The new rules of document collaboration

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One reason we created this book is as a ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped get us here. Quite …

One reason we created this book is as a ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped get us here. Quite
often we’d hear, ‘Is there a primer, a Document Collaboration 101, or a Dummies guide I can read?’
We felt they deserved more. And rather than write a one-off book, we decided to develop a series
of books about document collaboration, for instance, on Security, ROI, and Best Practices.
The New Rules of Document Collaboration is the first in this series. It’s a roadmap to help you
navigate through the issues, risks, and other unknowns when it comes to selecting a document
collaboration application.

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  • 1. The New Rules ofDocument CollaborationTable of ContentsDocument Collaboration .......................................................................................................3 Storing Documents Online Is Just The First Step ...................................................................3 Not All Solutions Are Created Equal ............................................................................................5 Where Does Your Team Fit Into This? ..........................................................................................7 5 Pitfalls and How To Get Around Them ....................................................................................12Next Steps ..............................................................................................................................15Agilewords Share. Review. Approve. 1
  • 2. ForewordWhy a book about Document Collaboration?If youre reading this, youre probably wondering if document collaboration can work for you.I know I was. I first encountered the concept about four years ago. Today I’d be lost withcollaboration tools. Remember, when we started products like Dropbox, BaseCamp, EverNote, andZoho were the exception - not the norm!What are those New Rules?One reason we created this book is as a ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped get us here. Quiteoften we’d hear, ‘Is there a primer, a Document Collaboration 101, or a Dummies guide I can read?’We felt they deserved more. And rather than write a one-off book, we decided to develop a seriesof books about document collaboration, for instance, on Security, ROI, and Best Practices.The New Rules of Document Collaboration is the first in this series. It’s a roadmap to help younavigate through the issues, risks, and other unknowns when it comes to selecting a documentcollaboration application.But, it’s more than that. It also shows where you can benefit from Document Collaboration: how touse it in the workplace, make immediate cost savings, and ensure your firm doesn’t miss out.Thanks for reading. When youre done, feel free to post this on your blog or email it to whomeveryou believe would benefit.Regards,Fabrice TalbotFounder, Agilewords.comIvan WalshEditor, Business Synchronicity at www.ivanwalsh.comPS - Thanks also to the Agilewords team who made the project a reality.Agilewords Share. Review. Approve. 2
  • 3. Document CollaborationDocument CollaborationHow does Document Collaboration differ from other technologies, such as Document Managementand Content Management? I get asked this a lot, for instance from firms who hear that theircompetitors have adopted document collaboration tools and don’t want to get left behind.Here’s one way of looking at it. While Document Management is concerned with managing thelifecycle of a particular document (or set of documents), Document Collaboration is about sharingaccess to a specific document, so your team members can work on it in a truly collaborative fashion.The emphasis is on team collaboration.Content Management allows you to take information and distribute it across different networks - forexample, on websites, intranet, and mobile devices – so the appropriate piece of content is deliveredto the right person.Document Collaboration starts long before this; it’s the first step in the creation of the content, atleast when the content is developed in tandem with others, such as other writers, editors, designers,and other subject matter experts.In this ebook, we look at how Document Collaboration works from a high level and then drilldown toshow how it adds value and where you organization will benefit by adopting this technology. Storing Documents Online Is Just The First StepThe benefits of implementing document collaboration are obvious to most firms; however, beforeyou select a document collaboration application, you must first examine potential technical issuesand also how the corporate cultures may affect the desired results.Let’s look at the way we do business… and the way we could do business.The problem with emailEmail has its place. It’s a wonderful tool for communicating with your colleagues, especially whenyou want to send an FYI, memo, or status update. So, for one-way communications it works veryAgilewords Share. Review. Approve. 3
  • 4. Document Collaborationwell. It’s also fine for two-way communications. For instance, asking for confirmation to the nextmeeting.But when you want to go beyond this, for example, request that your team give feedback on aconfidential document, it gets more difficult to manage.Email is not ideal for company collaboration, whether we talk about internal, corporate or customercollaboration. And, we no longer share news or other mundane things over email; we use Twitter,Facebook, and YouTube instead. We’re also relying less on email for file sharing, collaboration anddistributing sensitive information.The problem with shared serversAnother issue is shared servers. Sharing documents on internal networks, shared servers andintranets, is fine for storing data. But, unless you have document control processes in place, defineddocument naming conventions, setup access rights, and purged old data, the servers tend tobecome dumping grounds for all types of document.It ends up like a ‘digital basement’, with pieces of documents thrown here and there. A furthercomplication is that we now share more information with colleagues, clients and partners whoreside outside our corporate walls and are unable to access this information. This need to sharebusiness information in a secure and structured manner has been one of the reasons why cloudcomputing (aka SaaS) has gained in popularity.Why we moved to the cloudWhat is the cloud? When you store an email attachment in your Gmail account, youre holding it inthe ‘cloud’. It’s not on your PC; it’s out there on a remote server, available 24/7.This trend to use web collaboration tools continues to increase as we stop sending (copies of)documents via email and storing them online instead. Today, the focus is on keeping documentationin a well-structured and secure centralized location.When we developed the security model for Agilewords, we made sure that the location (and logincredentials) are only with specific users or teams and avoid version madness, security breaches andaccountability issues.Agilewords Share. Review. Approve. 4
  • 5. Document CollaborationDo you really need to move to the cloud?One valid question is why move to the cloud, especially if your business is doing fine without it. Is itreally worth the effort to do the cost benefit analysis, change your business processes, and re-trainstaff?Click here to get the full version...Agilewords Share. Review. Approve. 5