eFileCabinet is the #1-rated document management software, and Microsoft SharePoint is an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution.
Microsoft SharePoint is an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, making it a viable solution for larger enterprises. A Document management system is more fitting for smaller organizations with 1-50 employees, or for single departments within larger organizations. For instance, document management software is great for human resources departments, legal departments, and accounting departments in larger organizations. On the company-wide scale, accounting firms, healthcare clinics, property managers, financial services firms, insurance agencies, and manufacturing companies benefit greatly from document management software, but would rely on unneeded bells and whistles with SharePoint if purchased.
Before really getting to know SharePoint, people are often confused by what exactly it is. Some people hear the words “document management system” and a certain expectation springs to mind, while others have a completely different expectation. To clear up any confusion, this article will explain what SharePoint is, define document management software, explain the differences between document and file management, and bring it all together to show how SharePoint is actually not document management software. To start off, let’s define both SharePoint and then a document management system.
What’s the Deal with SharePoint?
One of the most common areas of confusion seems to be in understanding what exactly SharePoint is. It is not a program that you install or download, it’s a platform that is supposed to be used for seamless content management and communication over every PC, Mac, and mobile device associated with your company. When a document is saved on a computer in Fresno, for instance, SharePoint’s intent is to make it possible for that document to be opened and read on a cell phone in London. Explained by Wikipedia, “SharePoint combines various functions which are traditionally separate applications: intranet, extranet, content management, document management, personal Cloud, enterprise social networking, enterprise search, business intelligence, workflow management, web content management, and an enterprise application store.”
Why Is the eFileCabinet Document Management System Better?
Put simply, document management software is a computer system used to track and store electronic documents. It can usually keep track of who modified the document last, and contributes overall to what is known as a content management system.
A document management software system has a few key components:
- Metadata: Defined as “a set of data that describes and gives information about other data,” metadata is used to search for a single specific document more accurately, in the midst of the countless other documents stored in the system.
- Integration: Makes it possible for multiple users on multiple devices to access and update a document remotely.
- Storage and retrieval: The most important part of a document management system: this allows documents to be saved and accessed later.
- Distribution: Makes it possible to save a copy of the document that cannot be changed by anyone else who opens it. This is used for contracts and applications such as sending a document to someone outside of the company.
- Security: Makes it possible to protect certain documents and hide them from those without the permission to access them.
- Collaboration: The ability for multiple users to view and add their own contributions to a single document. Some systems lock other users out when a document is being worked on while others make it possible for multiple users to work on it at the same time.
There are other components of a document management system, but it’s easy to argue that these are the most important.
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The Difference Between File and Document Management
It can also seem confusing to differentiate between a file and document management system. In essence, file management is about hierarchy. In the virtual sense, this is the hierarchy of electronic files. It’s not important what the content of these individual files are, so it’s not as easy to access specific information. Document management, on the other hand, is more about providing effective controls on individual documents—the components listed above. It is much more specific and arguably more organized than typical file management.
Drawbacks of SharePoint
The problem with SharePoint is that it’s a file management system, not a document management system. While SharePoint may be good for companies with a minimal amount of documents, it’s a vastly inferior platform for larger companies with more documents on their plate. The reliance on metadata makes things more complicated than they need to be. Having established that file management systems are less specific, it’s incredibly easy for a single document to get lost amidst a thousand others if quite a few steps aren’t taken. Even smaller companies, though, have the intention of growing, and when it gets to the point that SharePoint is no longer effective, all the required document transfer to another system will be a huge hassle.
eFileCabinet: The Answer to Your Document Management Problems
eFileCabinet is an online document management service that meets all of the aforementioned criteria and operates as a fantastically simple way to store, share, update, and protect all of your company’s documents. You can get started with eFileCabinet quickly. Whether you’re a new company that needs to start thinking about document management or a larger company that needs a better system than SharePoint to work with, eFileCabinet is your answer. Better than SharePoint in almost every way, eFileCabinet is a true document management system that takes all the hassle out of managing your digital files.
To learn more about eFileCabinet, fill out the form on this page to request a demo, call us at 801-374-5505 or chat with us here.