Evaluating Document Management Software

Posted on May 2, 2013 under Advice by

Greg small

There are several motivating factors that drive companies to deploy document management software. Many seek out more effective document control because it addresses a critical quality or compliance issue, others are looking for a means to access information more quickly and with more precision than traditional filing systems. Because document management needs can vary significantly by industry and company, and due to the fact that every organization has its own unique requirements, so too do document management software solutions vary greatly in capabilities and price.

Evaluating the various alternatives and making the right choice for your specific business can be a daunting proposition. Below are questions to ask yourself when evaluating document management software:


Is it Easy for Employees to Use?


If you deploy document management software that’s too complex, your employees won’t use it. It’s best to keep your document management solution as simple as possible so everyone in your company can benefit from it. Look for a solution that offers an interface and functionality that leverages what users already know.


Can it Run in Your Current Environment?

Do you have the right operating system, processing and storage requirements to run the software? Do you have adequate network capacity to accommodate the software and storage needs? Does the solution support the authentication you’re currently using? Will it work with your CRM and ERP systems? An effective document management software solution will seamlessly integrate into your organization and provide the flexibility to manage documents in all of the file formats and business systems you work with.


Can You Deploy and Manage it With Available IT Resources?

Unless you are looking to increase your IT headcount, consider a document management software system that can be deployed and managed by your existing staff. This way, it can be customized and managed by the employees using the system, which will help keep your IT staff focused on more business-critical IT initiatives.


Is it Scalable?

Can the document management software scale to meet your future requirements in terms of number of users, amount of storage capacity, and the complexities of your business? If so, how does it scale, and how will this impact your cost of ownership?


Does it Provide Adequate Training and Support?


You should have easy access to detailed instruction manuals for setup and use, written in easy-to-understand language that anyone can follow. Should you run into technical issues, be sure that the vendor offers customer support and training to ensure that you can get help quickly.


Can You Try it Free Before You Buy?


The best way to evaluate document management software is to try it for free and test-drive it in your specific business environment. If you and others using the trial version like what you see, take the next step to purchase the software.


Have you participated in a document management software evaluation? If so, what did you glean from the process? We’d love to hear about your experience in researching, evaluating and selecting the right document management software solution for your organization.


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Greg is the vice president of marketing at M-Files Corporation, where he oversees worldwide marketing initiatives and manages M-Files’ North American operations. Prior to M-Files, Greg served as CEO of Alibre, Inc., a 3D CAD/CAM software vendor, as well as Vice President of Marketing for Knowledge Revolution, an engineering software vendor acquired by MSC Software. He also co-founded AccelGraphics, a 3D graphics hardware provider that grew to IPO in three years and was the eighth fastest growing public company in Silicon Valley in 1997. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

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