File management

Improving file management with metadata

Traditional folder-based systems for storing digital files are severely limited. While this approach to enterprise data management is quick and convenient to use, it creates a number of challenges. From document duplication and version control problems to the lack of consistent naming conventions or folder structures, traditional folder-based file management is riddled with inefficiencies, hidden costs, and an inability to find and use information effectively.

M-Files can help. As a next-generation intelligent information management platform, M-Files employs a metadata-driven approach to file management that improves business performance by making information easily available, automating document workflows, and keeping files secure and controlled.

A smarter say to work with documents

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The problem of traditional file management

Traditional file management methodology – where files are stored in network file shares – offers a number of challenges as businesses work to make information easily available.

Document duplication and version control issues

In a traditional file management structure, documents are often duplicated by different employees and departments throughout the organization. As workers edit these various files, multiple versions of documents are created that make it difficult to know which is the most recent and accurate version. Aside from the wasted time spent trying to find the most up-to-date file, version control issues can create significant problems when the wrong file is published, shared with clients, or executed as a contract.

Inconsistent naming conventions and structures

As documents are stored in different file shares and different systems, the inability to enforce consistent conventions for establishing folder structures and naming files and folders makes it incredibly difficult over time to know which file is which, making file and records management far more difficult.

Inefficient search

The chaos produced by duplicate documents, multiple versions, and inconsistent naming conventions makes it very difficult for workers to find the documents they are looking for.

Inability to connect data

Traditional file management makes it challenging to connect data in different repositories or business systems. As a result, businesses miss out on valuable insight and intelligence that comes from the ability to aggregate information.

Data governance and compliance issues

With duplicate documents, multiple versions of files, and an inability to quickly find required information, data governance can become unwieldy and managing compliance with company policy and regulatory requirements can become a nightmare.

M-Files: a smarter file management solution

The M-Files intelligent data management platform offers a more efficient and effective way to store, retrieve, secure, and use documents and content. Rather than using a traditional file folder structure – which requires workers to know how a file was named and where it was stored – M-Files employs a metadata-driven approach that lets workers find any document in any system within seconds.

M-Files’ AI-powered technology discovers and creates connections to all documents and information across every platform and repository. M-Files then analyzes each file and tags it with metadata that describes what it is, why it’s important, who it belongs to, what needs to happen to it next, and other relevant information. Metadata can include anything from client names and project numbers to due dates and workflow status.

To find a file within an M-Files system, users only need to enter a few words of description into the M-Files search bar and they can be connected to the documents they need in just a few clicks. They can also easily see all documents related to a given project, client, due date, or subject. And because M-Files connects documents and content across every business system and data repository, administrators get a complete view of content that makes data management, risk management, and compliance management easier.

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Benefits for managing files

M-Files’ approach to file management offers remarkable benefits for any business.

Fast search and retrieval

Because documents in M-Files are labeled with metadata that describes what they are and what they contain, it’s always easy for workers to find what they need.

A unified view of documents

In addition to delivering a complete view of files across all platforms and repositories, M-Files’ AI-enabled technology can crawl legacy archives and systems to surface, analyze, and tag business-critical data that may otherwise be hidden.

Automated workflows

M-Files simplifies file management by automating document workflows. M-Files uses a document’s metadata to automatically route the file to the next user or next stage of a workflow. M-Files also communicates with individuals when action is required.

Easy version control

M-Files keeps just one definitive copy of each document, so workers always know which version is correct. Users can access any document via a link that they can also share with others.

Easier contract management

M-Files’ can replace contract management software with tools that automatically originate contracts based on templates and route the files to the appropriate parties for review, editing, approval, and signature.

Streamlined compliance

M-Files automates the way that documents are handled and provides an audit trail for each file, making it easier to adhere to company policies and to comply with regulatory frameworks.

Tighter security

M-Files protects each file with enterprise-grade encryption and controls access to documents with dynamic permissions that ensure only authorized users can view, edit, or share a file.

Streamline collaboration with M-Files

M-Files makes collaborating on documents a breeze. Rather than sending files back and forth as email attachments – which quickly leads to version control headaches – workers can use a link to connect to the definitive version of any file. This same link can be used to easily share documents securely with internal and external stakeholders. Automatic permissions make sure only the right people have access to the content.

When collaborating on documents, multiple co-authors can work on the same document simultaneously, editing, annotating, and commenting using familiar tools like Microsoft Office applications. Each change in the document is automatically saved and a new version is created upon check-out and check-in operations.

How M-Files enables efficiency for your business?

Faster search

What you need, when you need it. That is the way M-Files works. Fast, easy, and intuitive.

Familiarity

You can use your favorite daily tools, such as MS Teams or Salesforce to manage your documents.

Easy collaboration

Share content securely, and co-author documents simultaneously — wherever you work.

Streamlined daily work

Let M-Files suggest tags for your documents and add workflows for faster processing.

Why choose M-Files?

M-Files empowers the world’s leading knowledge-work businesses to enhance performance by using information more effectively. Whether deployed in the cloud, on premises, or as a hybrid solution, M-Files makes documents and content easier to find while automating business-critical processes and keeping information secured and under control.

M-Files is a repository-neutral technology, enabling easy integration with existing technologies, legacy archives, and business systems throughout the organization. Workers can continue using their favorite daily tools such as Microsoft Teams or Google Workspace as the starting point for finding and using information in M-Files.

With M-Files’ file management technology, documents are available on any device, at any time, and from any location, ensuring that remote workers and work-from-home employees have access to the information they need to do their jobs. It’s no wonder that thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries rely on M-Files to use and manage information more effectively.

FAQs

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What is file management?

File management is the practice of organizing and storing digital files within an IT environment. Traditional file management methodologies use a hierarchical system of folders and subfolders to organize documents. More modern approaches to file management tag files with metadata that makes them easier to find, use, and control.

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What is metadata?

A document’s metadata is information that’s attached to a file and provides basic information about it. Metadata may summarize the contents, provide information about the author and anyone who modified the document, and include other identifying information such as project numbers, dates, and workflow information that stipulates what should happen to the file next or how long it should be retained.

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How does metadata improve file management?

File management systems that use metadata for organizing, storing, and retrieving files are far more efficient than traditional folder-based approaches. With a metadata-driven system, users don’t need to remember what a file was named or where it was stored. Rather, they can simply perform a search on the content they’re looking for and get connected to their document with just a few clicks.

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