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The Department of Seine-Saint-Denis in France Deploys Avaya Spaces to 8,000 Agents

Seine-Saint-Denis Spaces

The Department of Seine-Saint-Denis in France will be undertaking huge infrastructure projects with global reach and interest over the next few years. To enable its teams to work together, remotely and with partners, the Department conducted extensive testing on several collaboration platforms. After a successful trial period the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis adopted Avaya Spaces for all its employees and saw positive feedback from the first month of use.




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Users within 1 month


France is divided in to 101 areas, or Départements. Seine-Saint-Denis, located just North of Paris, has the youngest population of all the Départments in metropolitan France, with more than 40% of the population being under 30 years old. It is an area of dynamic economic development, social innovation and cultural investment that will experience enormous changes over the next decade in the environment, society and its infrastructure.

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The urban challenge that Seine-Saint-Denis is preparing to meet is illustrated by three major projects already under development. In 2024, the department of Seine-Saint-Denis will host a large part of the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, it will be home to 24 stations planned as part of the future Grand Paris Express metro, and major urban renewal projects supported by the European Union will begin to emerge.

To meet the needs of its 1.6 million inhabitants, the Department of Seine-SaintDenis employs more than 8,000 people, referred to as Agents, in more than 200 different professions. Most of the Agents do not work together, but they all serve the same community on a common territory and with the same ambition. Since their business is nationally and internationally focused, it is essential that employees can communicate and collaborate in a transparent manner. The Department of Seine-Saint-Denis wanted to go beyond traditional tools by offering its entire staff an effective collaboration platform that can be used by all employees, regardless of their role. 

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In addition to driving major projects and taking a progressive approach to collaboration, the Department's digital transformation journey has been influenced by two important external factors. First, public institutions across France were encouraged to integrate applications to improve the digital experience of consuming services for citizens. Second, the global health crisis has forced all public and government agencies to close physical spaces and move to digital accessibility. For the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis, this accelerated plans by adopting a 360° communication approach and prioritizing visual, audio and online collaboration across the organization.

The Department of Seine-Saint-Denis held internal discussions to develop its plan. "A scoping study to understand the irritants, expectations and needs of our Agents were conducted during hours of workshops involving each of the Department's professions," explains the head of the digital work environment office.

In 2024, the Department will host much of the summer Olympic and Paralympic games.

As part of a comprehensive market analysis, no less than 11 different collaboration solutions were tested in addition to Avaya Spaces, including Zoom, Cisco WebEx and proprietary solutions from Alcatel. Each was evaluated according to 3 criteria.

First, it was critical that the adaptation and learning process be easy so that employees would fully embrace it. Thus, the team in charge of the project carefully studied the functionalities and ease of use, the security, cost of ownership, support and the vendor's track record in the market as well as its knowledge of public institutions and its references in this sector.

Secondly, it was important that the exchanges were easy and intuitive, that the interactions between departments and with management be convenient, simple and quick to implement, respecting information security rules, and with an easy-to-use interface that considers all levels of digital requirements. User groups helped to define specific requirements.

Finally, the chosen solution had to integrate with existing applications, infrastructure and networks, not only technically, but also in terms of availability, security, quality and scalability.

After a thorough review, the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis opted for a four-month trial contract with Avaya Spaces, the most scalable workflow collaboration application platform on the market. 

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Staff adoption has lived up to expectations. With a fully self-service deployment, more than 1,000 users began using Spaces within the first month. Users have praised the quality of the video and voice compared to competing solutions on the market. This positive and rapid adoption, combined with the daily interaction, dynamism, and team spirit of Avaya, led the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis to adopt Spaces permanently.

The Department of Seine-Saint-Denis enthusiastically adopted Spaces as part of a composable solution architecture used across multiple devices and interfaces. The benefits were seen throughout the organization, especially when the third wave of Covid-19 caused further disruptions in France and staff were again forced to work remotely.

No less than 11 different collaboration solutions were tested in addition to Avaya Spaces,  including Zoom, Cisco WebEx and proprietary solutions from Alcatel
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More importantly, Avaya Spaces has not only replaced traditional methods of interaction, but the solution has also enabled the Department to implement new work practices and collaboration workflows. New projects have been launched that would not have been possible with the historical applications. The implementation of Avaya Spaces will allow the team to progressively transform processes within the Department, including:

Meetings – the implementation of Spaces has made it possible to maintain plenary meetings via video conferencing during periods of confinement and continues today.

Training – internal and external training sessions are now possible with Avaya Spaces in the public sphere.

Workflow Management – Spaces facilitates the visualization of workflows through a Kanban board, allowing teams to prioritize and track the progress of tasks to be accomplished. 

Inclusion of hearing-impaired agents – the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis is planning to test online transcription for hearing-impaired Agents.

The chosen solution had to integrate with existing applications, infrastructure and networks, not only technically, but also in terms of availability, security, quality and scalability

The digitization of the workplace at the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis has progressed very rapidly since 2020 thanks to the implementation of remote working and the provision of laptops. Avaya Spaces is a tool that will facilitate communication between Agents and partners without the constraints of location and space. With this new tool, Agents will not only have access to video conferencing capabilities, but also to a collaborative tool, from any device (mobile, tablet, computers). With Avaya Spaces, they can create public or private workspaces, communicate within them, share and store files, and manage project tasks, which in part revolutionizes the way they work by making them more flexible.

About the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis

Located in the Northeast of the Île-de-France region, the Department of Seine-Saint-Denis covers 236 km2 and has 1.65 million inhabitants. A dynamic territory at the heart of the economic environmental issues and the demands of social progress. Its geographical location, its infrastructure and the youth of its population give it a strong potential. With nearly 8,000 employees, the local authority is the largest public employer in the Department.

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