, security needs to be a priority. When exchanging documents with clients and other outside parties, a system that utilizes multiple layers of security, including 256-bit encryption and SSL/TLS is essential.
Internal security is also an important consideration, one that document management handles impeccably. As an administrator, you’re given a great deal of control over permissions for documents, folders and drawers within the system. You assign users to groups and mass apply permissions to them, which include access to view, edit and/or delete. Documents are also accompanied with a detailed version history and an audit log, so you know who accessed a file and when. For cloud services, it’s difficult to keep track of where documents end up, who’s seen them and what’s changed.
Workflows and Governance
Automated workflows are the core of what makes document management unique. eFileCabinet doesn’t just store document, it puts them to work. Manual business processes can be automated so that there isn’t any slowdown or waiting on a document to make the rounds until it finds its way to the right place. With the right workflows in place, a document that’s entered into the system is sent to the right person for action, then immediately sent to the next stage in the workflow without delay. A number of processes such as invoice approvals, recruiting cycles and archiving can be automated to maximize efficiency.
Governance can also be applied to documents, which is important for businesses that must adhere to certain compliance standards. Certain types of documents identified by the system from a template can automatically be assigned a retention date, marking it for removal after a certain amount of time. Furthermore, you can set other triggers based on time, such as notifications to assigned users.
In the end, document management systems like eFileCabinet separate themselves by being serious tech solutions for businesses rather than services for casual users. When you think document management, think intelligent organization with the power of automation, not just a place to put to your documents.
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