In an interview, IT Manager Oliver Humbel about the KJSH Trägerverbund and its digital transformation. “M365 is like a hardware store...
The organisations and their various work areas are characterised by high flexibility, allowing them to tailor their support to the individual needs of each person, providing only the assistance that is truly necessary in terms of type and scope. The services are always oriented towards the principle of helping individuals help themselves. The guiding goal of their work is to empower individuals to responsibly exercise their rights and responsibilities according to their abilities.
The consortium of organisations supports the various work areas by providing them with expertise in content and economically relevant aspects of their work, facilitating networking, ensuring quality standards, and testing innovative assistance measures in the field of youth and social welfare.
Conscientious use of public funds, decentralised teams, a Zero-IT approach, employee participation, and, above all, a focus on benefiting people. These were the challenges faced by Oliver Humbel, IT Director of KJSH, to an increasing extent since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the social sector, digitalization often doesn't play a prominent role, as support and assistance are primarily provided in person and on-site. However, the pandemic situation brought significant disruptions for KJSH, compelling Oliver to find fast, flexible, and sustainable solutions.
"KJSH is not a typical corporation with traditional structures. It encompasses many businesses with individual solutions for people, and the number of these businesses is growing steadily. The goal is to unite everything resiliently," explains Oliver. Eventually, experts and Oliver converged on a solution involving M365 infrastructure, workplace security, and Azure Virtual Desktop.
The IT Director adheres to a Zero-IT approach, aiming to embrace digital transformation and remain flexible in adapting to changes. Another challenge within the social sector that Oliver seeks to address through IT support is creating more opportunities to attract potential employees.
Stay flexible with M365 infrastructure
A modern and flexible workspace is often a decisive factor for applicants when choosing a company, and especially in the social sector where it's not yet widely established. "To strengthen the company and enrich the teams, you must provide a workspace where employees feel comfortable and can work in the way that suits them best. This is how we collectively achieve company goals," emphasises Oliver. His approach brought the M365 infrastructure into even sharper focus.
"M365 is like a hardware store, where all the tools that can make daily work easier are available. However, not everyone needs to use everything; they can individually decide what they want and truly need," explains Oliver. Familiar apps from the M365 suite, such as Outlook, Teams, Excel, or Word, helped keep training efforts minimal and quickly provide a workspace.
New employees can comfortably and flexibly go through the onboarding process. For IT Director Oliver, security was as crucial as quickly connecting decentralised teams. The entire infrastructure must be secured, yet all data needs to be accessible for all employees anytime and anywhere.
KJSH now boasts Microsoft 365 infrastructure, Security, and Azure Virtual Desktop. “When I chose the Microsoft experts back then, it was crucial for me to rely on years of experience,” Oliver recounts. Since 2007, the experts have been engaged with the Microsoft product range, and as a multi-certified Microsoft partner, the team can look back on numerous successfully implemented customer projects.
“In working with people, their concerns, and needs, there's no room for mistakes in IT. People's trust must be secured in cloud computing," asserts the IT leader. Security and expertise led the cloud experts and Oliver to enter into a partnership, making it possible to provide all employees with a cloud workspace within a matter of days. "A hands-on mentality and personalized consultation, no matter what questions arose, there was always someone available, and when sleeves needed rolling up, that's exactly what happened.”
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a M365 system was swiftly rolled out within KJSH, concurrently incorporating security and governance aspects to ensure not only flexible but also secure operations.
Results and Benefits
As of today, KJSH operates a hybrid system and gradually migrates all data and processes into the new infrastructure. The introduction of the new environment enabled the deactivation of old systems and training of employees on the new ones.
"From the idea - we need to migrate quickly - to the final migration: the experts always supported us in bringing together all systems, locations, and files. Even when the solution we needed wasn't always conventional, the experts found a way to implement it," explains the IT leader.
Oliver's understanding of IT leadership goes beyond digital work. For him, KJSH is a large organization that exists for people, with people, and only through people, and he wants to support them through digital opportunities. In achieving the goal of pursuing a modern IT approach and collaborating with a partner, clear success factors were evaluated. The early involvement of all employees with their individual workspaces is just one factor for success. The IT department and the partner can thus tailor the infrastructure precisely to the teams' visions and needs. Similarly, a partnership on equal footing is key to successful and effective goal attainment.
"When I chose the Microsoft experts back then, it was crucial for me to rely on years of experience."
—Oliver Humbel, IT Leader, KJSH Trägerverbund
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