Knowledge Center


               In this article we aim to compare and contrast a DMS and an electronic document management (EDMS), while building upon our understanding of a DMS and why an EDMS differs. The terms DMS and EDMS tend to be used interchangeably when talking about the ability to manage business documents. The difference between a DMS and an EDMS is one of functionality. When comparing a DMS to an EDMS let us view a DMS as a “base solution” that provides companies with the ability to organize, retain and safeguard their documents. In comparison, an EDMS includes all the features of a great DMS but with enhanced capabilities based on an integrated system.

              An EDMS is a collection of software that works together to provide a comprehensive solution for organizing and storing different kinds of documents. With this collection of software, you have the ability to manage the creation, capturing, indexing, storage, retrieval, and disposition of information essential to your organization. Many tend to confuse an EDMS with a content management system (CMS), while they are similar in many aspects, CMS' handle a variety of web content whereas an EDMS manages electronic information within an organization workflow. Businesses must be able to ingest and act on an increasing amount of information efficiently in order to succeed. The ability to successfully manage daily information is largely possible because of an EDMS.

              A classification system helps deliver information consistently. The classification items associated with documents are referred to as “metadata”. The metadata collected from the documents provide key details. It allows easy access for subsequent searching, whether by chronology, topic or other keywords. Metadata is defined as “a set of data that describes and gives information about other data” and it works hand in hand with classification by “tagging” data of each document while being stored. Using an EDMS and the technologies associated with the system allow the user to cut down on time spent searching for information each day thus increasing organizational efficiency and effectiveness. For example, maybe you are searching for a document, the ability to tag data allows you to narrow down a search for a proposal or invoice by a customer name, date created or even a monetary value.

              An EDMS provides many features in order to optimize user workflow and efficiency in your business. Internal or external users can be automatically notified when important information has arrived or needs to be processed. For example, users that work for law firms who need to act on documents quickly and conveniently while from their desk or on the move. Information that has been retained in the process can be accessed almost immediately improving customer service and responsiveness. This software provides the ability to automate business processes by automatically being able to determine needed activity and work steps. It can automatically classify and store documents in the system without user direction improving regulatory compliance.

              An EDMS boasts increased information security that protects documents via permissions. These permissions allow the user whom possesses the owner role the ability to control who has access to which documents, change clearance levels and even encrypt documents and information. It enables firms to identify and enact appropriate backups and recovery processes. Security framework limits unauthorized user access, while allowing authorized users the correct level of access. As technology has evolved, most of us who work with EDMS systems actually label it as “The DMS”. Whether you call it a DMS or a EDMS, it is likely a valuable asset for your business. 

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