Good communication, the ability to freely and effectively collaborate, and the ability to share ideas and information are important pillars upholding the very framework of a successful business. However, as a small company grows and adds additional offices or team members who work remotely, the more intimate setting of the small office quickly fades away. With so much business being conducted online and with office communication largely transpiring virtually, companies have had to find ways to simulate the interaction of a small office. This has been done through electronic and digital means of document and idea sharing, as well as communicating.
One of the more popular solutions companies use to close the virtual gap is SharePoint. However, there are SharePoint issues that hinder this platform, making it less useful than it is intended or perceived to be. Fortunately, there are SharePoint alternatives for document management available that can make communication and information sharing, organization, and management much more seamless.
SharePoint is a back-end system that links all the computers within a company together in a network to make sharing data and information possible. All the devices within the organization are synced so that instant communication can take place. The overall goal of the platform is to make communication and connection more seamless for teams spread across multiple offices, but the system’s reliance on metadata makes it too cumbersome and troublesome for many to use effectively.
What Is Metadata?
Most simply put, metadata is data that is used to describe other sets of data. It can be used to tag or label documents so that searches by topic group all items with the same tag together. In order for it to be useful though, every single piece of information must be appropriately tagged. This makes document management using metadata quite inconvenient and time consuming if you want to keep it updated and flowing efficiently through a company.
Root Causes of Frustrations with SharePoint
Frustrations with the platform are leading many companies to seek out SharePoint alternatives for document management, for these main reasons:
People do not really understand what SharePoint is.
Without proper introduction and training on the platform, many people have difficulty understanding what SharePoint is, and how to use it to benefit their businesses. The decision to integrate such a solution typically comes from the senior management of a company, but if they don’t understand it, or see the benefits quickly, then they’ll be slower or resistant to adopt it. This will trickle down to employees eventually as well.
SharePoint has been implemented incorrectly.
Because SharePoint is a back-end integration, there is a potential that it could be set up and linked to all the company’s internal information across devices. This will cause the platform to function incorrectly and increase frustration for the users rather than simplifying their lives.
They don’t need it.
SharePoint can also cause frustrations for companies that are simply not in need of such a solution.
It can cause workflow hindrances, instead of helping.
Many companies who implement SharePoint find that the tedious nature of applying all the metadata tags, and keeping all of their information updated in this manner so it’s useable and easily searchable, actually slows down progress. It presents a hindrance, rather than a helpful solution.
SharePoint Alternatives Comparison
So what are the alternatives for companies who need a more efficient, effective and streamlined way to communicate between offices, as well as store, protect, and share information?
Depending on the type of business and their specific needs and goals, there are two good alternatives. Here is a SharePoint alternatives comparison between those two options—Alfresco and eFileCabinet.
Alfresco is a well-known alternative to SharePoint, and it really outshines other enterprise systems when it comes to adding ease and functionality to business collaborations.
The main benefits of Alfresco include:
- Supports MS Office documents as well as other file formats
- Edits can be made through a mobile app
- Manages web and blog content
- Message boards and group calendars to simplify team collaborations
- Less expensive than some other major enterprise systems
eFileCabinet is the industry leader in digital content management systems. Their suite of products and services are designed to help companies of any size more effectively store, organize, and share important documents and information.
eFileCabinet excels over SharePoint in the following ways:
- Password protected documents
- Easily searchable information without cumbersome metadata tagging
- Automatic organization of documents into folders
- Role based securities and SSL encryption for secure file sharing among teams or offices
- Responsive support
One of the main disadvantages of SharePoint is that people have a difficult time understanding and using it. This is not the case with eFileCabinet. Their system is very intuitive, and easy to understand and use effectively, saving time, money, and a lot of frustration.
eFileCabinet also offers a free 15-minute demo of their system and services to demonstrate just how easy and effective organizing, storing, and sharing information can be.