Quality document management programs serve the enterprise

Quality document management programs serve the enterprise

Early versions of workflow, imaging and document management programs worked well in limited workgroup environments. But they fell short in bringing usable knowledge across the enterprise.

A white paper from Altris Software Inc. lists some criteria for enterprisewide document and knowledge management.

Scalability. An enterprise system needs the power to accommodate hundreds or thousands of concurrent users and manage a corresponding increase in the volume of documents without any perceptible degradation in system performance.

Rapid deployment. This translates into a quick return on investment. It is the ability to link large numbers of users at a relatively low cost, while letting them use familiar technology such as Web browsers.

Leveraging the infrastructure. Appropriate document management software builds on a group's existing infrastructure and integrates well with existing business processes. It does this by supporting standards such as the Open Document Management application programming interface and de facto operating system standards.

Lifecycle management. Documents within the entire organization must be accurate and up-to-date, with adequate control and approval methodology. Annotations to a document must be tracked and recorded.

Push and pull. According to Altris, about 80 percent of information filed by an organization, whether as paper, microfilm or electronic files, is retrieved only once'when it's about to be shredded or deleted. a good document management system should let users quickly find and pull information when they want it and should push it immediately to those who need to act on it.

Cost of ownership. A good program:

• has minimal impact on other systems

• requires minimal familiarization and training cycles

• provides centralized management of distributed systems

• features rapid, trouble-free integration with third-party software.

All these factors should be considered in addition to the purchase price of a document management program for the enterprise.

'J.B. Miles

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