All organisations generate loads of documents in various forms and formats. A large no. of them are computer generated and many are received from partners and vendors in physical form. Organisations create large filing and storage systems to retain these, keeping in mind the statutory requirement or the critical need to retain for particular periods. This article does a comparison of commercially available solutions such as EisenVault’s DMS vs. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and other free online storage providers.
Though not many of these documents are retrieved often, some have to be retrieved frequently. Organisations spend lots of time and waste many man-hours on retrieving such documents because looking for them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Therefore forward thinking and productivity focused organisation tend to lean towards technology to help store and retrieve these documents when required.
There are a host of online storage solutions like EisenVault, Box, FileNet, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc. Some of these are free and some of these are commercial providers. The features and functionalities that these online/electronic storage systems provide include some of the below:
- Mobile Apps
- Full Text Search
- Multi Browser Compatibility
- Can upload multiple file formats
- Sharing file link with external users
- Offline Sync
- Ease of use
The free service providers primarily offer these features on cloud storage. These work well for individuals or for storing and sharing documents that are works-in-progress. The task of storage and retrieval gets challenging when organisation start using these solutions for archival storage running into hundreds of GBs, and it becomes difficult to retrieve dated records. Also, large no. of organisations with large technical teams and computing infrastructure prefer to store all their documents on their own servers behind a firewall. It may be ideal for these organisations to engage a commercial solution like EisenVault that would provide the following additional features apart from the ones listed above.
- In-built OCR (multiple languages)
- Customer logo on the interface
- Differentiated levels of access control – which can be applied with granularity
- Document Check-In/Check-Out, avoids clashes if multiple people edit simultaneously
- Social features – adding comments to documents, “following” documents and users
- Centralized User Management
- Metadata tagging for easier categorization and search
- Document audit logs
- Compliance Reports
- Document retention policies and reminders when documents are about to expire
- Integration with LDAP directories for Single Sign On features
- Optional on-premises deployment
Document Management Systems (DMS) or Electronic Document Management (eDMS) are gaining more acceptance among not only large corporations but also SMEs. It may be ideal for organisations to pick a commercial providers if they have envisage their documents volume growing over time.