Iron Mountain

For companies that have thousands of important business documents, how do you keep them straight, enforce retention policies, and demonstrate compliance with external regulations — never mind quickly find a contract when you're on the telephone with a customer? Iron Mountain's Digital Archive does just that.

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People search for data and documents different ways. We scripted flexible panes that can be resized and collapsed to optimize the workspace.

Information-management market leader Iron Mountain introduced their web-based digital document storage and retrieval service in early 2002, and invited Filament Group to review the interface's usability. Our first engagement evolved into a multi-year collaboration where we've designed interfaces, developed production-ready front-end code and supported integration for more than a dozen rounds of new functionality. It was a challenging and fun collaboration. As we learned about the power users that work with the tool — customer service telephone reps, archivists, attorneys and legal researchers, compliance officers — we continually stretched how web technologies could deliver rich application-like functionality and performance.

One key to delivering application-like performance on the web lay with advanced client-side web coding techniques. For example, we developed custom scripts to allow us to deliver a multi-pane work environment where users could refine and save searches, view results, and preview documents. We developed and refined the interaction through a series of prototypes to prove its feasibility and effectiveness. Once our client-side code was tested and delivered to Iron Mountain, we worked on-site as a part of their development team to streamline the complex integration and QA process.

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A comprehensive Platform Application Map shows every screen to ensure system coherence and consistency.

The application introduced iterative new features and functionality, including broker-dealer supervision for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and structured retention policy management. Our familiarity with both the workings of the application and the goals of the company allowed us to help directly with application design and development, and in other ways. For example, we developed animated demos for sales and marketing teams to highlight the application's unique features. And we developed a comprehensive system diagram that unified the multiple feature launches into a single view of how the overall system works to support the business development and technical teams.