System connectivity drives improved collaboration and productivity
About the City of Mandurah
The City of Mandurah (“the City”) is a regional council based in south-west Western Australia. With a population of over 80,000 residents, the City represents one of the largest regional government entities in the state.
In 2014, the City embarked on an initiative to revitalise their corporate information management platform and implement a range of collaboration and productivity improvement services across the organisation.
The decision to revitalise the City’s core information systems was based on a number of common challenges facing organisations today. Firstly, the City’s existing systems were out-dated and in some cases, unsupported. With the aging systems providing limited capabilities, end user adoption had been an ongoing challenge, with users often finding non-compliant methods for managing information.
Secondly, the existing systems offered very limited interoperability with the City’s core applications, resulting in a number of unsupported customisations that relied heavily on IT staff to run and maintain. With the City’s most valuable data being stored within the core ERP System, it was imperative that the new platform provided seamlessly automated integration services that would be easy to run and support.
These issues impacted the organisations ability to meet their compliance obligations and were seen as significant blockers to the City’s objective to create a more productive and collaborative work environment.
“Our business did not have a high level of project delivery maturity and Empired worked with us to help deliver a fantastic solution.”
CIO, City of Mandurah
Following the limited success of previous implementations, the City faced mounting pressure to implement an EDRMS that would meet the demands of the organisation and align with the strategic goals to establish an information platform that could grow and scale with the City long into the future.
With traditional systems offering limited interoperability, Empired proposed a SharePoint-based solution that would not only support the integration requirements of the platform, but also provide the City with a range of market-leading extensions that could be leveraged as the organisation incorporates more business services.
While the platform would satisfy the City’s integration requirements, the solution also needed to improve the organisation’s ability to meet their compliance obligations. Using RecordPoint, Empired has devised a range of business rules that automatically capture, classify and manage the content created in the system. This transparency allows end users to simply focus on creating, using and sharing information.
The resulting solution, which would come to be known as ‘WeConnect’, provides staff with a single, online, intuitive interface to the City’s corporate information and vital business data. It seamlessly blends compliant information structures with automated business processes and allows users to easily capture, manage and discover information.
The City selected SharePoint 2013 as the core platform and adopted an innovative approach that would allow the organisation to develop a solution that is tailored to the specific demands of the business. SharePoint has long been considered a market leading content and document management platform and provides a range of capabilities that satisfy the needs of the business, as well as IT services.
Through extension, WeConnect has been designed to incorporate a number of leading tools to provide users with a seamless experience across the platform. These technologies include:
- RecordPoint – as an extension to SharePoint’s document management capabilities, RecordPoint provides records compliance and automates the classification of information through its rules engine. In addition, RecordPoint supports the management of the City’s significant physical record collections and off-site storage.
- OnePlace Solutions – email and office suite integration, providing global links to favourite locations in SharePoint, as well as a consistent feature-set across Microsoft Office, Outlook and Windows Explorer.
- Nintex Workflow – automates a number of key business processes in relation to incoming correspondence, task assignments and converting documents to PDF/A.
In addition to the third-party product extensions, Empired has developed a robust and multi-faceted integration between SharePoint and the City’s core ERP Solution (Authority Enterprise Suite). The integration automates the creation of compliant storage locations for a range of application types and allows users to search for data that is stored within Authority and attach it to information being captured in WeConnect.The technologies that form the WeConnect solution have been selected for their class-leading functionality and usability and also support the City’s strategic initiatives to adopt cloud technologies, thereby reducing the reliance on on-premises applications and supporting an increasingly mobile workforce.
"Empired were collaborative and supportive of the organisation. They went the extra mile on many occasions to make sure we got the best possible outcome.”
CIO, City of Mandurah
The delivery of the WeConnect solution has been tremendously successful across the City of Mandurah and has seen significant adoption by staff, including areas of the organisation that have been resistant to the previous EDRMS deployments.
The City of Mandurah is the first WA Local Government organisation to successfully implement a SharePoint- based, compliant document management and collaboration solution that integrates directly with its core ERP solution.
Since the implementation of the new solution, more than two million documents have been migrated into WeConnect and the City can now claim to have delivered a modernised platform that can be extended and enhanced to drive continual productivity gains and an overall improved user experience. The legacy data silos and ineffective methods for content creation and discovery have been replaced with a single, compliant solution that provides users with a variety of methods and tools to find the right information quickly, resulting in improved customer experiences.
While the focus of the solution was to achieve compliance and improve usability, a significant benefit has been the significant productivity improvements that have been a direct result of the solution and its robust integration services.
The City now boasts a readily adopted platform that meets the short and long term goals of the organisation. WeConnect will continue to serve the evolving needs of the organisation as it transforms its digital landscape to deliver improved services to its citizens.
The solution and project as a whole can be summarised using the tagline the City has attached to the new system:
“WeConnect, sharing made simple.”
The business value
The solution has had a range of business benefits, including:
- More efficient application processing: With the integration services Empired has developed, the staff time required to capture applications in the system has reduced to almost zero, with automated integration services creating the relevant content in WeConnect and providing links to the documents in seconds. With applications forecasted to more than double in the next 10 years, this productivity improvement demonstrates savings of close to $250,000 for a single process. With over 15 similar processes, its estimated that the integration services alone will deliver productivity improvements that will result in over$4.5 million in savings over the next 10 years.
- More efficient infringement processing: The process to manage infringements, which includes parking fines, hazards fires, littering and local law violations, typically used to take between 4-7 working days to complete. With WeConnect, Empired has leveraged the integration framework to significantly improve the backend process and automate many of the user-centric tasks. As a result, the processing time has reduced to 1-2 days. Rangers can now work with the understanding that all infringement information will captured and available in a compliant manner within 24 hours.