De Top 10 FMIS-systemen – Facility management informatiesystemen vergeleken 

Top 10 FMIS systemen

Facilitair management omvat een breed scala aan ondersteunende diensten. Van onderhoud aan de gebouwen tot het verzorgen van de catering, alles komt op het bord van de facilitair manager terecht. Met de 1,5 meter samenleving gaat het facilitair management een uitdagende tijd gemoed, maar met de juiste fmis-systemen kunnen vele uitdagingen het hoofd worden geboden.

Volgens de NFC Index® Kantoren zijn de facilitaire kosten in 2019 ongeveer op hetzelfde niveau als 2018 uitgekomen. Een mooi resultaat, maar met de nieuwe 1,5 meter samenleving is het nog maar de vraag of dit resultaat zich in 2020 zal herhalen. Met het juiste facilitair management informatiesysteem (fmis) heb je inzicht in en controle over de facilitaire kosten voor de komende jaren.

Top 10 FMIS systemen

Hoe kies je een facilitair management informatiesysteem?

Geen bedrijf is hetzelfde en elke onderneming zal zo zijn specifieke regels, wensen en behoeften hebben. Er zijn een paar algemene vragen die je kunt beantwoorden, want eisen, wensen en doelstellingen moeten duidelijk zijn alvorens een keuze te maken.

  • Waarom is er een wens om naar een FMIS-systeem opzoek te gaan? Wat zijn momenteel de problemen?
  • Wordt er gezocht naar een oplossing voor een enkel onderdeel van de onderneming of is een geïntegreerde totaaloplossing gewenst?
  • Welke management info/rapportages heb je nodig om te sturen?
  • Zijn er projecten onder beheer op verschillende locaties, bijvoorbeeld parkeergarages, of wordt er een facility management tool gezocht voor één locatie?
  • Wil je op afstand de technische staat van de infrastructuur kunnen monitoren en indien nodig corrigeren gebruikmakend van IoT?
  • Wil je een on-premise of cloudoplossing?

Bedenk ook dat het fmis-systeem flexibiliteit moet bieden en met de onderneming mee moet groeien. En “last but not least”: de relatie met een leverancier is waarschijnlijk voor de lange termijn; dus zorg dat je je er goed bij voelt. Een goed begin is het halve werk!

De 10 top FMIS-systemen in Nederland

Heb je duidelijk voor ogen waar je naar op zoek bent? Dan kun je beginnen met het selecteren van de juiste tool. In deze top 10 FMIS-systemen vind je de meest gezochte FMIS-systemen in Nederland. Alle tools beschikken over de basisfunctionaliteiten van facilitair management software: onderhoudsbeheer, werkplekbeheer, reserveringen van (vergader)ruimtes en rapportage. De tools zijn cloudgebaseerd en voldoen aan de ISO 27001-norm.

  1. Axxerion (onderdeel van Spacewell)
  2. Facilitor
  3. Facility 2 (Wish FMIS)
  4. Famas (Fame FMIS)
  5. FM-systems
  6. Myprequest
  7. Planon (Universe)
  8. Spacewell (MCS)
  9. TOPdesk
  10. Ultimo

1. Axxerion

facilitair management informatiesysteem axxerion
Contractbeheer in Axxerion (bron)

Axxerion is onderdeel van Spacewell. Het platform, dat onderhoudsbeheer (CMMS), werkplekbeheer (IWMS) en contractbeheer (CLM) biedt is in gebruik bij meer dan 400 bedrijven over 20 landen verspreid. Rabobank, Danone en Veiligheidsregio Haaglanden mogen zij onder andere tot hun klanten rekenen. Axxerion biedt ook IoT-toepassingen. De software kan workflows triggeren, voor bijvoorbeeld reparatie of schoonmaak, aan de hand van sensorgegevens. Het is modulair opgebouwd, dus je betaalt enkel voor wat je gebruikt. Prijzen staan niet op de website, maar zijn op aanvraag bij de leverancier; een gratis demo is mogelijk.

Goed om te weten:

  • Work Assistant kan ook met Axxerion worden gebruikt. Servicemedewerkers ontvangen hun opdrachten direct op de app (tablet) en melden het werk gereed als de job klaar is.
  • Spacewell is een PropTech bedrijf, gespecialiseerd in slimme IoT-oplossingen voor “slimme” gebouwen.

Meer informatie

2. Facilitor

werkplekbeheer in fmis Facilitor
Werkplekbeheer in Facilitor (bron)

Facilitor uit Enschede heeft een volledig cloudgebaseerd FMIS dat uit 36 modules bestaat. Met ruim 32 jaar ervaring en meer dan 260.000 gebruikers is het bedrijf een goede bekende in de branche. Hoge School Leiden, de NS en het WTC Amsterdam mogen zij tot hun klanten rekenen. Facilitor startte als een van de eersten met een SaaS-oplossing voor facility management. Je kunt klein beginnen en gecontroleerd uitbreiden. Met de module Crossdomain zie je overzichten uit verschillende Facilitor-omgevingen bij elkaar. Handig als je meer vestigingen hebt. Prijzen worden niet op de website vermeld; er kan wel een demo worden aangevraagd.

Goed om te weten:

  • De Mareon-module is een platform waar opdrachtgevers en opdrachtnemers samenkomen en direct opdrachten, facturen en bestellingen automatisch uitwisselen tussen hun administraties. Momenteel zijn ruim 600 bedrijven aangesloten.
  • Goede integratiemogelijkheden: FMIS Facilitor is al met meer dan 2.500 andere systemen gekoppeld.

Meer informatie

3. WISH FMIS van Facility2

rapportage in FMIS-systemen
Rapportage in Wish (bron)

Facility2, oftewel Facility Kwadraat, uit Den Bosch brengt de facility management tool WISH op de markt, welke gericht is op vastgoedbeheer. Met 25 jaar ervaring en klanten zoals de Gemeente Utrecht, Center Parks en Wanzl retail & shop solutions, is het een ervaren zakenpartner. FMIS WISH bestaat uit 15 modules, waaronder modules Veiligheid, Legionella-preventie en Toegangsbeheer. Je kunt de implementatie beginnen met de voor jou belangrijkste modules. API’s maken koppelen met andere softwaresystemen mogelijk. FMIS WISH is alleen beschikbaar als SaaS-oplossing. De licentie is inclusief onderhoud, updates en upgrades, back-ups en hosting. Licentiekosten worden per gebruiker berekend. Prijs op aanvraag bij leverancier.

Goed om te weten:

  • Functioneert op PC, laptop, tablet en smartphone, dus 24/7 en overal toegang tot de gegevens.
  • De module Vastgoedrekenen van WISH bezit een krachtige rekenfunctie, waardoor losse spreadsheets overbodig worden!

Meer informatie

4. Fame FMIS

FMIS Fame
FMIS-systeem van Famas (bron)

Het Nederlandse FMIS-systeem Famas is leverancier van de tool FAME FMIS. Fame bestaat uit 28 modules, waaronder Wagenparkbeheer, Bezoekersregistratie en Sleutelbeheer, maar is al operationeel met de basismodules. “Keep it simple” is het motto met ‘recht toe recht aan’ functionele schermen. FAME heeft implementaties in alle sectoren: bij nationale en lokale overheden (o.a. Ministerie van Justitie en Gemeente Rotterdam), de vastgoedsector, culturele organisaties en theaters (o.a. LUX theater Nijmegen). FAME is modulair gebouwd rond een centrale database; aangesloten modules integreren met elkaar. FAME is geschikt voor het beheren van projecten op verschillende locaties. API’s koppelen deze FMIS-tool aan bestaande software binnen de onderneming. FAME is een cloudoplossing. Demo en prijs op aanvraag bij leverancier.

Goed om te weten:

  • Gebruikers kunnen in beperkte mate het eigen scherm customizen (o.a. taal, lettergrootte en kleur, achtergrondkleur).
  • Fame is webbased, maar kan ook lokaal op het intranet van de onderneming functioneren.

Meer informatie

5. FM:systems

facility management tool
Ruimtebeheer in FM:systems (bron)

Het Amerikaanse FM:systems levert een totale werkplekoplossing voor alle sectoren. Het Europese hoofdkantoor staat in Londen. FM:systems heeft meer dan 1.400 implementaties in 80 verschillende landen. FM:systems maakt gebruik van IoT met onder andere bezettingssensoren. Empirische sensorgegevens informeren je bijvoorbeeld over het aantal bezette werkplekken of ingebruik zijnde vergaderzalen. Er zijn 3 hoofdmodules: Workplace Management, Workplace Analytics en Employee Experience met elk hun eigen features. Prijs op aanvraag.

Goed om te weten:

  • Wereldwijd heeft het bedrijf al meer dan 250.000 sensoren met haar software verbonden.
  • Omgevingssensoren worden gebruikt en gekoppeld met het FMIS om veilige werkplekken te garanderen.

Meer info

6. myPrequest

top fmis-systemen Nederland
Werkorder in Myprequest (bron)

myPrequest is het facility beheersysteem van Prequest uit Den Bosch, leverancier van “space & facility” software sinds 1988. Prequest richt zich op de vastgoedmarkt en heeft haar klanten voornamelijk in het onderwijs, de overheid en de zorgsector. Het is een cloudbased oplossing, dus je kunt altijd en overal over de gegevens beschikken. myPrequest heeft een self-service module, zodat gebruikers van het systeem de mogelijkheid hebben zelf oplossingen te zoeken. Met de Field Service app heeft iedereen direct inzicht in de werkorders. Een Demo is mogelijk, prijs op aanvraag.

Goed om te weten:

  • Voor rapportagedoeleinden zijn gegevens uit andere systemen in te voeren en te bewerken met de Prequest Building Blocks rapportagemodule.
  • Prequest kan helpen bij het maken of up-to-date houden van je CAD tekeningen of Revit model.

