County of San Diego on Their ECM Deployment

October 23rd, 2006 |
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In this podcast, we hear from Kim Hatfield, group IT manager for community services, on how the County of San Diego has implemented EMC Documentum across a broad range of content applications. Learn what factors the County of San Diego considered when developing their content management strategy for applications as diverse as geographic survey records and online job application processes. Additionally, you’ll hear why they chose the EMC Documentum platform to support the needs of fifty different departments.

Transcript:

Bryan House – EMC Software

Hello and welcome. My name is Bryan House. You are listening to the Enterprise Content Management Podcast series, ‘When Content Matters’ from EMC. In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be listening to an interview with Kim Hatfield, Group IT Manager for Community Services for the County of San Diego discussing their implementation of EMC’s Documentum across a wide range of application areas. This interview is a long form version of a video testimonial with Kim that is also available on software.emc.com. Let’s listen in.

Host

Where are you from?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

I’m from the County of San Diego.

Host

Oh! The County. What is your role in the County of San Diego?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

I’m actually the Group IT Manager for a Community Services Group; I oversee the IT functions for six of our departments, which includes Animal Services, the Registrar of Voters, the Library System, Purchasing and Contracting, General Services. My group is the executive sponsor for the EMC Documentum product in the County of San Diego. So, I have program oversight on Documentum and on implementing it in the County, in an overall kind of organized fashion. We have 50 different departments, we have 17,000 plus employees, we cover I think 32,000 square miles, we are huge. And Documentum looked to be the most scalable of all the different vendors that we looked at that time. So my business unit, my group, if you will, has taken on the corporate sponsorship and we provide oversight, we provide structure, we provide architectural direction, we advertise like mad, we run the user groups, we run the technical advisory committees, we put the structure in place that allows the program to go forward.

Host

You are talking about all these people and I don’t quite understand, what actually are you using EMC Documentum for? Obviously you are controlling documents, moving those around, what specifically are those?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

We actually have nine different kinds of applications in place. What actually happens is, the different departments in the County will take a look at what they need to be doing and then we’ll help them implement it. For example, one of our most creative uses I think, of the Documentum product is in a system called the Survey Record System; that one actually you don’t really see Documentum; they have taken all of the Map Data in the County, and they have got it in our GIS system, or Geographical Information System, and then they have taken and actually digitized all of the documentary backup to that map data – all the parcel backup. And in the background what you do is, you get a Web Interface, and you actually click on the parcel or parcels that you are interested in; when you find what you’re interested in, then you can go on and click, and it will bring up all of the documentary data that relates to that parcel. And it’s taken research time in the Land Use and Environment Group, from four or five hours for an experienced researcher, to maybe a couple of minutes, and it’s available to the public; you can get on the website, you can find the documents you are interested in, and you can purchase them.

Host

Okay. That’s great. And so, that is for parcels. What about with the animals and all the other things? Is the same thing you use, or you have different applications?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

We have different applications for different kinds of content. So, I think one of the other ones that is — you can kind of, get a look at on the website is, we have an online job application. That might not sound too unique, but at the time we put it in, it was very unique. You do not ever start with a paper application; you start right on the web with a Web Form and go ahead and put your job application information into that. When you’re ready you go ahead and click “Submit”, it’s released to Documentum, and it’s also released to a special tracking system that relates to civil service that has kind of this door release thing, and then the application is workflowed to the analysts. And as they grade it and check them and all those things, the folders are passed around via workflow rather than against xeroxing and handing them off. We are getting ready to do the next phase on that particular application, which is, when departments are ready to look at the applications, they will be forwarded via Documentum, instead of via xeroxing a lot of paper and forwarding it on.

Host

What challenges that brought you towards the EMC Documentum?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

We’re really looking for a product that was robust enough to do an enterprise-wide deployment. And we knew that we needed something that was pretty configurable, because again we have 50 different departments, and each of these departments does something different. And we have large-scale enterprise, lots of employees, and we really had kind of an overall vision that at some point, this kind of a document management thing would be one of those things that underlie the organization in the same manner that e-mail underlies the organization. We wanted it to become kind of a core functionality that we could extend to all of the different employees and departments at some point.

Host

So why EMC Documentum?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

They compared it to what else was in the market at the time, and that was 2001. And I think, the real driver was both the flexibility of the product and the scalability of it. We didn’t feel that some of the other products were quite as scalable.

Host

Who is your typical end user?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

I’m not sure we have a typical end user, because we are a confederation of departments and a confederation of functions, more than a single line of business; we’re really 50 different lines of business or more. Typical business problems however — we all kind of have certain things in common. When we decide we’re going to do a project, we tend to do it for one of, maybe three reasons; we want to improve customer service, and that includes cutting down cycle-times on paperwork, which, you know — we’re the government, that’s a big goal for us to do better in that area. Another is regulatory compliance, and of course, we are the Government, so we have got a lot of that we have to consider. And the third is our cost recovery, the fact that sometimes we really can’t do things cheaper, maybe better, maybe faster; and we want to be able to do that. So, one of those three things will be driving us when we decide to do a project.

