Published on 22-Jul-2011
Validated on 16 Apr 2013
"Our campus community expects immediate results through automated, self-service tools. The IBM content management solution allows us to easily meet—and even exceed—our self-service goals." - Larry Newhouse, Information Systems Leader, Iowa State University
Iowa State University
IBM Business Partner:
Iowa State University reduces paper output by 67 percent and saves $40,000 a year by eliminating voucher outsourcing fees with an enterprise content management solution from IBM.
Iowa State University wanted a solution to support the capture, security and delivery requirements of disparate University business processes and student services.
Working with IBM and IBM Business Partner Genus Technologies, the University is becoming a paperless campus, delivering imaged content to students and staff seamlessly and invisibly within web applications.
Reduced paper output by 67 percent; reclaimed floor space previously used for paper storage; virtually eliminated a delivery staff team of four to six student employees; provided immediate online access to documents
More than 28,000 students, representing all 50 states and more than 110 countries, attend Iowa State University (ISU). U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution among the top one-fourth of all national public universities.
Iowa State University wanted to implement a solution to support the capture, security and delivery requirements of disparate University business processes and student services.
Becoming a paperless campus
What if I changed my major—how many additional courses would I need to take? For students at Iowa State University, an online application enables them to easily answer this question—without having to pore through paper-based catalogs. The application doesn’t raise any eyebrows for students raised in today’s social media society. But, for the University’s IT personnel, the application represents the fulfillment of another opportunity they foresaw more than a decade ago by implementing enterprise content management (ECM) to support content capture and delivery from any business process application.
Working with IBM and IBM Business Partner Genus Technologies, the University is becoming a paperless campus, delivering imaged content to students and staff seamlessly and invisibly within web applications. Today, the foundation for its ECM strategy includes IBM Content Manager to store unstructured content (e.g., email, vouchers and receipts, correspondence, etc.), and IBM Content Manager OnDemand software for report management and delivery. More than a dozen University departments, including the registrar’s office, financial aid, human resources and accounting, currently use the ECM solution. Sensitive documents, such as payroll or financial aid information, are secured so only authorized individuals can access them. Previously, everything from employee W-2 forms to receipts to thousand-page departmental reports had to be printed and physically distributed to the requesting individual or department—a time-consuming and costly process.
“With ECM, information is available much more quickly,” says Larry Newhouse, Information Systems Leader, Iowa State University. “For example, when students contact the financial aid department to confirm receipt of a document, it previously could take several days for staff to find the paper documents and return the call. Now the documents are available online thus eliminating the search time and return call by the staff while improving client satisfaction. Reports that had to be printed and delivered are now automatically available online by 6 a.m. to each department. Documents, such as W2 forms, are available for self-service to individuals through ISU’s secure personalized website AccessPlus [accessplus.iastate.edu]. Additionally, campus travelers import, through AccessPlus into ECM, their own travel reimbursement receipts which provides the documentation for the reimbursement business process.”
He adds, “Our campus community expects immediate results through automated, self-service tools. The IBM content management solution allows us to easily meet—and even exceed—our self-service goals.”
The ECM solution has also opened the door to new innovative applications. For example, students can conduct “what if” scenarios online to explore how changing their major would affect course requirements. The application searches course information stored in an IBM DB2® database and the resulting reports are saved in IBM Content Manager OnDemand. Faculty advisors can access the documents when they meet with their students. “It gives students the opportunity to more quickly compare different paths and identify any dependencies sooner if they want to change majors,” says Newhouse.
Realizing quantifiable benefits
Through its ECM initiative, the University has realized a number of benefits, including the following:
• Reduced paper output by 67 percent (6.8 million pages in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2010) and reclaimed floor space previously used for paper storage
• Virtually eliminated a delivery staff team of four to six student employees
• Reduced time to respond to inquiries from days to immediate online access
• Saved $40,000 a year by eliminating outsourcing fees and reduced the number of staff required to process vouchers by 93 percent with upgrade to latest software version
For more information
To learn more about IBM Enterprise Content Management solutions, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/data/content-management
For more information on Iowa State University, visit: www.iastate.edu
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