M-Files: A better SharePoint than SharePoint

If you're tired of SharePoint's clunky administration, its difficult-to-manage security, and even more difficult to design interface, then you need to check out M-Files for your business CMS.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

Although Microsoft's SharePoint has been around for 14 years, it isn't the best CMS product on the market. As a SharePoint Administrator myself, I can tell you firsthand that there has to be something better. My interview with M-Files convinced me that there indeed is something better.

While this post isn't a review, I do want to point out M-Files' compelling features to you as I saw them during the presentation. Often we use products because they are the "accepted standards" and we explore no further. That's unfortunate because in the case of M-Files, there's a better solution at hand that's economical, fast, efficient, and easier to manage than our accepted default choice. Take a closer look and you'll see why I'm excited about M-Files for content management.

First, M-Files is very easy to install and configure. That is a refreshing difference compared to some of M-Files' competitors that have very complex requirements and lengthy installation procedures. Second, your information is stored by what it is and where it rather than where it is. Storing information by what it is saves you time and effort in locating a document later on. Think about trying to remember a document name three or six months after you first used it. How many folders will you have to search through to find it when you can't remember its name?

M-Files stores files based on their metadata, which makes your files easier to find based on content as well as title. If you use Gmail, you better understand this concept of folderless storage.

Third, M-Files employs an eSigning and Compliance extension that is not only easy to implement and use, but also helps you maintain document audit trails.

Finally, M-Files gives you location options for your content: on-site, cloud, and hybrid. I like having the flexibility of keeping some information 100 percent inside the network, but also having some available in the cloud to be able to share content and collaborate more freely with customers and vendors.

M-Files Features

  • On-premise, cloud, or hybrid location
  • Folderless storage
  • Versioning
  • File sharing
  • File scanning and capture
  • Electronic filing
  • Mobile and offline access
  • Workflow
  • Access permissions
  • eSigning & Compliance extension

M-Files also integrates well with your other applications, such as Microsoft Office and your CRM applications. The interface is instantly familiar to users because it looks like it's part of Windows. And remember that M-Files' solution works on any device and from any location, so it doesn't have to be Windows, just in case you're a Mac, Linux, or Android user.

Additional benefits of the M-Files eSigning & Compliance extension include:

  • Electronic signing for all data object types in addition to documents, such as audit findings and CAPAs
  • Easy to configure and easy to use
  • Complies with known requirements
  • Excellent authorization control
  • Faster approvals with automatic display of content waiting for signature on users' task lists
  • Simple workflow approval
  • Leaves a time-stamped record in the audit trail
  • Efficient handling of multiple signatures with batch approvals

Check out the M-Files Guided Tour.

M-Files' YouTube Channel (Includes all video content).

One of the problems of content solutions is search speed. Because M-Files uses a metadata storage solution, you get lightning fast searches for your content. Again, think Gmail here. Metadata search is so much faster because you aren't searching the actual content, but you're searching through data about your content.

If you're a SharePoint user or administrator, you realize that it has a lot of shortcomings. Those shortcomings are overcome in M-Files. M-Files is easy to use, easy to manage, permissions are easy to understand and manage, search is fast, file storage makes more sense, and you have an eSignature extension to maintain compliance. For these reasons, I can write with confidence that M-Files is a better SharePoint than SharePoint.

But, you don't have to take my word for how great M-Files is; watch the videos and take your own test drive. As for a demo.

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