October 2016

Frankie shows Customer Service Officers how to deliver in Wollongong

iPLATINUM was a gold sponsor of the National Local Government Customer Service Network Annual Conference 2016 held at the Novotel, Wollongong from the 19th to 21st October 2016.

The attendees, many of whom are already iFerret customers, embraced the opportunity to better understand how iFerret could assist their organisations, with a specific focus on information access during transition as brought about by amalgamations.

iPLATINUM was pleased to sponsor “The Customer Service Team of the Year Award” where Northern Beaches Council achieved the top honour.

A big thank you goes out to Brendan Scott from the newly created Georges River Council who presented a case study on how iFerret has assisted the former Hurstville to achieve huge efficiencies in information access and management. Brendan also discussed how iFerret would assist Georges River stay on top of information requests during their transition stage to amalgamation of corporate systems.

Thank you to all the attendees of the event who took a keen interest in how iFerret could assist them to better serve their customers.

Awards on stage Customer service team of the year Kath and Kim dancing


August 2016

iFerret features in the Rust Report Issue #32, August 15, 2016

 Rust Report Logo

The iFerret search and discovery solution developed by iiPLATINUM is now installed at 37 councils across Australia and New Zealand and is becoming widely recognised as the defacto standard search facility for Local Government. Whilst there are many features that elevate iFerret above other search technologies (as proven in recent evaluations), the main differentiator for iFerret in Local Government is the installation approach developed by iPLATINUM...

Download and read the full article on page 6 from here


July 2016

July 2016 - iFerret Update

Welcome to the July 2016 edition of the iFerret Update. iFerret continues to spark the interest of organisations wanting to give their staff efficient and simple access to corporate information thus enabling better service to their customers.

iFerret is also now being seen as a critical tool as New South Wales Councils face pending amalgamation and reform. iFerret will ensure they will have easy access to information across the new entity.

In this edition we cover a customer case study, user workshop, reform, new customers, and upcoming events. We hope you enjoy this edition of the iFerret Update.

Download the full article from here


April 2016

iFerret Customers Gather to Share Good News

The latest iFerret User Workshop was held at Manly Surf Pavilion on 14th April 2016 where customers gathered to share their success stories and learn how to get more out of the iFerret Solution.

The session was attended by representatives from Pittwater Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Gosford City Council, Manly Council, Hurstville City Council, Canterbury City Council, North Sydney Council and Warringah Council.

iPLATINUM provided sessions on features, usage techniques, new functionality and reform opportunities whilst informative case studies were provided by David Thomson and Brendan Scott from Hurstville City Council and Jane Kercher from Pittwater Council.

Thank you to all councils who participated in this event and special thanks to Henry Wong and Nathan Rogers from Manly Council for hosting the day at such an iconic location.

iFerret User Workshop 2016

iFerret Revs Up at Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour City Council, host of Rally Australia, the annual Australian leg of the FIA World Rally Championship also entered the fast lane for the search and retrieval of corporate information when it recently went live with the iFerret solution from iPLATINUM.

Coffs join a rapidly expanding local government customer base who are now able to easily find corporate information in seconds, as opposed to spending hours searching through corporate systems, email and network drives.

The Coffs Harbour Ferret was presented to Steve McGrath, General Manager – Coffs Harbour City Council and Andrew Beswick, Director Business Services – Coffs Harbour City Council by Trevor Wilson and Mike Preedy from iPLATINUM at the recent LGE Conference held at Coffs Harbour.

LGEC Coffs Harbour 2016


January 2016

January 2016 - iFerret Update

Welcome to the January 2016 edition of the iFerret Update. iFerret continues to spark the interest of organisations wanting to give their staff efficient and simple access to corporate information thus enabling better service to their customers.

iFerret is also now being seen as a critical tool as New South Wales Councils face pending amalgamation and reform. iFerret will ensure they will have easy access to information across the new entity.

In this edition we cover upgrades and new features, training, reform, new customers, and upcoming events. We hope you enjoy this edition of the iFerret Update.

Download the full article from here


December 2015

iFerret providing dramatic transformation for local councils using latest technology

LG Focus

Whilst there are many features that elevate iFerret above other search technologies (as proven in recent evaluations), the main differentiator for iFerret in Local Government is the installation approach developed by iPLATINUM. iFerret is installed as an appliance “turnkey” solution which means there is minimal effort required on behalf of council staff and the solution can be made operational in months, unlike many tool boxes that often take years to install without ultimately achieving the desired outcomes.

The value proposition developed by many councils is a pretty simple one, iFerret enables any staff member to find any piece of information (security permitting) quickly and efficiently without having to understand the complexity of their corporate systems, office products or network structures. Some councils have reported time savings of 2.5hours per employee per week. When you multiply these numbers across a councils’ workforce the time and cost savings become very compelling.

