Whether it is called on demand, software as a service or application service provider, the ability for businesses to purchase and deploy complex enterprise applications through hosted services has greatly eased the burden of managing and running these often complex systems.
And just as on-demand services have taken over the world of CRM (customer relationship management), they are now becoming more common in another area of technology management: content and document management.
Document management, in particular, can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to offering a hosted service. In general, businesses can be a little squeamish about putting all of their vital company documents on an outside server that is completely out of their control. Also, from a strict efficiency perspective, constantly sending documents that would otherwise never need to be outside of the company network to external servers doesnt seem to be the best use of network resources.
But for small and midsize businesses, a full-scale, enterprise-class document management system can be an expensive and time-consuming platform to implement, and many of the high-end products, such as EMCs Documentum, focus on high-end storage and workflow features that many smaller businesses dont need. For these companies, a document management solution that is easy to deploy and that meets most of their basic needs can be an attractive option.
For this review eWEEK Labs looked at two SAAS (software as a service) offerings in the field of document management: SpringCM and Xythos on Demand. Both of these products are easy to get up and running, and each of them meets the core document management needs of many businesses when it comes to transferring, managing and tracking documents
Both also have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, with SpringCM providing more robust workflow and customization options but lacking features such as RSS integration, while Xythos on Demand offers good notification options and a simplified user interface but has no workflow capabilities.
Both SpringCM and Xythos on Demand offer free 30-day trial accounts, and we recommend taking advantage of them to discover which of these products will best meet your companys unique document management needs.
Pricing for hosted offerings such as these are often based on a variety of factors, from number of users to type of users to amount of storage to additional features required. Both products are in the same ballpark, with initial small-scale deployments likely to start in the hundreds per month, though Xythos on Demand comes in a bit lower than SpringCM. Details on the pricing for these products can be found at www.xythosondemand.com/home/xythos/get_started/service_plans.html and www.springcm.com/v2/index.php?method=Products&sub=Pricing.