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United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Federal agency establishes enterprise document and records management solutions with Credence and Hyland's Alfresco platform.

Modernizing federal IT systems involves a shift to cloud technologies, shared enterprise capabilities, and open source software. The HUD Enterprise Document and Records Management (EDRM) system exemplifies all these trends. The centralized, Alfresco platform-based solution runs in HUD's Microsoft Azure cloud environment and can be leveraged across the department to improve mission effectiveness and the quality of citizen services.

The need to standardize and modernize

An analysis of HUD's IT portfolio in 2015 by Credence Management Solutions revealed multiple redundant document management systems. The aging legacy systems were costly to maintain and challenging to modify. What's more, a review of upcoming IT investments found common document management needs in a dozen different projects.

Credence, which has a 15-year history of delivering mission-critical solutions for the U.S. government, recommended that HUD establish an enterprise document and records management capability to reduce IT complexity and expenses.

Opting for open source

HUD selected Hyland's Alfresco Digital Business Platform, including Alfresco Content Services, Alfresco Governance Services, and Alfresco Process Services, as the foundation for the EDRM system.

According to Credence, Alfresco platform's open source technologies were a key consideration because they enabled rapid, low-risk prototyping before purchasing an enterprise version with support. The choice was also consistent with federal policy, which promotes the use of open source software to increase efficiency, transparency and innovation.

Credence implemented the EDRM system in early 2016 and fielded five pilot programs in under a year — some delivered in less than four months. The product was extremely reliable, easy to install and use and was backed by outstanding support from the Hyland team.

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The Alfresco platform was extremely reliable, easy to install and use, and backed by outstanding support from the Hyland team.

— Credence Management Solutions

Supporting multiple programs

The EDRM system has proven its value as a scalable, reusable enterprise capability for several HUD applications. The Office of Native American Programs Loan Origination System (ONAP-LOS) and the Federal Housing Administration Loan Review System (FHA-LRS) both use the EDRM system to support their case management activities. The underlying Alfresco platform stores and manages all case-related documentation for the two systems, which are used to process loans and conduct quality assurance reviews.

Enabling electronic records

The EDRM system can also help HUD comply with the NARA M-23-07 mandate for electronic records management.

Credence used the EDRM system to implement a records management solution for the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH). The program was deemed highly successful and may be rolled out to another 1,400 internal users and thousands of Public Housing Authorities across the U.S.

The Alfresco platform is the only open source product certified to the DOD 5015.02 standard for records management. Alfresco platform automates the entire record life cycle — from creation to disposition — and allows records management to "just happen" with little or no user intervention.

In sync with modern IT practices

In addition to implementing the EDRM system, Credence has worked with the Office of the CIO (OCIO) to modernize HUD’s software development practices.

The company established HUD’s cloud-based development environments and has helped facilitate the adoption of Agile methodologies, DevSecOps capabilities, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.

The EDRM system fits right in with these modern IT approaches. The Alfresco platform has a cloud-native architecture that simplifies and accelerates solution delivery with support for open standards, API-based integration, and containerized deployment.

Looking ahead

Credence continues to operate and maintain HUD’s EDRM system. The enterprise capability contributes to a modern technology environment that increases cost efficiency, service quality and responsiveness to department needs.

The company also sees opportunities to transition away from outdated document management systems, which would free up substantial license and maintenance fees for other priorities.