Alfresco has the public sector in its sights. No major surprises there: the company has been working with the public sector for a long time.

However, Alfresco has shifted its gears recently with the appointment of Austin Adams as its vice president of public sector business.

If his name seems familiar, it could be from his former position at Microsoft, where he was responsible for its business with the US Dept. of Defense, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Capitalizing on Experience

Austin Adams
According to his LinkedIn profile, Adams spent more than two years as an account manager at Microsoft, specifically handing DoD business. He had a similar role for two years with InfoReliance, and spent five years with MicroLink, which was acquired by Autonomy (now part of Hewlett-Packard) in 2010.

During the past several years, he's earned several awards, including the Red, White, and Blue Award, which honors the US public sector individual who contributed the most in driving the Microsoft Business Solutions umbrella of products, which includes CRM and ERP, and the US Department of Defense Joint Team Award, for an individual(s) who most significantly impacted the US Dept. of Defense Joint Team.

Adams is tasked with driving Alfresco’s public sector strategy going forward using the DoD 5015.2 certification that Alfresco achieved a number of years ago.

The United States Department of Defense 5015.2-STD — the Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications — was implemented in June 2002. This standard defines requirements for the management of records within the Department of Defense, which has become the accepted standard for many state, county and local governments.

“Government agencies are on the verge of a looming content crisis,” Adams said in a statement on his appointment.

Addressing Issues

Adams told us that the government has a unique set of problems that are the result of many years of inappropriate technology.

“The enterprise content management sector has been failing the US government for some time. The vast majority enterprise content management deployments have failed. They have not solved their problems and have mostly just added additional cost to the overall cost,” he said.

“They didn’t provide the additional value that people hoped they would get out of these systems. Over years, I’ve been solving government problems and typically watching ECM (Enterprise Content Management) and records management deployments not doing very well.”

He attributes this to the fact that many of these solutions were built at least a decade ago. From the start, many had inadequate security and compliance features

Vendors didn’t develop the systems with the public sector in mind, haven’t developed them in line with other technologies, and now they don't work at all, he said.

He said Alfresco addresses the problem with a simple-to-use, open source, highly scalable, hybrid cloud platform.

Selling Alfresco

“[Alfresco] is really building up a team of people that have a deep understanding and experience of public sector challenges, can speak that language and understand what issues senior decision makers in government departments are having to deal with,” he said.

Specifically, he has been tasked with broadening the perception of Alfresco as platform that solves specific problems like records or content management to a solution that stretches across the enterprise.

“What we are looking to become is an enterprise wide application that is bought and deployed as an enterprise application. We have the scalability and we can save many of these customers many millions of dollars compared to what they are spending,” he said.

“One of the things we are looking for is to become an enterprise application for more than a million users and collapsing legacy eyes into it.”