Hybrid, transversal collaboration that is both secure and efficient: that’s what Inetum-Realdolmen achieved with Microsoft Teams at NIRAS and Belgoprocess. Now they can communicate internally and externally and exchange information without a care. Inetum-Realdolmen provided the necessary change management to support the process and prepare NIRAS and Belgoprocess for further digitizing.
Teams supports secure hybrid collaboration at NIRAS and Belgoprocess
NIRAS is the Belgian National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials, which since 1980 has been responsible for the safe management of Belgium’s radioactive waste generated by nuclear production of electricity, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and materials used in research, medicine, agriculture and industry. Approximately 800 people work at NIRAS’s headquarters in Brussels, the branch office in Fleurus and industrial subsidiary Belgoprocess in Dessel, which is responsible for the operational portion of the waste management.
NIRAS and Belgoprocess management want to combine their information on radiological waste management. They have therefore set up various priority projects that also involve their CS-ICT and CS-IDKM departments. NIRAS and Belgoprocess are still looking for new employees and experts to fulfill the various associated roles and positions.
MS Teams and change management
“Data security matters a lot to us,” says Danielle Couvreur, CS-IDKM Manager (Information Data Knowledge Manager at at NIRAS and Belgoprocess’s CS-ICT department). “We work with sensitive information that requires special treatment.” Corporate Service ICT drafted an ICT Master Plan that encompassed the introduction of Microsoft Office 365, including Teams. “Covid has accelerated our use of Teams as a replacement for Skype. The pandemic forced us to work from home,” says Couvreur.
“We began by using Teams for video calls, followed by using it to manage and exchange documents in the cloud as well. That meant we could keep working despite the lockdowns. Our main goals were to facilitate collaboration and share information safely between NIRAS and Belgoprocess employees, external contacts and project and research partners.”
Finding a partner to help implement this new communication method was a simple matter. NIRAS knew they could rely on Inetum-Realdolmen, as they were already working with the company to manage SharePoint. “Inetum-Realdolmen was already familar with our ways of working and company culture. They also have extensive experience with Teams implementations.”
“In addition to the actual Teams implementation, Inetum-Realdolmen helped us with the change management. For example, they provided training sessions to familiarize all our users with the new way of working,” says Couvreur. “They used online and on-site presentations to explain the correct use of the tool. We received thorough training in all the various communication options Teams has to offer.””
Information management governance is important at an organization such as NIRAS. This refers to management or a policy or set of rules to ensure that a company runs smoothly and consistently. For NIRAS and Belgoprocess, it was important to clearly define how Teams would be used. Who would do what? What types of information could be discussed in Teams? How can we collaborate using it? Where should confidential documents be stored? Should information be posted or shared as SharePoint files? NIRAS needed a new approach to include answers to these and similar questions.
“That’s why a change management plan was so crucial,” says Couvreur. “It was key to our project’s success. We implemented the change management plan in stages and as two parallel tracks, so that our ICT staff would have enough time to master all the information. The first track was the technological aspect. Our ICT department needed to be able to study the tool’s use and its impact on policy choices in areas such as technology, data management and information security. The other track concerned the change management plan’s implementation for the users. Our communication, security, CS-ICT, HR and CS-IDKM Management services acted as ambassadors, providing information and gathering feedback,” says Couvreur. “By the way, not just our management, but all our departments supported this project from the start.”
Satisfied with results
NIRAS and Belgoprocess are very satisfied with their journey with both Teams and with Inetum-Realdolmen. “Teams has allowed closer collaboration,” says Couvreur, “as well as the gradual improvement of our document management system’s security. We have seen clear growth in the system’s use and the resulting best practices. It has now been a year, but we will continue improving the system step-by-step. We can also still count on Inetum-Realdolmen, who have truly become a trusted partner over time.”
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