Government: Records Management


Over the last several years, organizations have created a huge volume of unstructured content that includes documents, e-mail messages, videos, instant messages, Web pages, and more. This content often exists in a state of unmanaged chaos that prevents an organization from properly using these valuable assets for better knowledge sharing, improved customer communications, and increased process efficiency. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) from Microsoft is a key component of an organization’s infrastructure, which can help companies overcome these challenges.

Records Management

Built on a well-integrated platform, ECM from Microsoft easily extends content management to every information worker in an organization through integration with familiar tools like the Microsoft Office system. A Microsoft ECM solution can help businesses:

1. Manage diverse content

The document management capabilities in the Microsoft integrated ECM solution can help organizations consolidate diverse content from multiple file shares and personal drives into a centrally managed repository with consistent categorization. Integrated search capabilities can then help people find and share this information. IT organizations can also protect the content in this centrally managed repository from unauthorized access.

 

Integrated collaboration capabilities, such as automated workflow, help people work better together to create, review, and approve documents in a more structured way. That way, they no longer have to rely solely on e-mail to share documents. Mobile workers can also use these documents offline when they are not connected to the network.

2. Satisfy compliance and legal requirements

The Microsoft ECM solution also includes integrated records management capabilities that give organizations the capability to store and protect business records in their final state. Expiration policies applied to these records help ensure that the records are retained for the appropriate time period to comply with regulations or corporate business polices, thereby mitigating legal risk to the organization. Audit trails provide proof to internal and external auditors that records have been retained appropriately. Holds can be placed on specific records under legal discovery to prevent their destruction.

3. Efficiently manage multiple Web sites

Integrated Web content management capabilities enable people to publish Web content with an easy-to-use content authoring tool and a built-in approval process. This helps ensure that content is uploaded to Web sites in a timely manner without placing a large burden on IT staff. Templates in the form of Master Pages and Page Layouts enable consistent branding to be applied to all pages, thereby helping to ensure that brand assets are properly used. A single deployment and management infrastructure for intranet, extranet, and Internet sites – as well as for multilingual sites – reduces the cost and complexity for IT departments.

4. Streamline business processes

The Microsoft ECM solution enables businesses to streamline content-driven, collaborative business processes by providing the tools and platform for automating the tasks of these processes. Electronic forms solutions provide a mechanism for gathering and validating input for these business processes across Web sites, mobile devices, and Microsoft Office system programs. Forms can be created once and management tools allow IT to easily deploy and track the use of these forms across multiple channels.

 

These capabilities are provided by Microsoft on a single integrated business productivity infrastructure. This significantly reduces the management burden on the IT organization since they now have a common set of tools and methodologies for managing the solution. Tight integration with familiar tools such as Microsoft Office system programs enables the Microsoft ECM solution to easily extend these capabilities to every information worker in the organization. This reduces the burden on users, who no longer need to learn new tools or change the way they work in order to participate in their organization’s content management strategy.

5. Capabilities of ECM from Microsoft

The Microsoft ECM solution provides capabilities to manage the entire lifecycle of unstructured content from creation to expiration on a single unified platform. These capabilities include document management, records management, Web content management, and forms solutions.

  • Document management

    • Save time and easily reuse information. Organize and classify content within a centralized document repository to provide a consistent method for organizing, categorizing, navigating through, and quickly searching for the right information.
    • Help protect sensitive information. Help safeguard documents with integrated rights management that travels with documents wherever they may go. User access rights can be specified for individual items, and metadata can be removed from documents prior to final publication.
    • Streamline collaborative document creation. With built-in document workflows, you can initiate, track, and collaborate on document-oriented processes directly from within Microsoft Office system desktop programs. Important alerts and task information can be displayed in the document, helping to ensure that workflow steps are properly followed.
  • Records management

    • Improve legal and regulatory compliance. Apply information retention, protection, and auditing policies to business records to help ensure these records are appropriately retained.
    • Help secure business and vital records. A security-enhanced repository helps ensure that records are locked in the final state.
    • Easy litigation discovery. Help ensure that information required for legal discovery can be retrieved in a cost-effective manner and placed on hold as per the discovery requirements.
  • Web content management

    • Author and publish content quickly and easily.  Business groups can author and publish Web content in a timely manner with easy-to-use authoring tools and integrated workflows with minimal IT involvement.
    • Maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your Web sites. Maintain consistency by providing approved master pages and page layouts that enable branding and navigation of the site to be specified once and reused by content authors.
    • Lower deployment and management costs your Web sites. Implement a single multi-tier infrastructure for publishing content to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.
  • Forms solutions

    • Automate business processes. Automate many manual tasks by using Windows Workflow Foundation. Create new workflows with tools like Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007.
    • Gather information using electronic forms. Using Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, businesses can create electronic forms which are then deployed to various channels including Web sites, mobile devices, and rich client applications.
    • Rapidly deploy and manage forms solutions Quickly deploy forms solutions side-by-side upgrades to help ensure minimum downtime. View the status of all deployed forms in a single view.