Revenue Scotland is the tax authority responsible for the administration and collection of Scotland’s devolved taxes – currently Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax.
Revenue Scotland staff share sensitive information on a frequent basis with several external agencies and organisations from within the public sector. These include local authorities and organisations responsible for maintaining records, and overseeing environmental law issues.
Having run an internal analysis to examine how Revenue Scotland collaborated and shared files with these external bodies, a need to change working practices was highlighted. In turn, this led to the decision to deploy a cloud-based collaboration solution.
“Although the analysis formally identified the need, the drive for change very much came from our staff,” said Ben Norris, ICT Operations Manager for Revenue Scotland. “We were relying on email and phone calls to share updates, information and files, but what we really needed was a tool to help us work more effectively with external partners.”
Huddle was recommended to Revenue Scotland by another public sector body which uses Huddle for its own collaboration needs. Following the recommendation, Huddle was approached to organise a trial so Revenue Scotland could test its capabilities.
Security was vital
“Security is obviously a key concern for us, so the trial period allowed us to run all the security checks we needed to. We allowed a limited number of trusted internal and external individuals to access and test Huddle so we could ensure the platform would integrate with our security processes, and with those of our external partners,” said Norris.
Controlled and closely monitored scenarios were used for the trials, including collaboration between different public sector organisations on a variety of networks. Revenue Scotland had to be confident that Huddle would work across the wide range of security frameworks and technology infrastructures, and operate seamlessly between them all.
Because of the functionality of the platform and the drive for a collaboration tool coming from within Revenue Scotland itself, it took just one month to prove the worth of a cloud-based collaboration solution.
“We found Huddle extremely easy to use. It satisfied a clearly identified need, and people were keen to embrace a new way of working. We had a couple of training sessions that showed us what Huddle could do, and conducted the trials. Overall it was a very quick implementation process,” said Norris.
Huddle’s Customer Success team was on hand to help with initial training on site at Revenue Scotland, and to ensure that the key users were comfortable with the new solution.
Collaboration between external public sector organisations is Revenue Scotland’s primary use for Huddle. The agency publishes and shares sensitive information in a two-way stream and actively collaborates with its partners. It is critically important that the information shared is accurate and secure, so the version management aspect of Huddle has proven to be one of the most important benefits to Revenue Scotland, along with Huddle serving as a single, secure repository for information.
“This change has made collaboration far easier. The ability to securely share documents externally with partners on different networks is definitely the stand-out feature and the most important element of the tool for us. This capability has streamlined our dealings with external agencies and made our workforce altogether more productive,” said Norris.