4 questions to ask your DMS supplier

If you want to bring order to the chaos of documents, e-mails, files on network drives and in mailboxes, it is best to start considering a Document Management System (DMS). But in your search for a DMS, the journey begins with more questions than answers.

A DMS houses all the relevant data from your office, makes it easy to find based on content and metadata, and ensures that everyone always has the right information about a matter. In my view, the following are the 4 most important questions that you should start with:

1. Which integrations are possible with the DMS?

A DMS in itself is just a large box containing a great deal of information. The real value is created when you can link the DMS with, for example, Office 365 so that you can quickly add and edit data, or with your practice management system so that you can rapidly pull out all the relevant documents and e-mails for a particular case. Integration is the key word here. So take a good look at whether your new DMS can integrate with the other software that is vital to your office.

2. How is the security managed?

It must be possible to protect the data in the DMS. Not only in such a way that it cannot be accessed from the outside, but also in such a way that internally only people with the correct authorizations and involvement can open or even edit a file. Thus, not only do you need to ask how the system is secure technically and what tests are performed and what standards are followed to confirm this, but you also need to know how you can enforce your own security policy via the package.

3. How easy is it to add new data and to find existing data?

The way in which data can be placed in the system and then retrieved is crucial for the acceptance of the system by your users. If data in the DMS “disappears” and can no longer be retrieved then users will stop filling the DMS. User-friendliness, links to the right applications and speed are thus crucial for a successful DMS.

4. Can I give external parties safe access to the data in my DMS?

No one really wants to work with attachments sent by e-mail anymore. It is unsafe, inefficient and creates an abundance of unnecessary versions. A system that allows you to give external parties secure access to a specific document to work with, can therefore save you many headaches.

The list of questions you can ask a DMS supplier is, of course, much longer. We are also happy to tell you about, for example, the migration, how we prevent a vendor lock-in and what the SLA (Service Level Agreement) looks like. I’m happy to advise you personally. So please contact me via info@epona.com if you would like to know more about DMSforLegal, the DMS developed for the legal practice.