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Rous County Council

User friendly flexible solution delivered

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Following an internal 2019 review, Council decided to abandon a SharePoint-based recordkeeping project and implement Micro Focus Content Manager as the corporate Electronic Document and Records Management solution (EDRMS).

“Having been through the process of choosing a SharePoint based EDRMS in the past, and then discovering during the implementation that the solution was not fit for purpose, it was important this time round that we selected a system and implementation partner that had strategic long-term fit with our direction, team and goals of the organisation” said Mr Guy Bezrouchko, Rous Council’s Group Manager Corporate and Commercial. Council had a vision that Content Manager would be the single source of all electronic documents and media across the organisation and meet Council’s record keeping obligations under the State Records Act. It was planned that the system would provide the same management controls regardless of the type of record, while having the specific functionality necessary to manage the requirements of all Council electronic media e.g. documents, images, voice, video, CCTV etc.

The records would be captured across office desktop systems, emails and web transactions, as well as converting incoming hardcopy to digital format. Workflow based processes were also important for delivery and action control of correspondence and other record items. An RFQ was issued to the market in November 2019.

Information Management and Governance specialist, iCognition responded to the Council RFQ with an EDRMS product suite that consisted of Micro Focus Content Manager as well as iCognition products; RM Workspace for search, find and collaboration, RM Workflow for automated workflow processing and RM Public View for publishing and public searching. The Council had only just contracted iCognition for a five-year partnership for the design, build, implementation and ongoing management of the enterprise EDRMS, when suddenly COVID hit in March 2020.

“We had just had our on-site project kickoff meeting when suddenly we could no longer attend any onsite activities. Showing our flexibility and resilience we reverted to a 100% remotely run project using Zoom, Teams and remote technologies”, said Mr Nicholas Fripp, iCognition Project Manager. “Although adapting to running workshops and design exercises via video took some getting used to, it wasn’t long before Council and the iCognition team had a great rhythm for working collaboratively online, not only undertaking design processes and project meetings online, but also running live video training to all staff.”

The new EDRM solution was developed with Council stakeholders to meet their requirements, and then we migrated all the data from their legacy access database systems.

The Go Live was well managed and ultimately Council transitioned from a legacy EDRMS with manual processes and only used by five staff to an enterprise solution used by the entire Council staff via a simple URL. In the end we successfully delivered a solution that simplifies and streamlines the way Council staff capture, find and use information within the office.

Council already have future plans to enable their mobile fleet via iCognition’s mobile solution; RM Workflow where staff can then access the EDRMS from any device, anywhere at any time,” said Mr Fripp.

Content Manager was implemented with the iCognition front end, RM Workspace, to deliver a user-friendly enterprise grade system. Additionally, iCognition developed a CRM pilot utilising Content Manager via RM Workflow. This CRM solution provides the customer service staff with the ability to lodge and manage customer requests via automated workflows, and also contain related correspondence within Content Manager to meet compliance requirements.

This has been a great improvement to the paper-based process used prior to the implementation.