Overcoming obstacles to master hybrid work

15 December 2021

At the start of this month, we hosted our CSS2021 Digital event. We had 22 industry speakers taking part from Google, CeX, The Bannatyne Group, Ocado, Simply Business, Pressure Technologies (to name a few!), with over 110 attendees representing 296,332 end users. We brought together like-minded people from some of the top businesses in the UK to share ideas, trending topics from Google, and relevant technology themes in the world right now. The topic that came up, again and again, had to be ‘how do we master hybrid work?’.

This three-day event, exclusively for our CSS community, proved to be a fantastic platform for sharing ideas, solving problems and opening up several discussions. As much as a community event as a company one, attendees get the chance to discover how they can get more from their Google technology as well as the chance to speak with their peers and other members of the CSS community. Here are the biggest takeaways from the event:

CSS2021 Customer quote

Create hybrid working success

Employee expectation of hybrid work is evolving. We must learn how to embrace this opportunity to create hybrid working success. In a 2020 survey, 93% of C-Suite Executives said they saw an increase in remote working and collaboration, with over half believing the changes will stick beyond the pandemic. At the event, we uncovered that there are still ways we can improve to build on this digital-first culture. Several topics came up, including the importance of change management, security, and digital leadership. These are the core elements to enable us to thrive in the future. 

Build an inclusive culture with technology.

Almost every organisation that introduced remote working over the last 20 months has probably upgraded their tech stack to continue working. Sure, we all know how to make a video call, but how do we use this technology to grow and foster a culture to get remote workforces happy and engaged? How do we maintain impact, connection and well-being? The answer does not solely lie with technology. It is about the people, and we must ensure that we do not leave anyone behind. 

“Google’s mission is to help organisations transform how work happens with a people-first approach. The workspace is no longer in the office – it is wherever you are! Whether you are returning to the office, working from home, or a mix of both, they have the products and features you need to connect, share ideas and get more done together, no matter the location.” – Google Cloud Representative

Google technology has a big part to play in being able to master hybrid working. It allows teams to connect, create and collaborate from anywhere. To make hybrid work successful, you must keep people productive and engaged and make the hybrid experience accessible for all. 

Tips to make an impact on your organisation:

  • Design meetings that remote workers and office workers can both participate in. 
  • Create an environment where every team member feels comfortable to share their ideas. 
  • Give your workforce a sense of purpose and explain how they contribute to the company’s success. 
  • Ensure that the in-office experience promotes collaboration – use this time for team building activities, workshops and brainstorming sessions.

Add extra security for your hybrid environment.

A remote workforce means businesses may have to adjust their security strategy to be more robust. One of the hot topics to come out of the event is implementing App Access Control. This is a great way to put processes in place to reduce the risk of data breaches through APIs, as admins can prevent users from installing dangerous 3rd party software. You can restrict access to services like Gmail, drive and contacts, and it allows you to trust specific apps that have a business use or are deemed safe. This is especially useful if you have a big organisation with lots of users, or domain merges mean you might inherit different conflicts from different companies, so accounts can become messy and hard to manage.

To implement this technology, you need to identify the apps you want to control. Then you can assess them to ensure they are in line with your compliance policies, and you can check if due diligence has been done on the app to ensure it is safe for your organisation. 

Tips to get started:

  • Communicate to the rest of the business that you will be auditing all the APIs.
  • Create an error message for users detailing the new process for approval of installing APIs. 
  • Get a list of every single app you need to review.
  • Use tools like Token Report to help determine which apps are critical to the business, based on how many users use them. 

 

Once you have a documented app approval process, you will end up with a defined catalogue of approved business apps to help your workforce stay productive without compromising security. 

Achieve your business goals with digital leadership.

Ultimately, the most effective way your business can draw success from hybrid work is by having a digital-first leadership team. You could have all the technology at your fingertips, but without buy-in from the decision-makers processes, strategies, and new technology will be hard to put in place. 

“We are now in a world that understands it is not the place of work that is special or important. It is our people. With the right tools and attitude, businesses can thrive even when fully remote. Of course, hybrid/remote working is not without challenges, but this is an opportunity to become a more visible, more valuable IT team.” – Martin Russell, Director of CSS, Netpremacy 

For more ideas on how to boost tech team culture and visibility in the hybrid workplace, read Martin’s article here

Our CSS programme provides you with a first-class engagement partner who will be there every step of the way in your cloud journey. Our Customer Success Managers act as an extension to your IT team and are the link to solving problems. Whether we go directly to Google or host networking opportunities, like CSS2021 Digital, so peers in the community can help too. These exclusive events have been for our CSS community to show how their businesses can continuously improve, stay updated on emerging technology, the latest trends, and how to use them to continue to thrive.

