Office 365 connects Lejre Kommune across geographic and professional boundaries
With Office 365 Lejre Kommune is able to give all employees access to mail and intranet, regardless whether they have a personal or shared computer, is located at home or on the go. This eases communication and creates coherence while the IT department finds it easier to administrate and manage users and licenses.
Furthermore it’s easier to give access to new functions and services without having to invest in extra hardware and licenses. E.g. Skype for Business will, in the long run, make it easier to limit the number of time consuming and physical meetings.
Mikkel Solgaard Bojsen-Møller, Center chief in Lejre Kommune says: “We are a small municipality and normally we couldn’t be a pioneer within IT. But by connecting us to Office 365, which has millions of customers worldwide, we get the same possibilities and benefits as large companies. Even without having to buy new hardware and more licenses.”
As responsible for the municipalities group secretariat – including digitalization and IT – he is the primus motor on Lejre Kommunes Office 365 project. At first, the project was targeted at giving the municipality’s approximately 2.000 employees access to the SharePoint based intranet, simply because it was the cheapest and most flexible solution in terms on licenses. But the project grew bigger when the municipality, in close dialogue with ProActive, became aware of the many other possibilities they would gain access to through Office 365.
Greater flexibility and coherence
Mikkel Solgaard Bojsen-Møller explains: “With Office 365 it gets easier to give each employee their own lejre.dk-address. This applies to especially teachers who were primarily connected to UNI-Cs systems before. A lot of employees will also be able to drop a difficult mobile access and instead get mail and Office functions on their phones and tablets through Exchange Online.”
He elaborates: “At the same time we can offer our users a differentiated access to mail, storage and Office functionality depending on which needs each employee group have.”
In the long term the municipality would like to give each employee an e-mail address, regardless of them having access to a personalized computer or not. The idea is to connect the municipality on a whole other level than ever before, and to ease communication with both small and large groups of employees significantly.
Mikkel Solgaard Bojsen-Møller recounts “how extremely difficult and time consuming” it was to conduct an employee satisfaction survey three years ago where all employees had to answer questions on working relationships, trust and procedures – but where lacking digital tools made it necessary to use manual procedures and labor-intensive contributions from every layer of management to ensure that every employee received the material and returned their answers. Office 365 has made this a significant easier process and less time consuming.
Mikkel says: “We just conducted a similar survey among half of our employees but this time it was sent out via e-mail. This saved us an incredible amount of time. We expect this to be the same when all of our 2.000 employees are conducting the survey in 2015.”
Easy access to all the newest functions
The Office 365 project also improves employees and processes in a number of other areas. For example the 600 administrative employees are implementing the full Office 365 solution including five Microsoft Office licenses pr. User. In a heartbeat this made the municipality able to open up to automated and ongoing upgrade of Microsoft Office and full access to all new functions and interfaces. Had this been before, it would have been utopia.
Mikkel explains: “Until a few years ago, most of the administrative staff still had Office 2003 even though we had the licenses to upgrade it. But it would have been so time consuming that we chose to use our resources elsewhere. But with Office 365 we got the opportunity for automated upgrading for the newest Office versions as they become available. In regards to the integration with heavy back-end systems we can still choose to keep some groups on older platforms, as the back-end systems can be modified to run with older versions.”
More virtual meetings and greater efficiency
Office 365 has been the driver that made it possible to streamline management of licenses and data discipline.
Mikkel says: ”In the future all new employees will be established in the payroll system, after which the same data will flow to our AD where rights will be granted for each employee. With Office 365 the close integration will ensure that we only pay the licenses needed for the current staff.”
This is also beneficial for IT. Partly in terms of easier operation and reduced costs as more and more services are moved to the cloud and partly because the municipality’s IT-department continuously can deploy more Office 365 functionalities without investing in any further hardware or licenses.
Mikkel says: “Office 365 gives us greater flexibility and greater opportunity to support our processes and strategies. As early as in 2015, we plan that our administrative staff will be using Skype for Business to a greater extent as today. Partly to create better coherence across the municipality and partly to replace physical meetings with virtual meetings – which will spare time and make us more efficient."