Nitro Blog

Shoalhaven Q&A: Cutting Costs & Increasing Licences With Nitro

Learn how Shoalhaven City Council increased PDF licences by 364%, achieved a 100% user licence utilisation rate and cut costs by partnering with Nitro.

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Shoalhaven Q&A: Cutting Costs & Increasing Licences With Nitro

Local government agencies face pressure to improve operational efficiencies, digitally transform and keep everything within budget—while maintaining public accountability and compliance. Shoalhaven City Council in New South Wales, Australia, felt these pressures mounting as they were trying to run documentation management and approval processes through a PDF solution that forced them to juggle limited user licences.

The council then adopted Nitro to support cost-effective digital transformation initiatives. At The Local Government IT NSW Summit, we were honoured to be joined on stage by two leaders from Shoalhaven City Council: Dane Hamilton, and Dan Jones, IT Infrastructure & Service Delivery Manager. Dane and Dan explained how they’ve easily transitioned from their older solution to Nitro, what efficiencies they’ve seen since implementation and how Nitro enables them to improve operations in multiple departments.

Read on for highlights from the interview between our VP of Sales (APAC) Michael Helder and Dane and Dan.

Q: What challenges were you hoping to overcome when you were looking for a solution like Nitro?

A: Originally, it was value. We were looking at how we managed our signing and PDF solution, and we saw that we were capped to a number of users. We made the decision to check out the market to see what else was out there. We felt there was something that must be available with much better functionality — something that could help us get over having to chop and change the number of users. We were on the back of COVID at this time as well. Most organisations, including ours, had gone through The Great Resignation and experienced many people coming in and out of the business. It was very challenging to try to manage the seats and licencing during this period.

Q: What made Nitro stand out as the best choice?

A: Not only did we see that it was a fully featured PDF editor, the total licence cost compared to Adobe was a lot less. Removing the need for ongoing licence management overhead because of the site licence was very attractive.

Q: As you started to implement Nitro, how did you approach change management?

A: We were concerned about the change and anticipated that it would be challenging to get our staff onboard — particularly because much of the senior administrative work involved combinations of PDFs for agendas, minute taking, etc. But we were really happy with the support provided by Nitro. We initially ran a pilot and ran a survey at the end of that pilot. The power users who were primarily involved in the process were really happy and spoke very positively of the product. It made the decision to move forward an easy one. From there, we rolled it out and did a number of other training sessions and webinars to support the workforce through that change. I think the support provided is a really strong point for Nitro.

Learn more about Nitro’s Four Pillars to your success in our Switching PDF Vendors Guide.

Q: From an IT point of view, how did Nitro help ensure the smooth transition?

A: It’s been a real success story. Nitro assisted us with implementation and a communications plan. From the outset, we had a clear story moving forward. Ongoing training and support for user adoption really enabled us to deliver on the plan. We also recorded our training sessions and made them available to staff that missed out on the training, so no one was left out. Any users who were slower to adopt, we just provided more training. Nitro also provided a self-service learning portal with how-to guides that makes it easy to improve adoption.

Q: How do you feel Nitro is now contributing to your overall technology and transformation objectives?

A: Nitro has definitely made people more efficient — especially regarding smaller tasks. We used to have a lot of printing and manual signing going on, but Nitro has really driven up efficiency with QuickSign functionality and the Nitro Sign option.

The unlimited site licences made collaboration among departments so easy. We have Nitro as our default PDF editor and reader, so now it’s a part of our standard operating environment. All users get it, and they all get the premium features. That’s created a lot of flexibility for us and opened a lot of capability in a PDF editing product that other users or staff within our council would not have had in our previous scheme.

Q: Are there any best practices you’ve developed using Nitro that you could suggest to other councils?

A: The Customer Success Manager and change support from Nitro really made it so we did not have to worry about too much internally. I would encourage other councils that want to go on this journey to use those. They were super powerful with our implementation. The analytics show the story of our user adoption progress too—we have 600 users on this tool now where we had 200 on our previous solution.

Analytics Animation - Graphs & Charts

The ongoing training really helped with user adoption. It’s a full-featured product that’s easy to use, and we don’t have any issues with staff using it now. Those who use it occasionally go to the learning portal to learn how to do basic tasks. We followed the recommended implementation plan provided by Nitro, and that was a real success. Just following that guidance and leveraging the ongoing training made it such a success.

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