Document Management in the Cloud

With the ubiquity of the Internet, digital documents are a cornerstone of businesses. While telephones and email are used for much of the communication, it is the documents that provide the most critical connection between B2B and B2C.

Old techniques of creating and refining documents collaboratively included floppy disks and flash drives. Later, technologies such as Microsoft Exchange provided a tool for users on different workstations to work with these documents. These systems, however, are often limited. Today, some cloud-based CRM systems can allow business to work collaboratively in an easy but effective manner.

Why is document management essential for CRM systems?

CRM systems provide a suite of tools that help a business handle day-to-day activities. Of the features often discussed, the emphasis is placed on tools specifically designed to enhance interactions with customers.

With document management features included – a CRM system is complete. Like Exchange, these CRM-based systems operate much like a shared folder. They are updated continuously, and these platforms permit instant access to documents and all recent changes. Companies that wish to keep a record of changes can track changes over time. Further, any document format can be used; businesses are not tied to a particular format. Binary documents, spreadsheets, and other non-text-based documents are supported.

Cloud-based document management allows users to access documents from any location. Instead of having to configure computers to access a company’s Exchange server, cloud-based CRM solutions enable users to access these documents from any location with any operating system. By freeing workers from the confines of a closed network, these solutions permit greater flexibility and can allow workers to make necessary changes on the go.

Further, users with portable devices that have trouble connecting with Exchange servers can access documents with their device’s web browser. Cross-platform support is included by default; by using a standard web browser for access, computers do not require specific software. Companies with users who use Apple computers will not have to find concrete solutions.

How safe is it in the cloud?

Cloud-based CRM solutions have top-notch security built in. By utilizing standard web security measures, these document management systems use the most thoroughly tested security implementations available. Any vulnerability is quickly patched. Exchange servers and other similar solutions are notorious for having a buggy and exploitable code, and break-ins are not uncommon. With standard Internet privacy and encryption schemes coupled with platform-specific implementations, these document management platforms have several layers of security that are difficult to attack.

These document management systems’ incorporation within CRM platforms allows them to be better integrated within the company’s other business activities. The software can sometimes utilize the information stored in these documents to make adjustments in other facets of the CRM system. For some implementations, it is possible to use these documents as portable databases in which information can be stored. Further, automated web access can allow programs to access these documents for a variety of uses.

CRM solutions can help a business to achieve company-wide integration between their various activities. A platform that also adds document management capabilities has significant advantages over one that does not. When looking for a CRM solution, try to find one that includes this essential functionality.