KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is a worldwide airline company based in the Netherlands. KLM works closely with Air France within the AIR FRANCE KLM Group, which has existed since the two companies merged in 2004. The AIR FRANCE KLM Group is Europe’s leading and best performing Group in the Airline business.
The business units and employees at KLM were in need of a central location to store, share and manage documents. Employees were using the company intranet to publish and share documents, however, the process was difficult and time intensive. As a result, company information was not easily shared or updated. KLM had evaluated traditional document management systems but those solutions proved to be too complex and costly for enterprise-wide implementation to 30,000 users.
Pressure was mounting within the KLM IT department to find a cost effective solution that would address the growing document management challenges facing the company. The IT organization conducted a study to evaluate how open source solutions might address their business needs while providing a lower cost of ownership.
A key objective of the project was to keep document management simple for users, while meeting the company’s technical and budget requirements. Solutions evaluated by KLM needed to provide users with the following framework:
- Personal documents – a personal document management space accessible to all employees on the Web, anywhere at any time, with Web Attached Secure Storage Anywhere (WASSA);
- Project/team documents – a place for project, departmental or team documents to be shared, stored and collaborated on;
- Company shared documents – a company-wide document repository that included search capabilities without a complex taxonomy; and
- Operational documents – a structured repository with restricted authorization and only the last version of operational documents that included taxonomy.
Why Alfresco was chosen
After a careful study of open source products, it was decided that Alfresco’s Enterprise Content Management system provided the most complete solution, meeting all of KLM’s requirements. The Alfresco platform had the ability to scale to meet KLM’s large install base without creating additional IT complexity.
KLM conducted a three-month pilot using Alfresco in order to evaluate product functionality and technical integration with the company’s use of Portal and Tivoli Access Manager. With the successful pilot underway, the IT organization was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Alfresco solution. As a result, KLM business groups were eager to implement the solution.
KLM worked in conjunction with Accenture and Alfresco business partner, Westernacher, on both the Alfresco pilot and implementation. KLM began the full implementation in early 2008. The group chose to implement Alfresco’s Web interface providing users with Web access to the document repository from any Internet connection.
As part of the document management configuration, KLM chose not to implement a large management model or taxonomies to start with. Rather it provided a basic structure for document management through its personal, team and corporate framework. This structure allowed KLM to quickly and easily get the Alfresco document management solution in place and rolled out to users. It also provided the business groups and employees with more flexibility in creating and sharing documents than was previously available.
“Alfresco was easy to implement on our standard infrastructure and was rolled out to all 30,000 employees within six months. Any preconceived ideas we had about working with an open source vendor were quickly dismissed. In terms of technical support, working with Alfresco was just like engaging in any commercial service level agreement, but with the added benefits of the open source architecture and cost structure.”
Benefits of Using Alfresco
Overall, KLM selected Alfresco because it offered a complete document management system and repository based on modern, open source technology. With Alfresco, KLM was able to cost effectively implement a much needed enterprise-wide document management solution for its 30,000 employees.
“The speed and ease of which we were able to implement the Alfresco solution meant that we could quickly provide a document management solution to the company – and the response has been very positive. KLM employees can now take more responsibility for their own content, share it and solicit feedback on it.”
The success of the Alfresco solution has lead KLM to look at expanding the implementation. KLM will be adding in more workflow and project templates to the system to help in the creation and review process of new documentation. KLM is also looking to leverage the Alfresco solution with AIR FRANCE.
“We are only now starting to see what a tool like Alfresco can do and are looking to enlarge the scope of the project with AIR FRANCE – expanding it to over 100,000 people."