The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals (RSPCA) is undoubtedly the UK’s best-known and largest charity devoted to the welfare of animals.
Since its creation in 1822, the RSPCA now has 187 branches throughout the UK and employs almost 500 uniformed inspectors and animal collection officers. With over 100,000 cases of cruelty investigated and the rehoming of 70,000 animals in 2003 alone, it is easy to see why the sharing of information is of paramount importance to the RSPCA’s primary goal of protecting animals.
Not only does information need to be effectively disseminated to the public at large, but effective, efficient information sharing within the RSPCA and with other charities is necessary to best log and track the animals in its care and to investigate those who may be in danger.
More Effective Communication
Managing this amount of information and making it easily and quickly accessible to both external and internal users is no small feat for any organisation.
In December 2001, the RSPCA embarked on a complete web site design and delivery relaunch, to transform the static web site into a dynamic environment to better serve users’ needs. FatWire Content Server was selected, on technical merit, to manage the whole of the RSPCA’s online content and assets.
Non-proprietary and based on J2EE architecture, FatWire Content Server fit in well with scalable developer plans and conformed to the RSPCA’s current IT standards.
Integrating with central Novell NDS directory, and building an e-mail engine into the FatWire solution, all online content could be managed by FatWire - and pushed out dynamically to users.
The FatWire solution was up and running within a month – ensuring the public information repository could be constantly updated with up-to-the-minute information and that content could be added to the many ‘campaign modules’ within the site.
The project was completed and launched after six months. Instant Campaigning Over and above the generic information in the main area of the site, the RSPCA is now able to offer dynamic ‘Campaigns’ areas, where users can find out the latest information on a current issue and request to be e-mailed with regular updates.
Matt Winckless, IT Architecture and Standards Manager at the RSPCA explains, “FatWire Content Server enables the RSPCA to implement campaigns on an ad hoc basis at no extra cost beyond its own time and effort.
This is particularly important with regard to issues like fox hunting where we need to be secure in the knowledge that the information on our site is relevant to current concerns and that the Society’s knowledge is efficiently disseminated internally in order to deal with ensuing enquiries.”
Matt continues, “With FatWire, we are safe in the knowledge that our employees are empowered to add this content through a known user interface and simple workflow process - avoiding the bottleneck of a central Web administrator and the additional costs in terms of technical resource and extra support.”
Valuable Money Resources Saved Prior to the Web site re-launch, the RSPCA was faced with a huge backlog of enquiries– not only letters and calls, but the introduction of an ‘enquiry by e-mail’ system exploded this number exponentially. A solution was needed to deal with these enquiries in a structured and prioritised way.
With FatWire, information can now be provided to people in a structured way. Users are now much more likely to be ‘self-served’ with the answer to their question within the database repository of general information contained within the site–and if a human response is still required, the enquiry can be captured and responded to in a structured way.
Each enquiry –whether it originates via the Internet, phone or letter –is prioritised in terms of specific business fields it adheres to, before entering separate queues. Agents are then able to pull these enquiries from the central database, safe in the knowledge that correspondence regarding important issues will always be classified as top priority and will not be lost amongst other, less time-critical enquiries.
Since the implementation of FatWire Content Server, the number of e-mail enquiries has dropped by 75% – a clear indication that the RSPCA site is now delivering the required information to users without need for further query (and the inevitable extra man-hours and resources to respond to these enquiries).
The RSPCA’s development partner, Unilog helped the Society realise their Content
Management goals by using their FatWire expertise to unlock the potential of the
Dave Brindle, Principal Consultant with Unilog explains ”The FatWire suite of products allows us to significantly shorten our development lifecycle; this enables the rapid delivery of new functionality and supporting applications, and thereby meets the
Society’s ongoing needs for new initiatives.”
Valuable Time Resources Saved
The RSPCA has already been able to use FatWire Content Server to repurpose its existing content to different types of devices. Live TV clips can be streamed from the Web site. IP telephony integration means that information from the web site can be repurposed to employee’s Cisco IP phones (and to any external users who have similar devices running XML browsers).
Matt concludes, “FatWire Content Server provides us with peace of mind that our mission critical information is in safe hands.”
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