“Paper equals trees. Save the environment.” You must have seen or heard this in environmental ad campaigns.
Every year the world chops down A 4 billion trees for paper. That sounds like a doomsday scenario. I mean, what are we going to do with all that carbon dioxide, besides watch the world get warmer? We need trees to recycle carbon dioxide. But document management system (DMS) is here to save the day! How? It allows you to stop using paper by creating and storing all your documents electronically. DMS is software that lets you to create and store electronic documents (PDF, MS-Word, and MS-Excel) on the cloud or desktop.
Do you remember floppy disks in the 80’s, CD-ROMs in the 90’s, and of course USB sticks to store your documents? Well, that’s what DMS software does. But unlike the storage systems mentioned above, DMS offers you tons of storage. Actually, infinite storage, depending on how many bucks you are willing to spend. Apart from storage, DMS offers better security, sharing and access rights, editing and viewing file types, and much more.
The definition of DMS that I gave above is a bit “generic.” Let’s get to the point. Gartner defines document management as “a function in which applications or middleware perform data management tasks tailored for typical unstructured documents (including compound documents). It may also be used to manage the flow of documents through their life cycles.” As I said to the point ― you create documents, edit and view them, share them with colleagues or clients, and then archive/store.
Since digital asset management and DMS are part of the broader category of content management system, you might also like to check out my previous blog on digital asset management alternatives. Comparing software in these markets could give you better option for choosing a software.
Dropbox Business is one of the most-reviewed DMS software on Capterra. That’s why I chose it as the “benchmark” to talk about other alternatives. Depending on your business, you might opt for an alternative to Dropbox Business based on cost, software features, customer support, or other factors. To make is easier for you to choose, I have listed the alternatives based on their features, price, pros, and cons.
Let’s begin with eFileCabinet
The software is available in cloud and desktop platforms. The niche feature of this software is that it offers scanners with its software packages. I included this as an alternative software as it ranks at the top of Top 20 Most Popular Software for document management on Capterra. eFileCabinet offers the following document management features:
- Cloud Management
eFileCabinet Online offers cloud storage for your documents. Cloud storage is available on subscription pricing. You can choose either cloud storage or desktop storage. Storing documents on these platforms depends on your mobility and business location. If you have a business spread across many locations, cloud storage is your best bet.
- Role-based permissions
You can give users permission to create/edit your documents based on their business roles. eFileCabinet Online lets you assign permissions to users for setting up and editing files..
eFileCabinet Online has an inbuilt tool, SecureDrawer, to manage documents. The tool organizes documents and helps in setting user permissions. Through SecureDrawer, you can control a document’s version changes. The Quick Access panel creates metadata-enhanced documents with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) security.
The software is available under three subscription plans.
- Capterra users describe customer support for the software as awesome. They also love the SecureDrawer feature as it helps in assigning permissions to other users.
- Capterra users experienced software bugs. These bugs make it difficult to share files with clients. SecureDrawer does not always sync with eFileCabinet.
OfficeGemini offers Dokmee Document Management (Dokmee) to manage and share documents. Dokmee includes document capture and storage, retrieval, search, and file sharing. Dokmee adapts to any business model to improve accessibility and functionality for all documents. The software also increases collaboration and communication between users. Dockmee is available in a mind-boggling 19 languages. Now you can interact with as many international clients as you want.
You can share files across your organization while interacting with your employees. You can also store and manage any file type in Dokmee including PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and much more. Dokmee lets you add notes, annotations, and markups to files. The software also has a built-in Microsoft Office viewer to open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Dokmee lets many users view files and control document version for editing and revisions.
Dokmee includes an audit log to track system and file activity. Based on user activity, the software generates reports. You can also secure files with user restrictions through the Active Directory Integration feature. In this feature, file encryption restricts unauthorized access.
Dokmee’s Workflow approves many documents at the same time. The Workflow inbox is accessible from Dokmee Web and Dokmee Mobile products.
The software is available for free trial. For more information on product pricing, click here.
