Compliance is no Walk in the Park

An upgrade to a SharePoint 2019 intranet at City Parklands Services in Brisbane has delivered an enhanced external file sharing capability featuring Governance and Compliance from Micro Focus Content Manager.

City Parklands Services (CPS) is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Brisbane City Council. It manages the operational services, events, and marketing activity for South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland, and Victoria Park, which receive 13 million visitors per year. It has 120 employees across 3 sites and 90 Content Manager users.

Heather Mitchell, Records Manager for City Parklands Services, presenting at Micro Focus IM&G Forum 2021, said, “We had a SharePoint 2010 intranet created in 2013 (when the company was formed) which was used as a communication site for policies, procedures, forms, templates, etc.

“It had become outdated, and people were complaining they could not find things.

“There were no clear rules for management or ownership of Intranet content. Also, CM records were exposed using tr5 links however outdated or invalid links were never removed, and staff not trained in CM found accessing the tr5 links challenging.

“The company was using a variety of potentially insecure file transfer platforms to send files to stakeholders.”

The team decided on an upgrade to SharePoint Online to redesign their intranet. Content management experts WyldLynx recommended an integration with Content Manager to easily share content and create a secure portal for external shareholders.

WyldLynx consultants managed the server-side integration and provided team training and support, while Heather built the refreshed intranet in SharePoint Online, ready to accept Content Manager content.

“We tested the concept by exposing content from our training dataset to the new intranet,” comments Heather. “When that worked, WyldLynx connected the integration to our production dataset, and I started exposing the necessary Content Manager documents.”

Successful Content Manager Test with Board Members and CEO

The native integration between SharePoint and Content Manager enables CPS to manage SharePoint content and expose Content Manager content according to established business rules. This process is transparent to the user and all managed content is easily discoverable from SharePoint and Content Manager.

“We found an easy and secure method of exposing Content Manager content onto our new Intranet, while allowing external stakeholders relevant access,” says Heather. Board members were given early access to the new solution and were pleased to discover their board packs in just one click, rather than having to download and copy confidential documents via unsecure filesharing links.

Meanwhile, CPS welcomed a new CEO, who came from abroad. Because of COVID-19 restrictions he had to adhere to a 14-day quarantine period when he arrived in Sydney. The CEO was without a corporate laptop or network access, but Heather prepared a secure document library containing a selection of critical company documents for his review.

“Our CEO was delighted. These documents are too sensitive to just send by email and Content Manager made it extremely easy for him to be productive as soon as he arrived in Australia,” comments Heather.

Possible Move to the Cloud

As Heather and the team are discovering additional opportunities with Content Manager, new use cases continue to emerge. Most of CPS’s external stakeholders, such as Brisbane City Council or State Government staff, are a member of a Microsoft tenancy. This means that additional document libraries can be shared, keeping them secure and confined to specific content relevant to the stakeholder.

Private companies too can benefit from this. CPS maintain public swimming pools in their parks and constantly monitor water quality. There is an opportunity to allow pool companies direct access to a library with water test results so that they can monitor these real-time and take corrective action quickly.

Currently, when an incident occurs in any of the parks, the responding team completes a Google form which is escalated to the relevant parties via email. Heather is exploring the use of SharePoint in combination with Microsoft Power Automate to have these details automatically logged in Content Manager, with the relevant stakeholders being notified by email of the incident. This same process will be adapted to assist HR in onboarding new team members too.

Content Manager is currently an on-premises implementation for CPS, but the team is looking into a cloud version, as Heather explains: “Running a hybrid environment with SharePoint cloud-based and Content Manager on-premises has worked fine for us. However, we moved to remote working during the COVID-19 pan- demic and need to access Content Manager via VPN. With a cloud instance of Content Manager, we wouldn’t need the VPN connection which can sometimes be unreliable. Definitely something for us to consider.”

Heather concludes: “WyldLynx provided great support in the integration effort between Share­ Point and Content Manager and we have found the Micro Focus user community really helpful too. When quizzing our board members, they report a productivity improvement of 50 per- cent and I know we also have realized annual operational cost savings as we don’t need to fund filesharing platforms anymore. We are ex- cited about the potential we have for future use cases for Content Manager.”

All of the sessions at Micro Focus IM&G Forum 2021, including the presentation from Heather Mitchell, Records Manager for City Parklands Services, are available to View On-Demand at