Five years using and still enjoying the M-Files experience
May 16, 2020

Five years using and still enjoying the M-Files experience

Sarah M.C. von Innerebner | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with M‑Files

M-Files is used in our organization as our primary document and content management application. Nearly all departments rely on it heavily for organizing documents, as well as materials related to meetings, projects, programs, and committees. The versatility of M-Files means that we've been able to continue to adapt our business needs and processes to have M-Files automate processes and security permissions. Prior to M-Files, our organization, like many others, relied on the typical shared drives and department folder approach with email attachments to share content. Now we are able to collaborate on content across teams and streamline the organization of meeting content without worry of the current version or who last edited the document. We've also standardized how content is accessed while simultaneously providing users with the ability to customize their interface so they can work according to their preferences.
  • Version control and history tracking on documents.
  • Search ability to filter content for a team, creator, or another property.
  • Permission control, limit access to documents to read or edit, or only specific workflow states.
  • Administrative control to access all content.
  • Administrative control to restore deleted content.
  • Administrative control to audit and retag content when needed.
  • Robust workflow capabilities.
  • Sharing content externally requires organizational efforts involving information governance, risk management, and IT strategies. There are options the administrators need to consider to permit external sharing. External collaboration requires other IT infrastructure solutions to incorporate M-Files. External facing content can be done, but not easily done without first planning workflows and permission configurations.
  • Configurations are determined by the customer primarily. The creation of properties and classes are at the discretion of the customer administrator. An organization needs to understand information governance and enlist collaboration with M-Files, IT, Records Management, Risk Management, and Legal. This is not so much a downfall of M-Files, but it is a consideration that embarking in the adoption of an ECM is a significant investment for an organization, both financially and human resources management, but the benefits with best practice configuration will ensure success.
  • There are features that are advertised, but further investigation is available with an additional purchase of an add-on. Unfortunately, not entirely unusual in this business
  • Positive: Collaborating on documents across teams.
  • Positive: Reduction in duplicate documents.
  • Positive: Transparency of authorship.
  • Positive: Permission restriction on business process workflows.
  • Negative: Change management to align the organization with new tools and sunset legacy systems.
Our organization has not opted to build a connector to other repositories like SharePoint, but we appreciate the option. Instead, one of the unifying experiences we've enjoyed is the common views we have set for the organization on the M-Files home page. While the experience might be likened to the previous network drive structure and navigation, it's a dynamic experience to automatically filter in new content without worrying if the new content is there as it's not where it is, but what it is. There is also the ability, if configured correctly, that can filter content or non-document objects based on their state. For example) our organization operates many committees over the years, our Committee property filters on active committees. This is a feature that enables all teams to see relevant information and creates a unified experience rather than the former disjointed one. It's truly rewarding to see document relationships, such as to a Committee, and have the visibility of who supports the committee, what that committee is about, and if it's active or not, all at a glance of a metadata card. Our legacy system did not offer any such ability.
At our organization, we are just in the preliminary stages of really exploring the capabilities that M-Files offers. So far, we've been enjoying the NACL ability and have also incorporated our AD groups to automatically control staff permissions on documents and on workflows. The audit-ability through version control and workflows ensures that there is accountability for users when modifying content and ownership of actions and decisions. This visibility is incredibly powerful and assuring when auditing content or conducting research.
Yes, I am aware that M-Files does much to provide administrators with compliance tools. However, my role in the organization is not familiar enough to comment on this ability. I'm only aware of the workflow ability and reporting ability. However, I am satisfied with what I'm able to access.
  • Active Directory
  • SQL tables
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Some of the configurations that we've done for our system have taken years to accomplish just as we had IT employee transitions. With the organization's vision adaptations really require ingenuity to create the best solution for a stable experience. I encourage anyone to reach out to M-Files for advice and demonstrations so this is an easy process as they have available resources and training which I highly endorse as worth the effort to have that open dialogue of what's possible.
The customization ability seemed to be a level above and easy to navigate and available options are constantly being reinvented. We have used OnBase for years and now desire to move away from this option for a number of reasons.
M-Files centralizes documents to present in a filterable view based on metadata, this creates confidence that users are seeing the content that they need for what they have permission to access. There is a learning curve for users if they have not yet encountered an ECM in their career, to learn a new approach to document management and learning to share their content beyond themselves so their team has access or their successors have access. Content is no longer a silo to just a user's purview but can unite efforts for a team working together toward a common goal. These efforts can be automated in workflows to ensure steps are not missed and content is not seen by those not permitted for access. The administrator needs to be creative to listen to the business needs and configure the simplest solution for users, no easy task. This could mean coding the IML to detect terms and suggest the appropriate property or leveraging an automatic object or workflow to feed another filtered property, or adding a property, to automatically restrict access to a related document.

M‑Files Feature Ratings