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Workfront logo
 
Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams  to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
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Workfront (formerly AtTask) is a cloud-based project management solution that helps teams  to prioritize, route, manage and report on their work. It is suitable for businesses of any size and industry including IT, architecture and... Read More
 
Widen Collective logo
 
The Widen Collective is a cloud-based brand and digital asset management solution designed for midsize and large businesses. It offers content creation, distribution, and analytics within an integrated suite of products. It also offers... Read More
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The Widen Collective is a cloud-based brand and digital asset management solution designed for midsize and large businesses. It offers content creation, distribution, and analytics within an integrated suite of products. It also offers... Read More
 
eFileCabinet logo
 
Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet is an online document management software (DMS) that is used by companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries such as accounting/financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare. The solution... Read More
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Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet is an online document management software (DMS) that is used by companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries such as accounting/financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare. The solution... Read More
 
Libris logo
 
Libris by PhotoShelter is a cloud-based digital asset managemnt solution for businesses in many industries. Users can upload, organize and share digital assets such as photos, videos and more, with no limit on asset size. Users can... Read More
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Libris by PhotoShelter is a cloud-based digital asset managemnt solution for businesses in many industries. Users can upload, organize and share digital assets such as photos, videos and more, with no limit on asset size. Users can... Read More
 
M-Files logo
 
M-Files is a content management tool that helps users organize, manage and track documents and information. The solution is suitable for small and large businesses in multiple industries. On-premise, cloud-based and hybrid deployments... Read More
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M-Files is a content management tool that helps users organize, manage and track documents and information. The solution is suitable for small and large businesses in multiple industries. On-premise, cloud-based and hybrid deployments... Read More

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ContractSafe logo
 
ContractSafe is a cloud-based content management system (CMS) suitable for businesses of any size. Key features include document management, contract management, key date alerts, permissions and reporting and analytics. ContractSafe... Read More
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ContractSafe is a cloud-based content management system (CMS) suitable for businesses of any size. Key features include document management, contract management, key date alerts, permissions and reporting and analytics. ContractSafe... Read More
 
FileHold Document Management logo
 
FileHold Enterprise is a document management solution that helps large organizations to transition to a paperless work environment. FileHold can be installed on premise or on a secure private or public cloud. Features include: multi... Read More
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FileHold Enterprise is a document management solution that helps large organizations to transition to a paperless work environment. FileHold can be installed on premise or on a secure private or public cloud. Features include: multi... Read More
 
PolicyTech logo
 
PolicyTech is a policy and procedure management solution from NAVEX Global suitable for all industries including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, energy and law enforcement. PolicyTech offers tools... Read More
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PolicyTech is a policy and procedure management solution from NAVEX Global suitable for all industries including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, energy and law enforcement. PolicyTech offers tools... Read More
 
Content Central by Ademero logo
 
Content Central is a document management software that helps companies to sort and store documents. The software has a multi- deployment option and is available as a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) model or can be hosted on premise. The... Read More
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Content Central is a document management software that helps companies to sort and store documents. The software has a multi- deployment option and is available as a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) model or can be hosted on premise. The... Read More
 
Apparound CPQ logo
 
Apparound CPQ provides a CPQ (configure price quote) module that helps sales teams create quotes without errors, engage customers in the sales meetings and simplify sales management. Apparound solution is designed to improve the speed... Read More
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Apparound CPQ provides a CPQ (configure price quote) module that helps sales teams create quotes without errors, engage customers in the sales meetings and simplify sales management. Apparound solution is designed to improve the speed... Read More

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Document Locator logo
 
Document Locator is enterprise document management software that is uniquely integrated into Microsoft Windows. The platform is integrated with Microsoft Office and other business applications, and works directly inside of Windows... Read More
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Document Locator is enterprise document management software that is uniquely integrated into Microsoft Windows. The platform is integrated with Microsoft Office and other business applications, and works directly inside of Windows... Read More
 
Contract Logix Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) logo
 
Contract Logix Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software is a modular contract management solution. It offers features such as workflow automation tools, electronic document repository, advanced search options, contract creation... Read More
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Contract Logix Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software is a modular contract management solution. It offers features such as workflow automation tools, electronic document repository, advanced search options, contract creation... Read More
 
Contentverse logo
 
Contentverse is a cloud-based content management system designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. It is suitable for large and midsize businesses in all industries and allows users to upload, store and edit documents, search... Read More
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Contentverse is a cloud-based content management system designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. It is suitable for large and midsize businesses in all industries and allows users to upload, store and edit documents, search... Read More
 
Centralpoint logo
 
Centralpoint by Oxcyon is a content management solution that can be installed on-premise or accessed on the cloud from any mobile device with an internet connection.The modular applications can be deployed in a configuration that suits... Read More
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Centralpoint by Oxcyon is a content management solution that can be installed on-premise or accessed on the cloud from any mobile device with an internet connection.The modular applications can be deployed in a configuration that suits... Read More
 
FileCloud logo
 
FileCloud is a cloud-based file sharing and sync system that allows users to access and sync business data from any device. It offers file sharing, backup, remote access and sync. Users can access files via web browser, browser add-on,... Read More
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FileCloud is a cloud-based file sharing and sync system that allows users to access and sync business data from any device. It offers file sharing, backup, remote access and sync. Users can access files via web browser, browser add-on,... Read More

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DocStar Enterprise Content Management logo
 
