SCK•CEN utilizes Module Suite to adopt an agile development approach and to take full ownership of their Content Suite development.

Founded in 1952, SCK•CEN is one of the largest research institutions in Belgium, where more than 750 employees dedicate themselves to developing peaceful applications of radioactivity. These developments have already led to innovative applications for the medical world, industry and the energy sector.

The Challenge.

SCK•CEN has been relying on Content Suite as their primary digital document repository for the last seven years. In order to meet the needs of business users and to encourage an organic growth of the EIM practice, several customizations and complex applications were developed by an external partner. However, through the years it became clear that a standard approach to development was incompatible with the ever changing needs of the business and relying on an external partner meant compromises needed to be made in terms of flexibility.

Therefore, to persevere in providing real value to business users the intention of the EIM team (internally known as the "Alexandria team") was to adopt an agile development approach and take direct ownership of most implementations. To achieve these goals, two major obstacles would need to be overcome: the lack of tools available to support faster development cycles and the fact that development on Content Suite required in-depth knowledge of proprietary programming languages.

The Solution.

Following a brief trial period, SCK•CEN identified the Module Suite as the ideal tool to achieve their goals in the shortest time possible. The Module Suite's flexibility, low-coding approach and the fact that it's entirely based on mainstream programming languages further convinced the EIM team that they could become productive with minimal effort. The Module Suite was also positively evaluated in terms of maintainability and long-term investment. The non-intrusive nature of Module Suite allowed for streamline upgrades as well as ease of maintaining developments.

Products:

Key Points:

  •   Quick and Agile Development. With Module Suite the EIM team was able to adopt a truly agile approach to development. They are now able to sit down with the business users prototyping or adapting solutions in response to their inputs nearly in real-time. In addition, in the last months, the EIM team has been able to build its own library of reusable developments, which are now serving as the foundations for new applications. The speed and flexibility with which development could be done empowered the EIM development team, composed of one and a half full-time resources, to take full ownerships of all the projects.

    "We can now apply the user's feedback by just changing some lines of code and the results are seen right away."
  •   Document Generation and Manipulation. As part of the the roll-out of an "Integrated Management System", the EIM team was tasked with implementing a series of document-centric customizations and tailored actions. One such action was the contextual automatic creation of a PDF rendition and a cover sheet listing the entire set of key information. This action was made easily accessible to the end-users by adding a custom action button directly in the UI and was also incorporated in workflows.

    "Following positive feedback, the decision was made to incorporate the concepts in a new document regulation policy."
  •   Automated Metadata Updates. A few years ago SCK•CEN introduced the concept of Information Security Classification (ISC): a metadata attribute utilized to classify a document's security type (i.e.: confidential, public, etc.). In order to ensure, in the least intrusive way possible, that coherence is maintained between the attribute's value and the document's content, the EIM team implemented a very simple yet effective automation. Whenever within an MS Office document the ISC is modified, a script intercepts the change and automatically synchronizes the document's metadata in Content Server with the document property. The development of this automation was lightning fast and greatly facilitated by the extensive library of pre-built code snippets that Module Suite makes available out-of-the-box.

    "The development of this function required only a matter of hours….technically it wasn't very difficult, but the results are very powerful."
  •   Enhanced Workflows. Using Module Suite, SCK•CEN was able to re-engineer all of their workflow processes with the intention to better intercept the underlying business' requirements and internal procedures. The revised workflow maps become much more compact, simpler and easier to maintain. If a process changes, the EIM team no longer needs to re-work the entire associated workflow; instead, they just need to edit one or two scripts. Besides creating powerful workflows, the EIM team also created a new intuitive UI for the workflows that surfaces all necessary and relevant information as well as actions that users require.

    "With ModuleSuite we were finally able to easily add plenty of business logic to our workflows and at the same time make these simpler and more intuitive for the end-user."

The Results.

Outstanding ROI

Even though the EIM team had few resources they were able to start leveraging the Module Suite with minimal training and in a very short time-frame. This quick on-boarding and the newly adopted agile approach, allowed the EIM team to start delivering results to the line of business almost immediately. Besides taking on new requests, with their new skill-set and tools, the EIM team was also able to re-surface and deliver projects that had been previously been put on hold. Thanks to the Module Suite, SCK•CEN is now viewing Content Suite not just as a repository, but as a platform on which to drive their document-centric processes.

"Rewriting our document management policy project was one of the projects that was on the wish-list for a long time, and now with AnswerModules we are able to do it."

Adoption

With the Modules Suite, the EIM team was able to deliver solutions characterized by enhanced functionality as well as a better UX. This lead to an overall increased end-user satisfaction and greatly facilitated the adoption of the solutions. The ease of use of the solutions lead end-users to start utilizing some of the solutions without the need for training or documentation. The benefits of implementing solutions with Module Suite didn't go un-noticed. The value delivered by the EIM and new possibilities of using OTCS were also perceived by SCK•CEN's management as well as external parties.

"We released several workflows and updated the UI of existing workflows without providing documentation to the end-users, yet we didn't receive any questions and the users started using them. This proved that the solutions created were very intuitive and easy to use."

"At SCK•CEN we are really going forward with our document management system, boosting the maturity and professionalism of our information governance...that's largely thanks to AnswerModules."

Pieter Jan Hermans
ECM Analyst, SCK•CEN

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