Client case Safety region North Holland North

Customer profile

The Netherlands consists of 25 safety regions. A safety region is a region in which local authorities and emergency services cooperate in the field of disaster- and crises management. Safety region North Holland North (SRNHN) comprises seventeen municipalities with approximately 644,000 inhabitants in total. The central organisation coordinating the emergency activities includes about six hundred employees. Oliver McLean works as IT Advisor at the Alkmaar headquarters. Oliver McLean IT Advisor Safety region North Holland North (SRNHN)


“Within our safety region many different organisations work together,” says McLean, IT Advisor at the Safety region North Holland North. “From hospitals, ambulance services and the fire brigade to specialist care providers working with problem youths or families. All these organisations process sensitive personal data. For instance, details of victims, patients, and citizens, but the test reports of the voluntary fire brigade as well.” Until November 2017, each organisation had their own solutions to share these data securely. McLean: “This resulted in a kind of hotchpotch of security measures. Each of these solutions protected a part of the communication, but no single solution offered protection from start to finish. A lot of communication inevitably went by fax, WeTransfer, or a number of other unsecured channels. An unclear and undesirable situation, in particular in view of the new European privacy legislation, the GDPR.”

"The only solution that offers complete control over our communication flows, from start to finish, is ZIVVER”

The safety region’s CISO examined all available solutions. “Since we use Office 365, we checked, for instance, whether Microsoft could offer a solution”, McLean says. “Like many of the other suppliers we inquired, this solution reaches quite far. But the only solution that offers complete control over our communication flows, from beginning to end, turned out to be ZIVVER. A major reason for this is, I think, that ZIVVER is dedicated to this challenge in particular, and is continuously working to improve the solution it provides. That is the impression lingering after each contact with ZIVVER.”

Fast and flawless implementation

SRNHN opted for a phases implementation, starting with a group of ‘superusers’. McLean selected this group of 25 employees from all levels of the organisation. “During the first implementation round, their project manager called me regularly for an update”, he says. “The clear users statistics he shared were very useful, just like the complete conversation report that came in shortly thereafter. These sorts of things tell that you work with a highly customer-oriented organisation. Since this first round took place without significant incidents, we then rolled out ZIVVER immediately to our entire organisation.”

“The implementation went practically smoothly: our administrators made a few short calls with the ZIVVER consultants”

McLean cooperated closely with ZIVVER’s technical consultants. “That was not a very exciting venture, by the way”, he says. “We have created a number of connections and added the Outlook plug-in. That went practically smoothly: our administrators made a few short calls with the consultants. The adoption by the staff went very easy as well. We set various targets for the number of active users and sent messages beforehand. We reached these goals within a week. This was possible also because of ZIVVER’s quick sheets, sample texts, posters, and other communication tips. Based on that material, we composed a kind of Wiki with frequently asked questions, screenshots, and step-by-step plans. These have been consulted a lot.”

Good follow-up care and support

In the past few months, McLean received many satisfied responses. From his own employees, but also from partners outside the SRNHN organisation. “It is very important for us that they do not need a ZIVVER license themselves to be able to communicate securely with us. That was a major reason, for instance, why Microsoft dropped out. Like many other providers, that software requires that the recipient operates with the same environment. With ZIVVER, anyone can send and reply to secured messages. The first time, you get a brief explanation about why we want to send the message securely. The organisation can draw up and layout that message completely according to their own taste. Then, the recipient only has to click on ‘agree’ to read the message. It is as simple as that.”

“ZIVVER picks up every request immediately, and, if possible, you will dispose of your desired adaption at the next release”

As a project manager, McLean guided a substantial number of implementations at his current and previous employers. “Such a smooth proceeding as with ZIVVER I have not often experienced before, however. This applies to the speed with which ZIVVER implements improvements as well. Often, you are left with rather vague promises that suggestions or requests will be followed up sometime in the future. ZIVVER picks up every request immediately and keeps you posted about the progress of your desired adaption. It is a flat-structured organisation, that gives you the feeling that you are truly being listened to. We are the first safety region that makes use of this solution. Many other regions are now interested as well. If they inquire of us about this, they will receive a very positive advice, without doubt.”

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