OpenText centre stage at AHL

The AHL Group, one of Australia’s premier entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure companies, has switched to a new OpenText document management platform, in the process migrating 150,000+ documents from ageing Hummingbird eDOCS 6 system.

AHL  originally purchased Hummingbird eDOCS 6 in 2006. Implementation was by ECM consultancy, Knowledge Partners, who also undertook the recent shift to OpenText Content Server with the Document Management modules.

More than 50 staff in AHL’s Head Office for Legal, Property, Administration as well as various Personal Assistants are now using the OpenText Content Server.

Ecaterina Cheung from Amalgamated Holdings Limited said the introduction of OpenText Content Server has changed the way people collaborate, moving from the typical mode of emails and files stored in network drives.

Document control

“Certainly in the past prior to the adoption on any ECM, the organisation circulated documents in an uncontrolled manner. The organisation now is in the practice of emailing links of the relevant document(s) in ECM which greatly reduces the duplication of documents and provides an audit trail,” said Cheung.

AHL staff also use the versioning facility extensively. For example, Legal may make many revisions of document based on negotiated terms with 3rd Parties on a particular matter or contract.

Migration of content from the older eDocs platform was undertaken using Knowledge Partners’ ECM Accelerator (ECMA)

The decision was made to utilise the pre-existing folder structure which people were already very familiar with rather than apply a new corporate taxonomy.

Not all content has been able to be included within the ECM as Cheung explains.

“Certain file types associated with the Projects and Designs groups remain outside of the system for now as well complex linked spreadsheets from the Finance group. Additionally, some Personal Assistants are outside of ECM as users currently.”

The desktop environment at AHL is presently Windows XP SP3 with Microsoft Office 2007. Although some have upgraded to  Office 2010 in Head Office.

OpenText Enterprise Connect is providing AHL staff with the ability to access  the content from the ECM repository and line of business systems from within the Outlook interface.

Most of the content in the ECM is created digitally so the company has only a small volume of scanned documents that are entered into the system each day.

Drawing management

One area that is still to be brought under the ECM umbrella is the management of plans for the AHL Building/Construction unit.

“Currently hardcopy plans are managed in a chaotic fashion. Phone calls are made to individuals that are known to have some degree of association with the plans being sought.

“There is no library system for them to facilitate searching, location and a ‘loan’ process. The plan is to scan the plans into ECM and provide access for an additional 100 users to save significant amounts of time and preserve the assets,” said Cheung.

AHL is looking to extend the reach of its ECM platform to mobile devices with a pilot deployment of OpenText Everywhere. This will provide staff using iPhones and iPads in the field with the ability to edit and create documents within the OpenText ECM Suite despite not having a copy of Microsoft Office.

For sharing content beyond the firewall, AHL is exploring the use of OpenText “Tempo” which operates in a similar fashion to “Dropbox”, however with the additional controls associated with an ECM.