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Local councils are under enormous pressure to simultaneously cut costs and deliver even more services in the face of long-term austerity. Bristol City Council, for example, is having to manage a portfolio of fourteen different change programs simultaneously, out of necessity. Gavin Beckett, Chief Enterprise Architect at Bristol shared his thoughts with us at the Zaizi and Alfresco hosted Open Gov Summit that took place last month on why Alfresco was the right choice for them.

Gavin talked through the rigorous evaluation process they followed to identify the best content solution, which involved defining their requirements (scalable, able to sit inside legacy infrastructure, able to handle different types of case management, etc), identifying and creating the shortlist before finally choosing Alfresco. Gavin pointed out that the main differentiators that set Alfresco aside from the others were:

  • Clean and simple user interface;
  • Interoperability with other systems; and,
  • Freedom, flexibility and ownership of their data.

Looking at the ways in which the Council use the system, Gavin described how they have an Alfresco One on-premise platform and are currently piloting a version for mobile devices, while at the same time taking into consideration how to implement future versions. In order to set up their system, they first defined an information architecture for electronic document and records management system in Bristol, creating different information zones for all the content. They then produced a solution design for Alfresco, which included five environments and a pattern for the integrated document applications.

Gavin went on to explain how the Council has used the Alfresco in the cloud service as a way to get users on board with the new capabilities and are constantly looking at ways to add to the system. In fact, they have recently replaced their finance system and the key to productive adoption was getting the management team using the beta system first before rolling it out to others. They have now embraced paperless meetings.

The Council can now leverage the knowledge they have gained from the experience to help other organizations looking for a similar solution. Watch the full presentation from Gavin at this years Open Gov Summit  hosted by our partner Zaizi and let us know how you are getting started using Alfresco today!

About the author

Peggy Van Nieuwenhove

Peggy Van Nieuwenhove

Started with Alfresco in June 2011 as the Partner Marketing Manager covering the EMEA & APAC region. Follow me on twitter @peggy_vn.

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