Who does CogniDox benefit?
Document management can be quite an abstract concept. We can make it more concrete if we take a look at some of the job roles for whom CogniDox provides a significant benefit.
“We’ve reached the stage where we need better control”
Companies exist to get work done, and there’s far more to your job than just sharing your current status with colleagues. You may need to interact with dozens if not hundreds of fellow employees, vendors, partners, customers and others. You need them to respond quickly or your schedule is in difficulty. Small things, like a document attachment lost in a colleague’s email inbox, will all add up quickly to delay and frustration.
Today there are more and more emails, help desk tickets, sales call snippets, and social media mentions than ever before. By enabling your company to search through the mass of unstructured information you can spot the important trends.
Documents are essential to any effective and efficient product R&D environment. No matter whether your company follows an Agile or Waterfall methodology; getting comments from others on something you’ve written or signing-off approval is as important to business today as it was in the days of the typing pool.
“People need to work together”
Even small companies can have teams working in different locations, and it’s common to find that the Sales/Marketing team has no access to Engineering systems (and vice versa). CogniDox is great for multi-site team integration and more efficient review across different groups and roles. You can build an effective design process workflow around its features.
Part of that process is gaining access to project analytics reports and a dashboard to tell you whether or not you’re ready to pass that Gate 2 review next week. If 75% of your Use Cases or your System Interface specifications are still in draft versions, you’re not ready.
“We need a Customer portal for downloads”
The security of a document inside your company is complex enough. It’s even more intricate with customers, who may be in different segments such as geography, support level, product type, early adopters or revenue tier. CogniDox supports this with a fine-grained licensing model that controls the entitlement of customers to any and all content. It integrates with website design tools to quickly create customer web portals for enabling downloads.
One advantage of license management is that you can set up the customer fulfillment process in advance of a release deadline. When the big day comes and all the software, hardware specs, user guides, training videos, etc. are ready to ship; it’s a matter of pressing the “big red button” and it’s all published automatically to your portal.
Secure licensing of customer collateral is further enhanced by the fact that you have access to all the analytics information from your customers’ download behaviour. You can tell at a glance which design wins are not as active with your collateral as you’d expected. You can also use security enhancements such as document watermarking to keep more control over the distribution of confidential materials.
“The SEO expert says we need to blog more”
Content marketing activities via blogs, news feed, white papers, etc. is essential to your search engine marketing campaign. Working out the “blog schedule” with your colleagues sounds easy until you discover that because anybody could have done it, nobody has. The solution is to have a number of blog posts at different stages of readiness in your document repository. Reviewing them is easy. Whenever a post is ready, the Blog editor can use the in-built publishing features to send the post directly to a blogging platform such as WordPress.
“We need to get QA certified to be a supplier”
Document control procedures are a crucial requirement of ISO 9001, ISO 13485, ISO 27001, and most other quality certification standards. You don’t need an electronic document management system to comply, but having one makes it far easier to achieve compliance. CogniDox has helped many companies in this task and has often elicited comments from external Auditors that it is the best document control solution they have ever seen. Companies use it as a place to store information about Audits, Change Control, Corrective & Preventive Actions, Product Quality, and more.
One big bonus is that you can go on from document control to using CogniDox as an on-line, Graphical Quality Manual System (gQMS). So not only does it underpin quality, it becomes the main focal point for the entire QA process.
Chief Operations Officer (COO)
“We need to work with our Partners”
CogniDox can provide a “limited access” view for your manufacturing partners. It’s a special type of security profile that enables partners to have access to all the user rights of CogniDox (and you can control these very specifically) but only see a very limited set of the categories available. It’s like they are part of your company, but can only see a small part of the information normally available to company employees. Your partner can take full part in the document creation and review process.
Once a partner is set up with limited access, you can use CogniDox to send manufacturing instructions safe in the knowledge that there is no ambiguity about the correct version or whether the instruction has been approved.
CogniDox can also be integrated with other tools used in your customer supply chain.
“We need to manage our drawings”
Although CAD and modelling software users may be seen as a separate group within a company, there are many occasions when their outputs need review like any other document. It’s also a good idea to have a separate backup of designs, preferably under version control. Finally, there’s a high probability these days that designs will be outsourced for external manufacture. In all these cases CogniDox provides a solution without the need for costly additional CAD licenses that don’t get fully utilised. CogniDox has support for all file formats including those used by AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, etc.
CogniDox is also used for product data management, to manage BOMs and related documents.
“We need to integrate with our development tools”
Software teams with a mature development methodology will have already integrated software configuration management (SCM) tools with their continuous test, build and integration process. CogniDox allows them to take it a step further by integrating with leading SCM tools to automatically create versions of the software product (in source or binaries) for release. In CogniDox it can be reviewed, approved and then published to a web portal for customer download. A final flourish is to link license entitlements with a CRM tool (e.g. Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics) so that the release is only available to customers with a valid license.
“We need to streamline technical support”
One of the bugbears for a software development team is repeatedly answering the same technical support questions. Some try a Wiki or a FAQ as a way around this, but these are difficult to maintain. CogniDox enables quick Knowledge Base articles (in HTML) to be edited, then peer-reviewed and approved like any other document. Once approved, they can be published to a customer help desk / support site. CogniDox also integrates with leading tools for bug tracking and trouble ticketing. If a bug report means that the code and the user manual both need to change, the two changes can be linked in CogniDox.
These are some of the key roles that derive benefits from CogniDox. We didn’t mention Human Resources, who can use features such as “View Document Policies” as a reliable and easy method for ensuring regulatory compliance with e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). We didn’t mention Legal, who can speed up assembly of commonly-used contracts using templates and meta-data.
We have a range of ways to help you discover CogniDox for yourself. Contact us to set up your evaluation system trial.