e-Records Conference 2015: Volume, Velocity, and Variety

The 15th Annual e-Records Conference, hosted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), was held on November 17th in Austin. This was our biggest conference yet, with over 420 state and local government employees attending to learn new information about the management of electronic records.

This year, we expanded the conference to include two concurrent afternoon sessions, to provide attendees with more opportunities to customize their experience. This year’s theme was “Volume, Velocity and Variety” – three V’s that any records manager knows well, and topics for presentations discussed various electronic records issues, like implementing an EDRMS, managing email, and social media capture and retention.

Paul Taylor OnstageTo kick off the conference, our keynote speaker was Dr. Paul W. Taylor, who is the Editor-at-Large of Governing Magazine and Chief Content Officer at e.Republic. He opened the conference with a session entitled “Dull, Difficult, and Essential: Managing Public Records”. Dr. Taylor kicked off his presentation with three simple principles:

  1. The work of government is noble.
  2. The people of government are amazing.
  3. The systems of government are a mess.

The volume and complexity of doing the public’s work has outstripped the manual and mechanical means that were being used to accomplish it. Because of this need to manage such large and multifaceted issues, government agencies are often responsible for pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation (both in the public and private sectors), such as the original implementation of email and, more recently, real-time traffic data. The business of government is far easier dealt with digitally, but the laws and regulations governing the information are often still stuck in the analog age. This often leaves records managers in a lurch, with little guidance on how to manage the electronic information where the law is silent. However, rather than slowing or stopping the transition to digital processes, Dr. Taylor encouraged the audience to move forward with the paperless process, while still remaining vocal and vigilant about the need for concrete guidance on electronic records management.

Over the next month, our analysts will be recapping individual sessions and seeking discussion over what was presented at the conference:

Megan Carey will cover “Introducing the Texas Digital Archive” presented by Mark Myers, and “What Every Records Manager Must Know about Social Media” presented by Anil Chawla and Dustin Haisler.

Joshua Clark will sum up “eERDMS Program Overview: How the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Manages 1M-70M Emails per Month in the Enterprise Content Management System” presented by Carol Brock, and “Implementing an Electronic Document Management System – A Records and Information Management Professional’s Guide” presented by City of Austin’s Eric Stene and Alexander Webb.

Bonnie Zuber will share details about “ECM Lessons Learned with Denton I.S.D: Streamlining and Improving Business Workflow and Records Management Practices” by Jenequa Eldridge and Ashley Jackson.

Erica Wilson will outline “Rock, Bamboo, or Sponge: Techniques for Managing Change in the Knowledge Worker Ecosystem” by Anne Tulek.

Conference presentations have been posted on the e-Records Conference 2015 website, in case you want to revisit a presentation or see what you missed.

Feel free to leave your comments to share your own experiences at this year’s conference!