School District Drives Paperless Initiative With Enterprise Content Management Solution
The Edmonton Catholic School District is a large enterprise that includes more than 33,000 students and 3,500 employees. To streamline its Human Resource Services, the district deployed a KnowledgeLake enterprise content management solution and Fujitsu scanners, using the products to digitize paper documents and publish them on the district’s Microsoft SharePoint system. The solution is reducing the time and waste associated with paper files while allowing employees to find information faster.
The Edmonton Catholic School District has a venerable heritage dating back to the late 1800s, when three nuns started teaching a group of 23 children. Today the school district is a major educational force in the province of Alberta, with more than 33,000 students, 87 schools, and about 3,500 employees.
Managing such a sprawling organization often leads administrators to seek out information technology that can streamline important business processes. This was the case for the school district, which wanted to find ways to reduce the large volumes of paperwork in its human resources department. “Our goal was to increase the efficiency of our HR procedures, the accuracy of personnel documents, and ultimately allow employees to remotely view their files on the school district’s intranet,” says District Principal Kathie Tourangeau.
The Edmonton Catholic School District provides elementary, junior high, and high school education as well as adult and alternative education services.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
When the school district began looking at its options, an obvious path was to find a solution that would integrate easily with the organization’s existing Microsoft IT products. These include Microsoft SharePoint technology and Microsoft Office applications. “We already had SharePoint specialists who are employed by the school district, and everyone is familiar with Office. It seemed logical to look for a solution that would work with the Microsoft products and leverage the skills we already had in place,” says Tourangeau.
"The KnowledgeLake technology is helping us increase the efficiency of the HR department by reducing paper and the time it takes to find information. Plus, we can be more environmentally responsible by eliminating paper waste."
-Kathie Tourangeau, District Principal, Edmonton Catholic Schools
School district officials decided to deploy a KnowledgeLake enterprise content management (ECM) solution. “It made a lot of sense,” says Tourangeau. “The key factor is that Knowledge products are based on and integrate with our Microsoft technology, including SharePoint and the Windows operating system.”
The school district deployed a suite of KnowledgeLake products, including:
KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which lets people organize, store, access, and scan documents on the school district’s intranet;
KnowledgeLake Capture, used for batch scanning of documents and applying meta data for indexing and search tasks;
KnowledgeLake Capture Server, which allows paper documents to be digitized and published on the school district’s SharePoint-based intranet as fully text-searchable Adobe PDF files.
KnowledgeLake Connect, which school district employees can use to scan, index, and search from within standard business applications, such as the Microsoft Office Outlook messaging software.
The school district purchased a 60-page-per-minute Fujitsu fi-6260 scanner for high-volume scanning operations. It also has several Fujitsu ScanSnap desktop scanners used by a number of employees for lower volume scanning tasks.
The district deployed its KnowledgeLake ECM solution near the end of 2009, beginning first with the Human Resource Services department. The district plans to deploy the KnowledgeLake ECM technology to other departments as well, including the Financial Services division. The KnowledgeLake Professional Services Group provided a senior technical architect and two solution architects for on-site guidance. The school district also sent one of its SharePoint specialists to the KnowledgeLake headquarters in Saint Louis, Missouri for additional training.
With the KnowledgeLake ECM solution running on Microsoft SharePoint, the Edmonton Catholic School District is on the path to achieving its goal of virtually eliminating paper documents from its HR processes. By going with the solution, the school district also benefitted from the extensive expertise delivered by the KnowledgeLake technical staff. Additionally, the solution lays the groundwork for a more ambitious effort to reduce or even eliminate the need for paper documents throughout the school district’s different departments.
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