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Case Study: Meeting Regulations While Benefiting the Business—Evergreen Investments’ InvestNet

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Evergreen Investments, the assets management division of Wachovia Bank, has offered clients sound investment strategies for seventy years. Such longevity is no accident. The company has maintained its edge by keeping up with the times, even as the times have changed swiftly. These days, Evergreen is the twentieth largest mutual fund company, with over $300 billion in assets under management for both individual and institutional investors.

Recently, Evergreen faced a major challenge. A number of corporate audit and compliance mandates required a platform overhaul of InvestNet, Evergreen’s intranet. This meant adopting a content management system that could, among other things, create an audit trail of any changes made to documents. Though the Evergreen IT team was already using Documentum to manage content elsewhere in the enterprise, it had not integrated Web Publisher™ into the InvestNet system. Enter Blue Fish – brought in to make the transition painless.

Christine Weaver, Web Site Manager for Evergreen, admits she initially had reservations about what the migration to Web Publisher would entail. “We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to maintain the integrity of our business process and that we would be too dependent on the IT team,” she says.

She and other Evergreen team members flew in to meet with the Blue Fish team in Austin. Their early apprehension was eased some by the knowledge that Andrew Blake, Evergreen’s VP of Technology, had worked successfully with Blue Fish in the past. “Blue Fish has very strong Documentum expertise, but also a great team-oriented approach,” explained Blake. However, unlike Blake, Weaver is not an IT professional and had no knowledge of Web Publisher and its capabilities. She steeled herself for a meeting that would be focused only on the technology aspect of the project.

Blue Fish Practice Manager Bryant Bonner and his team quickly allayed Weaver’s fears. “They were able to understand our business and identify solutions to help us maintain our established processes. They even suggested enhancements that are now possible using customizations available in Web Publisher,” says Weaver. “Going in, we were apprehensive about migrating to Web Publisher, but we left looking forward to the change.”

Those great feelings had to segue to great actions. Bonner had a solid list of goals ready to go. Blue Fish would integrate Documentum Web Publisher to both streamline the publishing process and allow for the mandated audit trail. The process needed to be seamless, leverage existing technology, and be completed under a super tight deadline.

Leveraging the Blue Fish Navigation Manager™ and DIXI™ products to enhance the navigation experience and ease the migration process, the Blue Fish team provided iterative delivery and constant feedback to the Evergreen team. “We wanted early involvement and ownership by the business users,” says Bonner. Optimal results meant creating a platform the business side could use without ongoing calls for IT support. To make this happen, Blue Fish used a combination of hands-on and Web-based training – especially helpful given the geographic spread of the team members.

“A lot of the solution was based on making Documentum more user-friendly,” says Lisa Hill, Solution Architect for Blue Fish. Customizing Web Publisher greatly aided this process, allowing different user groups to meet specific publishing needs and, as needed, to share content via multiple portals without having to upload the same document repeatedly.

“We created a collection of content portals, not just site sections, which is what they had been using,” says Hill. “We wanted to feed specific audiences into targeted areas, and have them only interact where they belong.” To address this, the system tracked which documents each user could access.

Before the upgrade, the site was manually maintained, making it a challenge to update large amounts of content simultaneously. It also lacked a tracking system necessary to adhere to audit requirements. This meant that Evergreen had over 8000 documents that were difficult to update with no means of audit reporting. All that changed dramatically with the new system.

“InvestNet is now a dynamic site with dynamic navigation – everything can be updated quickly and easily, using templates instead of HTML, without sacrificing site security,” says Hill.

The switch from HTML to templates means a lot more self-reliance for content authors and those responsible for uploads. Prior to the switch, the team had to rely on one Web designer to code content. “Now other members of the team can build pages and maintain navigation through templates,” says Weaver.

Invisibility proved another benefit. Though change is necessary and people adapt, in this case, Evergreen could migrate to the Web Publisher content management system without inciting needless anxiety among our site visitors. “The user experience was seamless,” says Weaver. “They had no idea we upgraded.”

The Evergreen team came away more than a little impressed by their experience with Blue Fish. According to Blake, “They identified our business requirements and delivered a customized solution within a tight timeframe. We now have a sound, robust content management system.”

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