It seemed like a good idea at the time. You thought, “I’ll just put the only copy of this important license agreement right here, so I’ll know where to find it.” But now, when you actually need to look at it, you haven’t a clue where you put it.
Another problem with hard copies is how to file them. Do you file a license agreement under “Contracts,” “Licenses,” the name of the software vendor, or the name of the software package?
Then again, you can also misplace digital documents. If you don’t have a system on your computer for storing licenses, contracts, subscription confirmations and other documents, you can spend a lot of time searching your computer for a document with a name you can’t remember.
Problems That Arise When You Can’t Find Important Documents
One of the biggest problems that can arise when you can’t find your copy of a software license, contract, lease, or subscription receipt is that unless you recorded vital information in a spreadsheet or somewhere else you can access easily, you don’t know when these contracts end. If a software subscription ends, it will be cut off and you’ll have to go to the trouble of restarting the subscription. It’s a hassle, but not a huge one. On the other hand, if you don’t realize that a software license expired and you end up being audited by the software provider, you could end up paying significant financial penalties.
What to Do if You Start with a Paper Document
If you start with a paper document, make a copy and have logical places to store each of them separately. But first, you need to scan the entire document and keep a digital copy. As you would with a paper file cabinet, have a logical place to store the digital document, or else you could end up wasting time searching your computer trying to find it when you need it. You also need to regularly back up digital documents to protect you in the event of a hard drive crash or other disaster.
What to Do if You Start with a Digital Document
If you start with a digital document, there’s no harm in printing out a couple of hard copies, assuming you have a logical filing system for paper documents. Back up your digital document both on site and off site, preferably as a hedge against disaster. While keeping a series of folders to store these documents is a good idea, it’s hardly sufficient for keeping track of your licenses, contracts, subscriptions, and leases. You need a way to not only store these documents but also to access them from more than one machine. What you really need is a comprehensive contracts management solution.
Samanage Has You Covered
When it comes to contracts management, Samanage has your back with its Contract Organizer. This feature of Samanage IT service desk and IT management software lets you keep track of different contract types easily and store digital copies of contracts, licenses, leases, and other critical documents safely. With digital copies of purchase receipts, packing slips, license agreements, and invoices, you’re never at a loss when you need to know what’s in one of these documents. Better still, you can set up Samanage’s Contract Organizer to generate pre-expiration reminders. Not only will you not let licenses lapse, you’ll have time to get competing quotes or proposals should you decide to switch vendors.
With the Samanage Contract Organizer, you’ll never have to sweat over impending audits, and you’re always able to access important contract information quickly and easily, from anywhere you access your Samanage account.
About Greg Ghia
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