Towers Watson Enhances Records Management with New Software


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Each and every day, Towers Watson is entrusted with confidential client documents that must be stored in a secure, easily accessible way. To enhance the usability of its RecordsExcellence records management solution, Towers Watson is migrating the application to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Taking advantage of the software’s records management and search improvements, Towers Watson hopes to better meet its associates’ needs while enforcing companywide records management standards. More flexibility boosts user adoption, which in turn should increase the number of documents tagged for retention and the level of protection and service that Towers Watson can offer its clients. Maintaining RecordsExcellence will also be easier and less expensive, with fewer customizations and third-party components.

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Towers Watson Enhances Records Management with New Software

  1. 1. Customer Solution Case Study Professional Services Company Enhances Records Management with New SoftwareOverview “With SharePoint Server 2010, we’ve achieved aCountry or Region: United StatesIndustry: Professional services consistent records management infrastructure while giving business units the flexible taxonomies that theyCustomer ProfileTowers Watson, with global desire.”headquarters in New York, offers Faheem Larik, Senior Technical Analyst, Towers Watsonsolutions in the areas of employeebenefits, talent management, rewards, Each and every day, Towers Watson is entrusted withand risk and capital management,through 14,000 associates around the confidential client documents that must be stored in a secure,world. easily accessible way. To enhance the usability of itsBusiness Situation RecordsExcellence records management solution, TowersThe Towers Watson records Watson is migrating the application to Microsoft SharePointmanagement system could notaccommodate various tagging Server 2010. Taking advantage of the software’s recordstaxonomies and retention schedules, management and search improvements, Towers Watson hopeswhich impeded adoption and requiredconstant customization. to better meet its associates’ needs while enforcing companywide records management standards. More flexibilitySolutionTowers Watson is using Microsoft boosts user adoption, which in turn should increase the numberSharePoint Server 2010 to enhance its of documents tagged for retention and the level of protectionrecords management system withincreased document-tagging and and service that Towers Watson can offer its clients. Maintainingretention flexibility, improved search, RecordsExcellence will also be easier and less expensive, withand reduced maintenance. fewer customizations and third-party components.Benefits Central control, flexible taxonomies High user adoption for better records protection Lower management costs
  2. 2. “Business users“With managed wanted Situation Senior Technical Analyst at Towers New York–based Towers Watson is a Watson. “But by 2008, roughly 40search rules SharePointkeywords in and terms global professional services company percent of RecordsExcellence consisted that helps organizations improve of customized code, and this presentedthat made sense toServer 2010, people can performance through effective people, an ongoing maintenance burden.”them, rather than usingadd keywords that are risk, and financial management. Launched in January 2010 by the merger Solutiontags that madeconsistent and sense to of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt, In early 2009, a Watson Wyatt team used Towers Watson offers employee benefits, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007the recordscentralized.”management talent management, rewards, and risk to conduct a proof of concept for “in-staff.” Larik, Senior Technical Analyst, Faheem and capital management solutions place” records management with Towers Watson through 14,000 associates around the litigation holds, eDiscovery, and Doug Taylor, Global Director of world. retention policies features. While this Enterprise Risk Management, Towers exercise proved that Office SharePoint Watson Because Towers Watson handles many Server could deliver these requirements, financial, legal, and personnel documents it required several customizations and for clients, the company needs to store significant ongoing maintenance costs. them in a way that is secure, auditable, and provides easy access. Watson Wyatt In mid-2009, Watson Wyatt learned from had used Microsoft Office SharePoint its local Microsoft representative about Server 2007 to develop an enterprise the upcoming release of Microsoft content management and records SharePoint Server 2010, the successor to management system called Office SharePoint Server 2007. RecordsExcellence, which was intended SharePoint Server 2010 includes richer to foster standardization in the way that built-in records management and associates used, tracked, stored, and improved search features, among other disposed of documents and records. improvements, which Watson Wyatt could use to simplify use while reducing However, even before the merger, customization. Watson Wyatt associates in different parts of the world and different areas of Usability Enhancements the business wanted more flexibility in Excited about the new features of how documents were tagged for filing in SharePoint Server 2010, Watson Wyatt RecordsExcellence. “Business users engaged Microsoft Services to create a wanted search rules and terms that made proof of concept of RecordsExcellence sense to them, rather than using tags running on SharePoint Server 2010. After that made sense to the records positive results, the firm began plans to management staff,” says Doug Taylor, migrate RecordsExcellence to the new Global Director of Enterprise Risk software. Management at Towers Watson. Towers Watson (the merger between Also, the RecordsExcellence development Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin was team wanted to reduce the amount of completed in January 2010) began taking customization in the application. “Our advantage of the improved linkage original goal was to have an 80 percent between SharePoint Server 2010 and the out-of-box solution with only 20 percent 2007 Microsoft Office system. The customization,” says Faheem Larik, company has incorporated a pilot
