Industry Insights

Alfresco Becomes First Vendor to Obtain DoD Distinction

Earlier this month, Alfresco, an enterprise open-source software company announced that their Governance Services solution has been certified against the DoD 5015.02 CH3, Department of Defense (DoD) standard for records management. According to the announcement, Alfresco will be “the first open-source software vendor to achieve this.”

To give you a bit of a general overview, the recent release of Alfresco’s Governance Services has helped make the records management “more intuitive and invisible to end users by seamlessly integrating into business processes and automating lifecycle management”. Not only is it said to deliver a highly scalable repository but this initiative can also manage content and records of any type, including electronic documents, images, emails, videos, and physical records with the DoD 5015.02 security certification.

Hot on the heels of this announcement, I reached out to Tara Combs, Information Governance Specialist at Alfresco, to inquire why this certification was important to Alfresco and what the driving factors are for vendors to acquire this distinction.

Alfresco’s Information Governance Specialist Weighs In

Can you tell us a little about the process in which Vendors can become certified against the Department of Defense (DoD) standard for records management?

Tara: “The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) created a set of test cases that a vendor has to demonstrate that they can meet for all three chapters of the standard. Alfresco has demonstrated and passed the tests for Chapter 2 Baseline and Chapter 3 Managing Classified Records. This is a comprehensive testing process and usually takes up to 2 weeks to go through the testing process with JITC running the tests.”

Why was this certification important to Alfresco?

Tara: “This allows us not only to be implemented in the Department of Defense but also by the Intelligence Agencies or any other organization requiring that strict level of security. It is the Gold standard for security for potential customers worldwide. It also provides capabilities for meeting regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). US States Cybersecurity Acts, CA Consumer Data Privacy Act and many more.”

The press release states “These security features allow us to meet standards in other verticals such as financial and insurance as well as global standards such as ISO 15489 and 16175,” Can you tell us a little bit about the International Organization for Standardization and how that’s important for Vendors?

Tara: “There are numerous ISO standards and they ensure standards for quality, security, reliability and that those standards are met around the globe. Alfresco and other ECM vendors are not certified to ISO standards but can be implemented to help organizations meet their ISO requirements.”

What is it that makes you stand out above the rest of Vendors now that you have this certification and do you think other Vendors will follow?

Tara: “Alfresco is the only Open Source vendor that is DoD 5015 certified. We would expect other open source vendors to eventually follow, but this will take time because of the stringent requirements. Alfresco Governance Services provides true role based access with over 60 record functions that can be assigned to a role. These roles can easily be created and assigned to the file plan limit not only to access the file plan and records, but what functions the users are able to perform on the records. We have implemented access control through Security Marks, a key part of the standard, in a unique way that allows rapid and accurate classification of content and records. Alfresco is in the process of patenting this functionality.”

What is DoD 5015.2 and Why is it Important?

As regulatory and compliance mandates raise pressures on organizations across all industries, the need to control diverse forms of content has increased exponentially. Records management systems enable organizations to centrally, securely and electronically manage their records. When selecting a records management system, the most important certification to consider is DoD 5015.2.

According to the press release, Tara described the DoD 5015.02 CH3 standard meant that “customers in the U.S. government can now manage all their content – classified and unclassified – in a single, unified digital business platform that offers content, process and governance developed by a single vendor on a modern open stack.”

She also added “We’re excited to announce this certification, which demonstrates our commitment to security and compliance. The features required for certification must include very sophisticated access control to content and records that ensures that only those who need access to content and records have access.”

When you select a system that has achieved full compliance with DoD 5015.2, it is guaranteed to provide a multi-faceted set of information governance tools that manage document lifecycle from initial capture to long-term archival. With the right processes in place, these tools will break down information silos and make staff more productive, while also ensuring that information is accessed in a prudent and compliant way.

Records management is vital to the success of your organization, and an electronic records management system that has been certified to meet stringent requirements for organizing file structures and plans will ensure that you have the best tools available for keeping your information assets organized, safe and secure.

Ending Notes

Not only does the certification show Alfresco’s commitment but it’s also adding value to their platform to become a top-tier provider of content, processes and governance services which in my humble opinion is a win for any organization.

Tony Franzonello, Alfresco’s regional vice president, Federal Sales made a really great point when he said “It removes a hurdle that could prevent some customers from swapping out their entire legacy ECM solutions for Alfresco." This begs the question that I asked Tara above, I wonder if any other vendors will follow after this announcement and I’ll be sure to keep you posted if so.


Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella Pirrone

Gabriella is the Digital Marketing Assistant for CMSC Media. She brings a wealth of knowledge from not only a CMS perspective but also content, SEO and eCommerce. She enjoys everything social media and staying ontop of the latest trends in the digital marketing world. 

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