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The City of Chicago government leaders wanted to improve its employees’ ability to communicate and collaborate, as well as automate key processes that deliver important services to residents. The city needed an integrated platform to help it do all of this, but also to make the most effective use possible of taxpayer dollars. After comparing enterprise-class cloud computing services in categories such as cost, security, functionality and ease of adoption, the City of Chicago settled on Microsoft Office 365.
“When we looked across all the categories, we saw that Microsoft Office 365 would best fit our needs,” says Brenna Berman, chief information officer at the City of Chicago.
Microsoft Office 365 has helped the city government, which includes 30 distinct departments better work together. It helped to improve communication and collaboration, reduce redundancy and increase efficiency. It even reduced email costs per user by 80 percent.
“We have smoother intradepartmental communication, less need for physical meetings and paper printouts, and a more consistent conduit for information sharing,” said Brenna Berman, chief information officer for the City of Chicago.
Since the move, the City of Chicago has also sped up and automated some key processes, such as invoicing and reimbursement, all while remaining compliant with government standards for information and financial security. The hard copy paperwork from a single project from the city’s transportation or finance department could fill dozens of boxes, which was not only a storage dilemma, but difficult to search.
“In the past, it could take multiple days to track down a piece of information,” says Cheryl Donegan, director of Administration for Finance at the Chicago Department of Transportation. “Now it takes just a few minutes, so we’re operating more efficiently while providing greater transparency to the contractors who work on our projects.”
The bottom line? The city is using taxpayer dollars more efficiently, whether it’s making legal documents easier to find or making sure its at-risk citizens have access to services such as housing and food. Read the full story to understand the collaboration and operational improvements.