New intranet dissolves boundaries at Trelleborg
Trelleborg Municipality has created a new Omnia- and Microsoft 365-based organization-wide digital workplace. The platform dissolves previous structural and communicative boundaries between the municipality's employees and its administrations. Included among the many benefits of the new workplace are higher levels of efficiency, flexibility, and collegiality as well as improved accessibility of information, documents, and other resources.
”Our new digital workplace has strengthened internal communication, collaboration, and collegiality across our entire organization, including the municipal companies. Omnia's rich search functionality also makes it significantly easier to find information, collaboration areas, files, and internal expertise. The solution has created a much better-organized structure of information, tools, and processes, which has made it easier for users to find and navigate their way to the right resources”, says Web Strategist Susanne Nilsson of the Communications Unit at Trelleborg Municipality.
According to Susanne, the platform's mobile-friendly interface has also made it possible for employees to work more flexibly and to access all information and tools when away from the office, leading to greater efficiency and productivity. It also makes it easier for management to communicate with and engage those who do not have their own work computer.
One municipality = one intranet
Trelleborg is Sweden's southernmost city and municipality and is an important port on the Baltic coast. The city has many exciting urban transformation projects planned for implementation over the next few years. The municipality employs roughly 4,000 people working in municipal companies and seven different administrations. These include the Community Development Administration, the Technical Service Administration, and the Culture and Leisure Administration.
The municipality's shared intranet previously consisted of an Episerver solution. Many of the administrations had also built their own intranets, which hampered communication and collaboration both between administrations and between administrations and the municipal companies. The former SharePoint-based Document Management System was also decentralized and it was up to each administration to decide how to create, share and update documents.
In 2020, initiatives were taken to improve the digital workplace and consolidate all information with the objective of strengthening the organization’s efficiency and cohesion as well as facilitating communication and collaboration. The municipality also wanted to make it easier for employees to work flexibly, find relevant information, resources and colleagues, and share knowledge with each other.
“We also had to implement a system upgrade as the Microsoft licenses needed to be renewed and the intranet was old. At the start of the Digital Workspace project, we went through the entire information, document, and system structure, including IT security and master data, in order to create an inventory and structure ensuring better order and control. Once we had a good structure and requirement specification for the new digital workplace, we started looking for a suitable intranet platform. Omnia's smooth integration with Microsoft 365 and the platform's powerful search functionality and mobile friendliness made the choice easy”, Susanne emphasizes.
The implementation of Omnia started in the autumn of 2021 and the new intranet, including the full Microsoft 365 suite, was rolled out to the entire organization on March 28, 2022. The new work and communications platform have been well received by users, although much content is still missing.
“We opted out of automatic migration and instead recreated all content from scratch. Better results are guaranteed, even if it takes longer to get everything in place. This gave us the opportunity to clean out old material, with the content published becoming instantly up-to-date and relevant. With the vision of "One municipality = one intranet", we involved key stakeholders from all parts of the organization, enlisting their help in creating a new common and better-adapted information structure. Much of the content was previously siloed in the administration’s parallel intranets. Now we have a consolidated, shared, and centralized structure for the municipality’s entire information base“, Susanne concludes and adds:
“But it’s important to recognize that it takes time to migrate previous content and documents to the new platform and SharePoint Online, as well as create new content, all of which will be made available to the whole organization.”
Easier to deal with common challenges
The new intranet is integrated with both Microsoft 365 and Teams to give employees easy access to tools, information, and collaboration areas. Teams is used for online meetings, chat, and all kinds of internal collaborations, and new teams are created via Team Templates in Omnia, which makes it very easy to start and run projects.
”Teams and Omnia work well together. It's just a matter of getting the organization to adopt the new way of working and to show employees where different types of discussions, collaborations, information, and documents belong. We have a change communicator who, both before and after the launch, carried out a number of communication activities promoting and clarifying the new ways of working. We also have around sixty super-users who act as ambassadors for the new platform and who help their colleagues get on track”, Susanne explains.
One of the objectives of the new intranet is to make internal know-how and expertise more transparent and searchable so that employees can easily find each other in order to deal with common challenges and problems. With Omnia's built-in employee profiles and multifaceted search function, users can easily filter out colleagues with the right skills and/or experience.
“The employee profile functionality has made it significantly easier to find internal competence and new contacts. Initially, we used our existing HR system as master data to populate employee profiles. However, the profile information from the HR system has its limitations. We, therefore, need to encourage our employees to spend time building rich profiles so that our competence search provides better results”, Susanne points out.