As one of Europe’s largest beverage producers, this publicly traded company has revenues in excess of £70 million. The client employs more than 1,000 people worldwide in support of their global beverage business.
This large multinational company has more than 600 remote IBM Notes users who generate more than 1,500 save replication errors across 10 databases each week. The replication or save conflicts occur when users in different locations edit the same document at the same time. Further complicating their situation was the number of orphaned documents left behind when a document was deleted that had response documents associated with it. The IT department was spending more than 20 hours each week manually working through the replication conflicts and orphaned documents.
A large number of conflicts could not be resolved because they simply lacked enough relevant information about the changes to make an informed decision on how to fix them. This was becoming a major concern to their auditors, as they were unable to verify that the correct version of a document with the latest changes was the one saved. Since the client is required to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the ability to retain the latest document updates was a crucial compliance requirement. In anticipation of an upcoming audit, addressing this issue was critical to their ultimate success, or lack thereof.
The Teamstudio Solution
As an existing customer, the client turned to Teamstudio in hopes of finding a solution to their problem. After discussing the situation with Teamstudio, it was clear that it would be difficult to introduce an enforceable document management process across their distributed environment that would prevent these problems from occurring. However, it would be possible to introduce Teamstudio Validator to simplify the process of identifying replication conflicts and orphaned documents. Validator would also help them through the resolution process for these documents.
The client installed Validator and asked Teamstudio to provide training on how best to use the product to address their concerns. With Validator, they were able to automate the process of identifying all replication conflicts and orphaned documents before the users of the application reported them. They could then view document changes on a field-by-field basis, so they could make better decisions about which changes were most recent. Finally, they could select which version of the document they wanted to keep, or merge the contents of individual fields from either document.
Although this process would not prevent replication conflicts and orphaned documents from taking place, the client was able to understand a great deal more about the reason for these conflicts and address the issues with the users. Over time, this helped them reduce the number of replication errors that occurred.
As Notes administrators got more familiar with using Validator to identify and resolve document replication errors and orphaned documents, they were able to substantially reduce the amount of time it took to repair conflicted documents and recover orphaned documents. Because they now had relevant information about the documents, they were able to save the latest document versions and elements within those documents. Time spent addressing these issues was reduced from 20 hours each week to 1. The client estimates annual savings for this one task to be nearly £50,000.
The use of Validator within this organization has also allowed the client to address their SOX compliance concerns. By documenting a process that ensures the correct document version and associated elements is saved to the database, they are able to pass regularly conducted audits.
An unanticipated but greatly appreciated consequence of their implementing Validator was the increase in customer satisfaction they realized. In many cases, replication conflicts were fixed before the user knew there was a problem, and orphaned documents could also be recovered quickly, again in many cases before the user knew there was a problem.