Kevin Chang serves as Sales Consultant/Partner Program Manager at FileHold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Implementing an organization wide document management system can be a challenging process. FileHold has the following recommendations to any government or business organization considering such an initiative. This blog article deals with general principles that can keep the project under control and make use of the power inherent in FileHold software.
- Start small and grow the systems in phases. Start with a department that has a clear business problem to solve and employees and managers who are committed to a “paperless” solution. This approach not only minimizes financial risk (both IT infrastructure and licensing) it ensures a high level of user acceptance through successful steps in the implementation.
- Keep in mind the mobility of the modern worker and the number and variety of computing devices they will need to manage. The chosen solution should be based on modern technologies and support a variety of hardware devices including mobile. The selected solution should take into consideration the needs of “power users” i.e. librarians and scanning operators who need to add mass numbers of documents to the system. These operators may require Microsoft Office integration and use various forms of electronic workflow approval. There will also be very casual users who require a simple interface and occasional access to the system.
- Customers should retain as much self-sufficiency as possible. Relative to training, a “train the trainer” approach removes dependency on outside consultants minimizing cost and empowering self-sufficiency. FileHold would also recommend a system that makes use of existing IT infrastructure relative to user security and back up technologies.
Consider integration with other business applications. Following is a summary of the ways FileHold supports this requirement:
- Search into FileHold from 3rd party applications is accomplished by an “out of the box” feature called "FastFind". FastFind is easily installed and allows a user to highlight information in any third party or in house system, the user just hits a hot key and is immediately taken into the FileHold search - all relevant documents will be shown.
- An easy way to add document to FileHold from other applications is the “Print to FileHold” feature that allows the print function of any application to send documents directly to FileHold.
- Database lookup capabilities so users can populate metadata fields etc. in FileHold from the databases of other applications.
- For those who want to integrate at a deeper level there is a no charge fully documented Web Services API that allows all the functionality of FileHold to be accessed through a third party or in-house application. Below is an overview of FileHold’s fully documented Web Services API from the FileHold Knowledge Base.
By taking the points above into consideration your implementation will go smoothly. Perhaps most importantly be sure you have everyone in the organization on board to “go paperless”. This project will be breaking a lifelong paradigm for some employees that want to continue to work on paper or even more problematic will not want to release control of their electronic information to a central secure repository.
In part 2 of this blog article which will be posted next week, the implementation of more complex activities such as document scanning and document migrations is discussed. To learn more about how FileHold can help your organization reduce paper and make your intellectual property secure and searchable, attend a free webinar.