From traditional EDM to collaborative EDM

Traditional EDM has always offered limited functionalities for the acquisition, processing and distribution of documents within business processes. Functionalities that are no longer sufficient to meet the new collaborative uses observed in companies today. Fans of social networks in their personal lives, employees tend to adopt the same communication reflexes within the company.

Thus, giving your opinion on the content of a document, following the readers of a document, co-publishing or sharing the document with the members of your project team have almost become habits and have greatly stimulated internal collaboration.


The document becomes the support for the collaborative initiative

Logically, therefore, EDM solution vendors have added functionality to cover these new practices. GED has thus also become collaborative and now provides real added value in communication for users. They now have the possibility to enrich a document with comments, to enhance the content of a document through a vote, to recommend the document to a person inside or outside the company, to follow the changes made by readers of a document, etc. The document thus moves from a simple information support to a support of the collaborative initiative in the company. It allows several people mobilized in the face of a problem to convey information and issue data necessary for decision-making.

"The improvement of information and internal communication (26%), the availability of a knowledge base to search for information (24%) and the optimization of individual or collective productivity (19%) are the three main uses of collaborative GED*".


Disposable collaboration and capitalization need 

Employees have adopted organizational digital platforms such as Slack, Hipchat and others to collaborate, both in their personal and professional lives. 40% of respondents* indicate that they are equipped with such a project management solution. They organize themselves into groups, communities and networks to disseminate and consume information, converse freely and informally, and exchange live through simple tools. Observation of the new participatory practices shows that employees make little use of the tools deployed by the company, which are too process-oriented. 50% of respondents deplore the fact that they have to juggle with several EDM applications (generally between 2 and 10) that are often compartmentalized. This is why they are primarily interested in the tools that enable them to carry out their tasks in the simplest possible way, regardless of the future of the content produced. Unfortunately, this form of communication tends to fragment information, which is lost over time. Collaboration in companies has thus become "disposable".


All-in-one platforms to capitalize on content

For a long time, companies have imposed unique tools for everyone in order to ensure the traceability and long-term preservation of information and avoid its fragmentation. But it didn't work. 58% of respondents say they don't have complete freedom to use their IT tools and 58% believe that their expectations and needs are not sufficiently taken into account in the company's IT projects. Thus, for reasons of simplicity, employees have turned to digital platforms where content is created without the company being able to capitalize on it. Also, to enable companies to manage this intangible capital as a strategic asset, there are also all-in-one platforms aggregating CSR, collaborative GED and communication tools.


CSR gives GED a social dimension

The CSR allows employees to be put in contact with each other and to find the right people to deal with a given situation. People who will be able to organize themselves in working groups on an ad hoc basis around the topics that interest them, produce and share content on specific topics. Content that will then be capitalized with the new features of collaborative EDM. Exchanges between two employees via instant messaging, for example, will be capitalized so that we can always find what has been "said". A CSR associated with collaborative GED helps to reduce email usage between employees and avoids overloading already overfilled mailboxes.


Multifaceted GED

Document organization in a company depends on several criteria, including the mapping of business processes, the volume of information, the technological maturity of users, activities and the purpose of the company. This organization tends to promote top-down and transversal collaboration between the various actors, and to allow rapid access to information.

Multi-faceted EDM offers simplified functionalities for the payment and processing of documents within workflows (e.g. validation and archiving of supplier invoices by several actors in the purchasing process) and functionalities for sharing and quick access to documents through a multi-criteria search.

In this classification model, documents are no longer accessible only through an a priori defined index, but also through a personalized combination of criteria. The user also has tools to quickly browse the document to find out what it contains and provide multiple access points to other documents.


One for all, all for one!

Collaborative GED thus makes it possible to organize knowledge and documents relating to different activities and different professions of the organization on the same digital platform with a capacity for precise information restitution. The interest for the organization is to have a single GED tool on the same digital platform. Today, we are demanding more fluidity, especially since, in the end, only a small proportion of employees are now hermetically sealed against the adoption of new tools.


Our study* shows that 71% are absolutely not afraid of new tools and are not afraid of being overtaken by technology. So change is not just now, it's all the time. While taking into account the human factor. Because the difference between what works and what does not lies in the proper consideration of the human factor. In an IT project, it's the same thing. A winning company is a company that knows how to listen and understand its customers, but also a company that knows how to listen to its employees.


* Survey on collaborative GED conducted in January-February 2018 by Archimag and Jalios among 400 respondents. Download the survey.


Source: Article from our white paper "Why does the future of the company necessarily depend on the collaborative?" p18-20, July 2018, produced in partnership with Archimag


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