Document Management

Although the term “management” implies that information is controlled from the top of the organization, an effective document management system should reflect the culture of the organization that uses it.  Document management controls documents in your organization over the course of their life cycle — how they are created, reviewed, and published, and how they are ultimately disposed of or retained.

The traditional small business solution is shared folders on a server, supplemented by the common habit of circulating documents in email attachments.  It works, after a fashion, but it can easily become unmanageable and is prnoe to data loss. There is also the problem of dealing with the paper documents that flow in and round the organisation and integrating these with electronic documents.

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An effective document management solution specifies the following:
  • What kinds of documents and other content can be created in an organization.
  • What template to use for each kind of document.
  • What metadata to provide for each kind of document. (Author, Client, Project, etc)
  • Where to store a document at each stage of its life cycle.
  • How to control access to a document at each stage of its life cycle.
  • How to move documents within the organization as team members contribute to the documents’ creation, review, approval, publication, and disposition.
  • What policies to apply to documents so that document-related actions are audited, documents are retained or disposed of appropriately, and content that is important to the organization is protected.
  • Whether a document has to be converted from one format to another as it moves through the stages of its life cycle.
  • How to handle documents as corporate records, which must be retained according to legal requirements and corporate guidelines.

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Managing documents is a key task for any office and EasyCom’s tools are flexible enough to enable you to tightly control a document’s life cycle.  The obvious document management choice for small businesses is Microsoft’s SharePoint Services.   It maintains a document history; dictating whether versions are retained, limits on the number of versions to keep, and who can see drafts.