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The digital path of patriarchy with PaperOffice DMS

Pedro Silva, Administrative Assistant of the Patriarchate of Lisbon

Professional tip

Patriarchy / Church

Lisbon, Portugal


Management Office

The Challenge

The Patriarchate of Lisbon (Latin: Patriarchatus Olisiponensis) is a Roman Rite metropolitan archdiocese of the Catholic Church based in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. His archbishop's cathedral is the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Maria Maggiore in Lisbon.
The diocese of Lisbon was elevated to archbishopric on November 10, 1394. 1716 it received by Pope Clemens XI. the title of patriarchy.

PaperOffice DMS is used by the Lisbon Patriarchate to centralize and organize information from multiple sources and to minimize the time and cost of maintaining a physical archive. Access to the information is digital.

Thus, Patriarchate documents from areas of personal, real estate and account documents of 285 parishes belonging to the Patriarchate of Lisbon and another 450 institutions that depend on the bishop, gradually been completely digitized in PaperOffice DMS.

Initial position

The digital transformation and the term "digitization" has been on everyone's lips since the pandemic at the latest and is now no longer an optional condition for many companies, but a necessity.
The topic of digital further development is also firmly established in the communities and churches. Because even in a church like the Patriarchate of Lisbon, extensive administrative tasks are pending, which were previously done manually and in an analogous way.

Existing problems and tasks

In the past, the entire system of patriarchy was based on paper. But with the existing and daily incoming documents, the manual system reached its limits.

The entire flood of information has become more inconsistent. The most important task was to bring the analogue and digital units together. Paper documents had to be digitized and brought together with other information, such as the associated e-mails.

Church clerk leafs through the Bible
Digitization is omnipresent - also in the church

"We wanted to centralize and organize information from multiple sources to minimize the time and cost of maintaining a physical archive, but with digital access.”

recalls Mr. Pedro Silva, administrative employee of the Patriarchate of Lisbon.

Why the Patriarchate of Lisbon chose PaperOffice DMS

Due to the existing challenges, Mr. Pedro Silva, administrative employee of the Patriarchate, was looking for a document management system (DMS) that would enable secure and adaptable data storage. A simple integration of all workstations in the administration office, including those that work remotely, should be solved with uncomplicated software.

"We were looking for a future-proof solution that could initially implement all of our requirements, but at the same time offered easy scalability and good cost-benefit ratio and could be upgraded to other departments in the future."

In addition to PaperOffice DMS, Mr. Pedro Silva tested other software products from other system houses and initially examined various software offers in relation to document management.

Mr. Silva emphasizes that a suitable system has been sought for a long time. However, none of the previously tested software vendors were scalable or flexible enough for the job a document management system was supposed to do.

"Most of the solutions don't offer the easy way to create a database like PaperOffice DMS does because they only use a cloud offer a server solution."

The final decision to use PaperOffice for document management in the Patriarchate of Lisbon was decided for the following reasons:

1. Data storage and availability. Central and easy access to all relevant documents and the possibility of multiple parties collaborating on the same document.

An internal, central storage that can be accessed by all employees. The data should not be stored in a third-party cloud or on a single-user computer.

The solution: A database was set up on the NAS, Network Attached Storage. This database was integrated into PaperOffice DMS and all data of the patriarchy was saved. This completely satisfies the legal requirements for data backup.
As a team of 3 in the administration office, thanks to the PaperOffice DMS integration, two administration employees work remotely and have reliable access to the documentation in a simple and clear way.

Mr. Pedro Silva was very satisfied with the solution without an external cloud and thus without third-party providers, which can be subject to government intervention and increase the risk of hacker attacks.

2.Value for money. The software should have a good price-performance ratio.

It was very important for the Patriarchate of Lisbon that after an initial investment, the software could be easily and easily scaled to other departments and that this would not involve high costs.

The solution: PaperOffice DMS is offered in different price models that allow users to take the most advantageous form for them.
In this way, users can initially use the test version without obligation and free of charge and then, if necessary, extend it to their own company / municipality without losing existing data.

The number of user licenses purchased can be increased at any time. In this way, the patriarchy can avoid excessive capital commitment.

3. Easy to handle. The software should be self-explanatory and require as little training as possible but at the same time be prepared for the future.

The solution: PaperOffice DMS is basically very structured and has a graphical interface that guides the user step by step. In addition, there are extra tutorials and videos for all functions that can be called up directly for support.

