The Power of External Digital Collaboration with M-Files
It has become clear that the future of most organizations is tied to successful collaboration internally and externally. While many businesses have made improvements in sharing and distributing content internally, the secure and effective sharing of files with people outside your firewall can be a challenge.
For some organizations, the EFSS (Enterprise File Sharing and Synchronization) vendors may fulfill that purpose, but the functionality is minimal, and security and auditing are usually lacking. If you need to work cooperatively with external vendors or customers, your only options used to be embarking on the long, complex path of web portal development or risking security and compliance by sharing content over a consumer-grade sharing service.
TEAM Informatics, in conjunction with our partners M-Files and Accusoft, has developed an application that allows you to collaborate effectively with partners or customers outside your organization without having to create and support a portal framework or just share files. We have done this through the integration of two key functions into a simple web framework (built on the popular and secure Angular framework). These components are:
- An internal content management, indexing, and workflow system – M-Files
- An externally accessible document viewer (Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer) that allows users to edit and view content from files within the web application.
Putting these together in our M-Connect application allows you to interact with people outside your organization effectively and securely. Let’s think of some examples where M-Connect might help connect you better with external resources.
Scenario 1: A Documented Application Process
Your organization would like customers to be able to apply for services online. In the past this required filling out an application form and then sending copies of documents to the office. Even when the process went smoothly, it was time consuming and staff intensive. Later, you allowed customers to fill out an online form, but they still had to email copies of documents to accompany the form. Matching forms to documents and tracking omissions and errors was slow and painstaking.
With M-Connect, it is simple to integrate your online application form with the document handling and workflow capabilities of M-Files. Customers are presented with a list of required documents in the web interface and can submit them along with the completed application form. What separates M-Connect from other systems is that the customer can open and view their scanned documents in Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer right within their browser. They can add tags and comments and even redact certain information that they would rather not share.
Once the documents are finalized within the viewer, they are sent from M-Connect to the internal M-Files vault and handled as they would be if they had been scanned or sent directly. If customer service agents have queries, they and the customer can resolve issues in real-time in the web interface.
Scenario 2: Collaborating with an External Agency
You are working with an external branding organization on updating marketing materials. You could use a file sharing service, but there are concerns about security and auditability and you want to be certain that copies of these files are not retained or shared by the vendor. You can share these with M-Connect and collaborate on the content of the files within the web application securely and efficiently. Working together within Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer, which automatically tracks and records edits, version changes, comments, and redactions as metadata which is stored in the M-Files vault alongside the original files.
While there are some other alternatives that work with a small number of file formats, the differentiator for M-Files and Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Viewer is that it supports over 100+ different file types. If you need to view and collaborate on Microsoft office documents, medical images, CAD drawings, or print-ready images, you can do so easily using M-Connect.
M-Connect can be installed locally on servers in your data center or in the cloud and integrates with M-Files installed on-premises or in the Azure cloud. To learn more about TEAM Informatics and M-Files’ partnership, visit the website here.