Alfresco Creates Critical Content Foundation For The Howard County Health Department
Based in Columbia, Maryland, the Howard County Health Department is
dedicated to promote, preserve and protect the health of all Howard County
residents through quality and client-centered health services, evidence-based
public health advocacy and outreach, strong policies and partnerships, and a
dedicated and effective public health workforce.
As a government agency, the Howard County Health Department is governed
by regulatory standards and retention schedules that require it to keep official
documents for many years – sometimes for life.
This resulted in a lot of paper files stored in off-site warehouse facilities. To
find a specific piece of content, employees had to physically visit the filing
room and manually search for the file.
Health Department employees were creating content either locally or on
shared drives and security provisions on these drives prevented others from
finding the content they needed. As a result, departments could not share data
or collaborate on content on their own without requiring IT (Information
A few years ago, the department began looking for ways to digitize all of its
data. It needed a foundation for content creation, as well as a way to manage
the content it already had, with all content centralized in one location.
“We needed a better way to find content and create it in the right location so
others can find it in the organization as well,” said Kayin Carroll, Howard
County Health Department’s IT Director.
The agency needed a flexible, out of the box solution with existing metadata
fields that wouldn’t require a lot of development time to customize.
After evaluating several solutions, the agency chose Alfresco One as its
document management solution because of Alfresco’s open architecture and
multiple use cases in the government sector. They also partnered with
Alfresco’s Platinum Partner Micro Strategies to take advantage of their
Microsoft Office Integration Solution, which combines the ease of use and
familiarity of working in Microsoft Office applications and the power of Alfresco
One to provide the agency with the necessary tools to secure digital content.
“We had a lot of content that needed to be scanned and wanted a web-based solution
that wouldn’t require a lot of customization or complicated licensing,” said Carroll.
“Alfresco far exceeded any other solution out there and allows us to make some
customizations on our own, which keeps our costs down.”
Today, with the help of Alfresco’s Platinum Partner Micro Strategies, the Howard County
Health Department has rolled out Alfresco to its human resources department. The
solution is also integrated with Microsoft Office through Alfresco’s Outlook Integration that
allows users to access the Alfresco document library directly from within Microsoft
The agency’s transportation, public information, health policy analysts and
fiscal department will begin using Alfresco later this year. Employees will
receive training about how to use the solution in their department as the
metadata changes for each use case, Carroll said.
“Alfresco will be our foundation for all content creation,” said Carroll. “All
documents and e-mail created by employees are transferred to, or created
within Alfresco. Any time content is created; it’s done in Alfresco. It is a
business critical solution that is being used for every process, every day.”
In Human Resources, between 200-300 pages of content are created
each month and archived in Alfresco. Once the rollout is complete,
the agency expects to have around 200 users accessing Alfresco.
So far, users have been very happy with the platform’s design and
functionality, Carroll said.
“Alfresco enables employees to create content anywhere, anytime, but also
provides a level of intelligence to help us find content and track that content,” said Carroll.
“The solution really makes our life easier and allows us to find what we need very quickly,
which saves the County both time and money.”