South Dakota-Based Regional Power Organization Faces Increasing Regulatory Paperwork Leading to Need for Full-Featured, Easy-to-Use ECM Solution
WATERLOO, ON, June 16 /CNW/ - Open Text(TM) Corporation (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC), the preeminent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, today announced that Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), a regional energy organization based in South Dakota, has selected Open Text ECM Suite, Content Lifecycle Management to help manage the growing volumes of content stemming from organizational growth and increased regulatory requirements.
MRES is a not-for-profit, joint-action agency governed by the 60 member communities it serves in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. What started as a way for municipal energy providers to coordinate their efforts in negotiating the purchase of hydroelectric power generated at facilities along the Missouri River in the 1960s, has since evolved into a much larger role to supply its members with reliable, cost-effective, long-term energy and energy services in a fiscally responsible and environmentally sensitive manner. MRES has also expanded its role by participating in a regional transmission organization, developing gas and wind generation, and actively promoting energy efficiency in member communities.
As MRES has taken on this broader role, it faces growing regulatory requirements across multiple federal, industry, state and local government jurisdictions, and a significant expansion in the volume of content it must manage.
"None of this existed 10 years ago. It's all new," said Mrg Simon, Legal Director for MRES. "Even though we are a smaller organization, the amount of information we process and maintain is gargantuan. Everyone underestimates how much information this organization has. Long gone are the days when you had one person who not only knew everything but could also find everything."
One significant driver in the decision by MRES to strengthen its records management efforts was a lengthy discovery process involved with obtaining regulatory approval for a new power plant and associated transmission line. "During the course of the discovery, we had to literally plow through thousands of hits to figure out what was relevant," Simon said. "The process was very cumbersome and put a huge burden on our staff."
Another driver is that MRES now operates a variety of generating resources. "Regulatory compliance is a top priority for MRES, and maintaining detailed documentation is how we demonstrate our compliance with state and federal requirements and reliability standards," Simon explained.
To select the ECM solution that would best meet its needs, MRES worked with an outside consultant to evaluate its system needs, and solicit proposals from prospective vendors. From there, the utility invited the top three vendors to deliver presentations and demonstrations to an employee project team. Based on an evaluation form and both objective and subjective analysis, Open Text came out on top.
"One of the things that stood out for Open Text was that the records management functions worked in the background with the ability to accommodate the existing file structure. Other solutions added another layer," Simon said. "Open Text also stood out as very easy to use and would result in the least amount of changes for end-users. The project team felt that we wanted to keep as much of the look and feel of what we're currently doing so adoption would be faster and easier."
Other factors that weighed into the decision to select Open Text included integration with Microsoft Office applications, tools for managing confidential information, with a full audit trail, and the ability to place legal holds on documents.
MRES is currently in a pilot phase and plans to have its ECM solution, based on Open Text ECM Suite, Content Lifecycle Management, deployed and in operation by the end of 2011.
About Open Text
Open Text, the preeminent enterprise content management software solutions company, helps organizations manage and gain the true value of their business content. Open Text brings two decades of expertise supporting 100 million users in 114 countries. Working with our customers and partners, we bring together leading Content Experts to help organizations capture and preserve corporate memory, increase brand equity, automate processes, mitigate risk, manage compliance and improve competitiveness. For more information, visit www.opentext.com.
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