The NSW government plans to roll out a digital collaboration platform for up to 400,000 employees, with Workplace by Facebook becoming one of the early applicants.
The state government is in the process of “building the preliminary business case” for what it calls a “cross-industry digital collaboration layer” across its operations.
The platform is intended to cover all departments “and potentially all government agencies”.
The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) – which oversees the digital collaboration project – hired two former NBN Co employees who worked on the network builder’s recent workplace transformation project, which included a deployment of Workplace by Facebook.
Johan Nades, who was NBN Co’s Senior Project Manager, Workplace Transformation, was named “Senior Project Manager, Digital Collaboration” at DFSI late last year, according to LinkedIn files.
Most recently, Trent Carslake – who worked on the Workplace by Facebook deployment at NBN Co in the second half of last year – joined the NSW government effort.
The hires – and descriptions of the scope of the project revealed so far – indicate that Workplace by Facebook is being scaled up for use across the NSW government.
A series of recruitment announcements in recent weeks indicate that the digital collaboration platform “will enable all governments in NSW [departments] to connect and communicate seamlessly through internal and external groups, chat, receive news feeds and broadcast live video to colleagues ”.
A DFSI spokesperson confirmed iTnews that a “limited technical pilot of Workplace by Facebook is underway within government agencies in NSW.”
However, the spokesperson said “no decision has yet been made on a specific technology platform.”
“DFSI has worked to identify potential opportunities for whole-of-government collaboration that allow all NSW government employees to collaborate and communicate with each other to ensure better results across departments, agencies and for taxpayers, ”the spokesperson said.
“[We are] work with NSW government clusters to better understand the requirements of the whole government. “
The spokesperson said there was no proposed timeline for the completion of the digital collaboration project.
NBN Co is the first Australian company to register to use the Facebook tool. Its deployment covers up to 6,000 employees.
Facebook opened Workplace to all companies last year after a year of closed trials.
The tool was rolled out at NBN Co as part of a massive workplace transformation campaign, undertaken after it emerged that 63% of the network builder’s workforce was “not satisfied with the tools and resources provided by NBN to make them productive ”.
NBN Co said in a presentation last year that “processes, collaboration, communication and resources” were the biggest underlying issues, and had proposed a concept of “connected workplace” to attempt to ‘remediate.
The NSW government has in recent years developed cloud-based messaging, collaboration and unified communications standards as part of its digital government strategy. It’s unclear how this work might fuel the digital collaboration project currently underway.
The government of New South Wales currently employs 394,194 people.