Sharepoint Records Management Case Study

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The Challenge.

  • The lack of a centralised document management solution in addition to the absence of an effective document management strategy has resulted in their client’s data becoming unworkable.
  • Staff were growing increasingly frustrated with the amount of time it was taking to find customer data or up to date information about ongoing cases because it wasn’t easily accessible.
  • There was a growing reliance upon email for storing and sharing documents throughout the company.
  • The lack of a centralised document management solution caused an increase in duplicate data throughout the organisation.
  • IT provider, we were growing increasingly concerned about the added workload being placed on their IT infrastructure as a result of duplicated data.

The Solution.

  • Introduce Microsoft SharePoint as a centralised document management solution. This solution would be shared by head office and remote workers, improving collaboration between departments and individuals throughout the organisation.
  • Setup SharePoint document libraries in Outlook, allowing staff to copy emails directly into SharePoint Online in addition to using drag and drop.
  • Develop a custom search solution using Microsoft FAST search which is Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration platform used to help users locate and retrieve content stored in SharePoint. Unlike public facing Web search engines, FAST typically operates in private company networks, such as intranet and document libraries, making it quicker and easier for staff to find important client information.
  • Introduce Microsoft Azure Multifactor Authentication to SharePoint as an added layer of security and data protection.
  • Tag all content with metadata as it is being uploaded to SharePoint, making it far easier to organise and retrieve content.
  • Introduce the Deep Data large volume data archiving solution to archive the clients redundant data.
  • Conduct SharePoint training workshops for staff onsite and via video conferencing for remote workers.

The Outcome.

  • Productivity and profitability has increased thanks to an effective document organisation strategy that is driven by SharePoint Online.
  • SharePoint Online is now the single centralised document management repository that provides all the functionality the company requires for efficient client and case records management.
  • Client data management has been streamlined through the introduction of SharePoint Online increasing business case efficiency and improving productivity, customer service and client relations.
  • All electronic email correspondence is now saved in SharePoint alongside the respective case files and customer information.
  • The staff are now collaborating more effectively on cases and sharing knowledge from the same repository.
  • The introduction of FAST search capability has made it quick and easy for their staff to find up to date information.
  • As an added layer of security, document version tracking is active and access permissions have been applied at both user and group level, ensuring that all staff only have access to their respective client case details.
  • Any duplicate data has been completely erased from the client’s network, speeding up productivity and reducing the workload placed on their internal file server and exchange servers.

Introduction.

Our client is a law firm that that advises a mixture of not-for-profit, commercial and personal clients. They currently employ approximately 50 highly regarded specialist lawyers and solicitors, most of which work from their head office in London with a number of staff also working remotely.

A growing reputation.

Because of their accomplished professional expertise, they have won numerous awards along with a growing reputation that has helped them to build a strong portfolio of national clients in both the private and public sectors.

Like many of our customers.

The client has recently faced several challenges within the organisation that are a result of recent business growth.  One of these challenges involves how to effectively manage an ever-increasing amount of customer and case related information that is spread across numerous offices without the data becoming fragmented.

Document Management was becoming an issue.

Through organic growth and numerous acquisitions, the law firm has gradually increased its presence and now has numerous solicitors and lawyers operating remotely and mainly working from home.  All the staff share an Exchange server for email and a Windows file server for data. Both servers are located at their head office in Cambridge.

The lack of a centralised document management solution in addition to the absence of an effective document management strategy has resulted in their client’s data becoming unworkable. Data is being stored by the staff over disparate locations including email, locally on their computers, network shares, in the cloud and on the company file server.

In addition.

The staff were growing increasingly frustrated with the amount of time it was taking to find customer data or up to date information about ongoing cases because it wasn’t easily accessible.

Also, there was a growing reliance upon email for storing and sharing documents throughout the company. Staff were retaining emails that contained important client and case related information in their individual mailboxes, making it impossible for their colleagues to find this information in their absence.

There was another problem.

The lack of a centralised document management solution caused an increase in duplicate data throughout the organisation. Therefore, as their IT provider, we were growing increasingly concerned about the added workload being placed on their IT infrastructure as a result.

We had spoken to our point of contact at their head office numerous times to make them aware that both the file servers and the Exchange server were constantly crashing because they were running out of disk space. This was caused by an increase in the number of email messages with attachments that were being sent back and forth between staff. As a result, duplicate content was being created on the file server because there was no content management strategy in place.

What was more concerning was the fact that business critical data was starting to get lost in the system with no one claiming responsibility for its absence.

To conclude.

