Do you know what to look for in a document co-authoring solution?
27. Jan 2020 |
4 min read
How is your document creation process – smooth or chaotic?
Of all the processes that support a company or organization today, the document creation process is one of the most extensive, touching nearly everything: internal communications, customer relations, sales, legal compliance and much more.
Yet, most companies are leaning toward ‘chaotic’ when asked about their document creation process.
It doesn’t have to be this way. These days, creating a professional business document can – and should be – a breeze. This is why more and more companies are turning to document co-authoring solutions, to get their document process on the right track.
Are you considering taking your document creation process to the next level? Then you should look into enterprise-grade document automation and co-authoring software. There are many providers in the marketplace. How do you choose the best one for your business?
Here are a few suggestions on what to look for when choosing a solution that can handle complex document requirements.
What makes a document co-authoring solution different from a document management tool like Word? Automation, for starters. A good document co-authoring solution turns quality document creation into a simple, painless process.
What kind of automation are we talking about? Ready-to-use templates, automatic formatting, automatic bulleting and numbering, and so on. These are features that can make a huge difference to the document creation, and save you lots of time.
True collaboration capabilities
Most document creation and management software allows for collaboration, but this doesn’t necessarily improve your process or save you time. Instead, you need to look for a solution that enables true collaboration – the kind of collaboration needed to get the document done and dusted asap, without compromising on quality.
A document co-authoring solution allows you to work in real time with your team anywhere in the world, while having complete visibility and control over what changes are being made.
You also need to be able to assign tasks to team members and create workflows.
The importance of the security of your confidential information cannot be overemphasised. So pay a LOT of attention to the security measures that the solution offers.
Make sure there is a secure database where the information and data is stored and can only be accessed by that particular software. Plus, you must be able to allow access to the right team members only.
Look for a solution that allows you to focus on getting the content right without having to deal with versioning issues. A good tool gives you a revision history and a trail audit, so that you always know who made which edit when, and if you really want that edit.
You need to always be able to see and work on the latest version of your document. Plus, it must be easy to restore a previous version of a section or document.
Single source repository
This feature is enabled by a database-based document co-authoring solution. A single source repository is where all your content will be managed. All the documents you need will be housed there.
Anyone who is working on the document at any stage of the creation process will have access (if permission is granted) to all the tables, macros, and forms that are features of the database.
Composite content management
Through this feature the same content can be used and updated in different documents, helping you maintain consistency across all documents and proposals you submit.
Requirements change over time. Before committing to one solution, make sure it offers a decent API, which supports your business case, today and in the future.
The tool needs to integrate seamlessly with existing systems in your organisation, including CRM (ie. Salesforce), contract management, ERP or project systems.
The tool should be able to gather information and templates from integrated CRMs.
When choosing a document co-authoring solution, what you really need to check out is quality, speed, security and reliability.
Explore various software vendors that provide a document automation, document collaboration and document assembly solution, and identify the features and functionality that best match your requirements.
Use the document solution vendors to help you to define your business requirements - they may have ideas that could prove beneficial to your case.
After researching alternatives, the best thing you can do is schedule a demo and discuss how the solution fits your organisation.
Silje is Marketing Manager of Xait. She holds a Bachelor in Marketing Communication and an Executive Master in Business Administration. She is an analytical, efficient and results-focused marketing and communications professional and her career spans over 15 years within real estate, oil & gas and IT. When Silje is not busy growing the Xait brand, you can find her at her family cabin in picturesque Sirdal, Norway, hiking, trekking and cross-country skiing.
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