Google Drive as a low-cost ECM?

google-apps-for-work-logo-2My colleague Prajakta just published a 6-part series of articles on frevvo + Google Apps (Part 1 is here and contains links to the others).

I also came across a Forrester Wave report (The Forrester WaveTM: ECM Business Content Services, Q3 2015: Our Evaluation Of 11 ECM Vendors And How They Stack Up) while working with another ECM vendor. It contains the following key takeaway:

Business Content Services Emphasize Document Sharing, Collaboration, And Usability

That got me thinking. At frevvo, we use Google Drive quite extensively for collaboration and sharing around documents. But, we also use it as a low-cost [Enterprise] Content Management system. It works for us because our own internal forms and workflows are integrated with Google Drive (Apps).

Cloud-based document sharing systems like Google Drive tend to focus on basic document storage and retrieval e.g. sharing your pictures from that trip to the Amazon. Even if you’re looking to share and collaboratively access business documents, Google Drive can do a decent job of that.

But the highest value is realized when these functions are properly integrated in with automated workflows (and the associated forms). Without e-forms and workflow, Google Drive is nothing more than a glorified network drive albeit. Very useful (secure, backup etc.) and incredibly affordable no doubt. But, it’s not even close to ECM and will produce very little by way of cost & time savings or productivity enhancements by itself.

That’s where frevvo can help. You can combine frevvo + Google Apps in many ways to create really useful solutions:

  • Electronic Signatures – sign permission slips, sales orders and leave approvals electronically and save them to Google Drive.
  • Dynamic Content – create dynamic pick lists from a Google Sheet, update it after submission, get mileage info from Google Maps.
  • Simple Content Export – create relatively simply forms and workflows that just save submissions to a Google Sheet. You can perform all the usual functions on the data to analyze it.
  • Automated Approvals – this is where the real value comes in. Digitize core day-to-day operations – forms/documents that are routed between various people in your organization for approvals.

Read more in Prajakta’s series of blog articles (Part 1 here).

Again, Google Drive (and Apps) by itself is not really an Enterprise Content Management system. But, by combining frevvo with Google Sheets, Maps, Drive and other APIs, customers can easily create their own unique online forms and digital workflows that meet real-world business requirements, work automatically on mobile, are cloud-based and securely save the documents to Google Drive. Once in Drive, the documents can be managed, shared and searched.

The combination gets you closer to having ECM-like functionality at an incredibly affordable cost.

Learn more by visiting our website and sign up for a free 30-day trial account.

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