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Today’s post was written by Miguel Pinto Luz, deputy mayor at Câmara Municipal de Cascais.
As deputy mayor at Câmara Municipal de Cascais, I value technology that puts our government ahead of the curve. We have a 650-year history as an alluring retreat for members of European royal families and as a weekend getaway for city dwellers. Our 32 kilometers of beaches and our protected parkland are well known for their natural beauty. Our mission as the municipal government of Cascais is to continue this tradition and to make our town the best place to live not just for today, but for a lifetime. And to accomplish this in the 21st century, we have to transform from a paper-based, compartmentalized organization to a “digital government.” We turned to the cloud services that Microsoft offers within the Azure computing environment and the Office 365 business productivity suite.
Microsoft Azure delivers a trusted cloud computing environment to store our data, but we retain the control we need over our content so we can meet our compliance needs. After a head-to-head competition with Google Apps for Work, we chose Microsoft Office 365 to deliver a set of tools that our 2,000 employees can easily adapt to how they work on any device, boosting productivity when and where they need to work. This benefit takes us a long way toward one of our main goals for the future: delivering a modern workplace where people can accomplish more with less resources and still achieve better services for our citizens.
Today, we have a much more inclusive email service, with all employees using Microsoft Exchange Online, whereas before, many of our field workers did not have a corporate email address. We have approximately 500 smartphones in use by field workers, who use them to access their city email. And by the last quarter of 2016, our new intranet—based on Microsoft SharePoint Online and the enterprise social network solution, Yammer, which is part of Office 365—will be fully deployed. Field workers will search for and access data from city department and team collaboration sites, wherever they happen to be working. And mobile workers will be able to stay connected to team updates, messages and notifications with the Yammer app for mobile devices.
Within city hall, approximately 400 employees use Skype for Business Online for instant messaging and presence awareness, so it’s easy to find colleagues or get a quick question answered. And now that 1,000 employees are using Microsoft Planner to better organize their group initiatives, everyone is more accountable with deliverables and timelines.
As a government, it’s crucial that when we introduce new tools that foster a digital, collaborative way of working, we also enable appropriate security and privacy policies. Office 365 supports our requirements for compliance. For example, we introduced the legal hold capabilities as soon as we deployed it, as this was a capability we didn’t have before.
For a traditional government accustomed to working with paper-based processes, these are big steps on the road to digitization within our municipality. We chose Office 365 over Google because it was a more familiar interface that bode well for user adoption. As we see employees embrace the online collaboration functionalities and realize improved efficiencies, it becomes clear that Office 365 is an instigating factor in achieving a digital culture change that’s lasting. Microsoft cloud services are definitely part of the future at Câmara Municipal de Cascais, so we’ll be able to deliver faster, better services to achieve our goal of improving the quality of life for our citizens.
—Miguel Pinto Luz
For more, read the full Câmara Municipal de Cascais Office 365 and Planner case study.