Meer informatie

7. Planon Universe

Planon facility management systeem
Property passport in Planon (bron)

Het Nijmeegse Planon behoort tot een van de meest toonaangevende leveranciers in de FMIS branche. Ruim 35 jaar ervaring en klanten verspreid over de hele wereldbol, waaronder University of Texas, Unilever en Ahold Delhaize. Planon besteedt veel aandacht aan IoT en innovatieve technologieën. Het functioneert vanuit de cloud en met de Planon app heb je ook op tablet en smartphone toegang tot de gegevens. Planon richt zich vooral op vastgoed- en werkplekbeheer, maar heeft ook modules voor customer management, service buitendienst, lease administratie en boekhoudprocessen. Prijzen zijn op aanvraag.

Goed om te weten:

  • Planon heeft voorgeconfigureerde templates, gebaseerd op 35 jaar ervaring. Zo hoef je het wiel niet opnieuw uit te vinden.
  • Planon integreert met de meeste bekende ERP en HR-systemen.

Meer informatie

8. Spacewell

Het Antwerpse Spacewell is een zogenaamde PropTech aanbieder ontstaan uit een fusie tussen MCS Solutions en Axxerion & Plandatis. Het is daarom dat Spacewell twee facilitair management informatiesystemen onder de vleugels heeft: MCS en Axxerion.

MCS

werkplekbeheer
Werkplekbeheer in Spacewell IWMS (bron)

Het MCS FMIS is geheel klaar voor het IoT (Internet of Things) met realtime gegevens. De software is voornamelijk gericht op vastgoedbeheer en biedt ruime mogelijkheden voor customizing. Zo kun je het pakket naar eigen inzicht en behoefte aanpassen. Bekende cliënten van MCS zijn onder andere Douwe Egberts en de KU Leuven. Je kunt gebruikmaken van het IoT met de app Slimme FM-diensten. MCS kent een standaardversie en een enterprise-versie, beide in de cloud. Je betaalt per actieve gebruiker en de prijs is op aanvraag.

Goed om te weten:

  • De service-app Work Assistant van Spacewell kan met MCS worden gebruikt. Geen papieren opdrachten meer; alle serviceopdrachten, terugmeldingen en observaties direct via de app.
  • MCS kwam uit in 2016 en claimt “‘s werelds eerste FMIS-software op basis van het IoT” te zijn.

Meer informatie

9. TOPdesk

Nederlands fmis-systeem
FMIS-systeem van TOPdesk (bron)

Het Nederlandse TOPdesk is geschikt voor zowel het MKB als grote ondernemingen. Met meer dan 5.000 implementaties en ruim 25 jaar ervaring weet je dat je met een solide software leverancier te maken hebt. Ontstaan als IT-servicedesk, maar uitgegroeid tot een complete FMIS tool. Je kunt een selfservice portaal inrichten. Klanten en medewerkers kunnen zo ook zelf een antwoord op hun vragen zoeken. Naast de bovengenoemde basismodules, beschikt het onder andere over een Plan Board en Service Level Management module. De software is on-premise te installeren, maar er is ook een SAAS-versie. TOPdesk is 30 dagen gratis online uit te proberen. Prijs op aanvraag.

Goed om te weten:

  • TOPdesk is modulair opgebouwd, waardoor het flexibel is en je enkel de licentie betaalt voor de modules die je gebruikt.
  • Beschikbare open API’s laten de software makkelijk integreren met andere software. Zo kun je eventueel bestaande tools blijven gebruiken.

Meer informatie

10. Ultimo

Ultimo
Ultimo FMIS-systeem (bron)

Ultimo is Enterprise Asset Management software pakket, waarvan de Ultimo FMIS tool een belangrijk deel van uitmaakt. Ultimo Software Solutions uit Nunspeet timmert al sinds 1988 aan de weg. Met meer dan 5.000 implementaties kan het grote ondernemingen en instellingen als BASF Nederland en het Martini Ziekenhuis Groningen tot haar klanten rekenen. Modules als CAD-integratie en Ultimo Go maken het werk een stuk makkelijker. Ultimo is een SaaS-oplossing, maar de Premium en Enterprise versies zijn ook beschikbaar als on-premise installaties. De basic Essentials versie heb je vanaf € 29 per maand per gebruiker met 5GB opslag. Standaard geen proefversie, maar je kunt wel een demo aanvragen.

Goed om te weten:

  • Ultimo biedt oplossingen op het gebied van Internet of Things (IoT), big data en virtual reality, gekoppeld aan het facilitair management informatiesysteem.
  • Een speciaal koppelplatform maakt dat Ultimo met vrijwel elke toepassing te integreren is.

Meer informatie

Wil je meer weten? Bekijk dan onze online catalogus met een uitgebreid aanbod aan facility management software.

Methodologie

Om in aanmerking te komen voor onze selectie moesten de facilitair informatiesystemen voldoen aan onderstaande criteria:

  • Minimaal beschikken over basismodules als onderhoudsbeheer, werkplekbeheer, reserveringen van (vergader)ruimtes en rapportage.
  • Cloudoplossingen gecertificeerd volgens de ISO 27001-norm.
  • Hoogst in Google gerankt op 20 augustus 2020 op zoekwoorden: fmis software, facility management software, fmis systeem, facilitair management informatie systeem.

 

Building A Digital Workplace Business Case: The Office Of Tomorrow

digital workplace business case

Working from home in light of COVID-19 has strengthened the digital workplace business case for businesses and employees alike. It’s a model that fosters greater flexibility and increased mobility. It also meets the increasing need for employees to access their company resources anywhere. 

digital workplace business case

Digital transformation of the workplace allows for a whole range of industry sectors to meet the demands of the always-on nature of our modern working world. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we are seeing a rise in the emergence of innovative solutions and the adoption of innovative solutions such as digital workplace software and remote support software.  

If you are looking to build a digital workplace business case, this article will outline everything you need to know about the relevant software and its benefits for businesses. 

What is a digital workspace?

The digital workplace is an online work environment offering employees holistic and centralised access to everything they need to perform their job. It is a collaborative platform unifying all of the tools, data and resources used by a company including:

  • Emails
  • Instant messaging
  • Social media
  • Professional software
  • Document management.

Unlike traditional intranets, the digital workplace goes beyond your company portal and productivity suites, such as Office 365 or G-Suite. The latter does provide access to a collaborative working environment with a variety of applications. However, bear in mind that this comes without the integration of other tools. The digital workplace, however, is a unified virtual platform that encompasses all applications, including an intranet, providing a more streamlined and collaborative employee experience.

What to include in a digital workplace business case:

What challenges will the digital workplace solve?

The digital workplace caters to the increasingly transversal and collaborative ways in which companies need to operate today. If you’re looking to adopt this model of working for your business, there are two key benefits to help you build your case: Strengthening employee productivity and improving communication.

Employee productivity

Like the office, home working has the potential for distractions. Therefore, keeping employees productive was a big priority for businesses during the initial lockdown. However, the challenges of coronavirus, and how it affects the way and where we work, continue to evolve. Companies face a growing need to allow their employees greater flexibility and mobility. 

By intelligently unifying all business resources, the digital workplace allows employees to access their workspace at any time and in any place, improving their ability to be agile. With the centralisation of a company’s platforms and tools, employees also no longer need to switch between multiple platforms. This streamlines the working experience, and in turn, improves overall efficiency.   

Collaboration and internal communication

Communication can be a common challenge for organisations, with many seeking to better involve and unite their employees. The digital workplace simplifies the flow of information between employees by using integrated messaging solutions, so even if employees are working in different places, they can still work together smoothly. 

Improving communication and the sharing of information not only strengthens collaboration between employees but also increases productivity while saving time. In addition, by providing companies with a future-facing, dynamic work environment, a digital workplace can enhance the appeal of a company to clients and potential candidates alike.

What are the main advantages of the digital workplace?

The digital workplace can help bring companies into a faster and more flexible way of working. By consolidating tasks into one place and interconnecting all tools and resources, employees can effectively do their job from anywhere. They can also adapt to and unanticipated workplace challenges.

More specifically, the digital workplace makes it possible to:

  • Have unique and secure access to professional resources.
  • Facilitate synchronous interaction and communication between collaborators.
  • Better unify employees and foster collaboration.
  • Schedule tasks in a shared calendar and streamline their management.
  • Share knowledge and resources with greater ease.
  • Access documents and information on the move.
  • Provide a real-time dashboard.
  • Reduce operational costs through task automation.

The considerations of implementing a workplace transformation

For the digital workspace to perform its key function of unifying and streamlining a company’s resources into one virtual environment, a business needs to ensure they can adapt to this digital overhaul. For instance, the range of platforms, tools and servers a company may have would need to meet certain requirements to fulfil a successful transition to a digital workspace. This includes meeting criteria for governance, security, data management and staff training.

Data integration is also a key consideration. For the software to amalgamate a company-wide range of resources, it needs to host a variety of your business’ data, which may include confidential or sensitive information that you will need to protect. In addition, each business has its own unique requirements that perhaps can’t be met by software just yet, and so it’s worth checking that the vital resources employees require to work can be incorporated into your digital workplace.

Looking toward the future

Just as the way in which we work continues to change, there is no doubt that the modern workplace will continue to evolve and adapt to the needs and expectations of businesses, and ultimately improve the way in which we all do our jobs. A digital workplace strategy is a good place to start when remote work is increasingly growing to be (at least part of) the new normal for offices.

Looking for a digital workplace solution? Check out our catalogue.

Anatomie d’un plan de continuité d’activité efficace

plan de continuité

plan de continuité

Une entreprise sans plan de continuité d’activité (PCA), c’est comme un chirurgien opérant sans examen préalable : l’on a beau connaître son opération par cœur, si l’on avance à l’aveuglette, les conséquences peuvent être fatales. Un plan de continuité d’activité est un peu le carnet de santé d’une entreprise : il aide à connaître et comprendre sa structure en détail, et à anticiper les traitements futurs si un mal survenait.

