ShareBase helps Western Governors University solve email privacy concerns

Western Governors University (WGU), an online, competency-based nonprofit university, enrolls 100,000+ students in all 50 states — and has no physical campus. Since 2012, OnBase has been WGU’s content services platform of choice, and is an integral part of the workflow for at least half of the university’s employees.

More recently, WGU adopted ShareBase, Hyland’s cloud-based application for secure file sharing and storing, to eliminate reliance on email as a channel for sharing sensitive student information.

Before ShareBase

Students in the College of Health Professions are required to complete field placements at hospitals and clinics across the country. To help manage that process, WGU employs a team of field placement representatives.

Prior to ShareBase, staff relied on email to share student data with external parties. This, of course, wasn’t a secure method. In addition to privacy concerns, emails created issues with process bottlenecks. If a student emailed information to a specific staff member, and that individual was out of the office – on vacation, on leave, etc. – the documents were stuck in an email inbox.

Further complicating things were the hospitals and clinics themselves, which required information in different formats and types, depending on state requirements.

After ShareBase

ShareBase provided an easy — and easily configurable — solution for all parties.

With a few clicks, Gerri Glines – WGU’s IT / OnBase senior system administrator – was able to fix the problem with a fast, user-friendly setup that allowed for time-restricted viewing and password protection.

Glines created a one-document library for the field representatives to share. She established a folder for each state, and designed a simple folder structure within each: one for each student to submit and upload files; and one for each clinic to securely share student paperwork, which could be set to expire.

While field representatives had primary control over their respective states, they were also given permission to view the workflow in colleagues’ folders to provide support when necessary. This empowers staff to respond to student requests no matter who the original contact was.

Unlike other cloud-based sharing applications, we created ShareBase for enterprise use, and we built security right into the system. Therefore, when WGU received its own deployment and unique security keys, there was no need for major support from the IT department.

All told, creating the folders and providing basic training to cohorts and clinics took Glines just six hours.

The future

Although WGU originally used ShareBase as a standalone application, the university has begun some workflow integration with OnBase to eliminate unmanaged copies and document versioning. By implementing a process where staff can view OnBase requests via ShareBase, it kicks off an approvals process that determines and controls rights and permissions for individuals both inside and outside WGU.

Given these preliminary successes, WGU is in the process of extending OnBase / ShareBase workflows to departments university-wide, including Records and Human Resources.

To hear Western Governor’s University discuss how it uses ShareBase, check out this on-demand webinar.

Sara Rossmiller

Sara Rossmiller

Sara joined the Sales department at Hyland in 2010 in the Higher Education vertical. She moved to the ShareBase Sales Team upon the release of ShareBase in 2016, promoting and demonstrating ShareBase to potential customers. In 2018, Sara took on the newly created ShareBase Customer Success role, working directly with customers to ensure their success with ShareBase. Sara is a remote employee for Hyland and visits the Westlake headquarters several times a year. She earned her B.S. in Marketing from Iowa State University.

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