Case Studies

The Brooke

The Brooke is an international animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world’s poorest communities. The Brooke works directly and through partners to develop equine welfare practices and to prevent and reduce suffering in the future.

The Brooke delivers practical programmes and provides support, advice, funding and infrastructure to its global network of employees, partners and supporters. The charity operates across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.


The Challenge

The Brooke’s existing document store was hosted on the shared drive. This had outgrown its remit and, at approaching one million document documents and assets nested, was becoming unmanageable. The company wished to improve the day-to-day productivity of people writing and approving documentation, as well as making search more efficient and improving discoverability of content.

  • 1 million document assets
  • 100 users
  • Globally accessible

The Brooke required a new document management system for 100 main document owners. As The Brooke operated in remote counties, the platform needed to be globally accessible, as well as robust, flexible and scalable. After trialling Alfresco Community in 2013, The Brooke decided to roll out Alfresco Enterprise across the organisation.


Ixxus was selected by The Brooke to provide the Alfresco subscription and perform the implementation, with Ixxus providing long-term support. Ixxus has an impressive track record of delivering content management projects in the not-for-profit sector, with recent clients including WWF, Amnesty International and more. And as the leading Alfresco partner in the UK, awarded Solutions Partner in 2013, Ixxus’ credentials and approach matched what The Brooke was seeking in a partner.

Deployment of the document management solution is part of a larger program of IT changes and business process transformation at The Brooke. Assets and documents were to be managed in Alfresco and published to a number of employee, partner portals and web channels.

The project commenced with in May 2013 with a Discovery phase consisting of a series of workshops. This allowed Ixxus to understand how The Brooke wished to improve businesses processes, and to holistically analyse what the new information flow would be across company. Ixxus worked with The Brooke to define a new information architecture and metadata content model to enable The Brooke to navigate through its content for its many projects, programmes and operational documents, vastly improving the discoverability of content by external search engines. Custom Alfresco Sites were then created by Ixxus to hold the documents and to provide shared content areas, enabling efficient collaboration across the organisation. Under Ixxus guidance, The Brooke then migrated their own content from the legacy shared drive via an automated content load functionality, which also automated the reclassification of metadata.


It is business critical for The Brooke that its systems are resilient and accessible, as users require 24/7 access to information from the London Head Office and also from Latin America, Asia and Africa. Alfresco was deployed by Ixxus in a 2-CPU architecture with a robust database environment within The Brooke’s data centre. Although user training is minimal with Alfresco, it was important to The Brooke that users went through a training program.  This ensured business changes could be addressed with users, improving the adoption of document management processes and new methods of team collaboration. Ixxus provided “train-the-trainer” training to The Brooke who then rolled out this training across the entire organization.

The new Alfresco platform has been operational since July 2013 and allows The Brooke to manage all their content, from simple office documents to PDFs, images and rich media. Once content is approved, the workflow processes publish content across staff and partner portals, the website, blogs and specified social feeds.

Staff at The Brooke are now working more collaboratively through the improved sharing of documents and Alfresco’s powerful workflow functionality. Content is located quickly and easily making day-to-day working more time-efficient and cost-effective. Alfresco’s out-of-the-box versioning, comment-tracking and workflow functionality allows staff to ensure the accuracy and auditability of all documents.

Date Published : 23rd of October 2014