Customer Solution Case Study                                         Federal Agency Ensures Compliance, Saves             ...
“Simply having a file out                  Situation                                    week. These files include Microsof...
“We have to control our                    Bailey, “Most agricultural producers          Further, AMS could capitalize on ...
drop-down menus and text-entry boxes                                                                                 to pr...
particular branch within an AMS program                                                                                are...
“With SharePoint Server                    file and can be printed or saved as a         regulatory compliance requirement...
“With SharePoint Server                    it could help ensure the same                 to use in-house development exper...
For More Information                                  Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010For more information about Microsoft...
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USDA Case Study - SharePoint Server 2010 - ECM and ROI


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USDA Case Study - SharePoint Server 2010 - ECM and ROI

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USDA Case Study - SharePoint Server 2010 - ECM and ROI

  1. 1. Customer Solution Case Study Federal Agency Ensures Compliance, Saves Costs with Records Management SolutionOverview “We created the Records Center using our existingCountry or Region: United StatesIndustry: National government investments … and minimal programming resources.agencies SharePoint Server 2010 helps us manage our costsCustomer Profile wisely and keep our fees as low as possible.”The Agricultural Marketing Service Doug Bailey, Chief Information Officer, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States(AMS) of the United States Department Department of Agricultureof Agriculture (USDA) administerscommodity programs to facilitate the The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United Statesefficient, fair marketing of America’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides grading services,agricultural products. market news reporting, school lunch purchase programs, and aBusiness Situation national organic program to support U.S. producers, processors,AMS needed to implement reliablerecords management to ensure and consumers. As a government agency, AMS needs to satisfyregulatory compliance. It also needed legal obligations concerning storage and discovery of itsto minimize IT expenditures to keepcosts low for agricultural producers. electronic business documents. AMS selected Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 as the foundation for an AMS enterpriseSolutionAMS used Microsoft SharePoint Server records management system. With the solution, AMS employees2010 as the basis for an enterprise file business documents as official records using familiarrecords management system.Employees create and file records Microsoft Office programs. Records cannot be altered orusing Microsoft Office programs. deleted, and AMS records managers manage retention policies.Benefits The solution takes advantage of the existing infrastructure, Familiar, easy-to-use system which helps AMS minimize IT expenses and keep its service fees encourages adoption Ensures regulatory compliance as low as possible for America’s agricultural producers. Reduces costs for USDA, helps keep services affordable for producers
  2. 2. “Simply having a file out Situation week. These files include Microsoft Word A primary objective of the United States documents, Microsoft Excelon a shared file server Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to spreadsheets, and Microsoft PowerPointdoesnt meet the facilitate domestic and international presentations. The files contain key marketing of U.S. agricultural products. information and document how therequirements of To this end, the USDA Agricultural organization arrives at its many critical Marketing Service (AMS) administers business decisions. AMS did not have theorganized electronic programs that focus on the orderly capability to designate electronicdiscovery.” marketing of agricultural commodities to documents as official records, locate help ensure high-quality food, promote them easily, apply retention schedules, or Doug Bailey, Chief Information Officer, agricultural trade and production, and place legal holds on them. Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture achieve the best possible returns for U.S. farmers and ranchers. AMS is responsible Employees could create a paper copy of for familiar programs such as beef a document and file it as an official grading, USDA organic product record, but, adds Doug Bailey, Chief certification, and the well-known “Milk Information Offer of the Agricultural Mustache” promotion. The organization Marketing Service at the USDA, “The also administers programs such as the hard copy could not be readily accessed AMS Market News service, which or used by others. And, it’s difficult to provides up-to-date and unbiased price keep track of hard copies and ensure and product volume information to help that they are maintained or purged as farmers and ranchers determine when to required.” Further, the organization did move their products into the nation’s not have thorough management of the supply chain. AMS is based in electronic files that were stored on the Washington, D.C., and has approximately hard drives of employees’ PCs. “The 2,000 full-time employees. agency has a responsibility to preserve any document that could be pertinent to AMS is a federal government agency, a legal proceeding, and, therefore, we and, as such, it is subject to a high must provide a level of security and degree of regulatory oversight