- Choosing the right document management software platform is critical for many businesses.
- Today, there are many document management platforms on the market. Choosing the right solution for your business involves weighing the pros and cons of different systems for your needs.
- Currently, the top three document management software solutions are FileCenter, Paperwise, and NetDocuments
Pros and Cons of the Top 3 Document Management Software Solutions
Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of the top three document management software solutions.
FileCenter Document Management Software
FileCenter is a popular document management platform that automates repetitive tasks, digitizes paper assets, and customizes workflows. Here are the pros and cons of the platform.
1. Ease of Use
Ease of use is the cornerstone of FileCenter's design. Based on the concept of an e-filing cabinet, FileCenter makes it simple and intuitive for users of different technical backgrounds to find, store, and manage documents.
2. Windows Integration
With three out of four office workers using Windows for work, compatibility with Windows is a critical selling point for document management software. FileCenter integrates seamlessly with Windows out-of-the-box and works like a natural extension of the operating system and programs most users are already familiar with – even providing an Explorer View option for users who prefer the Windows UI, as opposed to FileCenter's default UI experience.
3. Scanning and OCR capabilities
Scanning and digitizing paper documents continues to be a significant time sink for many businesses. FileCenter's scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) features include monitoring for new scans from any scanning devices on the network, automated file routing, and rule-based name generation to minimize repetitive, manual tasks.
4. File Organization and Search
FileCenter employs a structured approach to document management and file organization, incorporating the familiar Windows-based folder hierarchy. Additionally, powerful internal search capabilities in FileCenter's single interface make locating documents by name, author, keywords, and metatags easy.
5. Preview and Editing
FileCenter allows users to work in a unified interface rather than toggling between multiple applications for routine tasks. Users who need to reference documents in other applications can preview them without leaving the FileCenter interface. FileCenter also incorporates a full PDF editor so that users can handle the myriad PDF tasks that are common to nearly any business without users needing to constantly switch between applications.
6. Cloud Compatibility
FileCenter offers native integration with today's most widely used cloud storage and collaboration platforms, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint, and OneDrive. As a result, FileCenter users can access their documents from anywhere and on any device.
7. Document Security & Data Freedom
It is worth noting that FileCenter, unlike nearly every document management solution, does not use a database. Files remain in Windows. This means FileCenter users will not need to import or export their files. The latter matters if users eventually decide to switch solutions.
Because files remain in Windows, FileCenter extends Windows Security and active directory-based protocols. Users can password-secure the storage locations and enhance document security through Microsoft's BitLocker to achieve security compliance in regulated industries.
FileCenter is priced to remain a viable option for the SMB and single-user markets while still providing enough muscle for larger companies and enterprise clients.
1. Limited Platforms
FileCenter currently only works in Windows. So for now, at least, Mac and Linux users will have to wait.
2. Limited Fine-Grained Security
While FileCenter inherits the native file and folder security settings from Windows, it does not offer an easy way to set user-based access rules on a document-by-document basis.
3. Potential Learning Curve for Advanced Features
In any system, there's a tradeoff between new, valuable capabilities and immediate intuitiveness. While FileCenter offers an overall user-friendly experience and incorporates UI features based on Windows, new users will still need to learn everything the platform can do for them.
4. Limited Collaboration Features
FileCenter enables the collaboration features used in Microsoft Office but does not support real-time multi-user editing and collaboration.
5. Limited Support for Advanced Workflows
FileCenter has features for customized workflows but there are use-cases such as complex DevOps or contract management workflows that will require more specialized tools.
Process automation developer Paperwise offers a document management software platform also called Paperwise. Here's a summary of the platform's most notable pros and cons.
1. Centralized Storage
Paperwise employs a central document repository, allowing users to store all their documents in one place for easy access and retrieval.
2. Document Security
Paperwise includes many document security and compliance enforcement features, such as:
- Access controls
- Audit trails
3. Workflow Automation
Paperwise users can create custom workflows and define business rules for automated document routing to the appropriate personnel.