Want to be part of this exclusive community? Get in touch to learn more info@netpremacy.com.

05 May 2020

How DFS responded to the recent COVID-19 pandemic through use of Google Cloud technologies. 

 

Netpremacy has had a longstanding relationship with DFS for over 4 years now, and initially helped one of their Group companies Sofology transition across to G Suite. After the bounding success of this project, DFS decided to move all of their 4 brands across to G Suite with Netpremacy, to improve the way in which they worked. More detail on the journey with DFS and Netpremacy can be found here. 

On the 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the UK was to be put into lockdown to help squash the curve and help the NHS to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This caused many big changes for businesses all over the UK, and our customer DFS was one of the businesses that needed to immediately change the way in which they were currently working. 

Now that the dust has begun to settle, and businesses are becoming used to working remotely across the UK, we sat down with Group Technology Director, Russell Harte, DFS to discuss how the company has successfully adapted in the recent conditions thanks to G Suite and Google Cloud. 

As soon as the lockdown was announced, the DFS group decided to immediately close down all operations, pause deliveries and halt manufacturing. DFS was then left with just an online presence, and had no other option than to furlough 5,000 members of staff across the UK. 

“We decided we wanted to do the right thing and protect as many people as possible” – Russell Harte, DFS

Due to the whole organisation already being on G Suite, the business was able to respond quickly, and move the workforce to remote working immediately. 

“We had started installing Google Meet hardware in a number of meeting rooms before the pandemic, so we had already started to change the culture and stopped bringing people to the same place for some meetings and training events. It just made a massive difference to how our teams are communicating, even bringing more colour to just a conference call. We had a few key people who embraced this, but in the pandemic world Google Meet has become a rapid default. From day one there were a number of posts on our internal communication platform about how big a difference using G Suite had made, and if we hadn’t had it, how would we have worked.” – Russell Harte, DFS

This meant that the business was quickly able to adapt to new working environments and to ultimately keep the business running. Russell mentioned that it was easy for everyone to transition, even some of the less technical staff, due to the simplicity of G Suite. 

“We realised early on in our original roll out project that we could implement single sign-on across the business, so we started getting into cloud identity early on. This happened to have a big impact in light of the pandemic, it’s allowed us to move some of the applications a lot faster than we would have thought.”- Russell Harte, DFS

Due to the collaborative features of G Suite, the teams are still able to work seamlessly across Docs, Sheets, and Slides, collaborating successfully on the same documents simultaneously in order to turn around work and get communications sent around the organisation. 

“In the last few weeks we have been using single sign-on for quite a few applications and clearly using G Suite as the authentication method for doing so. Another product we use internally is Cloudflare Access, again using Google Authentication as a way to access quite a large number of our applications and that’s helped us a lot in the recent pandemic.” – Russell Harte, DFS

Russell mentioned that the marketing and PR teams especially were benefiting from the Chat feature in Hangouts. The instant messaging service is helping to keep the marketing and PR teams in constant communication. The teams, who respond to customer inquiries across social media channels, have found the instant messaging in Chat has sped up their communication and enabled them to react faster and support customers.  

It’s not just specific teams that G Suite is helping with, in fact, it is keeping the whole organisation in contact and up to date. The culture change that the pandemic has forced upon many businesses around the UK was taken up by the teams at DFS, as teams across the company took it in their stride. Even  furloughed staff are continuing to engage with their team members across the organisation through Google Meet for quizzes and social events. Meaning everyone is still kept connected, and team morale is kept high in these unprecedented times. 

“We have furloughed just over 5,000 staff. We’re in week four now in the UK and we have seen a number of our teams do everything from quizzes to bingo using hangouts. It’s just allowed the teams to stay in touch in a fantastic way” – Russell Harte, DFS

Netpremacy was able to help DFS quickly and efficiently move across their team drives, as well as ensuring that 2SV was enabled in order to keep the company data safe. 

“There was little Netpremacy needed to do to help DFS be prepared for the pandemic, as we had already implemented G Suite and Chrome devices across the organisation. They had the tools they needed, and the support from us to work remotely almost immediately.” Ben Trood, Business Development, Netpremacy

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To learn more about how retail businesses are using Google Cloud to work remotely, sign up to our webinar. 

