Document Management Software

This type of software helps organizations manage, store, and archive electronic documents and images. In many cases, they can also be used to save various versions of a document. Document management software is essential when several team members are working on a single document and need to incorporate edits at different stages. Teams can easily save and find different documents, share them with clients and partners, and collaborate on projects. A number of these products also offer electronic signature features, the ability to comment, manage meetings, and mind mapping solutions.  Read the full software guide...

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What is Document Management Software?

Document management software helps businesses store, organize, share, update, track and effectively collaborate on different business processes, tasks and activities involving electronic documents. This can include PDFs, spreadsheets, word-processing files and emails. Some products even scan paper-based documents directly into the software, helping businesses make their operations more modern.

By storing all documents in a central, searchable platform, document management software makes it easy for users to locate documents quickly. For instance, you can search any document by its file name, creation date or author name and preview the search results to make sure you’ve found the right document before opening it.

Sometimes referred to as a document management system (DMS), the software allows users to safely store documents in a centralized electronic location. The platform also makes it more convenient for authorized personnel to access all kinds of vital documents in different file formats. These solutions can be useful for law and real estate businesses that handle large amounts of legal documentation.

Top-tier document management solutions generally come with features such as records management, access management, document control, image capture, document search functionality and other useful tools that allow you to organize and navigate through all your business documents and files with complete ease.

Other key functionalities include the ability to limit access to certain documents, keeping a record of different versions of a document, monitoring who viewed or edited the document and when, reverting to a previous version in case of errors, and the ability to set role-based permissions and change ownership of a file if required.

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Types Of Document Management Software

Document management software solutions typically serve relatively basic functions, although there is a wide range of products that fall under the document management system (DMS) category.

This type of software can be used in two different ways, either locally hosted on existing infrastructure or deployed as a cloud-based service.

Most providers of this software will offer a subscription-based service, often known as a SaaS solution, with different price tiers ranging in features and sizes available for businesses to choose from.

Cloud-based DMS solutions store documents and other digital files in a remote location, which can easily be accessed through a web browser app or mobile device. As the solution is hosted on the service provider’s cloud service, all you need is an internet-capable device and a stable connection to access the platform.

You also don’t have to worry about system updates or maintenance procedures since they are all handled by the service provider.

Client server-based or premise-based DMS software is normally more robust and faster when compared to the other options available on this list. This is mainly because client server-based DMS is installed on-premise and the documents are stored locally in the client’s server.

Unlike cloud-based DMS, you do not necessarily need an internet connection to gain access to company files and documents.

Another advantage to client server-based or on-premise document management solutions is that you can customize the user interface according to your preference and develop complex integrations with relative ease.

Some of the main types of this form of management software include:

Content management

This is a management software system designed to facilitate the process of organizing and delivering a wide range of content to customers as well as web users. They are tailored to serve media content and documents of varying file formats.

Records management

Records management systems are designed to help businesses and organizations maintain their company records and make them more secure and easily accessible to authorized personnel. This type of document management software is often used by regulated industries, which include healthcare organizations, legal firms and government agencies.

Document imaging

This type of management software lets you convert physical documents or paper files into electronic/digital documents. This software solution also allows you to collect and store documents as well as manage images from various sources. This is useful to companies that deal with a lot of physical documents and want to store them digitally for easier access, file share and recordkeeping.

Enterprise content management

Enterprise content management solutions refer to systems that manage specific enterprise content, which include documents and files relating to the workflows, process standards and the rules and regulations of the enterprise.

How To Choose Document Management Software

When choosing the right email software for your business, it’s important to consider the features you require, what the software will be used for, the scalability that is required and how the software will be deployed in your business.

Before you decide whether to invest in a particular service, these key factors should be considered to ensure that you’re making the right decision with your purchase:

File storage structure

File structure refers to how files are stored in the document management system (DMS). It’s important to make sure files and documents are accessible and easy to navigate through with search functionality. The structure preferred by most users is the file cabinet or cabinet-drawer-file structure, which makes finding the documents you need much easier.

Search tools available

Search functionality is important with any DMS solution. The search tools provided by your chosen platform must be comprehensive and precise enough to ensure easier and faster queries, especially when dealing with large volumes of electronic documents. A document management system that’s only capable of searching by file names may not offer enough flexibility for some businesses.

