VDAB is a Flemish public authority which manages job vacancies throughout Flanders, supports citizens in the job seeking process, and develops the skills base of the workforce through training in its network of education campuses. Under CIO Paul Danneels, cloud computing was identified as an important enabler of VDAB’s future strategy. If VDAB staff, partners and jobseekers could be brought onto a common digital platform, services could be made more efficient and customercentric, and IT ownership costs reduced across a large and complex estate with over 250 locations. VDAB was keen to avoid using cloud on an ad-hoc basis for discrete projects, and wanted a comprehensive roadmap towards adopting cloud across the organization and achieving a rapid Return on Investment (RoI).
Capgemini Belgium conducted exhaustive research on the requirements of VDAB, and identified the two greatest areas of opportunity for cloud as the email and calendar service, and the collaboration environment to replace the Novell Groupwise platform already in use. An architecture study was carried out to arrive at the right technical solution and identified that Google Apps met VDAB’s needs more completely than any other cloud-enabled package. Capgemini’s in-house Google experts produced an implementation plan covering all necessary activities on the technical side, while a parallel change management stream provided users with training, information campaigns, Google guides, a support portal with videos, and other materials.
The effectiveness of Capgemini’s detailed planning and approach ensured a successful go live, winning recognition
from Google Inc Deployment Manager Tom Wik: “This was one of the smoothest Google Apps implementation we have ever seen, the knowledge of the technical team was astonishing, and the change management was very well prepared.” Some 6,000 email accounts were migrated to Google successfully overnight, allowing the entire organization to switch from the previous email solution to the new one the next day, a considerable achievement given that VDAB exchanged around 36 million emails with its customers in 2009. The implementation of Google Apps will give VDAB more possibilities to collaborate, not just internally but also with external parties. Documents can be created online for sharing with colleagues and jobseekers, and to support realtime collaboration such as e-coaching.
Websites too can be produced for partners and projects. Chat, and audioand video-chat are now available for internal use, e-learning and to follow up with jobseekers. VDAB is set to save €500,000 per year thanks to reductions in costs linked to infrastructure, storage and backup, server management and application management. The return on investment (RoI) period for the project is only one year.