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Alfresco Meetup for government - One year in

By Chris Conway - 21st November 2016

Launched on the 3rd February 2016, we saw the opportunity to invite members from all over central and local government to create a community around an event, to share knowledge and best practices around Alfresco, but also to look at the surrounding open source products and ideas behind pushing for better content, process and data management within government.

Held every quarter, Thursday 17th November saw the fourth and final meetup of 2016. The emphasis has always been about offering the most value to our members who take time out of their day to join us, so we have been constantly adapting the format from the feedback we have been receiving. We are now producing a mix of presentations with lessons learned on large scale projects, to the latest developments in varying software, from Alfresco search capabilities to updates from Activiti and the Records Management function.

We now include a dedicated breakout session where we cover the topics that our members have asked through feedback, from the highly technical to the beginners, we have seen a great value in creating these smaller groups where everyone is encouraged to share their experiences in the real world using these technologies and working practises. Chaired by experts in each field, we feel these have been a great place to get feedback straight to the technology developers at Alfresco, but also for Zaizi, as we aim to address the users and clients needs towards developing the best technology solutions for employees and citizens alike. We work very heard to impart our knowledge to those who are working on the platform to make sure everyone is making the best use of the technology.

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Search, Governance And Case Management- 17th November 2016

As always a big thank you for all the people who came to the meetup and took part in our last event of the year with two main sessions on Alfresco Search and Information Governance with Office 365 we also ran the breakout sessions, expanding on the main talks, but also sessions on Case Management and a brand new topic, a Beginners Guide to Alfresco.

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Alfresco Search

First up on the day was Sergio Rojas, CTO at Zaizi, who was sharing his experience on working on some of the largest implementations of the Alfresco platform, and ensuring that the search functionality is able to scale to the huge amounts of data we are now creating and storing as organisations, as well ensuring it is adding value to the day to day activities of its users.

With differences between the various Alfresco versions which use different versions of Apache Solr underneath the hood, it was a very practical and hands on approach to ensuring that documents are indexed properly and maintained to a high standard. Check out the slides below for a run through of his tips & advice for ensuring a great search experience.

 
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Information Governance With Office 365

George Parapadakis, Director of Business Solutions Strategy at Alfresco, took us through his guidelines of ensuring perfect information Governance in Alfresco when working alongside ways of working such as Office 365. He began by covering the scope of what Information Governance covers, which turns out should be everything your organisation produces in terms of information and data. Herein lies the issue with quality governance, without a robust and well thought out approach, you will only ever be scratching the surface. George laid out the key considerations organisations must look at to ensure that they are keeping a tight overview of their information, check out the presentation below.

 
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Breakout Sessions

After the break we reconvened in our chosen groups, with my choice for the Alfresco Beginners guide led by Jeff Nott, Public Sector Lead for Alfresco. This was a brand new session for us, hoping to help out those who are only just investigating, or looking to enhance their knowledge on the technology.

We covered many areas, from the lifecycle of documents to auditability and records management concerns, but also how Alfresco can work as part of entire stack of technologies to deliver your final solution.

Covered in the other sessions:

Search 

  • Searching across all data stores is key
  • Organisations are still struggling to harness their email and index properly
  • Identity access management - What users have permission to search and view
  • Clean data and ensuring quality of data is imperative for quality search results

Case Management

  • Dynamic workflows that are adaptable and flexible to modify ways of working quickly
  • Organisations are looking for a balance between pre built solutions and customisations
  • Consolidated systems
  • Automating workflows is key
  • Data governance - Workflow and data access towards what can be viewed, edited, audited and usable.

Information Governance

  • Information governance is hard. For solid governance, organisational buy in is required
  • The flow of information within an organisation, allowing people to see what you do have, and proving what you don’t have when an audit comes around.

 

Thank you to everyone that has come along to one of our meetups over the past year. We have really enjoyed the community that has been building and appreciate all the feedback we have received. We hope it's been valuable to all those attendees. We will be returning in the new year with what we hope will be a great new line up. Sign up to our meetup account for any announcements and we hope to see you there.

Take a look back at the previous event write ups:


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About the author: Chris Conway
Chris is a content and video producer for Zaizi. Chris has a passion for all things digital and has recently produced interview videos for our clients such as BCC, UOW and Oxfam amongst others. He recently produced online ‘how to guides’ for records management, collaboration and search and manages our monthly web talks on new technical insights innovative open source technologies.