Success Story – Waterloo North Hydro

Success Story – Waterloo North Hydro2018-03-09T16:34:03+00:00
Company: Waterloo North Hydro
Industry: Hydro Electric Distribution
Country: Canada
Use Cases: Records Management, Document Management


• 95% reduction in the time required to complete records-related tasks
• Launched solution in under 2.5 months
• Delivered on time and under budget
• Automated the Record Destruction Management process
• Reduction in email volume and storage due to email archiving to DOCOVA
• Platform expanded beyond initial use, resulting in cost savings due to:
• Elimination of license costs
• Time for application development compressed
• Streamlined training and deployment process
• The DOCOVA Technical Support team went 'above and beyond' Waterloo North Hydro's expectations
• Waterloo North Hydro is extremely satisfied with the final solution


Like many regulated sectors, formal control over corporate records is a necessity. With regulations and legislation changing frequently, systems must be adaptive and flexible. Errors and missteps in collection, retention, versioning and destruction of documents and records can result in unnecessary potential financial and regulatory risks. For example, the destruction of records too early may lead to regulatory fines and compliance issues, retaining records longer than required can present an unnecessary increase in cost to manage records.

Waterloo North Hydro managed their paper-based records and documents using an in-house software solution developed in 2005. Over time Waterloo North Hydro outgrew the system as it became slow, failed to keep pace with the needs of Record Managers, and system administration became a burden. Due to the increase in data volumes, system performance declined, resulting in basic record entry tasks taking too long to complete. Managing retention schedules for items such as Expiring Contracts was a manual process resulting in lost productivity. Making enhancements to the current system became impractical and difficult for administrators and developers. This culminated into a scenario that presented an unpleasant experience and low productivity environment for everyone involved. In summary, the original solution was ready for an upgrade or outright replacement.


A small cross-functional team was put in place to research and recommend a new Records and Information Management solution for the Utility. The team's initial challenge was to understand 'what was required' in order to take their concept of Records and Information Management forward within Waterloo North Hydro.

Like many organizations in today's volatile economic climate, Waterloo North Hydro had a focused and finite IT budget. The team didn't have the appetite to spend a large portion of their budget to experiment and educate themselves on creating the new Records and Information Management solution. This meant looking to existing commercially available products. Once again the issue of a finite budget came into play by eliminating many traditional enterprise specific products due to the high cost and time to implement. The potential pool of software vendors shrank quickly. Waterloo North Hydro needed to start small and start now to determine the best course of action for their new Records and Information Management solution.

To start immediately and get employees embracing the new Records and Information Management approach, DOCOVA® ECM was selected for an initial proof of concept. DOCOVA contained the core components for the new Records and Information Management platform, including several enhancements for automating the record lifecycle 'right out of the box'. For Waterloo North Hydro, DOCOVA appealed to them because:
• Administrative and development skills were already in-house
• DOCOVA's flexibility as a Content Platform for Business Applications created the opportunity for reuse
• High value to cost ratio
• Fast and easy to customize, develop and implement
• Out of the box functionality provided a strong, stable starting point to rapidly build upon

DOCOVA quickly proved its viability as the new Records and Information Management platform for Waterloo North Hydro. DOCOVA introduced business process logic absent from the old system. The business logic is applied to specific record types, with an automated year-end process added to simplify the destruction of records. These two immediate enhancements have dramatically reduced the time to complete various Records and Information Management processes and tasks.

The records project team quickly developed the initial Records and Information Management processes and structure in DOCOVA. DOCOVA's intuitive user experience is the necessary enabler Waterloo North Hydro needed for its employees to embrace and accept the new solution. Employees quickly got on board regarding the importance of properly managing records, enabling the records project team to continually adapt the processes and system as needed.

The monitoring and tracking of expiry dates for legal contracts and agreements has been automated, thus ensuring that managers don't miss a pending expiry date. This assurance means contracts are either cancelled or renewed on-time, thus avoiding any potential financial penalties or unnecessary risks.

Another risk that has been mitigated with DOCOVA is the management of emails that are considered to be records. DOCOVA's unique ability to maintain the full structure of the email message (and associated attachments) improves the overall integrity of the Records and Information Management system. This also reduces the volume of the same attachments within the email system, thus further improving the integrity of the system as emails and attachments are aligned with the record destruction policies.

It is an understatement to say that Waterloo North Hydro is thrilled with DOCOVA. Waterloo North Hydro rapidly phased out the old system and launched the new approach based on DOCOVA in a mere two and a half (2½) months. Performance instantly improved as a result of the change.

With DOCOVA, the time required to complete records-related tasks has decreased by 95%. Productivity has improved, in part due to the ease of use, automation enhancements included in the base rollout, and employees embracing of DOCOVA. The operational risks associated with the old system have been eliminated, reduced or mitigated.

Finally, the expedient timeframe to implement and deploy the new solution would not have been possible without the exceptional support from the DOCOVA Technical Team and the dedication of the Waterloo North Hydro project team. Waterloo North Hydro continues to be impressed by the comprehensive quality, speed of response and professionalism of the support provided. The DOCOVA Technical Team has participated with the Waterloo North Hydro project team to resolve any challenge with an engaging, hands-on approach.

What's Next?

The project team achieved quick success by improving productivity and mitigating risks. As a result, the culture started to change. The initial departments using DOCOVA wanted more, requesting additional applications using DOCOVA. The project team even received requests for DOCOVA from outside the initial group of departments.

DOCOVA easily scaled beyond the core Records and Information Management requirement to enable additional business process applications. Since employees are already familiar with and enjoy the DOCOVA user experience, adoption is quick for these new applications on DOCOVA. I.T. is viewed as the enabler for worker productivity. Employees are satisfied because DOCOVA handles all the manual, tedious work for them. DOCOVA expansion across multiple departments now includes managing:
• Legal Contracts and Agreements
• Policies and Procedures
• Incident Reporting
• Vendor Invoices
• Inventory item specifications
• Inventory item Vendor Information
• Construction and Work Order Details

The flexibility and reusability of DOCOVA continues to drive down the cost of acquiring and developing new business process applications. The continual ROI makes 'Do More with Less' possible within the I.T. budget. Leveraging DOCOVA as a content platform for business applications reduces or eliminates many of the common technology costs associated with business applications:
• Minimal time and costs for training and deployment since the user experience is common
• Time to develop new applications is compressed resulting in lower costs
• No additional license costs
• No need to spend time managing seat license compliance
• Reusable functionality can be redeployed into other applications
• No additional server hardware required
• No need to retain 'a small army of consultants' to develop each application

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