  3. 3. version of RecordsExcellence into the In addition to benefiting from enterpriseOffice Ribbon, so users can access the keywords, managed metadata field typesapplication from within any Microsoft enabled one North American practiceOffice 2007 program with a single group to create its own taxonomy withmouse-click to store a completed document categories and subcategoriesdocument. Conversely, users can also unique to its business. With SharePointsearch for and open documents from Server 2010, the RecordsExcellence Teamwithin SharePoint Server 2010 without was able to give this group its desiredhaving the client software physically document categorization (using terminstalled on the desktop PC. store) structure without forcing the rest of the company to also adopt it.With SharePoint Server 2010, TowersWatson can provide consultants with Search functionality is also greatlyaccess to RecordsExcellence, whether enhanced in SharePoint Server 2010.they are at the office or a remote Towers Watson associates can narrowlocation, using their own laptops or even their search results by client name, clientjust a browser connection. code, type of document, content type, categories, subcategories, and otherThe new version of RecordsExcellence criteria. Also, users can quickly viewalso gives associates more document- documents from a browser, decreasingtagging flexibility while maintaining a the time spent finding the rightcentralized records structure. In document.SharePoint Server 2010, users can tagcontent with metadata that makes sense IT Enhancementsto them. “Previously, users could add With SharePoint Server 2010, Towerskeywords to RecordsExcellence, but this Watson has more flexibility in managingled to taxonomy consistency problems,” RecordsExcellence than it’s ever hadLarik says. “With enterprise keywords in before. By using a SharePoint ServerSharePoint Server 2010, people can add Content Type Hub and publishingkeywords that are consistent and content types to other geo-distributedcentralized.” SharePoint farms, the IT staff can configure, control, and update contentEnterprise keywords are words or types within one location and publishphrases with which users can flexibly tag them globally. This can help the IT staffdocuments as part of the SharePoint apply changes consistently and also saveServer 2010 Managed Metadata Services. time by eliminating the need toManaged metadata is a hierarchical configure the same thing multiple timescollection of centrally managed terms in various farms. In addition, withthat users can define and use as SharePoint Server 2010, recordsattributes for items in SharePoint Server managers have a single location (Content2010. “Because of the flexibility of using Type Hub) to apply retention policies forenterprise keywords, users are presented content types that are published in otherwith the list of available options to tag geo-distributed farms.their content,” Larik explains. “Thisensures accuracy and consistency so that Benefitssearch becomes much more relevant.” By implementing an enterprise content management and records management
  4. 4. “By upgrading to solution in SharePoint Server 2010, “In our business, it’s absolutely critical Towers Watson will gain increased that we have a sound recordsSharePoint Server 2010, document-tagging flexibility while management system so we can protect maintaining a centralized document- and serve our clients,” Taylor says.we have created a more taxonomy structure across the company.powerful solution that Enhanced search capabilities and overall Lower Management Costs ease of use have increased user interest, With SharePoint Server 2010, the Towersbetter meets the needs and expanded, built-in functionality has Watson IT staff expects to reduce its reduced customization work and management workload and associatedof the business and maintenance for the IT staff. The bottom costs, as many capabilities that used tosaves time and money in line for Towers Watson is improved require customized code are now protection of client documents with a included out of the box in SharePointthe long run.” world-class records management Server 2010. “By upgrading to SharePoint solution. Server 2010, we have created a more Faheem Larik, Senior Technical Analyst, Towers Watson powerful solution that better meets the Central Control, Flexible Taxonomies needs of the business and saves time With SharePoint Server 2010, Towers and money in the long run,” Larik says. Watson can now have a centralized records management system that accommodates regional business taxonomies. “With SharePoint Server 2010, we’ve achieved a consistent records management infrastructure while giving business units the flexible taxonomies that they desire,” Larik says. As Towers Watson associates move from team to team and project to project, they will see the same user interface, records structure, and search functionality. “People move around a lot in Towers Watson, and senior consultants often work on 8 to 10 projects at once. A consistent approach to accessing documents increases efficiency,” Taylor says. High User Adoption for Better Records Protection With the improved ease of use that SharePoint Server 2010 brings, Towers Watson expects strong user adoption. The ultimate benefit of a more flexible, easier-to-use records management system is better protection for Towers Watson and its clients.
  5. 5. 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 Internet.(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 TowersWatson services, call (212) 725-7550 orvisit the Web site Software and Services  Services  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft Services − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010This case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published May 2010