Why is DocRead different from competing software?

We are very often asked how DocRead differs from its competitors. Here’s a recent response we gave (slightly tweaked to protect the identity of the requestor!):

Great question!

Although we have a few competitors in the same area of ‘compliance’ – as far as we know – we don’t have any that directly compete with what DocRead offers. There are many features in DocRead, which I would love to tell you about, but don’t want to give you too much to read, so I’ve chosen three key points which may be of interest:

  • In our opinion (and via regular feedback we get from customers), DocRead’s main unique selling point is in its powerful ability to automatically monitor for membership changes in either SharePoint Groups, Audiences or even AD Security Groups, via a technology called ‘SmartMove’.  For example, if you were to request that your ‘Finance Users’ read a policy, then not only those in the group or audience (at the time), but any new employees entering the group (in the future) would also be required to read the policy. Imagine how easy it is to on-board new employees or manage departmental moves! All you need to do is assign your documents to the group and let DocRead take care of distribution, tracking and reporting. This also makes it much more powerful than something like workflow, which is generally ‘one-time’ only and centered purely around the document, rather than both the document and the group, as DocRead is.
  • Reading Tasks are stored in a separate database from SharePoint. If you are going to rely on DocRead to help for litigation purposes, you want 100% confidence that your ‘receipts’ of who has (and hasn’t) read a document are stored safely and efficiently. Hence we have chosen to do this in a separate database so that we can fully control who can physically access the data. The other benefit of this and also one that was very important to us is that you can scale to millions of receipts if needed, unlike some of the limitations you get from a SharePoint list.
  • One other notable feature that you may like is around DocRead administration. DocRead offers fine control at all levels from Farm all the way down to the Document Library, meaning that you can directly control who can assign reading tasks, administer DocRead and view Reports. This means that if you only want DocRead activated on 1 Document Library, within 1 Site, within 1 Web Application, this is easily achievable and allows you to really control who can publish policies.

One final point is about our company, Collaboris. We are dynamic and forward-thinking company, founded by two partners each with more than 20 years’ experience in IT. We have been providing SharePoint Development & Consultancy Services to big companies like Microsoft, the National Health Service (NHS), Telefonica, Universal Music Group and BAE systems. One of our major differentiating factors (from some others working in SharePoint) is that we only employ highly experienced consultants and developers. That has been the main reason for our success and for the repeat business that we have enjoyed. The lead architect on DocRead has also co-authored a book called ‘SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Architect’s Guidebook’ to be released by Wrox Press at the beginning of 2012, so you can hopefully appreciate the pedigree of developer that has worked tirelessly to make DocRead the product it is.

I hope this helps answer your question – please don’t hesitate to shout if you have any more questions, or would like to see a demonstration of DocRead.