Best Document Management Software

by Andreas RiveraLast Modified: January 2, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
State of the Industry
Reviews
Pricing
Negotiation
What Should I Expect from DMS Software?
What We Evaluated, What We Found
Map
Services
Compare Quotes

The Best Document Management Software For 2018

The shift from analog to digital technologies has impacted every facet of business. Nowhere is going paperless more noteworthy than in the process of managing company documents and files. At their most basic, document management systems help you create and manage digital files in a central location accessible to every member of your organization who requires access. The best systems help you scan and upload your existing paper documents to the digital system as well, truly bringing your company into the digital era.

These systems aren't just designed for digitizing your files, but also for streamlining the way your workflows operate. Some offer built-in collaboration tools to boost employee productivity, and nearly all come with security protocols that ensure your documentation is safe from hackers and other prying eyes. Depending on the size and technical capabilities of your business, document management systems can be cloud-based or locally hosted, and almost all allow you to save your documents in the cloud for anytime, anywhere access.

Best Picks

Overall
Enterprise
Asset Management
Digital Asset Management
M-Files DMS - Document Management Software

Best Document Management System for Small Businesses

M-Files DMS - Document Management Software

M-Files DMS is a complete document management system with workflows to keep track of any changes or required attention on specific documents. The system is easily accessible from any internet-connected device after an initial download of the software is complete. The system itself is easy to use and learn.

In addition to the core document management functions, M-Files DMS offers scheduling and management tools that will help keep your team on task and boost productivity. M-Files also includes automatic backup and restore features in the event of corruption or file loss. Those files are stored both on your own server and offsite in the cloud. It's also compatible across both Windows and Mac, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices, making it a versatile solution.

M-Files - Document Management Software

Best Document Management System for Enterprises

M-Files - Document Management Software

M-Files CMS is the enterprise content management solution from M-Files. It's a feature-rich program that includes versioning, integration and document workflow tools. In some ways, M-Files CMS mimics a project management system by allowing users to specify who is in charge of what tasks and set administrator approvals and edits. Once approved, the document moves along to the next person. These features boost productivity and streamline the process of working together.

In addition to collaboration features, M-Files CMS boasts integrations with third-party software and applications like Microsoft Office, making document creation and organization seamless across your whole system. Users can also set permissions to restrict file access to only those who truly need it, increasing security and keeping things tidy between teams.

AssetPoint

Best Asset Management Software

AssetPoint

AssetPoint is an enterprise asset management system, which is designed for compatibility across a number of different industries. The system manages asset inventory, purchases, work orders and preventative maintenance. It can also govern regulatory compliance, ensuring your company is following health, safety and environmental requirements.

This solution tends to be geared toward more industrial uses but is applicable to other industries as well, such as food service. It tracks asset performance, maintenance, and repair needs over time and allows users to gauge how much money a device might be costing the company. Any employee or subcontractor can easily view historical information about the asset on any internet-connected device, as well as update it with the most recent information.

Widen Collective

Best Digital Asset Management Software

Widen Collective

Widen Collective is digital asset management software that is intuitive and easy to use, with an interface similar to most operating systems' directories. Drag-and-drop functionality also makes Widen Collective easy to use. Uploading digital assets, such as software, provides a means for employees and clients alike to access whatever you upload. Widen Collective also boasts unlimited storage space, so you won't be hampered in uploading several large assets.

Third-party integrations are essential with a digital asset manager, and Widen Collective maintains many key integrations like WordPress, Dropbox, Salesforce and Zapier. It also offers an open API, allowing your developers to build integrations to other software. This is important because it allows you to unify Widen Collective with any contacts or content you already maintain on your system and might need to work in concert with the software.

State of the Industry

The document management industry is relatively large. Last year, industry revenue totaled $6 billion. It's also a growing industry, with a CAGR of 1.1 percent from 2012 through 2017. All told, there are 1,821 businesses in the document management space, which employ more than 58,000 people.

One particularly fast growth of the document management systems market is in the medical field. Hospitals, doctors' offices and other elements of the healthcare ecosystem like labs are implementing electronic health record systems. In 2016, this segment made up $286.6 million of the document management systems market. That number is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5 percent to $789.9 million by 2023.

