These products represent one of the most powerful business applications available
today. Their particular strength is the ability to allow users to manage vast quantities
of documents floating around in the smallest of companies. This might be unstructured
data which can be in the form of electronic documents (eg. MS Word, Excel, Email)
or as scanned (OCR’d) paper documents. It may, in some cases, allow you to link
to other back office systems (eg. MS SharePoint, SAP, MS Dynamics, Lotus Notes, Oracle
or other database driven solutions).
For the most common SME applications, they should be simple to install and learn,
reliable, scalable and secure – all without breaking your budget.
Documents (stored locally or on a larger network / via the web) are usually accessed
Metadata searching of key attributes (usually entered as part of the capture process
or lifted directly from the original source file).
Metadata searching of file contents (eg. Word document or Email content).
Metadata searching of generated content (usually scanned images which have been converted
to text format using Optical Character Recognition tools).
Some of the key features to be assessed include:
Fast search – both "full text" file contents and metadata
Secure, metadata-driven user access permissions
Check-in/check-out with audit trail
Workflow with email notifications
Fast offline use and remote/mobile access
Support for scanned paper documents and email
Robust interface for connecting to external databases (eg. CRM or ERP systems)