Case studies – Example of what we’ve accomplished

Case studies – examples of what we’ve accomplished

Data centre migration: Moving applications and data to modern homes

In 2020, Shared Services Canada closed the aging Airport Parkway Data Centre after working with 26 departments and agencies to migrate their applications and data to the cloud or to modern cross‑government data centres. This collaboration included moving more than 2,300 virtual servers and 150 physical servers housing over 3 petabytes of data to more secure, reliable and energy-efficient hosting solutions.

Travel Advisories on Canada.ca: Promoting interdepartmental cooperation

In the summer of 2020, a handful of departments responsible for travel content related to the COVID‑19 pandemic, worked together to integrate their content so that users could find all the information they needed in one place. For example, there are COVID testing and quarantine requirements (Public Health Agency of Canada), border entry requirements and exemptions (Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) that apply to different types of travellers and in different situations. Travellers trying to find all the rules and requirements that apply to their situation were frustrated and causing delays upon entry to Canada. In integrating the content, travellers could answer a few questions related to their status and situation, and could get the relevant rules and requirements they needed to follow. In monitoring the performance of the updated content, the team saw that travellers could also benefit from a checklist of the things they needed to do before, during and after arriving in Canada. By making the content easier to find, easier to understand and mobile‑friendly, they were able to reduce errors for travellers arriving in Canada and reduce the burden on call centres and departments.

Canada Child Benefit: Reducing the calls, increasing web traffic

Nearly 3.7 million Canadian families receive Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payments each year. Between April and June, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sees high call volumes from people trying to understand their CCB payments for the next year. In 2019, the Digital Transformation Office worked with CRA to make it easier for Canadians to access and understand important information on this program. The team reorganized content based on top call drivers and redesigned the content for mobile. The optimized content went live in early 2020. In Q1 2020, calls related to CCB benefit amounts dropped by about 50% compared to previous years, while visits to the improved web content doubled. This project highlighted the significant impacts that can be realized when web pages become more than just a communications tool, and are positioned as an important service delivery. Optimization based on data allows departments to provide answers to Canadians who are otherwise forced to contact call centres.

COVID Alert: A digital tool available for public health

The battle against COVID‑19 has demanded a vast array of measures and responses, including leveraging application‑based initiatives with the potential to make a difference. On July 31, 2020, the Canadian Digital Service and Health Canada released COVID Alert, Canada’s free COVID‑19 exposure notification app, to help people know whether they have been at risk. The app was developed in collaboration with partners in the private sector and with provincial governments.

Notify: Getting the word out

With the Canadian Digital Service’s Notify, departments can quickly and easily “push” email and text messages to subscribers. Since launching in April 2020, Notify has sent over 11 million notifications and is supporting 117 services across 25 departments, while maintaining a total cost of ownership of 4 cents a notification. The tool was used in the GC’s response to the pandemic. When the pandemic started, misinformation was everywhere. A digital team from TBS, Service Canada and Health Canada came together to use GC Notify to build ‘Get Updates on COVID-19’, an email service to get people quick and trusted info about COVID- 19. Since launch, the service has sent over 5.5 million notifications. Read more about GC Notify.

Leading the way in accessible workplaces

About 6.2 million Canadian adults have a disability. The GC needs to ensure that every service delivery approach has accessibility built in in order to offer equal access participation and inclusion for everyone. This means applying an accessibility lens to how we create digital products, print products, events and social media content. The GC is aiming to make the areas it oversees barrier‑free. We will lead the way and become a model for accessibility. SSC helps achieve this goal through its Accessibility, Accommodation and Adaptive Computer Technology (AAACT) Program.

Weather forecasts at your fingertips

Environment and Climate Change Canada wanted to give Canadians access to weather information on their mobile devices, so Shared Services Canada worked with the department to find the best infrastructure solution to support a new mobile weather app. Then, it worked to upgrade the Government of Canada’s computing environment to improve the accuracy and timeliness of weather forecasting. This increased capacity means Canadians have better weather data and forecasts that are closer to local conditions.

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