Widen Collective is a digital asset management platform that includes document management features for digitizing paper records, importing digital files and organizing all your documents however you need. With a detailed search function, all your files are just a quick query away with multiple methods for retrieval. Widen Collective also includes some collaboration and workflow tools that are useful for teams working together to create new documents and edit existing ones. However, Widen Collective lacks the task management tools found in some of the other document management systems in our review.
View all our recommendations for document management software on our best picks page.
It's also worth noting that Widen Collective is a digital asset management platform that includes document management as just one element. It is most suitable for midsize businesses and large-scale enterprises and is likely overkill for most small businesses.
Pricing and Plans
Widen Collective offers a free trial to prospective buyers. The trial software does not require credit card information; however, users must provide the company with contact info before accessing the free trial. This is not uncommon among companies in our review. In addition, potential buyers can request a live demo of the software from a company sales rep to find out more about how it is used.
Widen is one of the most expensive document management systems we encountered in our review, with annual subscriptions starting at $29,900. That subscription grants access to the full digital asset management platform, not just the document management function. Subscribers also get access to implementation, an onboarding coach, technical support and consulting services. The scope of the software makes Widen prohibitively expensive for many small businesses; if you're looking for a budget-friendly document manager, Widen might not be for you.
Pros and Cons
Widen Collective is an extremely powerful digital asset platform, which makes it useful for midsize and enterprise businesses. However, it is likely cost-prohibitive and unwieldy for a small business operating with limited resources. It is critical to understand whether Widen Collective fits your document management needs before buying.
- User interface: Widen Collective has a sleek and neatly organized user interface that's easy to navigate. It is modern and up to date, unlike some of the other document management systems we reviewed, making for a positive user experience and reducing the learning curve.
- Strong features: Widen Collective offers all the important document management features we looked for, as well as some of the additional tools we wanted to see that improve workflows and collaboration on the creation and editing of documents in the system. It also features other modules that increase the platform's functionality beyond simple document management.
- Cost: Widen Collective is a sprawling digital asset platform that demands a very high subscription cost compared to the stand-alone document management systems in our review. It is a suitable solution for midsize companies and enterprises, but it is likely to be cost-prohibitive for most small businesses.
- Complexity: As a modular platform made up of multiple solutions, Widen Collective is complex and likely overkill for most small businesses. It is an enterprise solution for large, established companies that can afford the platform and have the resources to effectively implement and utilize it.
Widen Collective offers most of the features we looked for in a document management system, as well as some additional tools that make working within the system easier across decentralized teams. Here are some key features of Widen's document management module.
- Document imaging: Widen Collective allows users to scan paper records into the platform and to import digital files from other locations. Much of the uploading activity can occur in the document management dashboard. Users can also review the most recent activity on the system.
- Search: When you need to find files quickly, Widen lets you apply category or taxonomy filters to search by file name, creation date, keywords and metadata.
- Workflow: Widen improves a team's workflow by allowing administrators to control access levels. Admins can set an infinite number of permissions to create tiers of access. Further, those who upload assets can set a release date, which is another way of locking or unlocking a file. You can also set expiration dates, meaning assets can only be used for a certain amount of time, after which those files are archived.
- Collaboration tools: There is a commenting feature so users can add notes on assets. Widen also lets you control document versions. Users can see older versions of assets versus finalized versions as well as details of each version. Versions cannot be deleted.
- Reporting and analytics: A unique feature of Widen Collective is its reporting. The reporting feature offers useful insights, such as which files are accessed and shared most often. Widen lets users with the proper permissions share approved assets directly from the software to social media sites, which is a timesaver. You can include copyright information and digital watermarks within each asset.
- Integrations: Widen easily incorporates with WordPress, Dropbox, Salesforce and Zapier. It includes several software integrations, and if one that your company uses isn't on its list, you can use the open API to add the software you need.
Widen Collective does not have any task management functions, such as assignments, work completion notifications, or manager review and approval. These features improve the value of collaboration and workflow tools, so their absence is most felt by teams planning on using document management software to collectively edit documents. Widen Collective does offer collaboration tools but could take it a step further by incorporating task management.
Widen's sprawling platform is an excellent choice for companies that need a powerful and all-encompassing digital asset management solution. However, in terms of cost and usability, Widen Collective might be too much for a small business to handle. Small businesses looking for a document management system that they can easily implement at an affordable cost without much learning curve should consider a different solution.
Editor's note: Looking for a document management system for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.