Importance of Electronic Document Management System

Importance of Document Management
A document – personal, professional, official or academic, has always of importance to us. It’s an integral part of our life, depending on which we carry on our daily activities – at home, institutions, and offices. However, keeping track of and maintaining all these important documents is not an easy task. Who hasn’t been through the search for important data and documents, the common hunt for the latest information or document, and the problems faced when those cannot be found? This document management has become a high priority in our daily life. A good document management system helps organize documents in efficient manner, so that any document can be found whenever needed.

Why Electronic Document Management System came into being?
Document management started as a manual process (when documents were only paper-based), which included storing documents – sometimes with paper-tags / markers of different colors – in folders and boxes, and then filing cabinets / racks. The color coding by tags helped differentiate / identify categories of papers / files while searching for specific documents. These manual processes often turned out to be inefficient, error-prone and time-consuming, but still that was the prevalent process in the absence of any other option. With the advent of automation and computing in our daily life, we naturally turned towards computer-based document management system to take advantage of computer’s speed, capacity, efficiency and error-free operation. A number of different document management systems came to the market, some convert paper documents into digital form and then manage those. Thus Electronic Document Management started taking off.
digipaper is an innovative and versatile software product to manage the growing accumulation of both paper documents and digital documents to create archives or repositories for convenient and efficient operation at any organization.

A common shortfall in digitized document management
Digitization of documents generally focus on converting paper documents into scanned images and storing that. Most of us understand the importance and benefit of digitizing paper documents, but that alone does not fulfill the requirement of managing all digital documents within a ‘repository’. Other than the paper documents, in every office endless digital documents of varieties types (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images / photos / logos, designs, forms, templates etc.) are created every day on computers. All these files have their own value as per the organization’s operation, rules / policies, and future plans. These files are edited / changed often as needed, thereby creating multiple versions, distributed among different employees or even external parties (such as partners, customers, suppliers / vendors etc.). It happens that a particular file is changed a number of times and all the versions have to be tracked, so that a specific version can be found when needed. That’s why proper design and organization of archives / repositories, along with versioning, is essential for a good document management system.

digipaper as an Electronic Document Management System
Along with converting paper documents to digitized format as well as tagging and organizing those in hierarchical structure, digipaper also helps an organization create a “repository” of all types of important electronic documents, with all their versions, in a central location. Then any version of a document (and its full history) can be found in one place within a very short time. This helps avoid the problems of using outdated or wrong documents / data. It also minimizes time wastage and frustration of searching through endless unorganized documents as well as helps control access for different users. Once a proper document management system is deployed in an organization, the operational efficiency, quality of work, employee and customer satisfaction are clearly visible almost immediately. The benefits grow even more as time passes by and more documents are brought under the system to be managed.

SARANGSoft: Over the past 15 Years

The last 15 years went by pretty quickly! In early 2000, we were in discussion with a few friends about the software industry, its strengths vs. weaknesses, then most prevalent “body shopping” model, the future potential and challenges.  We knew right then “body shopping” won’t work; needed a model that would be both cost-effective and logistically viable. On the other hand, we wanted to start something from the city we are so intimate with – Kolkata.  It supplied, and still does, a lot of technical talent across the world, but wasn’t a recognized spot on the IT map, not even within India.  We felt it was possible to tap the raw talent from the area and build a team that can deliver quality software to two markets – USA (where some of us are located) and India (where the core team is) –   to start with.  To be very honest, the whole decision was based on more emotion and gut feelings than serious business analysis.  Still, SARANGSoft Corporation and SARANGSoft India Pvt Ltd or SIPL (then called SARANG Infotech and Software Solutions) were started in 2000.  The first set of people came on board and we started with a modest setup.

In early 2001, we got a big break to work with a major medical insurance provider, who was migrating a massive legacy system (IBM mainframe-based) to Unix & RDBMS environment. Our team started working on-site, offsite, and offshore – at its peak involving total 10 engineers.  It went on for about two years, during which we moved to better offices and added more to the team.  In 2003, we took a different turn – after the legacy system migration project ended, we moved away from that area and focused more on Windows and Linux.  Around the same time, we started working as a direct vendor of Microsoft.  That brought a number of interesting projects in the Windows Operating System and multimedia in particular.  The team expanded even more, new offices were setup, and also came a lot of excitement and learning in the process.  There were several ups and downs too.  At times it felt like end of the road, while at other times we could barely keep up with customers’ requirements.  We worked with several small and mid-size companies too, and each was different in significant ways.

The downturn of 2008-2009 had a serious effect on our business as it did for most organizations.  All the customers clammed up in uncertainty, new projects stopped, existing projects stalled / shrunk, some customers couldn’t / didn’t pay as agreed upon.  We went through a couple of horrible years.  Some of our long-time clients continued to work with us, and some new clients did start during this time.  We are happy that most of those relationships are stronger today.  As the market sentiment improved over the last couple of years, we have expanded our business and feel much better now.

During the downtime, we started focusing more on our own software products, and released a number of those starting in 2009.  We offer Data Backup – for Windows PC (filexpertez) to entire Windows network (WinBackup Business), Document Digitization and Management (digipaper), IT Configuration Management (SysExpertez), Cloud Data Browsing & Transfer (CloudScape), Developer Tools (Logastic and Testology), and more.  We didn’t actively market those; actually we are not good in marketing ourselves. Still, some people have noticed the products, tried out a few those, liked what they saw, and purchased.  Based on customer feedback, we have been making improvements to our products, and newer versions are being released frequently.

Over the past 7-8 years, we have concentrated on some specific areas.  Windows platform remains our core strength as before.  We can do almost anything on Windows – at OS level or with apps, components, tools, system services.  Our other area of strength is the web platform – .NET and Open Source.  We design and develop websites, web apps, web services, and anything in between.  For the past 4 years we have also been working with Cloud technologies, especially AWS and Azure.  We are increasingly moving apps and services to appropriate cloud platforms.  We are also working on mobile apps, but not the typical native apps for each of the two dominant platforms.  We prefer to build a common cloud backend for the app core and a lightweight frontend for each mobile platform.

Today we are at an important point in our journey.  After a long stormy night, we are at the break of a new dawn.  Our team of about thirty people is motivated and dedicated.  Our product and service offerings are rich.  We are strong on skills, experience, and innovation.  And we are as committed as we have always been to deliver the best to our customers and partners.

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Welcome to SARANGSoft New Blog

Welcome to our new blog. It took us a long time to transition from our earlier setup (website and blog) to this new version. Hopefully the blog will be better and more active from now on.

The goal of our blog is to share our thoughts, actions, findings (and more) with a wide audience. While working on various projects – building our own software products as well as developing custom software solutions for our customers, we come across different questions and challenges, which we sometimes solve by ourselves and at times depend on the wisdom shared by others like us in the industry. We know firsthand how much information-sharing helps, and we greatly appreciate that. In this day and age of collaboration and networking, we would like to put forward some of the hard lessons we learn as part of our work, so that others do not have to reinvent the same wheel or go through similar frustrations. We all win through sharing, because it goes both ways.

Our posts will be mostly technical in nature, but there will also be some business-related topics, because we are in “technology business”! We develop and use technology for business – to make those more capable and efficient. That’s where the value of technology is – enabling new possibilities, improving existing processes, and even identifying fresh opportunities.

We welcome all meaningful and relevant discussions, including constructive criticism, of our posts. The different viewpoints from all concerned will enrich all of us in various ways.