Harris County, Texas, is the most populous county in Texas and the third-most populous county in the United States. Houston, the largest city in Texas and fourth-largest city in the United States, is the county seat.
The Need to Manage Electronic Documents Across Agencies
Harris County recognized the need to manage electronic documents and additional digital assets, such as video, in a way that could be adapted across over 80 agencies for 15,000 employees. A complicating factor is that County agencies operate semi-autonomously with widely differing missions and processes.
To address these needs, the County partnered with Access Sciences to speak with representative agencies—from civil administration to tax assessment to law enforcement—to develop a set of requirements thorough enough for and adaptable to the needs of each. This analysis formed the basis of a request for proposal (RFP) that the County was able to use in its search for a system capable of meeting the identified requirements.
Beyond development of the RFP, the County was able to benefit from Access Sciences’ expertise during the product vetting, demonstration, and selection process to select the solution that best fit the County’s widely varied needs.
Reasonable and Comprehensive Process
We employed our understanding of the unique demands of governmental organizations to address the County’s needs and to develop a reasonable, yet comprehensive RFP for an Electronic Document and Digital Asset System, candidate solution identification, performed RFP response analysis, facilitated vendor demonstrations and evaluations, and then selected the solution.
Our straightforward process included:
- Data gathering session facilitation; documenting outcomes and consolidating results into summary reports.
- Data gathering results analysis to better understand business processes throughout the County. Documenting the current state, and the desired state supported the development of specifications and requirements for the selection of a Document and Digital Asset System.
- Creation of an RFP based on a uniform set of requirements. We then worked with the County IT and procurement staff to create an RFP that reflected those requirements and specifications.
- Assisting the County in reviewing the fit of prospective systems with the requirements and processes identified in the first stages of the project. Our team also assisted in facilitating vendor selection demos and creating an objectively weighted scoring rubric for the submissions.
- Identified business process to translate into the scope of work for the pilot launch of system implementation. The County needed our help in translating the business requirements of the pilot department into technical and functional requirements for the vendor.
- During the demonstration / presentation process, we provided support for validating vendor claims, presenting questions and points of clarification where necessary, and translating the technical specifications into a questionnaire for proposers. Access Sciences and County resources worked closely as a team to ensure that the specifications met the understood needs of as many County agencies as possible.
- After the solution was selected, we produced a conceptual hardware and software business design solution that supported development of a model solution architecture.
- Using the model solution architecture as a basis, the project team developed a cost analysis that reflected the ECM solution, configuration, and integration requirements and identified typical negotiated costs for the hardware, software, and labor to meet the requirements.
- Finally, the Access Sciences team developed an implementation plan for subsequent phases.
Best Solution to Support Needs of the County
Harris County was able to leverage the knowledge and experiences of Access Sciences to develop and vet comprehensive ECM requirements that represent the needs of a broad cross section of County agencies, develop an RFP that reflected those requirements, and facilitate the vendor / product vetting and selection process. In the end, the County selected a solution that best supports its needs, both now and into the future.