m-files_logo_2010.jpg Motive Systems (news, site) has extended the reach of its on-premise and cloud-based document management system through an integration with Salesfoce that can run in parallel to a CRM deployment.

M-Files for Salesforce CRM can be deployed on-premise for companies that need to ensure large numbers of their documents remain behind company firewalls, or in the cloud, which probably suits both Motive and Salesforce (news, site) given their cloud investments.

Built on top of Force.com, M-Files for Salesforce CRM is based around its cloud-based document management software M-Files Vault, which was released in August of this year.

M-Files Document Management

Speaking to CMSWire before that launch, CEO Greg Miliken estimated that less that 20% of SMBs are using any form of document management solution, with many companies -- including large enterprises -- still relying on network drives to store business critical information.

One of the principal reasons that many companies are not using document management is because of the difficulties experienced when trying to use it -- hence the Windows explorer interface in M-Vault.

Users will also recognize more than just the interface. Because Windows apps are directly connected to the cloud, users can access applications by using the standard Open and Save file commands with versions tagged under metadata, rather than saving to a folder.

This is more than a glorified means of saving documents. Cloud Vault also comes with extensive document management abilities. As a result of the integration between Salesforce and M-Files, users will be able to access all the functionality from within Salesfroce.

Salesforce and SMBs

For Salesforce, the addition of an easy-to-use document management system, along with its CRM, should help its breakthrough into a market that all the big players -- Microsoft, Google or HP -- are actively courting.

The strategy appears to be one of getting a foot in the SMB market, which has been relatively unexploited. Once the door is ajar the company then expands their portfolio of offerings. Salesforce is ideally suited to exploit that market with its economical CRM packages.

A typical example of this strategy -- the recent signing with DocuSign to offer e-signature services on the Force.com platform for SMBs. The joint OEM agreement enables DocuSign to offer its e-signature services as a best practice for Salesforce CRM customers to close business transactions in the cloud.

M-File sill has a lot of growing to do in the US, but it should manage that relatively quickly with deals such as this one with Salesforce. If only 20% of SMBs are currently using document management as Miliken argues, then progress over the next year is guaranteed as more companies realize the need for simple management software.