Lors d’une enquête GetApp* menée auprès de 335 décisionnaires fin mars 2020, il est ressorti que 37 % ne disposaient pas de PCA et que 13 % ignoraient si un tel plan existait au sein de leur entreprise. La crise a rendu la mise en place d’un tel plan d’autant plus pertinente que de nombreuses incertitudes planent sur le long terme.

À chaque entreprise correspond un PCA qui lui est propre. Pour établir le vôtre, il vous faudra disséquer votre organisation afin d’identifier les organes essentiels (ceux qui maintiennent votre activité en vie) et ceux dont le rôle est secondaire.

Qu’est-ce qu’un plan de continuité d’activité ?

Un plan de continuité d’activité est un manuel de survie compilant les risques pouvant affecter une entreprise et les stratégies pour en apaiser les effets au plus vite. L’objectif est de permettre la poursuite de l’activité dans les meilleures conditions possibles et d’accélérer la reprise. Une entreprise disposant d’un tel plan sera plus à même de se remettre rapidement et de limiter les pertes.

Un PCA ne se résume cependant pas à une brochure théorique condamnée à prendre la poussière dans un tiroir : il s’agit d’un support permettant de préparer tous les collaborateurs à  l’action en cas d’incident. En détaillant les étapes et actions concrètes des départements impliqués, cet ensemble de documents se veut un plan d’action détaillé laissant peu de place à l’improvisation.

Le PCA vise les objectifs suivants :

  • Avoir une vision claire des risques
  • Prendre des mesures préventives
  • Déterminer des solutions de secours
  • Informer et former les collaborateurs 
  • Maintenir l’activité, accélérer la reprise

La crise a provoqué une recrudescence des attaques informatiques. Vol de données afin de les exploiter ou de les revendre, blocage du système avec demande de rançon, saturation de serveurs ou encore phishing : telles sont les diverses attaques prisées des hackers à l’heure où opérer en ligne est gage de survie.

Les données constituent une cible de choix pour les pirates qui s’intéressent à ces précieuses informations stockées par les entreprises, qu’elles concernent l’entreprise elle-même ou les clients. Un vol de données peut entacher durablement une réputation, voire sonner le glas pour une entreprise.

Si le risque informatique fait partie des incidents majeurs pour une PME, d’autres événements peuvent survenir : une panne téléphonique mettra au chômage technique une équipe de service client ou de vente, une inondation rendra des bureaux inaccessibles, une erreur humaine exposera des données confidentielles, la faillite d’un client affectera la santé financière… Le quotidien ne manque pas de mauvaises surprises et celles-ci n’arrivent pas “qu’aux autres”. Les dommages sont réels, en particulier pour les PME qui ne disposent pas d’une organisation rodée comme beaucoup de grands groupes.

Un PCA est efficace lorsque l’ensemble des mesures fonctionnent en symbiose. Sa mise en place n’est cependant pas aussi complexe qu’une opération à cœur ouvert et consiste en quelques étapes. Mais comment établit-on et organise-t-on un PCA ? Quels sont les logiciels qui facilitent sa préparation et sa mise en œuvre ? Gartner a d’autre part rédigé un modèle de plan de continuité d’activité, disponible pour les clients Gartner (document en anglais).

plan continuité activité

Prévenir et guérir à la fois : anatomie d’un plan de continuité efficace

Comment rédiger un plan de continuité d’activité ? La rédaction d’un PCA peut être découpée en 7 grandes étapes. Celles-ci sont d’ordre général et s’adaptent à la plupart des secteurs d’activité. À chaque entreprise de créer le contenu correspondant à ses besoins spécifiques.

1. Examen : listez les risques pouvant affecter votre activité

Quels sont les risques les plus à même de survenir et d’affecter votre organisation ? Listez tous les cas de figure et identifiez-en l’impact potentiel sur votre entreprise. Vous pouvez les classer par ordre de probabilité ou de force d’impact. 

Conseil logiciel : un outil de gestion de projet vous aidera à organiser cette première étape de votre PCA.

2. Bilan de santé : identifiez les processus critiques

Posez-vous les questions suivantes :

  • Sur quoi repose principalement le fonctionnement de votre activité ?
  • Quel est l’outil ou le processus sans lequel votre monde s’effondre ?
  • Quel est l’organe le plus fragile de votre entreprise ?
  • Pendant combien de temps votre entreprise peut-elle survivre sans cet organe ?
  • Quels sont ceux qui peuvent être mis en pause et réactivés ultérieurement ?

En somme, demandez-vous si vous disposez d’un plan B pour effectuer à peu de choses près le même travail. Si vous y répondez par la négative, il est temps d’envisager des solutions préventives et curatives.

Conseil logiciel : utilisez une base de connaissances pour documenter votre analyse.

3. Collège d’experts : réunissez des chefs d’équipe

E-mail, Internet, intranet, serveurs, matériel informatique… Rares sont les PME qui se passent aujourd’hui de ces outils au quotidien. Votre meilleur allié sera le département informatique ou, à défaut de disposer d’une telle structure, un prestataire externe. Ces experts sauront vous conseiller en matière de mesures préventives et sont les plus à même d’assurer la maintenance et la réparation des divers incidents.

Nommez également un porte-parole ou manager de chaque département : ceux-ci sauront identifier les points critiques de leur domaine, anticiper les risques hypothétiques et proposer une solution pour y remédier ou les contourner. 

Par exemple, le responsable RH saura identifier les compétences nécessaires en cas de crise et organiser les formations ; le responsable des ventes rassurera la clientèle ; le spécialiste en marketing pourra créer une campagne de communication ; l’expert-comptable connaîtra tout des données les plus sensibles. 

4. Diagnostic : discutez ensemble des meilleures stratégies

Une fois l’équipe d’experts constituée, réunissez-les afin de mettre noir sur blanc la marche à suivre et les remèdes possibles. Ensuite, ceux-ci rapporteront à leur équipe les actions envisagées et répartiront les rôles. Il est important d’impliquer l’ensemble des collaborateurs : ils sont les rouages de la grande machine qu’est votre entreprise.

Conseil logiciels : envisagez un logiciel de collaboration et de communication d’équipe afin de faciliter la répartition des tâches et de favoriser l’inclusion des collaborateurs.

5. Prophylaxie : réduisez les risques et menaces

Pour chaque risque, une solution de secours existe. En voici quelques exemples :

La formation des collaborateurs constitue une mesure préventive. Des cours de cybersécurité ou de classification de données permettent d’enseigner les bons gestes à adopter et de réduire ainsi les erreurs humaines en interne. Certains outils peuvent d’ailleurs accompagner au quotidien ces bonnes pratiques, comme les gestionnaires de mot de passe.

Dans tous les cas, une communication à l’échelle de l’entreprise est cruciale pour le bon déroulement des opérations d’un PCA.

Conseil logiciels : une plateforme LMS est un outil pédagogique pour former de nombreux collaborateurs sur des thèmes à la carte. Les logiciels de plan de continuité d’activité s’inscrivent également dans cette démarche de prévention en sécurisant les données.

6. Traitement : soyez attentif aux symptômes

Les besoins d’une entreprise peuvent évoluer et les risques peuvent réserver des surprises qu’il était difficile de prévoir. On a beau avoir pensé “à tout”, la flexibilité reste de mise.

Il est recommandé de tester son PCA une à deux fois par an afin d’en vérifier la pertinence et l’efficacité. Votre modèle a peut-être évolué depuis la création du PCA et certaines sections méritent éventuellement d’être mises à jour.

Un exercice de type “alerte incendie” appliqué à votre secteur peut être un bon moyen de d’évaluer l’efficacité de votre plan de continuité. Cela peut prendre la forme d’un test partiel (un département) ou complet (l’ensemble de l’entreprise). Rédigez un rapport à la suite de l’exercice et actualisez le PCA si besoin. N’oubliez pas de communiquer les changements, le cas échéant.

Quant aux imprévus, gardez en tête que le PCA n’est pas gravé dans le marbre et que certaines solutions ne seront peut-être pas à la hauteur des dommages le jour J. Néanmoins, vous serez autrement mieux préparé et bénéficierez d’une solide base de connaissances pour les affronter et poursuivre vos activités.

7. Guérison : pansez les plaies et avancez

Armé de votre PCA, vous serez prêt à affronter la plupart des situations. Sans cette documentation, vous risquez de perdre du temps à chercher des solutions qui peuvent s’avérer contre-productives.

Une fois la tempête passée, faites-en le bilan : ces informations vous aideront à consolider votre modèle, voire à le transformer.

La crise de COVID-19 a chamboulé le modèle traditionnel du travail présentiel et a poussé les entreprises à une certaine digitalisation pour faciliter le télétravail. Au moment où le confinement général s’est imposé, 44 % des PME françaises** n’étaient pas prêtes à opérer pleinement en télétravail. Celui-ci s’est pourtant imposé en devenant une nouvelle normalité.

Conseil logiciel : il arrive parfois que l’on doive repenser son business model ; un logiciel de conduite du changement vous permettra d’analyser la situation et de mener à bien la transformation nécessaire.

La résilience comme nouvelle normalité

La crise de COVID-19 est une mine d’enseignements en ce qui concerne la transformation numérique des entreprises. N’a-t-on pas, pour donner un exemple, observé l’explosion des commandes en ligne avec le confinement ? Cette adaptation n’a pas été aisée pour tout le monde et beaucoup n’y étaient pas préparés. L’onde de choc provoquée par le COVID-19 continue de métamorphoser les modèles de travail. Aux entreprises, en particulier les petites, d’apprendre à s’adapter pour leur survie et d’adopter une attitude salutaire d’anticipation des risques.

Et maintenant ? Consultez notre catalogue de logiciels de plan de continuité d’activité pour trouver l’outil qu’il vous faut.

