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The brand new Umoja Geneva Deployment Centre was inaugurated on Monday 1 June 2015, in time for the go-live of Cluster 3 entities (OCHA, UNON, UNEP, UN Habitat, ESCAP, UNKART). Hosted in the beautiful Villa Le Bocage, a historic villa with high ceilings, parquet floors and stucco walls, the Centre accommodates 20 rooms with a capacity of 55 work spaces.

OCHA and UNOG staff will be collocated at the Centre in order to provide hands-on assistance for OCHA transactions performed in Umoja. To strengthen a sense of collaboration, care has been taken to use open space set-ups and equip the Centre with state-of-the-art furniture. At the opening meeting, staff remarked on both the beauty of the new Deployment Centre, as well as the swiftness with which it was set-up. Even the peacocks, the beloved cohabitants of the UN premises in Geneva, graced the new Centre with a visit.

Mr. Hans Baritt, Umoja Geneva Deployment Coordinator, explains: “By collocating key OCHA and UNOG administrative and support staff, we intend to ensure efficient and prompt client service during this period of change. Our goal is to provide the best possible service to our clients and enable them to deliver efficiently on their substantive mandates.” 

The Deployment Centre is further piloting a set-up, whereby IT support is collocated with the business side to ensure the most timely technical support of clients, while tending to their business needs at the same time.

“For me, the Deployment Centre is a true example of the UN getting together and working as one to achieve a common goal – to go live with a new ERP system that modernizes the way we work”, highlights Mr. Clemens M. Adams, the UNOG Director of Administration. 

As Geneva prepares for a much larger go-live as part of Cluster 4, which will entail 9 entities with about 4500 staff members, on 1 November 2015, it will implement lessons learned from the Cluster 3 Deployment Centre. This will ensure that a similarly effective support structure is put in place for the next phase. With the Cluster 4 go-live date fast approaching, everybody in Geneva is gearing up operations to ensure they are ready for the Umoja deployment.