Having only started these meetups in February of this year, Thursday 15th September saw the return of the event with our third meetup, and we couldn’t be happier that there is a real feeling of community building, from familiar faces wanting to join us for networking, idea sharing and tips and tricks, to our newest members who are just now investigating the technology and use cases for Alfresco.
Acitivi – Use Cases From The Front Line
First up was Ana Sirvent, Technical Lead at Zaizi who presented to us the use cases for Alfresco’s Activiti, an open source BPM engine that we have used in several scenarios for our customers. From the very basic workflows, to full case management use cases, the tool has the power to reinvent the way organisations think about creating tasks, with the emphasis on ease of use and digital first services.
We recently caught up with Paul Holmes-Higgin, the general manager of the Activiti product with a guest blog post
Take a look at Ana’s presentation below as she takes us through the different methods in creating workflows and business processes simply and easily, with the ability of full audit and process optimisation, user performance, compliance and simply automating once manual tasks.
Migrating Sensitive Records To The Cloud
Next up was Giuseppe Malanga, Solution Architect for Zaizi, who was sharing all his vast knowledge in the world of data migration, having delivered some of the largest migrations ever on the Alfresco platform, and delivering that into the UK public sector and highly secure environments.
Each migration project will have its own set of difficulties that will have to be overcome to ensure a successful and valuable migration, but a series of checks, tools and best practises will ensure a high quality output, that will be fit for purpose and keep the value in the quality of data.
Using open source technologies like Talend and Alfresco’s own tools like batch import, Giuseppe outlines below some of the key processes to ensure a high quality migration.
New to this event were the breakout sessions; we did have discussion panels previously, but from feedback received we tweaked our approach and implemented an hour in the event in which all of our attendees were asked to pick a table where specific discussions were held, at this event the topics included, Workflow, Usability and Migration, all chaired from one of our experts in the field.
We were really pleased with how well these went down and the involvement from all of our attendees, we had some great discussions and after we fed back to the room the main areas and ideas that were covered.
New ways of working certainly are available, but organisations are still struggling with a culture and a user community that was trained in old ways of working. Empowering BA’s to change business practises with easy to implement workflows and processes would be a start, as getting users to work in simpler ways will always catch on, but empowering people to change stills needs to be seen. These new technologies mean that departments are empowered to change the way they work with IT, not IT dictating how it should be used, this is a large cultural change that seems to be taking some time, give your employees the tools it needs to change, start with small projects and expand outwards.
As the GDS design principles clearly state, Start with needs*. That is, *user needs, not government needs.
IT projects have typically been large scale projects that encompass the whole organisation, but one size does not fit all. We had some local government IT leads in the sessions that said that it should be caseworkers defining the way they work rather than an IT head, and with the current technologies like Alfresco, Activiti, new processes are easy to define, set up and add value immediately.
Our principles at Zaizi are based in Agile methodologies, those that deliver the best solutions to organisations, deliver small successes as quickly as possible, iterate ways of working quickly with user feedback, get certain workflows, teams and departments online quickly and expand outwards. Open standards and open source technologies must be considered to quickly adapt, change, remove or add to the stack, to ensure the technologies we employ day to day have an effective use.
By far and away the largest of all the breakout sessions. With Giuseppe chairing the talk, it was obvious that information on migration projects was hard to come by, and that people are looking for best practises in this area. There are many legacy systems still in use in government, and being locked into aging and inflexible systems can be crippling for any organisation, especially as demands from citizens and employees are growing daily. This was a very practically centered discussion on the tools available for these projects, logical approaches and ensuring a high quality of data at the end that will enrich your organisation.
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