A lot of modern workplace transformation projects in the IT space deal with setting staff free from their desks by delivering hardware and software platforms that allow for secure remote, mobile and activity-based working.
Ecology and biodiversity consultant Niche Environment & Heritage had the opposite concern: it wanted a new culture to engage, motivate and reconnect its workforce, which for the best part of a decade had operated remotely.
Sydney’s OBT, Niche’s trusted IT partner, said that the environmental consultancy’s office was underutilised, and corporate culture was suffering due to a lack of human connection, peer interaction and mentoring for junior staff.
OBT was tasked to help their client create a sense of place and community where staff could come together in a meaningful way, without losing their autonomy.
The provider set about this by designing an office network that mixed a social co-working vibe with enterprise-grade ICT.
OBT overhauled Niche’s network with fast fibre-to-the-premises internet, an upgraded wi-fi system and new communication technologies. OBT also implemented Airtame, a wireless screen mirroring solution for Microsoft, Apple and Google desktop and mobile operating systems to help with collaboration.
Technology deployed included Cisco Meraki for wi-fi access points, network appliances, routers and gateways; a Cisco managed PoE switch; Polycom teleconferencing hardware; and Microsoft Skype for Business.
Creating a powerful network solution set the office up as a beacon of the company, where staff had access to connectivity that was superior to the home or on the road. Given that staff often worked with large files and huge GIS datasets, the guarantee of consistent high-speed access and security proved a big draw.
OBT said now twice as many staff flock to head office, which is providing more opportunities for mentoring and collaboration, thus creating a stronger recruitment and retention case for prospective professionals.
“The real benefits were increased efficiency and improved meaningfulness of internal collaboration,” said Jamie Reeves, Niche Environment & Heritage founder.
“I know staff are more productive – they're happier in the office environment. Our ability to interact with our clients has improved greatly. Furthermore, this project has clearly made an invaluable uplift to our corporate culture.
“I can’t fault OBT’s engagement – their solutions recommendations and implementations were on point for our needs and budget, and their speed and support were fantastic.”
OBT continues to support Niche, which is evaluating how to move more of its operations into the cloud while improving collaboration. The provider is set to roll out the same solution to Niche’s regional offices in Cairns and Brisbane.
OBT is a finalist in the 'Workforce Empowerment' category in the 2019 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub.