September 11, 1989
  Agency Automated Document Storage and Retrieval
              Requirements Analysis

            Draft Procurement Analysis
                  Prepared for


              CONTRACT NO. 68-W8-0083
            Prepared by the Viar Team

                Viar and Company
               300 North Lee Street
                    Suite 2OO
            Alexandria, Virginia 22314

                         TABLE OF CONTENTS


SECTION 2 - AUTOMATED SYSTEM ISSUES                                  2

                             SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION
       On July 8, 1988 the EPA issued RFP number W802625-A3 for "Image Processing Systems."
A requirements analysis was subsequently performed to identify EPA automated document storage
and retrieval requirements.

       This  procurement analysis will present a number of issues raised  repeatedly during  the
interviews conducted for the Agency  Automated Document Storage and Retrieval Requirements
Analysis. Section 2 lists  these issues and summarizes how the Image Processing System (IPS) RFP
addresses each issue.  In addition, Section 2 also includes recommended enhancements to the RFP.

                      SECTION 2 - AUTOMATED SYSTEM ISSUES


       The interviews conducted as part of the Agency Automated Document Storage and Retrieval
Requirements Analysis repeatedly raised a number of issues as concerns with the existing systems and
requirements for an automated system. These issues are:

       •   The ability to perform text searches;

       •   The desire for a cost-effective records management solution;

       •   The ability to change documents maintained in an automated storage and retrieval system;

       •   The ability to support simultaneous multiple access to a single document;

       •   The ability to provide user support;

       •   The ability to reduce document retrieval times, particularly to respond  to Freedom of
           Information Act (FOIA) requests;

       •   The ability to reduce document storage space;

       •   The legibility of original documents to  be maintained  in an automated storage and
           retrieval system;

       •   The ability to convert current media to a new storage medium;

       •   The ability to support data exchange; and

       •   The ability to integrate with existing systems.


2.2.1   Items Not Adequately Addressed     Ability to Perform Text Searches

       The ability to perform full text searches is a requirement which is not adequately addressed
by the statement of work.  The ability to translate scanned characters into ASCII format is optional;
the IPS RFP specifies that documents are to be scanned, compressed, and stored in facsimile format.
Therefore, the ability to perform full text searches will not be readily available in the environment
defined by the statement of work.

       The statement of work requires the ability to define keywords for retrieval. This capability
will provide some ability for retrieval based on  a program- or project-defined mechanism.  The
ability to use keywords for retrieval provides as much document retrieval flexibility as any computer-
aided paper or microfilm system.  However, the statement of work does not address the text search
capability required by some program offices and applications.     Ability to Change Documents

       The ability to modify documents was expressed as a clear requirement by several users.
Section C. should be a requirement of the RFP and not expressed as "desired". In addition, the
optional feature in C.3.3 for an Optical Character Reader should probably be eliminated and instead
software which is capable of performing "optical character reader" functions on the already scanned
documents should  be a requirement of this RFP.  This software should be capable of recognizing
type as small  as eight point and be able to recognize several common fonts.     Legibility of Original Documents

       Several users expressed a requirement for document legibility and high resolution of document
images maintained in  any automated storage and retrieval system.  In particular, users expressed
concern over  the legibility of documents scanned since many are not the  original documents.

       Users want to be able to get the best possible scan of a document by varying contrast and scan
resolution, without increasing scanning times.  This concern is  valid and is addressed in the RFP,
although the  RFP does not specify any  criteria for this capability. For example, scan resolution
criteria' could be expressed in half tone pattern selections and gray levels.

-------     Ability to Convert Current Media

       Some users want the ability to convert existing documents, which may be stored on microfilm
or microfiche, to a new media, such as WORM. It is uncertain whether this capability exists with
current technology. It should be specified in the RFP as a requirement or optional requirement so
that respondents must address it.

2.2.2   Items Addressed     Ability to Support Simultaneous Multiple Access

       The users interviewed did not express a requirement for simultaneous access by more than
20 or 25 people; however, this is probably due to a lack of understanding of the potential of the
technology defined in the RFP.  The RFP requirement is reasonable and proper, assuming potential
users will eventually understand the  benefits of remote user file access and as the local area network
environment expands at the EPA.     Ability to Provide User Support

       The RFP requires EPA personnel to be trained in order to provide additional training to other
EPA users. It may be desirable to receive price quotes from the respondents to  the RFP  for
additional courses on a task order basis.     Ability to Reduce Document  Retrieval Times

       Many users expressed concern about the  time currently required to retrieve documents,
particularly to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests.  The access times specified by the
RFP meet all identified user requirements. The potential for this system to considerably reduce the
time required through a careful selection of keywords should provide a considerable time savings to
the government and provide a more responsive environment to the public.     Ability to Reduce Document  Storage Space

       Users repeatedly described  a lack of  storage space as  a  problem which contributed  to
inefficiencies in locating and processing. Currently, the WORM technology provides for more
efficient storage than paper or microfilm.  The RFP can meet all identified user requirements.

-------     Ability to Exchange Data

       The RFP supports the ability to exchange data within a local area network and among local
area networks and remote locations.

2.2.3  Items Requiring Further Analysis     Desire for a Cost-Effective Records Management Solution

       Some users expressed concerns about the costs of any automated storage and retrieval system.
This issue  must be addressed on a case by  case basis  with a cost-benefit analysis and detailed
requirements analysis performed in each case.

       Potential users should be given an in-depth orientation on the capabilities of the IPS system
and possibly be provided with technical assistance in performing the cost-benefit analysis.  Often the
true costs involved in existing systems are hidden and the potential benefits of a new technology may
not be visible to nontechnical personnel.     Ability to Integrate Existing Systems

       Some users want the ability to integrate a new media, such as WORM, with their existing
systems, rather than converting all existing systems to a new media. This could be accomplished by
either software or peripheral devices, but in-depth analysis must be performed to determine specific
solutions for  each application.

       The Agency Automated Document Storage and Retrieval Requirements Analysis identified
requirements for a number of EPA program offices and functions in terms of numbers of image
processing systems,  including those which have jukeboxes and those which do not.  The required
number of these systems was derived based on the number of documents needed to be stored digitally
and the requirement for "remote systems" which can access  a central storage site.

       A separate issue is the number of required workstations for a given image processing system.
The number of workstations to be used for scanning, printing, and/or viewing documents must be
determined on an application-by-application basis as part  of the in-depth detailed requirements
analysis to be performed by each program office prior to acquisition of systems, as recommended by
Section 7.2 of the Requirements Analysis.  The information collected for the current analysis cannot

accurately estimate the number of required workstations on an Agency-wide basis.  However, a
review of the quantitative requirements as set forth in the RFP as of this writing indicates that 400
workstations and 100 host processors (20  Level I hosts and 80 Level II hosts) are  to be acquired, or
a 4 to 1 workstation-to-host ratio.  It is quite probable that this number of workstations will not be
sufficient to satisfy the Agency's overall requirement over the life of the contract, at least for the
Level I systems which will feature an optical disk jukebox and storage capacity in the hundreds of
gigabytes. For Level II systems, whose storage will be on standalone optical disk drives, a 4 to 1 ratio
may be sufficient; however, it is highly recommended that the ratio of workstations to hosts for the
Level I systems be increased to a still conservative minimum of 8 to 1 or higher.