In the context of ECM, archiving or electronic archiving means the long-term storage of information or documents with a special focus on their unchangeability. Very often, companies already use the appropriate archiving systems for this purpose, which usually cover further functions.

While the term storage or the saving of information/documents is generally understood as temporary, the term archiving expresses long-term storage. Modern archiving systems cover both areas.



Audit-proof archiving

In Germany companies are very often confronted with retention periods of 7-10 years (typically for sent or received commercial letters), but in some cases considerably longer retention periods of several decades apply. As a result, the archiving is of considerable importance for companies, which are faced with particular challenges when it comes to the electronic archiving in view of the long-term reproducibility of the documents.

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Comprehensive and individual consulting

A company-wide use of the archiving is a big step for companies, which must be planned and implemented step by step. We would be happy to advise you on your way to electronic filing/archiving of all documents in your company.

Using information correctly

The archiving of documents not only plays an essential role for company compliance, but is also relevant for the reusability of the documents within the company. This means that direct access to the information contained in documents is becoming increasingly important. Archiving documents is no longer an end in itself or even an annoying duty, but can rather make all the difference when talking to a customer. This is the case when all documents for a customer or business process are archived, or stored for a customer and can then be accessed directly on the screen through a document file. This can easily be achieved with paper documents and files in this form.

Electronic documents

More and more documents are reaching companies in electronic form - but in different formats or via different systems, e.g. via e-mail, EDI or as uploaded documents in a company portal. While the latter examples can certainly be regarded as knowingly executed transactions in the context of a business process, the filtering and archiving of business-relevant emails worth storing is problematic due to the lack of structure and usually also due to the actual quantity.

Efficient management and storage of e-mails

The volume of incoming and outgoing emails also raises the problem of managing and storing the sheer physical volume. Here, archiving can also be helpful, even if the term may seem somewhat misleading in this context. It is mainly about displacing e-mails from the expensive memory of the groupware databases to cheaper, possibly slower memory, for example in an archive system.

Today, a modern archiving strategy must create clear added value in a company beyond the pure filing functionality. On the one hand, a well-designed archiving infrastructure makes it possible to fulfil the legal and internal requirements for a long-term storage, but on the other hand it also creates an added value, which has a direct and measurably positive effect on the costs!

Christian Sedlmayr, Senior Consultant at Doctra

Requirements for a modern archiving system

An archiving system in the company must be able to archive and reproduce

  • documents from different applications
  • on different storage systems
  • in a highly performance manner, and in accordance with the requirements for the storage of documents
  • in any format, over several decades
  • with a changing technology
  • which is integrated
  • into the leading application.

At the same time, the archiving system should grow with your company according to the developing requirements (in terms of storage volume and access speed).

Modern archiving systems offer standard interfaces such as SAP ArchiveLink®, flexible transfer tools (e.g. COLD - see also Capture) or generally available web services that also allow a cost-effective integration of archiving functions into customer-specific special applications and systems, from cloud-based web applications all the way up to host-based legacy systems.


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