Ukuvuma Solutions, an established South African ICT solutions and support provider for the engineering, mining and construction market, says effective document management within project-driven engineering industries can make all the difference – and having the correct technology solution in place can make or break a business.
The company is a Cadac Organice partner and this technology is the preferred platform for the engineering market. This platform is based on Microsoft SharePoint and has been since 2004, and is available as an on-premise, hosted and/or hybrid solution.
It has a depth of functionality that adds immediate and automatic value within specific industries including oil and gas, mining, process and power, equipment manufacturing as well as building and construction.
Jason Smit, director – Microsoft Technologies, explains what customers in this project-intensive and data driven industries are looking for in the technology they bring on board.
“Customers require an engineering document management and control solution that is easy to use and instantly accepted by all users. The technology must help them to do better business by improved document availability, accessibility and distribution. These industries rely on accurate documentation and where knowledge and intellectual property is kept and distributed in documents,” says Smit.
Enhanced functionality derived from technology and the ability to truly enhance the document management process is what differentiates operators in these industries.
Cadac Organice incorporates several features that sets it apart from other offerings available in the market.
These include CAD drawing management with SharePoint, integration into most CAD applications, automation of document control processes, workflow management, as well as a publishing feature to control and publish documentation and drawings for external collaboration, amongst others.
“We want to point out the Organice Workbox feature to build state machine workflows which are human centric and provide flexibility in changing business processes and workflows easily via its engine. Users are able to preview over 250 file formats,” explains Smit.
“Files are cached locally and through the Client users are able to work on them off-site. Changes are synced back to the centralised server in the background. Only parts of the document that has changed will be synced. This helps with managing bandwidth and uploading/sharing large files,” he adds.
The solution has an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to use for everyone. Revision control assures that users are working with the correct and up-to-date documents and efficient document distribution assures that the right documents are sent to the right project members and keeping track of who received what and when.
Smit adds that SharePoint offers the ability to develop custom applications that run on- and utilise platform capabilities that enables one central platform from which the entire organisation can be managed.
In the past the solution was generally considered to be a document management technology, but this profile has now changed – particularly with the release of the 2010 and 2013 versions.
SharePoint 2013 offers a range of additional and improved functionality, including improved BI capabilities, support for “big data”, improved MySite and Collaboration tools as well as micro-blogging features. It also offers the ability to share files to people outside the environment via SkyDrive.
Whilst the solution has retained a number of features of the 2010 version, the latest version also includes branding, content management services, translation and workflow services, as well as e-discovery and work management services.
“We believe that advanced solutions like Cadac Organice will help businesses improve the efficiency of their operations, particularly from a workflow and document management point of view. This means they will be even more competitive going forward,” Smit concludes.