Diepenbeek opts for Workplace as a Service

Diepenbeek opts for Workplace as a Service

A digital workplace for every type of user 

Diepenbeek's local government updated all its computers in only two weeks. Their IT department decided to go with Inetum-Realdolmen's WPaaS, a plan that provides both the necessary hardware and various managed services. "This gives our employees everything they need to make the move to a fully digital way of working."

Diepenbeek is a municipality in Limburg, located between Hasselt, Genk and Bilzen. The municipality's IT department supports both municipal services and the Public Center for Social Welfare (CPAS/OCMW). "Our computers were badly outdated", says Koen Rabijns, head of ICT, "which was becoming more and more of an annoyance to our users. Simply buying new equipment didn't strike us as the best approach, however. IT is a fast-moving market." Moreover, installing all those new computers by hand would have cost Diepenbeek's small IT team far too much time. Koen Rabijns: "We estimated that doing the rollout ourselves would take at least a year; time we'd rather use for more strategic projects.

Before the Covid pandemic, Diepenbeek's fleet consisted mainly of desktops. A limited number of laptops were available for use by staff on site visits. "No-one was working from home back then, that's for sure," says IT expert Raf Thewis. "That changed fast with Covid's arrival. From one moment to the next, everyone who possibly could started working from home. People worked on their own computers at first, as we simply didn't have any laptops available."


Diepenbeek's IT department soon found a suitable solution; Inetum-Realdolmen's WPaaS (Workplace as a Service). The local government bought 160 new HP devices, including over 100 laptops, along with various docking stations and monitors. "We were already familiar with HP," says Koen Rabijns. "We're aiming to maximize consistency." 

The municipality's computer users operate in very different departments; from social welfare and housing to civil affairs, accounting or technical services. "We defined fourteen personas altogether," says IT manager Alain Jacobs. "Every employee gets assigned a specific persona depending on their job. That determines whether they receive a laptop or desktop and which applications will be installed." For now, new computers get ordered by email. Eventually, this will move to Rstore, Inetum-Realdolmen's procurement portal for IT products and services. Once the device has been bought, Windows Intune provides the required applications based on the user's persona.

Diepenbeek's local government looks back on the WPaaS process with satisfaction. "We're already working on our next steps to make this a modern workplace. We will begin by drawing up a business productivity roadmap, again with Inetum-Realdolmen's help."

Koen Rabijns | Head of IT @ Local government of Diepenbeek

Managed services

After updating their hardware, Diepenbeek's local government proceeded to the next step: a migration to Microsoft 365. "We intend to take full advantage of all the possibilities offered by this environment," says Raf Thewis. "For example, we're still using file servers at the moment. Eventually, we'd like to replace those with solutions such as SharePoint and OneDrive." The third element of the WPaaS plan is to make the switch to an environment designed around managed services. "If we have any questions, about the equipment or the use of Windows 365 for example, we can turn to Inetum-Realdolmen's service desk," says Alain Jacobs. "They always provide fast, skilled assistance, including on-site support."



The IT department is very pleased with the move to WPaaS. "The use of Intune is especially convenient," says IT manager Ronny Jouck. "It has streamlined the monitoring and maintenance of our computers. Whenever there's a new update, we can just roll it out for everybody at once thanks to Intune. This centralized administration means everyone is assured of devices with up-to-date security at all times." Besides, with the transition to Windows 365, the IT department can start phasing out their own file servers. Of course, it's primarily the employees who get to reap the benefits of the new, improved equipment. "This is really allowing them to make the move to a digital way of working," says Koen Rabijns.  

 Rapid rollout

The actual rollout of the new devices went very smoothly. The local government arranged for people to come pick them up from the municipality's multipurpose room. Employees picked a time and were instructed on the use of their new devices in small groups. In barely two weeks, all the new laptops were in use. "Employees were able to take their new device home and get right to work," says Alain Jacobs. "In the office, laptop users also have a docking station and two monitors." In case someone's device breaks down, gets lost or stolen, the IT department always keeps a few extras in reserve. "That's included in the WPaaS flex plan," says Raf Thewis. "That way, our employees are never in danger of being without a computer."

Diepenbeek's local government looks back on the WPaaS process with satisfaction. "We're already working on our next steps to make this a modern workplace," concludes Koen Rabijns. "We will begin by drawing up a business productivity roadmap, again with Inetum-Realdolmen's help. We hope to use this exercise to teach our employees how to get even more out of their new hardware and software."

In a parallel project Diepenbeek invested in a migration to Microsoft 365

When it comes to migration projects, implementing new technology is only half the battle. The other half consists of effectively integrating the new technology within your organization. To ensure all employees at the various municipal departments are fully involved in the migration to Microsoft 365, the Diepenbeek local government called on the expertise of ICT partner Inetum-Realdolmen.

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