A university moves to cloud-based information management
Massey University is a top New Zealand university, globally known for its academic programs including veterinary, agriculture, and aviation. As an early RecordPoint customer, Massey University has developed its information management initiatives alongside RecordPoint’s technology, moving from the older on-premises solution to the cloud-based Records365 offering. Over the years, the University has been a strong sounding board and influence on new features and product enhancements for RecordPoint.
The University’s partnership with RecordPoint began nearly a decade ago with the aim of supporting compliance needs in its SharePoint deployment. Since then, RecordPoint has helped the University move toward digitization, reduce its physical records burden, and move from file shares to online storage, allowing for further cost savings for various University departments.
I very much appreciated that we were involved in the meeting to discuss additional disposal features and to see what we needed to make it better for us.
Having a voice in the product roadmap
As part of the IT function at Massey, Noreen Williams, Head of Information Management, has been a primary collaborator in the Records365 partnership. As part of RecordPoint’s Fireside Chat series, Williams sat down for a discussion with RecordPoint’s APAC Sales Director Jesse Edwards. In the conversation, she shares learnings from her experience managing data with Records365.
Williams and Massey University have contributed to the evolution of Records365, which often gets updated with improvements based on customer use cases. Most recently, the team faced a multi-step disposition approval process due to the complex structure of the University’s departments. “I very much appreciated that we were involved in the meeting to discuss [additional disposal features] and to see what we needed to make it better for us,” Williams says, “and the feedback we gave has been incorporated.”
Making compliance easier with a centralized “invisible” approach
A key factor in the effectiveness of the Records365 approach has been removing the need for training and change management. Williams emphasizes, “It’s hands-off for the user.” Unlike traditional systems that require users to follow multiple steps and to interact with the compliance platform, this approach takes the compliance burden out of end users’ workflows. The organization no longer relies on end user adoption to ensure compliance policies are applied correctly and eases the workload on the Information Management team by centralizing management.
“Records365 gives you a really good overview of the content that you have out there,” Williams explains, “It’s actually quite interesting to see how much important stuff comes through without you doing anything.”
“It’s allowing us to plan and to understand the workload that’s going to be involved,” describes Williams, “It gives you [the] scale of what’s in there, what’s due for disposal, which sites have the most managed content.” Records365 provides a consolidated view of the University’s content, allowing the Information Management team to plan for and prioritize the effort required around migration and ongoing maintenance. The team can easily identify unmanaged records and run detailed reports to handle them by exception, rather than going through a full list of content with each department.
In addition to simplifying the process of audits and governance reviews, a federated management platform makes policy changes easier to apply organization-wide. As Massey brings new data sources into governance, it can connect them to Records365 and begin managing new content immediately.
“We made life a lot easier for ourselves,” says Williams, “As soon as we put a site into the connector the content was coming in managed [and] the number of unmanaged content [pieces] has gone down.”
I feel very comfortable that all of our vital standing committees’ records are being properly managed, and that’s a real relief.
Shifting the mindset from records management to information governance
After a solid start with managing administrative records such as personnel files, Massey’s Information Management team built the confidence to move on to expanded use cases and content sources, such as managing data from the Research side of the University. “I feel very comfortable that all of our vital standing committees’ [records] are being properly managed, and that’s a real relief,” says Williams.
Next, the team is exploring the Classification Intelligence AI capabilities and looking at content sources like email and Teams conversations, which is an area of growing data for Massey as it has been for organizations across the globe over the last year.
Williams highlights the importance of executive sponsorship and leadership that understands the value information governance can bring beyond just records retention. “[Our executive sponsor] did really embrace what we were doing, and I think that is the key to the success of the project,” she says.
With the complexity of departments and functions at the University, and the variety of important information created on a daily basis, setting up a system to maintain control of the data flow can save the organization hours in manual effort and storage costs. For Massey, Records365 has enabled the move from individual department file shares to a shared cloud setup, saving on overall data storage costs, with further consolidation of Massey’s information management systems on the way.