Head in the cloud

In less than 12 months the City of Nedlands in the western suburbs of Perth has seen an IT transformation.

Gone is an ageing PABX system, a paper-based records management system, and even desktop computers.

In is Wi-Fi, free to the public in City buildings, and free phone calls within the organisation.

The City of Nedlands also boasts its own private computing cloud, placing all its corporate knowledge in one place.

New asset management software rounds out an impressive suite of new technology.
The City of Nedlands replaced its ageing PABX telephone system with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

This resulted in a significant reduction in costs for telephones and phone calls.
Mike Cole, Director Corporate and Strategy, says the biggest saving was not having to replace the old phone system and solely using VoIP.

“We got rid of the old phone system, the old technology, and we now effectively have free phone calls within the organisation using the Internet.

“And we’re saving on line rentals.”

During the past 12 months, Nedlands has seen a 28 percent cost saving in line rental, phone calls and fixed data lines with the potential for the savings to increase to up to 50 percent over time.

The City’s own private cloud means everything is online and all corporate knowledge is in one place.

The cloud allows the City to be nimble, efficient and cost-effective.

The City uses SharePoint, an information management system rather than a records management system.  

According to Nalin Dias, the City’s IT Coordinator, this solution saves money on electricity costs with less need for air-conditioning, much tighter security, and reduces capital hardware and software costs.

“Our service level agreement with the cloud provider looks after maintenance. This frees up IT staff to work on business critical work like business continuity plans, keeping policies and procedures up to date and training staff.”

All employees’ desktops have been replaced with cheaper ‘drone’ terminals incorporating the latest version of Office, with all processing done at the server.

Staff also have the ability to work remotely in the event of a disaster.

The City’s assets were kept in multiple databases or spreadsheets and managed in different departments.

The engineering department did extensive work gathering all of this data across the organisation, checking, updating and inputting all the city assets in to the new asset management system, AssetFinda.

All the city’s assets can now be seen in one location. The new database also allows staff to update assets ‘live’ in the field using iPads.

The whole transformation program was achieved within 12 months, was delivered within budget, and using existing resources, with no spike in the capital program.

The program had the added benefit of upskilling IT and records management staff.