Listen as Larry Gilbert, CIO of California State University, Sacramento, describes the challenges of running several independent document imaging systems, and how Hyland showed the value of a single, automated enterprise content management (ECM) solution.
Larry Gilbert, CIO of California State University of Sacramento
I'm Larry Gilbert, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sacramento State University.
What impact does mobility have on companies?
We're a large higher education institution and we had at least three maybe four legacy imaging systems. All three of those systems were coming to end of life and we needed to make a decision and quickly we wanted to make a decision, that was in the overall interest of the institution rather than the following the legacy behavior of each of those units that had purchased the legacy software, making their own decisions as to how to move forward.
What’s your vision of information management at CSUS?
The main part of our image is being able to move beyond the basic kind of document imaging that we've been doing over time and really moving into leveraging the return on investment that would come from business process efficiency and workflow improvements. So, the vision is to define a way that we can invest in imaging and workflow processes and software that will provide us with the quickest return on investment. This is a really important vision to us because our budgets in the state of California have been cut on the order of 25 percent over the last three years. We simply can't afford to move forward in the way that we have before by simply adding staff and adding processes again, we have to find ways to do things differently rather than the same.
Can you describe some of the challenges that you’d hope to overcome?
The legacy behavior was that each of those groups would make an independent decision to spend some money to replace the system. Then we'd end up with three completely different systems with different support costs, different staffing costs. This was the time period during the Great Recession, when we simply had a lot less money than we had before. The easy answer is we couldn't afford to do things in the old way we had to find a way to work together to reduce our costs rather than that today. An example of the pain we're experiencing right now as I mentioned we're a large institution, we have 28,000 students on our campus and 80% of those students receive some form of financial aid, so just as an example of the process inefficiencies that we have to deal with right now. Our state budget was done very late, so we had literally two or three weeks to repackage something like 20,000 financial aid packages. Those processes right now are very manual and it's a perfect example of how we simply can't afford to move forward in the same way anymore. Actually, in the last semester but those manual processes we ended up with two thousand financial aid packages that weren't completed in time for the start of the semester and we think that we need to take a very careful look at business processes efficiencies. So that we can move beyond those manual processes and really begin to automate our workflow.
What about the result?
We received a written report from Hyland, and we had two seminars on campus. We had about 50 different individuals which is quite a large number for this type of event that attended our meeting, they had an opportunity to hear a summary of the presentation and to post questions. At the end of the seminar, we asked the individuals who were representing these different program centers from across campus whether they had a positive sense of the possibilities of moving forward with further defining and collaborating on imaging or whether they didn't. The result was very positive, everybody in the room recommended moving forward and everyone in the room went back to their executive managers and recommended that we move forward together on a consolidated approach. I was actually very pleased with the way that Hyland performed our assessment. When I signed on for the assessment, I stipulated up front that this was not to be a sales pitch, this was supposed to be an objective non vendor-specific look at the potential for imaging on campus. I'm really pleased with the result we absolutely got the objective assessment that we were looking for that's going to resonate with my colleagues because it's not going to be perceived as just a usual vendor sales pitch, so we were very satisfied with the assessment.