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Whatchamacallit

Thursday, August 30, 2018

via Flickr, BodoAs businesses become more micro focused on efficiency, the number of highly targeted software solutions treating one specific pain, soar.  Examples include expense report management or employee onboarding solutions.  These are cloud based, third party solutions that typically generate a “document” as an end product or include supporting document attachments. 

That point solution may in fact become relied upon by the business users as their document system because that’s where they go to find the documents they need.  It’s not uncommon for these applications to list document management as a feature.  The functionality doesn’t qualify it as a document management solution and the organization should be careful to accept it as that, no matter whatcha call it.

The information and documents in these solutions are likely well organized given that it is a highly focused solution.  The information and documents may be protected and tracked as most hosted solutions manage that by default.  It is even possible that access can be managed to permit other users to access the information and to share it.  Sounds like it could be document management.

However, those solutions are really more a process tool that happens to include documents.  That is more workflow than document management.  The fact that it provides easy access and a well organized repository does not mean it should be treated as document management.  The solution may not meet the organizations compliance requirements, which may include records retention and legal holds.  Just the fact that it is a separate solution makes the “management” component more difficult.

However, the good work being done by that solution should be and most likely can be extended.  The information should be exportable to the sanctioned document management system (DMS).  The export would ideally be programmatic and via a secure API process.  That could be part of the workflow.  For example, when the task is complete, that triggers the push of the information to the DMS.  But even a simple download and upload to the DMS would be better than nothing. 

The point solution may be producing information that is valuable to other users in the organization.  Make sure that information is available to those other users in a format and via search context that makes sense to them, not just the primary user.  So, no its not document management, but it is good information that is well positioned as an input for a document management system.  Call it what you want, but don’t treat it as document management.

Millennia Group provides workflow and document management solutions that make it easy for users to find the information that they are looking for. For more information, contact us at info@mgdocs.com, www.mgdocs.com or (630) 279-0577 x122.