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University Cloud Document Management Systems

By Loris F. Anders


Universities can have thousands, even tens of thousands of students and applicants. Each individual represents a significant amount of paperwork. Every time a student applies for a class, completes a class or drops a class, documents happen. In the university system, action equals documents. Through sheer necessity university cloud document management systems have been developed to cope with this unimaginable amount of virtual paper handling.

Documents are stored and retrieved, saved and stored again by various authorized users. When an administrative process can be completed online it saves the school and the student time, money and frustration. Naming and saving protocols are established to enable easy retrieval by students and by university staff. Naming and saving are done seamlessly by the system to prevent human error.

This process is secure online document management where multiple users access the same file for various reasons. Some of the files will be JPEGS, joint photographic experts group, but more often the files will be in PDF, portable document format. Some files are stationary and cannot be edited, while others are created for editing purposes.

The growing trend towards online education has created another layer of administration and document generation. Students access their assignments and eBooks through a web portal with a secure password. Everything done in the web portal will need back up and storage.

Adobe, the makers of PDF software, have developed online cloud based software where users can sign documents electronically. This software can be integrated into a cloud management system. Each time a process can be completed online it saves the school time, money and frustration. The function of verifiable online signatures will grease the wheels of administrative processes.

The cloud is a secure way to process, store and retrieve virtual paperwork. With millions of hard copy paper documents, the school needs to convert these to digital in a manner that allows retrieval as needed. The companies that manage these systems can complete this work for the school. Electronic documents stored in this manner are more secure than paper copies in unlocked file drawers.

Another function is intelligent data capture. This allows the university enterprise software to extract key data points, such as grades, student ID numbers, etc., and import the data into the enterprise system for future usage. Digital files that are no longer active can be archived. Storage is a very important function. With redundancies in place, there are back ups at least three deep. If one is lost due to some malfunction, the others are still intact. The necessity and the evolution of managing all these files and information in the cloud is the reality of today and tomorrow.




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