forensic integrity over our business concerning the way it stores and documents. This requires a sophisticated manages its official email messages and document management system. Simply business documents. AMS uses an email having a file out on a shared file server archive system that provides electronic doesnt meet the requirements of discovery (e-discovery) and other organized electronic discovery,” explains regulatory compliance capabilities in the Bailey. event that it must furnish email-based information for civil litigation cases. AMS wanted to implement such a However, the organization did not have system, but it was challenged by financial the same capabilities for managing its constraints. More than 60 percent of the business documents. work that the organization does is with producers, processors, and exporters AMS employees, who work with who voluntarily engage in AMS agricultural producers, industry trade programs and pay for the services they groups, and consumers to develop and receive. To keep its fees as low as implement USDA programs and policies, possible, the organization strives to create hundreds of electronic files each minimize its operating expenses. Says
  3. 3. “We have to control our Bailey, “Most agricultural producers Further, AMS could capitalize on its operate on narrow margins. Any cost developers’ existing expertise inexpenses very carefully they incur as they certify their products Microsoft technologies, including theto provide high-value into the supply chain erodes these Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft margins. We can’t just go out and buy an ASP.NET. The solution also offeredservices for the expensive document management excellent integration with the Microsoft system. We have to control our expenses Office desktop productivity applicationsagricultural community.” very carefully to provide high-value that AMS employees use every day. Doug Bailey, Chief Information Officer, services for the agricultural community.” “SharePoint Server 2010 was a natural fit. Agricultural Marketing Service, United It was the easy-to-use, low-cost solution States Department of Agriculture AMS sought a cost-efficient, easy-to-use we were looking for,” says Bailey. AMS solution for enterprisewide electronic also liked the fact that SharePoint Server records management. It believed that 2010 provides records management rather than invest in a costly, stand-alone capabilities in a context of collaboration. records management system, which “The system would allow us to not only would require extensive training and preserve content electronically, but also users to switch to a different program to make the content easily discoverable and manage records, the better approach readily available across the community to would be to build records management inform our business decisions,” Bailey capabilities into its existing environment. adds. “We were looking for a toolset we could add to what we had, rather than invest in AMS Electronic Records Center an entirely new environment,” explains In late 2009, with help from Microsoft, Bailey. AMS began to develop an enterprise records management solution on a Solution prerelease version of SharePoint Server AMS relied on Microsoft Office 2010. “Microsoft was extremely helpful,” SharePoint Server 2007 for its corporate says Bailey. “We saw right away that we intranet and its business-partner could build a highly reliable, sound extranet, and it considered adding technical solution on the SharePoint custom capabilities to its Office Server platform.” SharePoint Server 2007 environment to enable records management. Then, in Using the solution, employees submit late 2009, AMS evaluated Microsoft Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and found that it Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft offered, out-of-the-box, many of the PowerPoint presentations directly from records management capabilities AMS the program they are working in to a needed, including retention policies, repository within SharePoint Server 2010 legal holds, and managed metadata for called the AMS Electronic Records tagging records. “Upgrading to the Center. While the solution is compatible newer version made sense because with the Microsoft Office Professional SharePoint Server is already very popular Plus 2007 programs AMS was using, the with our business users. We wanted to organization also decided to upgrade to take advantage of this,” says Robert Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Fiduk, Division Director of the Enterprise as part of the project. Employees can Application Services and Chief Technical also submit PDF files as records. Records Officer at USDA AMS. are managed in accordance with key
  4. 4. drop-down menus and text-entry boxes to provide descriptive information for the record (which is applied as metadata tags) to indicate categorization details, audience, keywords for search, author, and title. Then, the user clicks a File as Record button, and the record is thenFigure 1. Customized Ribbon for transmitted to the Electronic Records Center. submitting files as records. The Ribbon invokes a web service, which requirements established by the National AMS also customized, “to send and Archives and Records Administration receive information between SharePoint (NARA) and are safeguarded from Server 2010 and Microsoft Office,” alteration or premature deletion. explains Tacoukjou. “This communication enables us to keep a list of appropriate Customized Ribbon for Submitting records categories in the Electronic Records Records Center, and automatically AMS used out-of-the-box SharePoint provide these options to the users, Server 2010 records management through the Records Management tab.” capabilities, and also customized several key components, to create the AMS To maintain a continuous