Collaborative Business Administration and Records Management at City of Zug

Business administration and records management imply high requirements for IT and are demanding tasks for the user. A city government's decisions must be thorougly made since they have a big impact on people and organizations.

Business management is mainly collaboration. MatchPoint is the heart of our collaboration platform and facilitates our processes.
— Daniel Truttmann, Head of IT, City of Zug

The City of Zug is the first Swiss city administration having implemented a purely digital decision making process for its city council. The MatchPoint-based case management solution covers every activity from the electronic inbox to the digital signature of the final decision document. With this end-to-end SharePoint implementation, Zug offers a very intuitive solution to its users, enables councillors to adopt a modern workstyle and opens the process for remote and mobile collaboration.

 

Challenge

The administration of a city constitutes high demands to associates and to IT solutions. In the city council und big local council of the business location Zug, important business is dealt with and decisions can have a far-reaching impact. Until an issue is actually dealt with by the city council of Zug it has already gone through several stages. In the process many manual steps were necessary and the same information had to be captured several times in different systems. Furthermore, the processes were mainly managed by email, which led to redundancies and unequal levels of information among the involved parties.

The demand for a new solution existed that would be able to on the one hand make the knowledge in the business documents more accessible and on the other hand enable the business administration and its processes to be organized more efficiently and flexibly. In addition, came a vision to not only realize an isolated application for the city council’s businesses, but to lay the foundation for a platform that could also be used by other businesses in the city’s administration. The plan was to set up a collaboration service that would centrally be provided by the IT for the different divisions. Daniel Truttmann, IT manager of the city Zug: “From the connection of different information on a common platform comes big convenience, which contributes to the rise of efficiency in the processes.”

 

Many different divisions, one goal

Indeed, every division of the city administration works for itself, but it is still all about a collective matter. And there are always the same criteria that are important in the information administration of a city: citizens, companies, buildings, streets, public facilities, finances, the organization of the city administration itself. It quickly became clear that these master data had to be the foundation pillar on which the new platform was built on. The decision ultimately was made for MatchPoint, which aims for a collaborative, model-based approach that not only juggles the city council businesses, but also all the other businesses of the city, the administration of dossiers, projects and other document-centric processes.

The secret of Matchpoint is the fully automatized classification of all information with metadata, the so-called tags. Documents, emails, tasks, meetings etc. are connected to the master data according to business-relevant criteria. The distribution of metadata is managed by a metadata model in which all metadata is centrally available. With the help of the tags the otherwise incoherent information is connected independent of its storage location or dossier structure. A n-dimensional cube is created from which any kind of view of the business information can be constituted and displayed anywhere in Sharepoint – therefore also beyond the actual business administration, for example in the intranet in combination with other information. Metadata can also be used for a search.

 

Complete vision, improved productivity

Businesses may be different in detail, say in the metadata that is administered, but not essentially. Because businesses aren’t essentially different than projects or other case-based applications and Sharepoint can administer any information, it is Matchpoint that fulfills the vision of a collective platform for unstructured data that can be completely categorized with tags. “With the new solution it will be possible for Zug to display all documents, which exist in different divisions of administration for a certain matter, with one single click, because they are assigned to their matter with tags”, says Truttmann.

The completely tagged businesses, dossiers, documents, tasks and meetings are also the foundation for the electronic support of the processes. “Business administration is a collaborative process that is mainly based on the cooperation of individuals and less on a mechanical process. With a workflow you aren’t able to display that correctly”, says Truttman. “Thanks to the metadata with which we can manage the business status, we can at any time provide any user with the information he/she needs to complete his/her tasks.” Workflows are only implemented selectively, for example to release documents in an understandable way. This approach converts workflows to flexible, reusable components that can be realized in a quick and cheap way.