After finding out that support for their existing solution will be discontinued, IP management firm Dennemeyer has set out to find a worthy successor, with less risk. Open source ECM system Sensenet ECM proved to be just the thing.
Luxemburg-based Dennemeyer Group has been around the intellectual property management market for well over 50 years as a full-service provider for organizations willing to protect their inventions. Starting out as a law firm based in the capital city of a small country, the Dennemeyer Group now has offices in different countries around the world, including Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Croatia, France, Great Britain, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan and the United States.
Late 2013, the former system which Dennemeyer used to maintain and search for documents has been pulled off the market. Deriving from its proprietary nature and the fact that the manufacturer has seized to provide further support for the product, the company had to look for a scalable, robust, reliable yet affordable alternative.
Negotiations between Sense/Net Ltd. and Dennemeyer started January 2014, by the creation of a proof of concept and some conference calls with references of the same volume. According to the initial estimation, the goal was to add a couple of million documents to the system, with a few hundred named users managing them. Obviously, the Dennemeyer Group needed to make sure that Sensenet ECM was up for the task.
Having their own, in-house .NET development team, the second step was to organize an official Sensenet ECM training in order to get familiar with the basic concepts of the software and learn how to tackle certain business problems by using the provided building blocks. After the training, we began an intensive, support and consultation-based development phase, during which seasoned Sense/Net professionals made on premise visits to the Dennemeyer Group HQ in Luxemburg to assist in formulating the architecture of the system and sharing best practices learnt along the way. Finally, the two development teams divided the work amongst them to ensure that the migration project meets the deadline set forth by the management.
By late November 2014, Dennemeyer finished the migration of 3 000 000 documents into Sensenet ECM from their previous system, all equipped with the appropriate meta information and linked to the relevant parts of the system. This number grows by a thousand each day, managed by a staff of 60 people – user accounts that were added via AD Synchronization. Thanks to the flexible front end of Sensenet ECM, the UI mimics the one of the previous system, so users do not have to get used to a new user experience from one day to another.
The system itself is used by staff in several countries across various time zones to archive documents related to specific business scenarios in the IP management business, such as archiving client and supplier invoices whereas the materials closely related to the actual IP Rights are stored in an external system, connected to Sensenet ECM. Departments are organized into different workspaces, each with specific permissions. Upload pages are designed to ask for compulsory information with field validation, thus ensuring that all documents are properly tagged. Dependent drop-down menus guarantee that only the relevant fields of a sub-category are shown upon choosing the main one, which speeds up the upload process.
By choosing Sensenet ECM, Dennemeyer did not only ensure the procurement of a robust and flexible solution, but also made sure they will not step in the same trap again. Being open-source and having a network of international Partners, there is no risk of losing support and ending up with an outdated system virtually 0.