2 page Case Study - Posted 1/25/2011
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Municipality of Parma

Municipality Increases Collaboration and Cuts Costs with New Intranet

The Municipality of Parma provides government and public services to citizens in the city of Parma, in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. The organisation wanted to reduce manual processes and make it easier for employees to work together productively. It deployed an intranet based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Employees now work more efficiently and collaboratively, and provide a better service to citizens.

Business Needs

The Municipality of Parma governs the city of Parma, in Italy. The city has 180,000 citizens, with an economy centred on agriculture and food. The organisation has a responsibility to provide a consistently high-quality service to citizens of Parma, and, to do this, it needs to offer a good service to its employees. Ettore Manzali, IT Manager, Municipality of Parma, says: “Our employees are the link between government and citizens. So we need to ensure they can work productively.” Staff also need to be kept up-to-date with information they need to answer citizen queries, such as new laws, and upcoming city events or projects.

But, until recently, collaboration between different departments was manual and time-consuming, which affected the speed of service provided to citizens. Manzali says: “Documents from each department were stored in shared folders. This meant employees couldn’t work on them at the same time, and any changes were often not recorded. If employees requested specific information from another department, they often had to wait a long time for it to be delivered.”

Processes such as leave requests were completed manually on paper forms and then consolidated by the HR team. If employees wanted to view personal information, such as payslips, they needed to request them from the human resources (HR) team, which would print and deliver the information in person. “The paper-based system was expensive and increased the workload for the HR team,” says Manzali.

Manzali saw an opportunity to overhaul the municipality’s internal collaboration tools. “We wanted to give employees fast, easy access to information they need to perform their roles,” says Manzali.


In 2008, the Municipality of Parma engaged with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Altitude to deploy an organisation-wide intranet based on Office SharePoint Server 2007. “It’s our experience that Microsoft products are reliable, plus we trust the company’s expertise,” says Manzali. Implementation was managed by Altitude and It.City, a municipality-owned company, created to manage its IT infrastructure. The solution was customised to reflect the Municipality of Parma branding, and went live in June 2008, for all 1,600 employees.

Employees can access the intranet from any of the 1,100 computers used within the municipality offices, or remotely through the internet. All users log on to the site with a single user name and password, and are presented with regularly updated news—for example, new laws, upcoming initiatives, and future events in the city. Employees also use the intranet to store and share files.

Each municipality department has its own document library, which is accessible through the intranet. Files stored within these libraries are listed, along with key information about the documents, such as when they were created, or last edited, and how many times they have been viewed. “All employees can access these libraries, and any changes to files are automatically tracked by the system,” says Manzali.

Employees also self-manage HR tasks through the Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal. For example, users request leave and training courses, and can view personal documents, such as payslips and attendance sheets.


By deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007, the Municipality of Parma has increased efficiency across all departments. Employees are more knowledgeable, can share documents in seconds, and the organisation is providing a better service to its citizens.

Increased efficiency. Manzali says: “Staff can locate and access files in seconds, regardless of department. And, if an employee needs to request a specific piece of information from a colleague, this data is circulated quickly. This means all users work faster and are much more responsive to citizen queries.”

Improved employee knowledge. Since it deployed the intranet based on Office SharePoint Server 2007, employees are better informed about the activities of other departments’ upcoming events and initiatives. “If a new law is passed, for example, we can make sure all employees are aware of it,” says Manzali.

Enhanced collaboration. “People understand that they are part of a larger organisation and are more willing to participate in projects, or suggest ideas to improve our citizen service further,” says Manzali. “Employees are embracing the chance to share knowledge as well, as shown by the increasing amount of user-generated content on the intranet.”

Simplified HR processes. Giovanni Paolo Bernini, Councillor responsible for Human Resources and Organisation, says: “Employees can access forms, such as payslips, directly through the intranet. As a result, HR team members don’t deal with as many employee requests, and can focus on other important tasks instead.”

Reduced costs. Manzali says: “Now that forms are completed electronically, we’ve cut the amount of paper we’re using. This saves money and reduces our impact on the environment.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1600 employees

Organization Profile

The Municipality of Parma is the regional government organisation for the city of Parma. The city has an economy focused on agriculture and food, notably Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Vertical Industries
  • Government
  • State and Regional Government Agencies


Business Need

IT Issue
Enterprise Portals