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Why not just use Sharepoint?

So M-Files is just another Enterprise Content Management system yeah? 

Why not just use Sharepoint?  It comes “free” with all of the rest of my Microsoft stuff.  It is a valid argument so why would you invest in M-Files?


What, not where

Let’s look at a pretty common business scenario.  Let’s say your organisation has a sales team (customer focus) and a finance team (contract focus).  Who is the custodian of the sales contract for a particular customer?  Where does the actual contract and the six versions it needed to get to its final form reside?  On top of that the sales team is split based on geography so the New York team don’t need to be able to see the Chicago team sales contracts (in fact, your organisation may actively not want differing sales teams browsing through other customers’ contracts).  So in Sharepoint you need to decide whether the contract resides in the Customer or Finance document library.  If it is in the Customer library and if any of your finance team need to access it they have to navigate through to that Library to retrieve it.  They also need access to all Customer contracts (not just the ones for New York) so they will need access to potentially more document libraries or you get more accountants (and who wants that!) and split their workload by geography.  How then do you get the accountants sharing best practice on budget issues etc.  The temptation to just email a copy becomes too great and heaven forbid if one of your customers moves their head office from Chicago to New York!!  Your Sharepoint administrator will be on stress leave in no time.

All of this can be done in M-Files without duplicating the content but setting up Views (think of it like a Genre playlist in your favourite music streaming service) as in the diagram above.  This allows users to find the sales contract by looking at the:

  • Agreements by Customers View; or

  • Agreements by Projects View; or

  • Agreements by Month Signed View.

The Views can then be restricted using the metadata based access permissions

The permissions can also be based on multiple properties so that in the diagram (on the right) John is able to access the Chicago budget and sales agreement because he is part of the Chicago and Finance groups.  Andy can see budgets and sales agreements but only for the New York operations

client information management.jpg

"Enterprise" Content

M-Files also caters for the fact that not all content resides within M-Files.  The connector framework allows disparate silos of content (Sharepoint, OneDrive, DropBox, to be incorporated into the Search and metadata model of M-Files without being moved or disrupted in any way. 

Ironically, M-Files can now also search and manage the multiple disparate Sharepoint document libraries (with multiple versions or copies of content) that the introduction of Microsoft Teams has proliferated within the organisation

Several User Interface Options

M-Files has fully functioning Desktop and Mobile applications as well as browser.  One of the major business benefit with this is the caching and offline capabilities that they provide allowing users to quickly access content regardless of whether they have internet connectivity or not.  No need to remember to download to OneDrive and then remember to put it back in the right Sharepoint document library

One UI.png

Sharepoint may have its place in your organisation, but if information is key to your team, then you can boost productivity by implementing the product with the most

out of the box functionality (just ask Gartner or Forrester).  

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