Meetup: Data-driven government

Thanks to everyone that came and got involved in another great Alfresco meetup. With a new layout, new location and more new sign ups we were delighted to see everyone come along and get involved.

Held at Broadway House in Westminster on the 26th May, we invited people from all over government to see the latest developments and use cases on the software. Attendees from all the major departments including the Home Office, National archives, MOD, DWP, BIS and many more were there to learn, share and discuss best practises.

From the first event we had some amazing feedback and involvement from ambassadors around government to fine tune and make sure this event was valuable for all. For the second meetup we made sure there were more interactions and introduced the breakout sessions so that each individual could take part and add to the discussion.

These events will be maintained as open and accessible as possible for all those interested, and with some great feedback already we’ll make sure each event gets better and better. Have a look through the highlights below, and as always we’d love to hear from you about suggestions or help with any further information, get in touch with us here.

Alfresco is running a user research panel to gather quality feedback that will go into creating a better product for everyone, we had a lot of excellent feedback on the day, but if you would like to add to that then they’d love to hear from you, that is available here. 

Roy Wetherall

First up came Roy Wetherall, Founding Engineer and Records Management Architect for Alfresco with his presentation, ‘What’s New in Alfresco Records Management.’

Alfresco have just released their records management package 2.4, so Roy was on hand to take us through the latest developments in the software, and how the road map for the development is looking forward.

We caught up with Roy before the event with a great blog post, read that here.

The emphasis for his talk was on user adoption, making it easier for people to carry on with their work, taking away the complexity of the records policy from the individual, so they can work with documents in their own spaces, interact simply with the system and records will be automatically or simply declared and held.

The ideas that will be moving this forward is the work Roy and his team are doing with the records management functionality, with better classifications levels, user clearances, consolidated functionalities and smart file plans.

See Roy’s presentation below, as well as a demo from Zaizi on using Smart Folders and the RM functions.

Whats new in Alfresco records management from Zaizi

Panel Discussion

Next up was the panel discussion. 

We were delighted that Jack Sim from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was happy to join our panel, and give a real insight on a major government project using Alfresco. 

The questions were mainly around user adoption, and how to make such a large shift in their ways of working to be adopted by the workforce, and the steps they took to make it seamless for the end user. BIS were very proactive with gaining user adoption, from drop in centres designed to ramp up knowledge within minutes, or floor walkers, designed to be on hand whenever issues arose. 

Breakout Sessions

New to the meetup were breakout sessions. With the group splitting into smaller discussions to share their views of the current issues facing their organisations, the issues they face in their role and the issues they have with using Alfresco.

With an ambassador from either Zaizi or Alfresco to facilitate the conversations we had some great feedback and discussions. 

What came across from all the groups is that we are still struggling to find the information we need, when we need it. For government this is especially important, with disparate data stores, an over reliance on email and still using paper, information has a high value, especially as departments are held to auditing and freedom of information requests. Knowing where and how to find information could significantly reduce labour and time for a department, as well as ease the search for valuable data to improve the way you work.

User adoption came up again, with ideas shared about how to involve the workforce and to make sure that systems are being used efficiently. Alfresco has the power to enrich an entire workforce, but without training, knowledge and an idea of how to work in better ways than the value of Alfresco will be diminished. 

Aingaran Pillai

Aingaran Pillai finished up the day with his talk, ‘The Complete Skill Set for a Data Driven Government.’

Aingaran is the CEO and founder of Zaizi and has been working on the Alfresco platform since the very beginning. In his time he has overseen many Alfresco and Activiti implementations into organisations, and some of the biggest implementations of the EDRM platform to date. 

In his talk he took us through the technical skills and experience necessary for typical implementations, using the core technologies, operational management, the training that is available through Alfresco and where you can go to find out more information.

Have a look through his presentation below, and if you would like any more information on the Alfresco platform, what’s necessary for a successful implementation then we would be happy to hear from you, contact us here.

Alfresco & Activiti skills overview from Zaizi

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