This way external consultants can be avoided. Of course, PaperOffice DMS also offers individual training for the modules, if desired. However, based on the experiences of the Lisbon Patriarchate, PaperOffice is largely self-explanatory.

No external and expensive "consultants" on site and no one has to travel anywhere for training. Everyone can define the time frame for learning the menu navigation themselves as required and in terms of the future, PaperOffice DMS is well positioned thanks to its modular structure.

"We chose PaperOffice DMS because we personally tested the software and were impressed by the ease of use Integration into the Windows environment and a clean user interface to work with inspires."

4. Retrievability and time savings. A simpler way was sought to digitize analog documents and to easily find them again when needed.

The solution: The core segment of PaperOffice DMS is the digitization of analogue documents. All you need is a scanner with an interface to the computer and PaperOffice DMS. Documents are not just scanned. They are converted into editable text by integrated OCR software and automatically saved correctly.

Thanks to the integrated AI function, each document can be taught, all desired content can be extracted in a targeted manner and stored with keywords in a fully automated manner.

PaperOffice DMS offers exactly what the patriarchate was looking for.

Top 3 list of features,

that PaperOffice DMS does better than others

  • 1. Text recognition (OCR) and search for documents
  • 2. Integration and connection to database on NAS
  • 3. Easy to use and self-explanatory interface

How was PaperOffice DMS integrated?

In times of the pandemic, the patriarchy decided to archive everyday documents and emails in PaperOffice DMS.

Thanks to a powerful scanner and the scanner connection in PaperOffice, the conversion of the analogue papers could begin. All documents were gradually read and digitized via the PaperOffice OCR scanner interface. A keyword index is created for each document while it is being read in, which can be used to find it in a flash using the PaperOffice search engine.

Hand presses a button on a scanner
Analogue documents are scanned with PaperOffice DMS and saved both as a photo and as converted text using OCR software.

Existing folders in the hanging files were taken over 1:1 and simply converted into "digital folders".

All existing e-mails were saved directly in PaperOffice DMS, could be linked to existing documents and will not have to be printed out on paper in the future. And all incoming e-mails are automatically archived to PaperOffice by folder monitoring through set up rule management

Since using PaperOffice DMS, paper consumption has decreased noticeably.

What are the next steps?

The next step that the Patriarchate of Lisbon plans is to digitize the existing physical archive before the year 2021 and expand the use of PaperOffice DMS to other areas/departments of the Patriarchate.

In addition, the Patriarchate would like to largely automate document archiving thanks to the use of KI PIA.

"We are excited after working with PaperOffice DMS for a year and a half, even though we have only been confined to one department and haven't fully explored this fantastic masterpiece."

Top 3 list of main problems,

the PaperOffice DMS solved

  • 1. Share, process and better organize documents
  • 2. Reduction in printing costs and physical archive size since almost every copy has been previously printed
  • 3. Better time management and task management due to internal notifications from PaperOffice through the briefing

Overall Experience Summary

PaperOffice DMS has met all the necessary criteria and today maps the complete digital document flow in the patriarchate.

For the time being, all documents were recorded with high-performance scanners and stored digitally in PaperOffice's electronic archive. At the same time, incoming and existing emails are transferred directly to PaperOffice DMS and linked to archived documents.

Patriarchate administration staff can then access the documents and emails via the PaperOffice user interface and by entering various search terms - a full-text search is also available.

Thanks to the consistent use of the DMS, the patriarchate was able to significantly reduce the processing time required for invoices and other types of documents.


To conclude, we will answer a few commonly asked questions on the topic. "Patriarchate of Lisbon":

What tips would you give future PaperOffice users?

Try it. You will be surprised!

Who would you recommend PaperOffice to?

In our industry, essentially social centers. Parishes could also benefit by digitizing their sacrament books for easy access and notarization of documents and other paperwork and emails!

We would recommend PaperOffice to anyone who wants all their documents organized in one clean, safe and searchable place!

What do you particularly like about PaperOffice?



PaperOffice is a lightweight but very powerful document management system.

Functions that seem meaningless at first turn out to be the most important functions that you no longer want to miss.

"PaperOffice was a crucial step in transforming our work in a digital way, reducing the time spent on archives and increasing daily productivity increase."

PaperOffice solves every problem: Guaranteed.

Case study

The digital path of patriarchy with PaperOffice DMS

"We are delighted after a year and a half of work and yet we have not yet fully exploited this fantastic masterpiece."

Pedro Silva
Administrative Assistant of the Patriarchate of Lisbon