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ABA TECHSHOW

Document Management in the Cloud

Excerpted from “CLOUD BASED DOCUMENT STORAGE” TECHSHOW 2014

By Steven Best and Aaron Brooks

The concept of document management has been around for 20 some odd years.  Industry leaders such as Worldox®, Autonomy by HP® (F/K/A Interwoven, Worksite, and  iManage), and OpenText® (F/K/A Hummingbird and DocsOpen) provide licensed users with the ability to quickly profile documents and e-mails and have their software system store away the document (including e-mails and e-mail attachments) in a pre-determined, index enabled location.  Document Management software indexes every word of every document profile and every word of every readable.   Compared to products like Microsoft SharePoint and/or Microsoft SkyDrive, DropBox, Box, or Google Docs, all offer excellent collaboration capabilities.  However, they do virtually nothing to control where or how users store their documents. Thus, the ongoing challenge of users creating folders virtually at will persists.   And, since users are not required to fill out profiles for each document; if document metadata does exist, it is not validated for accuracy and consistency. As a result, you do not gain the business benefits of document management by simply storing documents in the cloud.  The challenge of easily and confidently finding, managing, or reusing the information you’ve paid to create continues.

Thus, almost simultaneously with the popularity of Cloud Based Document Repositories, users of traditional document management software began demanding that these systems be expanded to permit access to documents from outside the firm’s traditional client server/workstation network system.  Thus began the integration of cloud based document repositories with document management functionality.

The most popular systems include:

NetDocuments®

NetDocuments (www.netdocuments.com)  is probably the top selling and most familiar of the cloud based document management systems on the market in 2014.  NetDocuments has been around for over twelve (12) years and was founded by many of the same people who developed WordPerfect before its acquisition by Corel in the late 1990’s.  NetDocuments is a complete cloud based document repository system, allowing users across the world, given access to a particular company or firm’s files to access documents anywhere in the world, at any time, with an internet connection.  Integration into office programs like Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint®, Outlook® and Adobe® Acrobat are seamless such that users who profile documents into the NetDocuments system barely recognize that they’re storing documents on servers that exist outside their office.  NetDocuments is also operating system agnostic, meaning that both Windows and Mac users can share, collaborate and store documents with NetDocuments.  But, what makes NetDocuments different than systems like SkyDrive and DropBox are that users PROFILE documents when storing same and retrieve documents by querying the NetDocuments database (known as ND Search) to search for document profiles and, most importantly, document content.   As a cloud based Software as a Service system, the only downside to NetDocuments is the never ending cost of licensing.  Users pay by the month and failure to pay can lead to a complete lock-out of all of your document content.  (But that’s the nature of SaaS …. Another discussion which is addressed in other TechShow presentations this week).  The “upside” to SaaS is budgeting for a reasonable monthly fee, coupled with the lack of responsibility for maintaining a server based network.  SaaS based businesses can operate without a local server.  NetDocuments runs about $38.00 per user per month.

Worldox® Cloud

Worldox® is considered by many to be THE industry leader in Document Management software.  We believe that Worldox® is used by more law firms than any other document management software system and its user base continues to expand into scholastic/university legal department, corporate legal departments and government entities (as well as non-legal companies).   And, in response to great demand, the developers of Worldox, in 2012, introduced Worldox GX3 Cloud (http://www.worldox.com/products/worldox_gx3_cloud)  providing the powerful features of its historically proven software with cloud based document repository functionality.  The most important feature of which is text indexing and robust searching.  And, Worldox Cloud integrates with local copies of Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat (and other PDF production software), but also includes Nuance® PDF production software (i.e. you can make a Word document…for example…into a PDF and/or make a PDF searchable with Worldox Cloud).  Worldox GX3 Cloud utilizes storage functionality with a proven leader in cloud based servers (Rackspace®) which ensure compliance with many security requirements of large corporations, government offices, and security conscious businesses).  And Worldox GX3 Cloud is reasonably priced at $55.00 per user per month for complete cloud hosting.  While a bit pricier than NetDocuments, remember that Worldox Cloud includes the Nuance PDF suite and Rackspace security.  Further, firms can also “host” their own Worldox Cloud infrastructure (giving you complete possession of your documents) on their own servers (or rented servers) as well.

 


Reprinted with Permission. 2014© by the American Bar Association.  All rights reserved.  This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association