About Gemeente Rijswijk (The Municipality of Rijswijk)
Rijswijk is a medium-sized city located in the province of South-Holland, in The Netherlands. The Municipality of Rijswijk is the local government body, employing approximately 450 people across 11 departments to serve the city's 46,500 inhabitants. The Municipality provides a range of civic services and information across housing, welfare and education.
The Municipality of Rijswijk processes large volumes of information for a number of public services. The organisation previously relied on numerous manual, paper-based administrative processes, which were time-consuming and inefficient. Additionally, the organisation lacked a central repository for data, making it difficult for users to share documents and jointly manage information.
"It was often challenging to quickly and accurately access information, as there was no way for users to share documents," said Manuella Harrand-Tittse, Information Management Consultant at the Municipality of Rijswijk. "The IT department began to receive requests from employees for new team collaboration tools, as they were growing increasingly frustrated by the limitations of the existing ones."
The Municipality wanted to make it easier for employees to work together and share knowledge, both within the organisation and with external partners. It looked for a suitable collaboration solution, which would enhance cooperation between employees and improve organisational efficiency.
After considering a Microsoft SharePoint solution, the Municipality of Rijswijk selected Novell Vibe® for its high performance and broad functionalities, including schedule-, knowledge- and information sharing, file management, information searching and workflow management.
"We chose Novell Vibe because it had all of the collaborative features we were looking for, at a reasonable price, which is especially important for us as a government organisation," said Harrand-Tittse. "Furthermore, we use Novell GroupWise for email and calendaring, so the selection of Novell Vibe was a natural choice as it offered easy integration with our existing software environment."
The initial deployment and training was managed by Novell Platinum Partner Netflex BV, which successfully completed the installation of Novell Vibe at the Municipality within one week.
"We were highly impressed with the speed at which Netflex was able to implement the Novell solution," said Harrand-Tittse. "This made it possible for us to spend extra time on optimising the solution and tailoring it to our requirements. For example, Netflex helped us to design the user interface exactly according to our own wishes and to give it a truly personalised look and feel."
Novell Vibe enables staff across the municipality's 11 departments to better coordinate their information and skills to manage projects and processes, regardless of location. Access to information has been centralised, allowing users to easily store and share files. A central knowledge base and agenda enable staff to build teams and workspaces to organise and share project-related information, all at high levels of productivity and efficiency. Staff can tag all information they create, making it fast and easy to find it again in the future.
The Municipality of Rijswijk has already seen a number of important benefits from using Novell Vibe. The first of these is in the transparency of project management: the Municipality now has a clear view of business processes that span multiple project teams in different departments.
"Novell Vibe is already making working life a lot more enjoyable and productive for employees," said Harrand-Tittse. "For example, managers can now divide work across different teams and have real-time insight into the progress of the project. In the past, they might use a spreadsheet that would be updated only every three weeks."
While it is difficult for the Municipality to quantify the benefits, anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that the organisation is operating far more efficiently with Novell Vibe. Knowledge and information are more easily shared and retrieved, and work processes are more streamlined and better managed.
The IT department is now considering extending the use of Novell Vibe. For example, the Municipality has plans to digitise further paper-based processes, enabling staff to use tablet computers to access Novell Vibe during meetings instead of paper documents. There are also plans to enable employees to use Novell Vibe when working from away from the Municipality's offices. The latest version of the software provides mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices, enabling seamless and secure access to corporate information on the go.
"Thanks in part to the excellent work conducted by Netflex, the quick and successful implementation of Novell Vibe is very promising for the future extension of the solution across all levels of our organisation," said Harrand-Tittse. "We are very enthusiastic about Novell Vibe and see many possibilities for using the software in other parts of the Municipality."