As a professional federation, FEDNOT represents more than 1200 notary studies with fednot_600pixelsmore than 9000 employees in total. The mission of FEDNOT ICT, the ICT department of the federation, is to help notaries make the transition to the new digital world by offering them more than 50 applications and making sure they can operate in a more efficient, secure digital environment mandated by new legal requirements like GDPR.

Program management is key
Patrick Dalle was brought in as consultant to lead the ambitious but complex project to a successful end. Proximus Explore had been selected as the backbone for the VPN connecting all notary studies. However, many challenges laid ahead. Individual notary studies still had to be convinced that paying more for their internet connectivity was not only a nice to have, but an absolute requirement to secure their own future. Managing IT infrastructure Partners would prove another key success factor in order to guarantee end to end security. Offering a central Exchange Online email infrastructure for more than 9000 mailboxes based on Microsoft Office 365, added to the complexity.

Building a strong business case with Proof of Concepts
In order to build a strong business case, Patrick Dalle’s built a project plan that started with 10 notary studies as Proof of Concept. This approach allowed not only an early validation of Proximus’ technical design, but would also create early ‘ambassadors’ for the project, convincing the remaining notary studies by word of mouth. The roll-out plan projected the migration of all 1251 notary studies to the Secured Notary Network in a 24 months. A close collaboration with Proximus resulted in a detailed plan outlining the whole project from sales and marketing to implementation, support and invoicing.

Aligning multiple stakeholders
Each of the 1251 notary studies had to be considered as a different stakeholder with his own interests and needs, influenced by local workgroups and commissions. What made the project even more complex was he fact that, besides managing the relationship with Proximus, a partnership had to be set up with more than 100 IT Providers in order to guarantee end to end security on the network.
The key to the success of the project was a solid project governance plan set up by Patrick Dalle. Operational meetings were held weekly in 7 different workgroups and monitored all the actions that had to be taken. Important decisions were escalated to a higher tactical level in a weekly Steering Committee with middle management. Finally, FEDNOT’s Board of Directors monitored the project from a strategic perspective.

Microsoft and Office365
The migration of more than 9000 mailboxes to Microsoft Exchange Online (Office365), was the second phase of the project. It deserved a particular attention from Microsoft Belgium, who took it as an example for how a professional federation can drive innovation with its members.

Notaries ready for the digital age
The Secured Notary Network lays the foundation for what is probably the most ambitious ICT project ever undertaken by a Belgian professional federation. A strong business case, a strict project governance with Proof of concepts, a solid Partnership with Proximus, Microsoft, and IT Partners, were certainly the key pillars to the success of the project.