• Digital Workplace
  • Managed Services
  • Citrix
  • Microsoft
  • Case story

All the preconceived notions pop up when you start talking about IT administration in a government entity – “it is complex, slow-moving, and outdated”. However, we often see that reality puts prejudice to shame. Luckily! One example which confirms this all around is the Municipality of Haderslev.

Written in December of 2020

Since the writing of this story, Henrik Holm has changed jobs. However, that does not change the facts of the story or the approach taken by Haderslev Kommune as it relates to this undertaking.

The Municipality of Haderslev is in the middle of a transformation – an extensive and successful effort to implementing a Modern Workplace strategy. They are creating a modern IT organization which even the most forward-thinking private actors could only dream of. The big difference between then and now is anchoring responsibility and maturing an entire organization. Who is responsible for the digitalization process and the adjustment it brings about? Would that fall on IT, the employees, or management…?

”We began with the essence of the adjustment – it was clear that the organization needed to mature digitally. The divisions needed to run their own digitalization projects. Previously, they would fan out a standard solution, however as things have developed, the methods and terms of the work have changed in a short amount of time. However, before we could start the big adjustment, we needed to spread the maturity. We were successful in placing the responsibility with our management. They have truly spearheaded the project of shifting awareness and responsibility from the IT department to management – and from there, it needs to be spread out into the entire organization. This will be the backbone for the process and our organization,” Henrik Holm, IT Manager in the Municipality of Haderslev, states.

Prepare the Organization for Change

”Prior to rolling out new initiatives and tools, we took the time to determine how to organize our IT in general,” Henrik explains and continues: “We had two realities, one was organizational and another was systematic. If you have a classic, centralized division of operations, which must ensure a high level of up-time, you do not have enough bandwidth to make it out into the nooks and crannies and then, those divisions go solo. Then, when the problems end up in our laps, we cannot help but to say what are we doing here? So that had to stop. On the system side, we also have the issue that our setup was expiring in the coming year. Our servers and our Citrix environment. The easiest thing to do was to just buy new servers and renew Citrix, but doing that would not shift the focus.”

The Key to Success Lies in the Needs of the Users

The central point of focus in a Modern Workplace strategy is the users. The users’ work, their commitment, their well-being – the needs of the users. “We have set out on a journey now on which all systems must be adapted to the needs of the users. Not the other way around. We have to ensure that everyone can perform in the best way possible. And if the reality is that everyone cannot solve all their tasks with the current technology available, well then it seems that that particular technology is not the answer going forward. This is why we are attempting to discern the needs of the users,” Henrik Holm says. “The journey started among other things by creating personas to map out the journey for us. Our place of employment had to do SO much more than before and we knew that our systems will be challenged.”

How does an employee best complete his tasks? Henrik and Haderslev Kommune moved very far away from the one-for-all principle in their Modern Workplace strategy and instead attempted to look at the individual task functions.

”Let’s use the example of an employee in a nursing home. How does she register her work? Does she write things down on her arm or does she need an application on an iPad? Before Covid-19, we had approximately 1,500 PC’s and 1,000 iPad’s in the field, but that has been increased substantially now. We chose to be quick and proactive, but we have a new challenge before us: HOW do we manage all of these end points? But, this is where edgemo (now Danoffice IT) introduced us to the possibility of Intune, Autopilot, etc.,” Henrik Holm explains.

A Pandemic is not a Stumbling Block

Before the global Covid-19 pandemic hit, the transformation in Haderslev had begun. Several units had reached the users and the work was in progress to create a new platform of tomorrow. “We have done everything we believe to be right. We are working with an Office 365 platform which is relatively new, so now, we can just take advantage of the many options,” he says.

”The same day the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, shut down Denmark, we ordered 200 new PC’s to ensure that we could share these out to employees who needed to work from home, and we activated our Teams licenses so we were ready to go. We just needed to fire up the machines. Even our city council meetings were conducted via Teams from the beginning and we even had live streams,” Henrik Holm explains and elaborates further: “Unlike many other municipalities, and companies for that matter, we had no challenges in creating the VPN connections.  We made sure that our users had the proper IT equipment and then Citrix and Office 365 managed our everyday functions. We already had Sharepoint and OneDrive in place so it went really well. Clearly, we ran Teams before Covid-19, but we could see in our statistics that the chart from straight up in a vertical line as of day one. It was a huge success and we were already well on our way.”


Everyone Needs to Be Able to Work

– Easily, Securely, and Efficiently

The core concept in any Modern Workplace strategy would be somewhat as this headline reads. Simple, yet complex beneath the surface. IT is well-known for being a disruption and disruptions are the number one killer of productivity.  Therefore, all the systems that make units functional and tools accessible are extremely critical in a workplace.


”At some point, all things must be connected and be rolled out. When it came to the configuration of the units, we encountered some challenges. This is when we sought out edgemo (now Danoffice IT) for help. They make sure that all machines are rolled out and ready for use with all the tools the specific employees need. The basic installation is there and in working order and we have a foundation we can scale when buying more units or if we need to change our current solution down the road. This is where it becomes even more important that we can put in packages so this is where we need to have a functional system.”

Management of units is not a user-accessible system, but it is still a central aspect of the Modern Workplace strategy. It allows for continuous productivity and a high level of security.



Look to See What’s in the Box

Speaking of security: the first thing on everyone’s mind, when talking about licenses, is money – the cost. Especially when you bring up security. However, security does not have to be expensive because in most cases, you have licenses for a lot more than you actually think. When Henrik Holm stepped into Haderslev Kommune’s IT organization, one of his first initiatives was to look at just that.

”We sat down and said when we spend this much money on Office 365, what really comes in that box – and what do (not) we use? Our ambition is to obtain the greatest possible benefit from what we pay for. We want to use the entire box of crayons – that is our philosophy. As it stands today, we look at all functions in Office 365 and we use any part that makes sense,” he says and adds: “At the same time, we are trying to look at what existing things we could turn off. For instance, our old SMS token system. That has been replaced by a multi-factor system. This way, we also bring down the level of complexity.”  

A Great Collaboration

Henrik and his team have created a strategy for what they handle themselves and what they outsource. However, this is not just about tasks and low-tech issues. “When we need them, we also seek them out to improve our qualifications and to help us understand. For instance, we continuously receive scores from Microsoft and then we measure and adjust things on an ongoing basis.” Henrik likes to work in an agile environment. Testing things out as you go rather than one big bang.
”Our Business Relationship Manager, Klaus Stuckert, is really good at bringing the right people to our meetings and for tasks. Their consultants are talented and I truly see this because when they speak, my people listen up. For instance, can you really set up a PC automatically? So, for instance, when it comes to automation, they make us smarter.”

One of our project managers, Mette Nobel, manages our technicians and their consultants. We quickly learned that this was necessary,” Henrik Holm laughs when reference is made to the classic errors in large IT projects. “This way, we are sure deadlines are met. For instance, when we needed to switch all our iPads to Intune. They helped with the technical side and to direct the process. As such, we have a valuable and excellent collaboration and what matters most is that: I chose them because they can do it all – from Citrix to Microsoft. They are not trying to steer us away from one or the other and that ensures the span of our projects.”

Related stories