The client’s lack of data control and team collaboration on case-related documents was starting to affect their productivity which, in turn, reduced company profitability. This was a major concern for the business owners and the problem needed to be addressed immediately through the implementation of an effective solution.

In steps Our IT Department.

A member of our consultancy team discussed the above concerns in a meeting with the business owners. As with every project we undertake, it is essential for us to fully understand our client’s business challenges so we can provide them with the correct solution to meet their business needs.

After evaluating a number of reputable content management systems.

We decided that Microsoft SharePoint Online was the preferred solution to meet our client’s document storage and collaboration requirements. Our internal SharePoint development team has helped numerous organisations to implement the right content management strategy. By their own admission, our client’s document organisation was inefficient at best.

Before the migration to SharePoint commenced.

Our consultants conducted an additional meeting with the owners and heads of department to determine their pain points and finalise a company effective document organisation strategy that every user would be required to follow.  Once the document organisation structure was finalised, we then started the content migration process.

Once a project scope of works was agreed.

We proceeded to work closely with the office manager to start auditing their data to organise it into the correct document libraries and avoid duplication/data loss when migrating to SharePoint.  This was a lengthy process for our project team because there was a huge amount of duplicate information spread across numerous devices.

In addition, we implemented the following:

  • Introduced Microsoft SharePoint as a centralised document management solution.
  • This solution would be shared by head office and remote workers, improving collaboration between departments and individuals throughout the organisation.
  • Setup SharePoint document libraries in Outlook, allowing staff to copy emails directly into SharePoint Online in addition to using drag and drop.
  • Developed a custom search solution using Microsoft FAST search which is Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration platform used to help users locate and retrieve content stored in SharePoint. Unlike public facing Web search engines, FAST typically operates in private company networks, such as intranet and document libraries, making it quicker and easier for staff to find important client information.
  • Introduced Microsoft Azure Multifactor Authentication to SharePoint as an added layer of security and data protection.
  • Tagged all content with metadata as it is being uploaded to SharePoint, making it far easier to organise and retrieve content.
  • Conducted SharePoint training workshops for staff onsite and via video conferencing for remote workers.

Pre-deployment user testing.

Before deploying SharePoint company-wide, Our IT Department selected a minimal number of users across the organisation to test the new SharePoint environment for 14 days.  All the selected staff members were trained on how to use SharePoint effectively prior to testing. Any concerns or technical issues that we are made aware of were then resolved before SharePoint was deployed company-wide.

During the SharePoint migration process.

It became clear that the client had terabytes of customer data that was no longer in use, but had to be retained for legal and business continuity purposes.  Because of this, we recommended the client uses Deep Data large volume data archiving to archive their redundant data.

What is Deep Data?

Deep Data is a dedicated digital data archiving solution that is perfect for organisations that need to archive media files, images, electronic documents, email or any other data that is no longer in active use.

5 great reasons to archive your redundant digital data in the cloud.

As a web-based solution, SharePoint Online provides a central repository for the staff and project teams to organise and collaborate on content and data. SharePoint will be used by every user across the entire organisation, including users located at the satellite offices and remote workers. This will immediately improve collaboration between departments and individuals.

SharePoint Online features include:

  • The ability to share files and content with people inside and outside your organisation.
  • Organise and manage content in libraries and lists with metadata, records management, and retention policies.
  • Share and communicate your group’s messages across the organisation from within SharePoint.
  • Access SharePoint sites using the SharePoint mobile app for Android™, iOS®, and Windows and OneDrive mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows.
  • In addition to content management, the project teams will be able to use alerts and workflows to automate business processes.
  • Through FAST search, users will be able to quickly find and access important content.
  • Find content in electronic format for litigation or audit scenarios.
  • SharePoint has advanced data-loss prevention (DLP) capabilities to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive information.
  • Use ‘In-Place Hold’ to prevent content deletion or editing.
  • Microsoft Azure Multifactor Authentication is implemented as an added layer of security and data protection.

A familiar face.

As a Microsoft application, the SharePoint interface and functionality will already be familiar to the staff, making the transition to the document management solution easier.

Compatibility with other applications was also a deciding factor.

Because it is a Microsoft application. SharePoint document libraries can be seamlessly integrated with Outlook, allowing staff to copy their emails directly into SharePoint Online. For example:

  • The client can create an individual document library for a specific client or case in SharePoint.
  • They can then grant specific users access to this document library. Typically, this would only be the staff working on the project.
  • Emails, files and attachments can be copied from Outlook directly into the document library (you can also drag and drop emails, attachments and documents directly into SharePoint Online).
  • Productivity is improved through effective search functions.

