Setting new standards in document management.

About NATO

For the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), standardization and data exchange are the keys to improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness – and very often NATO acts as a forerunner for its member states. Together with Logica, now part of CGI, NATO is now setting new standards in document management for the transfer of expertise. The new system – used as a "core ser­vice" – is now putting part of NATO's long-term knowledge management strategy into actual practice. Within the context of a service-oriented architecture (SOA), the main information systems can now utilize the system, for storing documents, for example.

The challenge

Highly complex organizational structures, strict security requirements and a high turnover of personnel used to hinder the exchange of information and knowledge within the organization. Member states usually delegate staff for a period of three years. Their data is generally stored on local file servers. In order to reliably evaluate documents NATO-wide with minimal effort – and in accordance with internal regulations – we have created a multi-site Document Handling System (DHS).

Our answer

We designed, planned and developed the entire system. The global IT and consultancy services supplier also carried out the NATO-wide roll-out, including employee support and training. An international team of around 20 specialists was on hand to ensure the success of the project – and the security of NATO's IT investment.

Our partners provided additional expertise: HP provided the hardware configuration and installation and Microsoft supported the architecture development. Our subsidiary, Integrata Training, designed and implemented all the training programs, including computer-based training. Thanks to their experience in large projects and docu­ment management, our experts know all the essential success factors for DHS. That is why the emphasis was on quality during project planning and execution – and on a high level of user acceptance. DHS is one of the first NATO multi-site IT systems. This means that over 25,000 civilian and military personnel in Europe, Turkey and the USA can work – with our solution – in the closed NATO "Secret Network" spanning 23 sites.

  • Design and development: In tightly meshed communication and coordination processes, uniform workflows can now be defined for document management and for both functional and efficiency requirements – enter­prise-wide. NATO document release and signature procedures, for instance, are signature procedures, for instance, are fully supported. The granting of access rights in the system is extremely strict. Documents with a high security classification are simply not displayed – not even in a list of search results. The DHS' search procedure uses metadata and full text. Total integration with Microsoft Office facilitates further document processing.
  • Implementation: We carefully prepared the roll-out at each site by means of comprehensive site surveys. An installation package was then created within the "Tailoring" framework – customized for every site's indi­vidual organizational structure and access rights requirements. We tested this package in a pre-implemen­tation procedure before every roll-out.
  • Data migration: Within the framework of "Back Publishing", documents to be migrated were classified and flagged with the necessary metadata. Our "Back Publishing Expert" supported NATO personnel in document migration procedures – and uploaded thousands of documents on site.
  • Training: At the same time as the rollout, IT managers, power users (functional admins) and users received intensive training at every site. A computer-based training application was also made available later. During the entire roll-out phase, we provided support for NATO users and administrators through a Help Desk, created especially for the project.
  • Productive phase: From the time the system is accessed, users can immediately find their documents in auto­matically created document libraries and can work productively and efficiently. All new metadata is inserted into documents automatically where possible

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