These days, most workplaces are getting smarter as the use of paper is decreasing while the capability of managing large volumes of documents is steadily increasing thanks to digitization. But at the same time, managing digital documents on a larger scale can be a daunting task for many businesses. That is why businesses are constantly after most advanced and well-equipped document management systems that can cater to their purposes.
SharePoint has emerged as a highly capable, scalable, and adaptive document management system for modern enterprises across the niches. While you need to look at this system with a balanced view remembering both the advantages and shortcomings, it is wise to set your expectations right from the very beginning.
SharePoint Document Management System: Setting the right expectations
First of all, SharePoint was conceptualized and built as a collaborative tool to manage documents of all types in any enterprise scenario. This document management system offers a great platform to organize, store, share, collaborate, and access information of all sorts. It was launched in 2001, and since then, it underwent six updates. Starting as a browser-based document platform over time, it became available as an on-premise, cloud, and hybrid document management system with subsequent versions. Initially, it was intended for large businesses, and from the 2013 version, it became a system for small and medium enterprises as well with the inclusion of cloud and hybrid capabilities.
Here are the key things that enterprises should expect from the SharePoint document management system.
# It is a less expensive content and document management platform with a lot of advanced capabilities.
# It allows robust and real-time collaboration among the team members of different enterprise settings.
# It is swift and rich with all the advanced features that became standard parts of any modern document management system.
# Remote collaboration and sharing capability are two crucial positive aspects of this document management system.
# Besides supporting all the common file types such as .docx, .pdf, .pptx, .zip it also provides support to all the less common file extensions like .odt, .ods, .xslb, .ppsx and 3D models.
Now that you have a basic idea about the key aspects of the SharePoint document management system, let us explain here the key reasons to use this system for your document storage and management needs.
Document storage and Validation
Storage of documents and validation is a vital advantage of the SharePoint system. Since the storage of enterprise documents require a wide array of formats, this needs a better and well-equipped document management system.
# SharePoint fulfills this need with the following attributes.
# SharePoint supports a wide range of document formats, including the simple ones and complicated, as well as not so standard document formats.
# SharePoint also allows converting non-searchable documents like the documents in CAD format to searchable document types.
The more straightforward conversion, storage, and validation give enterprises better able to share and collaborate with documents.
Document Indexing and Retrieving
Enterprises also require the robust capability of document categorization, archiving, and easy retrieval of documents. This is another area where SharePoint comes as an ideal solution.
# SharePoint allows the indexing capability of categorizing, archiving, finding, and retrieving documents at a faster pace.
# SharePoint document management system by assigning unique IDs with every document helps to avoid confusion in identifying different documents.
Versioning of Documents
Enterprise documents also require a detailed versioning protocol to help identification of documents. Here too, SharePoint as a document management system excels.
# With SharePoint, each edit with document results in the storage of a new document version while keeping previous versions available.
# This detailed versioning capability helps enterprises restoring any document version with ease while correcting and re-correcting documents.
Ease in searching documents is a crucial criterion for enterprise documents. This is another area where the SharePoint document management system excels.
# SharePoint offers powerful document search capability. You can search based on the content type, file names, and metadata.
# The search results are also displayed with ranks based on the search query made by the user.
# It also offers a federated search, which is basically about triggering simultaneous search across enterprise systems with just one search query. The federated search results come in an integrated list, while documents are fetched from different enterprise systems.
An enterprise-ready document management system should also have a range of inbuilt workflows to make the work process smoother and faster. SharePoint DMS just provides enough to fulfill this criterion, as well.
# SharePoint offers an array of standard inbuilt workflows ranging from feedback to collecting approvals signatures.
# SharePoint also allows users to create custom workflows of preferred structure involving a number of steps.
# SharePoint also offers full support to rules-based workflows, making it easier for many frequently carried out actions.
Easier Integration with Other Enterprise Apps
An enterprise has an array of document-oriented needs in different contexts. This often requires integrating the documents with other systems and applications. This is another area of excellence for SharePoint.
# SharePoint DMS allows easy integration of documents with different enterprise systems such as ERP, CRM, BI, etc.
# While integrating with other systems, SharePoint offers excellent compatibility with all Microsoft systems. For such integration, SharePoint requires no customization.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there are several other reasons to use SharePoint as the document management system. SharePoint is also a highly customizable system and offers excellent benefits in terms of document security and compliance.