Having a Document Management System that is sitting on top of Dropbox or OneDrive as a Client Portal might sound like a good idea and an easy solution to communicate and share files with your clients. If you are a small business, then this may work for you. However, the pitfalls of this could be more costly than what you may realise.
From research done on both Dropbox and OneDrive, these Apps at least allow you to go back to previous file versions after edits were made (or rather, when new copies were saved). But it comes with some caveats.
Dropbox Basic and Plus only saves your previous file versions for 30 days. Dropbox Business saves it for 120 days, and the Professional plan saves it for 180 days.
OneDrive Basic saves previous file versions for 30 days, and OneDrive for Business saves it for 90 days.
After which, in both Apps, it automatically gets DELETED.
This means you also lose ALL history on the document itself – changes that were made, and details of the people that made those changes. So, it only has version control up to certain point.
Nimbus provides unlimited document retention, and indefinitely keeps track of your file edit history.
Relying on disparate systems to store and share files with sensitive information, often leaves room for error and an open door for potential data breach.
However, the true cost of not having a truly fully integrated client
portal will also be evident in the efficiencies that are lost.
For example, file collaboration. File conversations on a particular document between staff will exist in the Cloud Document Management (CDM) system, where conversations between staff and clients will exist in the third-party application, e.g. Dropbox or OneDrive. You will then need to copy any important conversations across to your CDM system, duplicating the work.
Another example is document workflow, where you need to request a signature from your client. You now need yet another third-party app, e.g. DocuSign, to be hooked up and manage the signature process. Needless to say this comes with an additional license subscription cost per user. In the end, it all adds up.
Nimbus has a built-in digital signature facility, available to all portal users at no extra cost.
Another benefit often overlooked, is when clients sign into their Nimbus Portal, they can immediately view their In-Tray. The In-Tray view shows you which documents need to be reviewed or signed, and if new file conversations were received. It becomes their virtual to-do list.
And when files are viewed or signed in Nimbus, it automatically removes it from their to-do list.
This is not really evident to someone purely by looking at the content of their shared folder in Dropbox or OneDrive.
In conclusion, the advantages and benefits of having a truly integrated secure Client Portal are numerous.
If you would like to upgrade your Client Portal experience and see a product demo of Nimbus, please contact us below.