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Aurora's illuminates a CM aura

This article appears in the issue April 2005 [Volume 14, Issue 4]

The city of Aurora, Colo., has scaled content management software across its enterprise to improve productivity and access to information.

Aurora, the state's third-largest city with 290,000 residents, is using Stellent Universal Content Management to support a variety of image, record, document and Web content management initiatives throughout 17 departments.

"The solution's scalable and comprehensive functionality was the key reason why we chose it over other technologies," says Larry Hibbs, applications development supervisor for Aurora. "Using the technology, we are able to manage all information—regardless of format or purpose—consistently, in one central repository from one common interface. This functionality allows us to consolidate content from multiple repositories and eliminates the need for staff to learn multiple programs for each new application."

All of Aurora's content, including scanned forms, word processing documents, spreadsheets and Web pages, is stored in Stellent Content Server in its native format, enabling users to view and modify it quickly. The city assigns metadata to content when contributing it to the system to make search easier, and has created "hot keys" to identify and retrieve other records, documents or Web pages related to the original piece of content being searched.

Aurora first used Universal Content Management to simplify the method for capturing, managing and accessing such scanned records as permits, licenses, forms, tax information, building plans and applications. Due to the success of that internal records management initiative, the city scaled the system to manage Aurora's Web properties, including its public Web site and intranet. Now the system serves as the central repository for all Web site-related content—including internal and external newsletters, news releases, human resource forms and policies—and converts the content from its native format to Web-viewable formats, such as HTML, PDF and XML.

According to Stellent, the system also provides the city with version control functionality that ensures only the most current records, documents and Web pages are accessible, while previous drafts are saved for archiving purposes. The solution also integrates with Aurora's Novell (novell.com) security infrastructure so sensitive documents are accessed only by authorized employees.

Several months ago, Aurora implemented a newly designed public Web site powered by Stellent Site Studio, which allows the city's IT Department to retain control of Web site design and navigation structure, but gives each department the freedom to deliver specialized content to the site on demand and to update it without IT help.

"We have begun to solve some of the city's major information and knowledge management challenges," Hibbs says.


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