iManage for Large Document Repositories
April 11, 2017
iManage for Large Document Repositories
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with iManage Work
My company uses iManage Work in every department. This document management system enables us to easily share, access, preview, find and secure documents. It also offers quite a bit of customization in the end user interface, such as right click menu options, allowing us to add and remove or rename features.
- The search features are fantastic. While it takes quite a bit of resources on the back end to make this happen, it searches document meta data, such as name, date created, author and so on zippy quick. But more importantly for us, any text readable document (Office documents, Text Searchable PDFs, etc.) are indexed and easily searchable as well. Users are presented with a powerful search screen to limit search results with a large variety of meta data search filters and key word searching in an easy to understand format. With a document library of over 3 million documents, this is a critical need for our business.
- The integration with the Microsoft Office products is flawless. We have several add-ins for our Office suite and most of them cause our IT Department some grief, but the iManage integration just works, which is great for IT and the users. Our users love the FileSite integration, which allows for published workspaces to display in their Outlook tree. Since our users are in their Outlook working email all day, this integration allows them easy access in an application they are already familiar with to interact with our DMS.
- The history of the documents, tracking which users have accessed, edited, saved, opened, printed, etc. documents is always correct. We've had to use this history multiple times for tracking user access or interaction with documents for a variety of reasons and it's easy to follow and always correct.
- The iManage Communication Server, which interacts with iManage and Outlook, filing emails to the workspaces has always been bug riddled. Our current version is the most stable we've seen yet, but we still have issues every few months. We often find suddenly linked Outlook folders (which allow users to save emails in Outlook folders that in turn link to the DMS to automatically save a copy of that email in the iManage folder the user linked) aren't filing the copies in iManage anymore, in other words, the linking is broken. IT has to restart the Communication server, then the user has to recreate their Outlook folder and move the unlinked documents to the folder to kick off the filing process again. The worst part is that unless the user notices the filing isn't working, there's no monitoring IT can do to determine the linking is broken.
- Due to the nature of how iManage captures the File-Open/Save function of applications, there are times that it leaves documents checked-out on user machines. When a user opens a document, it locks the server copy, creates a local copy on the user machine for edits, and when the user closes the document iManage copies the local copy to the server overwriting the original (by default) to save the changes. Sometimes, the process of writing the changes back to server doesn't happen so the local machine copy (the latest changes) are only on the user machine and the user much check in the documents manually. This happens a couple of times a month for almost everyone at my company. It's usually not a big deal, until an employee is terminated. If IT forgets to check-in that user's documents before the user machine and account are wiped, then the edited documents is lost forever because it only exists on the user machine.
- iManage works with Windows Server native encryption features to allow you encrypt documents. Microsoft's native encryption is crude and problematic at best, especially with roaming profiles. iManage needs to partner with other software encryption technologies to offer alternatives for encryption at rest and in transit.
- Since our policy is that all client documents are saved into iManage, we have been able to keep an email retention policy for Exchange to 90days to delete. This has saved us significant resources in both Exchange management and hardware to support excessive email storage for archived databases or extremely large databases.
- The ability to search documents quickly by text inside the documents allows to review previously created contracts and use similar language that is well suited to a new project over again without having to spend time manually opening and searching ourselves. The software does it for us.
- We used to store old files at an offsite storage facility for a monthly fee. We have implemented a new procedure, where we now scan these old paper files into our iManage system, making them text searchable PDFs. Since the software has such robust searching capabilities, this makes the documents much more accessible when needed than requesting an offsite storage delivery and having to manually pull paper files. In addition, we have saved thousands of dollars a month by not storing paper files offsite any longer. If the searching were not so powerful, we would not done this because our old paper storage system worked well for us previously.
I have viewed several other document management system software, but iManage was already installed at my company before I started working here. For us, I think this is the right solution. Companies with a smaller number of employees or smaller document collections could find some other options that might suite their needs and budget better. We definitely want an on premises solution that provides all the security, tracking, searching, and integration issues iManage offers. Many of the other solutions have adopted cloud technologies only at this point and we are not ready to consider cloud storage due for our sensitive documents at this point.
iManage Work is extremely well suited for companies with lots of documents. It allows for pretty easy security groups and searching functionality that makes large document repositories manageable for users. iManage Work would be horrendous overkill for small companies with less than 75 users or less than 2 million documents. The software is rather expensive, as is the annual maintenance, but with a large number of users and/or documents, that expense is worth it due to the time-saving features of always being able to locate the documents quickly, even when a user 'misfiles' something.