Unifying communications

Article image - Unifying communications Wellington Shire Council’s unified communications system integrates advanced meeting room scheduling technologies. Users can locate and book available meeting rooms from any device, or at the touch of a button from any room to book, cancel or reschedule meetings on the fly.

Wellington Shire Council has implemented a suite of technological initiatives to help improve communication – 100 percent of staff members support the move. 

As Victoria’s third largest municipality, Wellington’s staff members are spread over 10,924km2, meaning technology is vital to the Shire’s business operations.

Over 460 staff are employed in a varied range of roles across a number of sites, including main and satellite administration centres, six libraries, three depots, six swimming pools, a regional sports facility, two art galleries and an entertainment centre.

Previous, outdated systems were restrictive, problematic and limited in their capability and change was needed.

Implementation of new technology including Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365 has provided all staff with opportunities greater than ever before to seek and achieve best value for the community.

Microsoft Skype for Business helped mobilise the workforce by providing a powerful platform for communication and collaboration.
Every staff member has the ability to video-conference, connect, and collaborate from their mobile or tablet device, or desktop computer, with just two mouse clicks.

 The new system provides video conferencing capabilities across the entire network and enables our community to easily connect with Council.

Staff work collectively in OneNote, they discuss projects using Skype, face to face but on different floors.

Attention paid to detail by the ICT team enabled rapid, easy transition.  

The familiarity of a Windows 8 desktop set up to look similar to XP, which staff members were used to, is one example of a range of methods used to encourage even technophobes to embrace the change.  

Some of those most fearful at the outset of the change are now some of its greatest supporters.  

In just a few months from the relocation and implementation of the new systems, only one percent of staff would now prefer a desk phone to a headset.

This investment has improved service delivery, enhanced customer service, increased cost-efficiency and provided significant environmental benefits across the organisation.  

In a recent survey of staff that transitioned from the old to new office environment, 100 percent agreed that the new technology has made their job easier.  

Cost savings resulting from the drastic reductions in paper and toner use are impressive after just a few months.

A full case study on Wellington’s changes is available to view at www.linkedin.com/company/wellington-shire-council