From concept to deployment, the entire SharePoint implementation project was completed successfully within 6 weeks.  The client is now using SharePoint as a central repository for organising and retaining all types of documents.

  • Productivity and profitability has increased thanks to an effective document organisation strategy that is driven by SharePoint Online.
  • SharePoint Online is now the single centralised document management repository that provides all the functionality the company requires for efficient client and case records management.
  • Client data management has been streamlined through the introduction of SharePoint Online increasing business case efficiency and improving productivity, customer service and client relations.
  • All electronic email correspondence is now saved in SharePoint alongside the respective case files and customer information.
  • The staff are now collaborating more effectively on cases and sharing knowledge from the same repository.
  • The introduction of FAST search capability has made it quick and easy for their staff to find up to date information.
  • As an added layer of security, document version tracking is active and access permissions have been applied at both user and group level, ensuring that all staff only have access to their respective client case details.
  • Any duplicate data has been completely erased from the client’s network, speeding up productivity and reducing the workload placed on their internal file server and exchange servers.

The SharePoint implementation project was a complete success.

SharePoint is now the backbone of the clients day-to-day operations. Case management is much improved and the staff are finding it much easier to collaborate with their colleagues on specific cases. The implementation of FAST search and tagging content with metadata has made it far easier for the team to retrieve information from SharePoint, giving them more time to focus on the case in hand.

We can help you increase productivity and streamline your business processes by introducing Microsoft SharePoint Online.

(We’ll even train your employees to use SharePoint more effectively and efficiently!)

Our IT Department is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner that provides SharePoint consultancy and SharePoint project management services to businesses across the UK. Call 020 8501 7676 and speak to a business development manager to find out more about the many commercial and financial advantages of implementing SharePoint in your business, or provide more information about your requirements in the contact form below:

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Case study highlights benefits of SharePoint 2010 and Colligo Contributor for enterprise-wide content management

Vancouver, BC, July 27, 2011 – Colligo Networks today announced that Microsoft has published a case study on how Colligo helps companies simplify information management and reduce IT costs. The case study features Charter Communications, a Fortune 500 company, who chose SharePoint Server 2010 and Colligo Contributor Pro as the foundation for an enterprise-wide content management system that makes it easier for its employees to manage information and records.

The case study has been published on the Microsoft site at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=4000010771

In the case study, Dan Vasey, Director of Records and Information Management, Charter Communications, talks about the Charter Online Information Network (COIN), an enterprise-wide platform for documents and records management, in terms of accessing information and the decision making process:

“SharePoint Server 2010 and Colligo help to speed the decision-making process. Users have better access to relevant information, because they can reach all of it through a single interface,” says Vasey. “They don’t have to search among file shares, document management systems, and local folders to find what they are looking for—it’s all right there in COIN.”

Benefits of the SharePoint/Colligo Solution to Charter Communications
As stated in the case study, by using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Colligo Contributor Pro software, Charter Communications has built an enterprise content management environment that simplifies administration of and access to, documents and records, while addressing compliance. The solution has been readily accepted by users and helps Charter reduce its information management costs.

“The benefits that Colligo Contributor provides to enterprises are evident in Charter Communications’ experience with building and deploying a SharePoint-based information and records management system,” says Barry Jinks, Founder and CEO of Colligo Networks. “I’d like to extend a big thank you to Dan Vasey at Charter for participating in this case study, which I am sure will serve as a blueprint for any organization looking to create an enterprise-wide content management solution on SharePoint.”

About Colligo Contributor Pro
Colligo Contributor is the complete email and document management suite for Microsoft SharePoint. With Colligo Contributor, tagging, storing, finding, and sharing essential content in SharePoint is as easy as dragging an email to a folder in Outlook, or filing a document in Windows Explorer. 30-day trials of Colligo Contributor are available at www.colligo.com/try. Volume pricing and other enquiries can be directed to sales@colligo.com.

About Colligo Networks
Colligo Networks is the leader in email and document management solutions for Microsoft SharePoint. Enterprises that use SharePoint rely on the Colligo Contributor suite to improve collaboration, increase productivity, and mitigate corporate risk. Featuring seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer, Colligo Contributor drives user adoption by making it easy to tag, find, store, and share SharePoint content in familiar ways, even when offline. Colligo Contributor is used by over 4000 organizations in 55 countries, with Global 500 customers including Microsoft, Kraft Foods, General Motors, and Siemens. Colligo Networks is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. For more information, please visit www.colligo.com

Colligo is a trademark of Colligo Networks, Inc. All other corporate names and / or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

For further information, please contact:

Asa Zanatta
Tel: 604 724 7755
E-mail:azanatta@colligo.com

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