February 18, 2019
What is Folio?
Folio sits in an interesting position within the document management market, particularly when compared with typical platforms spanning the document management and document automation categories. This results in a common exchange in conversations and demos with clients that often starts with some variant of the following question being asked – “So, what exactly is Folio?”
The answer to that question is simple, yet slightly nuanced. To better answer, let’s look at how the industry generally defines document management systems (DMS) and document automation systems (DAS).
At a high level, a DMS is a platform that helps with the management, sharing, organization, and digital archiving of paper documents. These systems allow users to digitally store documents, firewall them through permissions and security to specific users and groups, maintain version control, possess some level of index and classification for relatively easy retrieval at a later date, and include functions such as electronic signature capture. They may comprise relatively simple solutions or shared manual repositories, like Box and Dropbox, or more sophisticated and comprehensive solutions that offer more advanced features and capabilities to ingest, categorize, and share documents.
Conversely, DAS platforms traditionally focus on the creation and assembly of documents. These systems eliminate the repetitive tasks associated with commonly created and executed documents. Think documents and contracts routinely used by healthcare, law, and financial professionals that must be prepared with individual data points each instance. They generally templatize and use information digitally captured, or manually input, to conditionally build out the appropriate, and often lengthy, documentation, which saves significant time.
Folio takes the approach of merging the core tenets of these two concepts into a single solution. It tips its hat to the best DMS platforms, through its use of intelligence and configuration to automatically identify ingested documents and appropriately group and classify them. It has robust search capabilities to search for any text or information contained within documents, eliminating the painful process of combing through folders or directory structures to find a specific document or piece of information. It is rolled up in a web-based front end that allows the enterprise, external vendors, partners, and customers to gain access to their documents, on-demand, whenever needed, and offers reporting capabilities to track a variety of metrics and statuses.
When it comes to automation and saving time, rather than focus on the creation of documents, we chose to focus on automating and streamlining the workflows and touches each document needs once created. This may include digital approvals, notifications, signature capture, automated document comparison, automated document edits, triggered emails, and really anything else a customer may need to perform with their paper documents from creation to the archival or storage step.
While the creation of documents is unequivocally important, we found many customers and prospects we talk to already have a system that creates the documents their business relies upon. What they needed was a platform to more effectively manage and automate the workflows for those documents. This workflow automation platform we created is where Folio really shines, as we have customers experiencing nearly seven figures in total savings across their enterprise.