*Méthodologie de l’enquête : pour collecter les données de ce rapport, nous avons mené une enquête en ligne entre le 15 et 19 mai 2020 auprès de 397 employés de PME françaises effectuant du télétravail en raison de la crise de COVID-19. Les 335 répondants aux questions présentées dans ce rapport ont été sélectionnés selon leur rôle dans l’entreprise : ceux-ci sont issus de divers secteurs d’activité et sont tous preneurs de décision (confirmé/manager, manager sénior, membre de la direction ou haute direction).

**Méthodologie de l’enquête : pour collecter les données de ce rapport, nous avons mené une enquête en ligne entre le 20 et 24 mars 2020. Les réponses proviennent d’un échantillon du marché cible français. Parmi les 639 personnes ayant été sollicitées, 311 répondants correspondant à ces critères ont été sélectionnés pour répondre à nos questions. Les participants sont issus de divers secteurs d’activité et travaillent dans une PME.

Delivery Route Optimisation: Advantages For Small & Medium Businesses

route planning optimisation

We’re living in an increasingly on-demand world, so it’s no surprise that we’re expecting things faster, better and easier. In other words: now! 

For transport companies and delivery services, this presents a double challenge: Increasing their speed of service to meet the growing expectations of consumers, while keeping their costs from soaring in the process. To achieve this, companies must focus on delivery route optimisation. 

route planning optimisation

Delivery route optimisation requires a solution that combines speed and economic efficiency. This involves analysing two key variables—the distance and the duration of the journey, and the constraints and costs to determine the ideal route. But the key question is: How can organisations carry out this analysis quickly and accurately on the move for each trip? The solution lies in route planning software, an essential tool for optimising transport and delivery costs.

What is route planning?

Route planning is the process of calculating the fastest and most economical route for a trip (including a multi-stop route). A vehicle fleet management tool intended for transport and logistics companies can also complement the route planning tool for the distribution and delivery sector. It’s usually a piece of software or an online platform that companies can customise to their individual needs.

To plan the most efficient trip, the tool takes into account a series of parameters, such as:

  • Driving time
  • Distance
  • Stopping times
  • Vehicle load
  • Number of packages
  • Toll roads
  • Road restrictions
  • Delivery times
  • Working hours.

The software calculates not only the duration of the journey but also the transport costs involved. Based on this data, the tool generates the most efficient route plan. 

What are the objectives and benefits of route planning for SMEs?

The objectives and benefits of route planning software are the ability to get from A to B as efficiently as possible.

With this in mind, route planning is hugely beneficial for both the profitability of transport services and customer satisfaction. By minimising kilometres travelled and delivery times, companies can reduce transport costs including fuel, overtime payments, and the number of vehicles to operate, ultimately increasing their productivity and profits.

For companies delivering products for various industries, route planning tools can be easily integrated into existing tools. For instance, the addresses listed on an Excel sheet can be directly converted into an itinerary, freeing up employees for other tasks. 

The tool is suitable for sectors as diverse as mail delivery, construction and waste collection, and insurance and leasing companies. For service providers, route planning also guarantees greater productivity and efficiency when managing fleets of several hundred vehicles by intelligently distributing tasks. 

For customers, intelligent route planning means a greater satisfactory experience since companies can more accurately calculate delivery times, and therefore communicate and fulfil more precise ETAs. In addition, the tool gives customers increased control and reassurance as they can track orders, receive regular notifications regarding their order’s status, and ultimately receive products and services on time.

The essential functionalities of route planning software

Route planning tools integrate the following functionalities:

  • A quick calculation of the best route and intelligent assignment of tasks.
  • Track vehicle progress on the map in real-time.
  • Management of deliveries, including delivery status, proof of delivery receipt, and quantities delivered.
  • Customer information, including order tracking and instant notifications.
  • Recording of arrival and departure times at each site.
  • Real-time map and route updates.
  • Communication via messages and calls with both team members and customers.
  • Filter search and intelligent analysis of activity reports.
  • Navigation with voice guidance.
  • Receiving feedback, comments and ratings from the driver.

To explore suitable options, its worth companies utilising route planning software platforms that offer free versions of their account—either in a form of a trial or a free forever version.

Efficiency and reliability—it’s win-win

With intelligent route planning, transport companies and delivery services can save both time and money. They’ll avoid unnecessary miles as well as increase productivity. It also equips them to meet the expectations of our increasingly demanding society, making for happy customers. 

Looking for route planning software? Check out our catalogue.

Faut-il payer pour Skype ? 3 alternatives gratuites

Cet article a été publié une première fois en mai 2018, puis mis à jour en juin 2020.

“Il faut vraiment payer pour cette application ?” Voilà une question typique des consommateurs de la génération Internet, élevés dans un univers où tout est facile d’accès, instantanément et souvent gratuitement : télévision, spectacles, musique, informations… Pourquoi payer s’il existe une version gratuite ?

Évidemment, cette approche est également de mise dans le monde professionnel, où l’on s’interroge notamment sur l’intérêt d’utiliser une version payante de Skype, l’outil de conférence web le plus populaire au monde (acquis par Microsoft en 2011).

De nos jours, toute entreprise a besoin d’un outil de visioconférence en ligne et disposer de canaux de communication puissants est essentiel à la réussite des entreprises.

En particulier lorsque l’on sait que l’échec des projets est souvent dû à un manque de communication.

En tant que gestionnaire de projets, vous devez vous assurer que votre équipe reste connectée (que ce soit pour des réunions Scrum ou pour tout échange, en général), mais vous devez également respecter votre budget. Il semble alors logique de se demander pourquoi utiliser un outil payant alors qu’un logiciel gratuit pourrait offrir des fonctionnalités identiques.

Dans cet article, nous passerons d’abord en revue les options payantes de Skype (installé par défaut sur toutes les machines Windows), puis nous présenterons quelques alternatives gratuites qui permettent notamment de discuter en face-à-face avec des collaborateurs à distance.

Faut-il vraiment payer pour utiliser Skype ?

Pour faire bref : non (enfin, vous devez payer votre connexion à Internet). Vous pouvez utiliser Skype gratuitement depuis votre smartphone ou votre ordinateur pour communiquer avec un autre utilisateur connecté sur un autre appareil.

Mais les choses se corsent si vous voulez entrer en contact avec une personne qui n’utilise pas Skype ou qui n’y a pas accès. Par exemple, un membre de votre équipe en déplacement qui ne dispose pas de l’application sur son téléphone mobile, ou encore un collaborateur qui dispose d’une connexion Internet faible, voire inexistante.

C’est peut-être improbable, mais ça arrive. Pour parer à toute éventualité, mieux vaut avoir une solution de rechange. Sans parler des interlocuteurs qui ne peuvent ou ne veulent pas utiliser Skype. 

Sans oublier qu’appeler un numéro fixe ou mobile depuis Skype (votre correspondant reçoit l’appel sur son téléphone et pas par le biais de l’application Skype), c’est payant.

Pour pouvoir effectuer ce type d’opération, vous devez acheter des crédits ou souscrire un abonnement mensuel.

  • Pour 400 minutes d’appel, vous devrez débourser 7,80 € par mois.
  • Vous pouvez passer des appels illimités dans 63 pays pour 15,60 € par mois (des restrictions peuvent s’appliquer).
  • Enfin, vous pouvez acheter des crédits Skype par tranche de 5 €, 10 € ou de 25 €. Les tarifs à la minute varient selon la zone d’appel.

Au revoir Skype Entreprise, bonjour Microsoft Teams

Tout ce que nous venons d’énoncer correspond à la version de base de Skype.

Elle suffit généralement aux auto-entrepreneurs et aux petites structures. Les organismes de plus grande envergure, en revanche, ont besoin de fonctionnalités supplémentaires : communication simultanée avec plus de deux utilisateurs, tableau blanc et partage d’écran notamment.

Microsoft a récemment fusionné Skype Entreprise et Microsoft Teams, son outil de web conférence. Les utilisateurs y retrouvent toutes les fonctionnalités de Skype Entreprise dans le nouveau logiciel de conversation.

3 alternatives gratuites à Skype

Vous ne voulez pas passer à la version payante de Skype, mais vous avez besoin de fonctionnalités supplémentaires ? Voici 3 logiciels de visioconférence gratuits qui pourraient vous intéresser.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous le détail de leurs fonctionnalités et le prix d’un upgrade, au cas où l’évolution de votre entreprise vous pousse à chercher une solution plus robuste.

Certains de ces outils comprennent d’autres fonctionnalités de gestion de projets, comme la gestion des tâches et le partage des fichiers. Ils pourraient donc se révéler avantageux à plus d’un titre.

Ils sont ici présentés par ordre alphabétique.

1. Glip

Aperçu de Glip (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,5/5 (161 avis)

Glip, créé en 2012 et racheté par RingCentral en 2015, présente quelques fonctionnalités supplémentaires dont la gestion des tâches et le partage de fichiers.

Version gratuite : publications, espace de stockage, intégrations et utilisateurs invités illimités. La version gratuite inclut 500 minutes de conversation vidéo par mois.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : pour 5 $ par utilisateur/mois (environ 4,5 €), vous obtenez 1 000 minutes de visioconférence par personne et par mois. Vous bénéficiez également de fonctionnalités de contrôle administratif avancé, de politiques de rétention des données, d’exportations conformes et d’une assistance prioritaire en permanence.

En savoir plus

2. GoToMeeting

Aperçu de GoToMeeting (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,5/5 (7 244 avis)

GoToMeeting, disponible depuis 2004, fait partie de la famille des logiciels Citrix Systems. Connu pour ses réunions “en un seul clic”, le logiciel vise avant tout à simplifier l’organisation de visioconférences. Il permet de lancer immédiatement la conversation sans avoir à  télécharger un logiciel supplémentaire ou à fouiller différents menus.

