When more than one person is writing or editing different parts of a file or document, you are doing file or document collaboration. The most common method of file collaboration is by e-mail. A user writes a document and e-mails it to someone to add to or edit. After modifications are made, it is sent back.
This system is okay when only two users are collaborating, the files are small, and there is no need for security. Even in this case, e-mails can get lost or corrupted. When multiple users need to collaborate on documents, it becomes much more difficult. Each user gets a separate copy of the e-mailed file. So as changes are made and sent back to the original author, multiple versions of the document must be manually integrated. This is a time-consuming and error prone process.
If files are large, document collaboration by e-mail is often impossible, as e-mail servers often have set limits on files sizes. In many industries, copying the files onto media and using expensive couriers or overnight delivery is the alternative.
Security is a key concern in e-mailing files. In industries such as finance, healthcare and government, strict rules apply to protecting the security and privacy of documents. E-mail is not a secure means of transmitting files, so anything sent by e-mail is subject to interception or tampering.
The alternative is to implement a system in which files are stored in a central location so that users can securely access a single copy of the file. All users access the same copy of the file, so changes made are cumulative. Issues with transmitting large files are eliminated, and the transmission of files is secure.
There are numerous document management systems commercially available. These systems address the problems of file collaboration, but are usually expensive, complicated to install and set up, and often have an over-abundance of confusing and seldom-used features.
The GroupDrive Collaboration Suite offers a cost-effective alternative to document management systems, while focusing on the core issues of document collaboration. GroupDrive is secure and provides centralized access to files.