Xythos keeps documents in compliance
Enterprise Document Manager 6.0 secures records while allowing easy collaboration
What I continue to admire about Enterprise Document Manager is the simplicity of its workflows. It’s extremely straightforward to build serial or parallel approval streams, select users, and specify other document characteristics, including due dates. Building on these processes, Version 6.0 makes documents "official" so you can manage them more rigorously. Compared to a standard document that might just have versioning, an official record (which might be the same Microsoft Word document) used to submit material to the U.S. Federal government for funding would have additional requirements, such as how long it must be retained.
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Folders in the records management area are categorized by the content type (personnel records or medical documents, for example). What’s more, managers can use those folders to generate precise information for audit reports, perhaps a list of contact people for every record. As such, although Xythos follows Department of Defense 5015.2 records management standards, it is very appropriate for private sector organizations, too.
I used Xythos' templates to create various review and disposition rules and apply them to these records spaces. While rules can handle complex situations, they follow the same logical process as creating document workflows. In one test, I created a records disposition plan that retained documents for 10 years; however, I defined a rule that if the document’s originator leaves the organization, then a different phase of the disposition plan takes place. Paper documents (either physical documents or electronic scans) may be managed the same way, and e-mail can be imported and subjected to records management rules.
Xythos accommodates various review steps and reports at the end of the record-retention period. This is very important for a records management system, and normally associated with high priced systems, such as Documentum. In the case of U.S. government employees, for example, this solution requires extra metadata when moving information from departmental records management systems to the U.S. National Archives.
Standards support lends strength
When introduced in 1999, Xythos was one of only a few document management options. Now, document management is ingrained in desktop applications such as Microsoft Office and supported by portals such as SharePoint. Compared to midrange products such as Red Dot XCMS and Xerox DocuShare, Xythos still lacks certain features, such as Web publishing, that I'd like to see added.
That said, Xythos is very price competitive. Moreover, this solution’s strong development environment and standards compliance are uncommon in the document management world. By staying true to the fundaments of usability and extending them to records management, Xythos Enterprise Document Manager 6.0 remains a very good choice for managing large volumes of electronic files.