Modern Workplace Alliance: three partners, one team for City of Hobart

With over 600 employees, the City of Hobart had a lot of different divisions to connect. The Council needed to move its technology to a common platform to increase communication and collaboration. To achieve that goal, City of Hobart opted to work with the Modern Workplace Alliance, including three of its member organisations – Engage Squared, Insync Technology, and Adopt & Embrace – to implement and deploy Office 365. Working with the Modern Workplace Alliance allowed the City to get three suppliers, but one unified team.

Create a collaborative work environment for City of Hobart

As a local council, City of Hobart has many diverse units. In many ways, it is really like 60 different businesses with a range of processes and requirements.

The council had not invested in its technology for some time and needed to catch up on updating equipment and unravelling legacy systems. As long-time users of the Microsoft ecosystem, the City of Hobart knew that it would go down the Microsoft Office 365 road – but this isn’t really a story about the technology itself. It’s about how City of Hobart was able to create significant cultural and process change through the smart implementation of Microsoft Office 365 via partnering with Modern Workplace Alliance.

Modern Workplace Alliance started the process with its Modern Workplace Accelerator workshop to give everyone at City of Hobart a voice in the process. The alliance helped create consensus on what collaboration would ideally look like at City of Hobart and how technology could aid that process. This involved representatives from Insync Technology, Engage Squared and Adopt & Embrace, as well as 25 staff members to provide a cross-section from the council workforce. The workshop and resulting roadmap gave Modern Workplace Alliance, including the three supplier partners – Insync Technology, Engage Squared and Adopt & Embrace – and City of Hobart teams a cohesive way forward, including pilot groups that would demonstrate practical illustration of the potential benefits.

“As a long-term Microsoft customer, we knew that extending our existing solution into the Microsoft Office 365 platform was our direction, so it was really just about choosing the right partner to help us through that process.”

Peter Carr, Director City Innovation and Technology, City of Hobart

Three partners, one team

The project started with a Modern Workplace Assessment in February 2018. This gave both the Modern Workplace Alliance project team and City of Hobart a foundational understanding of where the council was at and resulted in a 12-month Modern Workplace Accelerator roadmap with key deliverables.

As part of the project roadmap developed as an outcome of the Modern Workplace Accelerator workshop, Modern Workplace Alliance delivered City of Hobart a roadmap that clearly articulated which of the three supplier organisations were responsible for the various project elements.

This broke down as follows:

  • Insync Technology: Identity and Office 365 foundations, mobile security, modern desktop,
  • Adopt & Embrace: Collaboration pilots and phased rollout, ongoing adoption and change management support
  • Engage Squared: Knowledge management and communication design and project rollout, forms-based automation

With a single approach across the three suppliers and a sole focus on people and processes, not the technology, Modern Workplace Alliance were able to get a deep understanding of City of Hobart’s starting point and its goals. From here they were  able to develop a clear strategy on how to get the results the City needed while bringing staff along and minimising resistance to change. At all times, City of Hobart knew which supplier was responsible for project components. By working collaboratively, the Modern Workplace Alliance team were able to achieve more in a faster timeframe.

Unlocking collaboration

By delivering the implementation as a cohesive team, Modern Workplace Alliance was able to deliver value to City of Hobart and reduce project administration with clear boundaries across the supplier partners on deliverables.

The project timeline broke down as follows:

First 90 days: Office 365 foundations and set up a Single Sign On Experience; collaboration pilots for Microsoft Teams and Yammer to develop use cases to share with the rest of the workforce; set up Mobile Access Management and Intune for secure access from any device

Months 4 to 6: Implementing modern desktop with transition to Windows 10; design and first release of a new Intranet; collaboration launch with roll-out of OneNote/OneDrive/Teams/Yammer/Stream

Months 7 to 12: Reduced reliance on paper through workflow configuration and process automation, including Digital Signatures; expanded Intranet content and updated Records Management processes to meet legislative and regulatory requirements; introduction of an adoption and change management program to ensure council workforce can embrace the new productivity tools

Project outcomes to date include:

Empowered and productive employees: Staff can work confidently from anywhere without management feeling they are out of touch or out of control. Secure mobile access has been a big driver in empowering staff to work together to deliver for the people of Hobart.

Greater security and reliability: Cloud accessibility means the technology is ‘always on’. Conditional access means the network is secure. Only real employees have access which leads to healthy identity security and healthy devices.

Maximise ICT team: Central management interface and automated processes from Intune are enabling automatic deployment of apps and policies.

Reduced costs: Reduced administrative overheads and associated budget spend.

Improved user experience: Both internal and end users are getting a better experience, especially through enhanced document management. Employees can support users in a more holistic way, with access to the right information at the right time, rather than being reactive to issues arising from on premise problems.

Better insights and visibility: City of Hobart has gained clearer visibility into what people are using mobile devices for, including better control over corporate information and better control over what is on those devices.

 “We used a hub and spoke, or beehive model, where teams begat teams. It was that kind of natural collaboration that had always existed but hadn’t been turned on. The Modern Workplace Alliance really helped us because they had the right specialist for the right part of the organisation.”

Peter Carr, Director City Innovation and Technology, City of Hobart

Consolidating change management is critical to long-term success

One of the biggest challenges involved with new technology implementation – and the work flow changes that go with it – is ensuring people don’t revert to old habits.

With this in mind, ongoing adoption and change management support is underway including engagement with City of Hobart’s internal communications resources to help communicate with staff and identify any blocks that are hindering adoption.

Modern Workplace Alliance partner, Adopt & Embrace, will be working with City of Hobart over a nine-month period to consolidate the behaviour change as part of the Office 365 implementation.

Work with a partner who thinks beyond the technology

The biggest change for City of Hobart wasn’t the new technology, but helping people get to a new normal and create new ways of working. Having a partner who could support this process and help embed the changes was critical to the project success.

“Because Modern Workplace Alliance are an alliance of a number of organisations who are specialists in what they do, it frees us up to be specialists in what we do which is to run a city. You can throw a rock and hit a Microsoft reseller or service provider, but they are not equal. It is so valuable to be working with a partner that thinks beyond the technology.”

Peter Carr, Director City Innovation and Technology, City of Hobart

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