Crafted with Sage ERP users in mind, the low-cost Web-based solution for storing, tracking, and sharing electronic documents plays well in the IBM i space.
If your office is bogged down with paper, and you secretly have been longing for a document management solution but believed you just couldn't afford one, then you might be interested in ACOM Solutions' new browser-based EZeCabinet.
The solution runs on Windows, but ACOM designed it to integrate with the company's many IBM i customers' systems and provide a low-cost way to archive and retrieve documents from virtually any location. A Web-based solution, EZeCabinet is an affordable way to securely store, track, and share electronic documents. Plus it can be installed and fully operational within two days.
"We were able to re-package, re-price, and take a look at the service engagement required so that this is very easy to install," says Jim Scott, ACOM Solutions senior vice president general manager, Core Division. "Our partners told us they wanted a lower-end product to introduce customers to the concept of document management, so we introduced EZeCabinet.… We've taken our document management solution and re-packaged it and re-priced it so that it is now within reach of just about anybody who is out there."
Scott says that for many customers, particularly those who run the Sage ERP solutions, it didn't make sense to spend more on a document management system than they had invested in their entire ERP solution.
"What we're seeing in the market is that not all companies are ready for the more sophisticated [IBM] FileNet type of document management where you have complex work flows, forms automation, etc. What they are really looking for is a low-cost, easy implementation solution that will provide the ability to archive and retrieve documents.
"You have a lot of smaller companies, particularly in the Sage marketplace, perhaps several hundred thousand firms, and they're not interested in spending $50,000 to $75,000 on software and services to implement a document-management solution when they paid perhaps $30,000 to $50,000 for their entire ERP system," says Scott. "It's just not realistic. We realized this had to make sense from a relative investment standpoint if nothing else." The cost to install EZeCabinet? "Under $11,000," says Scott. "Implementation is one, perhaps two days," he notes.
The beauty of EZeCabinet, says Scott, is that it's the same code base as the company's other document-management modules, so when the customer wants to add onto EZeCabinet, it doesn't have to tear out the original installation; it can simply add a new module.
"It's easily upgradable," says Scott. "For example, you can add the work flow if you choose, and you wouldn't have to uninstall and relearn a new product; it's the same code base. If you wanted to get into a more sophisticated capture solution…you can certainly add that if you like."
Although EZeCabinet runs on Windows and sits on top of SQL Server, Scott says it works just fine in IBM i shops. "Because it's a Web-based solution, it plays nicely in the System i or iSeries space as well—really any platform because it's Web-based." ACOM has about 2000 IBM i customers that use one or several of their products, including their flagship EZContentManager document automation suite.
While EZeCabinet provides for a company's use of its existing scanner or multi-function printer to capture and store paper documents, what it doesn't have is a workflow component or a sophisticated high-end OCR capture solution in which you are running documents through an OCR solution and then either capturing metadata or doing line-item extractions.
However, it does have a powerful index-based or "Google-like" search function to retrieve business documents and related information from throughout the enterprise and beyond using ACOM's Secure Web Browser Access. This allows a company to share documents and information with employees, partners, vendors, and customers—always having the latest version available but without having to provide ERP access. For those who are running Sage ERP products, it is integrated with screen button access.
The solution features Intelligent Document Linking, which allows the user to search for specific information while being linked to all related documents. This feature has been shown to dramatically increase employee productivity as well as reduce customer response time by as much as half. Since EZeCabinet is an electronic "file" solution, you can store any file type from anywhere across the enterprise—electronic or paper information, even video and audio.
Legal, regulatory, and industry requirements are getting stricter every year it seems, and EZeCabinet features control and audit trail functionality to support these requirements. You will know where and how a document was read, downloaded, or changed and who did so. And you can manage how the time frame information is retained in order to comply with government and legal mandates.
Above all, EZeCabinet uses role-based security, and you can manage who has access to what information—and what they can do with it—down to the document level.
The solution is meant for smaller companies, and the base license provides for five concurrent users with a maximum of 15. If your needs are greater than that, you will have to move up to ACOM's standard EZContentManager.
If your company is like most others, people waste up to 30 percent of their time looking for information they can't find. Some 15–20 percent of all documents created wind up misfiled and are lost for good, creating ugly legal and regulatory issues. Having a powerful, integrated electronic document file solution will go a long way toward eliminating these headaches. Since ACOM offers a simple proof of concept demo of EZeCabinet, in addition to their 30-day total satisfaction guarantee, you can check it out for yourself and see if it's as easy to use as the company claims it is. For a guided software demo, click here.
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