A Lotus Notes-based document management system developed by Wellington software house Reliance Software has been successfully piloted at Tasmania’s Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment. It will be rolled out department-wide over the next nine months.
The department, which is one of the largest in Tasmania, is a Notes user. Project manager Alan Wood, who was involved in the selection process, says staff became aware of the Reliance product after a web search. “It fitted our price range, was based on Lotus Notes, and looked to have most of the features we needed,” he says.
A six-month trial was completed using 8,500 documents. The nine-month implementation is being rolled out to more than 1,000 users.
Wood says the biggest issue for users was adjusting to undertaking electronic records management rather than adjusting to the program, Document One.
“But people are now getting excited about doing records management and asking: ‘When can I get on?’ That wasn’t something we anticipated,” he says.
“Its usability sits easily because of its integrated nature. There is limited training required, no new passwords and it integrates seamlessly with our email.”
The department’s IT staff are implementing Document One.
Wood says the change management aspect of the implementation was seen as the most critical issue once the software and technical issues had proved not to be a stumbling block.
“It was more about changing people’s filing habits and work practices rather than the introduction of a new computer system.
“We’re treating the project as a short-term implementation, but we see the full integration into the department and its business practices to be more on a three- four-year timeframe.”
That means leveraging Document One and its workflow capabilities to promote the enhancement of business practices, he says.
IBM’s Lotus sales manager, David Pirie, says Notes sales in New Zealand are achieving double-digit growth, driven largely by applications from independant software vendors like Reliance Software.
“People are seeing value in it as a collaborative platform,” he says.
“We have half-a-dozen active ISVs in New Zealand.”
He says organisations are also showing a lot of interest in Domino where they are considering Linux. “Domino is proven as both a messaging collaborative platform.”
One of the largest local users of Notes is NZ Police, which Pirie says, is committed to a full upgrade.