RecFind 6 versus SharePoint 2010 as a records management solution

by Frank 25. February 2012 06:00

I have written about this many times before (see links below) but our customers continue to ask for advice, usually when being ‘told’ by IT that they will have to use SharePoint as their records management solution.

In the past I have treated the subject softly and leaned over backwards to be kind to SharePoint, after all, who am I to argue with mighty Microsoft? Now however, I am just going to tell it how it is.

  • Out of the box RecFind 6 is an infinitely better and lower cost and faster to roll out records management solution than SharePoint 2010.
  • You can easily and quickly configure RecFind 6 to meet one hundred-percent of your records management requirements. No matter how much time and money you throw at SharePoint 2010 you will never be able to meet one hundred-percent of your records management requirements.
  • Whereas the initial licensing costs of SharePoint 2010 may appear to make it a better financial proposition than RecFind 6, once you start pouring in the money required to get SharePoint to do what RecFind 6 does out of the box the situation reverses very quickly. By the time you finish paying your SharePoint consultants (and you probably never will) you will end up paying at least ten times what you would have paid for RecFind 6.
  • Worse, whereas Knowledgeone Corporation does all the maintenance and adds all the new features to RecFind 6 as part of your annual maintenance (ASU),  with SharePoint you have to design, implement, test and fund all the maintenance and improvements to your SharePoint system. This means that the ongoing costs are also around ten times what it would cost to maintain an equivalent RecFind 6 system.

It is important to note that this is just not my opinion. As an example, please refer to the advice given to state government agencies by NSW State Records:

Allow me to summarize:

  • SharePoint 2010 is a good collaboration & intranet solution but will not apply good records management functionality out of the box.
  • It will take a significant investment of time, money and strategy to build an effective EDRMS with SharePoint 2010.
  • While licence costs for SharePoint may be relatively inexpensive, the complexity and cost of designing, developing, implementing and maintaining a SharePoint 2010 EDRMS is considerable and needs to be factored into the decision to implement EDRMS functionality with SharePoint.
  • SharePoint 2010 is not compliant to records management standards including with reference to:
    • Difficulties in capturing email;
    • Lack of native security classification and access control; plus
    • An inability to manage hybrid records (i.e. both electronic & hard copy records).
  • As SharePoint generally operates as a series of team sites, the complexity & costs of design, development, implementation and on-going maintenance should reflect the fact that each team site will need to be specifically implemented to meet the particular recordkeeping requirements of each business area.
  • Without proper design & implementation a SharePoint EDRMS implementation will become another sprawling, uncontrolled network or shared drive environment, with content existing everywhere. SharePoint’s native structure is much like a website, where it is possible to implement as many specific sites for different teams and projects or business areas as your organisation requires. Without strong records management frameworks, recordkeeping can quickly scale out of control in this kind of environment.

If your main interest is physical records management then don’t even begin to consider SharePoint because it simply cannot do it.

If your main interest is email management then SharePoint also does not have the required functionality.

However, RecFind 6:

  1. Delivers all of the EDRMS functionality a customer will every need out of the box.
  2. Is fully compliant to all known records management standards (e.g. has achieved full compliance with all of the latest VERS standards).
  3. Has comprehensive out of the box capabilities to manage hybrid records (electronic and / & hard copy records).
  4. Has the administration application called the DRM that allows the customer to customize RecFind 6 and change almost anything including the data model and any business process, easily & quickly, without source code changes, whilst remaining on the standard product.
  5. Has a SharePoint 2010 integration module so that a customer can take advantage of the good collaboration & intranet capabilities of SharePoint and the best-in-class EDRMS functionality of RecFind 6 within the one integrated environment.

So there we have it, no more Mr nice guy. As a records management solution RecFind 6 blows SharePoint out of the water. It costs less, is easier and faster to roll out and has infinitely more RM functionality in the standard product than you will ever be able to develop in SharePoint.

Now I feel much better.

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