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THE CITY OF OUDENAARDE

The City of Oudenaarde uses Exclaimer to standardize employee email signatures and to update signature designs quickly and efficiently.

About the city of Oudenaarde

De Stad Oudenaarde, (the City of Oudenaarde), located in the East Flanders region of Belgium, is home to approximately 32,000 inhabitants. Known for its rich heritage, historical architecture, and impressive tapestries, Oudenaarde is a convenient location for cycling tourists to visit the Flemish Ardennes.

The city is also synonymous with the Tour of Flanders, also known as De Ronde, which is an annual road cycling race that offers a real challenge to cyclists from around the world.

Avoiding off-brand designs

When it became clear that the City of Oudenaarde would be introducing a new brand identity, the subject of how to control all employee email signatures became an immediate concern. As a lot of time and effort had been invested in designing the new branding, it was sensible to want to protect it from being altered by individual staff members.

“We wanted to avoid a large number of different signature designs being appended to all of the emails sent by our 400 employees,” Nathalie Lievyns, Head of Communications at the City of Oudenaarde, explained. “There would have been too many different colors, banners, formats, and fonts to deal with, all of which would have negatively impacted our new brand."

Updated within a week

For the ICT department, a practical and efficient approach to email signature management was important. Having used Exclaimer’s email signature solutions in a previous role, the choice to use Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud was an easy one to make for Tijl Demeulemeester, Head of ICT at the City of Oudenaarde.

"The primary reason for this project was to introduce uniformity and structure to all email signature templates,” explained Mr Demeulemeester. “This was in response to the change in our corporate branding. In the end, Communication, ICT, and HR worked together by using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud to design and deploy our new email signatures within one week."

"Using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud is very simple," continued Mr Demeulemeester. "As I had used its email signature solutions before, I did not need additional support from Exclaimer in getting everything up and running. I was more than comfortable to use Exclaimer’s cloud offering because I knew that it would make controlling our email signatures easy.

"The initial setup of Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud was done by the ICT department, but once this was completed, even a non-technical person could use it. Now, all email signature change requests go via Communications rather than ICT."

According to Mr Demeulemeester, the biggest challenge for the City of Oudenaarde was ensuring that its Active Directory (AD) was up-to-date. As all contact information within email signatures would be populated automatically from AD, it was important that the data was as up-to-date as possible.

“An additional advantage of using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud was that employees were immediately able to see if there was an issue with their contact details from directly within their email signatures,” highlighted Mr Demeulemeester. “Receiving this feedback meant that we were able to quickly update our AD so all contact details would be correct.

“Using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud meant we could move quickly when it came to deploying organizational email signatures. It made the implementation very simple and avoided different departments getting bogged down in endless signature change requests.”

A professional approach

"Thanks to using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud, we now use 12 different email signature templates,” explained Ms Lievyns. “Each department now uses its own sub-logo and corporate colors, which are always consistent and very professional. I also like the fact that formatting a new signature is very easy-to-do and doesn’t require you to follow long instructions or training courses."

The Communications department at the City of Oudenaarde now has further ideas on how to expand the use of its email signatures. "We are definitely looking at how we 'fine tune' how we deploy email signatures companywide,” Ms Lievyns concluded. “For example, we are looking at creating shorter reply signatures, including adding working hours for part-time staff, and adding specific departmental disclaimers. We know that we can do this really easily thanks to using Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud.”

The City of Oudenaarde logo

INDUSTRY
Local Government

PRODUCTS
Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud

LOCATION
Belgium

USE CASES
Simplify Email Signature Management
Ensure Brand Consistency

Tijl Demeulemeester Head of ICT

The challenge

  • A new brand had been introduced requiring consistency on all corporate emails
  • There was no way to centrally control the signature templates employees were using
  • Active Directory was not kept up-to-date with no way of seeing what the problems were

The solution

  • Implementing Exclaimer Signature Management Cloud to centrally manage email signatures
  • Using the product to find out where there were gaps in its Active Directory

The benefits

  • Consistent email signatures for all employees
  • Any updates to signature templates can be made quickly
  • All changes can be run from the Communications department rather than ICT
  • Different departments can use separate signature designs

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