Alfresco Creates Critical Content Foundation For The Howard County Health Department

Based in Columbia, Maryland, the Howard County Health Department is

dedicated to promote, preserve and protect the health of all Howard County

residents through quality and client-centered health services, evidence-based

public health advocacy and outreach, strong policies and partnerships, and a

dedicated and effective public health workforce.


As a government agency, the Howard County Health Department is governed

by regulatory standards and retention schedules that require it to keep official

documents for many years – sometimes for life.

This resulted in a lot of paper files stored in off-site warehouse facilities. To

find a specific piece of content, employees had to physically visit the filing

room and manually search for the file.

Health Department employees were creating content either locally or on

shared drives and security provisions on these drives prevented others from

finding the content they needed. As a result, departments could not share data

or collaborate on content on their own without requiring IT (Information

Technology) assistance.

A few years ago, the department began looking for ways to digitize all of its

data. It needed a foundation for content creation, as well as a way to manage

the content it already had, with all content centralized in one location.

“We needed a better way to find content and create it in the right location so

others can find it in the organization as well,” said Kayin Carroll, Howard

County Health Department’s IT Director.


The agency needed a flexible, out of the box solution with existing metadata

fields that wouldn’t require a lot of development time to customize.

After evaluating several solutions, the agency chose Alfresco One as its

document management solution because of Alfresco’s open architecture and

multiple use cases in the government sector. They also partnered with

Alfresco’s Platinum Partner Micro Strategies to take advantage of their

Microsoft Office Integration Solution, which combines the ease of use and

familiarity of working in Microsoft Office applications and the power of Alfresco

One to provide the agency with the necessary tools to secure digital content.

“We had a lot of content that needed to be scanned and wanted a web-based solution

that wouldn’t require a lot of customization or complicated licensing,” said Carroll.

“Alfresco far exceeded any other solution out there and allows us to make some

customizations on our own, which keeps our costs down.”


Today, with the help of Alfresco’s Platinum Partner Micro Strategies, the Howard County

Health Department has rolled out Alfresco to its human resources department. The

solution is also integrated with Microsoft Office through Alfresco’s Outlook Integration that

allows users to access the Alfresco document library directly from within Microsoft


The agency’s transportation, public information, health policy analysts and

fiscal department will begin using Alfresco later this year. Employees will

receive training about how to use the solution in their department as the

metadata changes for each use case, Carroll said.

“Alfresco will be our foundation for all content creation,” said Carroll. “All

documents and e-mail created by employees are transferred to, or created

within Alfresco. Any time content is created; it’s done in Alfresco. It is a

business critical solution that is being used for every process, every day.”

In Human Resources, between 200-300 pages of content are created

each month and archived in Alfresco. Once the rollout is complete,

the agency expects to have around 200 users accessing Alfresco.

So far, users have been very happy with the platform’s design and

functionality, Carroll said.

“Alfresco enables employees to create content anywhere, anytime, but also

provides a level of intelligence to help us find content and track that content,” said Carroll.

“The solution really makes our life easier and allows us to find what we need very quickly,

which saves the County both time and money.”