The industry is also in consolidation mode. Possibly driven by competition from Google Drive, Dropbox and others, industry leaders are merging or acquiring one another. For example, in 2016, OpenText acquired IBM's Documentum, both of which were early players in the industry. While consolidation continues, the industry remains relatively fragmented.

The product itself is also evolving, changing to incorporate collaborative tools and project management elements. As this sort of sophisticated integration improves, document management systems are becoming less a central archive for document storage and digitization (although they still are very much that) and more a way to share and work on files with other members of the organization. Client portals are even being incorporated so your clients can access the documents that are relevant to them, which can go a long way toward improving your customer satisfaction.

Reviews

Here are all our reviews of document management software providers. These reviews cover both small business and enterprise document management, enterprise content management, and digital asset management software.

Pricing

Pricing models vary depending on the hosting options you choose. Most cloud-based software is priced on a monthly or annual subscription model, while locally hosted options tend to be purchased and owned by your company outright. How much you pay, of course, depends both on the model and the specific service.

  • Cloud-based solutions range from about $10 per month to $50 per month.
  • On-premises solutions range in cost from $30 to $800.

Most document management systems either offer cloud-based service or local hosting; very few offer both. That means you'll likely have to decide early on. Hosting locally is cheaper in the long run because it's a one-time cost, but it also means you'll have to pay for all the hardware upfront and maintain a team with the know-how to run it. On the other hand, cloud-based solutions are scalable, growing with your business; if you have plans to expand in the near term, paying the subscription fee might be worth it.

Editor's Note: Looking for document management software? We can help you choose the one that’s right for you. Use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free:

 

 

Negotiation

As the industry undergoes changes, document management systems are starting to differentiate themselves from one another. The most basic ones serve as central storage and digitization software, while more complex software allows for increased collaboration and task management amongst team members. What you're looking for precisely is up to you, but here are some questions to ask any vendor: ·   

  • What operating systems support this software?
  • Is document imaging and digitization included?
  • Are there any collaboration tools, document workflow or project management elements?
  • Do you offer PDF conversion?
  • Do you offer version control?
  • How many users can access the database? At one time? 
  • What third-party software can the system integrate with?
  • What level of support can I expect to receive?

You should closely review any legal documents or contracts before signing, of course. Ensure the company will truly offer you everything you've discussed, and be sure to have an exit strategy. If you're unable to cut ties without paying cancellation fees, that might be a red flag.

What Should I Expect from DMS Software?

Document management software comprises a comprehensive set of tools designed to help you create and manage a paperless office. Rather than using multiple programs to handle the various stages of a paperless workflow, this software delivers all of the functionality you need in a single interface.

Most DMS applications include imaging tools that interface with your scanner to convert paper documents into digital files, enabling you to scan and import documents directly into a central document repository. Many software packages also include customizable document-creation templates and associated tools that automatically format newly scanned files to match formatting standards for your office or that comply with industry standards.

In addition to scanning paper documents, many DMS applications let you import most types of digital documents: PDFs, word processing files, spreadsheets, image files and many other file formats. Once a document is imported into the system, it's stored in a data repository that can be made accessible to others in your office and, in many cases, outside your office.

The best DMS packages give you the ability to grant access to individuals to specific documents in the repository as needed. Many software packages also let you store your documents in the cloud, allowing individuals with permission access to any file from anywhere in the world using a web browser and an internet connection.

Depending on the program you choose, you either pay to own the software outright, sometimes referred to as a self-hosted model, or you make monthly payments for a subscription to the software, often referred to as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. 

Pricing varies within and between the two sales models. Among packages sold in a SaaS model, costs can range from roughly $10 per month to nearly $50 per month. Software packages for onsite installation cost anywhere from $30 to nearly $800. PinPoint is one of the few options available in both a SaaS version and as an outright purchase.

Document Management Software: What We Evaluated, What We Found

In assessing the best DMS platforms, we first examined the installation process to determine how challenging it is to install and then operate the software. Then we assessed the complexity of adding documents and manipulating existing documents already in the system.

Based on the results of our tests, we assigned each application an Ease of Use score from zero to 100 percent. The highest-scoring DMS systems feature intuitive tools, streamlined workflows and easy-to-learn procedures that make the transition to a paperless office quick and easy.

