An overview – Document Management Software
Document Management Software refers to systems used to track, manage and store digital documents and reduce the use of paper. Most software solutions are capable of keeping a record of the different versions of documents created and the changes made by different users. Document management is related to content management, digital asset management, document imaging, workflow systems and record management systems.
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The 10 most popular Document Management Software solutions
1. PDFelement is a powerful, easy to use PDF editing system, which allows users to create, organise and secure files. The app contains a host of features that allow modifications to text, graphics, watermarks, digital signatures, and almost any other attribute of a PDF document. It can perform conversions between PDFs and numerous other file types, including all popular Microsoft Office programs.
Extensive editing features are presented in an attractive interface which allows users to access any element of a PDF for modification. There is also a host of PDF templates from which to choose.
The latest version of the app now makes it possible to edit any document as they would in Microsoft Word, which is a major time-saving upgrade on previous versions of the program.
2. Noodle Intranet is a hybrid social intranet solution that can either be deployed in the cloud or hosted on local servers; it is designed for communication, collaboration and sharing resources within the team.
The solution allows employees to create and customise a personalised profile with a picture and work description. The workflow feature automates time-off requests, requests for management approval, and rule-setting for creating, editing and sharing documents.
There is a built-in message function which allows employees to chat with each other and collaborate on common tasks. Users can also embed videos and photos in their messages, and can create calendar entries and publish forthcoming events.
Noodle also helps with building shared company folders, conducting online meetings, creating customised electronic forms, and distributing and assigning tasks through a task manager.
3. PandaDoc is cloud-based document management software, mainly used by sales and marketing teams, to create proposals, quotes, HR documents, contracts and more.
The software allows users to choose from a variety of proposal templates, which are free to download and customise. Options are available to change the language and currency used in documents depending on local or regional requirements. Collaboration tools allow teams to work on a single document by commenting and in-activity logging. There is also an e-signature facility allowing approvers to sign off on any document remotely.
PandaDoc’s analytics provide real-time statistics regarding who has viewed a proposal, how many times they have viewed it, and how long they have worked on it. An overview of proposal performance is provided through a dashboard.
The solution integrates with third party platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, and SugarCRM.
4. eFileCabinet is an online document management system, used across a range of industries like accounting and financial services, manufacturing and health care, by companies of all sizes.
eFileCabinet offers Secure Drawer for file-sharing with no limitations on file size, as well as e-signature collection through a secure web portal. Data is encrypted to ensure secure transmission. The system is customisable to match company logos and colours.
The online version is accessible using mobile apps which can be used from a smartphone or a tablet.
The solution can be hosted on a company’s local network or used as a Saas (Software-as-a-service) model via the cloud, depending on user requirements.
5. Samepage provides a suite of project management tools, communication features and built-in integration with a number of commonly used apps like Facebook, YouTube, Excel and Google Maps, enabling users to work on projects without having to switch between various applications.
Samepage is cloud-based collaboration software that helps build teams, create shared calendars, and manage documents and record project milestones on a customised page. The solution also helps track projects, identify pending tasks, and delegate work. To help teams communicate, there is also a chat function which allows users to leave comments and track project activity.
Samepage can be used on any device and there is a native mobile app for Android and iOS.
6. Templafy is a content management system specifically designed to ensure that all company-produced documents comply with the branding and legal standards of a company. It is primarily designed for multi-nationals, handling thousands of documents a day.
Users upload company templates and data, which Templafy then organises in order to prepare a personalised template for each employee to use as, and when, they need to create presentations, letters, reports and spreadsheets. As all templates are stored and shared through the cloud, updated content is instantly available for all employees. Mobile and tablet compatibility allows for remote access.
Asset libraries allow users to share and reuse company slides, images, text and video easily. Updated content implements automatic changes in order to keep all employee-produced documents current and valid.
7. PDFfiller is a cloud-based content management system for small to medium-sized organisations that want to use electronic forms, with key features including a document management platform, online PDF editor, and a library of 25 million fillable forms.