14 April 2020

Read Martin’s story through the years in tech that led him to his role at Netpremacy

 

Hello, if you are reading this it is either because cloud technology is an interest to you, or you have taken the plunge and are deploying SaaS, PaaS or IaaS technologies.

I wanted to write this as a thought provoker, but also to tell my own story in the hope that it helps others. How I went about taking a “Spark” otherwise known as a “problem” and turned it into a “Vision” and mission for technology.

Nice to meet you…

I am Director of Customer Success at Netpremacy and for the past 20 years I have worked in Enterprise IT across FinTech, Manufacturing, Retail and Consumer Products. In my last two roles I was the Director of Technology for JUST EAT and Metapack. This is where I developed my vision for Cloud.

I did not wake up one morning with this mission, it took time and the guidance of others, be that mentoring or coaching (even if those people did not realise they were coaching/mentoring me). I listen and watch very well so I have learned a lot through my experiences, I have been lucky enough to work with amazing CTOs and CIOs over the years that have given me freedom, trust and known how to get the best from me.

It is important to be in a role where you are trusted, often I think people focus too much on the hierarchy. Whilst a sponsor such as a CEO or CTO is key for budget approval and some direction, I would highly recommend working towards being that trusted person. It is so much easier to talk at a strategic and vision level if you have trust; and this is gained through good, constant delivery. Wherever you are in your career today if you are struggling to get traction, think about how you can deliver on lots of small wins, how can you build that momentum and trust so that when it comes to the more strategic vision/mission thinking it will be so much easier with trust in place.

Why did I want a Vision in the first place?

I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I could think way beyond what was in front of me and show that the decisions I was making were leading to a better future for the business and my teams. I see many IT Management or Leadership teams making great choices but often they are not linked through and it can be seen as a scattergun approach or constant firefighting. In this blog, I will talk about my own experiences and then how you might gain insight from it or adopt the approach.

First and foremost, be ok with not knowing fully why you do the things you do, often it is just the desire to do the right thing. You know something is not at its best, you know it could be better. Is this the thing you want to tackle because you believe you can make a good job, lead well, or leave your mark on a business that can be looked back at in many years to come and make you proud of what you did whilst you were there?

What is a spark?

So let’s break this down, what is a spark… for me, a spark is simply a problem. A failing system, poor usability, an undesirable solution with negative end-user feedback, high-cost low-value tools. Ultimately something that distracts from the focus of the business.

For me back in 2011 that initial spark (there were many but this hurt the most at the time) was a failing Exchange server. This hurt the most because email was at the time the number one method of communication within the business and that business was 24/7/365 so every issue was felt by everyone. My day was often spent recovering space from disks, restarting services, patching, the list of care goes on and on. Now I knew with money, time and effort this was ultimately solvable but would be a cycle, I could within months get stable but I would be repeating this every 2-3 years and given the hyper-growth of the company probably 12-18 months… there had to be a better way so there, you now I had my Spark!

Identify your spark; what issues are impacting your business the most or have the widest impact. Sometimes whilst the issue is not the greatest your business is facing it is the one that causes the most pain day today. It could even be the Achilles heel of the department/function that everyone knows will “never change” and devalues everything else. Find it, own it, understand it.

  • What does good look like?

  • How does it feel?

  • What has it changed?

  • How will you know?

  • What are you measuring?

  • What behaviours are you wanting to see?

What is the vision?

So now for the Vision, again this started small. I took this Spark to Netpremacy & Google G Suite event in London but funny enough not because I wanted them to solve my Spark but almost definitely. Remember this had been my career, I knew infrastructure, I could build and operate systems, I didn’t need someone else to do this for me, I even turned up to the event in my Microsoft Certified T-shirt. But I sat there and watched how even back in 2011 G Suite was so much bigger than email in the cloud, it was a full collaboration suite; the penny started to drop and vision started to form. This was not just about technology, this was about changing business behaviour and culture… today it is email back and forth, its attachments, its slow, without context and understanding, but what if tomorrow it could be instant through messaging, personal through Hangouts and collaborative through Drive.

The lesson here is being self-aware, know what you are good at. Be ok with knowing that you are good at something and understanding if it brings real value to the role/business you are in. Could your or the team’s time and effort be better used focused elsewhere, is this value creation or a distraction. Then seek help to fill those gaps, either by bringing them in-house because it does add real value or pushing it out to the Service/Technology provider who is the best in class for this identified gap.

