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NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

Working anywhere, anytime with transformed communications infrastructure

Video length: 3:21 minutes.

Australia | Public Sector | Digital Workplace

Achieving a flexible, collaborative workplace

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet needed network infrastructure that would enable collaboration and communication and introduce activity based working.

Download this case study (pdf, 401.08KB)
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Challenge

Legacy infrastructure that restricts flexibility and collaboration needs to be overhauled. The relocation of government agencies requires a secure, flexible, and scalable shared network infrastructure.

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Solution

We design, development and implement a virtualised network platform, together with pervasive wireless that supports activity-based working.

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Result

 A shared and flexible platform improves collaboration, enables staff to work from anywhere at anytime, and accommodates future growth.

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Challenge

Revolutionising the workplace with activity based working

The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) provides support and advice to the Premier and Cabinet and leads the public sector in delivering the NSW Government’s priorities. DPC consults and works closely with other NSW Government departments, the Commonwealth Government, business, and the community to ensure the Government’s responses to community needs are effective.

In 2014 DPC was part of the Central Government Relocation Project that involved moving three government agencies – DPC, NSW Treasury, and Ministers and Parliamentary Services – to a single premises at 52 Martin Place, Sydney. The move to the new premises saw the relocation of approximately 1,300 government staff from all three agencies across 20 office floors.

Prior to the relocation DPC was spread across a number of locations within the Sydney CBD, with a working environment that offered few opportunities for collaboration between deskbound colleagues, and with legacy technology that made it difficult to improve the situation in any meaningful way.

‘One in four people had an office,’ said John Clark, Executive Director, Corporate Services, DPC.’“It was just corridors and offices; you could go weeks or months without actually seeing people from other parts of the organisation.’

According to CIO David Schneider: ‘About two years ago, IT was the worst rated indicator in terms of staff satisfaction. Prior to moving to 52 Martin Place, we had quite legacy technology, which created a lot of problems and a lot of difficulty for staff to work collaboratively.

‘The objective of the department in undertaking the relocation project, was to improve collaboration and communication across staff. At the same time, we were moving into a smaller footprint, so the executive team was attracted to the idea of implementing activity based working.’

Brian Walshe, General Manager, End user Computing, Dimension Data, said: ‘Activity based working allows us to get higher levels of concentration of people but actually create a better outcome, by changing the way we lay the office out and by making people internally mobile.’

‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity where you get to actually revolutionise and completely change over the technology landscape. Our motto from the beginning was the idea of being able to work anywhere anytime,’ enthused David Schneider.

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Solution

A communications network fit for purpose

We were engaged to design, plan, and deliver the shared infrastructure at the new Government facility at 52 Martin Place. The solution consists of two key networking elements:

  • Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology in an enterprise environment, which delivers a virtualised network platform that provides a secure, flexible, scalable, and manageable multi-tenanted environment; and
  • Cisco Converged Access, which treats wired and wireless traffic in exactly the same way, resulting in ease of implementation, better end-user experience (whether they connect through wired or wireless) and improved network operations.

The solution meets the data connectivity needs of the 1,300 staff who occupy 52 Martin Place and is flexible enough to cater for future expansion.

Integral to the solution was a well-defined management construct that is secure and structured and, as a result, simplifies the network operations and management within the multi-tenanted 52 Martin Place environment, supported by multiple IT operations teams.

Dimension Data worked closely with Cisco to design the solution. Gayle Beevers, Account Manager, NSW Government, Cisco, noted: ‘The solution at 52 Martin Place is an underlying communications infrastructure network that supports three agencies with their own security requirements. The pervasive wireless is very much fit for purpose for activity based working.’

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Result

Working the collaborative way

Activity based working, supported by the new infrastructure at 52 Martin Place, has proved a resounding success for DPC and has been positively received by both management and staff.

‘From day one it worked really well; it was such a huge change from the way we previously worked. From a cultural point of view, I think I spoke to more people in the first two weeks we were at 52 Martin Place than I did for the two and a half years in the other building,’ recalled John Clark.

‘Now my staff ask if they can work at home to get a few briefs done and I can’t say yes quickly enough. Our focus is now on output rather than managing people and what they are doing day to day,’ he said.

‘With the solutions we have put in place, I can take my laptop anywhere in the world, connect securely and have exactly the same desktop presented to me, no matter where I am,’ said David Schneider.

For Crystal, a member of staff at DPC, the experience of working at 52 Martin Place is ‘awesome’. She enthused: ‘It’s a warm welcoming environment, which is very open, sharing and collaborative and makes our jobs a lot easier.’

‘It’s just a better way of working, in a more open way. The AV is fantastic and our mobile technology is really good, so people are working in a really modern collaborative way,’ said John Clark.

‘Government is just starting on the wave of activity based working in Australia and DPC is at the forefront of this shift in government,’ said Brian Walshe.

The new infrastructure at 52 Martin Place has also improved the reputation of IT within the organisation. According to John Clark: ‘It’s raised our profile because we’ve really changed the way people work every single day.’

‘We are receiving a lot of compliments and anecdotal feedback from staff around what they can now do within the building in relation to technology. The ability to work wirelessly within the building and to work remotely has been a huge gain,’ concluded David Schneider.

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