Version gratuite : avec GoToMeeting Free, collaborez avec 3 personnes au maximum depuis votre navigateur Google Chrome, jusqu’à 40 minutes par session. Inclut le partage d’écran.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : disponible à partir de 12 € par organisateur/mois (forfait annuel), la première version payante prend en charge jusqu’à 150 participants et vous donnent accès à des fonctionnalités comme les applications mobiles, les outils de dessin et le partage de clavier.

En savoir plus

3. Wimi

Aperçu de Wimi (source)

Note des utilisateurs sur Capterra :  4,7/5 (93 avis)

Wimi, logiciel conçu à Paris, est bien plus qu’une plateforme de visioconférence : c’est un véritable outil de gestion de projets incluant des fonctionnalités comme la gestion des tâches, le suivi des jalons ou encore les tableaux Kanban.

Version gratuite : inclut la gestion de 8 projets, 10 Go de stockage et un support client par e-mail pour 3 utilisateurs.

Si vous voulez passer à la version supérieure : disponibles à partir de 9 $ (environ 8 €) par utilisateur/mois, les versions payantes vous permettent d’enregistrer un nombre illimité de projets et d’invités et vous donnent accès à 250 Go de stockage, au partage de fichiers et à une assistance téléphonique.

En savoir plus

D’autres alternatives à Skype ?

Et vous, comment communiquez-vous à distance avec vos collaborateurs ? Utilisez-vous Skype, une des alternatives présentées dans cet article ou bien une autre solution ? Partagez votre expérience en commentaire !

Vous souhaitez en savoir plus ? Consultez notre catalogue de logiciels de visioconférence pour découvrir davantage de produits.

78% of Australian SMEs Say Software Will Be Critical To Their Survival

Usage of technology in Australia during a crisis

Australian businesses have faced one of their hardest years to date. As a result, companies are leaning heavily on software acquisition to survive. Based on Capterra’s latest survey results, we reveal how technology in Australia (such as collaboration software) was prioritised during the pandemic, and what lessons businesses can apply to the new challenges ahead.

Usage of technology in Australia during a crisis

The state of Australian small and mid-sized businesses in 2020

Official figures reveal that the economy decreased by 0.3% in the first three months of the year due to the bushfires and early stages of the outbreak. This shrinkage officially pushes the country into a recession. Governor Phillip Lowe said Australia is facing the toughest conditions since the Great Depression but notes that ‘it is possible that the depth of the downturn will be less than earlier expected.’

Capterra looked into the crucial business decisions that have been made by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive the economic downturn so far. We surveyed* 458 Australians currently employed by an SME. Three-quarters of the survey panel represent decision-makers so that we can take a deep dive into the rationale behind the business decisions. 

To read the full methodology of this research, skip to the bottom of the page.

62% of SMEs don’t expect to survive another six months

The survey revealed some concerning statistics: 62% said they don’t believe their business can last another six months under current conditions (government aid aside). 

More positively; most see technology as the ally that will help see them through. 78% of decision-makers said the software purchases they make will be critical to their survival during (and after) the pandemic. 

Technology in Australia
Infographic 1: How technology in Australia has been used by SMEs during the epidemic

Now, as Australia enters the first recession in 29 years, small businesses are under even greater financial pressures. To survive, SMEs must apply what they’ve learned during COVID-19. 

3 key lessons we can take from the pandemic and apply to future economic challenges

1. Plan for the worst 

The pandemic caught most SMEs in Australia off-guard. In fact, many didn’t prepare for a crisis in any form according to Capterra’s research. Less than half (49%) had a business continuity plan in place before the outbreak. As a result, business leaders had to react fast—making decisions that previously took weeks or months in a matter of days. 

Capterra’s research highlights how SMEs in Australia were rapidly forced into a back-to-basics mentality. Investing in fundamental technologies (such as remote work software) to allow them to operate virtually was a key response during the pandemic—and one that will continue helping them weather the storm during the recession.

Why it’s important: Your company office may never set fire, but you’ll certainly want a fire extinguisher there anyway. The same applies to a business continuity plan. Hope to never use it; but make a plan that will enable you to survive the unexpected regardless.

2. Focus on short-term priorities

With budget allowances tightened, small businesses reprioritised resources to make them stretch further. For example, rather than hiring new help into the business, 58% of managers say they reassigned the roles of existing employees to focus on mission-critical tasks.

But small businesses are still spending where necessary, such as investing in essential technological resources. 79% of respondents say their business needs new software to stay productive in a virtual working environment. Below is a breakdown of where respondents said their businesses had to (or still need to) invest in software:

  • Collaboration: 39%
  • Internal processes: 25%
  • Product delivery: 15%

Note: 19% already had the software they needed, while 1% weren’t sure. 

Why it’s important: By making these changes now, businesses better position themselves to thrive in emerging digital landscapes. 

3. Adjust spend allocation and timelines to fit with new market conditions

An overwhelming majority of SMEs made decisions to reallocate budget to mission-critical tasks. SMEs made adjustments in three main ways:

During COVID-19, 84% of SMEs adapted their 2020 planned spend 

Three months into the year and planned spend went out the window for the majority of businesses. Almost a third (31%) of SMEs increased their spend but the majority (53%) said the pandemic caused them to make temporary reductions. Just 14% said the pandemic didn’t impact their planned spend.

Planned spend adaptions during COVID-19
Infographic 2: A breakdown of spend adaptions in Australian SMEs due to COVID-19.

68% moved budget to other areas of the business

More than two thirds (68%) of respondents said the pandemic forced them to change where they invested money within the business. Of this number, 48% didn’t have software acquisitions or upgrades in their plan before the lockdown—but say their hand was forced. A fifth of respondents (20%) already had a budget allocated to software but had to move it to a different area of the business.

The most popular software acquired during the pandemic includes:

  1. Remote desktop software
  2. Video conferencing software
  3. Collaboration software
  4. Live chat software
  5. Webinar software.

40% sped up software acquisition to pay for unexpected business needs

More than half (52%) of SMEs have had to delay their planned spend in the medium and long-term. However, 40% say the opposite: Covid-19 bought their timeline forward. 

Timeline adaptions
Infographic 3: How spending timelines were adapted by SMEs due to COVID-19.
Why it’s important: In a crisis, it’s sensical for companies to be more conservative with their budget. Making non-essential investments isn’t bad spending. However, business leaders should first feel confident that they have the fundamental resources (and finances) to withstand another crisis (such as a second wave of the epidemic.)

What drove business-decisions during the coronavirus crisis?

Three main factors influenced the products selected by SMEs during the pandemic. We’ve listed them below in order of what respondents felt were most important:

1. Pricing

Respondents referenced a software product’s price and range of plans available as the biggest influencing factor in their software purchase decision. With 53% of SMEs reducing their spend as a direct response to challenging market conditions, it’s natural for buyers to be mindful of price. 

The second most attractive feature for buyers was the availability of a free trial. This not only suggests that software buyers are getting savvier with their budget, but also that they’re putting more thought into investing in the right software.

Tip: We have put together a list of software vendors that are offering users a free version of their platforms to help them navigate challenges brought about by COVID-19.

2. Ease of use

Usability refers to “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals, with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” according to ISO 9241 Ergonomics of Human System Interaction.

According to our respondents, ease of use was the third most important aspect of product selection. With 57% of SMEs now working from home, this preference is an unlikely coincidence.

Businesses need to select software that their team will respond well to. Platforms that confuse or frustrate users will only deter them from using them.

3. What other people said about the product

31% of respondents referenced the perceptions of other buyers (and existing customers) as important. For example, reviews on software comparison websites and opinions posted on social media platforms. 

It’s common for us to turn to online reviews for consumer purchases, so it makes sense that this is being mimicked in the B2B software buying decision. According to our online reviews survey, 98% of Australians read online reviews before they make a business purchase, and 94% believe them to be trustworthy.

Critical business investments put SMEs in good stead 

At the beginning of the year, Gartner predicted that spending on technology in Australia (both for products and services) would increase to AUD$99.6 billion in 2020. Information technology (IT) services were expected to take precedence, with a predicted AUD$36 million spent during 2020.  Communication services would follow closely behind at $28.8 million. 

The crisis appears to have fast-tracked these digital advancements, putting businesses in a less vulnerable position while the country navigates through the recession. It’s likely that business-critical software will continue to take precedence over non-essential software until market conditions improve.

The digitalisation of basic business functions will be key to the survival of smaller businesses in Australia. In particularly challenging conditions, businesses can take comfort in the fact that the moves made now have the potential to make them more robust in the future. 

Looking for remote work software? Check out our catalogue.

*Survey methodology: The current usage of technology in Australia

Capterra wanted to understand the current usage of technology in Australia as well as the strategies that functioning small and mid-sized companies took to navigate the pandemic. 

We surveyed people living in Australia and employed by an Australian SME. The panel included part-time employees (22%) and full-time employees (78%). Due to the COVID-19 crisis, 88% of survey participants were working remotely full-time or part-time. However, 12% were not working remotely due to various restrictions; such as not being able to perform their job remotely or not having authorisation from their employer.

Of the total respondents, 75% of them held management positions with decision-making power. A quarter (25%) were junior or intermediate level workers (with little to no influence over business decisions.) The participants come from various business sectors and levels of seniority.

We conducted an online survey around how SMEs are utilising technology in Australia between 19th and 21st of May. Capterra defines SMEs as companies with fewer than 200 employees, and more than one.

The importance of MSP and ITSM for your SME

msp-itsm-for-your-sme

Today is difficult to find a company that does not depend on anything IT at all. From the family business through small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs), technology is present in all of them, even if it is only a point of sale (POS) system to allow customer payments. In this context managed service provider (MSP) software and an Information Technology Service Management  (ITSM) tools are required for successful business operations.

msp-itsm-for-your-sme

This article aims to clarify what is ITSM and its benefits for SMEs. We will also explain how to set up a successful IT service management plan and how to put it into practice, involving the different areas of the company.

What is ITSM?

