Customer Story

Comune di Bologna: Creating community in a 21st-century smart city with G Suite

Clock tower of Bologna

The Comune di Bologna migrated 4,000 public administration employees to G Suite to enable smart working, foster collaboration, streamline IT infrastructure, and modernize services for its citizens.

Google Cloud results

Enables digital transformation for 4K government staff

• Promotes faster, smarter, and more collaborative work for municipal employees
• Supports the creation of a personalized social intranet, helping to make collaboration simpler and more effective
• Reduces total cost of ownership by migrating from legacy productivity solution
• Enables smart working for 300 employees who depend on collaborative and mobile productivity tools from G Suite

“Above all, we wanted to increase access and collaboration for employees and citizens. Internally, that meant bringing together different demographics among our staff.” —Stefano Mineo, Information Systems Director, Comune di Bologna

The city of Bologna has a proud heritage, as home to the oldest university in Europe, one of the most important logistical hubs in Italy, and the best tortellini and lasagna a food lover could hope for. Now it has added one more feather to its cap, having been named one of the three smartest cities in Italy. Leading the way is the city’s local municipality, Comune di Bologna, an organization of more than 4,000 employees serving more than a million citizens. As a large and important city government in a region now known for innovation in social, governmental, and technological spheres, Comune di Bologna has been hard at work on digitally transforming public administration.

There’s a huge array of responsibilities when it comes to city government in a municipality the size of Bologna. From keeping school buildings maintained and equipped to issuing building permits, to getting recycling picked up, citizens interact with their local government regularly.

For centuries, citizens would visit the town hall to get a birth or marriage certificate issued, complain about potholes, or get information on city tenders. Today, Comune di Bologna makes it possible for many of these errands to be done digitally, with the help of a modernized IT infrastructure and a new focus on virtual services for citizens. Behind the scenes, public employees are also reaping the benefits of digital transformation, working together faster, smarter, and more collaboratively than ever before. A key part of this initiative has been the migration of the entire public administration workforce to G Suite.

Taking a cloud-based approach to bring employees and citizens together

“Tools such as Google Chat and Google Meet are really helping different departments and skill sets come together. It’s great to see staff working more innovatively and making life even better for citizens.” —Stefano Mineo, Information Systems Director, Comune di Bologna

Stefano Mineo, Information Systems Director at Comune di Bologna, spearheaded the idea to take a cloud-based approach to modernizing IT infrastructure. He describes the factors his team considered when planning the large scale project: “Above all, we wanted to increase access and collaboration for employees and citizens. Internally, that meant bringing together different demographics among our staff,” he explains. “Having a diverse workforce, some were more comfortable with technology, while others needed a little help. We wanted to make sure that everyone would benefit from the digital transformation, regardless of sociological factors that may have impacted their access to modern tech during their education and careers.”

The Comune di Bologna team knew it had to focus on a productivity solution that wouldn’t just satisfy new, younger employees and remote workers, but could easily be adopted by more senior members of the workforce. Looking to successful G Suite implementations in the Comune di Torino and in the Veneto and Puglia regions, the team was confident that G Suite was the right solution for Comune di Bologna as well.

Stefano’s team was confident that it could help all of Comune di Bologna’s employees leverage the rest of G Suite to work faster, smarter, and more collaboratively. Many employees were already familiar with some G Suite products, especially Gmail, which made for a good start to the project. Crucially, the team also realized that a successful migration should be handled like change management. “We were positive about the move to G Suite, but we knew that migrating 4,000 employees wasn’t going to be simple,” explains Stefano. “A move of that scale is more a change management process than a technology challenge.”

Supporting Comune di Bologna in this project was Injenia, a Google Cloud Premier Partner. To help the city achieve its goals of streamlining key processes with G Suite, Injenia helped it implement personalized tools and a framework for non-structured processes. Together, Injenia and Comune di Bologna have rolled out G Suite to about 2,500 employees to date. The initial pilot was seamless, and the migration is planned for completion in June 2020. Rounding out the scope of the project is a personalized social intranet that makes collaboration more simple and effective. “In parallel with the G Suite project, we’re innovating our corporate intranet through new employee services,” explains Stefano. “Several G Suite tools will be integrated with our intranet to ensure a smooth, direct transition between the two platforms.”

Forging stronger connections through G Suite for better governance

“Thanks to G Suite, we’re forging stronger, more satisfying connections between our employees, community, and the citizens we serve. We’re already seeing the benefits of doing things faster, smarter, and more collaboratively.” —Stefano Mineo, Information Systems Director, Comune di Bologna

In just a few months, Comune di Bologna is already harnessing the collaborative features of G Suite to optimize work processes for better productivity, enhanced teamwork, workplace flexibility, and employee engagement.

With city employees working faster, smarter, and better together, connections between citizens and local government services are improving too. Employees use Calendar to schedule meetings more easily, both internally and externally, and take advantage of Google Meet to make discussions more efficient, and less dependent on physical meeting spaces. Google Chat has cut down on endless email chains, while Docs, Slides, and Sheets have meant the elimination of heavy email attachments. Collaborative document functionality means that project groups from different departments sitting in different locations can work together in real time without traveling, and community organizations can more easily participate in city initiatives. “Tools such as Google Chat and Google Meet are really helping different departments and skill sets come together,” shares Stefano. “It’s great to see staff working more innovatively and making life even better for citizens.”

Comune di Bologna has also made storage challenges a thing of the past by saving files in the cloud with Drive, which also eliminates the significant resources the IT team used to put into ensuring backups for the entire organization.

Says Stefano, “Thanks to G Suite, we’re forging stronger, more satisfying connections between our employees, community, and the citizens we serve. We’re already seeing the benefits of doing things faster, smarter, and more collaboratively.”

As a twenty-first century smart city, Comune di Bologna is writing the next chapter in its storied history, by using technology to enhance human relationships between employees, citizens, and community. “We took a human and business-oriented approach to this project,” says Stefano, “and it has really paid off.”

Learn more

Reach out to our team to see how Google Cloud can help your business.

Deployment Partner (G Suite authorized reseller)

Injenia

Injenia helps businesses engineer digital transformation, specializing in collaboration, machine learning projects, mapping services, search, and cloud.