Whilst in its simplest form iFerret is a wonderful search solution, iPLATINUM has provided customised features to specifically address the requirements of local councils. This includes the automatic electronic packaging of information for Freedom of Information (FOI) and Government Information Public Access (GIPA) purposes, optical character recognition (searching on scanned documents), reporting to easily identify copies and duplicates and standard connectors for the commonly used systems in Local Government.


 

October 2015

Customer Service Officers embrace Frankie on the Gold Coast

NLGCSN Award Presentation NLGCSN Group photo

iPLATINUM was a sponsor of the National Local Government Customer Service Network Annual Conference 2015 held at the Crown Plaza Gold Coast from the 13th to 15th October 2015.

The delegates seized the opportunity to understand how iFerret could help them provide a higher level of service to their customers by providing quick and easy access to information when needed.

iPLATINUM was pleased to sponsor “The Customer Focus Innovation Award” where Albury City Council and Hurstville City Council received the honour of being “Highly Commended”. We would like to congratulate Warringah Council who were judged the winners in this category.

iPLATINUM would also like to thank Margaret Le for the presentation she did on innovation which highlighted the benefits iFerret is delivering to Hurstville City Council.

Thank you to all the customer service officers who seized this opportunity to learn more about iFerret and we look forward to seeing you at next years’ conference in Wollongong.


 

September 2015

Records Managers see the benefits of iFerret at INFORUM 2015

inforum award inforum stand

iPLATINUM was a sponsor of the INFORUM 2015 Annual Conference held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from the 30th August to 2nd September 2015. We were overwhelmed with the interest in iFerret and it seems most records managers clearly see the benefits of a single point of access to all corporate information, regardless of where it resides.

The resident iPLATINUM Ferret “Frankie” was so popular iPLATINUM won the People’s Choice Award for the best themed stand at the conference.

Thank you to all the records managers who visited our stand and we look forward to seeing you again at next years’ event in Perth.


 

4 September 2015

Ipswich Council becomes the first Queensland user of iFerret

City of Ipswich Council logoIpswich City Council is the first user in Queensland of iPLATINUM’s enterprise search solution for local government, iFerret.

While Queensland’s oldest provincial city has been making a name for itself - as one of the world’s top 7 most intelligent communities for the way it is mapping out its digital future - its Council was facing more prosaic information systems challenges.

These challenges include the search of information assets across multiple corporate systems and network drives to assist with “Right to Information” (RTI) requests, identification of data quality issues (such as duplicate documents) in information assets which had to be addressed prior to introduction of a new EDRMS system and the need to provide a single view of each customer across multiple customer systems.

Cr Paul Tully, chair of the Council’s Information and Technology Board, said “after an extensive evaluation of solutions, including global brands, locally developed iFerret was chosen as the best option for the Council to undertake structured and unstructured searches of its various information repositories.”

The pilot project undertaken at Ipswich Council required iFerret to:

  • confirm the consistency and relevance of the search results it generated
  • provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of data available in Council’s applications
  • assess the quality of data stored in key repositories
  • assess search effectiveness and efficiency
  • identify organisational impacts of implementing an enterprise search solution

iFerret is now enabling documents to be located in a matter of seconds, when previously they may not have been found or it would have taken a long time to find them.

As part of its assessment Council looked at the use of conventional search engines, only to conclude they were not as feature-rich as iFerret and that they were much more expensive.

Cr Tully identified that “improved access to documents, improved information on data quality in current systems and the ability to identify duplicate documents, underscored by major time savings, already lead a list of benefits starting to flow at Ipswich.”
Ipswich brings to 30 the number of Councils across Australia using iFerret.


download pdf iconiFerret is winning friends everywhere for the benefits it is bringing to local government . Download our iFerret newsletter and read about the new version of iFerret, our training courses and new customers.


iPLATINUM is pleased to introduce the following new iFerret customers for the quarter to June 30 2015 - Tamworth City Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Maitland City Council, Kempsey Shire Council, Hurstville City Council and Kingston City Council.

Tamworth Regional Council logo
Coffs Harbour City Council logo
Maitland City Council logo
Kempsey Shire Council logo
Hurstville City Council logo
 

September 10, 2013

Purpose-built search engine helps ferret out the facts to ensure good corporate governance at NSW Council

The ability of a purpose-built search engine to find and deliver an electronic “package” of documents to meet a range of information needs is proving to be the icing on the corporate governance cake for one of NSW’s oldest councils.

Randwick Council in suburban Sydney got its first taste of the productivity benefits of streamlined search technology when, in 2008, it became one of the first councils to adopt iPlatinum’s WebWombat, a purpose-built search engine for local government.

But this raised a major question: once the information was located in any of a number of data repositories how could it be collated in a readily accessible electronic format to be made available to those who needed it for such things as formalised GIPA and subpoena or court-related requests.

