The city of Moonee Valley is a bustling, diverse local government area situated between the Melbourne central business district (CBD) and Melbourne Airport. It is known for its beautiful parklands, river walks, the Moonee Valley Racecourse, and its eclectic mix of retail strips and centres.
Moonee Valley City Council had been using Brightly’s Confirm since 2009 to streamline its asset data and make better decisions around asset repairs, maintenance, and capital investments. More than 320 employees and contractors across 22 different user groups use Confirm to increase their efficiency, decrease waste, and cut costs. As the council’s corporate asset management system, Confirm houses information and facilitates maintenance on over 250,000 assets, from buildings to pipes, roads, footpaths, and more. Confirm is also integrated with the council’s recently implemented customer relationship management (CRM) system, which it uses to handle almost 20,000 community inquiries.
As part of its digital transformation strategy, the council decided to shift its asset management to the cloud, selecting Confirm OnDemand, Brightly’s SaaS asset management solution delivered through AWS data centres.
Rob Fitzgerald, Coordinator Asset and Spatial Information Systems from Moonee Valley Council said, “Confirm OnDemand combines all the functionality of our Confirm on-premise desktop solution with the flexibility, efficiency, and scalability that only the cloud can provide. It also allows us to take advantage of the latest software upgrades and patches as soon as they become available, without any downtime.”
According to Rob, the setup is not only easy for employees but also for contractors in the field. “Once contractors are set up with Citrix Receiver, which allows users to access our SaaS from anywhere, all they need is to click on a URL to access our Confirm enterprise.”
Moonee Valley’s tips for shifting from on-premise to the cloud
Don’t get too fixated on filling in all the data gaps before the shift:
Ensure your current environment is documented, but don’t worry if there are gaps in your data. You’re never going to have the best data — it’s more about understanding what your data can be used for and using it for that purpose.
Review bespoke scripting seek options:
Anyone who has had an on-premise enterprise environment for a long time knows there are likely to be a few bespoke things set up. Understanding what they are is very important so you can ask for assistance in migrating those across.
Scope out your document storage size:
Having been with Confirm on-premise for over a decade, we had enormous document storage. Make sure you scope out what you’re moving to OnDemand before you make the shift.
Password policy changes:
This was a big change for a lot of our users. When we were on-premise, our people weren’t the best at changing their passwords frequently. The password policies enforced with OnDemand are industry standard but was a new habit for our people that we had to be mindful of.
Knowing the tenant names:
Our people struggled a little with the difference between a dash and a space in the tenant names, resulting in a lot of phone calls to the IT helpdesk. It’s not major, but it is good to be aware of it for your change management plan to allow time to resolve these types of questions.
Run tests to make sure everything works before go-live:
With OnDemand, it’s great that you can give people a URL and they can access Confirm with a username and password, but they need to have the Citrix receiver set up. Testing this and rolling it out also needs to be factored into the change management plan. The same goes for testing database access, particularly if you use third-party GIS software, as well as testing any customisable mapping scripts for Connect.
Manage the user change through clear communication and timelines:
Even if you’ve been using Confirm on-premise for a while, it is still a significant change for your people. While it looks the same once you’re in, the main difference is getting into the system. Many of our staff that use Confirm are in the field much of the time, so it’s important not to rely solely on email for communicating some of the simple yet important changes with the shift to the cloud, like new tenant names, usernames, and passwords.
Since transitioning to our cloud-based solution, Moonee Valley has benefited in several ways:
Highest level of data security:
Our IT manager said that while we can aspire to get to a certain level of security accreditation, the reality is it’s difficult to get all the way to the highest levels. Outsourcing our data security to Confirm OnDemand is very powerful and gives us great peace of mind.
Spreads hack risk with a dispersed location for data:
It is so much safer not having all your data sitting in a server room. Years ago, there would be a lot of anxiety about the idea of not having all your data onsite, but the industry has since shifted with people now having a greater understanding of the security the cloud offers.
Not only are our ongoing costs lower, but with a subscription model, they’re also more predictable.
Frees up our IT team:
We’ve seen a big change in our IT team in that it frees them up from the software and hardware maintenance they spent a lot of time doing previously, allowing them to shift focus on other value-adding work.