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Macedon Shire Council Future-Proof with Office 365

The shire is renowned for its pristine landscapes, native forests and unique natural features including Hanging Rock and Mount Macedon. It spans 1,747 square kilometres and is divided into three wards, each represented by three Councillors.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is one of the largest employers in the Macedon Ranges, employing over 600 people. Our staff members are committed to enhancing the liveability, sense of place, and community health and wellbeing enjoyed by residents of the Macedon Ranges.

The task for Cirrus

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While the staff based in the council’s service centres of Kyneton, Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend had access to internal collaborative resources, the elected Councillors – most of which are based offsite – did not.
A number of solutions were investigated by the Council, including competing cloud platforms and hosted desktops, however none provided the level of integration nor flexibility that their existing IT footprint demanded.

SOLUTION

Cirrus proposed a solution that enabled the MRSC to migrate users including Councillors, to the cloud on an ad-hoc basis, while retaining the integration and manageability of their existing environment, including:

• The exchange of free/busy calendar data and maintaining scheduling
• Using the same administrative console to manage both cloud and on-premises users
• Automatic re-configuration of end-user applications and devices, and;
• Maintaining compliance within the Council’s security framework.

The proposed solution involved the introduction of Office 365 (including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online) along with an extension of their existing on-premises environment to the cloud. This enabled the Councillors to retain their existing credentials, email addresses and contact points, while empowering them to further leverage the Office 365 toolset to augment the free flow
of information.

BENEFITS

This implementation has provided Macedon Ranges Shire Council the option to – now or in the future – eliminate on-premises infrastructure (and move to a cloud environment with minimal effort) with no discernible impact to users. Enabling the business to utilise a phased (rather than ‘big bang’) approach significant reduces risk and empowers individual users or departments to migrate when it suits them.

IMPROVEMENTS

Implementing Office 365, the Council realised the following improvements:

• Real-time access and collaboration on Microsoft Office documents via SharePoint
• Improved communications through the use of Lync for messaging and conferencing (IM, audio and video)
• The capability for the Office 365 environment to be fully managed within their existing Active Directory environment
• A reduction in cost compared to an on premises based solution, removing the need for new hardware (a quantifiable cap-ex reduction)
• Rapid turnaround on implementation versus an internally delivered project, freeing up resources to focus on the organisation’s core strengths
• A facility to easily on-board users to the new cloud platform, and;
• Much larger mailbox capacities (50GB), including legal hold/audit functionality.

The extra level of documentation that Cirrus provided, that was above and beyond the norm is greatly appreciated and a true reflection of your company values, providing World Class Service.

Maureen Trezise | IT Manager at Macedon Shire Council

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