Digital filing system

Posted on 2011-10-20
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Good day,
I have some clients who are looking to move towards a digital filing system. I am looking for a software package that may be suitable. Any recommendations would be great.
Question by:PowersMackay
    LVL 51

    Accepted Solution

    "Digital filing system" may mean different things to different folks, so it will be helpful if you clarify this and provide some details. That said, since this was posted in the Document Management zone, I'll reply with some comments on Document Management Systems.

    There are many factors in selecting the right DMS for your requirements. I worked for 20 years in the high-end DMS space and my company would send out an 8-page questionnaire with more than 100 questions on it to ascertain the prospect's requirements – and that was after numerous conversations and meetings where we also discussed requirements. For example, the DMS solution for a company wanting to handle inbound vendor invoices in Accounts Payable may be very different from the DMS solution that a law firm needs to handle its case files. There are so many questions: scanning documents? OCR? indexing/searching? check-in/check-out (version control, or, more generally, collaboration)? number of users? number of docs currently? number of docs added per month? The list goes on and on. And, of course, a critical point is budget. Many high-end DMS companies have solutions with costs in the half-million dollar range (around a quarter-million dollars in software licenses and a quarter-million dollars in professional services to implement and configure the solution to each customer's requirements). I worked for a company where many deals were more than a million dollars. At the other end of the spectrum, I use a product called PaperPort on the home-office front that some folks would call a DMS (I don't), and the street price is $99 per user. And there's lots of stuff between those two figures – and even below and above those figures.

    Also, you may want to educate yourself a bit on DMS. The Wikipedia article on the subject is not a bad place to start:

    In addition, many of the DMS providers have lots of info at their websites, such as:

    (1) Kofax:

    (2) Documentum:

    (3) OpenText:

    (4) ReadSoft:

    (5) Laserfiche:

    Also, the AIIM site has a ton of info:

    You'll need to create an AIIM account (FREE!) at:

    Regards, Joe
    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
    Should have included one more in the list of DMS vendors:

    (6) Microsoft SharePoint:

    Regards, Joe

    Author Comment

    Thanks very much Joe,

    My users requirements are a little vague at the moment. Just really trying to get some ideas on what options are actually available.

    So far they are a company of 10 users that look like they are going to expand up to 50+ office staff.

    Scanning and saving attachments from emails would be the main method of entering this documents.

    Basically from my understanding they wish to take a paper based document, scan it, Tag it (ie Name, so searchable) then at any given time another user can search for that document. To refer back to for Emailing / Printing / Referencing.

    Should I be referring to this as a "Digital filing system" or is another term more appropriate.

    Thanks for your tips.  much appreciated

    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
    Hi David,

    Scanning paper documents and saving email attachments are two very different things, but both fall under the auspices of Document Management Systems, so that's a good way for you to refer to the required solution.

    Virtually all scanning/imaging technology will allow you to do what you described above – scan paper documents, tag them with (searchable) keywords, and search for them. Many solutions will also perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on documents so that ALL of the text is searchable (full content), not just the metadata (keywords). Many of the solutions have built-in/bundled search technology that indexes the content so high-speed search is available to users. Some folks prefer third-party search solutions, such as dtSearch and X1:

    Make sure the solution you get is scalable – something that can handle 10 users may not necessarily scale to 50+.

    There are many solutions in the marketplace for automatically saving attachments to the DMS along with the metadata (Date, From, To, CC, Subject). If your email is Exchange, then you should take a good look at SharePoint, where there are many tools to deal with attachments.

    Good luck in your efforts! Regards, Joe

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