Slovenia EU Presidency 2021 www
22.3.2022

Despite the demanding pandemic situation, Slovenia has managed the EU Council presidency according to plans. Work and remote cooperation were uninterrupted, secure, and simple to use. More than 8,000 meetings equaled saved time and money and a lowered environmental impact. The Webex solution was at the forefront, which was set up for the Ministry of Public Administration by NIL.

Starting with July 1st 2021, Slovenia has taken over the role of presidency to the EU Council for the second time. Slovenia was the last of three countries at the presidential position (together with Germany and Portugal) to connect 27 EU members and organize more than 8,000 meetings during the six months. As the trend of facing the global health crisis due to Covid-19 continued during the presidency, many work processes took place online. Slovenia had to adequately adapt and adjust to such work. The organizational aspect of using advanced technologies for the needs of presidency took place under the Ministry for Public Administration. NIL’s Collaboration team helped them establish the process and the online system with their knowledge, experience, and by following the latest trends. The offered solution (which is still being used today by state employees) is based on the Cisco Webex technology. It architecturally and functionally combines all system components, from advanced videoconferencing devices to cloud services.

In light of the EU Council presidency, remote work was uninterrupted, secure, and simple in Slovenia, including internal meetings between state authorities or videoconferencing calls and collaborating with European partners.

Great user experience

The latest collaboration and communication technologies enable effective work from home and save a lot of time and resources. Their key user advantage is the simplicity of use and the high level of communication security.

During implementation (before the start of the presidency), users were connected with remote technology in a way which would not affect their work negatively. We tried to create an equal or even better experience than face-to-face communication,” explains Mihail Guguvčevski, the leading project IT architect, NIL.

The true value of collaboration and remote communication technologies lies in the feeling of its absence during the work process.

The field engineers observed how the users seamlessly adapted to the technology and acquired new knowledge. Many who haven’t used such technology before or haven’t been a part of suchcollaboration and communication quickly took on the challenge and began using the technology in their work,” added Guguvčevski.

The solutions’ advantages specifically emphasized by NIL are simplicity, highest quality possible, and intuitive use. Users don’t get lost looking at too many options and settings, as most functions are only a click away. For a faster integration at different state authorities, so-called ambassadors were assigned, who helped NIL ensure an optimal solution configuration for their needs.

Security is always our main concern

A thorough and detailed security plan preparation is always the most important pillar of successful execution at NIL. Cybersecurity was the first, second, and final concern when forming the Webex architecture in Slovenia’s public administration. NIL took care of an integrated security solution using:

  • Videoconferencing units at state authorities’ locations,
  • Back-end managed infrastructure in data centers,
  • Connection points to the public cloud.

Towards a sustainable future

At the same time, we are moving towards more sustainable means of work and doing business. Slovenia’s representatives have therefore largely decreased the number of business trips and costs related to them. They have successfully implemented more than 8,000 virtual meetings, and the technology’s benefits are still visible today and will also be visible in the future, as its flexible architecture enables multiple upgrades, adaptations, and a long lifespan.