EDRMS Adoption in Alberta Catholic Schools
St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate School Division (STAR Catholic Schools) is located in Leduc Alberta, Canada and offers a full spectrum of programs that go beyond the core requirements of Alberta Education. St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate School Division was formed in 1995 and serves more than 4,000 students in 12 schools and outreach programs from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
The STAR school district deployed FileHold document management software in June of 2016. FileHold wanted to learn more about the goals and objectives of the installation and conducted the following interview.
Question: What were the reasons (i.e. business problems) that drove you to look for document management software?
Answer: “At STAR we have the very real problem of diminishing storage space for both our active and inactive physical records. This is apparent in both our central office location as well as within our schools. As our division continues to grow and amass even larger quantities of paper records, this space issue will only get worse. As a solution to this storage problem, Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) was looked at to see if the move to a paper-minimized office would actually work for the division.”
Question: Why did you choose FileHold?
Answer: “FileHold was chosen based on a number of items that met our Records Committee criteria. FileHold had a very similar view as Microsoft Explorer and it integrated with the Office suite including Microsoft Active Directory. It had document workflow capabilities, no limit on storage, ability to build retention events, and customized security down to the folder level. It was one of the easiest implantation processes compared to other vendors that required 6-12 weeks before we could go live with a test group. Even though all of the installation and support has been done remotely there was the added benefit of having a head office nearby in British Columbia.”
Question: How are you using FileHold? (What departments and business processes, etc.)
Answer: “The first department to get onto FileHold when we went live in September 2017 was our central office Finance department. We started with moving our AP and AR records into the system. We then built workflow processes for deposits, transfers, and requests. We have had a successful audit of our 2017-2018 financials through FileHold as well. We created a username and password that expires for our auditors and have them log in through our web portal into FileHold where they can easily pull sample documents and see the workflow approvals without having to interrupt the daily goings on in the Financial department. We have since opened up the system to the remainder of our central office team and all of our schools. Our schools are using the system to load their financials that would typically go through their principal for approval then be sent through inter-office mail to central office for final review and approval.”
Question: What benefits are you receiving?
Answer: “With our schools now using FileHold and the built-in workflow processes, we have cut down on the amount of paper that the schools are generating and have fast tracked a number of processes that would typically take weeks to be completed. We are a smaller division spread out between Drayton Valley, all the way to Ponoka / Lacombe with our head office in Leduc. Sometimes it would take weeks for items to get to our head office as we are at the mercy of waiting for staff to come to our office for meetings. Items like deposits, visas, monthly reconciliations, requests, etc. would be generated at the school level, printed and sent to the principal. These items could sit for days if the principals were away at meetings or conferences. Then they were sent back to the secretary who would place them in inter-office mail where it could sit again waiting for a staff member to attend a meeting at central office or for a member of our tech team to visit the school and pick up the mail to bring back to central office. There was also the possibility that the mail was ‘misplaced’ in-transit and it would take even longer to reach us. Now, items are entered into FileHold, the system automatically starts the workflow and the principal completes their task and individuals at central office have the approved document within the week. The workflow also allows us to track where in the process it could be hung up so that we can remind the appropriate individual that they need to finalize their task(s) in a timely manner.”
The FileHold software at STAR is installed on a Hyper-V virtual server with Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016. There are 58 registered users all of whom have document viewers. Optional features include: Active Directory for single sign on, document workflow and approval, FastFind and Print to FileHold. SmartSoft document scanning software is included with every server install of FileHold. STAR has also deployed the anonymous portal to link administrative procedures (which were added to FileHold) to their website so that any member of the public can click on the link and directly open the document from FileHold without having to enter in a username and/or password.