A Perspective on SharePoint 2010 for Electronic Records Management (ERM)

SharePoint is widely recognised as the de-facto information
management tool by a wide range of organisations.
SharePoint’s ease of use, configurability, extensibility and
enthusiastic adoption by end users have all helped ensure its
meteoric rise in the information management space. To date
Microsoft has sold over 150,000,000 seats of SharePoint and since
version 2010, SharePoint is being deployed more rapidly than ever
as an enterprise solution.

However, there are corporate, regulatory and legislative
compliance requirements faced by organisations that over the last
decade have prevented SharePoint being deployed for information
governance requirements.

Historically, in order to meet compliance and information
management needs, organisations adopted standalone Electronic
Document and Records Management (EDRM) Systems. In various guises,
The UK National Archives (TNA) and similar bodies around the world
prescribed and tested the functional capabilities of these systems.
Manufacturers developed complex products and services designed to
ensure Governance and Regulatory Compliance in their customer
organisations. Due to the onerous nature of working with these
products, deployment has always been challenging and adoption poor.
As a result they have failed to meet the objectives they were
designed to achieve.

As deployment and data volumes in SharePoint increased, vendors
and organisations attempted to provide integrations designed to
drive adoption and usage of EDRM products. The aim of this was to
provide a familiar SharePoint front-end for business users, coupled
with an EDRM system where corporate records were held at the end of
the collaboration process.

This integration or “product coupling” approach is still used in
the market today.  However, co-joining largely competitive
products to address a specific set of functional requirements is a
costly and complicated approach which has little or no positive
benefit to the end user and instead adds burden and confusion in
operation. The resulting infrastructure is complex and lacking in
cohesion. The solution itself is expensive as are the deployment

Unsurprisingly, this approach, although suiting the
manufacturers and to an extent the regulatory bodies, has failed to
gain adoption and resulted in some very expensive projects that
still fail to capture the corporate record.

The first wave of EDRM manufacturers have been developing
functionality and charging accordingly since the late 1980’s. Early
adopters of SharePoint requiring information governance had two
options. Some organisations chose to invest in a “two-tier”
solution, integrating SharePoint with a proprietary EDRM with its
associated high costs, technical overlap and complexities in
operation; other organisations attempted to solve the problem by
heavily customising earlier versions of SharePoint, resulting in
over complicated bespoke solutions, with non-supported and
non-upgradable environments.

SharePoint has gradually matured in terms of functionality and
scalability and SharePoint 2010 is now widely accepted as a true
Enterprise Content Management proposition.

SP2010’s ability to handle documents and records in terms of
security, metadata management, records management and scalability
has improved dramatically. For organisations that have document and
records management needs and wish to use SP2010, this changes their
available options significantly. SP2010 is now suitable for
managing content within its own repository removing the historical
need to provide a second repository.

As the gap between SharePoint functionality and a complete
information governance solution continues to decrease,
organisations are seeing a diminishing return for an investment in
products that bridge the ERM gap.  Many are questioning
whether or not they can justify the cost or operational complexity
of a standalone EDRMS to plug the ever decreasing functional

However in producing a product that seeks to meet the needs of a
global market there are some areas of SP2010 that need to be
extended before UK organisations and government bodies can fully
embrace it as a compliant information governance solution.

By extending rather than customising SP2010 with some key
features, SharePoint can be successfully used by any organisation
to deploy fully compliant document and records management.
Furthermore, this provides additional benefits by ensuring
architecturally the solution is simpler, more efficient and that
costs are kept in line with current budgetary constraints.

Recognising the opportunity provided through the advancement of
SP2010, coupled with and the need to address the constraints of
first generation EDRM solutions, Automated Intelligence (AI) was
established. AI’s solution ai.compliance extender provides a new
approach to compliance by extending SP2010 rather than requiring
separate product integration. We believe the addition of
ai.compliance extender to any SP2010 deployment results in a
solution that is fully capable of meeting the regulatory
requirements of any organisation as well as enhancing the
enterprise capabilities of the Microsoft platform.

This new approach to an old problem is an evolutionary step in
the control of unstructured data in a SharePoint environment.

European SharePoint Conference 2011 delegates can benefit from a
free analysis of a significant sample of their own unstructured
data, to show the scale of savings and efficiencies that can be
achieved through AI’s solutions.  Using ai.analytics, the
business case is presented showing how clients can benefit from
cost savings of 50% or more through migration to a single compliant
SharePoint 2010 environment, without the need for upfront capital

To find out more, visit us on stand 2 or email info@automated-intelligence.com.

About Automated Intelligence Ltd

Automated Intelligence (AI) was founded on the premise that
SharePoint 2010 has changed the game for information governance and
records management.  By combining industry expertise and
experience with vision and innovation, AI has developed a
ground-breaking approach to information management in a SharePoint
environment which provides quantifiable benefits to its customers
and partners.

AI’s solutions automate and manage the process of cleansing,
categorising and migrating unstructured data from legacy content
management systems and shared drives to SharePoint 2010. Developed
against the recently announced MoReq 2010 European standard, AI
extends the functionality of SharePoint to enable a fully compliant
solution in a simple and cost effective way.

Come to the European
SharePoint Conference
in Berlin.

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