I left that session still with my Spark but a great solution to it and now an understanding of what these types of SaaS-based solutions can do. I would ultimately get everything I wanted to solve my Spark but not only that, I would move the needle significantly forward to a better way of working with almost zero effort of maintaining what would become the commonly used 3 S’s (Stability, Security, Scalability).

I still at this point didn’t have the Vision but it had certainly begun to formulate, if I could do this with email why wouldn’t I do this with other systems.

I have often said this at presentations on the Cloud: your business was founded to create a widget, that widget could be a physical product or a service but it certainly was not founded to operate a bunch of services to keep the lights on for a set of tools that run the day-to-day. Every minute spent on these is a minute not spent on creating a better widget. Tech giants such as Google have their widget and they spend billions to make it the best in the industry, so why fight that, instead take advantage of it and spend your businesses time on the value of improving that widget you’re in business for.

I can’t stress this enough, it has become more and more clear to me as time goes on, be about what moves your business forward, not about bogging down in systems and services that are purely there to keep the lights on. An example of this is if you are a software engineering company building a mobile app, you wouldn’t install and operate the air conditioning in your office, would you? Now, could you do this? Yes, you could hire engineers and equipment, get the required qualifications, but why on earth would you when it adds no value to your business, which is developing this mobile app. So my question is why do this with payroll systems, email, storage, video conferencing, the list goes on and on. We want to consume these services to aid our business but we do not want to be spending any time or effort on operating them.

This is ultimately what led me to my Vision for technology, it is a statement of how I wanted what my teams and I do to impact both the business and its customers, be focused on core products and leveraging the best technology whilst working and listening to each other and so this vision was created…

“To create environments in which we and our customers can be successful, delivering value through secure lean automated operations whilst looking for opportunities for innovation. Continuously improving through open, honest feedback and collaboration.”

I did not want my legacy at these businesses to be the person that left (we all do leave at some point) with huge amounts of technical debt, or legacy systems that took away from value or poor ways of working. I wanted to put in people, processes and technologies that long after I had gone would be looked on positively, hence the creation of the mission.

Best Practices

  • Do give real time and effort to creating a Vision or Mission statement, it will probably live on with you, your team and business for some time so respect that and give it real energy.

  • Communicate it, and keep doing so. Put in at the beginning of slide decks let people know that this subject is related to and empowering that vision.

  • Keep checking back, is it delivering on the promise you set out, has it or is it achieving the outcomes desired.

  • Use it to guide your teams during hiring and developing

  • Don’t be afraid to change it, but be open about it. What has changed and is it the vision or just the approach, often the vision is still the right one just the way you might achieve it has changed.

 

So my Spark had led me to my Vision but only because I had remained open-minded about the solution, had given it the proper respect and thought to go beyond the problem in front of me and wider than the technology, what were going to be the behavioural and cultural impacts positive or negative.

There is much more to this story and many other lessons learnt along the way, and I will be sharing those in the future.

To learn more around how Martin helps our customers to accept and manage change in digital transformation, download our latest whitepaper “The importance of change management”. 

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28 January 2020

DFS was looking to align their business…

 

dfs moves to gsuite with NetpremacySofology initially transitioned to G Suite 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 G Suite was a solution that would work in their sector.

“We had a clear choice between Office 365 and G Suite, it was then about choosing the most suitable product for us” – Will Rose, Programme Manager, DFS

From a G Suite perspective, DFS saw the positive changes that Sofology were experiencing through their utilisation of G Suite 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 G Suite 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 G Suite platform.

DFS began seeing several improvements and positive changes from moving to G Suite 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 G Suite, 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 G Suite 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.

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17 December 2019

Partnering with Your Golf Travel to Grow and Develop their Business

your golf travelYour Golf Travel has been a long-standing Google customer since 2010, but as the business has grown and technologies have developed, Your Golf Travel needed to scale their IT solution and migrating to G Suite Enterprise was the next step for the business, in order to help them with the growth they were experiencing as a business.

 

Netpremacy was recommended by Your Golf Travel’s account manager at Google in 2017 when Your Golf Travel required support to upgrade from G Suite Business to G Suite Enterprise. The more advanced security features provided by G Suite Enterprise and the ability to import Gmail logs into BigQuery for business process analysis were the main factors in the decision to migrate and begin their partnership with Netpremacy. During this time, ensuring a seamless migration from Postini to Google Vault  (now G Suite) was a priority, which Netpremacy was also able to support on.

