Alfresco use-case: paperless project for insurance

This article was posted May 2009, but for those who did not read it already, I think it is a very good example of what could be the benefits of implementing Alfresco, and all the typical ECM use-cases for a company (insurance):

Allianz removes walls of paper with open source ECM

It describes the Allianz paperless project (in Australia) and how paper-based processes have been replaced with the Alfresco ECM system.

Here is a synthesis and an extract of the key points:

Some typical use-cases:
– Customer needs ECM (enterprise content management) for functionality that is “more than just storage”.
– Paperless: no more need to copy documents around. Lots of documents can be scanned and then stored in Alfresco where one can find them easily.
– BPM: ECM gives the possibility to control the process of workflow and sign-off.
– “Record management” like feature: ECM system allows document lifecycle management strategy, especially for documents that need to be retained for X years after closure and that have to be kept for compliance reasons.
– OCR is also a big focus because usually a lot of documents are stored, but not necessarily indexed.

As per Allianz, the criterias to choose Alfresco were:
– “key criteria were cost, agility, capability, technology fit, integration options, and functionality.”
– Allianz representative also praised the speed of implementation: “The Alfresco part only took a few weeks, including load testing.” (…) “We have an ECM up and running quickly, our costs are low and have a lot of growth and future.”

Scalability:
– “We went in with 250,000 documents on day one. Alfresco does what it says on the box.
– “Since going live about 12 months ago Allianz now has almost one million documents stored in the ECM system for a total of 500GB of data.”

Costs:
– In terms of purchase cost, Allianz representative was “not allowed to give figures”, but was happy with Alfresco and says it was “a lot less than going down another path”.
– Regarding custom developments: Allianz has two developers working on Alfresco so it doesn’t have a lot of resources on a day-to-day basis and allows them to concentrate on “enhancements, not maintenance”.

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