Infrastructure > Cloud

Supreme Court targets cloud document management expansion

Neil Merrett Published 26 February 2015

Switch to Microsoft cloud-based CRM designed to support increased mobile working and integration of correspondence tracking


The UK Supreme Court (UKSC) is working to expand the functions of its recently implemented cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system to track and process wider correspondence including parliamentary questions and Freedom of Information (FIO) requests.

In an attempt to move away from a previous Ministry of Justice (MoJ) system, the UKSC and Judicial Court of the Privy Council (JCPC) has opted to use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Cloud solution. After a 12 month implementation period, the system went live last month as part of a wider plan to better meet the operational and security needs of UKSC's work.

Paul Brigand, ICT services head and departmental records officer with the Supreme Court, said the system would help ensure improved remote access for staff, particularly in the case ofjudges who work around the country.

Brigand added the new CRM system would also grant its in-house IT team improved control over the court's operations and online services, with UKSC looking to further develop its functions to better integrate document management tasks, such as storing and tracking electronic case bundles, including general correspondence, parliamentary questions and FoI requests.

Brigand added that the Supreme Court received around 250 applications a year, with around half of these translating into cases.

"Between 2009 and 2013 our IT infrastructure and the applications running on it were not fully fit for purpose," he said. "Our case management system was designed with much larger caseloads in mind, meaning that basic tasks could prove very time consuming. The system could also be very slow, many due to our server environment, which also impacted on remote access."

According to Brigand, the yearlong implementation of the CRM was partly the result of three separate attempts to try and extract the court's old case data into its new system to ensure the information was compatible with the new parameters of storage and classification.

Brigand said that the court opted to bring in a company called Automated Intelligence, which works with managing unstructured data, to assist in the process of transferring information to the new system.

He claimed that under its previous case management operations, UKSC did not have direct control over the system. However, in opting to work Optevia to implement a Microsoft-based cloud solution, the court was able to use applications like Office 365 to provide internet, word processing, spreadsheet and other core IT functions.

In terms of security considerations in adopting a cloud solution to overhaul the court's CRM system, Brigand said the court had previously been working under with an MoJ system that operated to "restricted" IL3 data requirements. Under this system, court staff were required to use double encrypted passwords and security tokens.

However, as part of the auditing process for its new system, the court was found to require a solution that supports IL0 to IL2 data requirements. To meet these security requirements, Brigand said the CRM system already had built in encryption technology, as well as passwords and additional features relevant to the level of data being handled by the organisation, which largely related to information being heard in an open court environment.

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