ITSM comprises all the actions that must be performed by an organisation to plan, operate, control and deliver information technology services to its customers, whether internal or external.

An ITSM tool must be part of the strategic IT plan, which in turn follows the corporate strategic planning.

IT services vary from company to company, so the strategic IT plan also changes depending on the branch and size of the organisation.

However, the goal of IT service management is unique: to provide a quality information technology service in line with business strategy, anticipating company and customer needs wherever possible.

The anticipation of the company’s needs is a key point of an ITSM tool, because it allows relieving the department’s workload with unnecessary calls, thus allowing more focus and quality to the services provided.

The overload of calls is detrimental to the smooth running of IT services and should be avoided. IT management plays a key role in this task.

In other words, ITSM is a workflow of processes and actions that aim to meet the technological and information needs of a company proactively, resulting in more quality and value in the services delivered to customers.

MSP and CMDB: what they are and how they contribute to ITSM

There are some categories of programs that are essential when putting IT service management into practice, such as IT asset management software and MSP systems.

The former can, and should, be combined with the use of configuration management databases (CMDB) to make your company’s ITSM even more effective.

But what are IT asset management programs for? They take care of the inventory and lifecycle management of your company’s hardware and software assets, allowing you to control costs and track the business value of IT across the organisation.

In this way, the IT manager is able to adapt to the compliance program and manage software licenses and IT tools more easily.

To store information about these assets, it is essential to use a CMDB. This is an information repository that contains the details of all the configuration items in the IT infrastructure.

The CMDB lists all critical assets in the organisation, establishing the relationships between these components and tracking their configurations.
MSPs are usually associated with billing and customer charges, but they go far beyond that.

They remotely monitor and manage the IT infrastructure, making remote troubleshooting possible and reducing travel costs and unnecessary time expense. In addition to cost reduction, an MSP also provides more security for the company’s technology structure and improves the customer experience.

Benefits of ITSM for your company

The implementation of an ITSM tool in your company will result not only in improved quality of service delivery and customer and user experience, as previously mentioned, but also in reduced risks and operating costs. Below, we explain these advantages in more detail:

  • Improved quality of IT service delivery
    Since IT service management is based on a prior understanding of the company’s and customers’ needs, proposed solutions can directly address the most critical IT service bottlenecks. The result? More quality in the delivery of these services, which also contributes to the next item.
  • Improved customer and user satisfaction
    In addition to understanding the needs of customers, ITSM jointly establishes the criteria under which IT services must be provided between IT and users.By participating in the process of defining these criteria, customers are more satisfied with the management of the services and the results obtained.
  • Risk reduction
    ITSM provides more accurate and constant control of the most critical IT services, reducing the possibility of falls or unavailability of these services for users. By identifying priority services, IT service management avoids operational damages and work breaks that can even generate financial losses to the company.
  • Cost Reduction
    The most solid path to cost reduction is the organisation, which is the main basis for IT service management.

With ITSM, the best organisation of the IT department results in the optimisation of processes and a broader knowledge of the needs of the company and customers, enabling better decision making and, consequently, cost reduction.

Moreover, the implementation of ITSM aligns IT with corporate strategy. The IT department becomes part of the company’s planning, contributing satisfactorily to the achievement of goals and objectives defined for the entire organisation.

Steps to implement IT service management in your company

As stated at the outset, IT services vary by industry and size of organisation. Each company has different needs according to its business and strategic plan.

However, when it comes to implementing ITSM, the steps to be followed are the same in all cases, regardless of the type of organisation and the industry in which it operates:

1. Develop strategic planning

The first step before starting ITSM is to determine a strategic IT plan from the lines drawn in corporate strategic planning.

Only then can you begin to define the processes and make the decisions, together with the management, about the company’s IT services.

2. Create an IT Service List and SLAs

With the strategic IT plan in hand and, if possible, formally documented, it follows to create a catalogue of IT services.

The list should be as complete and detailed as possible, including information such as responsible persons, service levels, quality criteria and costs for each of the services described.

This catalogue serves to show services in an organised and efficient way, providing an overview of everything that is offered.

A key point in defining each of the services is the service level agreement (SLA), which must be agreed between the IT department and the corresponding client. SLAs determine the criteria a service needs to meet to be considered acceptable.

3. Incident and problem management

In technical jargon, problems are repetitions of incidents of the same nature, suggesting that the occurrence is not punctual and needs to be treated urgently.

In any case, the satisfactory solution and within the quality standards and timeframe previously defined must be contemplated in the ITSM.

A common example is the unavailability of the Internet, which, if not solved in a timely manner, can generate negative impacts on the company’s productivity and generate losses.

4. IT Project Management

IT projects are also part of the scope of IT service management. They can be requested by specific areas from specific or strategic company needs, or they can be based on a proactive action of the IT department, anticipating the occurrence of a problem or based on the objectives defined in the strategic IT plan.

Projects require effort, time and cost. Therefore, they need to be well managed in order to result in relevant improvements to the organisation and not bring more problems and unnecessary expenses.

The role of the project manager, aligned with the company and the IT area, is crucial at this stage.

5. Capacity and Availability Management

Capacity and availability management is a fundamental prerequisite for good IT service management.

Without knowing the capacity of the team, it is not possible to make a correct forecast of the fulfilment of demands or the maintenance of ongoing services, and the impact on the business can be disastrous.

The IT department must always be aware of these factors in order to provide proper ITSM.

6. Improving IT Services

The improvement of IT services is both a cause and a consequence of ITSM. The search for constant improvement of the services offered must be one of the objectives in the IT strategic plan and the good implementation of management will certainly result in improvements throughout the company.

Build your strategy

Now that you know the process of IT service management and know the benefits that its implementation can bring to your company, do not waste time.

Make sure you take the time to develop a strategic IT plan and follow up on service management.

Analyse and compare ITSM software, IT asset management and MSP systems to find those that best fit your company’s needs.

A Global Perspective Of Current & Future Remote Working Trends

Study future remote working trends

COVID-19 has disrupted the world of work in Australia and beyond. In a study of 4,600 global respondents, Capterra explores the current and future remote working trends emerging from this experience.

Study future remote working trends

What measures have businesses taken across the world?

Many countries implemented measures to slow down the virus by asking people to work from home where possible. Companies had to react fast as a result, investing in remote working technologies and adapting their product offerings so that they could be delivered virtually.

Now, several countries (including Australia) are beginning to look at ways to lift lockdown measures. To move cautiously, most governments are urging people to continue working from home until they have greater control over the virus. 

Capterra wanted to learn more about remote work challenges, the usage of software and cybersecurity practices around the world during the pandemic. We conducted a survey* with 4,600 full-time remote working employees from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) from Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and the UK.

In this article, we reveal how the world has coped with working under their country’s quarantine guidelines, as well as the varying levels of teleworking success.

How many SMEs worldwide are working remotely because of the outbreak?

59% of SMEs around the world are working remotely full-time as a direct response to the coronavirus outbreak. In Australia, this number sits at 57%. However, not every country was moving into remote-work at the same pace.

Remote working transition rates worldwide

The survey highlights Brazil as the remote working leader, with 77% of the country already teleworking. France, on the other hand, was transitioning to remote work with less urgency. Just 40% of its country’s workforce have made the move.

The good news is that people seem to be enjoying teleworking. Approval of remote work is almost unanimous around the world—according to the global survey results, 74% say they like or really like it. 

This could be connected to the many benefits respondents listed they’ve experienced since remote working. Respondents gave their top home working advantages and the most popular included:

  1. No commuting
  2. Adjusting work hours around personal life responsibilities
  3. A casual dress code
  4. Being able to do more work than usual
  5. Taking care of children and pets.

The most cited work from home benefits for Australia was in line with the global results; no commute (44%), adjustable work hours (36%) and a casual dress code (34%).

The future is remote: 55% believe their business could continue functioning with a distributed workforce

The crisis is pushing digital transformation and shows companies how important it is to not only adapt products and services but also work processes. Remote work had been the reality for a small number of employees around the globe: Only 11% of employees worldwide worked remotely full-time before the crisis. 

If people enjoy working remotely, and management doesn’t perceive a drop in productivity during this period, the future will continue to trend toward this type of working. In Australia alone, 87% of employees want their employer to allow them to carry on with a remote working policy. More than half (54%) of this number said they want to combine remote working with going to the office, while 33% said they want to switch to a remote regime completely.

Remote working happiness

According to a prediction by Gartner, Generation Z will drive this trend further and faster. Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010) is the generation of true digital natives. They have honed their digital collaboration skills throughout their lifetime, and prefer digital collaboration over in-person collaboration. Generation Z’s preference to work remotely will solidify remote working as a standard working practice moving forward.

Adapting to a remote workforce:

Brian Kropp (VP at Gartner) gives his advice on how to help your employees stay productive when working from home:

  1. Ensure employees have the right resources: Equip employees with the technology they need to be successful. This covers everything from the right hardware to the software for team collaboration
  2. Focus on outputs: Focus more on what employees should be accomplishing and less on the processes they should follow to get there. Set up clear objectives to create greater clarity for employees but allow them to figure out the roadmaps.
  3. Increase recognition: ‘During periods of disruption, employees’ desire for being recognised for their contribution increases by about 30%,’ says Kropp. Recognition can be a public acknowledgement, tokens of appreciation, development opportunities and low-cost perks.
  4. Use two-way communication: Two-way dialogue between managers and employees is essential —especially during change. Employees must understand the reasons behind decisions and their implications. Similarly, managers must be aware of employees’ challenges and concerns.
  5. Trust in your employees: Managers may be nervous to lose constant visibility of their employees’ work activities, but micromanaging isn’t the correct response. It will only disengage already stressed employees. Instead, put confidence in your employees and trust them to get on with their job.

70% of companies globally adapted their products and services so they could deliver them virtually

Encouragingly, many companies were able to react to the crisis successfully. According to the survey, 70% of companies altered some or all of their business offerings so they could deliver them virtually during the lockdown. In Australia, this number was 72% which puts them slightly above the world average.