Most document management solutions available have the ability to search the content of documents and files for specific keywords. Searches may also be templated based on file types, the date of which the file was last modified, file formats and other important criteria.

Compatibility with hardware

One of the main functions of a management software solution may be to convert physical/paper files into digital or electronic documents. This makes scanner compatibility an important factor when choosing a DMS solution. It also helps if the system is capable of modifying file formats when needed.

Document security

Like any collaboration tools, where multiple individuals will have access to a certain repository along with all of its functions, security is paramount. Your document manager should have robust security settings that effectively limits access to authorized personnel where necessary. It must provide you with permission-based or role-based access settings on sensitive documents and files stored in the system.

Through role-based access controls (RBAC), only individuals with the appropriate credentials can open, view and modify documents. You may also disable or limit the file share option on specific documents in the system.

Software integrations

Third-party integration has become an integral aspect of most software solutions, not just document management. When choosing document management software, you should consider its capability to integrate with third-party applications. This is valuable if you already have an existing suite of different collaboration tools and software solutions, including your email service, CRM and ERP systems.

Mobile optimization and accessibility

When it comes to collaboration tools like your DMS solution, accessibility is crucial. You have to make sure when collaborating on projects, all team members will have easy access to all the documents and files they need to complete tasks. This means having the ability to view, modify and store documents remotely whenever necessary./p>

This particular feature is inherent with most cloud-based DMS solutions. It is also why the majority of businesses and organizations that use DMS platforms prefer those that offer cloud storage for efficiency and mobile apps for easy access to the product’s modules. This will enable employees to open, share and edit documents remotely.

User-friendly interface

Ease of use is another important aspect to consider. Look for advanced search features and multiple file-sharing options. For instance, some products allow you to share documents with external users, such as clients and contractors. Other important considerations include mobile access, document capturing options, training requirements and reporting capability.

Benefits Of Using Document Management Software

Document management solutions can help your business effectively store, manage and collaborate on the documents stored on the platform. The following are some of the main benefits of using the right document management software for your day-to-day operations:

Centralized document management

Centralized document management is the core function of this type of software. It is designed to help streamline your document management process. With this software solution, you can safely store and manage documents in one platform and ensure that important documents can’t get misplaced or damaged as with more conventional methods.

Enhanced collaboration

The core functions of DMS allow collaborating teams to work together more efficiently and cohesively. The modules typically offered by the management software can be accessed by users at the same time.

They will also be able to review documents and modify its contents while the system gives real-time updates to everyone involved with the project. This effectively cuts down the forwarding time as users don’t have to do a file share every time they make changes to the documents.

The DMS solution also keeps multiple versions of a document for future reference, in addition to the most recent one. This will provide users with valuable information as to the modifications that have been made to the file, when it was modified and which user/device made the changes.

Faster document retrieval

Having all relevant documents your business needs in one easy-to-use and locatable platform makes finding the document you need easier than more conventional methods. As the documents are stored in intuitive folders and areas of the platform, all staff can access the documents whenever they need to, increasing productivity and work efficiency.

With document management software solution, the search function streamlines not just the finding process but the archiving as well. Searches can be done quicker by simply using keywords or keyphrases to look for specific documents in your database.

Document management software helps businesses store, organize, share, update, track and effectively collaborate on different business processes by storing all relevant documentation into one easy-to-use platform.

Common Features of Document Management

2-Factor Authentication Adds an additional layer of security by requiring an extra step in the login process. Usually external devices are required for this or a text message with a verification code is sent to the user when trying to login.
API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Chat Live text chat with customers, website visitors, mobile contacts and others.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Document Comparison Compare and contrast different versions of documents and browse revision histories to consolidate collaborative changes.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
File Sharing Share files with colleagues, customers or other stakeholders for easier access across platforms, collaboration and/or version control.
File Transfer Transfer large files to colleagues, customers or other stakeholders. This is often used for files too large to transfer via email and other conventional transmission methods.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
History/Version Control Track revision history, file versions and other changing data, commonly used in collaborative applications.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Password & Access Management Manage passwords or access to systems for yourself or your organisation.
Project Management Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.

Latest User Reviews of Document Management Products

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SmartVault is 100% reliable and that is a priority for us. We love how SmartVault is integrated with Intuit/Lacerte. It makes our li...

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It helped me alooot to fulfill my various needs efficiently.I am very pleased by using this drive.i would like to suggest every one ...

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