Document management software depends on integration with third-party systems. In order to function, these programs must access data from, give data to, and communicate easily with a wide variety of third-party software. Integration is one of the most important elements new buyers should consider when examining potential data management purchases.
The first and most important reason your document management software must integrate with third-party systems is for data access. Data is bound to the programs that created or received it. Data sits in emails, Excel files, POS systems, and more. Documents alone may come from a number of different sources. These include online hosts like Google Docs, in addition to .doc or .docx files saved on your own hardware. This goes without addressing all the different software that creates, manages, and accesses other file types. Many programs allow analytics and data sharing between similar products from the same developer, but document management software must go above these restrictions in order to function. Document management makes all of these materials easier to access and interact with. But if the overarching program is limited, its power will be as well.
Document management software does more than clean up your folder system. Don’t visualize your documents as a library. View them as a secondary operating system for the majority of your business software. If this sounds strange, stop to think about all the applications you use on a regular basis that require access to stored data. At the very least, this will include customer service programs, bookkeeping software, newsletter services, and HR applications. Naturally, larger businesses have a broader range of needs, but the fact is that even a self-employed entrepreneur needs applications that interact with their documents.
This all leads to one critical point. Document management software must interact with all of these third-party applications. Since you’ll probably purchase new software over time, your document management system must feature design elements compatible with just about anything developers can throw at it. If your document management software creates a neatly organized library that cannot interact with the third-party applications you use on a daily basis, then it is essentially useless.
One of the biggest problems with poorly designed document management products is that they cause frequent errors. Thanks to modern business’s utter dependence on computers, a frozen system can cost thousands of dollars in losses after only a few minutes of downtime. The root of many computer frustrations lies in communication errors between software products. Designing document management software that interacts well with third-party products doesn’t just help document management. It helps your entire system run more efficiently, often with fewer errors.
To do its job and prevent costly errors, your document management product absolutely must integrate with third-party applications. Unlike many other systems, this isn’t just a convenient perk. It’s essential to document management’s role in your system.