4. Version Control
Paperwise keeps track of changes made to documents and persists multiple document versions, allowing users to work on multiple versions simultaneously without risking accidental loss.
5. Improved Collaboration
Paperwise's central repository model enables a degree of collaboration and information sharing above what users can achieve by exchanging email attachments.
6. Native Integration
Paperwise integrates with many common enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
1. Implementation Cost
In addition to subscription costs, users must commit to upfront investment in training and custom integrations.
2. Learning Curve
Without significant upfront training, users may struggle to master the UI and toggle between Paperwise and other necessary work applications.
3. Integration and Compatibility Issues
Paperwise offers native integrations with various cloud services. However, some users report compatibility issues when running Paperwise with other applications.
4. Limited Customization
As a company, Paperwise focuses on developing process automation tools. Document management is one of many use cases for Paperwise software. Consequently, options for in-app customization are limited compared to competitors.
5. Maintenance and Support
Paperwise users must pay for ongoing support for any difficulties encountered while using the application, increasing the total cost of ownership.
6. Vendor Lock-in
Document management is a single use-case in Paperwise's larger software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio. If businesses develop any custom integrations for Paperwise for document management, they may find it harder to freely shop the market for other kinds of IT solutions down the road.
NetDocuments is a cloud-based document management system allowing organizations to securely store, manage, and collaborate on documents. The platform's major pros and cons are:
1. Document Security
NetDocuments' document management security features include capabilities for:
- Multifactor authentication
- Automated security audits
Additionally, the platform contains compliance controls for various industry standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, and ISO 27001.
2. Cloud-Based Model
NetDocuments is a cloud-native SaaS provider. Users can access their services and platforms from anywhere and through any authorized device.
3. Version Control
NetDocuments provides version control features. Users can track changes across multiple versions and revert to previous versions as needed, minimizing the risk of accidental loss.
As a cloud-native SaaS, NetDocuments enables real-time multi-user collaboration and editing. This capability is critical to balancing complexity and time constraints in specific use-cases.
Native integrations for NetDocuments include Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and Salesforce.
Like most cloud-native SaaS providers, NetDocuments is highly scalable, allowing clients to purchase resources on demand. This is an appealing feature for startups and businesses anticipating rapid growth.
As a scalable solution, NetDocuments' monthly subscription rate is variable according to use. For organizations on a tight budget with small margins for overages, predicting monthly expenses can be difficult on pay-as-you-go plans. While owned software requires a more significant upfront investment, it allows organizations to scratch document management subscriptions off their list of monthly expenses.
2. Learning Curve
Cloud-native tools work better with some business types than others. In work environments where document management is primary – rather than one task among many others – the learning curve for systems like NetDocuments may be steep.
3. Internet Dependence
SaaS platforms allow users to work remotely. The flip side of this capability is that organizations don't own and operate an on-premises version of the software. When the internet is down or unreliable, users can't continue working.
4. Limited Customization
NetDocuments offers native integration with various CRMs and ERPs, but options for customization while coordinating with these platforms are limited.
5. Data Migration
Depending on the number of existing documents and regularly incoming hard copies to digitize that your organization needs for day-to-day operations, migrating your archives and new physical assets to NetDocuments may consume excessive time. Large-scale initial migrations may require outside IT help to set up.
6. Privacy Concerns
In regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, federal and state regulations define how organizations can store and transmit the sensitive personal information of patients and clients. Organizations in these industries must carefully evaluate the security standards and practices of any SaaS provider they contract with.
One-Stop Document Management Software Solutions with FileCenter
FileCenter's powerful but friendly document management platform delivers the critical document management capabilities you need in a single purchase. With an intuitive UI that extends familiar Windows functionalities and out-of-the-box integrations for the software you already use, FileCenter can be up and running – and solve your document management challenges – in a matter of hours in most cases.
To learn more and start a free trial, visit FileCenter today.