Document system marries content, archiving

Professional services firm Sinclair, Knight, Mertz expects to be in product evaluation in the next two months for the implementation of a combined document content and archiving system.

The company's general manager of information systems, Peter Nevin said the goal is a single repository for all documents.

A few years ago the company rolled out a document management system globally with 26 installations.

"We want to take this further and whether we stick with our current supplier is up for debate; we're looking at suppliers now as there are some interesting new players in the market," Nevin said.

With 5000 staff spread across 50 locations globally, there are plenty of network challenges.

"It is a big global spread; we literally go from the top of Scotland to the bottom of Tasmania. Some offices are tiny so providing solid connectivity between them is a challenge," Nevin said.

This means plenty of interesting discussions with carriers to get tariffs right, he said.

"We need software that performs across locations so we are constantly chasing network bandwidth. We are currently looking at compression and prioritization technologies we will be rolling out in the next few months," he said.

With 110 IT staff, Nevin said technology initiatives have to keep pace with rapid growth - the company grew 30 percent in the last 12 months.

Because IT is so fast moving, he said staff are doing now what their direct managers were doing 18 months before.

"This has created a middle management drought, because staff are polarized into two areas; senior managers who have been in IT a long time and junior trainees at the other end," Nevin said, adding that more flexible work practices were introduced to accommodate both Generation X and Generation Y.

"Because we are geographically dispersed and have time-zone challenges, a flexible working environment actually works for us," he said.

n To hear the interview in full, go to the podcast at CIO Live (www.cio.com.au)

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