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Posted: 1/14/2013
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DSME. Increased Voluntary Use of EDMS with Significantly Improved Usability and Streamlined Processes

DSME has developed a next generation EDMS. Use of the next generation EDMS will allow centralized control over all documents created by its entire workforce operating out of various locations including the Seoul headquarters and Okpo Shipyard. The new DSME EDMS was developed based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. The EDMS development in which SK C&C and Neoplus took part focused on implementing features including document lifecycle management, redundancy removal, enhanced data sharing and leak prevention. DSME reinforced the search function alongside development of the EDMS. It also distributed Office 2010 enterprise-wide to increase convenience and productivity in document creation and promote collaboration. DSME expects that the new EDMS will attract more users through its simplicity as compared to the old system. In addition, users can easily view documents on the new EDMS system using various mobile devices, which allows easier knowledge sharing and collaboration across huge shipyards. DSME plans to expand the use of the next generation EDMS to all companies in its group and eventually circulate Smart Work, which the company pursues, across its affiliates.


DSME's next generation EDMS was unveiled in the second half of 2012. DSME embedded the EDMS functions in D-KNOW, a knowledge management system established by the company in 2005 and an innovation in the nation's shipping industry. Since 2006, DSME has laid the cultural and systematic foundation for centralizing its important documents. In fact, the EDMS used back then was impeccable in terms of functionality. It adopted the latest methods and technologies such as multi-dimensional knowledge maps and document maps to manage knowledge and create synergy. However, there was a big gap between the system's completeness and user participation.

DSME had established an enterprise-wide document classification system and a registration process that paid great attention to detail. DSME also put tremendous effort into promoting and providing guidance for the system and even awarded a Green Office Certificate to the teams with high participation rates for the EDMS. Despite all this effort, the voluntary rate of use of the EDMS was poorer than expected.

After much deliberation, DSME discovered that users were not comfortable using the EDMS. They simply had too many steps to go through to upload a file to the EDMS. They had to assign attribute information to a document and name it according to rules, etc. So most users retained the old way of doing it. They saved and managed their documents on their desktops and uploaded any documents to be shared with other teams or between team members to the company's file server.

There were other improvements that needed to be made to the EDMS, in addition to combating its unpopularity among users. Searching was an issue. Various blueprints and documents had been accumulated in the EDMS over time but users couldn't find them. When the system first went into service, searching was not a major problem because there were only a few documents on the system. But users started having trouble searching for files as the number grew to around 100,000.

Uploading documents was tedious and searching was difficult. DSME made a big decision about the EDMS at the end of 2011. Instead of sticking with the old functions and processes and trying to fix them, DSME decided to develop a next generation EDMS in support of new strategies and goals.


DSME believed that the key to ensuring widespread use of an EDMS was to make it easy for users to add, search for and share documents on the system rather than focusing on the functions and processes themselves. In other words, it decided that the success of the project lay more in ensuring user-friendliness than in developing an extravagant system. With this brief, DSME started receiving proposals from major EDMS companies at the end of 2011. Well-known companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and EMC were some of the participants in the process.

After considering many solutions based on its long experience, DSME concluded that Microsoft SharePoint Server would be the most suitable to build a user-friendly system. It offered an advantage in linking Microsoft Word, a hugely popular word processing program, and relatively simple file-saving and sharing features. DSME decided that Microsoft SharePoint Server was the best system for a company giving user convenience top priority, and set out to develop the system in early 2012 with SK C&C and Neoplus who put forward the system.

It also increased the size of the search box and moved it from the corner of the portal to the center, to make searching for and uploading documents easier.

In its remit for establishing the EDMS, the company put most emphasis on document lifecycle management, redundancy removal, enhanced data sharing and leak prevention. In an effort to build a system that met these requirements, SK C&C and Neoplus came up with a new suggestion. To use the redundancy removal function properly, a system upgrade to Office 2010 was required. DSME decided to take this opportunity to upgrade its Office version and distributed Office 2010 companywide.

For document lifecycle management, a policy for retention periods was set and document authors are notified by email on expiration of a document. Document lifecycle management and redundancy removal were two essential features needed by DSME to increase the user base for its EDMS. Managing blueprints and documents in a centralized location without removing duplicate copies and old, invalid documents can waste time searching through unnecessary files.

