Remploy finds alternative to Microsoft Remploy is the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services for disabled and disadvantaged people

With a network of more than 60 branches in England, Wales, and Scotland, Remploy provides candidates with tailored services, including one-to-one support with job searching. It also partners with more than 2,500 employers, helping them to be ‘disability confident’ and increasing diversity and equality in the workplace.


Remploy was looking to find an alternative to their Microsoft Exchange infrastructure, as Lenka Sherry-Sole, Business Manager for IS, and Project Manager for the deployment, explains.


“We were spending a lot of money on the licensing and hosting, along with the complexity of managing everything that goes with on-premise service. We needed a more cost-effective alternative and with a new IS strategy of ‘cloud by default’, we wanted a more up-to-date solution that would offer scalability and flexibility.”


Remploy looked at cloud-based solutions for their infrastructure that would cut its IT spend. Two options were considered; Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365. When Remploy compared these options in 2013, Google Workspace was around half the cost, but as Sherry-Sole explains, the project was never just about cost, Remploy wanted to take the opportunity to create a culture change in its business. “It wasn’t just about email, it was the collaboration features that sold it to us.”


“The main reason we opted for Google was that if we kept Microsoft everyone would do things in exactly the same way and there would be no change of behavior. We talk a lot at Remploy about our culture and how we work together and how we want to be open and honest and transparent across the organisation, and we felt the collaboration features within the Google Workspace environment, and the culture that we had and wanted to aspire to fit this – it wasn’t just about email, it was the collaboration features that sold it to us.”


Lenka Sherry-Sole, along with Remploy’s IT Director John Devlin, presented a strategy for moving to Google to the company’s board. “It was the culture aspect, rather than the cost or technical aspect that sold it,” says Lenka. “Remploy knew Google could provide the tools that its workforce needed to get their job done, but it was the collective shift of culture and a new way of working that secured buy-in from the Board.”


Google Workspace was rolled out across the entire organisation of just under 900 employees. Ronnie Main, Remploy’s Service Operations Manager for IS, describes how the transition has transformed the organisation. “We were not up to date on OS, but we’ve changed the culture and we’re running Google Workspace across the board. We’re ahead of the market now, and Google is one of the things that has helped us become more focused.”


Implementing Google Workspace and Backupify has had a very positive impact on Remploy. “It was a people project, it wasn’t about just changing our email platform, we were changing the culture.”