Open Text heads west to find Water

Open Text heads west to find Water

June 3, 2009:Western Australian utility the Water Corporation has completed roll-out of Open Text’s document and records management solutions to more than 3000 staff across the state.

The solutions are being used to provide the records management processes and structure necessary for compliance with Western Australia's State Records Act 2000.

The Water Corporation is the Western Australian utility responsible for providing water and waste water services to households, businesses and communities across more than 2.5 million square kilometres. The organisation also maintains drainage and irrigation services and manages more than $A9 billion worth of water-related assets.

The enterprise deployment of Open Text Document Management, eDOCS Edition, and the Open Text Records Management, eDOCS Edition, means that documents and other critical records are now stored in a single repository rather than on multiple, separate file servers. Audit trails are available for every document, which capture data such as originating date, a record of those who have accessed the document and any amendments made.

Secure portal access and search capabilities offer authorised staff fast access to documents and enable greater collaboration and sharing of documentation both internally and amongst partners. At the same time, duplication of records and effort have been reduced. Document life cycle management has been automated with retention and disposal schedules attached to every corporate file. An additional side benefit of the deployment has been a reduction in the size of employee mailboxes, with staff now sending links to documentation rather than attaching the actual file.

Konrad Tauber, IS Relationship Manager, Information Services Branch, Water Corporation, explained, “One of our biggest issues used to be simply finding things. We have people working in 45 physical locations across the state. If someone stored a document on their file server, how could anyone else know about it? Given the type of work that we do and the nature of the assets that we are responsible for, a lot of our documentation needs to be kept permanently and finding past records can be critical. This is what Open Text is now making possible.”

Trissa Dent, Information and eDOCS project Coordinator, Information Services, Water Corporation, added, “The systems are recording everything from emails to Microsoft Word documents and large graphics or AutoCAD files. We've extended the understanding of records management compliance across the corporation.”

The Open Text records and document management solutions were deployed over an 18-month period. Three project teams travelled the state setting up the systems, providing work group customisations and training up to 100 staff at a time.

Illustrating the benefits of the systems, Tauber said, “We recently had an instance where a customer phoned in looking for information on a water bore that had been drilled in 1898. While he was on the phone, the Water Corporation staffer looked in the Open Text system and called up all the details such as soil, depth and location. The caller was absolutely gobsmacked at the speed and detail of our response.”

The Open Text document and records management solutions were implemented by WindowLogic, an Open Text partner and specialist in the integration and deployment of enterprise content management systems.