Michel Bosman, Manager I&A GGD regio Utrecht
For the healthcare professionals at the Municipal Health Service (GGD) in Utrecht, every house is a potential workplace. But the healthcare organization's digital resources were not designed for this. Outdated laptops and systems and a private server room were slowing the GGD professionals down. Cegeka migrated GGD’s 750 employees and 60 offices to a modern, cloud-based working environment.
‘We went through six mergers over a period of ten years,’ says Michel Bosman, I&A manager at the Municipal Health Service. ‘Our IT environment dated back to 2008 and had never been updated, yet the digital possibilities had increased dramatically since then – just think of apps and online videos. With the resources we had available to us, we were no longer able to keep up with new developments.’
‘The Youth Healthcare Service needs to be able to address young people with short videos, but the only thing we could do was create flyers, because video editing was not possible. If a doctor wanted to show a video at a school, he had to ask the school's IT department to help him. Our healthcare professionals, in turn, were sitting in people's homes with heavy laptops on their laps. The system was often so slow that they just closed the laptop and used pen and paper instead.’
According to Bosman, the infrastructure was literally on the verge of collapse. ‘Our servers were on-premises. They were very slow and outdated. We would count our blessings every day that they were still working. But we knew that if the servers crashed, the GGD would not be up and running again by the next day. It would probably take weeks before they could be fixed. So we decided that we had to make a change.’
The GGD engaged several subcontracts left and right, including for new laptops (Microsoft Surface), licenses and mobile subscriptions. Then the organization started looking for a partner who could connect the dots between the different solutions. Ten IT companies, including Cegeka, were invited to present their offerings.
‘During the selection process we asked a lot of questions: “how do you see this, what do you propose for that, what about logistics?” Cegeka provided us with clear and specific answers. It’s also a large organization with a lot of capacity. Those aspects were the decisive factor for us.’
With Cegeka in charge, the entire GGD organization was transferred to the cloud and an Office 365 working environment within six months. This was not an easy task, considering the multitude of offices and 750 employees, many of whom were not IT experts. ‘So for us it was a very exciting journey. You don't make a change like this every day,’ says Bosman, looking back on GGD’s journey.
‘Cegeka provided us with excellent support. During a transition like this, you always run into unexpected snags. That’s where the power of good cooperation really shows. Cegeka always focused on the end result, not on interim problems, small issues or costs. If something went wrong they solved the issue immediately, with no discussion of time or money. We consider Cegeka to be a true partner. Of course there are still some small issues, but they’re always resolved quickly. However, the fact that they managed to design, build and migrate to a new environment in under six months is impressive to say the least.’
‘The GGD has made a big change. We have a lot more possibilities now. We have access to our documents from anywhere and each branch has its own internet access. Our employees are very happy with the overhaul. They see it as positive feedback, because we are showing that we appreciate them and want to invest in their work as healthcare professionals. They now have nice looking, light laptops with touch screens. They can Skype and share files via SharePoint with ease. A colleague of mine summarized it perfectly: “This is not a step forward, but five light years.