These programs are also flexible and feature varied technical support options, making them a solid choice for all kinds of businesses. Based on our research, below are the features you'll want to pay close attention to in order to find the best DMS system for your business.

Features: Regulatory Compliance Support Is Not Universally Available

Many businesses operating in regulated industries are required by law to track, maintain and audit business documents. Among the DMS applications on our list, slightly more than half provide a document control system that supports the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley, Good Manufacturing Practices required by the FDA, or ISO 9000/9001 regulatory compliance requirements.

This is a critical capability that many businesses cannot afford to do without. If your business operates under regulatory compliance requirements, you'll want to confirm this capability is included in the package you are considering with the software manufacturer.

Tools: Version Control Is Critical

Version control tools are critical to safeguarding and tracking editable documents within a DMS. They ensure that all new edits are properly saved and old versions are retained in the system for later access.

These capabilities are especially important when multiple people in the office have editing access to the same file. In most DMS systems, version control limits editing access to a given file to a single person at a time, forcing other users into read-only status until editing is completed. In some systems, you can set a notification to alert specific users when a particular file is edited.

Integration: CRM & ERP Integration Are Uncommon

If your business utilizes a CRM application or an ERP database, you will want to limit your search to DMS solutions that integrate seamlessly with the programs you use daily. While you can use software that doesn't integrate with your CRM or ERP program, choosing compatible software allows you to access, edit, back up and monitor digital files and documents created within your CRM or ERP program seamlessly, further increasing office efficiency.

Of the 10 products on our list, five are specifically designed to integrate with CRM and ERP platforms, so it's worth the time to identify compatible options during your initial software research (Check our review matrix for more detail).

Another noteworthy fact is that most document control systems are designed to integrate with popular email clients such as Microsoft Outlook and business software suites like Microsoft Office.

Map

Seismic
12770 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA
Seismic
DocuShare
39 Broadway
New York City, NY
DocuShare
Nuxeo
321 Billerica Road
Chelmsford, MA
Nuxeo
Ademero
4798 Florida Ave S
Lakeland, FL
Ademero
RazunaDenver, CO
Razuna
Canto
116 New Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
Canto
AssetPoint
770 Pelham Road
Greenville, SC
AssetPoint
Schneider Electric
70 Mechanic Street
Foxborough, MA
Schneider Electric
To-Increase
600 Cordwainer Drive
Norwell, MA
To-Increase
AssetWorks
998 Old Eagle School Road
Wayne, PA
AssetWorks
Mintek
333 Douglas Rd E
Oldsmar, FL
Mintek
IFS
300 Park Boulevard
Itasca, IL
IFS
SAP
3999 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA
SAP
Infor
641 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, NY
Infor
eFileCabinet
3300 N Ashton Blvd
Lehi, UT
eFileCabinet
PinPoint
Fullerichstrasse 34
Bern,
PinPoint
Widen Collective
6911 Mangrove Lane
Madison, WI
Widen Collective
Bynder
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, MA
Bynder
Extensis Portfolio Server
1008 Western Ave
Seattle, WA
Extensis Portfolio Server
Picturepark
200 S Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL
Picturepark
MediaValet
375 Water Street
Vancouver, BC
MediaValet
Filecamp
Waldheimstrasse 31
Filecamp
WebDAM
1730 S Amphlett Blvd
San Mateo, CA
WebDAM
FileNet Content Manager
1 New Orchard Road
Armonk, NY
FileNet Content Manager
Lexmark
740 W. New Circle Road
Lexington, KY
Lexmark
FileCenter Pro
710 East Technology Ave
Orem, UT
FileCenter Pro
LaserFiche
3545 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA
LaserFiche
Alfresco
1825 S Grant Street
San Mateo, CA
Alfresco
OnBase
28500 Clemens Road
Westlake, OH
OnBase
Speedy Organizer
10 Wailea Ekolu Place
Kihei, HI
Speedy Organizer
M-Files DMS - Document Management Software
6400 International Parkway
Plano, TX
M-Files DMS - Document Management Software
DocPoint
8161 Maple Lawn Blvd
Fulton, MD
DocPoint
BlueDoc
24-26 Soseaua Nordului Tiriac Center
Sector 01,
BlueDoc
Dokmee
6100 Corporate Drive
Houston, TX
Dokmee

Services

List of 39Best Document Management Software

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