Sofology initially transitioned to Google Workspace with the help of Netpremacy in 2016.
DFS is the leading upholstery retailer in the UK who are passionate about making and selling high-quality sofas supported by specialist in-house design teams. The group trades as 4 separate brands: DFS, Dwell, Sofa Workshop, and Sofology. Each brand appeals to a different customer segment and therefore enables the brand to target the majority of the market. DFS has been named a Sunday Times Best 25 big companies to work for with over 5,600 team members across all 4 brands.
DFS was looking to align their business wherever possible, they needed a new email system and Sofology had proven to the wider group that Google Workspace was a solution that would work in their sector.
“We had a clear choice between Office 365 and Google Workspace, it was then about choosing the most suitable product for us” – Will Rose, Programme Manager, DFS
From a Google Workspace perspective, DFS saw the positive changes that Sofology were experiencing through their utilisation of Google Workspace and realised it should be something that was investigated further. DFS group wanted to improve collaboration as a business and were struggling with communication across their different sites located around the country.
“Working collaboratively was very difficult. Sharing information was difficult, everything had to be shared via email. Access to shared Drives was on a brand by brand basis.” – Will Rose, Programme Manager, DFS
After a meticulous group evaluation, DFS Group made the decision to move to Google Cloud with Netpremacy. Due to the string of acquisitions, legacy email and collaboration platforms were neither consistent between DFS group companies, nor were they integrated with each other. This meant that even basic cross-group collaboration such as calendar sharing or working on shared documents was challenging for employees.
Not only would moving to Google Workspace help with collaboration across the business, but it would also improve the communication across the different sites. The company did have a conferencing set up before but found the solution to be poor, and it also proved difficult to set up. So when the offices were kitted out with new Hangouts Meet Hardware kits, the communication barrier was broken. This helped DFS to communicate easily, and to also save money on traveling as meetings were held remotely where appropriate.
DFS saw numerous advantages of Hangouts Meet Hardware for remote meetings; simplicity of use, native integration with calendaring, seamless and reliable video conferencing. They are now up to 12 Hangout Meet Hardware kits across the business allowing all of the key locations to join sessions remotely.
“We did have a conference facility but it was pretty poor, so the advantage of Hangouts Meet makes it really easy to communicate as a business rather than setting up a Zoom conference, which had proved difficult and required licenses setting up for everybody.” – Will Rose, Programme Manager, DFS
Over the whole migration project, we consolidated approximately 2200 employees onto the single Google Workspace platform.
DFS began seeing several improvements and positive changes from moving to Google Workspace which then led to the company investigating the further options that Google Chrome could provide. This led DFS to roll out 1200 Chrome tablets to all DFS stores to be used on shop floors so staff could easily demonstrate the products DFS has to offer to customers. In addition to this, they are now trialing using Chromebooks at the head office, for all 4 brands of the DFS group.
“It’s the other things that are offered to us that are enabled by Google Workspace, so we have rolled out 1200 tablets to all the DFS stores, we’ve started to trial Chromebooks at head office for all 4 brands. That trial is going really well so we are actually at the point where if a new member of staff joins, depending on their role they will be given a Chromebook. As a result single sign-on through Google Workspace has been a big advantage to us and we already have a couple of suppliers on the single sign-on system. We are going to continue to do this with our other suppliers, and we are also looking at the Mobile Device Management solution, and are also looking into a more secure way of looking after our data through 2SV, which is currently being rolled out across the Group.” – Will Rose, Programme Manager, DFS
DFS is looking to a continued relationship with Netpremacy through our CSS services program now the initial business transformation is complete. This is due to the team not having the support or technical knowledge that the team at Netpremacy can provide. This will help the company to keep up with current trends and emerging technologies so that they stay on top of their game when working in the Cloud.
Now, through the support of our CSS program, DFS is benefitting from the Netpremacy team continuing helping the teams with adoption through a series of change management services. This helps with continued support on business progression for the DFS group. The team is also helping to move the finance team from Excel to Google Sheets, and educating DFS on Big Query, Data studio and how to make the most out of the data the company collects, such as insights on buyer profiles, trends, spend and much more.