Store. Manage. Share.
Document Management, Content Management and Enterprise Information Management (EIM) describe ways in which you store, manage and share business information including documents, data, projects and processes. These systems enable organisations to share knowledge and information between different departments and support their everyday functioning and decision-making processes. Whereas some forms of information management systems focus on the storage of content or data, modern EIM systems also give you new ways to create, capture, distribute and use information. The best systems will incorporate features that ensure that the information is accurate, timely, accessible and meaningful, and will make use of cloud and mobile technologies. As well as helping businesses maintain their efficiency and responsiveness to new information, EIM strategies and tools assist with legal requirements for data retention and deletion.
While in the old days, a filing cabinet might have been all that an organisation needed to store relevant business information, in the age of information most organisations already use various digital systems for sharing information and data. These include shared network folders, web-based applications and cloud services to store information and transfer it between different people, departments and sites. Different systems and applications vary in the demands on the users and their technical expertise. The most forward-thinking EIM systems allow you to connect these different data-sharing systems without having to migrate to a single service. This can transform many aspects of your enterprise, whatever industry you are in, and whatever your role within the organisation.
If an organisation is so large that it spans across several countries, each location has its own legal framework for storing and accessing data. As governments become more aware of the needs to protect private data in the light of digital footprints and big data, EIM systems using document management system software can ensure that business processes are compliant with the relevant legislation and at the same time accessible for use. What's more, EIM software can be designed not only to meet an organisation's current objectives but to help it transition to where it wants to be. Through the latest innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI), it can make use of content in ways that earlier business content management systems would be unable to, providing instant insight to its users.
What options are available?
There are many reasons to reduce or attempt to eliminate the number of paper documents that a business produces and stores. It is not only time-consuming and inefficient to spend time printing, copying, filing and managing physical documents, but such data in the form of physical documents creates more work further down the line. In the UK, the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) of 2018 means that there is an increasing burden on organisations to keep a constant track on the personal information they store in the form of paper documents and digital files: paper documents require greater effort to find, monitor, destroy and regulate than electronic files. While an entirely paperless office can be difficult to implement, an electronic document management system can combine print and electronic data storage.
Store & Edit Documents
At the most basic level, an electronic document management, or digital document management system, takes paper documents and turns them into electronic files such as PDFs that are then stored digitally according to a basic classification structure
A simple document management system can be combined with software that allows you to search and edit the files so that the search classification becomes less significant to retrieving files stored in the system. These files can then be stored in a number of different ways, such as through the internet or cloud storage. Documents from outside the system, such as emails and online statements, can be incorporated into the electronic document management system by using the 'save-to-print' system. Some paper documents, such as receipts, may still need to be stored for tax purposes, and at regular intervals, the system will need to be backed up, and documents that are no longer relevant will need to be deleted to comply with GPDR and to prevent the amount of data from becoming unmanageable
More sophisticated document management system software will do a lot of the sorting of superfluous and outdated information for you, and provide new ways to create and access information, wherever you are working. It will also allow multiple workers to work together simultaneously without placing heavy demands on their technical skills. At its best, it should allow users to search the data and content in an intuitive way and to avoid duplication. It will allow you to create documents from within the system and incorporate those outside the system with equal ease. Compliance checks and workflow management tools will be incorporated to optimise and regulate all your business processes. The software and systems should have the flexibility to be deployed in whatever way suits your business best, whether that is on-premises, through cloud computing or a hybrid.
There are various new EIM systems to choose from, and they work in different ways, which can revolutionise the way you and your employees work. The greatest difference between them is the extent to which they can integrate with your existing systems and processes, and how easy it is to access the information contained in these systems and manage business information from one single point.
Utilise the Cloud
Some EIM systems are entirely cloud or internet based, meaning you can access them from anywhere using cloud document management software and online document management software. These systems offer greater flexibility and scalability than on-premises solutions. They provide data backup and the systems can be purchased on a subscription model rather than requiring investment in on-premises infrastructure and software. However, data will need to be migrated across to its new, cloud- or internet based location. EIM systems such as M-Files, on the other hand, can be deployed either through an M-Files vault on the on-premises server or on the cloud using a secure data centre.