The software allows users to create fillable PDF forms from scratch, or to convert an existing form. Document editing tools include typing, erasing, redacting, highlighting and drawing. Users are able to place images, logos, notes, text boxes, hyperlinks, and video tutorials in PDFs. They are also able to capture e-signatures and convert PDFS to, and from, .DOC, .XLD, .PPT, .TXT, and JPG formats.
PDFfiller auto-fills forms by automatically merging data from a database or an Excel sheet with a document and it sends pre-filled forms out to sign.
The system also offers eSigning, as the solution is enabled to create legally binding signatures with a photo, applicable both to traditional and mobile devices.
PDFiller also tackles compliance and security concerns, as all signers and recipients have to be authenticated. They are required to enter their name, email address and social media accounts, and submit a unique ID document. Users can also use 2-factor authentication, and create 4-digit pins to protect their information.
8. Zoho Writer which is part of the Zoho Docs app suite, is an online word processor with built-in real-time collaboration features. It is an ideal document editing and collaboration tool for small companies and organisations, as well as providing a flexible and affordable solution for larger, globally dispersed teams. With Zoho Writer, users can create, edit, collaborate upon and publish online documents in real-time.
A fully-featured cloud based word processor, Zoho Writer also closely integrates with MS Word ensuring a seamless work experience. Users can review content in Zoho Writer using track changes and view all edits made in MS Word.
9. ProofHub is a cloud-based set of applications for project management, project collaboration and portfolio project management, including resource and task management. Key features include discussions, notes, to-do lists, calendaring, Gantt charts, milestone and timesheets.
Reports help project managers keep track of their resource utilisation and project progress. Communication features include one-on-one and group chat, as well as a tool that allows users to comment on documents and designs shared within the platform.
ProofHub also offers the ability to create custom roles and restrict access to specific information for team members and clients. The solution offers an open API, and integrates with Google Docs and Drobox. A mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices.
10. LogicalDoc is a document management platform which stores all company documents in a centralised repository, and enables teams to create, collaborate on, and manage any number of documents. System features and capabilities include drag-and-drop document upload, optical character recognition (OCR), form management, barcode recognition, document archiving, event logging, and integrated document workflow.
The solution includes full-text indexing capabilities, which allows the full content of any document uploaded into the repository to be automatically indexed.
Users collaborate on documents with check-in and check-out procedures, which ensure that only one person can work on a document at any one time, meaning that changes are not overwritten or lost. The latest document version is always available for current operations, and users can refer to, and compare with, previous versions. Documents can be annotated by users to collaborate or share notes, stamps or digital watermarks can be added, and documents can be digitally signed.
How to choose the best Document Management Software solutions
Before deciding on a Document Management system it is important to determine what the goals of such a solution are, and internal needs and requirements. Typically objectives include:
- An increase in efficiency, helping users to quickly locate and share documents;
- Reduced paper consumption by connecting document management tools with multi-function capture devices and scanners, keeping all documents electronic;
- The promotion of collaboration by allowing teams to work together to co-author documents; and
- Ensuring compliance with regulatory regimes by securely storing and monitoring access to documents.
Having defined objectives, the next step is to specify the preferred method of deployment, whether this is web-based, installed on local servers, or cloud-hosted. Each has their pros and cons which should be researched, and a choice made that best fits an organisation and its employees.
Once the objectives, method of deployment and precise business needs have been specified, then an organisation can begin to shortlist possible alternatives, which should be tested through free product trials and vendor demonstrations.
Types of Document Management Software solutions
Document Management Software solutions are typically categorised by method of deployment, whether it be web-based, client server based, cloud-hosted or database packages.
Document Management Software solutions have arisen as a way of addressing the challenges of organisations which deal with hundreds or thousands of proposals, contracts, invoices and other documents a day. These challenges include ensuring colleagues can work together on a document, that proposals are validated, that data protection and compliance procedures are adhered to, and making sure that documents are securely stored and can be located easily.