A Carrollton-based technology company is helping the University of West Georgia step into the future to preserve the past.
GreenCourt Legal Technologies, a software development firm that provides law firms nationwide the ability to file court case documents electronically, will provide up to 25 terabytes of storage capacity within its cloud environment to the UWG Ingram Library. The library, along with UWG’s Center for Public History, will use the storage to upload a large number of archival photos, maps, documents and more.
The valuation of that storage and its management exceeds $120,000. To put 25 terabytes in perspective, a hard drive of that size could hold approximately 3,400 copies of “Gone with the Wind” – the film, not the novel.
“That’s a lot of space,” said Ryan Roenigk, who serves as the company’s president and chief operating officer and as a member of GreenCourt’s board of directors. “Imagine if we had a physical warehouse that’s only about 84 percent full. We want to invite an institution that provides such a huge benefit to our community, state and nation like UWG to use some of the space we have. We have access to the best technologies and architecture money can buy. It’s a no-brainer for us to say, ‘Come on over; we’ve got an extra seat.’”
It’s a seat UWG will gladly take, too. Dr. Beth Sheppard, dean of libraries at UWG, said since she started in her role at UWG in July, she’s noticed a strong desire to collect and preserve digital content.
“It’s not only things that were born digital, either, but more about having digital backups and records of physical items,” Sheppard said. “Oftentimes, these ‘digital surrogates,’ as we call them, are all we have left of items. Having a digital archive at least provides some record and the ability to keep a little bit of information about those items.”
Sheppard forecasts the 25 TB of storage will likely handle approximately five years’ worth of the university’s text-based digital content.
“Imagine a machine that can churn out five or six book-length documents every day for five consecutive days,” Sheppard said. “This is enough space for that. That shows the scale of this astonishingly generous gift GreenCourt is giving us.”
GreenCourt, with its flagship product – PeachCourt – provides attorneys the ability to view up-to-the-minute court case information like judge assignments, dockets of proceedings and stamped documents, and the product provides courts the ability to receive electronically filed documents and share case information – all through the slightest possible changes to existing processes and systems.
Two of the company’s founders – Tommy Green and Tommy Vance – said they hope to provide greater access to information and services UWG provides for its students. Green and Vance also serve alongside Roenigk on the company’s board of directors.
“UWG makes our city more enjoyable for us and our employees at GreenCourt,” Vance said. “We’re always working to recruit excellent employees, and having an outstanding university in our backyard has been endlessly beneficial for us. Providing cloud storage to UWG will greatly benefit the university, which in turn will only help GreenCourt and its stakeholders.”
Green echoed that sentiment, saying that UWG helps create the community in Carroll, Coweta and Douglas counties.
“We’ve had a long, mutually beneficial relationship with the university as a source for interns and employees who have served us well,” Green said. “We’re pleased to be in a position to help in the university’s worthwhile endeavor to preserve the past. Support of the library and Center for Public History’s assets is critical, and we’re happy and glad to do so.”
Not only will GreenCourt provide the storage they have left over in the firm’s partition of the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment, but the company will also maintain and manage the storage space.
“To continue the warehouse analogy, we want to not only offer the warehouse facility but also serve as facility manager to ensure the doors are always locked,” Roenigk said. “This is an opportunity for UWG to store a vast amount of content at no cost, but it’s at a cost to us that’s much lower than it would be if the university had to purchase the storage on the open market.”
Roenigk said he’d like the GreenCourt gift to serve as an example of a way for private businesses to become more involved with the university.
“We are excited and honored to leverage our expertise to help the university achieve its mission and strategic goals,” Roenigk said. “GreenCourt wouldn’t be much help in doing roadside cleanup or administering flu shots. So much competency would be lost in that turn of efforts, and the results of this gift will be much more effective because it’s based on practices we carry out every day.”
Sheppard said the storage will affect UWG students in several ways, chiefly the expansion of access to documents they may need quickly and securely.
“Libraries are not about the collections that can be found within them,” Sheppard said. “They’re about the people who use those collections. This gift from GreenCourt will allow us to help facilitate the match between people and the information they need. It’s nothing short of tremendous.”