Auckland Regional Council (ARC) has eliminated costly outsourcing of document production by implementing a SaaS solution that handles collaboration and change management.\nCouncil CIO John Holley says that the adoption of Objective Corporation's community and collaboration applications was fast, with only two weeks from purchase to go-live, largely because there were no infrastructure costs or special skills required.\n\u201cWe were spending a lot with publication houses -- from $10,000 to $50,000 at a time -- so the system paid for itself in under a year,\u201d Holley says.\nThe applications, uCreate and uEngage provide a platform for producing and disseminating information to constituents.\n\u201cIt provides government a single point of view for citizen consultation including tracking changes [and] does a better job for collaborative management of documents,\u201d Holley says. \u201cIt's easy to make sure who\u2019s doing what and once people move past the idea of working in track changes they don\u2019t want to go back.\u201d\nHolley says the soft ROI is also compelling because there are significant business process improvements.\n\u201cAs a council, how do I track what consultations I\u2019m doing? Someone has to chase around Word documents, and there is the cost of production. The time it takes is an order of magnitude harder than with this system,\u201d he says.\nHolley says using the Web is fundamentally different to traditional enterprise document management, but people who had always used Microsoft Word caught on quickly.\nFor ARC the software was always about managing the citizen consulting process, but Holley says it is a powerful collaborative document management process that can also be used for technical publications.\n\u201cThere is full accountability internally so you don\u2019t have to worry about people saying 'I didn\u2019t see that',\u201d he says, adding people producing highly professional documents with no knowledge of publishing.\nHolley says CIOs need to provide leadership with emerging Web 2.0-style technologies.\n\u201cFor me part of its was leading the organisation to change. It\u2019s about process improvement and the government 2.0 stuff,\u201d he says. \u201cHow do we more efficiently engage with the public? And how do I get the Gen Y people to engage with issues like transport?\u201d\n\u201cFor the CIO in a council it is how do I open the council to more engagement with the community?\u201d\nHolley says the software could be used for internal documents, but it represents a change in the way the organisation \u201cthinks\u201d.\n\u201cYou are not going to get the absolutely pretty documents, but we are producing high quality documents for a fraction of the cost, and it's all in HTML.\u201d\nObjective's general manager of marketing, Adrian Rudman, says local governments need to produce documents that go to the public, but the cost of production is high.\n\u201cOur solution is a SaaS offering that does production and proofing of documents and people can comment on the document and engage in a forum of a particular part of the document. Instead of letters organisations get a data-driven response.\u201d\nRudman says the fact that the solution is SaaS is of particular interest to CIOs, as it provides the ability to deliver new features to users as soon as they are developed.\nAccording to Objective Corporation research, each local council in Australia could save some $3 million per year through more efficient document production processes.