Firstly, what is Records Management? Let’s break it down quickly.
Records – This is a document that can serve as legal evidence
Management – The process of dealing with or controlling things or people
Bring them together… Records Management systematically controls all records, regardless of media format, from their initial creation to final disposition.
It considers all stages of a records lifecycle, such as – how it is used, stored, retrieved, preserved and eventually destroyed.
It’s important to be clear whether your requirement is for records management or general document management… We won’t get into the broadness of document management in this blog. We’ll assume you are here correctly. 😉
Let’s take a simple example in many businesses (like yours?). There will be legal documents companies receive from their customers or employees. Documents such as Contracts, Sale Agreements, Invoices, Deeds, Employee Appraisals and similar. All these essential documents must be filed away, maintained and remain retrievable while ensuring compliance with internal policies and government-enforced legislation such as GDPR.
Organisations without an effective digital legal records management solution will spend a lot of time and money:
- Managing disjointed record repositories (paper and/or digital)
- Searching and accessing records
- Preparing for litigation disputes
- Maintaining retention, access and disposal policies for each record
And a whole load of additional micro frustrations you’re probably already aware of…
Do you have SharePoint Online already? Then you may be halfway there.
Touching lightly on the technical details, can records management be achieved with out-of-the-box Microsoft 365? The short answer is yes.
We’ve intercepted customers building complex SharePoint lists for views and notes, PowerApps for record entry and supporting PowerAutomate flows or other lines of business integrations for automation…
The problem with this approach is twofold:
- Only 20 days into the project, you realise how big a task you’ve taken on.
- You now have a relatively bespoke configuration that you need to support and maintain moving forward as compliance requirements change.
That’s why Encodian developed Filer. A turnkey records management solution which sits on top of your SharePoint Online.
Deployment of SharePoint Legal Records Management
Deploying Filer is as simple as it gets. Together, we need to understand the following:
⬜ What is the searchable context? An employee? A customer? A project?
⬜ What are your document/record types?
⬜ What are the rules for the records? Retention period? Access restrictions?
⬜ What document/records need migrating in the first instance?
Once we’ve run through these template questions, all of the above can be easily configured in days/hours via the Encodian Filer configuration portal. Avoiding the complexity of custom configuration.
Line of business integration
Encodian Filer’s OpenAPI and Encodian Flowr’s ‘Send to Filer’ action in Power Automate provide two very flexible and standards-based methods to create automated workflows from a line of business systems directly into Encodian Filer.
This includes third-party systems, direct from scanning pipelines or digital mailrooms so that you can avoid manually filing records again.
95%+ of the time, this is a straightforward process. For those odd occasions where things get tricky, it’s lucky Encodian has in-house development and systems integration expertise to help find a way.
As a SaaS platform, Encodian Filer includes ongoing support, maintenance and updates. With a commitment to evolve and exploit the growing capabilities of Microsoft 365. Organisations using Encodian Filer are assured that their records management system remains up to date and compliant long into the future.
You’ve probably already worked them out by this point!
✅ Reduced storage costs
✅ time saved through operational efficiency
✅ Improved accessibility for employees
✅ Avoid getting caught out by litigation
✅ Utilisation of your existing Microsoft 365 investment as a foundation
✅ Remove configuration and support complexity
Thank you for reading this blog. Hopefully, we’ve gone some way to convince you that SharePoint legal records management need not be too difficult. We’d love to hear from you.