Cutting costs across the board
The Texas A&M University System, one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States, is comprised of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center. All work together to provide educational programs, outreach, and community enhancement services, as well as research to improve the lives of people in Texas and beyond. Texas A&M System members educate more than 120,000 students each year.
To reduce costs across the board, Texas A&M System’s procurement office advocates the use of shared services. In 2009, the university system assigned a Preferred Vendor Selection Subcommittee to identify a preferred vendor for all new enterprise content management (ECM) implementations.
In 2010, Laserfiche was selected by the Preferred Vendor Selection Subcommittee and approved by President R. Bowen Loftin. University system members that opt to use the shared service help the university system as a whole reduce costs by consolidating IT functions from multiple system members to one location.
Today, 3,600 employees across the Texas A&M System benefit from Laserfiche.
Offering Laserfiche as a centrally supported, enterprise-level document management system allows the Texas A&M System to:
- Save costs through shared central support and by eliminating the need for individual departments to maintain their own systems.
- Facilitate document sharing with colleagues while protecting confidential information.
- Enhance overall office efficiency by eliminating paper-based processes, improving information accessibility and decreasing the need to store paper documents.
- Ensure continuity of operations by securing records and providing web access to critical documents during emergencies.
- Streamline life-cycle management of business records with automatic enforcement of consistent, organizationwide records policies.
- Support compliance requirements for document retention.
According to Judith Lewis, senior IT manager of the IT Solutions and Support group at Texas A&M University, “By providing this feature-rich Laserfiche implementation at an affordable price point, Texas A&M is able to make available economies of scale and document sharing that individual departments could not approach by themselves. This is value delivery at its best.”
In addition to Lewis’ team, there are two campuswide communities that are intimately involved with the Laserfiche shared service offering:
- A steering committee comprised of senior management representatives from across the system. The committee evaluates and promotes best practices and appropriate conventions for Laserfiche, providing departments with consistent practices that will save them time in the long run. This committee provides input to the central IT department and also serves to channel information about Laserfiche out to the entire university system.
- A user community of practice that provides input and training for the end user community. This training is in addition to the basic end user training provided through the Texas A&M employee and organizational development department.
The university has built a website specifically devoted to the Laserfiche shared service offering: Laserfiche.TAMU.edu, which provides public pages that outline the benefits of using Laserfiche as a shared service, FAQs, and system governance. The website also contains protected pages that provide online training videos. The website is intended to be the central go-to-place for information about the Laserfiche shared service offering.
Lewis explained that her department works hard to build on previous successes, include new departments, and incrementally and continuously review its processes. “We are dedicated to incorporating best practices, lessons learned, and training resources from many sources to provide the best support for our customers.”