Thursday, May 12, 2005

Final reports to be available electronically

One "quick win" that we identified was making all our organization's final reports available via the web site. In 2003 we started offering PDF reports, however prior to 2003 all we have are paper documents. Our subscribers would like the convenience of having web access to these reports. These reports are considered our main repository of knowledge.

This has been discussed for years, but keeps getting tabled because of all the potential challenges. When you hear a barrage of questions, it's easy to think that the problem are insurmountable or just not worth the effort.

In order to address this, we're tackling the challenges in a systematic three-prong approach. The first phase, that we just completed, was to define what we need technically and get vendor costs. By getting the technical folks together, OCR with chapter bookmarks for navigation easily emerged as the way to go. The ability of our search engine, Verity, to full-text search OCR documents simplified our conversations.

Phase 2 is just getting started and will involve senior managers. In this phase, we will focus on project management, funding, and other how-to issues. We're proposing a partnership with our sister organization and while it makes sense from a managerial and technical point of view, getting buy-off from two sets of management will be fun.

Our final phase will be to address all the ownership, royalty, and copyright issues. In the past, these were the comments that stalled out this project. I'm hoping that by building the momentum prior to this phase we can push past all the legal hurdles. Am I dreaming ...


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