Zia Consulting and Athabasca Universitys Alfresco ECM Project: A Case Study
Who is Zia Consul1ng? Zia Consulting is a leading provider of enterprise business solutions for content management from paper to mobile.The Content People at Zia Consul1ng • Driving Enterprise Mobility Technology • Experts in Enterprise Integration and Cloud Ready Solutions • Connected with industry leading partners • Delivering measurable business results, on time, within budget Zia provides innovative solutions which open up new possibilities in a content anywhere environment.
Who is Zia Consul1ng? End to End Business Solutions • Procurement • Sales Automation • Contract and Records Management • eDiscovery • Knowledge Management • Business Process Management • Project and Expense ManagementIntegrity is core to how Zia does business
Athabasca University Facts • Canada’s open and distance learning ins1tu1on • About 38,000 students located world-‐wide • Oﬀers over 750 courses and more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees and diplomas. • Has a distributed work force of over 1200
AU Facts • Most faculty members work from home oﬃces. • Most professional and administra1ve staﬀ work in oﬃce loca1ons. • Main campus located in Athabasca, Alberta • Other oﬃce loca1ons in Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray, Alberta
The Star1ng Point with Alfresco • Most courses have year-‐round enrolments, rather than being term-‐based. • Course content is wriUen by faculty, but course development and delivery is handled by various departments. • All AU courses are delivered online using a Learning Management System (Moodle). • Moodle does not manage the course development process well – edi1ng, versioning, archiving – so the need for a CMS was iden1ﬁed.
Why Alfresco? • Alfresco chosen a[er analysis and comparison with other similar systems (e.g. Documentum and RedDot) for the following reasons: – It’s open source, which ﬁts with the ins1tu1onal approach to informa1on technology systems, works with our limited budget, and is compa1ble with the AU technology stack. – Integra1on poten1al with Moodle for development and delivery of course materials. – Other features and capabili1es such as search, versioning, workﬂows, records management, WebDAV access, LDAP integra1on, and WCM were all important considera1ons.
Ini1al Implementa1ons • First started with Alfresco 2.2 in 2007 • Several ini1a1ves undertaken: • commissioning servers for availability university-‐wide • web content management with several website roll-‐outs • course development and Moodle integra1on pilot. A ‘Publish to Moodle’ ac1on was created. • custom content model integra1on with course material and student informa1on from registry database. • crea1on of a func1onal taxonomy for records and document content management pilot
Issues Encountered (2009) • Systems stability issues. Mul1ple bugs were submiUed (internally) and not ﬁxed. • Web Unit not sa1sﬁed with various aspects of Alfresco Web Content Management capabili1es, mainly the amount of technical exper1se required to roll out websites. • Course development and Moodle integra1on progress stalled. A contracted project (Course Tracking System) was verging on failure. • Users simply didn’t want to use Alfresco. The folder structure was too complicated and they didn’t like the Explorer interface.
