About the Utah State Archives
The Utah Division of Archives and Records Service assists all Utah government agencies with managing their records, preserving records of enduring value, and
providing quality access to public information.
Evaluating the Current Program
In 1991, Utah State Archives began using Zasio’s flagship records management solution, Versatile Enterprise. They took advantage of many of Versatile Enterprise’s features, such as records center management, but didn’t use the program to manage
retention schedules. Instead, they handled retention scheduling with a system known as APPX. To accurately apply transfer and disposition dates to boxes stored in Versatile, someone had to manually add the APPX record series into Versatile. Not only that, but they relied on a paper system to notify agencies when they should destroy records. This system worked for a while, but in November 2002, the State Archives decided to consolidate and streamline their records and information management program.
Creating a New Solution
Turning this vision into a reality required Utah State Archives to link Versatile’s records management features with APPX for organization-wide retention schedule integration. Zasio was up to the challenge, and their technicians got to work, collaborating with the Archives to determine technical requirements, design specifications, and develop a time frame for implementation. The Archives purchased a new server to handle the increased computing needs, and Zasio began to write the components necessary to allow the systems to communicate with each other.
Zasio upgraded Utah State Archives to Versatile Enterprise and integrated all three systems they already had in place into one program. Zasio coded Versatile so it could continue to manage both the temporary records that would eventually be destroyed, as well as their historically valuable permanent collection. It was no easy task to modify Versatile to use APPX retention schedules and customer information, but the result was well worth the effort to everyone involved.
Adding an Automated Records Center
Soon after the consolidation project was complete, the Division of Facilities Construction and Management determined that an automated, high-density records center would provide significant cost and space savings, plus it could reduce the risk of personal injury to employees. The vision included a fully automated process whereby users would search for a box in the records management application, and it would be retrieved with very little human interaction. To reach these goals, the Utah State Archives contracted with HK Systems to build and implement a robotic solution using triple-deep shelving and two robots to store and retrieve boxes efficiently.
In response to this innovation, Zasio needed to interface not only with APPX but also with the HK Systems robots. Luckily, Versatile’s built-in box checkout process was well-suited to the workflow necessary to integrate with the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). After considerable discussion, a viable plan was developed for the technical details and workflow required to link Versatile to the ASRS.
Zasio worked to enhance the Versatile search process so requests for boxes in the archives storage room commanded ASRS to retrieve the boxes. Upon successful retrieval, the ASRS sent a response to Versatile to complete the cycle while the boxes were being delivered to the user. All the while, the checkout manager tracked each request and delivery and informed administrators when boxes were overdue.
The seamless integration of three separate systems required a great deal of coordination and effort by multiple parties, but the resulting efficiencies are long-lasting and widespread throughout the State of Utah.