Host

Were there any challenges that led you to look for this solution?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

Just the fact that we had a lot of disconnected solutions. We had some solutions that had been in for as long as 10 and 12 years, but they were small-scale solutions, they were not scalable, they were not extendable, and if we don’t get ahead of this and put in an enterprise wide solution, we are never really going to be able to solve enterprise wide problems. We’re going to have good little systems here and there that help the departments do what they need to do, but we’re never going to be able to take the overall look at it. And in addition, it’s actually more expensive to be putting in solutions in as one asks. One of the major things that we’ve done here is, we’ve put in a centralized hardware environment, which is a very large cost savings as opposed to setting up ten to twelve or fifteen separate environments – and we’ve put in enterprise licensing. So we manage those expenses for the whole organization and it’s much less expensive for us to do it that way. Other than that, if you have separated Siloed systems, you are never going to be able to take a single look at your data. We have so much content that still needs to go into Documentum; it’s not there yet, but the goal at the end is that at some point you will be able to a single search on certain kinds of subjects and get everything that you need on that subject. A good example of this is, San Diego County three years ago had a firestorm – everybody remembers the Cedar Fires? – Major, major event, and of course we have a lot of records related to that particular event. Now, at the time those records went in to whatever systems were available; where we would like to be in the future is, at the end of an event like that, we will be able to go into Documentum and pull together all of the documentation that relates to one of those major catastrophic events. That’s a goal we’re actually striving towards – and that can’t be done in Siloed systems; that has to be done in an enterprise level system.

Host

All right. Let’s talk about those end users.

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

Okay. At the County of San Diego where you’ll see Documentum implemented, a lot of it is just helping people do their job day to day. We’ve got them in to business systems where the workflow is controlling the paperwork or controlling the flow of files from desk to desk. We do that virtually instead of doing it physically.

Host

Okay. Let’s see here. Just a little detail, did you put just multiple product solutions at one time or did you grow it systematically (Inaudible)?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

We purchased I think three things; the eContent Solution, the Web Content and the Content Rendition Services, I think are what we bought upfront. And now we’ve gone ahead and we’re adding — we’re in the process of adding the Records Manager module right now.

Host

What is the most important aspect of the solution that you’ve dealt with EMC.net products?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

We are actually going up and building an undergirding for the departments. As they need a content solution, we’re providing a centralized structure for them to get that solution. So the major benefits include the fact that it is a less expensive solution that we can kind of consolidate our knowledge around this and provide more support than if each department were trying to learn a separate solution on its own. We’re hoping that by providing this centralized program, one of the things we are hoping to do is, get reusable code where we build a solution for one department and we’re able to take the base code and move it over and reuse that code.

Host

Are people buying off and joining in…?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

That really depends; we’ve got fifty different departments and everybody is at a different level with what they want to do with it but yes, it’s at the point where it is kind of seen and understood that this is the organizational solution, that this is a good thing, and that it’s an economical way to get the job done most of the time.

Host

What’s the biggest enthusiastic point that they see in doing this?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

That’s always the money.

Host

How does EMC.net help it be more service friendly or better service?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

The County is actually just now embarking on a lot of business process reengineering initiatives and as we go through those, what you tend to find is that what is making the cycle time so long is the steps of getting the document from this desk to this desk to this desk. So there are — we’re looking at Documentum as something that we can use to kind of knit those processes together, eliminate all of the, ‘load it on a cart, wheel it over, get it on somebody else’s desktime’, and it isn’t the sum total of the business process reengineering. Some processes just need to be changed. But it is a tool that we can underlay that whole business process reengineering with, and a way to efficiently get the content from the desk — it starts on to the desk it needs to get to — get it checked off and know where it is – know if it’s been held up at some step.

Host

How long have you been working with Documentum?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

The County decided to purchase Documentum in 2001and I think we had, what I now consider to be a starter environment up towards the end of 2001 to start of 2002. The centralized program actually started in March of 2003.

Host

What do you hope for in the future, what do you think you should get or expect to get from the EMC.net?

Kim Hatfield – Community Services, County of San Diego

At this point it is a viable program in the County. Now what the next big place that we want to extend Documentum in is to Records; we have a paper records program. It’s actually quite well organized, quite well implemented in the organization although it’s very slow to get that thing going. So, we’re putting the Documentum Records Manager module in now to help us get the retention schedules done faster, get them reviewed on time and then the next thing we would like to do, is extend it from paper records to electronic records. That’s the next big step is, making sure that we have a good handle on our content,. it lives as long as it should and it dies when it should. So that’s probably the next big step. Beyond that there is the little steps of getting the younger departments — no that’s a wrong term — getting the less experienced departments to be able to get in and implement Documentum as a back-office tool or even as a front-office tool to help them serve the public better. It’s easier for the departments that have a lot of experience in this area. But the next step is to start to extend it to the departments that don’t have all that experience. I think that the EMC Documentum tool is now one of our core tools in our toolkit. I know that — I don’t think we would even consider turning around and unplugging what we have got in trying to do something different; this is working well for us, it meets our needs, we’re able to do what we need to do and we’re just getting better at doing it, thank goodness. It’s certainly easier after you’ve done it for a while to turn these projects over and do a good job.

Bryan House – EMC Software

That concludes the interview with Kim from the County of San Diego. I want to thank you for tuning in to the “When Content Matters” podcast series from EMC and I encourage you to learn more about our content management products and solutions at Software.EMC.com where you can download additional podcasts or subscribe to a number of EMC RSS podcast feeds. Thanks again.

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