The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.

What is a Document Management System?

"A document management system (DMS) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. The term has some overlap with the concepts of Content Management Systems and is often viewed as a component of Enterprise Content Management Systems and related to Digital Asset Management, Document imaging, Workflow systems and Records Management systems."


Information is Easier to Steal if You Don’t Put It on Your Laptop

TechDirt last year had a blog posting titled Why Keep Personal Information on a Laptop When It’s Much Easier to Steal on a CD.

Multifunction Printers: The Forgotten Security Risk

"That networked multifunction printer sitting innocently in the corner of your office just might be the most significant entry point for hackers to hijack sensitive data from your business," warns an eWeek article today.

"All the information that's being printed, scanned and faxed is susceptible to theft. Once under an attacker's control, it is simple to covertly save copies of other people's data on the machine's hard drive. With built-in network, fax/modem and network capabilities, there are a variety of ways to smuggle the stolen information out of an organization once it's been captured.”

Although this article was released today, the studies it mentions are from nearly two years ago. Multi-function systems have made significant advancements in that period of time. Not to mention, the skill of authorized technicians that support these products.

Sure, there are still risks, but those risks aren't any more significant than a computer or server sitting on your network. With the proper firewalls and security measures in place, you can secure your multi-function systems just like you can secure your desktop computers.

But, the fact is, most companies aren't overly concerned about the security of a printed document. Most documents that we print aren't sensitive. But, if you do print sensitive documents, make sure that you only work with a vendor that understands the challenges and knows how to mitigate the risks.

Corey Smith has fifteen years of document management industry experience and maintains the Master the Business blog.

Get a Good Look at Your Data

We have a lot of data that we use in business. How in the world can we begin to use it?

Evan Goldberg of Inc. Magazine had a great article on using your information technology to understand your data better.

Take a look here. It should help you get some ideas on how to increase your access to your own information.

Corey Smith has fifteen years of document management industry experience and maintains the Master the Business blog.

Three Most Important Scanning Features

If you are looking to implement a scanning solution, it is very important that you have three, very important features. Those features are not scanning to email, scanning to folder and scanning to document management. Then, what do you think they are?

Scan to email, folder and document management systems are very important features that can not be over looked. They are never the most critical components, but these are the features that most people consider. Most often, people forget to look at the most critical features first.

Most Important Feature 1 - Ease of Use
There are so many types of systems out there right now. Some are incredibly complicated. Some required too many buttons to push for something as simple as a scan to email. They require the push of one button to enter an email, the push of another button to add the subject and yet another button to add the note. Not to mention the little screens and virtual keyboards that make any button push cumbersome.

Most Important Feature 2 - Tight Integration
In order for your scanning solution to be effective, you should look for integration with your current environment. You shouldn’t have to come up with work-arounds to tie it seamlessly to your MS Exchange server. You should be able to send an email from your scanner and have the message appear automatically in your sent items folder. If you want to password protect the system, it should authenticate against your existing server and not have to create a new password system. More over, you want it to integrate with your document management system so that you don’t have to take extra steps to get your documents where you want them when you want them there. But, remember that the definition of "tight" depends on your situation and needs. Don't confuse a product's claim of integration for solving your particular needs.

Most Important Feature 3 - Security and Compliance
Did you know that most scan to email and scan to folder are open to abuse from malicious users? In most scan to email systems, I can send an email anonymously, or worse, put someone else’s name as the return address? Did you know that in most scan to folder locations, security settings need to be turned off so that scanning can work easily on the network. These problems allow for violations in regulatory compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and SOX.

Don’t forget these key features when looking for a scanning solution.

Corey Smith has fifteen years of document management industry experience and maintains the Master the Business blog.