Reengineering TRIM for NSW Government Dept.

The machinery of government does not always run smoothly, particularly in the wake of the inevitable mergers and demergers of departments or agencies that take place after elections or ministerial reshuffles. This was definitely the case for one large NSW state government department, which faced a major challenge in 2016 to align two separate and unsupported deployments of TRIM for over 1800 users, while also preparing for a scheduled demerger of one of its agencies.

Following earlier mergers, the department had staff at several discrete agencies working on two separate HP TRIM licenses, with two separate HP TRIM server environments running different editions of HP TRIM. Both HP TRIM versions were also past active support.

End users manually create record content in both environments, swapping between datasets in their desktop installation environment, using a v7 client to access both the v7 and v6 datasets. The two datasets were operating under two different licenses and so many of the users were licensed twice.

There is also considerable automated content created through front of house browser-based systems using the TRIM 6 COM API for integration. On average 3000 records per month are delivered via these systems into the datasets.

IM specialist consulting firm Information Proficiency was tasked with bringing these two environments together. This included migrating to a new data centre and upgrading the datasets to a supported version of HP TRIM. This would ensure readiness for separating the combined data as one of the agencies was scheduled to be "demerged" from the organisation.

The merger aimed to deliver reducer TRIM licensing costs, ensure compliance with corporate standards and operating systems; and reduce risk by making three obsolete servers redundant.

This project involved a multi-site distributed rollout of new desktop software, including the removal and clean-up of legacy software. There were also several customised integrations with the HP TRIM datasets which required supporting as part of the process.

The integrated solutions dictated the platform standardisation be limited to upgrading to HP TRIM v7.3.5, the only remaining supported version of HP TRIM that also supported the legacy integration components. There was some urgency to achieve this goal before the 2015-16 financial year end.  Information Proficiency commenced the upgrade in May.

The new HP TRIM server was configured to cater for a large user base and deliver an efficient IDOL implementation. A UAT/Staging environment was established and used to ensure that both migrations and integrations would proceed smoothly at the actual cutover.

The Department now has an operational Document Content index engine which returns results in a timely manner, where previously this was subject to instability, incomplete indexing and poor responsiveness.

“Once the organisation signed off to go ahead with the upgrade event, things were executed within the planned timeframes, and the users simply carried on with their daily work without missing a beat,” said Information Proficiency project manager Simon Blunt.

“The organisation's offices across NSW now access the consolidated HPE environment from within the data centre infrastructure near Sydney, where previously each dataset was hosted within regional offices.”

“Now that the environment has been consolidated, and the licensing optimised, the agency can focus on the business requirements around the restructure of the data, and ultimately achieve a single source of truth,” said Blunt.