Overview

Employing more than 13,000 people, EDF Energy's operations span electricity generation and the sale of gas and electricity to homes and businesses throughout the United Kingdom. Up until 2019, the company was reliant on on‐premise IT systems, such as Microsoft SharePoint, to share project documentation with its employees and partners

 

"Huddle’s easy to use cloud-based collaboration platform enables us to safely and securely share sensitive project-related information with external contractors, meaning that we can focus on the work that matters worse without having to worry about the maintenance of an IT system." 

Jonathan Connon, Operational Support and Reporting Lead

Challenge

Due to environmental and commercial pressures, in late 2019 EDF began the process of decommissioning a 50‐year‐old coal station in Cottam, in the north of England. The decommissioning of the site required assistance from a sizeable number of external consultants and contractors, who all needed access to project documentation – including important health and safety procedures and processes.

Unfortunately, EDF’s existing on‐premise project portal and IT systems couldn’t be accessed reliably by these external partners; resulting in increased amounts of paperwork having to be managed before contractors were allowed on site. 

 

Solution

Driven by a request to increase transparency across the project and reduce the amount of manual paperwork required, EDF searched for a secure, cloud‐collaboration platform to share project information with its external partners. The company chose Huddle due to its ease of use, enabling staff to quickly disseminate information about health and safety procedures and processes with external contractors in a secure and controlled way.

Keeping stakeholders connected

Huddle’s cloud‐based collaboration platform allows users to create secure Workspaces in minutes. In these Workspaces, EDF employees and external partners can work together securely; accessing important files, uploading and editing new content, and managing tasks and approvals. 

Maintaining an audit trail of activity around sensitive content

Much of the project documentation is highly sensitive; so Huddle’s team‐based permissions allow EDF to closely control which content is accessible, and maintain a time‐stamped audit log of activity around its content. This has enabled the organization and its partners to work quickly, and with confidence, while also giving project managers greater transparency into how the project is progressing. 

Secure workspaces when putting out tenders

EDF’s supply chain team also benefits from Huddle when putting new projects out to tender. Huddle’s File Request feature has made it simple to collate reference materials and submissions from bid teams and, by using dedicated Huddle Workspaces, they can keep sensitive bid documentation confidential, improve team productivity, and track activity and tasks ahead of important project milestones and deadlines.

 

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, Huddle ensured  business continuity while teams and partners worked from home." 

 

Outcomes

Knowledge sharing across the company

The EDF team responsible for decommissioning the Cottam site is revolutionizing how information is shared with external parties on large projects, improving security around sensitive information, and creating a more collaborative and efficient culture around project management. As a result, EDF now plans to extend its use of Huddle across other large projects and use it as a central digital platform enabling teams and external contractors to better collaborate on projects. During the COVID‐19 pandemic, Huddle also enabled the team to be able to work from home and access the information they need.

Improved productivity and operational efficiencies

Reducing lengthy email discussions, eliminating duplication of effort, streamlining how teams collate documentation, and cutting down on the use of physical paperwork ‐ all of these factors have helped the EDF team to improve operational efficiency, keep sensitive content secure and ensure its regulatory and governance requirements are being met – even when working externally.

 

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