How does DocRead differ from Information Management Policies?

DocRead for SharePoint is the only policy management software that integrates straight into SharePoint and allows compliance professionals to distribute and track their policies and procedures.

A question recently came up asking us to explain how DocRead was different from what you can achieve with standard ‘Information Management Policies’ in SharePoint.

Firstly, to read a brief overview of ‘Information Management Policies’ please read this post : Regulatory Compliance – Information Management Policies

In summary, ‘Information Management Policies’ allow you – at a content type level – to achieve the following :

  • Set a policy statement.
  • Enable Auditing
  • Configure Retention
  • Configure Barcodes

In reality, DocRead only “slightly” competes with the first 2 features, so the following list outlines how it’s different and also, where appropriate, how DocRead improves upon the feature.

  • DocRead can just as easily distribute mandatory (must-read) documents to a SharePoint group of 2 or an audience of 10,000. ‘Information Management Policies’ can only send down a policy message to all and as long as it’s an office document. The policy statement is always the same for that particular content types.
  • DocRead asks the users to confirm and agree to the terms that are set at the organisational level. Once the user agrees to these terms, they effectively self certify that they understand what is in the document. ‘Information Management Policies’ simply displays a message that cannot be formally acknowledged.
  • The policy statement within “Information Management Policies’ is triggered when a document is opened, DocRead is triggered not only when the document is published, but also as new users enter, or leave the group. For example, if you need all new starters to read a document within 7 days, then DocRead takes care of all this for you. This feature is called “Smart Move“.
  • When a new version of a document is created, DocRead can supply a free text change comment quickly outlining to the end user what’s changed since the previous version.  The policy statement is always the same unless you amend it.
  • DocRead can track who has and hasn’t read documents users via DocRead Reporting. ‘Information Management Policies’ have no reporting. However, if auditing is enabled then a spreadsheet can be downloaded to see who has opened the doc from SharePoint. (This will not record those users that email the document between themselves).
  • DocRead can work with any document – not just office documents. ‘Information Management Policies’ can only work with office docs.

In summary, although DocRead and Information Management Policies sound similar, they are actually quite different. DocRead has been developed not to audit who is opening documents, but as a legal compliance tool to ensure your users agree to your terms, which are two distinctly different things.