Bristol City Council Places Alfresco at Heart of Services Efficiency Drive

Open source ECM system to help Council transform technology foundation, improving efficiency and effectiveness of frontline services

 

LONDON, UK – July 9, 2012 – Alfresco Software today announced that Bristol City Council has implemented Alfresco, the leading open source enterprise content management system, placing it at the heart of plans to overhaul its EDRM (electronic document and records management) systems. Once complete the project will revolutionise the way staff collaborate with one another and store documents online.

The move to electronic documents and online team collaboration is a key enabling component of the Council’s portfolio of change programmes and projects – which contribute towards the council’s ongoing drive to reduce its annual operating budget by £70m. Using Alfresco will allow staff to access electronic documents online from any location (thus reducing dependence on paper) and give project teams the ability to share information virtually through a powerful collaboration platform.

“After a rigorous evaluation process that took into account such factors as cost, usability, and adherence to open standards we selected Alfresco as being the best all round fit,” said Gavin Beckett, Chief Enterprise Architect for Bristol City Council. “Alfresco offers a rich set of features in a user-friendly package with the additional bonus of being an open source platform, which means we can use it right across the board without having to spend large sums on licences – the money saved is spent on front-line services rather than software.”

“The other advantage of its open source and open standards foundations is that it removes barriers to opportunities for SME’s and local ICT suppliers” he added.

Enhanced collaboration and greater efficiency

Using Alfresco for document and digital asset management and Drupal for the front-end of its website, the Council’s new platform will enable enhanced collaboration and EDRM functionality to introduce efficiency improvements to a variety of Council services. In one project under development, landlords applying for licences for houses in multiple occupation will be able to submit their applications online, with Alfresco managing the workflow for that documentation.  In another project, staff performing equipment servicing and maintenance repairs on council properties can upload images such as photographs and gas certificates captured on PDAs.

Other plans include a major programme to allow staff to access Council documents regardless of their physical location.   With proprietary systems the costs of doing something on this scale would have been prohibitive, but because open source has no user licencing the Council is able to deploy the scheme across its entire workforce without significant cost, fundamentally changing the way staff work in the process.

The Council has also piloted the use of Alfresco on mobile devices. Staff and Councillors can access Alfresco via the Cloud using Android or Apple devices or standard laptop computers, enabling paperless meetings and access to documents on the move.

“Bristol City Council wanted an open source content management system that combined traditional document management with online collaboration,” said Jeff Nott, Alfresco UK, sales director.  “The fact that Alfresco was a major contributor to the development of the CMIS standard for Content Interoperability and that Alfresco is based on open standards gave Bristol the confidence  that their strategy would not lock them in to a single vendor.”

About Alfresco

Alfresco is how great businesses share, organize and protect their content. Nearly 7 million people in over 180 countries use Alfresco Enterprise, Cloud, Mobile and Community to manage over 3 billion files worldwide. Whether on the go or in the office, Alfresco empowers today's teams to do great work. 

Founded in 2005, Alfresco is headquartered in London with US headquarters in Atlanta.