"We had worked with MOQ for many years and were happy with the way they operated, which gave us the comfort to try the virtual team model. As the months passed we gained the confidence that this new model worked, we grew the team from two, to its current 15 and plan to recruit more."
James Fields, Head of IT Operations & Infrastructure
With a heritage that draws on more than 160 years’ experience and a diverse group of vertically integrated businesses, Laing O’Rourke has helped forge cities, communities and economies. A global engineering enterprise, the business has enjoyed more than 50 years of involvement in Australian construction and
infrastructure including more than a decade under the Laing O’Rourke banner.
Laing O’Rourke is currently delivering some of Australia’s most exciting projects across the transport, building construction, defence, airports, mining, civil and social infrastructure sectors. Laing O’Rourke operates in two main geographical hubs, Europe has a key focus in the building and infrastructure sectors; covering the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Canada. The Australia hub consists of a diverse project portfolio that spans across Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Laing O’Rourke operates from four main offices in Australia: Sydney, Brisbane , Melbourne and Perth. The biggest business challenge that Laing O’Rourke faced was recruiting full-time employees with unique skill sets to work around the clock to account for time zone differences between sites. Furthermore, the organisation required niche skillsets in the IT services department while also minimising their costs.
Laing O’Rourke identified a need to increase the number of full-time employees in the IT services team to support the ever-increasing support requirements as the business becomes more reliant on IT. Further to this, the heightened patching requirements in their modernising world required full-time management that needed to be delivered outside of Australian and UK business hours. By utilising an offshore team, both teams would work reasonably normal hours to fit both Australian and UK business hours. Recruiting and acquiring a capability expert in a specific niche had proven difficult for Laing O’Rourke, increasing their costs and decelerating their processing speeds.
Additionally, access to Laing O’Rourke’s backend servers for patching and routine maintenance could only be performed after business hours when the user’s weren’t accessing the systems. While fully automated patching is an option for a large number of systems, it presented an issue by delaying feedback on issue resolution which had to be reported back the next morning.
Laing O’Rourke had an existing relationship with MOQdigital for approximately seven years, and reached out for their expertise to provide a solution to innovate their technical skill sets and associated processes.
MOQdigital’s solution to streamline the processes of Laing O’Rourke was the implementation of a virtual team model to improve efficiency and diversify skill sets. This also allowed Laing O’Rourke to be covered on all bases around the clock by increasing their technical expertise and, helping to reduce their costs without hiring on-site personnel.
A dedicated virtual IT services team was set up in Sri Lanka by MOQdigital as a complete extension of their existing teams. In July 2018, MOQdigital introduced two virtual employees to oversee the technical aspects of IT services. By 2020, the virtual team now stands at 15 virtual employees across both their international sites in AU and UK with seniority and technical capabilities with projections to further increase employees within the next six months. The virtual team in Sri Lanka provides support from a five and a half-hour time difference to cover the Australian out of business hours. Patching and maintenance of workstations are completed from a different geographical location, from 6:00 pm Brisbane time.
The new virtual team solution was also used to create a fully functional L3 support team for LOR UK and implement a virtual Power BI technician remotely also for LOR UK. All of the virtual employees stay in constant communication with Laing O’Rourke teams - reporting to line managers to ensure a seamless integration with the onsite Laing O’Rourke IT team and the virtual IT team. In addition, a dedicated 4 person patching team for LOR UK was also setup to cover off their patching for Servers, Workstations and Network endpoints as well as taking care of application packaging.
MOQdigital has added to the Laing O’Rourke’s skill stack by utilising the virtual team in Sri Lanka to scale operations within its existing infrastructure. The remote employees are hired for a cost-effective market rate, allowing the organisation to minimise costs, improve productivity and automate company processes by completing tasks across various time zones with a virtual model.