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Effective Document Management with ServiceNow’s Managed Documents Application

Digitalization has changed every business process and the same can be said about the document management process. Organizations have shifted from physical filing systems to paperless data storage. Moving away from the filing cabinet to a dedicated platform to manage all documents. A document management system can organize, store, and track changes in real-time.  Choosing the right document management platform is important. The right document management will integrate with your existing systems to increase workflow execution and team collaboration. This is what exactly the ServiceNow Managed Documents application does.

Understanding the ServiceNow Managed Documents Application

A document management system is an automated way of organizing, securing, capturing, digitizing, tagging, approving, and completing tasks with your business files.” – eFileCabinet

The ServiceNow Managed Documents application can be found in the Orlando release,  helps organizations store, manage, and track revisions on documents. The Managed Documents application is an ITIL-based lightweight solution that adds a layer of control around any document by providing storage, security, workflow, and categorization options. Managed Documents is used for a variety of internal documents, such as procedures and policies, knowledge articles, and compliance documentation. This application offers a seamless alternative to 3rd party systems like DocuSign to manage documents that require e-signatures.

Challenges Solved by the Management Documents Application

The ServiceNow Managed Documents application ensures security, authorized document access, integrated document storage, ability to audit, rationalizations for document search, extraction, and recovery. Traditional or manual document management systems present the following problems.

  1. Difficult to store and manage documents securely
  2. Difficult to track info about who made changes to the document, username, time change details, etc.
  3. No ability to provide authentication based on role
  4. Difficult to maintain e-signature documents
  5. Can’t search and extract information from a scanned document

Features of ServiceNow Managed Documents

Understanding various features of the Managed Documents application is the best way to know how this document management application solves the challenges of proper document management.

  • Check-in and Check-out: Track revisions of a document, approval history, and send automated notifications to users with review and approval rights.
  • Compliance: Authors can effortlessly handle compliance and risk information about various authors, contract administrators, policy, and procedure writers for organizations. This will enhance productivity and scalability.
  • Digital Signature for Approvals: This process supports DocuSign integrations or any other integrations for e-signatures.
  • Document Workflow:  ServiceNow permits to build own workflows in every application.  Similarly, in the document management process Document Workflow process will enable consistent content review and approvals of a document. Once the document is reviewed it will automatically be sent for approvals.
  • Categorization: ServiceNow provides basic categories and based on the organization’s needs, permits the creation of customized categories.
  • Revision Control: Track changes on documents with ease.
  • Security: ServiceNow offers a full-stack security operations module, where it provides high-security settings to access documents.
  • Access Control: ServiceNow provides the functionality to share documents with selected users based on user roles.

How to Activate the ServiceNow Managed Documents Plugin

The screenshot below will guide you to activate the Managed Documents plugin.

  1. Login into ServiceNow instance
  2. Type plugins name in the left navigation menu
  3. Click on the Plugins module as shown in below image
  4. Search for the managed document in the search bar
  5. Install the managed documents plugin if it is not installed as shown in the below image

Path: Plugins -> managed documents -> Install (if it is not installed yet)

Managed Document Installation Path

Module Creation in Managed Documents Application

  1. Login into ServiceNow instance
  2. Search managed documents in the left navigation menu
  3. Click on the Create New module to create the new document (refer below screenshot)
Creating New Module in Managed Document Application

 Managed Document Concepts

  • Managed Document: This concept will control the documents through the managed documents process.
  • Document Revisions: Managed documents provide individual versions of a document called revisions document and includes the files that are attached to the master managed document record through a related list.
  • Document Submissions: Once a document file revision is ready, it can be submitted for review for document reviewers. After review, the document will be sent for approvals.
  • Document Collection: All related documents can be grouped.

 Managed Document Classifications

ServiceNow provides 3 OOB classifications of documents. This helps categorize and organize documents in a straightforward way.

  • Public: These documents are used by all the users within the organization
  • Restricted: These documents are only accessible to a certain group or users (ex: network team)
  • Confidential: These documents are for the management of the organization

About the Author

Chandu Telu works as Team Lead at V-Soft Digital. He has deep expertise in ServiceNow integrations, ITSM, ITOM, and ITBM. He is a ServiceNow Certified System Administrator, Certified Implementation Specialist, and Certified Application developer.