M-Files: the New Enterprise Content Management System?
With so much talk about Enterprise Content Management systems lately, I wanted to take a closer look at what is out there so I went back and reviewed the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM report. The category that intrigued me the most was the Visionaries quadrant because my interest is always piqued when I see people in the industry making efforts to go beyond serving, and evolve the industry in which they exist, and there sitting all by itself was M-Files, the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system that helps enterprises find, share, and secure documents and information.
What makes M-Files ECM so Visionary?
In the Magic Quadrant for ECM: "Gartner has recast its definition of ECM in 2016 to emphasize the strategic need for a more dynamic, flexible and adaptable approach to content in the enterprise." Their approach focuses on “what“ information is and what it is related to in order to establish the context and relevance rather than “where” the information is stored. This whole new way of organizing, processing, securing, retaining and disposing of information I believe fits perfectly with Gartner’s new definition of ECM, thus placing them in the visionaries quadrant. It’s all about finding the information quickly and most relevant for the task at hand. Since this varies and change is constant within organizations, it’s highly dynamic and personalized. You could say the “old” verse the “new” makes them a visionary in their own right.
"Before M-Files, all other alternatives on the market focused on locking up documents and other information in silos with complicated interfaces that make it difficult to find the right information and create barriers to user adoption," said Jim Geary, executive chairman at M-Files Corporation. "We're succeeding because M-Files offers a fundamentally different approach that unlocks information and breaks down silos. With M-Files it's all about context, flexibility and simplicity, making information accessible in a unified way across the organization no matter where it's stored. The result is a 360° view that ensures the right information is found quickly. Couple that with an intuitive interface that people love to use and it's easy to see why M-Files is growing so much faster than the rest of the market. Our approach and vision is also why analysts are rethinking the definition of ECM, and why Gartner named M-Files the only visionary in the ECM Magic Quadrant."
With traditional enterprise content management and document management systems being at times expensive, complicated products that can require major changes to business processes and extensive IT services and support, M-Files changes this paradigm by providing a powerful yet easy-to-use solution that helps businesses organize, manage and track documents and information securely.
M-Files helps businesses succeed in today’s fast-paced and information-intensive environment by improving efficiency and maximizing the reusability of information and, because of M-Files’ unique metadata-driven architecture, you can find the right document instantly with a simple keyword search. This is obviously a much faster and more effective means of locating information, rather than having to navigate through complex and confusing network folders. In addition, check-out and check-in features eliminate the problems of data loss and “version creep”, that can happen when simultaneous changes to documents are made by multiple users.
M-Files offers cloud, on-premise and hybrid options so in a short period of time, you can begin to reap the benefits of effective information and process management, avoiding the chaos and confusion of the network folder approach. With advanced reporting features, mobile document access and the ability to seamlessly integrate with existing CRM and ERP systems, M-Files provides a flexible platform that supports a wide-range of business needs and requirements.
The Benefits of M-Files Enterprise Content Management
• Controlled editing of documents.
• Integration with existing systems.
• Quick & easy access to information.
• Scanning & Archiving.
• Ease of use anywhere.
• Dynamic views.
• Replication and long-term archiving.
• Secure and automated access control.
• Workflow and business process efficiency.
With hundreds of documents created, edited and shared in your business daily, it can make managing files a struggle. M-Files understand this pain point, so it is designed to take away this frustration by providing a variety of features, including versioning, integration and mobile options so your files are easy to find and edit, while remaining secure.
M-Files is also designed to make your workflow a much easier, faster and more efficient process by allowing you to specify who is in charge of each task, so the correct individual can view or approve content before it is distributed to others. This means that once a document has been approved, edited or reviewed, it will automatically be sent to the next designated person. That individual will then receive an email alerting them a document is ready and available to be accessed, effectively keeping the workflow in motion.
In addition, individuals can approve new versions of content before it is distributed, and with versioning capabilities, can review past versions of documents. The ability to check documents in and out, ensures that only one person at a time can make changes to a file. M-Files also offers integration options so you can integrate M-Files directly with Microsoft Office, making the workflow process run smoothly and ensuring your corporation's documents are safely stored and easily accessible, as you can view and edit all of your files directly in a Microsoft Office program.
In terms of security measures, you can set permissions for specific documents, meaning only certain individuals are allowed to view, edit or delete a file and if a file is not permitted to an individual, it will not appear when they search for the document. To ensure productivity, this solution is accessible on your mobile device and can work offline if you cannot connect to the internet.
This enterprise CMS offers a depth of features, not only numerous options for editing and collaborating on content, but it allows you to get all content changes approved before it is distributed around the company. Overall, M-Files can help manage the files and documents for your large business and provides the tools needed to keep your company's workflow continual, and with the rate they are growing compared to other vendors, they are definitely the one to watch out for.
Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.