look and feel, Electronic Records Center. “The AMS used configurable Web Parts in introduction of the service application SharePoint Server 2010 to create a architecture and the ability to interact similarly styled, web-based interface that with SharePoint sites using scripts really offers the Records Management tab improves the scalability and ease of functionality, and from which users can development in SharePoint Server 2010,” submit PDF files to the Electronic says Fariba Tacoukjou, Senior Developer, Records Center. Enterprise Applications and Databases at USDA AMS. Record Categorization, Retention, Permissions An AMS developer used the Microsoft AMS includes nine program areas (such Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate as Dairy, Cotton and Tobacco, and Fruits development system and Microsoft and Vegetables) and additional support SharePoint Designer 2010 to create a units (such as IT Services). Typically, Records Management tab in the Ribbon, records created within a program area which is part of the Microsoft Office are used the most by other employees Fluent user interface (see Figure 1). Using within that program. In the AMS this tab, employees can easily designate Electronic Records Center, there is a files as records and submit them to the SharePoint site for each program, and Electronic Records Center directly from each site (and the records it contains) is Microsoft Office programs. managed by a designated records administrator within the program. The To create a record, the user clicks on the metadata information that an employee Records Management tab, and uses enters is used to automatically route the record to the appropriate site, and then
  5. 5. particular branch within an AMS program area (for instance, Enterprise Application Service is a branch of the ITS unit), the entire program area, or the entire AMS organization. When a record is created, retention policies are applied to the record. Non- permanent records are automatically tagged for expiration according to these policies—for instance, upon the close of a court case, or after a specified amount of time has passed after the end of a fiscal year. Legal holds can be placed on any record, which supersedes the retention policy so that the recordFigure 2. AMS Electronic Records cannot be purged until the legal hold is Center for the IT Services released. AMS also customized a records (ITS) unit. reporting system so that administrators can easily see all records under their purview and determine if any to more detailed category folders for the information is missing. For example, type of document within the site, such as periodically, each record administrator general correspondence, activity reports, receives an automated email message or presentations. The authority for these that contains a list of records that have category folders corresponds to record been filed without sufficient information schedule categories established by regarding the retention period. The NARA. administrator can then enter the required information into the system. AMS created a security feature to validate each user’s credentials, through AMS uses enterprise search in SharePoint the Records Management tab, against Server 2010 to allow users to search for credentials stored in Active Directory records across AMS sites. However, the Domain Services. Once validated, the tab search results that are returned only is prepopulated with information about display records that the user has the user. “Microsoft Office pulls data permission to access. Users can search by about the user, including which program subject, title, record category, or area or unit they are from and what level audience (such as branch, program area, of access they have,” explains Tacoukjou. or agency). SharePoint Server 2010 also “It allows the user to file records in the allows AMS to assign each record a appropriate site and category.” This unique identifier, an ID number that security feature is also invoked when a always stays attached to the document, user accesses records through the web- and can be used to locate the document based Electronic Records Center through search no matter where the interface in SharePoint Server 2010 (see document is located. When an employee Figure 2). For instance, a record can be accesses a record from the Electronic set to be seen only by members of a Records Center, it opens as a read-only
  6. 6. “With SharePoint Server file and can be printed or saved as a regulatory compliance requirements. To copy to the employee’s local hard drive. create the solution, AMS took advantage2010, our employees of existing infrastructure and in-house Enterprise Solution expertise, which resulted in significanthave a convenient tool The AMS Electronic Records Center cost avoidance, helping the organizationthat lets them do their operates in a virtualized environment, on keep its fees to its constituents as low as three physical servers running the as custodians of Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. SharePoint Server 2010 runs on Familiar, Easy-to-Use Systeminformation for the these servers. Two are dedicated front- Encourages Adoptiongovernment.” end web servers, and the third functions AMS extended its SharePoint Server as the search and indexing server. A environment, and connected it to Doug Bailey, Chief Information Officer, fourth server, which runs the Microsoft Microsoft Office programs, to enable Agricultural Marketing Service, United SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data enterprisewide records management. States Department of Agriculture management software, functions as the The result is a familiar, easy-to-use database for the Electronic Records system that allows employees to create Center. AMS is implementing disaster records and submit them to the recovery