City of Langford

SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Content Management - City of Langford uses harmon.ie to streamline document collaboration and mitigate risk

Canadian Municipality City of Langford is rolling out an Enterprise Content Management and document collaboration system to mitigate financial risk, speed information access and streamline document collaboration to better support public services such as downtown revitalization and administration of the building code for the rapidly growing community.

Email Chaos

Historically, heavy reliance on email for communication and collaboration exposed the city to considerable financial risk. A case in point: two years ago, city staff emailed a resident about improvements the homeowner needed to make to his water drainage system, which flooded last winter and damaged the home. Although city employees were directed to upload emails to a central repository, as a matter of course, employees didn’t regularly do so because it was so time consuming. As a result, nearly half a million emails were locked in employees’ mail boxes, making access to sensitive correspondence difficult. In this specific case, the staff members were still on the payroll, they had complete records and they were able to retrieve the correspondence from their personal Inbox, clearing the city of any potential liability. Gaining access to email is one of the primary reasons the city implemented a centralized enterprise content management system.

Another problem with email is it’s an inefficient way to collaborate. Employees wasted a lot of time searching for the latest version of a document and then integrating feedback from colleagues. Maintaining a paper filing system slowed information retrieval even further.

Solution: SharePoint 2010 and harmon.ie

The city selected SharePoint 2010 for its ECM and document collaboration solution, organized its electronic filing system around key functions, and deployed harmon.ie for SharePoint to migrate key emails and documents into the system as well as simplify on-going email- and document-sharing. harmon.ie advances full participation in content management, knowledge sharing, and collaboration by providing full-featured access to SharePoint within Microsoft Outlook, where people are accustomed to working.

"Many employees don’t understand the importance of records management or meeting regulatory or financial requirements. What they care about are technologies like harmon.ie that make life at work easier. Today, city employees regularly use SharePoint to access and share information as well as collaborate on documents now that it’s a snap to do."
- Mike Palmer, Manager of Information Technology for the City of Langford

Results

  • Risk mitigation. People readily upload emails, including headers, body and attachments, into the ECM, where they are managed and stored alongside documents according to the city’s retention policies.
  • Greater transparency. Employees gain immediate access to project files, including documents and related emails. Time previously spent searching for information is now spent delivering public services.
  • More efficient collaboration. Employees rely on SharePoint for document collaboration, replacing document chaos with “one version of the truth.”