National collaboration through Huddle

With a nationwide network of Post Office branches across the country the Post Office is the UK’s biggest retailer. The organization offers more than 170 different products and services, including telephony, financial services and travel-related products and approximately 47 million transactions are made by Post Office customers a week.

The Post Office is using Huddle to support the roll-out of new technology to 750 of its branches across the UK. With multiple teams working on this programme, the Post Office used Huddle to achieve greater collaboration between internal teams and external suppliers and make their documentation more manageable.

The Post Office runs a network of 11,500 branches across the UK and is a vital part of the fabric of the country. It is the largest retail and financial services chain in the UK and with more than 28 million customers visiting the Post Office each week, introducing new technology is a significant challenge

 

"Huddle is one of the easiest collaboration tools I have used. I was briefly shown how to use it and within an hour I needed it!"

 

Huddle was introduced to support document management and better information sharing within the Post Office's 'Application Enrolment and Identification (AEI) Programme'. The AEI programme is designed to support biometric and biographic enrolment transactions within branches, for example renewing your photo card driving licence. The project involves installing new 'Biometric Enrolment Station' (BES) units in 750 branches across the UK. These walk-in booths contain cutting-edge technology to capture all the information required by the DVLA to renew your photo-card driving licence in a single transaction. This includes taking an electronic signature, a photo and potentially gathering biometric information such as fingerprints.

Rolling out these units is a huge task. It requires sharing large amounts of documentation between external engineers, who survey more than 1,000 branches, three key Post Office teams (who look at Design, Retail and Layout considerations), external suppliers, who carry out physical enabling work in the branches (such as adding electrical points or installing wireless communication lines), and managers, who need to know the latest status of each branch for planning purposes.

The AEI Team within the Post Office needed to find a solution that would help them manage programme information and collaborate with all parties involved. It was a member of the information security team who came across Huddle.

Laura La Grutta, Programme Office Manager, explains: "We were looking for a security accredited collaborative workspace. The critical issue was finding a supplier with existing government clients that were accredited up to IL2 (UK Protect). We chose Huddle in the first instance because it met our security requirements, it was very easy to use and fast to deploy."

Huddle was initially used to share files that were too big for email, but the programme teams' use and passion for Huddle really took off as the programme gathered pace and they started surveying hundreds of branches.

Laura continues: "We had to carry out hundreds of surveys. Our three internal teams had to comment on every single survey and it was not feasible to manage these comments via email, so our use of Huddle started to grow."

Adoption of Huddle spread quickly, in part because of its ease of use. As Laura says: "Huddle is one of the easiest collaboration tools I have used. I was briefly shown how to use it and within an hour I needed it!"

Huddle has enabled the Post Office AEI Team to work effectively and efficiently between teams spread across the UK and the programme is going according to plan. Eight branches are now live with the new BES units and use of Huddle is spreading to other teams. Laura sums up: "Huddle has been really useful for us in collaborating both internally and with our external suppliers. We love the fact that it is internet-based, so we are not restricted by location, is great value and actually works!" 

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