- Capterra users like the feature of storing documents in the the client folder so that their staff can access documents from any location. For most Capterra users, the software has reduced the time for approving invoices. They also like the Auto-Module Progression feature, which helps in streamlining the workflow of documents.
- Capterra users complain that the customer support of the software is not at par with others. They also mention that text-based search for scanned documents is not user-friendly.
Unlike other software mentioned above, WebMerge has document templates, a niche feature in the category. The software is an online platform that collects data, populates a document, and sends them to users automatically. In a nutshell, the software is flexible with document types and offers dynamic content and delivery options for all businesses.
- Document Templates
WebMerge offers customizable options for all documents. Create your own document templates by using WebMerge’s document builder. If you are using a billing invoice, just create a invoice template and use it many times.
- Data Routing
Do you need to create documents from a single data feed? WebMerge lets you sync data from one feed to other documents, based on pre-defined values. For example, you can use the same online form for lead generation.
- User Access
Integrating WebMerge into your business helps in automating document creation. Your employees can create new documents, manage documents, merge, and much more. But sharing the documents comes with a security risk. You can resolve this risk by customizing account permissions to enhance workflow and communication.
The software is available under four subscription plans.
- Capterra users love integrating WebMerge with their business, as the software creates user-defined PDFs and forms. Users also like the dedicated customer support and are happy that there are no technical bugs.
- Capterra users feel that it takes time to create forms from scratch. The software has a steep learning curve.
4. Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs has a built-in editor to create, share, and collaborate on documents. You can collaborate with other users in real time while working on text files, spreadsheets, and presentations.
- Manage Edits
If you are working on a large team, then managing document edits is easier with Zoho Docs. That’s because the software lets you assign tasks, review content, set deadlines, and track progress. You can create projects folders, invite colleagues, collaborate with them, and edit documents.
- Assign Security Policies
You can protect sensitive data by creating ‘bulletproof’ security policies and assigning them to users based on their role. Zoho Docs also lets you track the type and volume of user generated content in your organization. This user-generated content lets you can track user activity on a daily basis.
The software provides predefined Powerpoint templates. These templates are for billing, charts, reports, and much more. If you don’t have a presentation template in mind then just start fresh with these templates. You can also import file extensions including .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .ppsx, .odp, and .sxi. Zoho Docs is compatible with all types of Powerpoint presentations.
The software is available free for a 15-day trial with three subscription options.
- Capterra users say that the software offers an intuitive interface for document sharing. Collaboration between users is a niche feature that many Capterra users like.
- Some Capterra users feel that the storage is not enough in the free trial plan. They also indicate that the sharing feature should incorporate some elements of Google docs. Capterra users also complain that the file ownership transfer should also be available in the free plan.
Doccept features a document control system that is multi-user based. You can streamline your business process to improve document version control and increase security.
The software configures documents audits while gathering information on documents created by users. This feature allows you to suspend notifications as per your preferred date. In other words, you can setup recurring alerts at customized intervals for specific tasks.
- Doccept Window
The Doccept Window uploads a single document or you can drag and drop files. You can also extract files and folders from zip files uploaded in the Doccept Window. The software also lets you download single files or folders or large compressed zip files. You can preview 100 file formats including PDF, MSOpen Office, and much more in the Doccept Window.
- Edit OCR text
OCR or optical character recognition is a niche feature of this software. An inbuilt OCR engine extracts text from image files such as GIF, TIFF, PNG, and more. With this feature you can edit/correct extracted text from images.
- Capterra users love the archiving feature of Doccept. They can archive many documents with more storage space at a low price. Users also like the dedicated OCR engine that reads texts from images. This saves them time in editing text on images.
- Capterra users don’t have any specific complaints with the software
In this digital age, there are alternatives to saving the environment. One of them is DMS. If you are stilling using the paper-pencil approach to manage your business, then it’s time you shifted to a DMS. Besides saving paper you get enhanced document security, sharing, management and more.
You can also view Capterra’s document management directory for more information on other document management software in the market.
Don’t forget to view Capterra’s Top 20 Most Popular Software for document management. Let me know about any document management software that you particularly love, in the comments section below.