Antwerp Fire Brigade: LumApps Intranet makes the spark fly

About Antwerp Fire Brigade

Antwerp Firefighters’ Zone (BZA) is one of 35 Belgian and one of five Antwerp relief zones with a protection area of three municipalities of Antwerp, Wijnegem and Zwijndrecht with approximately a population of 550,000.

antwerp fire brigade logo

< 3 000 employees

Internal Communications

IT

Public Sector

The Challenge

The Antwerp Fire Brigade had an outdated intranet, which – although managed by the communication department – had not been used quite frequently by them nor by the other departments in the past years. It was there and that’s about all. The communications department wanted an active and attractive intranet again.

In addition, there was internal segregation between administrative and operational staff. This is understandable due to the nature of the work, but a new intranet might help bring those two worlds closer together.

They started looking for a tool that could fulfil a dynamic role. A place where you can view static, general information (such as news, processes, procedures, etc.) on the one hand, and interact with each other in a community on the other. Moreover, there was a need for a place that you can make your own, based on your profile, your position and your interests. So an individualized view.

In short, they were looking for a cool, interactive tool that works for them on top of Google Workspace. To bring people together and to offer added value at an individual level.

The Solution

Antwerp Fire Brigade already was a customer of g-company, for Google Workspace. For the renewal of their intranet, BZA chose LumApps, because it primarily looks at the structure of an organization and places the social environment on top of it. This working method is most in line with the organizational structure and the wishes of BZA.

Every customer has ideas about what they want with an intranet, this was also the case at BZA. It is important that those ideas are structured because you start out completely blank. g-company played an important role in this, by asking some of the key questions at the beginning. What exactly do you need? How should it work? What should it look like? Who can see what? What do you want to achieve?

Based on these questions, the ideas were converted into a concrete design that g-company implemented together with BZA.

BZA Spark intranet

On the back end, in terms of IT, g-company made sure that the Google admin part connects seamlessly with LumApps. In this way, for example, Lumapps uses the same rights structure as Google Workspace and you get access to certain parts on the intranet based on your Google Groups memberships.

The third aspect that g-company helped with is the graphic design, in which a graphic framework has been placed on top of the LumApps environment, to meet the desired branding.

Usually, g-company also trains the end users after implementation, to help them get to know and use the new intranet. However, BZA has chosen to do this training internally, something that we only encourage since the organization has to carry it itself after all.

To make our LumApps product completely our own, we have added a design layer together with g-company. The look-and-feel of Vonk is now really on fire!”

– Kristof Geens, product owner Project Vonk

Together with g-company, we analyzed the use of our outdated intranet and asked our colleagues about their expectations. We have extracted crucial information from this for the perfect architecture of Vonk.

– Kristof Geens, product owner Project Vonk

The Result

The Antwerp Fire Brigade now has an intranet, called ‘Vonk’ (meaning: Spark), that structurally meets the wishes of the organization and its various departments. Pages have been created that are accessible to specific people and departments; the rights structure for this is completely based on Google. Based on their Google profile and their position in the organization, they can quickly access content that is important to them. People no longer have to click and browse until they find what’s important to them. From a social perspective, communities have now emerged between people who normally had no contact in the workplace.

In other words: Spark really creates connection. The spark literally flies!

BZA digital workplace

The Next Step

The BZA communication department is currently collecting users’ feedback. Not only by asking them directly, through the short polls in Lumapps. They also use smart tools such as Hotjar and Google Analytics to investigate which pages are most visited, which click behavior people exhibit and where the points of improvement are.

The combination of the data and the feedback will be used to create a second version of Vonk, which is even more in line with the wishes and needs of the users.