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Week of February 17 to 21, 2020

Statistics Canada makes the move to Wi-Fi

Statistics Canada and Shared Services Canada (SSC) successfully worked together to install GC Wi-Fi, and the service is now fully operational in all Statistics Canada buildings. This major milestone means the entire agency has wireless coverage, including in the regions.  

The service officially went live on October 22, 2019, and will serve over 5,000 mobile employees. SSC installed kilometres of cabling, more than 600 access points, and performed many hours of testing and configuration to implement the GC Wi-Fi service. This allows GC employees to connect to the agency’s network using their work device in any Statistics Canada building.

Statistics Canada and SSC worked collaboratively and communicated weekly to guide progress and navigate any challenges along the way.

SSC is proud of this GC Wi-Fi accomplishment and looks forward to expanding the service further.

Archived news
Week of February 3 to 7, 2020

SSC Talks Data Analytics in Toronto

Two of Shared Services Canada’s (SSC) leaders will be at the 2020 Big Data and Analytics Summit Canada conference, talking about SSC’s data analytics journey. The conference is one of Canada’s largest cross-industry forums for big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Shannon Archibald, SSC’s Chief Information Officer, along with Gilles Dufour, Director General, Business Planning and Client Support Division, are presenting on SSC’s progress in leveraging data to inform actions to improve service delivery.

Government and businesses generate and hold large volumes of data. Canadians’ personal information, temperature changes and website statistics are just a few examples. Unlocking the value of that data to help organizations make better decisions, design better programs and offer better services to Canadians is the ultimate goal. Guided by the Government of Canada’s Data Strategy, Shannon and Gilles will describe SSC’s path, which involved changing mindsets and fostering greater collaboration. SSC’s hard work has brought it to a place where data is starting to drive strategic discussions with our partners.

For those lucky enough to attend the conference, Shannon and Gilles present in the afternoon on February 13, 2020. For everyone else, stay tuned for an Our stories article that will take a closer look at SSC’s data analytics journey.

Week of January 13 to 17, 2020

Refurbishing e-waste from the North

Shared Services Canada (SSC) recognizes it has an important role to play when it comes to going green. We’re aiming to be one of the federal government’s environmental influencers.

A recent initiative prevented 3500 kg of e-waste from decomposing in Nunavut’s soil. Through a program called Computers for Schools Plus (CFS+), SSC donated end of life digital and electronic equipment from federal departments in Iqaluit, Nunavut to those in need in Nunavut and in Quebec. CFS+ is a Department of Innovation, Science and Industry program that refurbishes donated digital devices and distributes them to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low income Canadians.

The following were just a few of the steps taken to ensure this e-waste initiative was a success:

  • SSC engaged with seven federal departments to develop an inventory of electronics that were no longer in use. SSC also partnered with the Government of Nunavut to assist with removing six skids of their own e-waste.
  • CFS+ identified which of the electronics were needed and could be refurbished.
  • SSC wiped the electronics clean to abide by mandatory, federal security processes.
  • 24 laptops were given locally to schools in Nunavut through a CFS+ branch.
  • CK Services, a moving company, shipped the remaining equipment by sea to Valleyfield, Quebec.
  • CFS+ affiliate, Ordinateurs pour les écoles du Quebec (OPEQ), picked up the e-waste at the Valleyfield port and cross-referenced the list to ensure all the donated equipment arrived at the destination.

OPEQ then refurbished and distributed the devices throughout Quebec so that more Canadians have access to, and can participate in, the digital economy.

What’s next on SSC’s green agenda? We are looking at ways to reuse smartphones; develop guidelines on donating e-waste across Northern Canada; and looking at ways to reduce plastic (specifically related to skid wrappings). Stay tuned!

Week of December 16 to 20, 2019

Department of National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) client executive team – engaging with the regions

The Shared Services Canada (SSC) client executive team supporting National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) face the challenge that their employees who support their partners’ vast regional presence are scattered across the country.

Guylaine Boucher, former Director General of the Client Executive team for VAC and DND and her team traveled West, visiting Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, Canada’s Pacific Coast naval base that encompasses 12,000 acres and 1,500 buildings. The team also visited CFB Comox, where crews keep watch over the Pacific Ocean looking for illegal fishing, migration, drugs and pollution in addition to foreign submarines.

