Best document management software
The concept of a paperless office may seem like a bad joke to many, as instead of reducing paper use, the digital age has resulted in a flood of documents - most of which need printing. However, there are an increasing number of software solutions available that aim to provide the modern digital office with a fully digital document management system (DMS).
The first priority of DMS is ensuring that digital documents remain digital, so this means being able to store those documents in a way that is both secure, yet accessible to those who need them. Additionally, stored documents need to be digitally archived in such a way as to ensure that they are easy to find.
An additional concern is safeguarding any such digital storage. The explosion of cloud services in recent years means that digital backups are no long such a challenge, and cloud solutions are often not only simply to implement, but also easy to maintain. This is made even more accessible by the provision of cloud services by major providers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, in conjunction with general business continuity services built into their platforms.
All this is good but isn't enough - inevitably suppliers and contractors will still deal with paper, so any DMS needs to have a scanning solution so that any such paper invoices, receipts, or other documents can be scanned so that a digital copy can be archived while the paper version is recycled. Again, modern technology makes scanning paper to PDF simple and easy.
The next challenge is to work with other digital systems. There are so many different file formats available that any DMS needs to be able to cope with the widest range of these, and be able to convert digital files into more common files used by the business. This is especially the case when it comes to documents as well as images.
However, there are a number of companies that have been able to bring all of these solutions into one-stop document management services packages. The paperless office has been a long-time in coming, but it's finally here for those who want to embrace it. Here then are the best in DMS solutions.
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An all-in-one document management solution
Platforms: Web, desktop, mobile | Resources covered: Document management, editing, feedback, collaboration | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: MS Office | Free trial: Yes
Templafy is one of the best document management tools out there. The system aims to integrate essential office suites and solutions used by businesses on a daily basis.
If there’s one thing that can be frustrating, it’s having to create brand documents using different software. This can become time-consuming and fragmented, but Templafy can help. With it, you can create a range of files within the system and manage them from a single feed.
The software is compatible with a range of devices and uses the cloud to let you access all your documents across computers, tablets and smartphones. There are also automatic compliance checks, and you can give feedback to employees easily, too.
Contact is required for a pricing quote, and not surprisingly, the exact cost depends on the number of users, features and add-ons chosen.
Document software that detects duplication
Platforms: Web, mobile | Resources covered: Document management, editing, duplication analysis | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: MS Office, Salesforce CRM | Free trial: 30-day
When it comes to document management, M-Files aims to improve internal workflows, and to ensure important information is kept secure at all times. Its customers include many large corporations such as Comcast and Yokohama.
There’s a single vault for a plethora of files, and you can easily find them by client, project, date, status or other criteria. The software aims to avoid duplication – it’s quite common to end up with two copies of the same report, or possibly more. M-Files will alert you if a document has been saved twice by analyzing names and project data. You get some great integrations too, including Microsoft Office and Salesforce CRM.
There is a free trial available, but pricing isn’t stipulated on the site, so you have to get in touch for a quote.
Document organization moves to the cloud
Platforms: Desktop, mobile | Resources covered: Document management, cloud storage, invoice processing | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: 500+ including Outlook, Oracle and SharePoint | Free trial: No
Docuware takes a cloud-based approach to document management. It integrates cloud storage and office automation to create a digital workplace. This paperless approach to the full spectrum of office tasks is another example of the digital transformation which is driving many processes these days.
Docuware offers services to create a ‘cloud workflow’ when it comes to documents. It allows services to be purchased on a small scale as needed, and then as use-case scenarios are created, and reliability is ensured, the service can be scaled up for a larger deployment.
Mobile apps that can integrate into this workflow are also offered, facilitating the likes of scanning receipts on the go, approving invoices for speedy payment, and signing forms directly on the device.
While Docuware does offer a demo, there is no free trial, and the pricing, which of course depends on the services chosen, is otherwise hidden and requires the prospective buyer to get in touch for a custom quote.
DMS focused on compliance
Platforms: Desktop, mobile | Resources covered: Document management, collaboration, editing | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: No | Free trial: No
Within big organizations, there are often processes and regulations put in place to ensure documents are compliant and follow company guidelines. But when you have a ton of files, it can be hard to follow such rules.
MasterControl, which is used by some of the world’s largest regulatory bodies, is document control software that addresses complex regulations and standards around the globe. It aims to reduce compliance cost and increase internal efficiency.
The system fully automates routing, delivery, escalation and approval of vital documents. It also sports a centralized, secure archive where you can store and search for business files.
There is no indication of a free trial, and pricing requires contacting the company for a quote.
Cloud-based collaboration at its best
Platforms: Desktop, mobile | Resources covered: Document management, collaboration, editing | Cloud-based: Yes | Integrations: Microsoft Office, Oracle, Salesforce, SharePoint, Dropbox | Free trial: Demo only available
If you’re looking for a cloud solution for creating documents, then you should definitely check out XaitPorter.
The great thing about this system is that it’s extremely flexible. You’re able to collaborate and work on documents with colleagues simultaneously, and you can easily share feedback with each other. It also manages all aspects of workflow, so you don’t have to worry about formatting, numbering and layout.
XaitPorter has some useful tricks on the integrations front, as well. The software can work with Salesforce, Oracle, SAS, Microsoft Office and Dynamics, SharePoint, OpenText and Dropbox. And it’s currently used by some 45,000 firms across the globe.
While there is a demo available, there is no free trial, and pricing requires getting in touch for a quote.
Other DMS platforms to consider
While there are a number of dedicated office and document platforms we could mention, not least Office 365, LibreOffice, and Adobe Document Cloud, these are more focused on creating documents and managing those, rather than managing and storing documents from multiple sources and formats. Therefore we'll continue this list by featuring some of the other DMS solutions worth considering:
Samepage is a little different to standard document management as it's more about creating a single focal point for all communications, projects, and document sharing tools. The aim is to simplify everything in a single app as opposed to having multiple software applications for different tasks. The interface is simple and easy to use, with collaboration built into the heart of it. In that regard it makes Samepage a potentially flexible solution to cover multiple needs.
Bitrix24 is a popular solution for wide range of business needs, such as providing a contact center, communications, CRM, and projects, but what you may not know is that it also includes a document management solution as part of its services. It's not just documents, though, but any files, including images and video, that can be stored in a single space. Better still, collaboration is built into the system with a range of permissions available for individual or group working.
Dokmee advertises itself as an enterprise content management solution, to organize, secure, and manage files. It supports a number of document formats, and also provides document imaging and data capture as part of its service. Everything can be smartly indexed using AI, with files automatically stamped for indexing, as well as rules-based routing to make storage and archiving easier, which is all done through secure hosting in the cloud. As expected, collaboration is supported, with permissions and auditing options available for easier file management.
eFileCabinet is a document management software solution that uses smart automation to organize, name, and store files according to their content. Templates are available to customize the document folder tree throughout your system. Permissions, file/folder expiration, and notifications can also be set up for file sharing and for sending file requests, all of which is done using a secure URL. General accessibility rules can also be set up according to company policy.
Abbyy are perhaps most famous for their file reader and scanning services, but they also provide a digital document archiving service which allows for the secure storage and use of documents. Access can be tracked and logged, and existing documents can be reused and edited as required for reissue. Meta keywords can be applied for easy search on top of normal search functions, and distributed easily via the web or email as required. One potential limitation is that Abbyy services are primarily built to store documents in PDF format.