Documents are an inevitable part of all the organizations. Each organization runs on the core foundation of documentation, hence the document management system needs to be rock solid. In the recent times, it has become impossible to talk about enterprise content management and not mentioning Alfresco.
But ECM faces myriad challenges as well, to throw light on a few of them are follows:
- Getting started with ECM can be pretty overwhelming because of the countless factors including people, process, technology, management.
- It is always difficult to bring about change in an existing system so integrating ECM with the existing system also results in chaos initially in the minds of people.
- Often ECM does not perform all the necessary tasks that we want to perform on a particular document hence leading to the requirement of additional tools.
Over the past decade, Alfresco has achieved a platform and recognition where one comes across the word ‘Alfresco’ as soon as one thinks of enterprise content management. Alfresco document management is by far the best tool to take care of your vital documents. To support my argument let me elaborate the various roles of this system.
The crux of Alfresco document management system is that it is a repository, that provides a store for the content and a wide range of documents. It is very effectively used by the content applications and is a very sturdy content management system.The content is stored directly on the filesystem while the metadata of it is stored in the relational database.The relationships held between the various content items and their properties as mentioned in metadata are defined in one or more content models.
It assists in storing the files in appropriate folders which become easily accessible. One can be pretty sure of accessing the appropriate file without wasting extra time to reach it. The metadata is the most vital segment which contains all the crucial and relevant information associated with a particular file. It maintains a track of so as to who is the author, time of creation, who modified it, when was it last modified, the main keyword of that particular document and a lot more.
Alfresco document management system also inhibits strong content auditing system which keeps a solid record so as to who and when is making even a single edit in a specific document. It keeps a track of all the information relating to that particular document: such as the writers who are writing on that document or who has got only read permission and can view it. It also gives the provision of keeping a well-maintained record of who and when was the document edited and maintains the history. This not only increases the credibility of the information in the documents but ensures to upgrade the safety and security of the useful and important data.
Alfresco provides some of the most exclusive features which make it stand out of the rest of the document management systems. It provides a sturdy folder management system. It helps to set appropriate permission on definite folders. Like for example, giving a few people write or edit option on a definite folder thereby allowing them to make edits on a specific document in that particular folder while giving the rest read permission so that they are just allowed to view documents in that particular folder and unable to make any edits. It also helps in the automatic flow of documents from one folder to the next after the completion of task related to that document in that folder.
Real time collaboration:
Alfresco plays a major role in real-time collaboration, meaning that when more than one person is working on a single document there is a high probability of a rise in conflicts. Alfresco not only shows who all are working on the present document but also keeps a track so as to who and when changes were made in that document. Hence, Alfresco provides an absolute solution to real-time collaboration.
While dealing with documents versioning is an imperative concept and Alfresco caters to it. When a particular document flows through n number of edit cycles it is of sheer importance that there is an option to maintain a copy of the earlier versions of the document. When edits are made in a document then according to the need of the reviewer and writers a few prior versions of the documents (upto a certain fixed number) can be saved for future assistance in Alfresco. This helps in easy comparison of data and ensures the credibility of information.
The large organizations have TBs of data to handle. Thus, it is practically impossible for employees to access a specific document after a long time based on a phrase or content. Many a time they need to search a document relating to a particular topic or phrase. So there pops up the need of an exquisite search tool as well. This enterprise content management system also helps in customizing the search. It can be configured in such a way that the metadata and the other related information are tagged to a specific piece of document.So customizing the search filter becomes feasible and it is capable to locate the particular document depending on a topic or certain phrase.
On an ending note…
Alfresco recently received some renowned recognition. “Alfresco was cited as an undisputed Leader in ECM in The Forrester Wave™: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015 evaluation. Alfresco was also coined a ‘Visionary’ in Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for ECM.”
Alfresco is capable to handle a large amount of documents without requiring a huge server capacity and is able to connect to the cloud solution and share documents without compromising on security. Alfresco is definitely a rock solid platform which can be chosen by CIOs of companies deciding to consider an option outside the legacy document management system. They do not have to live on their legacy systems who are like parasites: high maintenance and starve on innovation.
Alfresco is by far the best ECM system and it never urges to stop growing or introducing latest concepts according to the ever growing needs of the organizations. So I believe the best is yet to come which will not only benefit Alfresco but equally benefit the organizations opting for it. So is your organization Alfresco ready?
References: G2Crowd, Alfresco, Trustradius.