The University of London has recently undergone a digital transformation in order to create a more efficient and modern workplace. Through an ambitious programme of investment and development, known as Project Beveridge, the University of London was able to meet its target and objectives, which were as follows:
- Release academic space by moving staff to the lower ground floor;
- Enable staff to work in a way that meets their own needs as well as the needs of the organisation;
- Introduce activity-based working (ABW) for a flexible working environment;
- Improve staff productivity with new and faster technology;
- Improve communication and collaboration between departments via hot desking and an open-plan office;
- Provide efficient and effective storage facilities;
- Reduce environmental impacts.
The importance of preparation
Not only did the project need preparation in order to arrange building permits and for blueprints to be drawn up, it needed time in order to prepare staff for the change. The University of London arranged several months of training; for example, staff were sent on workshops teaching them how to use their new computers, as well as being taught best practices for flexible working. They also had tours of the new areas and were kept up-to-date with the progress via e-newsletters and through the intranet. Preparation was incredibly important to the digital transformation process, as it helped ease staff into the change as well as allowing giving staff a voice to give feedback.
After a few years in the making, moving day finally came. The lower ground floor of Senate House was transformed to include:
- No fixed desks;
- Breakout & quiet areas;
- A new canteen;
- New furniture, a nicer office space and a better aesthetic;
- More meeting rooms with technical facilities;
- Better integration with other workers within the university, increasing social aspects of the job;
- More chances for collaborations and quick meetings;
- Being able to access files from the cloud, making it easier to work from anywhere.
There was also a long list of technological changes that CoSector – University of London’s Digital Services department provided:
- Microsoft Surfaces Pro4 (Bit Locker), Docks and dual screens, soft phones
- Surface Hubs
- Centralised printing
- IAM Cloud / OneDrive Sync Client
- LogMeIn Rescue (Remote Support)
- 802.1x Network to enable moving between offices without losing connectivity
- New Switches, APs, structured cabling
- Office2013 going to Office 2016
- Skype for Business / VOIP
The university provided support, assistance and further training to all staff, as well as technical support from the Digital Services team. Communication was always open and still is today, which is a huge reason why the project has been a huge success. The staff adapted well to the changes due to the immense effort put into preparation, and the Digital Services team undertook a huge technical project that paid off due to their incredible technical know-how and hard work.
By Katherine Hockley
Learn more about CoSector’s Digital Services here.
About CoSector – University of London
Previously known as ULCC, CoSector’s Digital Services offer leading edge IT solutions that empower people and drive change within the education market.