SharePoint, with all of its functionality, offers a very broad base of features that can ultimately be tailored to meet specific business needs. Still, many companies looking to create order out of the chaos that exists across their vast collection of important documents and related processes are turning to targeted, purpose-built document management solutions that tightly integrate with SharePoint for the most expedient approach to improving the way they manage such critical information.
An important component of any purpose-built document management solution is to allow users to easily and conveniently get content into and out of the system. Along these lines, useful mechanisms include allowing users to save and open files – from SharePoint or other commonly-used business applications – directly to and from a central repository, as well as providing the ability to automatically capture content from scanners, email, mobile devices and other enterprise systems such as ERP or CRM. The more seamless and automated the methods for saving and accessing data, the better for ensuring the most effective and comprehensive document management.
In addition, purpose-built document management solutions are designed to automatically index and support large numbers of documents for the purpose of instant retrieval, so that timely access to the “right” information is assured. The ability to search on both metadata and file contents is important, as well as the ability to perform simple searches by typing in a keyword or two, or to construct advanced search filters to instantly pinpoint critical information. Other useful search tools also include the ability to save common searches or queries for future use.
Because document management should also be both simple and flexible, providing users with the ability to classify and organize documents by any property or tag (i.e., metadata, such as document type, client, project, date, etc…) is also essential. Through improved classification and organization – with documents and information tagged and accessible directly from SharePoint – the typically inefficient and time-consuming process of searching for and locating the right information is dramatically improved. With AIIM estimating that office workers can spend as much as 50 percent of their time just looking for the right information, clearly, any organization that turns its attention to search improvements can realize a major, and near immediate, return on investment.
In the recently-introduced M-Files white paper, “Empowering SharePoint Users with Purpose-Built Document Management,” we discuss the importance of designing a document management framework within SharePoint with the understanding that the keys to creating order revolve around continually striving to maximize information reuse, eliminating redundancy, and ensuring organization-wide access to the right information when it is needed, while also improving how sensitive company information is accessed and controlled.