Orange, one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications and broadband internet providers, with over 160 million mobile customers and more than 14 million broadband customers, uses the Nuxeo Platform for document management.
Orange manages communication with its enterprise clients through a secure extranet portal. This document-centric extranet handles contracts, invoices, and project documentation, with an emphasis on secure, managed access to well- defined sections of the portal. Because the legacy system was no longer able to manage the growing volumes of documents and simultaneous users, they replaced it with Nuxeo's Document Management module as a backend.
Orange already had a system in place for managing documents and making them accessible to their enterprise clients, with Documentum as a back-end. The problem was essentially success. More large enterprise clients meant more system users, and a growing volume of documents to manage in the repository. The volume grew too big for the existing system, so they had to find a better solution.
"We needed to develop a system that could scale well and manage access rights in a very specific way. Because the system has users from Orange and external users (clients), we needed to be sure that access could be isolated so that one client did not inadvertently see the contract with another client, or have read-write access to internal Orange documents," comments the project manager.
Ms. Brignou managed the development of a solution using Nuxeo Document Management as a backend. One of the main challenges of the project was having a clear understanding of the document sharing process, and mapping that to functional and technical requirements. The system design and development process was an iterative process, in collaboration with the internal users of the system. Updates every two weeks helped ensure that the project was on track to meet the functional requirements of the users.
The process of moving documents to the Extranet was necessarily well orchestrated, because it required security of access for each step along the way. A manager from Orange determines which documents should be accessible on the client Extranet, and which person at Orange manages the process for that topic.
The document sharing system needed to manage access rights for two different groups of internal users, and the external clients. For the internal users, the process of placing documents in the system for client access needed to handle large numbers of documents smoothly and efficiently.
Managing High Volumes
To address the issue of importing large numbers of documents in the system in a single gesture, a drag'n'drop mechanism was set up. The document import to Nuxeo DM takes place in a "Drop Box" belonging to each internal Orange user. This buffer space enables the import of large numbers of documents, without transaction issues. A publication step after the import makes the documents available to external clients.
Security, authentication, and access controls were the most important aspects of the solution. There were two distinct user populations: Orange users and external client users. Some of the Orange users needed read-write access to some of the documents, some needed read-only access. Both internal and external users have access restricted to a specified perimeter.
The Nuxeo Platform offers an advanced and highly configurable access control system that enabled the development of a fine-grained, organization-specific definition of access control policies.
Because of the close collaboration between the project team and the internal end users, when the system was put into production, there was very positive feedback, and an easy transition with high user adoption.
By replacing the legacy solution, based on Documentum, with Nuxeo Document Management, large volumes of documents could be imported and performance issues were eliminated, so that the end users benefit from a much more efficient online application. This translates to higher productivity for the team and better customer satisfaction for the end users.
More Innovations to Come
More innovations are coming in the next version of this document sharing solution, including:
- a mechanism on the extranet for clients to subscribe to an offer, giving them access to all documents in the specific space for that offer
- give external clients the possibility of uploading documents to the system.