It followed therefore when iPlatinum recently introduced iFerret, the successor to WebWombat, that Randwick was keen to see if it could secure further productivity gains in the area of corporate governance.

The Council’s Manager Administrative Services, David Kelly explains.

“They are not uncommon problems reported to any council call centres: the damaged footpath which results in someone falling and sustaining an injury or a tree in a public space that drops a large limb and damages private property.

“If such incidents are consequential enough they will set in train a search for information stored across numerous data repositories. That information may be required to satisfy insurance claims, assemble the facts for subpoenas in judicial proceedings or in some instances, respond to Government Information (Public Access) information requests.

“It’s information to help ensure good corporate governance,” Mr. Kelly says.

iFerret has not only solved a number of problems previously identified by Randwick in locating all relevant information but a new function is delivering far greater productivity. The Managed Results Set enables the user to prepare a “package” of documents in an electronic form to address such things as formalised GIPA and subpoena or court-related requests. The solution allows the creation of a narrative for the document package, as well as the ability to store the result electronically for future reference.

Randwick’s Access to Information officer, Gina Garios, says a typical example of the use of iFerret is one related to an insurance claim for an injury sustained when a shopper tripped on damaged pavement in a retail precinct. This incident resulted in more than 120 files comprising PDF, TIF and JPGs of images and documents produced for use within the Council as well as with external parties.

Council insurance officer Stacey Jeffries said of the claim related to the damaged footpath “it took between two and three hours to search through everything related to the footpath on the particular road so I could be sure I captured all relevant documents.

“For insurance purposes however, the real benefit of doing this kind of search comes with use of the Managed Result Set. It means that all documents can be placed into a folder and then quickly sent to the relevant parties, either legal advisors or insurers,” she said.

Previously staff would have had to undertake separate searches across four separate Council applications but they would still be unable to see documents located on public network drives or in the Council’s email system.

Today iFerret is deployed to search across Randwick’s TRIM document management system, PATHWAY land information system, customer request management system as well as email applications and its network environment.

iPlatinum managing director Trevor Wilson says iFerret represents a quantum improvement in search technology because of functions such as OCR support, synonyms, duplicate documents recognition and user configurations of ’administrator’ and ‘super user’.


 

November 20, 2012

New search engine for local government ferrets out hidden information

New Australian-developed search engine technology for local government is giving the staff of Lake Macquarie City Council on the NSW central coast a big edge in delivering great customer service.

iFerret Enterprise Search technology is enabling Lake Macquarie staff to better understand a given situation about a customer, a property or a Council asset and make correct and timely decisions and achieve superior outcomes.

So it is that the Council’s decision to implement the technology developed by local government specialist iPlatinum has been vindicated many times over.

iFerret gives local government staff the ability to locate and retrieve information that might otherwise remain hidden in databases, networks and document management systems. It does so using simple search methods and filtering techniques.
Seventeen staff in a pilot scheme that preceded the Council-wide roll-out of iFerret were saving an average of more than 2 hours a week searching for information across the Council’s digital assets including records management and email systems.

Today iFerret is dramatically increasing the speed with which staff find and deliver information in response to both internal and external enquiries.

Mark Piper, Lake Macquarie’s corporate information manager said iFerret appealed to the Council because it knew it was not making full use of the information it held due to separate information repositories and that metadata was inconsistent.

Meanwhile customers were expecting more timely responses to their enquiries and there was increasing awareness in the wider community of its rights to access information under Government Information Public Access (GIPA) act.

“Finally within Council we wanted to ensure better informed decision-making by using existing resources and putting knowledge in the hands of every staff member,” Mr Piper said.

To confirm the business case for its use, iFerret was configured to search the Council’s main four applications and five shared network drives. The applications included the TRIM records management system, Oracle’s Customer Relationship Management system, the Pathway land and information system and Microsoft Outlook for email.

Project manager in charge of the implementation of iFerret, Julie Walker, said a customer service officer’s search for a particular sub-division is an excellent example of iFerret’s capabilities.

She explains that the Council’s Pathway property system requires searching by application number, by the property or applicant’s name or by the full address. Of these the customer knew only the suburb. Using iFerret and Pathway as the data source, the customer service officer searched using three phrases, "suburb name", " “developer name" and "subdivision".

This immediately located the correct application number for the subdivision enabling the customer to view the application from an application tracking page on the Council’s website.

“The customer service officer would have never been able to locate it in Pathway without the full property address,” Ms Walker explains.

With a population of more than 200,000, which is expected to grow by some 30 percent over the next 20 years, Lake Macquarie City Council lies between Sydney and Newcastle, embracing such towns as Belmont, Cardiff, Charlestown, Morisset, Swansea and Toronto.


 

 

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