It’s Friday Afternoon!

It’s 4:00pm on Friday afternoon and you are finishing off admin that you just didn’t have time to get to earlier in the week.

The phone rings and it is a client who starts the conversation apologizing… You always know it is bad when they start with the apologies…. They need help and they need it now, please can we urgently send copies of all invoices, contracts and supporting commercial documents we have with them as they are going through an audit and they have lost our file.

Normally this would have been a real drag for a Friday afternoon, but we practice what we preach and all our documents are stored within the M-Files content management solution. While my client is still on the phone, I am able to locate the documents she needs, I highlight them all, right click and say send via email.

Before I put the phone down, she has all the documents she needs to satisfy the auditors and they have survive another audit. Needless to say the client was back on the phone on Monday, asking us to extend their M-Files solution to their debtors department.

 About Vanessa 

VanessaVanessa has over 19 years’ experience in content & document management, information management, business process management and knowledge management. During the course of her career she has assisted many organisations with business solutions.

About 6 years ago she realized she needed to find a more affordable solution for South Africa, without jeopardizing functionality, this is when she discovered the M-Files solution. M-Files is a versatile platform that can be designed to fit any business from legal, insurance, Banking, manufacturing, HR and many more…

Vanessa has lead her company into the 21st century with the M-Files solution and in 2016 VM Consulting became M-Files Gold Partners and were awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Commitment to M-Files at the EMEA Partner Conference.. Vanessa is passionate about the M-Files solution and bringing solutions that work to businesses within South Africa and Africa.

M-Files unveils search usability and mobile app improvements in 2015.3.

VM Consulting, an M-Files Gold partner is pleased to announce the immediate availability of M-Files 2015.3. M-Files unveils search, usability and mobile app improvements in the latest release of Information Management Solution. M-Files released the following press statement on the 20 October, 2016  :

DALLAS, TX, October 20, 2016: M-Files Corporation, a provider of solutions that leverage a unique metadata-based approach to dramatically improve how businesses manage documents and other information, today announced the immediate availability of M-Files 2015.3.

M-Files 2015.3 offers a variety of new search features and enhancements to increase performance, productivity and efficiency. Users can now conduct searches across multiple M-Files vaults, and M Files 2015.3 also provides easier refinement of searches with search facets. In addition, the latest edition of M Files includes multiple metadata card configurability enhancements as well as usability improvements.

M-Files 2015.3 also features the ability to add hand-written signatures to PDF documents from the M-Files mobile app for iOS and Android. Adding and viewing annotations and redlining is also now supported in the iOS mobile app, which is an efficient and visual way to comment and provide input on co-authored documents while keeping the original document intact.


The Chess Pieces Are Moving in the ECM World, thanks to last weeks big acquisition.


By Vanessa Miller Managing Director, VM Consulting

For those of you who haven’t heard, Opentext has acquired Documentum.  As many of you know, I have been involved in the ECM space for well over 18 years and have seen many acquisitions in this space come and go. Of all the acquisitions, I have to say this is the one that I am most excited about, as it is set to place the ECM world as we know it on it’s head. Why am I so excited, well lets face it, customers are looking for solutions that do more, that bring value to a business, that fit into a business instead of the business trying to fit into the software…. ECM is no longer what is needed… Business Solutions that help businesses manage content, information and process are key, and our smart partners at M-Files realise this.  M-Files, Greg Milliken paints the picture perfectly in his recent article so well….. take a read The End of the Beginning for ECM.


Record number of insurance claims in Durban.

By Vanessa Miller

Vanessa MillerLast week Durban was hit by the worst rain and flooding in over 20 years. The damage to property, households and even vehicles was extensive, with many families still coming to terms with the fact their family homes have been totally demolished and they have to start from scratch.

In all the horror of the past couple of days, one thing stood out for me…The sheer fact that the Durban and South African community came together to help. Neighbours were helping neighbours… Strangers were helping strangers… In all the turmoil, Durban was at peace with itself.

I too was a victim, on a very minor level compared to others. A couple of boundary walls took a wobble, and some flooding in our outside room, saw us have a visit from an Insurance Assessor this weekend. I was expecting a tall well – built man, with muscles to come and inspect my property, and was pleasantly surprised to have a short, friendly lady arrive at our front door… She was absolutely super, chatting as she went, taking the necessary measurements and assessing the damage. She had left her family in Joburg shortly after the Durban floods had hit, and headed down to Durban to help her fellow assessors, who knew that trying to cope with all the assessments was a task beyond their control.

Processing of the claims is now in the hands of the insurance companies, and they have a mammoth task on their hands.

I chatted to one of my Insurance clients Kayser Baird Insurance Brokers this morning, and they mentioned they had processed their largest weekly volume of claims ever last week.

Kayser Baird has been an M-Files user for a number of years and this enables them to manage an unexpected volume of claims with a high degree of control, without compromising on service levels or time allocated to individual claims. Their customers are kept updated with progress on their claims and the claims handling staff are able to stay in touch with individual claims despite the high volumes, because of the advanced workflow and diary system delivered by the M-Files solution.

The team from VM Consulting implemented the M-files solution with Kayser Baird over 4 years ago. M-Files has become fully entrenched in their business, managing every aspect of the insurance life cycle from quoting new clients to processing claims and everything in between. M-Files enables Kayser Baird to operate in an almost paperless environments, as well as manage processes and workflows for dozens of business and client processes. M-Files has enabled Kayser Baird to increase its competitive edge in a highly competitive industry.

To all my fellow Durbanites, the rain may have hit us hard, but our spirit is strong.

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My personal journey towards M-Files, 18 years in the making.

By Vanessa Miller

Many people ask me how I know M-Files is the right solution for my clients and my business? The answer is simple……. It all boils down to years of experience, and finding the right solution at the right time.

