SharePoint & Document Management: The Right Tool for the Right Job

Mindy Rathe
July 31, 2012
Microsoft SharePoint Document Management Integrated from The Windward Group

How many times have you used a screwdriver to pound in a small nail to save time, only to find that this approach didn't work and you had to look for the hammer anyway?

Just because an application says it's a document management solution doesn't make it so. Microsoft SharePoint is a classic example of this, especially considering that this functionality is bundled "for free" in SharePoint 2010.

For small companies with simple processes and a low volume of documents, SharePoint can be a good solution for both collaboration and document management. However, once you get a little more complex or have a larger volume of documents, you quickly run into SharePoint's technical limitations with document images. Searching bogs down, backups take forever and you seem to be buying a terabyte of storage every week.

If you've chosen to use SharePoint for document management and your users are outside your office plotting your demise, you have two options - outside of using tear gas or continuously purchasing snacks for the office… The first option is to hire SharePoint developers to implement a complex programming solution to fix SharePoint so that it manages documents the way you want it to. Note: in this case, "free" all of a sudden isn't very free. Since these resources can be difficult to find (and pay for), you may find that the bottleneck to solving your document management problem in SharePoint hinges on your ability to hire and retain competent staff.

The other alternative is to consider using a tool built for managing documents, such as ApplicationXtender from EMC (AX). Document management applications like AX are fixed image repositories built for transactions and scalability. Everything from the technical architecture to the scanning interface is built for speed and fast retrieval and most true document management applications can be easily managed by database administrators. Both retrieving a 100MB image and backing up the entire document repository is 10x faster in a document management system like AX vs. SharePoint.

If you'd like to migrate your documents out of SharePoint, we can do this. And if you'd like to incorporate a document management system with SharePoint, AX offers out-of-the-box integration. The Windward Group is one of the top ApplicationXtender solution providers in the country.

Thus, a little bit of an investment in a document management system goes a long way to avoid a SharePoint disaster - and you can focus on using SharePoint for what it was intended for: sharing information.

Contact us to learn more about SharePoint and our document management solutions.