iManage vs. eDocs

imanage vs. edocs

iManagevs. eDocs – A Document Management System Comparison

Law firms more frequently rely on digital document management systems (DMS) to improve how their office organizes documents, manages cases and secures client data. And there are a lot of digital document management systems available. The sheer number of possibilities could make it difficult to choose the one that would best serve the needs of your firm.

In this article we’ll do a side-by-side comparison of two prevalent document management systems used by law firms:

iManage vs. eDocs

Before we jump right into the head-to-head comparison, lets take a step back and explore the elements that you should consider when making this important decision.

  • Is it an actual document management system or is it just digital storage? A legitimate document management system does more than just act as a place to store documents and data. It should also provide features to help your law firm better use and manage them. For example, the ability to add tags that can be searched on as well as a search feature that can search files, document metadata, and the inside of documents to help you find what you need.

  • Does the way the program organize documents make sense for your law firm? And if it doesn’t, can you change the way that documents are organized? Many generalized DMS options may organize documents and data by user who created or initially needs it instead of by client or by matter. Some options allow each user to reorganize data and documents at least based on their own view. The benefit of this is that the data and documents are still stored in a centralized location, but every user can create a dashboard that better suits their needs.
  • Will your other legal applications integrate with it? This is important because you don’t want to fall into the possibility of needing to duplicate work or to move a document (or data) back and forth between programs. At the very least, you need a DMS that integrates with the version of Microsoft Office your law firm uses (and not all DMS solutions integrate with Office 365) and Outlook. Bonus points if it integrates with your client management or software management software.
  • Does the search function really make life easier? Consider how the search function operates. Does it only search the names of folders and documents? Does it search your email and your attachments, too? Does it allow you to create custom tags? Does it use optical character recognition (OCR)? OCR searches on file and document names, metadata (such as author name, internal notes and document classifications), and the inside each document. You can search on any word or phrase you recall and the DMS will search through everything to bring back only the results that have the requested search terms.
  • Is it easy to learn and use? What’s the purpose of adopting technology if no one wants to use it? The DMS chosen for your law firm should be easy to learn and easy to use. If it isn’t, it is likely that at least some of your employees won’t bother with it. When it’s not used by everyone, this can lead to serious issues such as multiple versions of the same document floating around and the inability to find a document you need because it’s not stored in the DMS.
  • Who will move your data to the DMS? You can’t make use of the DMS until your documents and data are moved. Who will do that? Are you required to do it on your own? Does the DMS company move everything for you? If they move everything for you, how is it done? Will you need to pay more for this service?

Now that you understand the basics you should consider when evaluating DMS solutions for your law firm, let’s look at a couple of generalist DMS options.

What do we mean by generalist DMS?

A so-called generalist document management application is one that is made for and used by several industries. It isn’t designed specifically for law firm use, but it still has some features that benefit law firms (but perhaps not everything a law firm may need).

iManage: Basic Overview

iManage is a DMS that can be hosted and ran on an on-premise server or on a private cloud. If you’re interested in a native cloud DMS, iManage is not it. If you’re into technology and want a DMS you can install onto your own private cloud, iManage still may not be a good fit for you unless you have significant technical experience.

iManage integrates with Microsoft Office, Outlook, document scanners, Google Drive, OneNote, and DropBox. It organizes documents and data through a projects set-up. So, every document, email, or attachment associated with a specific matter or client would be housed directly inside of the project associated with that matter or client.

Users have the ability to tag documents. This, along with completely filling out the metadata (such as the name of the author and including identifying information about the client), allows iManage to create an index. The index is used to return search results. It is important to note that iManage does not have OCR although it does have some AI capabilities that relate to other features, such as the ability to move an email or attachment into the right project without user assistance.


eDocs: Basic Overview

eDocs is a DMS that can also be hosted and ran on either an on-premise server or on a private cloud. Much like iManage, it is not a native cloud app. However, it also doesn’t require the same extensive technical knowledge to complete a DIY install as iManage. Of course, it still takes substantial technical knowledge if you want to install it on your own.

eDocs allows each user to change the basic interface to make it better suit their needs. The changes they make do not affect other users. Users can also be assigned different permission levels by the administrator. This helps ensure data security as well as employees gaining access to what they need.


iManage Features That Benefit Law Firms

The way that iManage manages documents and data by project is beneficial for law firms. You could choose to set your projects up by client (one project equates to one client, and folders within the project exist for each matter for that client) or by matter. It’s also helpful that iManage integrates with most document scanners. This makes it easier for employees to automatically scan physical documents directly into the proper project inside of iManage.

It’s also great that iManage integrates with the most popular document storage providers, such as Google Drive. This can make it much

easier for the law firm to move their existing documents into iManage while still using their digital storage drive when they’re out of the office.

iManage also includes a feature that alerts others if a document is changed. The document must be stored in iManage for this feature to

work. This helps control the integrity of client and firm documents.

eDocs Features That Benefit Law Firms

The ability each user has to change their interface in eDocs is beneficial for law firms. Users can make it easier on themselves to find the

documents and data they need.

The Verdict

Between these two generalist DMS options, iManage has better features for law firms. Yet, it doesn’t have OCR. However, it does have the ability to automatically move emails and attachments into the proper projects.

Before you commit to iManage, make sure that you think about the needs of your law firm. You should also consider looking at DMS solutions made with the legal industry in mind.

Take a Look at LexWorkplace

Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at LexWorkplace.

LexWorkplaceprovides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere.

Learn more about LexWorkplace.


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