capabilities between its Electronic Records Center without Washington, D.C., data center and its leaving the program in which they are Denver, Colorado, data center. AMS also working. “One of the biggest obstacles relies on Microsoft System Center to implementing records management is Operations Manager 2007 R2 to manage that you often have to ask users to get and monitor the health of its SharePoint accustomed to a different interface, with Server environment to ensure top unfamiliar icons and commands, and to performance and availability. leave the environment in which they are authoring a document, or working on a Currently, the solution is in a pilot phase spreadsheet or presentation. SharePoint with employees in AMS IT Services and Server 2010 removes this obstacle,” says the Dairy program. “We are working on Bailey. “No matter which Microsoft Office final refinements to the folder taxonomy program they are in, the Electronic before rolling out to a broader Records Center is just a click away.” audience,” says Bailey. AMS plans to deploy the solution to all employees by AMS expects a rapid uptake among late 2011. “Soon, the Electronic Records employees, due to the system’s ease-of- Center will be available across all of use. “An employee just has to click on AMS,” says Bailey. “We’ve also seen high the Records Management tab, enter the interest among other USDA agencies. As appropriate metadata, and submit the soon as we complete the deployment record. With SharePoint Server 2010, our here, we will make the solution freely employees have a convenient tool that available to all agencies in USDA.” lets them do their jobs as custodians of information for the government,” says Bailey. Benefits Ensures Regulatory Compliance Using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Previously, AMS ensured that it met AMS created an enterprise records regulatory compliance requirements for management system that is easy-to-use email retention and e-discovery, but it and ensures that the organization meets did not have a system in place by which
  7. 7. “With SharePoint Server it could help ensure the same to use in-house development expertise management of its business documents. rather than to retrain or hire new2010, we can ensure that “We were relying on employees to developers. Because of this, it only took preserve content on their hard drives, the agency four months to develop andAMS meets regulatory and that resulted in too many deploy the solution. “We created thecompliance vulnerabilities,” says Bailey. “We needed Records Center using our existing to have the same control over our investments in Microsoft infrastructurerequirements for e- electronic documents that we had over and minimal programming resources,” our email messages.” says Bailey. “SharePoint Server 2010discovery.” helps us manage our costs wisely and Doug Bailey, Chief Information Officer, The AMS Electronic Records Center keep our fees as low as possible.” Agricultural Marketing Service, United provides sophisticated but easy-to-use States Department of Agriculture methods with which to tag, file, store, retain, purge, and search official business records. “With SharePoint Server 2010, we can ensure that AMS meets regulatory compliance requirements for e-discovery. We can control how business documents that may be relevant to legal proceedings are managed and retained. And we have great insight into the history of each document,” says Bailey. Reduces Costs for USDA, Helps Keep Services Affordable for Producers As a federal government agency, USDA is accountable to its constituents— including, importantly, the producers and suppliers who pay AMS for marketing services that enable them to certify and trade their products across the domestic and international food supply chain. “The pressure is on us, as a government agency, to make services affordable for our clients,” says Bailey. “When we purchase and implement new systems, our costs increase, and we have to recoup these costs by charging higher fees for our services.” To forestall fee increases for agency customers, AMS took a cost-efficient approach to records management by upgrading a technology that already existed in its environment. In addition to lower implementation costs, it was able
  8. 8. For More Information Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010For more information about Microsoft Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is theproducts and services, call the business collaboration platform for theMicrosoft Sales Information Center at enterprise and the Web.(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call theMicrosoft Canada Information Centre For more information about Microsoftat (877) 568-2495. Customers in the SharePoint Server 2010, go to:United States and Canada who are or hard-of-hearing can reachMicrosoft text telephone (TTY/TDD)services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the50 United States and Canada, pleasecontact your local Microsoft subsidiary.To access information using the WorldWide Web, go more information about the UnitedStates Department of Agriculture andthe Agricultural Marketing Service, call(202) 720-1234 or visit the website Software and Services  Microsoft Office  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft Office Professional Plus − Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 2010 − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 − Microsoft Office Professional Plus − Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 2010  Microsoft Visual Studio − Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 − Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 − Microsoft System Center Ultimate Configuration Manager 2007 R2  Technologies − Active Directory Domain ServicesThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published May 2011