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To most people, it is a well-known fact the trend is moving towards IT being provided as a service. This trend is making its way across all industries and both in the private and public sector. The latter is particularly prevalent in moving into new territory. 

Written in May of 2022

In Jammerbugt Municipality in Denmark, the sails have been set towards new horizons and in the haul, you find a setup which is both modern and secured for the future. The complete package consisting of a combination of highly skilled in-house employees and external IT services was put into play.

The winds of change have moved across the IT industry in most recent years. In 2015, at Danoffice IT, operating as edgemo at the time, we were at the forefront when we launched our first services, PC2go and SOFT2go. These services were the first of their kind in Denmark and they were launched as a subscription with commitment periods and a long-term plan. Since then, things have moved quickly and the development of cloud and outsourcing has been the driving force for some of the heavier agendas. These were only surpassed by security which seems logical due to its inherent implications.  It was quite the undertaking to set sail on such unruly waters and surely many have hit the bottom or capsized. However, in Jammerbugt Municipality, the course was maintained because the proper crew was at the helm and the haul was distributed correctly.

”Three years ago, we were at a crossroads as so many before us have been: We needed to switch from a pure Citrix solution to a solution geared towards the Modern Workplace,” Henrik Bech, Head of IT Operations in Digitalization, IT and Purchasing in Jammerbugt Municipality, explains.

“It sounds drastic, but it was truly a paradigm shift for us. It became a transformation to go from saying let’s get our Citrix under control to saying we need to get ALL our units under control with all it entails.” Henrik also explains how much effort was spent on the non-technical part of it all: “In a matter of three years, we went from being a traditional IT department wearing our tinfoil hats and having a compartmentalized approach to the technical side of things to focusing on being a team working with functional processes.”

Drawing the Line

Like many others in most recent years, they have been working their way through the process: Where do we draw the line in terms of internal skills versus external resources? “We have a talented and forward-thinking Digitalization Manager, Morten Hedegaard, and he is of the steadfast belief that we need to keep 40% of our operations and maintenance at our fingertips – the rest we have covered by excellent cooperation agreements,” Henrik says and adds: “This is also where the collaboration with edgemo (now Danoffice IT) stems from. It is a combination of the right in-house skills, proper preparedness, and the right processes. I have a process-technical IT degree which means I am highly concerned about having great processes.”

Soft Packages

Towards the end of 2021, when Henrik and his team had the full scope of how many applications would be affected by the switch from Citrix, they were ready to make a decision. “Because they had helped us with Citrix already and they are a collaborative partner in our transition towards Modern Workplace, it made complete sense to present our challenge to them. Worst case scenario, we had approximately 420 applications that needed to be packaged and they were quick to say that if this is about packaging, we have the solution to help automate the new setup. Naturally, we were interested in more information about that,” Henrik Bech explains. “We had a SCCM server set up to co-manage all our units in InTune. We had the licenses for that and at that point, we were ready to look at the packages. We had around 420 applications and when we went through them together, we had around 200 packages in the end. Immediately, they told us that they could set up two thirds of all the packages to be fully automated through SOFT2go right away. That was a very attractive option.”     

Unlike some other organizations, Henrik and Jammerbugt Municipality actually have the skills to a great extent to build and maintain software packages on their own, however, the analysis is founded on what would make operations the most efficient. “It is important to us that we have one or more people on staff who can make the packages on their own. We work with SOFT2go which also makes it possible,” Henrik explains and emphasizes that the work with getting started with SOFT2go was manageable. “We only had two workshops lasting 4-5 hours and that brought us to the final setup we have today. Naturally, we got there with the help of our internal skills as well as those of edgemo (now Danoffice IT).”

A Sharing Service

There was a clear correlation in the way we viewed modern IT. Us on the one side and Henrik and his team on the other. “We said that when we have all these packages, why don’t you tell the other municipalities that these are in fact available?” And with that one question, Henrik hit the bullseye. Once again, we were ready to push the envelope on the development of modern IT by creating a sharing service. This was something Henrik saw as a benefit. ”We suggested that they created a common platform for all municipalities on which they could help each other to create packages or even maintain packages. This makes sense because whether you are in the municipality of the small island of Læsø or you are in Copenhagen, there are a large amount of common software packages. As such, we have encouraged them to start creating this expansion and further development of this.”    

As a result of all this, a new Danish service concept was brought to light. It is still in its early stages but well underway. These days, we need to band together to minimize the waste in the IT industry and this solution will also create a positive imprint in terms of green and more sustainable IT. “My impression of SOFT2go is that it is like starting on Teams for the first time. Once the portal is set up correctly from the beginning, everything just flows. I am not an IT professional. But even I can see that. It is simply intuitive,” Henrik says and adds: “This means that a new municipality can enter SOFT2go and see a large number of packages that they can just cherry-pick from the shelf and then build the rest or get help to do so.”


Great IT. Great Process.

”At this point, we have rolled out all our PC’s in SCCM and we have only been out to see about 2% of the users. It is all working quite well. However, we have also had a focus group for the users and kept everything transparent to make sure everyone sees how it is all connected,” Henrik explains and provides a status of the transformation from the old system: “Approximately 80% of our 1400 IT users now have the option of working outside of Citrix which means we are well on our way. We have shifted the gears in our IT department one process at a time and it is now time to gear up our entire organization to working on the new system. We are currently in the midst of a transition of the entire organization.”

A Good Match

The transition to a new system and large changes in general can add quite a few grey hairs and frown lines in any organization. For Henrik and his team, the key to minimizing this was to be found in the collaboration with us. “I really want to praise both my own as well as their team. When we first sat down and looked each other in the eye, we found the right people to run this process.”

"Morten Leth Hedegaard was able to speak with everyone on the team and the collaboration was really great. Without him, we simply would not have been able to get to the finish line on the technical side in that short amount of time,” he says. “We have had many brains on it in our department, but Morten was able to dissect it all. We had a clear similarity in the approach to the processes so it did not take long before he and I were talking tools and everything project related. If he came across problems he could not solve, he was not too proud to gather help from his own organization. They were very solution-minded and all in all, it has been a pleasure,” Henrik Bech, Head of IT Operations in Digitalization, IT and Purchasing in Jammerbugt Municipality, concludes.

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