Posts Tagged ‘Cloud’

Alfresco 30 Day Trial – Sample Data

Monday, January 24th, 2011
  • Trialling Alfresco Enterprise?
  • Want some sample data to kick-start your evaluation?

Well now you can install the same sample data that is used on the hosted trial system.

For some time now we have been running a hosted trail of Alfresco in the cloud. This has been configured with fictitious users and some sample Share sites. These have been created to make it easy for people to trial Alfresco and see how Alfresco can be used to manage various types of project.

Will Abson has built a number of scripts that allow you to load this same data into your local system. The sample data includes the following sites:

  • Marketing: 2010 Company Rebranding Site – A sample site that manages the content associated with rebranding a company
  • Marketing: Image Gallery – Used to show how Alfresco can be used to manage images. Makes use of the image preview dashlet
  • Marketing: Global User Group Meetings (2010) – This sites makes use of the datalists feature to track actions for hosting a series of user group meetings
  • Records Management – An RM site complete with disposition schedules

Note: Each of the sites can be loaded individually.

You can download the Alfresco Enterprise trial here and trial data and instructions here.

5 Things to Consider When Deploying a Records Management Solution

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Over the past few months I have talked to lots of people interested in the Alfresco Records Management solution. There are a number of reoccurring themes and topics that have come up. I thought I would share some of this advice, so below is a list of things to think about when considering adopting a Records Management solution.

1) Technology is Not the Answer

Many companies think that technology is the solution to provide them with a ‘quick fix’ to their compliance needs. The reality is that compliance is more complex than traditional Document Management or Collaboration. It is very easy to roll out a DM or Collaboration solution, allowing your end users to use it to manage the content that they are creating each day. But Compliance, the art of identifying and managing vital company records, is more complex.

Companies need to understand their legal obligations and put in place policies and procedures to address their compliance needs. Technology can help but it is not the answer.

2) Understand your Legal Obligations

Compliance requirements will be different for each company and these are typically based on legislation and industry regulations. Companies need to research what their legal obligations are and develop a plan for how they are going to address their compliance needs. Things to consider include:

  • What types of document need to be managed (e.g. Financial Reports, HR files, Standard Operating Procedures, Email)?
  • How long do records need to be kept?
  • Do records need to be reviewed, and if so how often?
  • What should happen to records at the end of their life (transfer, destroy)?
  • Who should have access to file and declare records?

Only when they have a good understanding of these legal obligations should they start to develop policies and procedures that define your records management strategy.

3) Put in Place Policies and Procedure

Companies need to develop policies and procedures that can be communicated to the rest of the organisation. These policies and procedures need to be understood and easy to follow. It is no longer acceptable to state that a procedure was in place but that the company was not liable because an employee failed to follow it. It is the company’s legal responsibility to make sure all policies are being followed.

4) Make it Simple

Any compliance solution that is difficult to use is going to fail. When choosing a Records Management solution make sure that it is easy to use and can be used by any employee without disrupting the way that they work. One way of working will not necessarily work for every employee; in fact some employees may use multiple means to file records depending on what they are doing at the time. The way that employees want to interact with the compliance system will include:

  • Desktop access – Using drag ‘n drop to file records directly from the desktop
  • Email access – Using standard email clients to file emails and their attachments
  • The Web – Providing RM specific web clients
  • From DM or Collaboration – Content has a lifecycle before it needs to be filed as a record, make it easy to file once it is approved
  • Scanning – We are still waiting for the paperless office, so being able to capture and file paper is important

5) Try Alfresco

Having said that technology is NOT the answer it is part of the solution. Companies are looking for an easy to use, lower cost solution that will fit into their existing environment and business practices. By designing the Alfresco Records Management Solution on top of the Open Source Alfresco content management platform, Alfresco provides a single solution to allow companies to easily address their Document Management, Collaboration, Web Content Management, Imaging and Compliance needs through one simple system.

But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself… take the Records Management challenge – start filing records with Alfresco in under 10 minutes…


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