Saturday, 7 March 2009

Electronic Document Managment is all I thought about this week

I'm a little late posting this week, and I'm going to shamelessly play the pity card. I injured my lower back which makes it uncomfortable to sit/stand/lie down/do anything!

That said, I actually had quite a busy week at work, and it was all about Electronic Document Management (EDM). First of all, a large chunk of my time was spent uploading and indexing a collection of resources into a Sharepoint document library. There is something incredibly satisfying in being able to populate 8 different fields with info on the one document, instead of trying to cram everything into a single file name on your share drive.

So I'm creating all this beautiful metadata, but the Sharepoint basic search is pretty much ignoring it when it comes to returning and ranking search results. (Makes me want to tear my hair out!) We are now investigating appropriate search plugins to rectify this situation. Does anybody know of a good Google-style search plugin that works with both document full text and assigned metadata? Much obliged!

I also had a wonderful "lightbulb" moment this week. We have commenced work on the next whitepaper, which is going to be all about accountants and the paperless office. Now this was troubling me for two reasons:
1) I don't know all that much about accountants despite them being the majority of our customers (!)
2) The term Paperless Office sends me straight back to the '90s and seems incredibly passe.

Then the whitepaper team sat in on a presentation regarding CCH Prosystems fx, our document management and workflow software for small to medium accounting firms. And I realised that it doesn't matter what your profession is, being "paperless" in the 2000s means Electronic Document Management. And of course EDM is a big component of Knowledge Management AND modern libraries. Which I know all about (or at least something about). Huzzah! Suddenly this whitepaper is no longer the Great Unknown.

So now we are wondering what consitutes the "paperless" ideal for most enterprises these days? We're inclined to think that just like "full employment" is classed as 95%, perhaps "paperless" actually means, I dunno, 80% of tasks are achieved without paper. Over the next week I'll be looking around for any benchmarking studies on this issue. If you know of any or have some thoughts on the topic, please let me know!