Making Paperless Office is one of the most challenging jobs in introducing Information and Communication Technology in Nepal’s Government Offices. I have been searching best Document Management System for a long time and finally landed in the website of OpenKM Document Management System.
I have had a very hard time for selecting right application for my organization to convert documents into electronic documents. I have tried several applications for choosing best Document Management System. Finally, I have got OpenKM and installed it successfully. Now, several departments are using it and are busy in converting their documents into electronic form.
Besides the background I have given above, let us talk about OpenKM.
Definition from OpenKM Site:
OpenKM is a Open Source electronic document management system, which, due to its characteristics, can be used by large companies as well as by the small ones, as a useful tool in knowledge management processing, providing a more flexible and lower-cost alternative to other proprietary applications.
Let us be more specific and describe Document Management System. A Document Management System is an application to properly and electronically manage the enterprise documents, images and other form of data for efficient storage, retrieval and sharing.
Scenario in Government Offices of Nepal
Basically, current practice in our country for storing paper documents is to store them in files and then use wood or steel cabinets to store such files. If there are large number of files then they are stored outside of cabinets by bundling files and wrapping them with clothes. Such scenario can be seen in many government offices in Nepal. If there are some computers available in the office, then another practice for storing word files is by creating several folders and then storing them in different computers. This way, information is scattered and no body knows information stored in the enterprise and which information is needed.
A document management system solves both of these problems by providing single place for storing enterprise documents and then providing a common platform for accessing required information information inside the enterprise.
What features OpenKM provides?
Here is the list of features provided by OpenKM but not limited to:
- Web 2.0
- Drag and drop
- Document control version
- Powerful search engine
- LDAP or DBMS integration
- Webservices API
- Store on any DBMS
- More than 26 languages
- Tag cloud
- Automatic key extraction
In my Office, I have installed OpenKM in Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition in VMWare Virtual Environment. Currently, many departments are using it and several are trying to be familiar with it. One of the major challenges in our government office is to make computer illiterate staffs familiar with this handy application. Hope, we will soon make one of the government office paper less office. And till then, I am working on calculating the cost savings on Papers, Pens, Files and several other miscellaneous items by the use of Document Management System.