Does your company have a document management system (or DMS) that it uses on a regular basis? If you use Microsoft SharePoint 2013 (or, for that matter, any version of the SharePoint software), you might count that as your DMS. However, while SharePoint is sometimes labeled as both a content management system and a document management system, there is a possibility that it isn’t an adequate DMS for meeting your business’s needs.
Here’s the issue with SharePoint: Microsoft built this particular program to be everything to everyone. So while some companies are drawn to SharePoint as a DMS, others adopt it as an intranet and corporate social network, a cloud storage hub, an extranet website CMS, or a software and application framework.
Using SharePoint to Export, Backup, and Restore Files
Perhaps what SharePoint 2013 is best for is exporting documents and files for use in other programs. For instance, if you are using SharePoint as a web content management system, you can export, backup, and restore your site pages to an external location. You can also backup your lists, document libraries, and other files that you have stored to the SharePoint DMS. These backups can help protect your websites or data from server failures or other similar problems.
Unfortunately, while SharePoint does let you export your sites, libraries, lists, or documents to PDFs, XPS spreadsheets, or other useful backup file formats, the process for doing so is complicated and unclear. This guide on Microsoft’s SharePoint support website notes that you will use a different backup tool depending on “the kind of environment that you have deployed, your backup schedule requirements, and service level agreements that you have made with your organization.”
SharePoint 2013 provides two tools that you can use for this kind of backup: a SharePoint Central Administration website, and Windows PowerShell, a framework for “task automation and configuration management.” Each backup process is complex, consisting of everything from confirming system admin permissions, to figuring out the SPWeb command prompt. In other words, exporting, backing up, and restoring libraries and sites with SharePoint 2013 isn’t exactly a user-friendly process.
Common Complaints about SharePoint
If dealing with the SharePoint Central Administration site, Windows PowerShell, and SPWeb commands have you about ready to throw your hands in the air and give up, you aren’t alone. The list of common complaints that businesses have about SharePoint 2013 is quite long, and the biggest issue is often that the program just isn’t intuitive.
Part of the problem is that SharePoint is just trying to be too many things at once. Do a Google search and you will find countless complaints about SharePoint’s convolutions and complications. Microsoft simply didn’t do anything to make the program intuitive for the average user. So while an experienced web developer or IT expert might be able to figure out how to implement SharePoint efficiently as a part of your organization, other users will likely struggle with it.
In other words, for managing a website or doing other, more technical IT tasks, SharePoint 2013 might be just fine. For something such as document management, though, SharePoint is a productivity killer and a time-waster of note. The idea behind a good DMS is that every person in your organization will be able to access and use the system to find, store, and collaborate on different files. The convoluted and complex nature of SharePoint will have a good percentage of your employees stymied as they try to figure out even the basics of how to use it.
The complexities of SharePoint 2013 merely render it inadequate as an enterprise document management system. Setting up document permissions for different parties ranges from difficult to impossible, and the organization and document sorting or searching components are shoddy at best. The more files you add to the system, the more difficult it becomes to find anything. And since most organizations that are going to bother with a DMS are going to do so because they have a lot of files to store, SharePoint just isn’t viable for document management.
A Document Management Alternative
If you already have programs or systems in place for web CMS, intranet, workflow management, and software framework and simply need a document management system that you can use to store, organize, and collaborate on documents, there is simply no reason to try to figure out all of the confusing features of Microsoft SharePoint. Instead, try out eFileCabinet, a dedicated document management system designed specifically for enterprises.
Rather than trying to be a dozen different things to a dozen different users, eFileCabinet is simply a full-service DMS. Accessible on a per-user, per-month basis, the eFileCabinet system gives you everything you need to establish an intuitive electronic filing system for your business.
These features include the following:
- Substantial data storage capacities are available with each package (250 gigabytes for the “Performance” package and 500 gigs for the “Professional” option).
- Data encryption features, ensuring that your files are safe and secure, both in transit and at rest.
- Establishing file permissions is simple and intuitive.
- Full-text search makes it easy to find whatever you are looking for at any time—a sharp contrast to SharePoint’s document management component. eFileCabinet also features built-in folder and library templates, helping you to establish superior organization habits from the get-go.
- Documents are stored redundantly in numerous servers—ensuring that your files are always backed up in several places by default.
- Integration with Microsoft Office, SecureDrawer, QuickBooks, and eSignature makes file export, backup, and overall accessibility a breeze.
- A mobile app allows you to access your filing system securely from your tablet or cell phone.
- eFileCabinet features built-in compliance with FINRA, the SEC, and HIPAA.
Bottom line, there’s no reason to deal with SharePoint 2013’s convoluted and difficult-to-use document management system. Instead, make the switch to eFileCabinet and see how a DMS is supposed to work. Learn more about the acclaimed enterprise software today by filling out the form on this page.