Building a Document Management System using Microsoft
Finding the right system to manage your documents is crucial to the success of any business. Using a Microsoft document management system can help solve the typical challenges businesses face when trying to create a scalable workflow.
What is a document management system?
A document management system is for managing digital files such as Word, Excel, PowerPoints and more. In this era, we need secure, robust and customizable software that gives a great user experience. Switching from a legacy document management system to a newer system has the potential to improve performance and cut costs.
Typical Challenges with Legacy Document Management Systems
Does Microsoft have a Document Management System?
Yes, it does. Microsoft Office 365 provides various software solutions including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics and OneDrive for document management. Any of the above can be used depending on the needs of each organization. This system helps us to store, collaborate, and share the documents around different platforms. There are also different ways we can analyze the performance of the system.
- Security and Permission Management
Many document management systems don’t offer a way for users to set restrictions on who can see certain documents. Some documents should only be able to be viewed by specific users. Members from one department may not want another department to be able to access their files. Or, one department or group of users should be able to have add/edit permission while another group has read-only permission.
- Search and Filter
When there are a lot of folders and documents, it can be difficult to find the specific document you’re looking for. Many document management search systems aren’t configured to solve this problem.
- Notification and Approval
Some documents, like HR policy or invoices, need approval before they can be viewed by all users. Unfortunately, most document management systems do not offer this feature.
- Document History
Ever make changes to a document, only to need to restore the last version but were unable to? Many users cite the inability to keep the document history and restore past versions a pain point with legacy document management systems.
- Team Collaboration
There typically isn’t a way for teams to maintain project-specific documents. Projects should be able to be assigned a team that is able to manage the documents among the team members.
- Maintain the Folder Structure and Naming
Most document management systems will keep the same folder structure and naming conventions across the entire space. This means users aren’t able to organize or name folders in a way that makes sense to them, as those changes are reflected to every other user.
How Core Microsoft Applications Work Together to Support Document Management
SharePoint gives your team a collaborative workspace with dashboards, calendars, tasks, notifications and updates. The SharePoint platform keeps these located in a central portal associated with company sites. You can set up a SharePoint site for each of your teams to access, with dashboards that give team and company notifications. You can also set up a corporate portal where searchable company-wide libraries and notifications live. Assign each employee a security level to allow access.
10 years ago, businesses used SharePoint for document consolidation, Skype for instant communication, and Outlook for messaging and planning. SharePoint has evolved into a robust document sharing center, with shared workspaces, storage, and presentation.
OneDrive is an online document/file storage platform. It’s typically used by individuals and business teams who need a central location to store and access files. OneDrive’s versioning and sharing features make it easy to work together, so it’s more than just an online filing cabinet. Microsoft distinguishes between personal and business versions of the tool.
OneDrive (for Business) now contains all of the original SharePoint document offerings, including workflows, auditing, templates and version control. What it does not include are your marketing resources, such as website and social media connections. The business owns the account, and each user is assigned a personal account under the business’s account. This is where individual documents can be produced and stored before they are shared with the wider company audience.
OneDrive doesn’t offer the ability to publish your content on the web. While you can email links to documents, you cannot publish those documents directly to a web page from the OneDrive platform. You can make documents discoverable to your team, but you’ll need Office 365 or another CMS/website platform to publish your work publicly.
Take advantage of fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Mount file shares concurrently in the cloud or on-premises on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Plus, cache Azure file shares on Windows Servers with Azure File Sync for local access performance. Use premium shares for performance-sensitive, IO-intensive workloads and standard shares for reliable, general-purpose file storage
Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based solution that offers everything you need for CRM and ERP in a single package
See business and customer data in one place—across hundreds of sources—for a single, 360-degree view of your organization.
Microsoft Teams is designed to consolidate every aspect of collaboration — not just document management and sharing. Through Microsoft Teams, employees are able to track their instant messaging, email, calendars, projects and more.
Microsoft Planner is a to-do app that comes with Office 365. It’s used for personal and teamwork planning, with a simple card-based interface.
Microsoft Planner provides a hub for team members to create plans, organize and assign tasks to different users, and to check updates on progress through dashboards. It also provides a centralized place where files can be shared and visible to the whole team. As an Office 365 app, you can find Planner within your Office 365 home.
Planner natively integrates with all of the other Office 365 applications, and using a tool within the Microsoft ‘ecosystem’ is very efficient. Microsoft has created a suite of apps that all complement one another and work beautifully together. Using Planner means you can easily integrate your tasks into Outlook, attach and view task documentation by linking to SharePoint, discuss a project within Teams while having your Planner open, hop onto a video call (with Teams, formerly Skype for Business), and much more
Benefits of Using Microsoft Software for Document Management
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
- 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
Microsoft provides the best solutions for all of the above. The following are the features and benefits of using Microsoft as your DMS partner. It has provided these solutions for many years and is one of the leading companies in this field. With cloud, on-premise, or hybrid, any structure you choose, Microsoft provides a better solution.
These solutions and benefits include:
- Ability to easily find/search for the info you need
- Mobile-friendly: Create/edit/collaborate any time, any place
- Overall Security: More secure than an on-premises server
- Folder and file-level security: Grant access to only the people that need it
- Version control so that there are not different iterations of a file floating around
- File history so you can see who made what change, when
- Easy collaboration with coworkers, contractors, and clients
- Quick and secure sharing inside or outside of the organization
- Integration & Compatibility: Microsoft’s solutions easily integrate into many other systems
- Document imaging/scanning lets you save physical space by storing your files online
- Scalable: It easily grows with your organization. You won’t be able to outgrow it as a document management solution
- Cloud-based: You don’t have to worry about the physical security of the servers or losing all of your data when everything is in the cloud. Access the files you need anytime, anywhere you have an internet connection
- Offline editing: if you’re going somewhere without an internet connection, you can easily take your files with you
- Save on human resources: You won’t need as many IT staff as you would for a legacy, on-site server
Plus, migration from legacy servers or other solutions is easy.
How HingePoint Helps Our Clients Leverage Microsoft Solutions for Their Document Management Needs
We can help you implement SharePoint as your document storage solution. We’ll design the Information Architecture (IA) based on your unique business requirements. IA covers the required site collections, subsites, document library, metadata, fields and more.
Organize your files into logical categories to help you stay organized
We take care of creating libraries with predefined metadata to ensure you find the content you’re looking for every time you search and filter.
We can implement a workflow that makes it possible to set approval and notifications on certain documents. If you need a team site for collaboration, we can create that. We can also turn that site into a template that allows you to easily create separate spaces for each client or project that keep the same basic structure.
If you want to take team collaboration to another level, we can help you integrate Microsoft Teams. Your teams will be able to easily manage all documents related to a discussion in one place and find it easily in the future.
Managing documents that relate to project tasks? We can help you add Microsoft Planner to the equation to track the progress tasks. You can easily associate documents from SharePoint with your tasks and tie-in into conversations with Microsoft Teams.
Use custom forms to handle team requests and create tabs with custom reports to monitor the overall progress.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can streamline your document management processes using Microsoft tools.
You can even utilize SharePoint to manage documents you are using to publish content on your website.
What Would a Better Document Management System Look Like For You?
Does your organization still use a dated legacy document management system to manage your records? Get in touch with Hingepoint today, and see our experienced consultants can make your job easier with a system your users will love!