At CFB Esquimalt, the SSC delegation was given an overview of the Navy’s four types of satellite links, along with some of the challenges they face such as long latency times. This reinforced some interesting challenges for SSC that wouldn’t have been learned without these regional visits. For instance, SSC will need to work closely with the Navy to ensure patch roll-outs don’t use the limited bandwidth these satellites provide.

SSC is working with CFB Comox to increase bandwidth as the way DND consumes digital information has changed significantly as their reliance on IT systems evolves.

Equally important during these visits is the opportunity to engage with SSC employees who are stationed there.

It’s difficult to work remotely when the rest of your team is 4,000 km and three time zones away. While remote collaboration tools like Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Office 365 (more on that later) help alleviate some of that isolation, nothing tops an in-person visit from your colleagues.

Week of December 9 to 13, 2019

Bringing Government of Canada Chief Information Officers to each other

Shared Service Canada (SSC) is putting a different spin on engagement. In partnership with other departments, SSC organized half-day sessions with Chief Information Officers (CIO) from across the government’s innovation and administration-focused portfolios presented innovative ways in which their departments are supporting a digital government.

At the first CIO Showcase, Joann Shields, Infrastructure Canada CIO, and Eric Lacroix, Director of Application Service, walked the room through the Smart Cities Challenge, and by the end of the session, representatives from both Public Services and Procurement Canada and Transport Canada were eager to hold a “smart cities conference” to continue the dialogue.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) use of Microsoft Office 365 led to a lot of discussion. ISED’s Chahine El-Chaar, Director General, Digital Services Division discussed how they incorporated these tools in their work. SSC recently renewed an agreement with Microsoft Canada that will offer all public servants access to Office 365’s suite of collaboration tools.

At the second showcase, CIOs presented their organization’s digital strategy. Natalie Martel, Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Digital Champion, talked about how the organization’s digital strategy includes changing mindsets and methodologies used to solve problems and investigate opportunities. She explained that a digital strategy cannot be adopted only by IT. Digital Transformations also involve processes and culture and mindsets will need to evolve in order for the department to reach its digital goals.

Elizabeth Rhodenizer, Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) CIO and the co-host for the second showcase, explained that PSC invited their business lines to the table when they were creating their organization’s digital strategy. She wanted to make sure the strategy reflected their needs. To accomplish this, the business lines were involved in planning to shape the strategy to reflect their reality.

One of the participants commented that it was a “great session and very informative,” and that it was “helpful to see what other departments are working on.”

The next CIO Showcase for innovation and administration-focused portfolios will be in the New Year. This format has been so successful, SSC is looking to expand the format to include sessions for other CIOs from across government.

Policing infrastructure operations – engaging with the service lines

It’s been one year since the creation of Policing Infrastructure Operations (PIO), Shared Services Canada’s (SSC) team dedicated to providing support to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their unique policing mandate.

As a testament to the relationship the two entities have built over the past year, PIO was invited to participate in the RCMP’s volleyball tournament during National Public Service week.

PIO Director General Brendan Dunne and his team have put a lot of effort into building this relationship. So far they have had some success, but there’s more to be done. Part of their job is understanding what’s coming up from each of SSC’s service lines and where there is overlap with PIO itself. Another element is ensuring that the service lines truly understand what’s needed for SSC to be able to fully support the RCMP and their unique policing and security needs.

One of the ways Brendan and his team did this was by bringing the service lines and management together to talk. On June 19th, they co-hosted the national leadership workshop.

PIO invited Nicole Gratton (Director General, Enterprise Directions Directorate), John Dullaert (Director General, Networks Services), Dinesh Mohan (Director General, Cloud Services), Louis-Paul Normand (Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Project Management and Delivery Branch) and Greg McKay (Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Management and Delivery Branch) for a panel discussion.

The topics discussed ranged from helping the RCMP migrate workloads to one of our Enterprise Data Centres or to the Cloud, to how SSC’s new Information Technology Service Management Tool will affect service delivery.

The panel began with a comment that the dynamic between SSC’s service lines, PIO, and the RCMP needs some work, providing how necessary this type of engagement opportunity is toward bridging any gaps. The session ended with an affirmation that PIO, and the RCMP by proxy, will continue to be a key player in all of SSC’s enterprise discussions as we move towards SSC 3.0.

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