Cochlear's edge in agile information governance
Cochlear Limited is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions distributed worldwide for people of all ages and with different types of hearing loss. Headquartered in Sydney, with more than 100 research partners in 20 countries and state-of-the-art advanced research and manufacturing facilities, Cochlear has 2700 employees and over $500 million invested in R&D over the past five years.
The company’s pursuit of operational excellence depends in large part on using information effectively. With an estimated 50 million digital files - a digital warehouse that is ever-expanding - Cochlear identified as a major objective the need to achieve a consistent and smooth flow of information throughout its business processes.
“As we examined our business processes, it became obvious that the biggest constraint to becoming more efficient and more operationally effective is the need to get our information off paper and off share drives - into a controlled and truly global repository. We needed to move to a digital paradigm,” said Cochlear Information Architect Mark Cotterell.
Cochlear launched an enterprise content management (ECM) initiative across its organisation as the foundation of the transition to an agile 21st-century information governance strategy. The result was the implementation of OpenText’s Content Suite, a set of ECM technologies including a platform to unite capture, document and records management, workflow, search and archiving as well as applications and add-ons such as email, eDiscovery, auto-classification, contract management and engineering document management.
“We see OpenText Content Suite as a great - and truly global - solution that gives us a roadmap that will take us into the future,” said Cotterell. “It’s the foundation platform for Cochlear to build on business processes and manage them in more sophisticated ways. Content Suite is becoming part of the ecosystem within our company; for example, we can actually link it into Oracle and our customer relationship systems - so we are truly getting the optimal value from our information.
“The ability to manage the entire life cycle of information is absolutely key to our operational effectiveness and efficiency. We are great at creating information but the problem is we have trouble finding it, we don’t archive it and we don’t delete it. When we looked at the costs of that it was horrendous. For Cochlear, like most organisations, the growth of data is actually exponential - with a cost profile to match. Content Suite gives us robust, defendable and efficient information life cycle management.”
Through Content Suite, Cochlear has created a ‘one-stop shop’ global repository for all documents within its complex and highly regulated quality management system. All documents and evidence related to business processes, policy procedures and work instructions are visible, auditable and can be easily accessed from any point in the globe.
“Content Suite has enabled us to move away from a traditional folder system - structured along organisational lines so still siloed - to a truly global and intuitive framework. We now have staff sharing their knowledge and collaborating across the globe and across departments. Even the approval and publishing stages are fully digitised,” said Cotterell.
“We are a highly regulated business where compliance, discovery, transparency and the absolute integrity of information are paramount,” added Cotterell. “Yet of course we need to do all this within lean and efficient operations. It can be a tough balance - enabling us to achieve that is the beauty of enterprise content management.”
Phone: 02 9026 3400
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