University of Vienna

A new social intranet for more than 10,000 employees that connects them with each other, ensures greater stability and adaptability to changes, and creates new communication structures within the university.

Who is the University of Vienna?

The University of Vienna is a large institution in the capital of Austria with over 10,000 employees, almost 7,000 researchers and an additional 100,000 students. In addition to Confluence, the University of Vienna also utilizes other tools from Atlassian like Jira and Jira Service Management, which are used by up to 20,000 people every day.

What challenges did the University of Vienna face during the deployment?

In the course of the Linchpin implementation project at the University of Vienna, two personality types confronted each other.

The first type can be represented by the “Helmut” persona – an employee who has been working at the university for almost 25 years and has been a database administrator from the very beginning. Helmut is plagued by the many changes that affect him and his daily work from all sides and prevent him from concentrating on his work. Instead of introducing new systems, he would rather have a point of reference to hold on to. In addition, Helmut expresses concerns about the quantity of communication and he himself wants to focus on the quality of work and good service instead.

Sitting across from him is 26-year-old Fritz, a computer science graduate who is always up for change. He can’t understand Helmut’s concerns and instead sees the new system as a chance to get things moving forward, together. His suggestion: talk to each other, see change as something good, and look ahead optimistically to build something constructive for the future.

The University of Vienna has to face the same challenge as all other organizations – to learn to deal with the overwhelming demands of everything new during ages that are constantly in motion. Thus, it is necessary to address people who are afraid of change and want things to stay the same. On the other hand, it is also necessary to address those employees who can devote a great deal of energy to change processes and are eager to test, try out and use new things.

To achieve the goal of balancing the two workflows in the company, the University of Vienna opted for Atlassian tools and Linchpin, along with a Linchpin implementation project that was closely managed by Seibert Media.

How did the University of Vienna face the challenge?

The University of Vienna has checked intensively and with different measures whether the introduction of the new intranet has been successful. Colleagues were regularly asked for their feedback. Close support from Seibert Media also helped the university to implement Linchpin, breaking down barriers and ensuring connectivity among the workforce. In addition, the University of Vienna analyzed the issue from a systemic perspective and drew on the importance of new communication spaces to get in touch with each other and bring movement into the exchange.

This intensive, joint and cooperative relationship that we have maintained with Seibert Media for years now, this relationship of trust, has also had an impact on the implementation quality of our services and also on the resonance in our organization. Breaking down the barriers of ” embracing new things”, also for the two colleagues [personas] that I have described […] – we all were really able to connect with that.

Maximilian Petrasko, University of Vienna

How did Linchpin create new ways of communicating?

New structures are being created through the Linchpin introductory project. The University of Vienna is now moving away from direct one-to-one communication towards one-to-many and many-to-many communication. In other words, greater emphasis is being placed on networking aspects. Of course, this opens up many opportunities to network people together – something that was difficult to do in previous years due to the size and weight of the organization, as well as the many software artifacts and communication approaches. Furthermore, Linchpin allows the University of Vienna to act in a much more agile way, especially in combination with Jira, and thus ensures more adaptability to change.

Software and accessibility at the University of Vienna

Since the university as a public institution stands for diversity and accessibility, the topic of accessibility has been a big one in the Linchpin project from the beginning. Initially, it was quite noticeable: Linchpin, unfortunately, is not accessible and many people with disabilities are therefore unable to work with it. That’s why Seibert Media, together with the University of Vienna, thought about the possibilities to deal with this issue during the introductory project. That’s also how our dev teams ended up devoting most of their development focus to accessibility and were able to make a lot of progress in this context. Linchpin can now be used with a keyboard, and the rollout project at the University of Vienna can be described as a complete success – for the university, the product and all other customers and interested parties.