March 26, 2013 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Document Management

There are many document management providers representing numerous software vendors and solutions to help you better manage your documents and streamline your critical business processes. What criteria should you use when selecting a document management provider? We suggest you strongly evaluate their expertise as exemplified in three key areas: implementation, training and support.

1) Experienced Implementation Done Right

A strong document management partner will begin working with you by listening closely and understanding your processes and business goals. They will gain an understanding of the entire picture before recommending specific technologies to solve your business problems.

You also want to make sure that your document management partner has an implementation team that is trained and certified on the technologies they recommend. They should be recognized as leading partners by the companies whose software they are reselling— awarded for excellence in service and technical support, a top worldwide reseller and a member of an inner circle of resellers that provide market insight to the software company. You don’t want your implementation being the first one they perform.

For instance, since automating invoice processing is one of the more common applications of document management and office automation software, your provider should be familiar with how invoice processing works, how technology can be used to accelerate the process and how to integrate the document management software with common accounting applications including:

  • ADP
  • Banner
  • ERP
  • Financial Edge
  • IQMS
  • Lawson
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Oracle/PeopleSoft
  • QuickBooks
  • Sage
  • Salesforce

2) Training to Trust

Once configured, the second criteria for ensuring the success of a document management solution lies in effective user and administrator training. Our experience shows that a solid training program is integral to ensuring user acceptance and usage. What good is implementing document management or workflow automation software if no one is going to use it, or use it incorrectly?

Training can be delivered both on-site for local staff and via the web for remote staff, and it is critical that both users and admins are trained. For users, training includes basic operations, such as user log-in, password setting and document retrieval, as well as advanced training that includes scanning documents, adding documents and workflow actions. Administrator training includes modifying security settings, managing users, reporting, and even minor configuration modifications.

3) Support You Can Count On

Ongoing support issues can range from simple configuration training to periodic software upgrades for new features to adding new projects based on the initial project’s success. Support teams who have been certified by the software company can accurately and quickly help you diagnose issues, provide guidance for upgrades and help you expand the solution to different departments. In many cases, these support activities include additional training, which should be delivered by the partner on an as-needed basis. Finally, your document management partner should also be your advocate with the software vendor, and lobby for additional functionalities you need.

Bonus Point – Dig for Details

When choosing a document management partner, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their expertise in implementation, training and support. Good partners will welcome those questions, and be able to answer them with solid examples of their experience and expertise. A strong partner will create a trusted relationship with you and expand their technology solutions to improve efficiency across multiple departments. This enables ongoing process improvement that results in higher efficiency and lower costs. Remember to use these three criteria as a measuring stick for selecting your document management partner and you’ll have taken the first step towards a successful and painless transformation from paper to paperless.