Business product adaptions

Gyms are keeping members active through at-home workouts, held via video conferencing tools. Restaurants have marketed dining in as the new dining out—made possible through takeaway and food delivery software services. Similarly, real estate agents are giving buyers and renters tours of potential new homes through virtual tour software. These are just a few examples of innovation the world has witnessed during this period.

Digitising your product or service is one step on the way to earning new digital revenue. If you want to further transform your business offerings, here is a how-to list we created to guide you through the process. 

6 ways to earning digital revenue

Gartner vice president Hung LeHong gives 6 key ways to earn new digital revenue:

  1. Sell existing digital assets: Start with the digital assets you already have, such as selling your expertise or creating market insights out of your owned data.
  2. Digitalise a service or product: Sell (or adapt) your product or service so it’s accessible to customers while social distancing restrictions apply. Deliver services virtually, for example, or offer online delivery options for physical products. 
  3. Offer a pay-as-you-use service: Buyers will be more likely to use your digital assets if they don’t have to sink resources into owning or managing them.
  4. Use shared metrics to vary prices for buyers: Offer flexible pricing models for a specific service level. 
  5. Run a platform business: A platform business allows you to trade products and services without having to own or distribute them. One example of this business model is Airbnb.
  6. Move into new industries: Does your area of expertise cross over into another? Use your knowledge and industry know-how to launch into other markets where you can add value. 

60% of SMEs worldwide bought or plan to buy new software to accommodate remote working environments

Companies had to quickly adapt their usage of technology to respond to the crisis. Our data shows that 60% of companies across the globe bought (or plan to buy) new software tools for being able to work remotely. The survey also found that 64% of employees worldwide (61% for Australia) learned how to operate the new tools with ease.

Software infrastructure has also been impacted around the globe. Businesses increased their investment in cloud technologies, with 39% of companies worldwide saying they now use cloud products to support remote work. The Netherlands adopted cloud-based services the fastest (at 53%), while France had the lowest adoption rate (31%).

In the following graphic, we’ve highlighted the most popular remote working tools around the globe:

Most used remote working tools worldwide
Most popular tools for remote working during the global quarantine (Source: Capterra)

Important note: Most software products were adopted to enable:

  • Team communication
  • Collaboration 
  • Remote support. 

When purchasing new tools, it’s important to invest in IT security at the same time (such as network security software, cloud security software and computer security software). Otherwise, the risk of cyberattacks increases.

Communication is the top challenge of working remotely

While the majority of employees identified they enjoy working from home, some challenges were also evident. The biggest issue is the lack of communication. It’s important to address and solve these challenges, so employees can be successful and productive while remote. 

Remote working challenges globally
Global remote working challenges identified during COVID-19 (Source: Capterra)

The study shows just 37% of companies provide guidelines on communication and team meetings. This isn’t enough. Supporting employees during this crisis, such as providing software for communication and guidelines in the right areas, is crucial. 

Want to know more about how to create strong communication processes? Check out our 10 Effective Communication Tips For Teams Working Remotely.

Home working global statistics


Cybersecurity measures within SMEs could improve worldwide

One of the most important things for remote work is creating a safe working environment. We recommend the following 5 steps to help ensure IT security for your business. 

1. Don’t use personal devices to work

40% of the employees globally use only their personal devices to work remotely. It’s highly recommended that employees don’t work from personal, unprotected devices. Employees should resist working from their own devices because it leads to a higher risk of exposing company data. If it’s unavoidable, employees should ensure the personal device is sufficiently secured. 

2. Invest in cybersecurity resources

Only 39% of all employees worldwide have antivirus software installed and 29% use Firewalls. Invest in security tools, such as antivirus software and firewalls. These two systems should be the standard in every business. Additionally, consider implementing network monitoring and endpoint protection.

3. Educate staff of types of cyberattacks

32% of global respondents were victims of a phishing attack. Of those, almost half (49%) happened since COVID-19. 

Despite this, only 22% use email security software. Email is one of the most important forms of communication in businesses, but unfortunately, also one of the most insecure. However, email security software can reduce the risk of phishing attacks by identifying malicious emails and eliminating the threat.  

Tip: Companies should consider implementing a company-wide phishing test. The test helps to determine the susceptibility of employees to this type of attack.  

4. Install a VPN

Less than one-third of companies use a VPN, also known as a virtual private network.

Invest in a VPN if your business needs to access and transfer business data remotely. VPNs provide an encrypted connection to the Internet that prevents third parties from viewing network activity.

5. Strengthen passwords to online business accounts

Worldwide, just 36% of employees are following recommendations for strong passwords, with randomised letters, numbers and characters. Additionally, only 29% of employees worldwide use a password manager. 

Good password management will help prevent cyberattacks. Companies should use this time to educate their employees about the importance of strong passwords. A good password manager is the most secure solution and also makes sharing passwords with colleagues much more convenient.

Tip: When exploring password managers, look for one that offers two-factor authentication (2FA). Most authentications don’t activate automatically, so remember to set it up before sharing it with your team!  

To see how remote employees are managing their passwords across the globe, check out the graphic below:

Password security infographic worldwide

Remote working trends that emerged from this experience

Across the world, small and mid-sized businesses were driven out of their comfort zones and forced to be more versatile to survive. What can we take from this unusual and unexpected experience? There are some key learnings—and they aren’t just relevant during a crisis, but also for when we come out of it.

3 key takeaways:

  • Companies are quickly adapting to working remotely and offering their product virtually
  • Companies are adopting new software
  • Employees like the option to work remotely.

However, we’ve also learned that companies need to improve:

  • Communication with employees
  • The use of security tools
  • Password policies.

Companies have had to put greater trust in their employees to do the right thing: Honour their work responsibilities in their allocated hours. As a positive consequence, staff are enjoying casual dress codes, flexible working hours and more. What is clear, however, is that trust has proven to go further than micromanagement. Employees working remotely are happier now that their company is providing them with a bit more flexibility.

Similarly, companies have had success with creating new and dynamic offerings by adapting what they sold before so it can be delivered virtually. They‘ve showcased innovative thinking, versatility and resilience in a time of historical uncertainty. Looking forward, it seems possible that businesses across the globe will come out stronger than before.

Want to know more about remote working software solutions? Check out our list of remote work software.

*Survey methodology

To understand the current and future remote working trends across the world, we conducted an online survey between 4th April 2020 and 14th April 2020. We surveyed 4600 employees of small or mid-sized businesses, who are working remotely as a response to COVID-19. The participants come from various business sectors and levels of seniority. Respondents are from Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands and the UK.

Note: The graphic about top challenges working remotely had multiple response options, so the total sum of the percentages exceeds 100%.

What Is A Virtual Data Room? Plus The Tools & Tips For Setting Yours Up

What is a virtual dataroom

With COVID-19 continuing, a large part of the working population is performing their 9-5 online from the comfort of their own home. But many entrepreneurs are now aware that not all of the data they need is accessible online from home. In some cases, it’s because it’s confidential. For others, it’s because they didn’t store data on a central server.

A virtual data room, whereby businesses can store data securely in one place, offers companies a valuable solution for managing a distributed workforce. 

What is a virtual dataroom

What is a virtual data room (VDR)?

A virtual data room is a highly secured online archive to store documents. This includes confidential documents such as financial transactions, insurance documents, patents; and other due diligence documents. A VDR essentially houses all documents that are important for your business. VDRs are increasingly used today by:

  • Banks, insurance and other financial institutions
  • Lawyers, consultancy and accountancy firms
  • Real estate, trade and brokerage
  • Large and small companies that want to share confidential documents online with employees, business partners or customers.

What benefits can SMEs experience by using a VDR?

Key advantages of a VDR are security and central availability, including:

  • Advanced multi-level authentication procedures to prevent hackers from accessing your documents.
  • Advanced encryption for the transfer and storage of data.
  • Access rights determine which staff members are authorised to carry out particular actions.
  • Having everything in one central location (which staff can reach at all times from anywhere.)
  • Registering and reporting changes in documents (who changed what, and at what time).

Information sharing 

You can share VDR documents with people inside and outside the company. An administrator determines which documents are shareable and with who. They also determine access rights, such as who can read, change, upload or download, documents. This is useful when working in the cloud for management and employees, but possibly also for customers. For example, they can view their own contracts and delivery terms.

Temporary virtual data rooms

A virtual data room doesn’t have to be set up for life. You can temporarily rent a data room for purposes such as contract negotiations with a large customer, an audit, or a special project. It saves travel and accommodation costs, and parties can exchange and work in documents directly and confidentially. 

What are the key differences between VDR and cloud storage

Businesses in Australia have a wide selection of (free) cloud storages available to them today, including OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. The three main major differences between generic cloud storage and a VDR are:

  1. VDRs meet the highest safety standards. The opportunity for cybercriminals to steal data is (almost) zero. The software uses advanced encryption and bit keys during data transfer and storage. The files can only be read by authorised persons. With generic cloud storage, these protections are not available.
  2. VDRs have document management software. It registers and reports all actions that occur within a document.

Steps to set up a virtual data room

Setting up a VDR starts with a thorough inventory of the data you want to include. This gives you a good overview of the size of the VDR you require. From this, you can start to look for a provider. In addition to the price, you should consider a number of factors:

  1. Security: Choose a provider that uses a high level of encryption; at least a two-step authentication procedure.
  2. Document management and control: What functionality does the VDR offer, what are the options for recording authorisations for persons and documents, and what reporting options are there.
  3. Ease of use and accessibility: Can you also access it with a smartphone or tablet? What happens if many users want to work at the same time.
  4. Support: 24/7 support is particularly useful if you operate in international markets.

5 VDR options for SMEs in Australia

VDR software is a cloud software, so you don’t have to install anything: An internet connection is enough. To help you find a VDR provider, we have selected five options for you. Find the detailed methodology at the bottom of this page.

