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Microsoft in Government

Workers at Australian city council get productivity refresh

20 March 2013 | Michele Bedford Thistle, Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

According to research firm IDC, by 2015 more than one-third of the global workforce will be mobile. This has huge implications for government, signaling that a more mobile government workforce may not be as far off as once imagined.

While embracing telework and new productivity tools can represent a big change for governments, both in terms of technology and cultural adjustments, in many cases even modest changes can yield significant returns and put government workers on the path to greater mobility. Consider the Australian City Council of Adelaide, which recently upgraded its analog phone system to a unified communications solution using Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Edition.

With 700 staff working from 19 different premises across the city, Adelaide City Council (ACC) oversees planning for the capital city and delivers a variety of community services for its 21,000 residents. As the ACC’s dated phone system approached the end of its life, the council decided to replace it with a communications system that could provide a broad range of collaboration and productivity capabilities to its workers, such as multi-party voice conferencing and desktop video meetings. Under the old system, collaboration was often limited to in-person meetings, requiring employees to travel between offices to work on various projects.

Today, council staff are using Microsoft Lync to collaborate via instant group meetings with audio, video, and other collaboration features—directly from their desktops or laptops, and from any location. Users can also receive voicemail messages through email and quickly see their colleagues’ availability within an email message or calendar invite. The move has not only eliminated unnecessary travel for council staff, but has given workers access to a broad set of tools that have greatly contributed to greater productivity and council-wide collaboration. Moreover, by switching from a legacy phone system to Microsoft Lync, the council has seen a 75-percent reduction in maintenance/operating costs associated with the old system.

When it comes to embracing mobility, Adelaide City Council shows that a little can go a long way. For more information on this great example of workforce modernization, be sure to visit our case study website.

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Michele Bedford Thistle
Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft on Government Blog posts

About the Author

Michele Bedford Thistle | Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Michele is focused on sharing stories from government customers creating real impact for citizens, employees, economies, and students. She joined the worldwide team from Microsoft Canada, where she was also marketing lead for several technology start-ups.