Records and knowledge at OPP Victoria 

The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) is Victoria’s largest criminal legal practice. With 325 employees including 256 lawyers, the OPP prosecutes serious offences in Victoria’s County and Supreme Courts and conducts criminal appeals in the County Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia. OPP’s adoption of the Knosys KnowledgeIQ platform has led to a user-friendly interface for curated digital records. OPP solicitors are now relying on the most up-to-date and authoritative information which is available to them in an easy-to-consume format. 

With an ageing knowledge management system that was no longer able to provide the timely and accurate information required to support prosecutorial research, and an organisational imperative to modernise IT infrastructure, the OPP wanted a solution that would reduce research complexity and improve organisational productivity. 

Over its life, the existing knowledge management solution had become unwieldy. It became difficult to locate relevant entries, and rather than consult a single source of truth, solicitors and staff needed to consult up to ten different online sources.

The process of research across so many varied sources was often time-consuming and inefficient. Beyond its reduced relevance, the existing solution utilised a legacy software product that the OPP was keen to retire as part of on-going infrastructure and software modernisation activities.

In searching for a replacement, the OPP wanted a solution that would allow them to leverage all of their existing authoritative sources from a single point while also allowing the creation and publication of original authoritative content in a variety of dynamic forms. 

Ease of use was vital, both for those users who were using the information as well as those tasked with its creation. 

No knowledge system can exist in isolation; there are other organisational systems to consider. The OPP have an existing document and records management system, Micro Focus Content Manager, and rather than duplicate information across the two systems, leading to increased management effort, the KnowledgeIQ platform links the two systems together.

Templates and other content stored in the document management system become actionable knowledge when connected or referenced by articles contained within the KnowledgeIQ platform. These are referenced directly from the relevant KnowledgeIQ documents, giving staff fast and straightforward access to right form or material, all from the one place.

“It was impossible to find what you were looking for on our old knowledge management platform,” said Erik Dober, Senior Solicitor OPP

“Now we can easily find answers to our questions using search or the menu structure. I am confident that if the answer is on the new platform, our solicitors can find it.”

Knosys KnowledgeIQ platform is a content management system (CMS) able to communicate with other Web-enabled system inside an organisation.

Built on a Microsoft .Net architecture around an MS SQL Server database, it enables users to view and manage curated content that is hosted internally on KnowledgeIQ or externally on any linked system. Users do not need to leave the KnowledgeIQ interface to view content in Content Manager or other linked systems.

It is designed to hold curated information rather than working as an enterprise search tool that indexes information held across an entire network.

“High value content is where we target the application,” said Knosys CTO Nic Passmore.

“Filtering out irrelevant information is especially relevant for the OPP, due to the complexity and volume of information that their solicitors work with daily. For other organisations, this content might be templates held within their EDRMS and/or SharePoint or it could be content that is created and hosted within the KnowledgeIQ application.”

For the OPP this also includes information held on one of the many online legal databases it subscribes to such as AUSTLII or LexisNexis, which are now accessed through KnowledgeIQ

There are many proprietary and open source CMS alternatives available on the market today.

Passmore explains the KnowledgeIQ platform offers unique advantages in its ability to apply role-based or process-based access. This something not typically available in an open source CMS designed for public Web sites or company intranets.

 “Tools for governance are integral to the application, everything that is carried out by end users or administrators within the system is tracked and auditable.”

KnowledgeIQ also offers a series of process guidance tools built into the application that can provide either a graphical overview (with the ability to drill down) or a wizard style tool. It also applies techniques to avoid content duplication.

The Melbourne-based enterprise knowledge software start-up scored its first big win with ANZ Bank in 2010. ANZ initially deployed KnowledgeIQ in its call centres and recently announced it is underway with an expanded rollout across internal business units.

 “Call centre operations become more efficient with processes and procedures being streamlined. When steps in a process are shared between teams or need to be escalated up the chain, KnowledgeIQ provides a mechanism to do this,” said Passmore.

“Rather than having multiple documents, these are simplified into one piece of content with multiple permissions per process step, content block or paragraph. KnowledgeIQ reduces duplication, makes content management easier and typically leads to less errors overall. The more reliable the system, the more trusted it is by users and the more they actually use it.” The system is able to be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, and Knosys is working to incorporate AI tools to enhance search and document processing.

In addition to ANZ Bank, other KnowledgeIQ customers include Singtel Optus as well as New Zealand’s SBS Bank. The company is now seeking to attract more mid-tier organisations to utilise the KM platform.