ESDC Executive Director Business Solutions and Information Management at ESDC
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is the department of the Government of Canada responsible for developing, managing and delivering social programs and services, including employment insurance, pension plan, old age security, guaranteed income supplement benefits, and more. ESDC employs about 32,000 workers, of which 60-70% are regional employees, and 30-40% are employed in Ottawa. It distributes approximately C$120B to Canadians every year.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, ESDC used file shares and SharePoint 2010 for content storage. Use of SharePoint 2010 was voluntary. In addition, ESDC initiated a pilot of GCDocs, the Government of Canada's hosted, government-wide solution for archiving and records.
Then COVID hit, and mailboxes ‘exploded’ because people were sending attachments for work offline. ESDC needed a way to help its employees focus on work and collaborate effectively without making employees spend valuable time and effort on information management (IM). As a government agency, ESDC also had to meet the comprehensive WCAG2.1 / EN 301 549 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
To provide a rapid and comprehensive remote work solution for employees, ESDC adopted Microsoft 365 for online meetings and document storage; with a goal of migrating an astonishing 30,000 employees to Microsoft 365 in just 3 months!
To expedite Microsoft 365 adoption, ESDC needed a way to easily migrate content to Microsoft 365. Key requirements included the ability to capture, classify, and share important emails and document attachments with remote colleagues, eliminate ‘document chaos’ associated with sharing document attachments, and verify that people had access to a file before sharing it with them.
ESDC reached out to other Canadian agencies and these organizations recommended harmon.ie. harmon.ie is already in use in other Canadian government agencies and Crown corporations, including Library and Archives Canada, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC), Canada Post, Justice Canada, and many others.
Alexandre Singh, ESDC Executive Director Business Solutions and Information Management, explains why harmon.ie was selected: “We wanted to make sure people had a tool that could be used from Outlook. The mapping of metadata makes it a lot easier and more acceptable for people to start storing their emails in Microsoft 365. We also realized a bonus in that harmon.ie could help us migrate data from Outlook to SharePoint Online, and as a result, reduce mailbox size.”
Importantly, ESDC relied upon Orangutech, harmon.ie’s Canadian partner and a trusted partner of the Canadian government.
A couple of months after harmon.ie is deployed in ESDC, here is what ESDC employees wrote about it:
✔️ “harmon.ie is awesome, the recent list and drag and drop will make your day easier!!! What you're working on right at your fingertips”
✔️ "OMG! Best day of my life – getting harmon.ie!!! An early birthday present.”
✔️ "The fact that harmon.ie searches through several layers (of documents) is awesome"
✔️ "So much easier to be able to search all repositories in one simple search"
✔️ “Drag and Drop is the BEST function of harmon.ie by FAR.”
Singh explains the plans for harmon.ie at ESDC:
Orangutech is an Ottawa-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in three areas: Cloud Productivity, Collaboration and Content, and Application Development. Founded in 2003, Orangutech helps clients modernize their workplace while maximizing user adoption and effective collaboration using Microsoft-centric services and software. Orangutech is Ottawa’s recognized leader in developing roadmaps and architectures for Microsoft 365, SharePoint, EDRMS in M365, SharePoint to GCDocs, and Dynamics 365.