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Is Your Document Management Social?

Is Your Document Management Social?

How “Social” is Your Business?

It’s a question we usually hear from marketing professionals. They want to know how well we employ tools like Facebook and LinkedIn and whether we’re using those tools to their full potential. They want to know if we’re targeting the right people and using our audience’s attention to nurture new leads.

But being a social business is about more than using social media. It’s also about internal collaboration and how professionals communicate with one another on the job. And when organizations use social channels to improve across-the-board communications, more work gets done – and faster.

CMS developers are creating systems that allow this type of social communication to occur in the workplace. It’s a development that seeks to enhance organizations’ internal workflow and streamline collaboration.

Since these systems were inspired by the social network experience, they highly user-centric and community-oriented – making them fit seamlessly into existing internal processes.

What is “Social” Document Management?

To better understand social document management, let’s consider document management generally. In organizations using enterprise solutions, users will create, share, and modify documents within the document management system before sending them through some kind of pre-determined workflow.

With social features added to the mix, the document management experience becomes more user-centric – an advancement that helps everyone complete tasks with less hassle. Social functionality enables more transparent communication and gives users simple views of comments, messages, and other activities.

Here are just some social tools that are available with these new social document management systems:

  • Activity streams
  • Micro-messaging
  • Rich profile management
  • Simple publishing & administration
  • Shared workspaces

All of these developments turn an already content-centric experience into one that integrates people and teams into a single, interactive project space. It’s a social workplace that centralizes and simplifies communication within a document management platform.

Assuming they already have experience completing tasks in a document management environment, users should have little trouble integrating social communication into their workflows.

Benefit of Social Collaboration

The benefit of social collaboration is easy to pinpoint: it allows users to work more efficiently and effectively. For example, some knowledge management systems have a component that makes it easy to add other users to one of many relation circles. Through their connections in these circles, users can easily communicate via micro-messages and view updates in their activity stream. This allows everyone to stay on top of the team’s tasks and communicate directly in an open forum, rather than playing phone or email tag with everyone involved with the project.

The quick, streamlined communication facilitated by features like this helps underscore the overall benefits of social document management. Social communication makes it easier for users to do their work. When it’s easier to do their work, the work gets done more quickly.

It’s not just a better way to work – it’s a smarter way. Enhanced collaboration empowers teams to be more productive. It leads to faster conflict resolution and better management of content and workflow.

A team-oriented approach to document management streamlines collaborative projects that once occurred in disparate, less-connected workspaces.

A Familiar Social Interface

As we’re all well aware, social media makes it easy for users to share content, publish updates, and communicate within established circles. Social document management seeks to achieve the same, but within an environment built around virtual workspaces. Enterprise document management creators are literally bringing the social media experience to document management.

And why not develop the new social module this way? Social media has already proven how simple it can be to share and comment on content. Applying the most relevant aspects of social media to a collaborative document management environment is a way to harness already well-established communication tools to improve user productivity.

In 2012, we already inhabit social workplaces. Users frequently utilize third-party tools like messaging services and social networks to enhance communication with team members. But it’s a fragmented collaboration environment that isn’t fully integrated with a document management system.

Social content management systems change all that. With an interactive social module, users can park that communication in one place and directly associate it with the content and workflow process. Here is a complete list of CMS systems that are out there. Hopefully this will begin your journey to improved internal work flow.

Guest Author : Roland Benedetti is an IT professional with over 14 years of experience in the fields of content management and information management for leading software vendors, integrators, media and e-business companies. With a mix of technical, functional and management skills, Roland focus primarily on innovation in IT, which often implies Open Source development models. Roland is currently working full time for Nuxeo, a software company providing a full enterprise content management platform, open source, for any kind of content-driven application.

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  • Debayan Das

    a fine piece of article with good relevance regarding the importance of the document management system …. nice analysis…

  • fabiangebert

    thanks for your post on this – did you have a look into StreamDocs yet? That is a social approach to document-related information management.