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Aussie War Memorial faces digital content growth

The Australian War Memorial's (AWM) need to manage and provide access to increasing amounts of digital content has led to a project to implement a new enterprise content management (ECM) system.The AWM is a government authority with around 270 permanent staff and responsibility for assisting Australians to commemorate the sacrifice of citizens who have died in war.
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Written by Renai LeMay on

The Australian War Memorial's (AWM) need to manage and provide access to increasing amounts of digital content has led to a project to implement a new enterprise content management (ECM) system.

The AWM is a government authority with around 270 permanent staff and responsibility for assisting Australians to commemorate the sacrifice of citizens who have died in war. Among other duties, it maintains a museum-like collection of items relating to the Australian experience of war.

Outlining the plans in tender documents released in late August, the AWM said it had commenced a process in March this year to identify a suitable software solution.

"The broad aim of the ECM project is to maximise the consolidation and integration of the Memorial's current and required content management systems," the documents said, noting the new system would encompass electronic document and records management (EDRMS), digital asset management (DAM), web content management and workflow functionality.

The AWM is aiming to provide a uniform approach to digital content security, preservation and workflow creation and management under the new system.

In doing so, the authority will move away from using custom software it had developed in-house to get around "functional shortfalls in legacy systems".

In addition, the authority wants to use the new system to manage additional amounts of content, "beyond the 30 percent currently managed in legacy systems".

Mixing it up
The new ECM system will manage a variety of different forms of content. "Since the early 1990s, the Memorial has embarked on a series of digitisation programs to improve access to, and long-term preservation of, collection items," said the AWM in tender documents.

"The initial focus of these programs was the digital capture of images. More recently, attention has turned to the digitisation of other materials like maps, manuscripts, diaries, audio and film."

A substantial amount of material has been made available via the public Internet, and the new ECM will need to be able to continue that practice.

But the new system will also need to be able to handle more mundane forms of content, with the AWM stipulating corporate e-mail and record-keeping as one example.

The AWM will identify a supplier for the software by late December, with a briefing to be held tomorrow for interested vendors.

The successful vendor is also likely to have a substantial say in the hardware side of the new system. "The Memorial intends to conduct a separate tender process for the selection of suitable hardware based on recommendations provided by the software solution tenderer," the authority wrote.

The whole project is scheduled to kick off in early April next year.

 

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