The five tools mentioned meet the following basic conditions:

  • Suitable for SMEs 
  • Web-based, but it is also available via a smartphone or tablet (Android and iOS)
  • Use a security system with at least a two-step authentication procedure.

1. iDeals Virtual Data Room

iDeals Virtual Data Room interface
iDeals Virtual Data Room permission granting interface (Source)

This is a data room with extensive functionality, including protecting documents against screenshots and photos. Setting up this data room doesn’t require extensive IT knowledge. In addition, iDeals offers free training with the Pro and Business packages to its users. You can work with the iDeals data room from AUD$150.00 per month (annual billing) which gives you:

  • 30-day free trial
  • Maximum 500 MB of storage
  • Maximum 10 users, 2 administrators and one project room
  • Drag-and-Drop function to easily and quickly move files to the data room.

Read more

2. Clinked

Clinked profile and dashboard
User dashboard for Clinked virtual data room (Source)

Clinked is a simple platform that’s quick to set up, with a clear dashboard that provides direct insight into activities of (project) groups and accounts. For important files, you can stay updated via email notifications. Clinked’s data room starts from AUD$140 per month and offers:

  • 10-day trial with 10 users
  • 100 GB storage
  • Up to 100 users, unlimited ‘fellow users’
  • Integration with Zapier is possible for expansion and integration with other platforms.

Read more

3. Box

Box user activity dashboard
User activity dashboard on Box (Source)

Box is a somewhat lighter software but offers more than enough possibilities to experience working with data rooms. Users report some challenges with the upload speed, but with the most basic version, you can rent a virtual data room for AUD$7.50 per month, per user. For this, you get the following features:

  • 14-day trial period
  • 100 GB storage
  • Maximum 10 users 
  • Box is always free with one user, which works well for freelancers.

Read more

4. Onehub

Onehub new user setup
The setup process for new users on Onehub (Source)

Onehub distinguishes between paid users and free users. Free users can only view, print and download, and their number can be up to 200. The platform integrates with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. A clear dashboard immediately gives users a good overview of the actions in their virtual workspace. The most basic plan costs AUD$23.00 per month and includes:

  • 14-day trial period
  • Maximum 3 paid users (+ 200 free users) with a maximum of 50 workspaces
  • Maximum 1 TB of storage
  • 20% discount to non-profit organisations and schools.

Read more

5. Koofr

Koofr data synchronisation
Koofr data synchronisation (Source)

With Koofr, you can connect your existing accounts to various online storages, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. If you have the Koofr app on your smartphone or desktop, you can automatically synchronise all documents and photos. It is a limited data room, but a good option to try out for the first time. There is a free version that gives you 2 GB of storage. The simplest paid version costs AUD$10 per year, with the following features:

  • 10 GB storage
  • Unlimited sharing of (password protected) links to documents
  • Unlimited file size.

Read more

Want to know more? Check out our catalogue of virtual data room software to discover more products.

*Methodology

The above tools were chosen according to the following criteria:

  • Suitable for SMEs
  • Customer rating of 4.5 stars or more on GetApp
  • Available on Android and iPhone
  • Web-based
  • With a mobile web app

Note: the five software platforms have been listed in a randomised order.

Online Document Management: How To Get Organised Fast & Free

online document management tools for small businesses

How many hours have you wasted hunting for a document that’s gone missing? How much anxiety have you felt searching through messy digital folders in search of an essential file? 

If these issues sound familiar to you, you’re likely in need of an online document management system. The necessity of such systems is even greater when employees are collaborating while working remotely. Having everything stored in one easy-to-access space can be a game-changer when workers are frequently switching from one device to another, or working at different times of the day. 

Think you’re ready for a secure records management system? Below, we’ve outlined some of the benefits and tips for getting set up on a document management system ASAP, as well as a review of some of the most popular platforms available.

The benefits of a document management system

Ask anyone who has switched to an online document management system, and they’ll be able to tell you how much life improves once you are set up and organised. But if you’re still on the fence wondering whether it’s worth the effort needed to switch over, here are some of the top benefits of a document management system: 

Improved organisation

By far the biggest advantage of a good system is how easy it is to be organised. With everything stored in one place and accessible from any approved device, as well as smart search functions, it’s much easier to stay organised. 

Better collaboration

Most document storage systems allow you to create “live” documents. Meaning if you’re working on something as a team, you won’t need to email versions of documents back and forth every time someone makes a change. Instead, any new changes will be visible in the live document stored within the system. 

Enhanced security

A good digital records management system will come with security measures that will give you peace of mind. You can limit who within your organisation has access to any given document, and if an employee’s workplace device is stolen or lost, you can easily deny the compromised device access to your documents. 

Easy backup storage

Traditional document storage relies on a hard drive to save files. This means if your computer malfunctions, you’ll lose every document stored on it. With an online document management system, this is no longer a worry—everything is stored safely in the cloud. As a bonus, this will free up lots of space on your hard drives.

How to create a document management system

The technology you use to store your online documents is a vital part of your document management system, but no matter what platform you choose, you’ll need to do some planning. 

Here are the steps we recommend you follow to get ready for the transition to digital document storage: 

  1. Take stock of your existing files

The first step of transitioning to a document management platform is uploading files that already exist. This may be the most time-consuming step, as you’ll need anyone in the organisation who has created and stored documents to lend a hand. You will need to decide what documents are worth storing and what ones you can discard. It can also eliminate any duplicates or old versions of documents. 

  1. Start building your folders

Most document management systems allow you to create folders, and these will be key to keeping everything organised. Creating folders first will make it easier when it comes time to upload individual documents. Start with “parent” folders—for example, you might have one folder titled “Marketing”, another titled “HR”, and another titled “Finance”. Within these, you can then create sub-folders like “Branding”, “Personnel Documents”, and “Tax Documents”. 

  1. Establish a standard naming convention

Within your digital management system, you’ll be able to sort documents alphabetically. Your system will be much easier to manage if you establish a naming convention for all files, and enforce that convention across your business. Many companies use the date of creation to name files, starting with the year—for example, call a document something like “2020-April-3 Blog Article”. You can also use words like “Draft” or “Version-2” or “FINAL” to help indicate where documents are within your internal processes. 

  1. Set security rules and regulations

As mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of online records storage is the added security you get—but this won’t mean much if your employees don’t adhere to your security standards. Once you have a good understanding of the security settings you want to employ, create a guide for employees so they will be able to follow suit with every document they create. 

Free document management software reviews

Below you’ll find an overview of some of the most widely used digital document storage platforms. We’ve listed them from highest to lowest based on user recommended score, and we’ve put details on their overall rating and ease of use, customer service rating, their cost, and some of their primary features. 

For a detailed methodology of how we put together this list, see the bottom of the article.*

1. Google Docs

Rating: 4.7/5

Features: 4.5/5

Ease of use: 4.7/5

Customer support: 4.3/5

User recommendation score: 9.2/10

 

Google Docs collaboration tool for online document management
Multiple users access a shared Google Docs file (Source)

 

About Google Docs:

Google Docs is an all-in-one document management system used by countless organisations around the world. If your business is already using Gmail or other Google Apps, then the transition to Google Docs should be pretty simple. 

Google Docs is part of the larger Google Drive suite, a cloud-based storage system that allows you to create and manage everything from word documents to photos, videos, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations, all in one place. 

Fans of Google Docs praise the simple interface, as well as the ease of sharing and collaborating on documents. You can also upload existing files with a simple drag-and-drop method. This makes it simple to transition to Google Docs if you have existing files stored on hard drives.  

2. Dropbox

Rating: 4.5/5

Features: 4.4/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Customer support: 4.2/5

User recommendation score: 8.6/10

 

Dropbox online document management
Dropbox online document management interface (Source)

About Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most common document management systems on the market today. It has an estimated 500 million people worldwide signed up for the service. The platform is a straightforward system, with an easy drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to move and store files no matter how many people are working on the same system. 

Dropbox works within the cloud, but users can also install a Dropbox extension on their personal devices, meaning they can work on live documents even when offline. There are no restrictions on what file types you can store within Dropbox. If you use diverse multimedia, this solution may be a good option for your organisation. 

 

  1. Box

Rating: 4.3/5

Features: 4.3/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Customer support: 4.2/5 

User recommendation score: 8.4/10

Box online document management tool
Box’s online document management folder system (Source)

About Box:

With Box, you can access any of your stored files from any device or browser. This is an advantage when you have employees working on different types of mobile phones and computers. 

Box users cite the easy sharing capabilities of the platform as one of its best features. With just a few clicks, employees can share any type of stored document with one another. You can also assign administrator roles to specific people within your organisation; these individuals will have the ability to control sharing and storage, so you can feel more secure about sensitive files on the cloud. 

Organisation is key

If you haven’t used an online document management system before, it may seem daunting to switch over to a new platform. 

There will likely be a few teething issues to sort out initially, but once you have transitioned your team over, you’ll find the added organisation and security that comes with a document management system is well worth the effort. 

To take a deeper look at some of the options available, check out our full list of document management system platforms.

 


*Methodology:

  • We reviewed GetApp Australia’s directories of document management software, which produced a list of 250 software apps (research conducted 16th March 2020).
  • Out of these products, we narrowed the list to those that had an overall rating of 4/5 stars. This reduced the list to 210 apps.
  • Many users are in lockdown, and won’t have access to face-to-face IT support. We set criteria whereby the tools must have at least 4/5 star ratings for ease of use and customer service.
  • We then cut the list to include only the most reviewed apps and analysed the written reviews. This action took the list down to 8 tools (with 3,000 real-user reviews.)
  • The tools had an established market in Australia.
  • Finally, we evaluated the number of monthly searches being carried out for each tool. To assess this, we use keyword research software to narrow the list.
  • This produced the final three tools in the list.

NOTE: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of GetApp.