DocStar Enterprise Content Management serves large and midsize businesses across all industries and provides tools to upload, store and share documents in a variety of formats. Cloud-based and on-premise versions of the software are... Read More
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DocStar Enterprise Content Management serves large and midsize businesses across all industries and provides tools to upload, store and share documents in a variety of formats. Cloud-based and on-premise versions of the software are... Read More
 
Dropbox logo
 
Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing software system that caters to individuals and businesses of all sizes. This solution allows users to share files and send file requests to people even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.... Read More
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Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing software system that caters to individuals and businesses of all sizes. This solution allows users to share files and send file requests to people even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.... Read More
 
Microsoft SharePoint logo
 
Microsoft SharePoint is a popular option for businesses looking to better manage and analyze its data. A good fit for organizations that currently use Microsoft Dynamics products and store information using Microsoft SQL Server.
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Microsoft SharePoint is a popular option for businesses looking to better manage and analyze its data. A good fit for organizations that currently use Microsoft Dynamics products and store information using Microsoft SQL Server.
 
OneDrive logo
 
OneDrive is a cloud-based content management solution that provides organizations with a platform to collaborate, share and store documents. This system enables cross-platform synchronization and prevents data loss. OneDrive allows... Read More
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OneDrive is a cloud-based content management solution that provides organizations with a platform to collaborate, share and store documents. This system enables cross-platform synchronization and prevents data loss. OneDrive allows... Read More
 
WebMerge logo
 
WebMerge is a web-based document management system that enables users to merge data from the cloud into custom PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or PDFs. The solution can be used by businesses of any size... Read More
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WebMerge is a web-based document management system that enables users to merge data from the cloud into custom PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or PDFs. The solution can be used by businesses of any size... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 15, 2017


You might assume that records management and document management are the same thing. After all, the terms “records” and “documents” are often used interchangeably. However, that doesn’t mean they are the same. And if you want to protect your business from legal, regulatory or compliance problems, you really should know the difference.

Records are a specific type of document or file, which can be either physical (paper) or digital. What sets records apart is the fact that they can be used as legal proof that something (or some relationship) exists or existed at the time the record was created. The preservation and management of records is an absolutely critical aspect of businesses that rely on them. Records management software ensures that nothing is lost or overlooked.

In this Buyer’s Guide, we’ll focus on records management software and discusses the following topics:

What Is Records Management Software?
Common Features of Records Management Systems
Advice for Choosing Records Management Software

What Is Records Management Software?

A records management system serves two general functions. The first, discussed below, is to ensure that a company meets legal and regulatory requirements.

But records management systems also serves a more general function: They greatly simplify the many workflow processes required to create, distribute and maintain accurate records. They have this in common with (the more general purpose) document management software, and for this reason there are many similarities between the two.

As mentioned above, records are a very specific type of document that can serve as legal proof or evidence. (Think of it like squares and rectangles: a record is a type of document, but not all documents are records.) As such, records are often necessary in order to prove compliance with regulations and laws.

In some industries, compliance must be shown at periodic intervals. For example, a food distributor uses records to demonstrate compliance with food safety regulations and may need to do so every year or every quarter, as mandated by local regulations.

In other cases, records may not be requested until after an incident. If a worker gets injured at work, for example, a resulting lawsuit could compel the employer to demonstrate that safety guidelines were followed. Without the appropriate records showing that the safety guidelines were in place, the business could be exposed to increased liability.

Common Features of Records Management Systems

Many vendors offer records management software, and there can be substantial differences among their offerings. However, there are some basic features that are common to most records management systems.

To give you a better understanding of the core functionality, we've created a table outlining those most common features.

Inventory management The core feature of a records management system. Includes basic functions, such as scanning, duplicating, sending and saving, as well as more advanced functions, such as automation based on a company’s retention and classification policies.
Search tools Make sure employees can find the correct records when they’re needed. These usually work with a variety of search operators or content fields, so users can locate a record even if they only know, for example, the record’s date of production or last use.
Compliance tracking Assists with ensuring records are maintained (updated) as required by law or company policy. A compliance tracking function might, for example, issue periodic alerts that certain records need to be updated, modified or replaced.
System of record Used to organize multiple versions of the same record, ensuring that the master copy reflects any changes made to other versions and lets administrators track changes and record ownership as records move through an organization.
Retention and classification tools Retention tools ensure documents are saved in the system for as long as needed, either as required by law or company policy. Classification tools help automate the organization, storage and retrieval of records by grouping them into categories depending on their business function.

Advice for Choosing Records Management Software

Choose the wrong customer service software, and you might start to lose customers. On the other hand, if your company has poor records management, it could end up facing fines, penalties, lawsuits, and even criminal prosecution. Clearly, neither situation is ideal, but at least there are warning signs if customers start to leave. If you have the wrong records management software, you may not even be aware of the problem until it’s too late.

  • If your company has a large amount of paper records that it hopes to digitize, then look for records management software with integrated scanning capabilities.
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  • If your company has so many paper records that digitizing them all would be unfeasible, but you still need to organize and manage them, consider solutions with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking to help bridge the gap between digital and paper.

Capture document scans in records management software Docufree's Path to Paperless Software

Record scanning app in Docufree's Path to Paperless Software

Finally, ensure that records management software is really what you need. Sometimes companies think they need records management software, but they’d actually be better served with a document management platform. And the opposite can also be true. Ultimately, companies must find the right balance of functionalities that will improve existing workflow processes while adding a layer of safety and oversight to its management of important records.

If you’re unsure which type of system best fits your organizational needs, make sure you examine both types before making a decision. Alternatively, give us a call, and we’ll help you decide.

 

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