A sizable county in the Northwest recently partnered with ImageSource on a major Universal Records Management solution. Implementing Oracle’s latest technology – Oracle ECM Suite 11g – the county’s Public Works and Utilities (PWU) led the shift to an automated system for managing records. By putting a state-of-art records management system in place, PWU is blazing the way for the county to effectively manage records and retention policies county-wide.
The impetus to automate records management at the County included a variety of challenges. They were working from an electronic digital vault for storing documents that had been developed internally and operated with antiquated architecture and technology. The indexing structure was extremely complicated so they had difficulty finding and storing information and the vault had zero records management capabilities. There was no official File Plan in place and content was kept in multiple formats and several locations; paper files, network file system and the vault.
The starting point for the project was to perform a Policy and Procedure review. From that ImageSource Professional Services delivered several reports including eDiscovery and Public Disclosure recommendations, a vault migration strategy, a metadata model and an official File Plan for automating records management with government mandates and regulations.
Once the structural foundation for records management was analyzed, evaluated and a governance plan put in place by ImageSource, the technology implementation was the next step. Oracle 11g was selected as the infrastructure for several reasons. Recently redesigned, Oracle ECM utilizes JAVA programming technology for its ECM suite, providing the most recent Oracle technology and a solid foundation for years to come. 11g also provides a tighter integration between vertical components, which at the end of the day, provides a wider range of choices and more flexibility in architecting and designing solutions. Oracle 11g also provides a host of benefits in the context of the broader Oracle line-of-business platforms – weather its Siebel, CRM on demand, JD Edwards or PeopleSoft – the integrations will be tight. The other Oracle products used to support this implementation are Oracle AutoVue, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search and URM Adaptors for SharePoint and the Network File System.
Utilizing Oracle ECM 11g and its Universal Records Management (URM) module, records management policies are now in place for three workgroups within Public Works and Utilities. A system was designed around the core concept of contribution folders. In order to ease transition, the Oracle software was designed and set up to mimic the folder structures that the County was using on their network file system. The contribution folders have a hierarchal structure and content contribution to the folders is extremely easy with drag-and-drop functionality. The hierarchal structure enables automatic assignment of metadata and records management policies without ever having to key index values. Direct contribution capabilities into the file structure are also available from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
The County went live with this new Records Management solution a few weeks ago and is now moving toward a completely automated records management system in PWU. This solution also provided the County with the infrastructure to facilitate Public Disclosure Requests and to automate records management County-wide. The benefits will be far reaching as the County moves into full production and later expands the many enterprise capabilities of Oracle 11g.