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What is Document Management Software?

       Business Management

Date Published: July 2006


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Document Management is a term that has come more to the fore in recent years, and there appears to be a lot of companies touting Document Management Software that would, from what they say, appear to not only save your life, but save the world! But what exactly is Document Management, what does software do to help in Document Management, and can it save you and the world?!

Whats a document?
To understand what Document Management is, we firstly need to define what exactly a document is. Very often, the first image that comes to mind when we think of a document is an official looking piece of paper, or bound pieces of paper. The fact is that a document can be any object that conveys information to us. A simple letter, for example, is a document, or a whole series of sheets of paper may make up a single document.

These days, documents are not just pieces of paper. Scanning facilities mean that what was once a piece of paper can now be a digital file, storing the same information. Emails are now very often used instead of physical letters, and they may be electronically stored and transmitted, but they are still documents.

The Digital Age
As computers have made communications quicker and easier, so this has allowed there to be many more communications produced. This combined with the digital age touching almost every area of our lives, including digital voice telecommunications and document scanning, has meant that we are able to convert almost every document (voice mail is just another type of document, since it is another type of object that conveys information) into digital files.

Document Management is the process of being to store all these different types of documents, and also (perhaps more importantly) to be able to locate the relevent documents quickly and easily when required.

Centralising your Documents
Good Document Management software will enable you to manage all your different types of document from one central place. In most cases, a business will want to be able to view documents relating to a specific client, and by combining these two functionalities you will have a document management package that will allow you to view all documents and communications with a specific contact, whether it be letters, emails, faxes or telephone conversations.

Life saver? World saver?
So, the question is, will this save your life, or indeed the world? It is safe to say that it won save the world, and whether it saves your life is certainly open to debate. However, it is clear that a good Document Management software package that enables you to implement an efficient Document Management strategy can certainly have a major positive on your business. Not only will it save you time, but will enable you to project an efficient and prompt image to your customers.

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