Overall Satisfaction with M‑Files
M-Files is our internal document management solution. With the recent move to working from home as organizations deal with the current pandemic, we have been able to migrate paper processes to digital workflows. This has increased our productivity and reduced our dependence on legacy systems. Documents get a full history attached to them for tracking and auditing purposes which older systems never offered.
- Infinitely versatile. We have created non-document objects that documents can relate to. These NDOs can be leveraged to find relationships between documents to present versatile views, automated permissions and workflows. No more WHERE is my document, but WHAT is my document!
- Intelligent Metadata is a great ability to capture what you need to properly categorize your documents and the system will scan the documents to capture that data for you. Users still accept the presented data to ensure accuracy.
- Customization of notifications is exceptionally useful when monitoring adoption of M-Files. In real time you are able to capture if a user is struggling with a process.
- Using assignments with workflows means users are not troubled with finding what needs to be done, they simply get the assignment, carry out the work and move on.
- Integrating with fully custom systems can be a breeze also with several ways to import content and even an API to build your own integrations. The API documentation is thorough!
- If you are new to Electronic Document Management, this can be a really difficult product to roll out. Since it is infinitely versatile, there are infinite ways to configure it wrong. I highly recommend the M-Files admin training offered by M-Files as it will set you in the right direction.
- Many options are paid add-ons. So while you are not paying for what you don't need, many great features will come at a cost.
- If you don't have a technical person on staff, this will be tricky to maintain. Not impossible. If your processes do not change, once setup it will be fine.
- The M-Files product has forced us to be critical of our processes and deliberate in the change process. This is bringing a standardization to our organization that is producing a better team dynamic between the working groups.
- It is becoming easier for our colleagues to move to new roles in the organization without losing their previous work. Dynamic access rights ensure that people have access to the data they need to do their job even when their job changes.
- Integration into systems such as Active Directory ensure it's not another system to update as organizational changes happen. This reduces the IT overhead for on-boarding and off-boarding users.
- Having a full audit trail of who made what changes to documents makes auditing changes simple. The previous "network folders" just didn't capture any of those changes.
- Internally developed CRM
- Active Directory
- Identity Provider
We have integrated with Active Directory and with an internal CRM to build out non-document objects such as the Employee object of the Client object to allow us to relate documents and administer permissions. This reduces the amount of data entry needed as the data is automatically dumped to a SQL Staging table and read into M-Files regularly. Changes can also be fed back to the staging table to be written back to other systems as needed.
I've compared recently with Box, but they still predicate their storage on WHERE instead of WHAT, which means if it isn't in a specific folder, you won't find it. Some documents may relate to multiple projects. In M-Files instead of putting a copy of a file in many folders (thus having many copies) you can build out the relationships, so there is only 1 copy of a document which prevents multiple "originals" from being developed separately.
I highly recommend it. The versatility far outweighs the challenges. As long as you have a proper business analysis in place you will be successful. Know the power of understanding that there are probably 10 ways to do each task and depending on the direction you take will enable 100 more options down the road. Build your configuration deliberately and you will meet with success. I have not seen any other EDM product approach information governance the way this system does and because of that I love it!