Sharing was reinforced through combining the features provided by Microsoft SharePoint Server and the collaboration tools of Office 2010. A new solution was suggested for data leak prevention. DSME believed that just layering conventional security features such as DRM and object encryption within a document was not the best way. The main purpose of a company-wide document migration was to share and expand knowledge. In the course of migration, however, user convenience was compromised for security reasons. The new solution DSME came up with was disabling the file attachment function in emails. In this way, documents could not be indiscreetly sent out through emails.

Getting rid of the email attachment function required discussion with all teams before it could be implemented into the EDMS, as asking users to discontinue old habits could be a source of objection. The DSME IT Planning team consulted all teams and took advice on the important documents that had to be uploaded to the EDMS and shared within the company. It was decided that a separate service could be used to attach and send a document to an external party, with the approval of the relevant team leader. In fact, DSME decided to allow file attachments to emails for a certain amount of time after inaugurating the EDMS to give users time to get used to the new system. After this period, no users except those with special dispensation were allowed to attach a file to their email.

Meanwhile, DSME considered a way to make file-saving easier and faster by allowing users to select a location to share files directly in the MS Office environment instead of having to copy them from the desktop to upload them to the EDMS.


Migrating all documents that were lost in the dead zone into the EDMS

When initiating the next generation EDMS, the first thing DSME did was to upload all the documents that were in the autonomous file servers and shared folders of the desktops to the EDMS. The company had allowed corporate file servers and desktop shared folders for the convenience of users, and it became clear that the amount of files was significant. "Between 2006 and August 2012 the documents registered in the old EDMS numbered around 800,000. After the new generation EDMS was put into service, all documents from the corporate file servers were uploaded. Another 800,000 documents were newly added in a month, making the total 1,600,000," said a DSME official.

User voluntary control reinforced instead of procedures and policies

Since operating the EDMS, minor changes related to documents have been observed at DSME. The changes resulted from allowing voluntary uploading and sharing by users rather than enforcing processes and regulations. "It's no longer tiresome for users to upload a document to the EDMS. You can just drag and drop a file on your desktop into the EDMS without having to assign attributes," said a DSME official. "You don't have to follow specific document mapping rules to create a folder in the EDMS either. You can create a folder in your own style and save documents in it," he added.

Document management tailored for collaboration

While developing the new EDMS, DSME was able to change the concept and value surrounding a document from "owning" to "sharing." The creator of a document was registered as the owner in the old EDMS and ownership couldn't be changed as needed. It's a different story now. Whoever the creator is, the ownership and managing authority for a document are given to the applicable team. "In the past, all documents were collected under the company banner with no team distinction since the focus was on integration rather than collaboration," said a DSME official. "The new EDMS, however, follows a document vault system for each team under the premise that a team is the basic unit of collaboration, and ownership has changed from an individual user to a team."

Simplified document collaboration

DSME's EDMS is about more than just document ownership and document vault management systems. With the distribution of Office 2010, users can create common documents using programs they employ on a daily basis like Word or PowerPoint. Users do not have to know whether the document they are jointly creating is uploaded to the EDMS or not. Just opening a document-creating tool will allow a user to participate in the joint task. "When creating a business plan in the past, documents that were received from each division had to be combined to create a single document. Now all you have to do is upload a business plan to the EDMS and share the link to prepare a document with other divisions," said a DSME official.

Affiliates also benefit from the EDMS

The next generation EDMS is getting the attention of the group's affiliates as well. Like DSME, affiliates that were managing documents using file servers or shared folders were also in need of improvements in terms of collaboration and security. In fact, since the EDMS was set up, DSME has been inundated with inquiries about its new system. Some affiliates are actually sharing the EDMS. DSME plans to expand the use of the EDMS to its entire group.

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For More Information

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For more information about DSME’s products and services, call 82-2-2129-0114 or visit the website at:


This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 12000 employees

Organization Profile

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is the world's foremost shipbuilding and offshore contractor, specializing in building various vessels, offshore platforms, drilling rigs, FPSO/FPUs, submarines, and destroyers. As of 2012, around 30,000 people work for DSME and its affiliates.

Business Situation

The Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) developed in 2005 has been shunned by users due to its complicated document registration process and unsatisfactory search results.


DSME developed the next generation EDMS using SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010, based on the belief that voluntary collaboration and information-sharing are key elements in EDMS.


  • Migrating all documents that were lost in the dead zone into the EDMS
  • User voluntary control reinforced instead of procedures and policies
  • Document management tailored for collaboration
  • Simplified document collaboration
  • Affiliates also benefit from the EDMS

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Sharepoint Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server technologies

Vertical Industries
  • High Tech & Electronics
  • Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace


IT Issue
Digital Content Management