Read this article to learn:
- The document management challenges faced by Telia
- How Documaster differs from a conventional hierarchical file structure
- The importance of designing a tagging system fit for purpose
- The ability to integrate into existing asset management system
- Why Telia picked Documaster and what benefits they are already seeing
With an outdated filing system implemented decades ago, and further complicated by a subsequent company acquisition, Telia were looking for a way to bring their document management into the 21st century. Opting for Documaster due to its simplicity and intuitive features, Telia has already began to see results across their operations.
TowerXchange: What problem were you looking to solve? How was your documentation previously managed?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: Before deciding to switch to Documaster, all our site documentation sat either on SharePoint or local file servers. When sharing documentation between internal and external stakeholders we also needed to make use of FTP servers. The functionality of such systems is very limited, and we were looking for a system where we could have a single solution to store documents whilst managing access and versioning.
Over the years, our management of documentation had become untidy, a problem further compounded by the acquisition of a fixed line business which came with its own file structures and documentation. Accessing documents and ensuring that you are using the correct version was a time-consuming and tedious task. For example, if you wanted to find all agreements with a particular landlord, you would have to open files for multiple sites, and identify the right document within each folder. We were looking for a solution that could bring efficiencies to the way that we work, saving man hours and ultimately, cost.
TowerXchange: Can you explain how Documaster works?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: With Documaster, rather than having a traditional file structure, documents are held in a flat structure and shown in a newsfeed, similar to the way that you would see on something like Facebook and LinkedIn. These feeds can be modified and customised by searching for tags and applying filters so that the documents that you are looking for are shown.
All the contents within a document are indexed, pulling data from not only traditional file types like Excel and Word, but also using an OCR [optical character recognition] function so that all pictures and scanned documents are indexed. Searching for a document, or group of documents, within Documaster is much more intuitive, and far superior to using a search function within a conventional file structure. It can take a bit of a mind shift for those used to working within the old filing system, but once that has happened, the benefits can be seen. Plus, for new employees and external contractors it is a much easier system to navigate from day one.
TowerXchange: How do you decide the way in which documents are tagged?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: This is a process that we are going through at the moment. When you’re used to working with conventional folders and hierarchy, it requires a different way of thinking and careful consideration to make sure that the system is fit for purpose and future proofed. It is important not to over complicate the tagging process and Documaster are working closely with us to design this. They can offer recommendations and guidance on what works and what is likely to lead to problems and have worked with a large number of varied customers to inform this guidance. At the moment we’re in touch with the Documaster team pretty much on a daily basis as we go through this process.
TowerXchange: How are you managing the way that documents are migrated – are you transferring everything at once or in stages?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: There are several phases to the migration. Firstly, we are moving documents which should be very public and accessible. The more sensitive documents with differing access levels will be handled in a subsequent phase. When we migrate documents, we usually do a few dry runs to see whether the system works for various different scenarios and then adjust accordingly.
We are also in discussions with Documaster regarding the potential migration of highly sensitive documents which requires a different solution, one where servers are held in secure areas.
TowerXchange: Does Documaster integrate with other platforms that you have in place?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: We are currently building an integration into our site management system, working closely with Documaster to manage this process. Whilst it was possible to integrate documents from SharePoint into this our site management system, the limitations of SharePoint meant that we were not able to meet the full potential of the system. Documents would, for example, need to be held in a certain folder for them to be pulled though to our asset management platform, otherwise you would have to go into lots of different folders to pull out the relevant documentation.
TowerXchange: What functionality is it within Documaster’s system that is the most valuable to you?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: We selected Documaster as their product was what we needed, without a load of extra things that we didn’t need. Other solutions in the market had a lot of extra unnecessary features, but it was Documaster’s stripped back functionality that appealed to us.
TowerXchange: Where are you starting to see big improvements in workflows?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: We are starting to see real benefits in the way that we work with contractors and subcontractors. When working on sites, contractors and subcontractors rely on access to information such as the latest technical specifications to ensure that they are carrying out work as per our requirements. Under the new document management systems, contractors are more easily able to access the information that they need, with the confidence that it is the most up to date version of the document. We have received very positive feedback on how intuitive the system is.
Additionally, when contractor delivers a package of documents, the system will provide a check list that all the mandatory documents have been submitted. If not, the contractor will be notified automatically that there are documents still missing. This eliminates manual checks from our side and improves efficiency.
TowerXchange: Do you think there is anything that you have learned through the switch to Documaster that means you would do things differently if you were to do them again?
Jørgen Eek Aarstad, Manager, Site Infra & Support, Telia: I think we have learned that we need to be more structured, with better routines and process when it comes to creating and managing documentation. Our historical document management structure is complex, and we are spending a lot of time doing spring cleaning. Putting in place the right processes earlier on would have saved a lot of time.