Microsoft collaboration underlines digital ambition

The Council has been in the headlines over the past week as lots of the big-ticket items we’re delivering reach important milestones. From P&J Live and Union Terrace Gardens to council house building, they’re all very visible projects that will change Aberdeen in a really positive way.

There’s another news item this week that will also drive positive change – one that may not leap out from the front page of the newspapers in the same way, but shares the same ambition for the future of the city.

Microsoft has today published a media release that highlights a partnership with Aberdeen City Council and heralds what is a first for Scotland as we blaze a trail with the Cloud Navigator programme.

It represents the next phase of our digital transformation, with great success to date in a number of areas thanks to the endeavours of our in-house teams. Becoming the first Council in Scotland to introduce end to end online school admissions and the move by the registrars to online appointments are just two highlights in what has been a comprehensive programme, with Aberdeen leading the way among local authorities with the breadth and quality of our digital offering.

As we look to the next stage, there are various strands to the collaboration with Microsoft and more detail will be shared as the work takes shape.

At a high level, it will range from savings through moving from on-premise data storage to cloud solutions to exploring opportunities for Artificial Intelligence to be embraced as we use digital technology to better meet the needs of customers and staff. Expanding the use of Office 365 to enable employees to communicate more effectively is also a major focus.

Being able to call upon the expertise and global experience of Microsoft will be a huge advantage to us as our digital journey gathers pace and I’m excited about the path ahead.

The partnership working will bring Microsoft’s teams together with our own, particularly when it comes to looking at how modern cloud services can improve Council business functions. We hold the knowledge in terms of the processes that can be modernised to free up our time to spend with customers, they hold the key in terms of cutting-edge solutions.

Thank you in advance for welcoming in our Microsoft partners and working as one team.

I’ll certainly be taking the opportunity to find out more from our new Microsoft cohort, who will be working on the third floor at Marischal College as part of the unique collaboration, and we’ve all got a great chance to share ideas and challenges.

This is hugely ambitious programme and there will be opportunities to get involved, work with and learn from global technology leaders – with great benefits for Council customers and staff as we put digital at the heart of our transformation.