Reducing Business Risk in Collaborative Document Reviews

Almost every vendor who has a solution for document management claims that they provide document collaboration, however, if you dig a bit beneath the surface, you’ll find that there are several different types of document collaboration. Is your business willing to take the risks associated with many of those document management solutions? What is the impact if the press or your competitors obtain a copy of a document identifying a new business opportunity, detailed competitive analysis, or new pricing?

The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors have some tremendously valuable features, but in general only provide the capability to share documents for collaboration. What someone does with the document once they have it is their problem/opportunity. Here are some of the risks associated with that approach:

  1. The reviewer can store a copy of the Word document on their device – once that happens, it can no longer be revoked AND they can send it to whomever they wish. That poses a significant risk of a disgruntled employee leaking a document or someone unintentionally forwarding confidential information.

  2. In some cases the solution only supports a serial review where the document must be checked out and then checked in. Those users miss all the benefits of a parallel review like you experience in a face to face meeting and the document author could wind up with incorrect information in their document if reviewer 3 or 4 adds wrong data and person 1 who is the expert has already finished their review of the document. A serial review takes longer to complete than a parallel review and what happens if a person early in the serial review workflow is on vacation for 2 weeks? Can your business afford to risk that delay in today’s competitive market?

  3. In some cases the solution supports a parallel review where everyone has the opportunity to change the content of the document. That provides the benefits of a parallel review, but the document author must check all the changes carefully to make sure they are correct and what if the author misses one and it’s wrong? What if four people change one specific word? The author probably only sees the last change and doesn’t even know there were three others – what if one of those other 3 was the correct change? Can your business (or you) afford the risk of incorrect information being published?

Google Docs and SharePoint provide parallel review capabilities, but suffer the security vulnerabilities of point #1 and are hindered by the problems associated with point #3.

What if you just circulated a document in Microsoft Word via email which is what happens with most contracts. That suffers the security vulnerability of point #1 and even magnifies the problems associated with point #2 since none of the reviewers have ANY visibility to what the other reviewers are suggesting. What happens if someone slips in a change that Word Track Changes didn’t pick up? Here is a real world example of what happens when two large multinationals worked on a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars – the press conference was scheduled, the EVP was sitting at the desk for the conference and literally 15 minutes before the press conference, the lawyers came running in saying “don’t sign that, they inserted some changes that we didn’t see”.

Some EFSS vendors still suffer from version control issues and circulating Word documents in emails definitely suffers from version control problems. Here is a real world example of what happens when version control issues are encountered – two legal firms were finalizing a $100 Million contract and sent what they thought was the latest version to their clients for signature. As it turned out, both legal teams sent the wrong version of the document to their clients for signature and both clients, trusting their legal advisors, signed the incorrect version of the contract! Fortunately, the companies were friendly enough to correct the error, but do you think they every used those legal firms again?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a solution that eliminated the business risk associated with leaked documents? Wouldn’t it be great to collaborate in a document review process that provided the same impact as a face to face meeting – a parallel review where everyone could see everyone else’s comments, everyone could comment on everyone else’s comments, and the author of the document retained control of the contents of the document? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to finally eliminate the business risk of version control problems? Wouldn’t it relieve a huge amount of stress for the document owner if they knew that nobody could change the content of their document without the document owner clicking with their mouse to accept a suggested change? Wouldn’t the document owner feel much better about the collaboration if they saw ALL the suggested changes and they could choose which one to use rather than the system just picking the last one? Wouldn’t all those benefits significantly reduce your business risk?

Isn’t that risk reduction worth $15 per month for each of your employees if you have under 100 users? As the volume of users grows, the cost per user comes down.

That solution exists today and it is called SavvyDox. SavvyDox doesn’t replace your ECM or EFSS, it provides a complementary easy to use intuitive front end solution for collaborative document review that can be integrated with your ECM or EFSS.  You can still enjoy all the benefits of your ECM or EFSS and tighten the security around your collaborative document review process.

Integrations into a Single Sign On solution, Active Directory and OpenText have been developed to provide a seamless implementation for two departments within the Government of Canada. Other integrations can be developed using SavvyDox’ REST based API to address other unique business environments.

Why not go to the SavvyDox web site and check out the use cases, watch a few short videos in the resource section, and download the software for a no charge trial. Remember that you need two or more people collaborating on a document to experience the benefits, so ask a co-worker to join you in the test. If you’re using an ECM, an EFSS, or especially Word and email, you will be able to experience reduced business risk from document leaks, reduce costs as a result of productivity improvements for both document authors and document reviewers, improve document turnaround time as a result of an author controlled parallel review process and create better quality documents by introducing SavvyDox into your workflow. If you’re not using an ECM or EFSS, SavvyDox can also provide those same benefits while serving as a lightweight document repository.

In short, reduce your overall business risk at a very affordable price with SavvyDox.