Since the implementation of Alfresco, workflows at the school have improved. Now, video producers deposit videos in a folder and clients receive an e-mail prompt from Alfresco to update the metadata. Once a title, description and appropriate tag is added, Alfresco automatically sends the video to a streaming service, Brightcove.
“We saw a fair amount of efficiency in terms of having a central place to deposit and describe content and having rules around engaging with a content management system,” said Cameron.
The next step, Cameron says, is creating sites specifically for each academic area so that faculty can more effectively collaborate with each other.
“They don’t currently have a collaboration space. They don’t have a place to put their research or their course-related assets and sites will help enable that,” she said. The school also plans to integrate Alfresco with Canvas, a new learning management system they are deploying. They are also in the midst of developing a mobile strategy to enable users to quickly upload content into Alfresco as it is being created in the field, as well as a hybrid model that is synched to the bigger repository to provide faculty with a seamless place to put their files.
“In the higher education environment, we have a lot of open source products and we want to build out that connectivity between those different products. Having an open system was important to us,” said Cameron. “Having a tool like Alfresco, where you can go in, manage and meaningfully describe content and create workflows is a big benefit.”
Alfresco Helps the Stanford Graduate School of Business Share Information
The mission of the Stanford Graduate School of Business is to change lives and change the world. The highly ranked school, which offers a business education with a strong entrepreneurial focus, has more than 800 students and an impressive faculty that includes Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
One of the most competitive business schools in the country, the Stanford Graduate School of Business attracts some of the nation’s top students and faculty.
The school is constantly creating, which has resulted in large collections of documents, videos and presentations, but effectively sharing content between business units and managing it in a meaningful way was an ongoing challenge. “The Graduate School of Business had no content management solution,” said Kathleen Cameron, who manages the content analytics team at the business school. “There were shared drives and network drives. We’re a Google shop, so we use a lot of Google Docs and Google Drive.”
The school needed an enterprise content system to manage these assets that were being stored on various personal and shared drives to make them more accessible.
“The primary goal was to create a repository where assets could be shared with individuals and other systems,” said Cameron.
After evaluating several content management solutions, the school chose Alfresco based on its enterprise capabilities, overall compliance, and its open architecture, which would allow the school to build connectivity with other modular parts of its overall architecture.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business currently hosts Alfresco on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which also hosts several other cloud-based applications for the school.
“It was a key requirement for us to have the enterprise edition and have it hosted in the cloud,” Cameron said. “We have other AWS instances and it was a familiar space for us, so it was important for us to be able to have Alfresco and AWS.”
First, the school migrated its extensive syllabus collection, which included 10 years of historical records for its various classes. Most were being stored on a shared drive without descriptions.
The syllabus collection was migrated into Alfresco and descriptions were added to records to improve overall searchability. Once files had been named consistently, metadata such as year, course number, course category and faculty name could be easily extracted. The school was also able to add descriptions to its vast video collection to collect and describe videos in a more meaningful and searchable way.