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The New Rules of Document Collaboration

Table of Contents

Document Collaboration .......................................................................................................3 Storing Documents Online Is Just The First Step ...................................................................3 Not All Solutions Are Created Equal ............................................................................................5 Where Does Your Team Fit Into This? ..........................................................................................7 5 Pitfalls and How To Get Around Them ....................................................................................12

Next Steps ..............................................................................................................................15

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Foreword Why a book about Document Collaboration? If you're reading this, you're probably wondering if document collaboration can work for you. I know I was. I first encountered the concept about four years ago. Today I’d be lost with collaboration tools. Remember, when we started products like Dropbox, BaseCamp, EverNote, and Zoho were the exception - not the norm!

What are those New Rules? One reason we created this book is as a ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped get us here. Quite often we’d hear, ‘Is there a primer, a Document Collaboration 101, or a Dummies guide I can read?’ We felt they deserved more. And rather than write a one-off book, we decided to develop a series of books about document collaboration, for instance, on Security, ROI, and Best Practices. The New Rules of Document Collaboration is the first in this series. It’s a roadmap to help you navigate through the issues, risks, and other unknowns when it comes to selecting a document collaboration application. But, it’s more than that. It also shows where you can benefit from Document Collaboration: how to use it in the workplace, make immediate cost savings, and ensure your firm doesn’t miss out. Thanks for reading. When you're done, feel free to post this on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit. Regards, Fabrice Talbot Founder, Agilewords.com Ivan Walsh Editor, Business Synchronicity at www.ivanwalsh.com

PS - Thanks also to the Agilewords team who made the project a reality.

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Document Collaboration Document Collaboration How does Document Collaboration differ from other technologies, such as Document Management and Content Management? I get asked this a lot, for instance from firms who hear that their competitors have adopted document collaboration tools and don’t want to get left behind. Here’s one way of looking at it. While Document Management is concerned with managing the lifecycle of a particular document (or set of documents), Document Collaboration is about sharing access to a specific document, so your team members can work on it in a truly collaborative fashion. The emphasis is on team collaboration. Content Management allows you to take information and distribute it across different networks - for example, on websites, intranet, and mobile devices – so the appropriate piece of content is delivered to the right person. Document Collaboration starts long before this; it’s the first step in the creation of the content, at least when the content is developed in tandem with others, such as other writers, editors, designers, and other subject matter experts. In this ebook, we look at how Document Collaboration works from a high level and then drilldown to show how it adds value and where you organization will benefit by adopting this technology.

Storing Documents Online Is Just The First Step The benefits of implementing document collaboration are obvious to most firms; however, before you select a document collaboration application, you must first examine potential technical issues and also how the corporate cultures may affect the desired results. Let’s look at the way we do business… and the way we could do business.

The problem with email Email has its place. It’s a wonderful tool for communicating with your colleagues, especially when you want to send an FYI, memo, or status update. So, for one-way communications it works very

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Document Collaboration well. It’s also fine for two-way communications. For instance, asking for confirmation to the next meeting. But when you want to go beyond this, for example, request that your team give feedback on a confidential document, it gets more difficult to manage. Email is not ideal for company collaboration, whether we talk about internal, corporate or customer collaboration. And, we no longer share news or other mundane things over email; we use Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube instead. We’re also relying less on email for file sharing, collaboration and distributing sensitive information.

The problem with shared servers Another issue is shared servers. Sharing documents on internal networks, shared servers and intranets, is fine for storing data. But, unless you have document control processes in place, defined document naming conventions, setup access rights, and purged old data, the servers tend to become dumping grounds for all types of document. It ends up like a ‘digital basement’, with pieces of documents thrown here and there. A further complication is that we now share more information with colleagues, clients and partners who reside outside our corporate walls and are unable to access this information. This need to share business information in a secure and structured manner has been one of the reasons why cloud computing (aka SaaS) has gained in popularity.

Why we moved to the cloud What is the cloud? When you store an email attachment in your Gmail account, you're holding it in the ‘cloud’. It’s not on your PC; it’s out there on a remote server, available 24/7. This trend to use web collaboration tools continues to increase as we stop sending (copies of) documents via email and storing them online instead. Today, the focus is on keeping documentation in a well-structured and secure centralized location. When we developed the security model for Agilewords, we made sure that the location (and login credentials) are only with specific users or teams and avoid version madness, security breaches and accountability issues.

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Document Collaboration Do you really need to move to the cloud? One valid question is why move to the cloud, especially if your business is doing fine without it. Is it really worth the effort to do the cost benefit analysis, change your business processes, and re-train staff?

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The New Rules of Document Collaboration