Let me start from the beginning.

My Passion for document management started back in 1998. One of my first projects I was mandated to do was while consulting for a government office. They were wanting to implement an existing document repository they had purchased years before across other areas of their business and I was tasked with the project. Before I knew it, the chaos of Y2K started to sweep across businesses and my small project was not immune to the temptation of being replaced with something that had a better date format… So my client handed me a new mandate, go out and find us something that is better than what we have. They wanted a document management and a workflow solution, oh and it needed to be implemented before the clock struck midnight on the 31 December 1999…

So what does a girl do when looking for a solution for a government office? ….Draw up a user requirements document and go out to tender, that’s what.

This is where I realized I enjoyed learning about the challenges in a business and coming up with ideas to solve those business challenges.

As part of the evaluation criteria, we wanted to test the different solutions in the market. My true passion for business solutions was born… I was able to test apples against apples and soon realized the area of document management was such a diverse market. I not only enjoyed testing the solutions, but equally enjoyed unpacking the document, content and process requirements for my client and coming up with different design frameworks for them… What made it more enjoyable was the fact that I had a knack for it too.

So the successful solution we implemented at the time was iManage… (Remember all those years back, M-Files was not even born yet).

The iManage solution was rated as one of the leaders in the ECM space and 18 years ago I truly believed it was the best ECM solution on the market. My relationship with iManage lasted many years and I became an iManage partner and saw them go through the iManage – Interwoven name changes more than once… But like many good solutions of that time, they took their foot off the R&D pedal a little and we started to see other solutions hitting the market place. In addition, we have to remember those early ECM solutions also came with a great price tag too, and their target market was the enterprise.

So about 6 years ago, my team and I agreed that we needed to start looking for another ECM solution we could bring to market. I must admit we stumbled onto the M-Files solution by accident.

One of my sales consultants had been asked by a client to find a document management solution that allowed users to store documents in folders…. He did a search and came across an article of folder vs folderless storage, where M-Files was promoting a folderless storage option. The poor soul had no idea what he had stumbled upon, but as soon as I realized what he was looking at, I knew he had hit a gem.

We got our hands on a trial version of M-Files, remember this was 6 years ago and M-Files was by no means as slick as it is now, but the solution just made sense. It was object based and allowed you to store document and content by metadata… Even back then they had the right approach from the start. It was simple to use, it was cost effective and it was a solution that would fit into the South African landscape with ease.

We had found just what we were looking for!

So began our journey into becoming partners with M-Files. At first I thought the solution would be a perfect fit for our smaller clients. But as the solution started to mature, it became very evident that M-Files was not just for the small business, but it was starting to be a major contender for the enterprise. At this point we cut ties with other ECM solutions and we totally aligned our business to M-Files and it became our sole solution in the ECM, DMS and information management space. We even implemented it internally so we could practice what we preached.

VM Consulting have invested in the M-Files solution and we believe the solution is going to be one of the biggest shakers in the ECM and EIM space in South Africa as well as the world during the next 2 years. As part of our investment into the solution, we have trained and certified M-Files specialists, administrators and support teams.

As recognition for all our hard work over the past couple of years, the team from VM Consulting were awarded the M-Files Partner Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commitment, this year in Nice, France.

As part of our journey, over the course of the past couple of months we have been awarded one of the largest M-Files customers in the world – which is also one of the largest ECM clients in South Africa. We have moved clients from SharePoint to M-Files, integrated M-Files with SAP, Pastel Evolution and a number of other SQL based solutions… Awesome custom development and self- service portals integrating directly into M- Files…  Oh and let’s not forget automating processes in M-Files that send SMS notifications to customers updating them of a status of their application forms.

So as you can see, it has been one hell of a journey, but one that has been well worth the ride…. I look forward to many great adventures with M-Files and if some of the sneak peaks I have seen from their product development team are anything to go by, M-Files are seriously going to rock this world in 2017.

Our doors are open to show you the magic of M-Files. Let VM Consulting help you bring M-Files to your business and even to your clients.

Why Convert My Manual Files into Digital Format?

scannerThis is a question we are asked time and time again! And I am glad to report the benefits definitely out way the negatives in this sphere. By converting those pieces of paper to digital, your business will not only have faster access to the information, you will also experience improved information security, mitigate the risk should a  disaster hit and lower your operating costs.

Converting paper documents to digital format just makes sense in today’s economic times. Document Scanning changes the way companies manage and control their documents, and by scanning these documents into a robust, easy to use, document management solution, like M-Files, provides  a business with an easy-to-use system for maintaining virtually every document scenario and lifecycle, from human resource files to business files and contracts that are critical to any company.

With the right team and processes in place, converting your documents and images to digital should be stress free. Our team at VM Consulting help you achieve this stress free environment. Equipped with our own pc’s and scanners to convert your paper assets into digital, enabling you to carry on with your day to day core business! We ensure that your documents are secured, prepped properly, quickly scanned, and converted into electronic images.

No stress, No fuss…The way Scanning should be!

Still wondering why you should covert your manual files into digital format?


Don’t Let Bad Data Get In The Way!

Do you have those moments when your time is consumed looking for data that you had and then lost or data that’s not the same today as it was yesterday, which drives you to shear frustration?

Information and data are the most strategic assets of any organization and it is critical to harness this business data for effectual decision-making.

On average, documents get copied 19 times during their lifetime, and the total amount of data your organization will have to manage will grow by 44 times in the next 10 years?

Document Management solutions such as M-Files make it easy to access, integrate and control information flow. Ensuring the accuracy of data is leveraged with add -ons like optical character recognition (OCR). Eliminating the need for document duplication and decreasing processing time.

Find out more