Failte Ireland – Embracing Change with Rapid Innovation
Fáilte Ireland is the national tourism development authority in Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s role is to guide and support sustainable growth in tourism earnings and employment. It provides consumer and competitor insights, mentoring, investment and trade supports across the business, event and leisure sectors to help secure sales growth from targeted overseas and domestic market segments. Working in partnership with tourism businesses, Local Government, the knowledge sector, State Agencies and Government Departments, it also seeks to foster a competitive and innovative enterprise base, a sensitively managed natural and built environment within tourism communities, and a public policy environment to meet the needs of visitors.
Company: Failte Ireland
With Failte Ireland having moved to the cloud, it was identified that legacy solutions based on older platforms could now be re-designed and optimized to make the most out of the range of applications available in Office 365. In particular, the HR functions in Failte Ireland which were heavily reliant on on-premises solutions were in need of being modernised and the user experience improved.
Failte Ireland adopted Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online as their place to get work done and their Intranet/comms platform respectively. It's crucial to be able to integrate the solutions into this environment for the best user experience possible so that users aren’t encumbered with multiple different solutions with different user experiences for each.
The impact Covid-19 has increased the urgency to migrate internal, paper-based processes into Power Apps, starting with the Human Resources department in particular. Considering this information, the following were the key factors in scoping the project and in ensuring the success of this program on an ongoing basis:
• To re-design and migrate legacy solutions to Power Apps, improving them where possible by using Office 365 and Power Apps
• Automating paper-based solutions, enhancing the user experience
• Establishing a process to design, prototype, refine and release solutions quickly
Considering the above, not only did Failte Ireland need tools to enable the quick design, development and release of solutions, but they also needed a process to support this requirement.
Codec won the tender to work with Fáilte Ireland to architect and support the adoption of Office 365 and related technologies as part of their Digital Workplace initiative. This solution is strongly focused on Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online. This involved the planning, migration, training and support of their initial migration from an on-premises infrastructure to Office 365. During discovery and utilising a comprehensive Digital Workplace Champions program we identified current solutions residing in SharePoint 2010 and potential future processes that could be candidates for usage of Power Apps. With the Digital Workplace completed, Failte Ireland and Codec have now been focused on making the most of Office 365 and Power Apps. We are currently working our way through many of the Paper Based Forms that were in place to migrate these processes to Power Apps.
This organisation has many diverse processes and legacy applications which will gradually be onboarded to Office 365 and automated/digitised using Power Apps.
Because of the need to quickly design and deliver solutions that can quickly adapt to changes in the business, a low to no code tool like Power Apps is essential. Power Apps offers unparalleled agility around design, development and release and so was a natural choice as the platform for digital innovation in Failte Ireland.
Being able to leverage a low/no code platform to empower business users is key to enabling the creation of solutions quickly, but delivering the solutions is only part of the challenge. Codec and Failte Ireland collaborated to quickly establish a process to:
• Quickly discover the needs and expectations of the business to ensure they get the best possible solution
• Rapidly prototype and gather feedback on the solution
• Release it – and continue to optimize it to meet users feedback
Thanks to the flexibility of Power Apps Codec and Failte Ireland have been able to:
• Rapidly prototype, release and iteratively improve mobile and desktop apps
• Implement a governance plan for using Power Apps at scale in Failte Ireland
• Digitise and improve upon existing paper-based processes
• Deliver a great user experience that’s common across all of the solutions
Using our design and development process for Power Apps which we put in place with Failte Ireland we have been able to:
• Quickly migrate and modernise legacy solutions such as forms based on SharePoint 2010 and workflow solutions
• Help the organisation adapt to the changing work environment presented by Covid-19 by rapidly automating paper-based solutions
The next step for the Digital Workplace is to run a local hackathon, to empower end users in the organization to deliver Power Apps solutions, and to use Power Apps to lead a wave of digital innovation, and a means to adapt to the changing working environment.
Using Power Apps we have been able to both enable an auditable digital sign-off process for existing paper-based processes, which has allowed Human Resources to continue to process and manage applications for a range of services such as:
• Maternity Leave
• Parental Leave
• Paternity Leave and their Shorter Working Year option
Further, the movement of these processes to Power Apps has optimised and automated elements of the process to enable quicker turnaround times for applicants and a streamlined approval process for each of the approval steps, while saving the requirement to print, post, scan and repeat.
One of the primary issues in the former processes was that applicants & HR were having to constantly chase Managers for sign-off - but we have been able to automate reminders thus ensuring prompt sign-off. Overall this has generated time-savings across the business, as well as a great user experience. To top this off the time to deliver solutions using the low to no code platform that is Power Apps, as opposed to writing custom code solutions, has been key in helping the business quickly adapt to change.
““I have been hugely proud of how the Fáilte Ireland team have responded to this crisis and I know we can only respond with such speed and quality when our agency and supplier partners respond with us so I would like to thank you and your team for standing shoulder to shoulder with us as we try to do what little we can to help in these extraordinary times. Every little will help. In particular I would like to thank you for your continued support and the excellent work on helping us deliver on our Digital Workplace initiative over the last 18 months. It has been critical during this time in order to continue operating as close to normal as possible.” ”
Paul Kelly, Failte Ireland - CEO