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The National Institute for Nuclear Physics Customer Story

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The National Institute for Nuclear Physics Uses Alfresco to Collaborate on Research, Experiments and Ideas

The National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is the Italian research agency dedicated to the research and study of subnuclear, nuclear and astroparticle physics. The INFN, which was founded in 1951 by groups from the Universities of Rome, Padua, Turin and Milan, conducts theoretical and experimental research using cutting-edge technology and instruments developed by the INFN at its own laboratories and in collaboration with leading industries.

The Challenge

The National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is internationally recognized for its research and study of nuclear physics. For the over 5,000 employees and associates that engage with the INFN and are stationed at dozens of research sites throughout Italy, the ability to collaborate on ideas, experiments and research is critical.

INFN needed a more robust repository for its content and a way for its scientists and researchers to share sensitive documents and images, as well as multimedia assets such as images and videos of their experiments.

The Solution

Before implementing Alfresco over eight years ago, INFN used a content management platform called WebRainbow as a repository for its critical documents, but the tool was limited in its ability to manage documents and connect researchers to facilitate collaboration. 

“Our existing platform was primarily used to manage and archive mail to and from our admin team, which is just a small part of what we are now able to do with Alfresco,” said Stefano Longo, INFN’s Head of (INFT) ICT Services. “There is no real comparison between the two, but Alfresco adds so much more value because it offers more capabilities and addresses so many more things.”

After evaluating several solutions, the agency chose to implement Alfresco’s Community Edition because of its ease of use, overall performance, and ability to be customized to seamlessly integrate with the agency’s other applications and document signature tool. Six years ago, INFN upgraded to the Enterprise edition when Alfresco was rolled out to the full organization. 

The Results

Today, the Alfresco platform is used as the agency’s single document management platform and content repository for scientists and researchers in all of INFN’s 25 sites. 

“Our scientific community relies on Alfresco to create and manage project sites,” said Longo. “They now have a place to collaborate on projects and share information and multimedia content related to their experiments, as well as manage version control and simplify their workflow, which is all very useful to our teams.”

In addition to document management, AutoCad 5 engineering projects are also managed and stored in Alfresco, as well as all of INFN’s contract history with external suppliers and research institutes. Accounts payable with invoices are also processed and stored in Alfresco and the agency’s human resources team uses Alfresco to manage the recruitment, hiring and onboarding of new employees. 

Overall, more than 2,500 INFN users currently use the Alfresco platform. INFN developed an in-house course for its HR staff to learn how to use Alfresco and overall adoption has been very successful. 

“We are quite happy with Alfresco – it is rock solid,” said Longo. “It is very easy to use and reduces the time it takes to search for information, which helps our admin staff get their work done faster and more efficiently. 

“Our scientific community relies on Alfresco to create and manage project sites. They now have a place to collaborate on projects and share information and multimedia content related to their experiments, as well as manage version control and simplify their workflows, which is all very useful to our teams.”

– Stefano Longo, Head of (INFT) ICT Services, The National Institute for Nuclear Physics