Managing documents, especially using collaboration, can be a very complex, confusing and frustrating process. Let’s take a look at some key issues that may be encountered.
Almost everyone bumps into version control issues. If you are distributing a Word document via email, version control becomes a huge problem. Even worse, if you’re the owner of a document and you send it out to multiple people for review, how do you integrate all of their suggestions on separate Word documents back into your original Word document?
Although Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Systems claim to address version control, a 2011 study by Forrester indicated that 60% of ECM users were not satisfied with their implementation. One key issue emerged –“I still can’t find the current document”. ECM’s play a very important role in organizations as data repositories, however, due to their tremendous flexibility, they normally have fairly complex front ends. If it takes 2-4 hours to train someone to use an ECM, they normally forget how to use it within month or two unless they are using it several hours per day. All those wonderful benefits promised by the ECM implementation are then not realized.
Unfortunately, some ECM systems only allow serial reviews. One person checks out the document and while it is checked out, no one else can make changes to the original document. This serial approach extends the review process and eliminates the potential synergy from a parallel review.
Collaborative authoring tools provide many of the benefits of a parallel review by allowing multiple people to collaborate on a document. Although a team may collaborate on the document, in a business environment, there is normally one person responsible for the content and they publish the final document. If you are a reviewer, you have the benefit of seeing all the changes in real time, but you’re not sure if the document owner has approved them or if they are just suggestions. If you’re the document owner, you may encounter a situation where multiple people change the same word or sentence and the only change you see is the last one entered. You miss the valuable input from multiple reviewers and what if the last suggestion isn’t correct?
If you are the document owner, how do you obtain a final approval from the key contributors and reviewers before issuing the final document? Do you obtain that approval through emails?
If you’re the owner of a document, do you ever wonder if people are even reading your document? Have they approved a document without even reading it? Have they said they have no comments even though they haven’t even read it?
When managing documents, you are normally handling many documents, not just one. How do you keep track of the status of documents that you either need to review or approve? If you are the owner of a document, how do you keep track of who is responsible for reviewing, who is responsible for approving, the due dates for each of those actions and at a glance understanding where you may encounter some problems meeting your due dates? Do you use a spreadsheet that you update manually? Do you use emails that you track through follow ups? Do you just try to remember it in your head?
SavvyDox was designed from the ground up to simplify all of those issues. You don’t need to throw out your multi-million dollar investment in an ECM, you can enhance that ECM and receive all the promised benefits of version control and collaboration by using SavvyDox as a simplified front end integrated with your ECM. Integrated with an ECM or running as a standalone solution, SavvyDox provides a simplified and synergistic collaborative review process that allows reviewers to see and comment on each other’s comments, understand what has been approved by the author, and have page thumbnails identifying exactly what the author has changed since the last version that they read. If you’re the owner of a document, SavvyDox collects all of the user comments into one stream of suggestions that appear as a side panel while viewing a Word document that isn’t cluttered with all the multi-colors of Word Track Changes. SavvyDox provides a simple process for approval and you can even tell who has read which pages of a document. To help you manage all your documents, SavvyDox includes an easy to use dashboard that provides all the information that you need to track due dates, reviewers, and approvers in one location. Best of all, getting started with this SaaS based solution is inexpensive and you can be up and running in a matter of days.
If that sounds interesting, sign up for a no charge trial at www.savvydox.com or contact us at [email protected].