Encompassing 2,037 square kilometres and comprising diverse spectrum of communities and landscapes, Moreton Bay Regional Council is one of the fastest developing regions in Australia. Home to 389,660 residents, growing annually at 3.2 per cent and 27,064 businesses, projected to increase by 60.2 per cent in coming years, it is the third largest local government population in Queensland and Australia (following Brisbane and the Gold Coast).
Council used a combination of traditional PABX and IP Telephony, across 43 locations, used by 1,400 staff. That meant unnecessarily high operational and maintenance costs and complexity associated with running 22 individual PABXs, connected by over 500 different PSTN and ISDN lines. In addition, its data network worked in parallel, incurring duplication costs. Came time to upgrade, Council decided to invest in Unified Communication technologies, to enjoy the benefits of instant messaging, presence, audio and video conferencing and collaboration.
Council was already running a Microsoft stack, so Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice assured the closest strategic alignment with Council's capabilities and technologies. Staying with a Microsoft solution promised a seamless integration with a familiar end-user environment, that would mean high adoption rates by end-users.
Generation-e was chosen to set up the backend infrastructure, and to provide a scalable infrastructure to support Council through imminent future expansion.
The Lync deployment included:
- Presence and instant messaging
- PC-to-PC audio/video calling
- Enterprise voice & integration with existing PBX platforms
- Unified inbox experience and consolidation of disparate voicemail platforms
- Multimedia ad-hoc and scheduled conferencing including audio, video & content
- Desktop sharing & collaboration
- Support for remote, teleworker & mobile users
- An upgrade of all desktops to the Office 2010 suite
- An upgrade from Lync 2010 to Lync 2013 that was completed in May 2013
Council and Generation-e collaborated over a few months to ensure a smooth transition through bespoke change management. A team of 50 council staff were appointed as the Office Lync Champions who surveyed end-users, brokered their training needs and served as the first line of enquiry. An internal pre-promotional campaign, was also conducted to prepare all staff for the introduction of the platform. Generation-e then undertook a successful trial on 100 staff, and finally completed the full cut-over in a weekend. Council staff were then moved from the traditional PABX infrastructure to the new Lync Platform over a 6 month period. The results was a 99% uptake of the system by end-users who love the new way of working.
With employees working from 43 locations in addition to mobile users and teleworkers, video provides the opportunity to collaborate effectively with colleagues regardless of device or location. Another great benefit is the ability to connect with individuals outside the organisation, using Lync's federation capabilities. Council is currently looking into the feasibility of scheduling online meetings and holding web conferences with ratepayers, suppliers, contractors and other external parties.