Filestream has announced that the University of Hull has selected its electronic document management software (EDMS) to efficiently and securely manage the vast amount of administrative paperwork generated from the running of a large educational institution.
With around 900,000 documents now saved in the system, the Filestream EDMS is being used to centrally store and provide multi-user access to a range of information such as:
- Student admissions paperwork including UCAS results, certificates, application forms and other supporting documentation;
- HR forms and paperwork for teaching and administrate staff;
- Occupational health data;
- Documents for individual departments;
- A range of financial information such as invoices.
Filestream’s EDMS is written using Microsoft technology and integrates easily with Outlook which allows documents emailed to the university to be quickly saved in the system. Amanda Dean, The University of Hull’s end-user services team leader, explains, “When a paper invoice comes in, a barcode is attached, it’s scanned and automatically indexed. When staff are working in either Dream or Proactis, they can then click on the invoice and see it using the built-in Filestream Viewer – everything is seamlessly connected.”
Filestream’s EDMS runs on a virtualised VMware environment on Microsoft Windows Server 2012. Data is held onsite at the university’s high availability datacentres.
The software was easy to implement across the campus using Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager which adds a Filestream icon to each desktop and ‘pushes’ the software to each device. This was based on users selected from Active Directory.
EDMS enhances efficiency and international student admissions
Having a central repository of properly indexed documents means fast access to information across a large campus. Amanda Dean explains, “If you take admissions just as an example, tutors would have previously had to request a document from a prospective student and wait for internal mail to deliver it or spend 10 to 15 minutes walking over to the admissions department to view something. Now, everything is instantaneously available for everyone from a desktop PC or laptop.”
This is also helping with the recruitment of international students. For example, the university has an active programme to attract students from China with admissions tutors going there to meet prospective candidates. Using a web-based version of Filestream, application forms and supporting documents can be imported and immediately made available back in Hull for checking by multiple staff members – speeding up the whole admissions process.
All files stored in Filestream are encrypted to enhance security and access to this information is restricted for authorised personnel based on job role. These rules are straightforward to set up within the system.
Amanda Dean says, “Filestream worked rapidly on the integration between their EDMS and our other systems. They’ve also written a bespoke application for us to automatically update the indexing in the system when, for example, a student record changes. There’s never been anything they’ve not been able to help us with.”