Edmonton Catholic School District

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.

Business Needs

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.

edmonton-catholic-school

CUSTOMER PROFILE:

The Edmonton Catholic School District provides elementary, junior high, and high school education as well as adult and alternative education services.

www.ecsd.net

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Education

 

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

SOLUTION

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.

BENEFITS

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.

Eliminates Paper Processes

Once the KnowledgeLake technology was installed, the district’s Human Resource Services department immediately began scanning a huge backlog of thousands of existing documents—and making sure that any new paper documents are immediately digitized, tagged with key information for future searches, and published on the school district intranet.

“The solution fit with the integration and compatibility of our existing processes, and is helping us meet our goals of having paperless human resources files and transparent individual access for employees so they can see their own files,” 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.”

ECM Technology—and Expertise

The school district’s access to KnowledgeLake expertise helped officials in the deployment and with ongoing assistance in optimizing the performance of their ECM solution.

“I know we could not have done this deployment as well without the assistance of KnowledgeLake’s staff working together with our own SharePoint architects,” Tourangeau says. “The combination of expertise at our district level, together with the KnowledgeLake staff, helped us to be successful in implementing this solution within the Human Resources department. I definitely would recommend KnowledgeLake Professional Services to other organizations.”

Technology for Future Improvements

The KnowledgeLake solution provides a powerful yet easy-to-use solution that is helping the Edmonton Catholic School District reduce the need for paper documents while increasing the ability of managers and employees to quickly find important information. Tourangeau says she expects that the technology will become widespread throughout the school district.

“Eventually we hope to implement this in multiple departments and ultimately, in the long term, for use in our schools,” she says. “It makes sense to maximize the knowledge and software that we’ve gained through this process, and to expand it. The power and ease of use of the KnowledgeLake solution makes me think that this will happen sooner rather than later.”

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