A Web-based document management system with a J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) architecture, DocuShare can be used in four ways: for classic document management, collaboration and project management, content distribution, and as an information portal, said Colman Murphy, product manager for Xeroxs DocuShare business unit, in Palo Alto, Calif. "It provides not just extreme open access but the inverseyou can lock down the system as tightly as you want," Murphy said.Read more here about Xeroxs efforts in document management.Mizuho chose the solution, Bramante said, for just that sort of functionality but also for the support Polgroup offered. "Polgroup came out to talk to us about our needs. They were really willing to work with us," he said. Another reason was the softwares low initial cost. "You dont have to buy a massive solution to start with, which is nice for SMBs [small and midsize businesses]," Bramante said. DocuShare is priced at $4,145 for 10 seats, with a 100-seat system costing $9,995, according to Xerox. Ease of use was also a factor. "The user interface was one of the simpler ones we saw, fairly intuitive," he said. "We have had no complaints from the pilot group of users, which has been using it now for 15 months. Everyone was amazed at what it can do and how efficient it can bepeople keep finding new ways of using it." Today, for each financial transaction, Mizuho creates a record using the DocuShare system. As transaction tickets come in, they are first processed by the operations group. A record, or container, is created for the transaction and other related documents such as correspondence. Employees can access these records via the companys intranet. The company runs DocuShare on a Unix server supporting employees across seven departments. With traders working out of its offices in New York, London and Hong Kong, "there is a constant exchange of physical documents created by traders at each of the locations, most of which flows to New York," Bramante said. Mizuho also uses the system to create legal and human resources records, which it restricts to certain users, he said. Bramante said that although there were no major problems with implementation, "It was a little bit harder to install than we expected, maybe because of our file structure. There is a limit on the size of groups you can have, or containers, but we worked around that to our satisfaction." Click here to read about Xeroxs work on creating lightweight, flexible electric paper. The DocuShare system has helped Mizuho streamline its business processes, Bramante said. "Our goal was to prevent another tremendous catastrophic loss of documents, but because we went to an electronic document management system, some natural efficiencies came with that," he said. "We are better able to accumulate documents and in a much more efficient way," Bramante said. "Before, we had to mess with faxes, paper jams and misplaced paper. Now that everything is electronic and we have a record of everything, we have cut down dramatically on international telephone calls and e-mails trying to track down documents." "It also helped us to clear some comments by internal audit concerning critical document retention," Bramante added. Polgroup CIO Cecil Murray said keeping good audit trails is one reason financial institutions are increasingly looking for ways to automate the front end of their business processes. "This is becoming really important, particularly with financial guidelines like Sarbanes-Oxley coming down from the federal government," Murray said. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.