Case Studies

NHS Education for Scotland

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is NHS Scotland’s national education and training board. It is responsible for supporting NHS services to the people of Scotland through the development and delivery of education and training for all those who work in NHS Scotland. Their aim is to provide educational solutions that support excellence in healthcare for the people of Scotland, ensuring that patients and their families get the best possible care from well-trained and educated staff.

NES has sites across Scotland, with central offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as regional offices in Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. It works closely alongside territorial health boards within Scotland in order to support their needs, and provides a wide range of educational activities to meet governmental policy and fill gaps in current provision.

In 2010, NES saw the need to improve their information management and invited responses to provide Enterprise Document and Records Management, Intranet and Collaboration services.

The tender for NES’s Enterprise Content Management System was advertised on the OGC Buying Solutions Framework and won by the consulting services group Mouchel Consortium as the prime contractor, with Ixxus as Mouchel’s delivery partner. Ixxus, an Alfresco Platinum Partner, has won several public sector Alfresco contracts in partnership with Mouchel, including the Partnership for Schools website and document management project and the University of Westminster ECM project. With a proven track record of successfully delivering such projects, Ixxus were ideally placed to provide a solution tailored specifically to NES requirements.

The Challenge

NES was seeking a fully integrated Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) to provide electronic document and records management, intranet and collaboration. This was to replace legacy software which was providing basic, stand-alone technology solutions.

Before the implementation, documents were held on shared drive content silos and a stand-alone intranet CMS, and documents were often passed round NES via email. With over 700 full- and part-time staff operating across 13 sites, NES recognised the need for an ECMS to provide productivity, workflow and access to information; there was also a requirement for the scanning and storage of paper documents. The solutions was to be hosted on the NES network.

The Solution

The contract was won with Ixxus’ proposal for using the Alfresco ECMS. This solution was more cost-effective for meeting NES’s requirements than a number of proprietary solutions, including Microsoft SharePoint. The Ixxus solution delivered an open source, highly scalable and cost effective architecture based around the Alfresco ECM product.

Ixxus was responsible for the end-to-end ECMS implementation; the company used its proven 6D implementation methodology, using a mixture of agile Scrum techniques and PRINCE2 project management. Daily scrums were used to track progress of the sprints iterations with regular sprint review demonstrations performed on-site or through remote facilities.

The new ECMS enables NES to create, manage and share electronic documents in text and multimedia formats. The solution provides powerful data and metadata tagging facilities, dramatically improve the ability for users to search and locate the content that they need quickly and easily.

Workflows were designed to increase the efficiency of working and provide NES with full control over the lifecycle of content and the management of access rights at a granular level. With functionality in Alfresco CMS for collaboration NES can quickly set up new secure team workspace environments to collaborate on documents and content within a unified repository, with a consistent user interface across the whole ECMS solution.


Ixxus carried out a train-the-trainer and administrator training for NES to obtain the required knowledge to train and support end users. The system has been successfully deployed for its planned Pilot stage in 2012.

Frank Rankin, NES Project Manager, said, “Ixxus delivered to budget and to the planned timetable. Their team provided open access and regular demonstrations which enabled our stakeholders to get involved and help the project gain traction.”

Date Published : 23rd of October 2014