Municipal Case Studies
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City of Buffalo
In 2009, the legal department of the City of Buffalo, New York implemented a new case management system: Corporate Legal Standard (CLS), a web-based system built on the Microsoft® SharePoint® platform. The team members in Buffalo’s legal department were already experienced Laserfiche users, having invested in the popular document management system to scan and store archived case files.
Overcoming a Landslide of Documents while Maintaining a Trusted User Interface
Buffalo’s Legal Department needed to keep all their case files, both active and closed, on the SharePoint platform. However, within a year, it became clear that the massive volume of documents and case files were overwhelming the SharePoint system. Access and operating speed slowed to a crawl, creating an unacceptable user experience.
As the legal department’s volume of documents began to overwhelm the SharePoint system, Buffalo’s IT specialists leveraged the strength of Laserfiche’s document management system to gain needed capabilities while preserving their user interface experience in SharePoint. This was achieved by making minimal changes to the SharePoint interface and using the Laserfiche SharePoint Integration and Web Access portal.
This innovative use of “integrative middleware” allowed Buffalo’s IT department to keep a platform that users were already familiar and comfortable with, while improving system performance and minimizing the cost to achieve their goals. This essentially created a “win-win-win” scenario.
Laserfiche Integrative Middleware Creates a Portal to Greater Productivity
Daryl Springer, Buffalo’s IT Manager, describes the integration’s impact, “Scanning large volumes of closed case files through SharePoint into Laserfiche maintains the user experience in SharePoint, which is crucial for us.”
“We minimized costs by using the out-of-the-box Laserfiche SharePoint Integration along with Laserfiche Web Access, offering a thin-client solution that provides online content management capabilities along with remote repository access. In effect, Laserfiche acts as ‘integrative middleware’ to support the legal department’s need to access, via SharePoint, closed files that were initially created in the LaserficheCLS program. The integration was built by our Value Added Reseller, General Code, in collaboration with the City’s IT Team and representatives from Corporate Legal Standard.”
Springer notes that “With the integration of SharePoint and Laserfiche the process of managing closed case files has been greatly streamlined. The integration, built by General Code, has helped us move 35,000 documents and related case files from SharePoint to Laserfiche. Downloading those files will vastly improve SharePoint’s operating speed.
In the Legal Department, the SharePoint integration with Laserfiche and the document archiving Laserfiche provides will enhance process speeds and improve the city’s ability to maintain compliance with New York State archiving policies through transparent records management.”
Buffalo is also looking into other ways to maximize their investment in Laserfiche, and several other departments of the city are considering expansion of the Laserfiche system. The Human Resources department is currently transferring a room full of files related to health records for injured city employees into Laserfiche to provide its outside health provider with secure access to those records through a password protected login via the city’s Laserfiche Public Portal. Another Laserfiche project under consideration is the Permitting System in the Permits & Inspections Department. The Permitting Department Manager and General Code are working together to assess the requirements for integration based on the department’s upgrade of their Hanson Permitting program, which currently runs on a server platform and is being migrated to a web-hosted version.
Springer and his teammates in Buffalo’s IT department have found an effective solution that gets the best out of both Laserfiche and SharePoint. Springer states, “Laserfiche Web Access and the out-of-the-box Laserfiche SharePoint Integration have allowed us to leverage the power and effectiveness of both programs.”
For most municipalities an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution can be rapidly deployed, but it requires configuring, not just simple customization. The Laserfiche SharePoint Integration provides a readily configurable horizontal framework that centralizes control of both physical and electronic business records that are contained in disparate content repositories. It automates processes to provide improved efficiency and also ensures that your data is consistent, reliable, risk-managed, and available – right when you need it.
Unlike other SharePoint integrations, the Laserfiche SharePoint Integration offers more than just a collection of web parts or standalone image capture capabilities. It provides a 100% Microsoft stack-driven, seamless, two-way integration with SharePoint 2010 that delivers immediate and tangible organizational value.
Laserfiche provides rapidly deployed transactional content management that, when coupled with SharePoint 2010, promotes greater productivity by enhancing collaboration; enabling functional, repeatable processes (that take user preferences into account); manages documents, multimedia content and records; and provides insight into business processes.
A Powerful, Integrated Solution in Content Management:
- Make SharePoint 2010 content dynamic with quick integration of line-of-business and legacy applications into ECM workflows (using Windows Workflow Foundation and the .NET framework), while solving transactional document problems and achieving a rapid ROI.
- Federated search retrieves documents from SharePoint pages using both SharePoint search and Laserfiche’s comprehensive metadata search.
- Easily provide content to a geographically distributed workforce with SharePoint Mobile Access support, enabling searches of content stored in the Laserfiche ECM repository from mobile Web browsers.
- Centralized, at-a-glance access to data from all your primary applications is available with a new ADO.NET provider that provides access to the Laserfiche ECM repository with SharePoint 2010 Business Continuity Services and Windows SharePoint Services.
- DoD 5015.2-certified transparent records management automates business processes including records classification and filing. This cost-effectively simplifies management of content created through SharePoint 2010.
- Gain enhanced records management document categorization through the use of SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services while reducing the cost of compliance on an enterprise level.