Multinational Technology Company

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Saving Millions Using Content Analytics

“Compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires a new level of oversight and diligence. Compliance must be done ‘one at a time’ to ensure nothing falls between the proverbial cracks. To accomplish this, uncompromising and repeatable internal policies must be implemented.”

Concept Searching
Customer Location:
United States
Industry:
Manufacturing – Government Contracting
Issue:

The challenge was to facilitate and enforce compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to ensure the acquisition system provides uniform policies and procedures, satisfying standards in terms of cost, quality, and timeliness, while minimizing administrative operating costs and fulfilling other public policy objectives.

Products:

“Eliminating or even minimizing manual tagging is an enormous step forward in achieving consistent and repeatable compliance. Dealing with the government requires zero tolerance for error. Time, effort, and energy are all required to validate output, ensuring alignment with government guidelines.”

Benefits

This organization thoroughly understood the compliance requirements when designing and deploying its new government contracts portal. Doing business with the federal government is complex and, in this case, processes were needed to meet the requirements set by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Using the conceptClassifier platform and associated software components, the organization was able to achieve:

  • The use of manual tagging as intervention not classification, reducing errors, time, and costs
  • Standardization of policies to achieve consistency and repeatable actions, to reduce potential noncompliance deviations
  • Rapid taxonomy development, easily used by subject-matter experts, as it is intuitive and requires little training
  • Classification in real time as content is ingested

The federal subsidiary of an American multinational corporation and a technology company, managing all contracting with the federal government defense and intelligence communities on behalf of the parent company.

This organization has been a client of Concept Searching for several years and was quite familiar with the technology, specifically in the SharePoint environment. This high priority project was the design and deployment of a government contracts portal.

In order to deploy a successful portal, several challenges had to be overcome.

  • The solution needed to be easy to maintain and manage, without requiring specially trained staff or outside consultants
  • Content needed to be consumed upon ingestion, in real time, from a variety of sources including uploading to SharePoint, upon creation or via email
  • The solution had to track the contract from ingestion to filing, without human intervention
  • A complete audit trail offering defensible deletion with full audit capability was required

This organization selected Concept Searching’s solution for several reasons. All Concept Searching technologies run natively in the Microsoft environment, eliminating issues with connectivity and performance. Concept Searching excels in the management of unstructured content. In many cases, unstructured content management solutions use a structured, relational database, but this approach loses a lot of meaning and nuances found in unstructured content, rendering the output untrustworthy. Concept Searching technology remains unique in the industry, with its ability to automatically generate multi-term metadata.

The company’s compliance requirements were driven by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The purpose of the FAR is to provide uniform policies and procedures for acquisition, and it is the government-wide regulation governing executive agency procurement contracts. When a federal government agency issues a solicitation, it will specify the applicable FAR provisions, which may be numerous. To be awarded a contract, an offer must comply with the provisions, demonstrate that it will be able to comply with them at the time of award, or claim an exemption from them.

The largest single element of the FAR is Part 52, which contains standard solicitation provisions and contract clauses. Solicitation provisions are certification requirements, notices, and instructions directed at firms that might be interested in competing for a specific contract. With this solution, eliminating end users from policy enforcement means that all contract assets are continually identified, classified, and managed from the contract portal.

Using the conceptClassifier platform as the insight and classification engine, the conceptClassifier for SharePoint and conceptClassifier for Exchange applications, and the conceptTaxonomyWorkflow component, the organization has a complete solution that leverages the same technology and runs natively in SharePoint. The processing of the contracts is straightforward. The conceptClassifier platform classifies all new content as its created, uploaded to SharePoint, or received via email. Each piece of content is automatically tagged and classified to a specific contract in accordance with the FAR, for retention and disposition, then moved to the respective contract folder within SharePoint.

Concept Searching’s insight engine is built on unique compound term processing technology that statistically generates semantic, multi-term metadata that represents concepts, phrases, topics, and subjects. It is able to automatically generate metadata from content residing in diverse repositories, both internal and external.

Compound term processing is a new approach to an old problem. Instead of identifying single keywords, compound term processing identifies multi-word terms that form a complex entity and identifies them as a concept. By forming these compound terms and placing them in the search engine’s index, the search can be performed with a high degree of accuracy because the ambiguity inherent in single words is not an issue. As a result, a search for ‘triple heart bypass’ will locate documents about this topic, even if this precise phrase is not contained in any document. A concept search using compound term processing can extract the key concepts, and use these concepts to select the most relevant documents. Content that shares the same concept will be retrieved, even if the search terms do not match.

Auto-classification is one way to automate the declaration and classification of records and information, to apply metadata, security, and access controls, and assign retention periods. Automatic classification with manual classification overrides prevents end users from making potentially erroneous classification decisions. Auto-classification of content against a defined structure gave this organization a hierarchy to facilitate the retrieval of relevant information when searching.

When managing the taxonomy, subject-matter experts can utilize rich features in conceptTaxonomyManager, such as node weighting, the ability to see ‘concepts in context,’ auto-clue suggestion for classification, and instant feedback on the impact of changes. The taxonomy provides the structure for the grouping of like documents, and enables a targeted, accurate, and efficient management and tuning tool, resulting in reduced costs and improved productivity.

conceptTaxonomyWorkflow is used as a strategic tool, managing enterprise metadata to drive business processes at both the operational and tactical levels. It enables administrators to independently manage access, with information management, information rights management, and records management policy application within their respective business units and functional areas, without the need for IT support or access to enterprise-wide servers. conceptTaxonomyWorkflow is an optional component that can perform an action on a document following a classification decision when specific criteria are met. These decisions enhance organizational performance and drive down costs, but more importantly enforce corporate and legal compliance guidelines.

The contract portal, as an intelligent metadata enabled application, provides the ability to identify records, privacy information, and intellectual assets, fully automating the process transparently, without user involvement, and handling the appropriate disposition of the content. This includes discovering where the content resides, cleansing the content through organizationally-defined concepts and descriptors, identifying the relationships within the content, and then applying policies for automatic enforcement and routing to the appropriate repository. The proof of compliance and data protection is accomplished through the automatic enforcement of organizational policy, to ensure consistency, and is implemented transparently, resulting in improved record keeping, monitoring, and auditing processes.

The organization now manages the federal contracts portal. Using only Concept Searching technologies, the capabilities and flexibility of the solution enabled it to rapidly build, test, and deploy the contract portal, achieving the following benefits.

  • End-to-end solution to manage the entire lifecycle of digital content and content from file stores in a single repository, spanning on-premises and cloud environments
  • Enforces and remediates policy violations, reducing noncompliance
  • Applies and enforces governance policies, in real time
  • Cleanses content, offering defensible deletion with full audit capability
  • Designed for subject-matter experts, with a highly interactive, real-time, intuitive interface for rapid deployment and maintenance, quickly achieving business benefits
  • Identifies inter-related and intra-related content automatically
  • Integrates with all data and provides access to unlimited content sources
  • Eliminates end user tagging

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