AU Func1onal Taxonomy Classiﬁca1on 0100 Human Resources • 0320 External Rela1ons -‐ External Rela1ons • 0110 Planning and Evalua1on • 0325 Legal and Risk Management -‐ Legal Advice and Li1ga1on • 0115 Recruitment -‐ Search • 0330 Legal and Risk Management -‐ Legisla1ve Review • 0120 Recruitment -‐ Hiring • 0335 Legal and Risk Management -‐ Risk Management • 0125 Compensa1on and Beneﬁt – Enrolment • 0340 Planning -‐ Strategic Planning • 0130 Compensa1on and Beneﬁt -‐ Salary and Beneﬁt Delivery • 0345 Planning -‐ Business planning • 0135 Health and Safety -‐ Preven1on and Promo1on • 0350 Communica1on -‐ Media Rela1ons • 0140 Health and Safety -‐ Assessment and Placement • 0355 Communica1on -‐ Special Events • 0145 Health and Safety -‐ Monitoring and Treatment • 0360 Communica1on -‐ Publica1ons • 0150 Labour Rela1ons -‐ Collec1ve Bargaining • 0365 Communica1on -‐ Convoca1on • 0155 Labour Rela1ons -‐ Conﬂict Resolu1on 0400 Teaching and Learning • 0160 Performance and Development -‐ Individual Planning • 0410 Program Development -‐ Planning and Design • 0165 Performance and Development -‐ Appraisal and Adjustments • 0415 Teaching -‐ Course Development • 0170 Performance and Development -‐ Discipline • 0420 Teaching -‐ Course Delivery 0200 Finance • 0425 Teaching -‐ Evalua1on and Appeal • 0210 Budge1ng -‐ Budget Process Design and Evalua1on 500 Informa?on Services • 0215 Budge1ng -‐ Budget Development • 0510 Library -‐ Collec1on Development • 0220 Budge1ng -‐ Budget Management • 0515 Library -‐ Circula1on and Control • 0230 Accoun1ng -‐ System Development and Evalua1on • 0520 Library -‐ Reference Support • 0235 Accoun1ng -‐ Payment and Receipt Processing • 0525 Archives and Records -‐ Planning and Design • 0240 Funding and Revenue -‐ Revenue planning and Strategy • 0530 Archives and Records -‐ Record Control and Reten1on • 0245 Funding and Revenue -‐ Revenue sourcing and Management • 0535 Archives and Records -‐ Record storage and Preserva1on • 0250 Audi1ng -‐ Audit system Design and Evalua1on • 0540 Archives and Records -‐ Record access and Research • 0255 Audi1ng -‐ Audit Process • 0545 Access and Privacy -‐ Compliance and Accountability 0300 Corporate • 0550 Access and Privacy -‐ Request and Inves1ga1ons • 0310 Budge1ng -‐ Budget Process Design and Evalua1on • 0555 Informa1on Technology -‐ Planning and Architecture • 0315 Assessment and Repor1ng -‐ Quality Management and Management • 0560 Informa1on Technology -‐ Systems Development Audit • 0565 Informa1on Technology -‐ System Maintenance 0600 Facili?es and Services • 0610 Development and Acquisi1on -‐ Research, Analysis and Evalua1on • 0615 Development and Acquisi1on -‐ Purchasing and Acquisi1on • 0620 Development and Acquisi1on -‐ Construc1on or Delivery • 0625 Asset or service use -‐ Tracking and Monitoring • 0630 Asset or service use -‐ Maintenance • 0635 Asset or service use -‐ Security and Access control • 0640 Asset or service use -‐ Disposal and Decommissioning 0700 Governance • 0710 Structure and Authority -‐ Design and Assessment
Moving Forward • Introduced to the Zia Consul1ng team at the LA Alfresco Meet -‐Up, October 2009. • The needs we had iden1ﬁed: • A determina1on of how to handle document content and records management, work within our func1onal taxonomy, and prevent users from simply dumping content from shared drives and desktops into Alfresco • How to proceed with the development of work ﬂows for the course materials development process and integra1on with Moodle. • An assessment of our current systems and sugges1ons for improvement.
Zia Assessment Outcomes • January 2010 -‐ Zia Consul1ng was contracted to assist with the crea1on of a long term plan for Alfresco ECM development at AU and delivered the following: • Best prac1ce recommenda1ons for Alfresco infrastructure and the upgrade process. • Business analysis of workﬂows for the course materials development process. • Recommenda1ons regarding how to proceed with the process for enterprise-‐wide folder structures that would reﬂect the func1onal taxonomy, address security needs, enable searchability, and enable implementa1on of records reten1on policies. • Code review of delayed projects • Recommenda1ons for WCM improvements.
Challenges and the RFP Process • Based on Zia’s assessment report, we had project requirements iden1ﬁed, but our budget did not reﬂect the actual an1cipated cost. • Users at the university were very skep1cal that Alfresco would actually work for us. • The IT execu1ve commiUee was pushing for a success, as considerable investment had been made at that point. • We wanted to increase Alfresco exper1se within the university and to decrease con1nued reliance on outsourced system integrators.