With an EIM solution such as M-Files, you get the best of both worlds with a hybrid solution. With M-Files, organisations can leverage their current on-premises technology and take advantage of an award-winning EIM solution that operates in a public or private cloud, as needed. Further, M-Files Cloud Vault can be seamlessly integrated with existing on-premises software for enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management. Conversely, an on-premises deployment of M-Files can be integrated into existing cloud-based business applications, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics Online or NetSuite.
Make searching for documents a thing of the past
One of the most powerful aspects of M-Files is the sophisticated search function. It is estimated that office workers spend on average 16% of their time looking for information. With M-Files, you can find relevant documents and information by searching according to their properties and content. The same document can be found by exploring different 'visualisations', without duplicating content. Perhaps the key business advantage of M-Files is that its intelligent metadata-driven system. This means that content is delivered in context, allowing you to link structured data from core business systems, such as CRM, ERP, HR, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and NetSuite, with documents and other unstructured content. M-Files is available for Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 8 and Windows 10 operating systems.
Unlike traditional enterprise content management (ECM) systems or content services platforms, M-Files unifies systems, data and content across the organisation without disturbing existing systems and processes or requiring data migration. Instead of requiring you to organise data and content and repositories or remember where it was created and by whom, M-files allows you to find a file based on what it is. In this way, you don't need to train staff to use it – it is intuitive.
With M-Files, all-important security and accessibility requirements are set automatically, according to what the document is. M-Files knows who is responsible for tasks, and sets reminders and notifications when users need to review changes. Co-authoring features allow users to simultaneously edit documents without worrying about version control or duplication. Even external parties, without access to M-Files, can directly participate in co-authoring. The eSignature capability integrated into M-Files allows for regulated businesses to approve and monitor processes, even from a mobile device.
Sometimes work needs to get done when you're away from the office. M-Files allows you to access any document, anywhere, any time. The M-Files mobile app allows you to access, review and approve files on the go by using your iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone. Files can even be accessed offline. M-Files Mobile enables businesses to maintain compliance outside of the office. The eSignature capability integrated into M-Files allows for regulated businesses to approve and monitor processes... even from a mobile device.
M-Files is easily integrated into business processes. It is accessed through the standard My Computer interface of Windows, so people feel instantly familiar with using it. You can save files directly from any MS Office applications directly to the M-Files 'Vault'. Documents are saved according to key properties such as client and project rather than according to pre-existing folder parameters. M-Files will then automatically save the document to any relevant folders within its system. Messages from MS Outlook can be sent directly to M-Files. Paper documents can be scanned directly into the M-Files system using any of your existing scanners, and make the scanned document fully text searchable.
Why Choose EBC Group?
At EBC Group, we believe that M-Files is the leading EIM product on the market. For this reason, we have dedicated our expertise to becoming a custom developer and total solutions provider for M-Files. Our range of managed services means we can ensure your document management system connects seamlessly across your different systems and applications, including Microsoft Office, CRM or ERP, and we can deploy it on your server or host it within our Private Cloud environment.
As an award-winning M-Files Gold Partner, with an in-house technical team that cover a range of managed services, we are able to offer bespoke high-quality Information Management Solutions that enable clients to meet their business objectives through the use of the M-Files technology. We have built our reputation on making sure that we get things right and providing the highest levels of customer service.
You can download a 30-day free trial of M-Files to see the benefits for yourself or alternatively if you are interested in seeing M-Files in action you can schedule a live demo.
What our customers say
"I was looking for a solution that would make document storage structured and easily accessible to all users, particularly those working offsite. EBC Group provided us with a robust solution and their team have excellent knowledge of the EIM system and how to tailor it to individual business needs."
Adrian McGowan, Finance Manager at M.Lambe