The city of Zottegem in Belgium has deployed Microsoft Office 365 to manage its communications in order to improve the way it delivered services to its 25,000 citizens.
Prior to the implementation, its e-mail infrastructure to cope with the growing demand to communicate directly and efficiently with the public. Backup and security were unreliable, storage was limited, and IT staff were limited by manual chores.
The city relied on an external provider to manage its e-mail, which could not guarantee reliable service, and so the municipality looked at a new solution. To avoid high costs and maintenance, the city wanted to use cloud technology, and so worked with Microsoft Partner C&C to adopt Microsoft Office 365.
The city can now provide its employees with new ways to communicate online from anywhere on any device – with automatic updates, backups, and security – for a fixed monthly fee instead of high infrastructure and maintenance costs.
Administrators and staff in various city departments use Microsoft Exchange Online to send e-mail messages and manage their calendars via the cloud. Users can communicate and collaborate online, using a single system, no matter where they are and on any device, which has made bring your own device possible at the municipality.
In the near future, Zottegem intends to also adopt Microsoft SharePoint Online for its intranet to store, share, and easily retrieve information. It may also adopt Microsoft Lync Online, the unified communications component of Office 365, to reduce its internal communications costs.
“Now that e-mail is handled externally, our IT department easily reclaimed six hours a week, which means my colleague and I can spend our time on other tasks,” said Kris Van Heghe, IT manager at Zottegem.
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