Zia -‐ Athabasca University Project • Since our budget was limited, we had to decide on how to get the “best bang for our buck”. We selected Zia from the received proposals based on the work we knew they could do for us. • Zia worked closely with our business analyst and with the development team using an agile approach. • ensured the internal AU staﬀ was beneﬁ1ng from the knowledge gains and that the project was proceeding in the direc1on we wanted. • The project outcomes included: • Course materials storage and access with integra1on to Moodle sites. • Workﬂow development for course materials correc1ons and revisions. • Developing an automated document management strategy that posi1oned us for future records management implementa1on.
AU Records and Document Management • The goal of this was to use our taxonomy, which has an associated reten1on policy, to classify all documents in Alfresco. This is to posi1on AU to implement records management at a later 1me with a reduc1on in eﬀort. The requirements included: • Security needs and permissions to address access control to all folders and documents per individual, group, and department. • The ability to search and retrieve documents based on classiﬁca1on and access permissions. • The classiﬁca1on of documents and records that will sa1sfy the requirements for implementa1on of a future reten1on scheme. • A folder structure that reﬂects the business model for each department.
RDM Automa1on Process 1. Func1onal taxonomy created 3. A rule to inherit records as categories under AU Records management categories is applied. Classiﬁca1on. 2. The Records Management Audit 4. A daily audit log is sent to the Root aspect is set for the site. records administrator for the site.
RDM File Plan Process • Iden1fy someone who will act as that department’s records administrator. • Deﬁne folder structure that meets the department business model. • Determine records management categories for the folder structure (based on recommenda1ons from AU’s records management oﬃcer) • Determine access control requirements for the folder structure. • Create the folder structure in Alfresco, and apply classiﬁca1ons and access control policy • Migrate exis1ng documents to new folder structure
RDM Roll-‐out • Work with one department at a 1me, rather than rolling out to en1re ins1tu1on • To ensure ini1al success, we went with the early adopters ﬁrst – Project Management Oﬃce, Faculty of Science and Technology, Compu1ng Services, Centre for Learning Design and Development. • Con1nuing roll-‐out based on request for service – there has been no need to force departments to migrate documents to Alfresco.
Alfresco Training • The folder structure now matches departmental business prac1ces. Classiﬁca1on of documents is automated and transparent. This has greatly simpliﬁed the training process.
Alfresco Training • Department Records Administrators receive in-‐depth training. Other users are trained to use various access methods: WebDAV File Mapping WebDAV Browser View Alfresco Share Alfresco Explorer
AU Alfresco Governance • AU Alfresco Technical CommiUee (developers, analysts, sys admins – reports to the Steering CommiUee). • AU Alfresco Steering CommiUee (consists of representa1ves of all university stakeholders, reports to the Execu1ve Group). • Alberta Alfresco Users Group (shares training resources, innova1ons, documenta1on, and informa1on regarding Alfresco Partner experiences.) – 3 Alberta universi1es – Edmonton Public Schools – Various Gov’t of Alberta departments – SherriU Metals
AU Alfresco Road Map • Document scanning and storage – under considera1on with Zia for Epheso[ solu1on • Research project – content authoring, storage, and presenta1on to mul1ple plaoorms – also under considera1on with Zia. • Course materials – con1nuing with workﬂows and implemen1ng WCM for online course development (internal). • Workﬂow development integra1on with the examina1on process (internal). • Workﬂow development integra1on with HR and Finance Banner (Oracle) processes (internal). • Upgrade to Alfresco 4.x
Takeaways • Get help early in the process – a[er a long lag in our start-‐up, we saw quick success once Zia was on scene • Use the Alfresco support network – especially valuable with the rapid upgrades as seen with 3.x and with things like server clustering. • To ensure buy-‐in, use an incremental implementa1on plan. Start with early adopters. Build on successes. • Ensure that training plans are in place • Work with other organiza1ons to share resources and informa1on.
Ques1ons? Karen Stauﬀer Alfresco Program Manager Athabasca University, kstauﬀ@athabascau.ca Mike Mahon CEO Zia Consul1ng, firstname.lastname@example.org