The Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) Office 365 rollout helped make for a speedy departure from the Department’s Palmerston North office earlier this year after it was found that the building was susceptible to earthquake damage.
It emerged in June that IRD, along with the Transport Agency, were on the hunt for temporary offices to house roughly 700 public servants after structural investigations found the existing building the government entities were using was earthquake prone.
As of September, at least some of the Department's local contingent has occupied new permanent premises in Palmerston North, but not before a stint in temporary lodgings.
According to IRD chief technology officer Gary Baird, the Department’s rollout of Office 365 meant the organisation could get out the door and into the temporary premises with less fuss than would have been the case prior to the rollout.
“It was amazing how quickly we dealt with the situation -- so much faster and better than similar instances in the past,” Baird said.
IRD has for some time been in the midst of a Department-wide rollout of Microsoft 365 E5, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Additionally, the Department’s IT team is now using Microsoft Intune to manage all of its devices and applications. IR tapped into Windows Autopilot to upgrade its existing 7,000 devices from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and deploy 1,300 Microsoft Surface Pro devices across the Department.
Moreover, IRD now uses Office 365 business apps, productivity tools and collaborative capabilities to help bring its remote and office-based teams together.
At the same time, IRD is now tapping into Azure Active Directory to manage identities and improve employee experiences by reducing sign-in times and enabling users to move between devices and applications.
“Within the first six months after deployment, IR increased its adoption of collaborative tools from 33 per cent to 62 per cent,” former business transformation change manager at IR Helen Doomen said. “Considering we are still rolling out the ‘Working Smarter’ initiative across this organisation, this result is exceptional.”
As reported by Reseller News in November, IRD had previously delayed its planned shift to Office 365 and Windows 10, a project it said aimed to allow its people to work in "more collaborative, flexible and agile ways".
In April 2019 Inland Revenue decided to delay the migration to reduce risk, given its proximity to Business Transformation release 3. The migration resumed in August 2019 and is due to be completed by February 2020.
Meanwhile, it is understood that IRD is close to completing its delayed Oracle Cloud-based enterprise support system rollout, which is being delivered by Oracle itself with partners PrimeQ and Accenture.
It also appears to be trying to productise its implementation for use by other agencies, with Customs already eyeing the Oracle SaaS configurations IRD developed for its enterprise support services (ESS).