Modern Workspace: Re-defining the Workplace With Activity-based Layout

GPT Group re-defines workplace with activity-based layout

Property management company GPT Group began a total change program four years ago that has moved its business from the Stone Age to best of breed.

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The listed property trust had desktops that were running Microsoft XP and Microsoft Office 2003, along with legacy systems and no real automation of the business processes. Its document management was in a shared folder that had millions of files, making it difficult to find anything. The business operated in distinct silos, which hampered the exchange of ideas.

“We wanted to foster collaboration so we wanted an office that stacked vertically and horizontally, but also gave you the opportunity to sit where you wanted to sit,” says GPT chief information officer Ross Miller.

The total change program began by ripping out the back-end of systems to rebuild networks and the core infrastructure. This took about 18 months.

GPT put in SAP as its ERP system and integrated its legacy systems, going live in October 2010. It also installed SharePoint. As part of the SAP project, Thomas Duryea Logicalis put in the SAN (storage area network).

That same year, new chief executive Michael Cameron started a cultural reinvigoration program. The company opted to "go the whole hog" and drive a best practice workplace into its Sydney site at the MLC Centre. It has a total of 420 staff.

GPT first upgraded to Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. It put in Cisco wireless technology. Thomas Duryea Logicalis also ran the wireless project and was responsible for procuring and installing video-grade wireless. Most staff use soft phones to enable anywhere, anytime work.

The office now runs over three floors rather than five. The company has 320 people based at the new paperless office, with 272 desktops. "No one sits in the same seat on any particular day," Miller says. "If I need to talk to someone down on level 50, for example, I just work down there for the day."

GPT has slashed its paper usage in half and lighting bills are 70% down, while general electricity is also 50%.

Read the full article in The Australian.