HVZ Gives a Voice to all its Firefighters

About Hulpverleningszone Waasland

Hulpverleningszone Waasland, HVZ, is the umbrella organisation of the 9 fire and ambulance stations of 7 municipalities in Belgium.

These stations have more than 550 employees and are committed every day to protect more than 219,000 inhabitants and the Waasland port in the Waasland region. The corps consists of professional and volunteer personnel. Only 10% of these employees have a sole administrative role within the organisation.

< 3 000 employees

Internal Communications

Public Sector

The Challenge

Before using LumApps, HVZ relied primarily on SharePoint as an intranet. But this solution didn’t meet the expectations of their users.

HVZ had no central source of truth for information and knowledge-sharing. Only the internal communications department & some editors had permissions to post news. HVZ already worked with editors but they got discouraged because their previous platform was not at all user-friendly for them. This resulted in limited contribution and participation from the employees. Information was hard to find because most documents were scattered over different OneDrives and Sharepoints. It was very time-consuming and inefficient to look for specific information.

They wanted a way to connect all teammates regardless of the location they’re working, to ensure they receive the latest important information and are equipped with the resources they need.

Next to that, there was no way of monitoring and tracking statistics which made it complicated to define actions in order to boost user adoption of the tool. There was no “Who is Who” functionality to search for specific information about colleagues such as role, manager, skills, interests, personal data (phone number, first name, last name,…) & specialities.

HVZ using mobile

The Goal

HVZ needed to upgrade to a platform that was more robust, able to handle both bottom-up and top-down communications and integrated with their applications & Microsoft’s collaboration suite, Office 365. The biggest challenge was to break down silos.

HVZ had several requirements for a new intranet solution:

1. Mobile App: with a mobile-first strategy in mind, the goal was to assist employees that are working on the go in their daily tasks through the support of technology.

2. One-stop-shop: HVZ wanted to boost communication among employees by building a one-stop platform that simplifies and centralises access to HVZ news, procedures, colleagues, applications, etc. The ultimate goal was to increase engagement.

3. Easy-to-use platform: a solution that employees can access any time, from anywhere, and any device. The aim was to create a digital workplace that was collaborative, seamless, personalised, and inclusive.

The Solution

LumApps was selected as the company’s intranet provider for its unique ability to transform HVZ means of communicating, collaborating, knowledge-sharing, and fostering employee engagement from the office to the field. HVZ and Devoteam G Cloud have worked together from the beginning to build HVZ’s digital workplace. This new platform connects the 550 employees and seamlessly integrates with Microsoft tools.

HVZ intranet mobile

Core Features

100% Autonomous

The intranet is managed by the communication teams so an easy and flexible tool with no coding skills required, was important.

Personalised Content

LumApps enables HVZ to personalise its communications for each type of employee. With the different roles within the company, targeted content is key. Employees have access to relevant and personalised information according to their unique profile and location. They can now personalise content (regional news and local news) to the local posts.

Identity & Access Management

The ability to easily create roles and define specific access to content played an important part in their selection process.


HVZ uses a lot of different applications but now they can find all their applications and information in one place. This is all traceable through the LumApps search functionality.

The Results

The biggest result is that HVZ broke down the silos with a unified communication platform that is fully integrated with Microsoft 0365.

Frontline employees are no longer disconnected from the office. Employees can quickly contribute content by using their mobile or their desktop and find the information needed to get work done.

Today, HVZ uses Microsoft as an identity provider with Single Sign-On enabled. Users only need to log in once to access multiple applications.

The percentage of consultations of the content has gone up super fast. Before the implementation of LumApps, 70% of the employees consulted the content once a month. This rose by 10%. The engagement rate is also clearly visible today (you can see who responded to which posts), whereas before there were no statistics and the contribution of the users was non-existent.


Active Users


New pieces of content (avg/month)


More new content posts per month

The mobile app also makes a huge difference! Our people can now just go to the app and scroll through the regional news and local news.

– Jolien Van Damme, Communication Manager at Hulpverleningszone Waasland

The weekly created content has skyrocketed. Today we have more than 35 new posts per month of which 5 are from the communication department, whereas before we had  35 new posts in 6 months of which 30 were written by the communication department.”

– Jolien Van Damme, Communication Manager at Hulpverleningszone Waasland

Devoteam G Cloud has given us a lot of insights into the possibilities of the platform. They translated our organisational needs into technical implementations on the platform. They gave us more insights into how we could integrate Office 365 into the platform. And in terms of project management they did an amazing job. They really made it happen! We are definitely happy customers.

– Jolien Van Damme, Communication Manager at Hulpverleningszone Waasland

In Short

  • HVZ wanted to boost the communication among employees by building a one-stop platform that simplifies and centralises access to HVZ news, procedures, colleagues, applications, ….. the ultimate goal was to increase engagement and have two-way communication instead of push communication.
  • Increased internal communications & employee engagement in one central hub. Today HVZ’s users post 6x more content per month compared to last year when HVZ was still using Sharepoint.
  • The newsfeed enables employees to publish timely, relevant, and targeted news.