 

Netpremacy has provided hands-on account management for Your Golf Travel in addition to migration support. At Netpremacy we offer insights and new perspectives including alternative uses and applications of GCP solutions, which help to inform and develop our customer’s current usage of GCP. Your Golf Travel said that this support has planted the seeds of new ideas which will help them to develop their use of Google Cloud Platform.

 

The next steps for Your Golf Travel and Netpremacy include the process of consolidation and data migration for multiple G Suite domains to streamline IT operations and the creation of a strategy to capitalise on the GCP features such as security controls and data protection. Working with Netpremacy enables Your Golf Travel to operate a ‘Self serve’ application of GCP, with the benefits of insights and support from the Netpremacy team, but implemented by their in-house IT team. However, planning the infrastructure of the future for Your Golf Travel,  Netpremacy’s Customer Success Services will be key to supporting the delivery of this digital evolution.

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29 November 2019

Rentokil has been a user of Google technologies for 11 years

 

rentokil logo-01Netpremacy and Rentokil have been working in partnership for just over a year after Google recommended Netpremacy for their in-depth knowledge of G Suite and Chrome. Netpremacy’s team exudes passion for Google’s technology, providing Rentokil with a perfect fit as their Google technology partner.

Rentokil has been a user of Google technologies for 11 years and was one of the original enterprise adopters of G Suite. Working with Netpremacy as a Premier Partner means that Rentokil is able to reach a wider audience at Google, gaining from Netpremacy’s equally long-standing partnership and experiences working alongside Google Cloud.

Rentokil found that their desire to shift from Windows to Chrome environments became a challenge due to the limited experience and knowledge within their previous partner’s range of expertise. Netpremacy was able to demonstrate their experience and knowledge of delivering successful Google Chrome change management programs.

The Netpremacy team joined Rentokil at their offices to spend time with stakeholders from sales, customer care and IT to understand the challenges and questions concerning moving to Chrome. Being on-site with Rentokil meant that Netpremacy had a full understanding of the day to day business operations and recognised the challenges in moving to chrome from multiple perspectives.

“We’d been trying to migrate to Chrome from quite some time, so Netpremacy arranged for Simon (Account Director) and Kevin (Customer Success Manager) to spend two or three days at our Leeds depot with personas from various departments, to learn the business and understand the challenges they were facing with the move to Chrome and explain how the technology could help them. This is an example of how the account team goes over and above.” – Ed Higgs, Group Director of IT Shared Services at Rentokil Initial

In order to further drive adoption of ChromeOS across Rentokil’s UK offices, Netpremacy once again spent time with Rentokil’s stakeholders to drive adoption of the full GSuite portfolio by explaining how the technology will help their job within the business’s ecosystem. It was valuable for the Netpremacy team to explain the benefits in layman’s terms for all users to understand and adopt straight away, working in conjunction with BenQ a Jamboard was provided to engage with employees to drive intrigue and excitement leading building towards the further adoption of Chromebooks across the business.

Rentokil continues to deploy Chrome devices across the 75 countries that they operate within. Netpremacy is helping Rentokil to scale their operations by creating a central IT capability which can be disseminated by their Champions network to drive passion for technology and engagement with Chrome within their diverse geographical regions.

“We are limited in the amount of IT resource we have globally, so Netpremacy is helping us to create that central capability that can infuse all of the Champions with their passion for Chrome.”  – Ed Higgs, Group Director of IT Shared Services at Rentokil Initial

Netpremacy is seen as an extension to Rentokil’s internal IT team, providing governance, fresh ideas and proactively bringing opportunities and introducing new functionalities. Netpremacy also proudly supported Rentokil at their annual UK & RoW Conference and provided end-user Google and Chrome engagement days at their UK offices to demonstrate devices, raise awareness and engagement. Internally, Rentokil has lean IT team supporting over 45,000 G Suite accounts and 4,000 Chromebooks globally, but this scale of technology is manageable with Netpremacy’s support, as part of an extended team to Rentokil.

Rentokil is an ambitious, acquisitional company, growing rapidly having acquired over 200 companies in the last three years alone. This has meant that their G Suite estate is also growing. The project of consolidating these G Suite instances is key to their 2020 plans with Netpremacy. The continuation of driving their champions network for Chrome OS adoption is also key for their future plans.

“That triumvirate between ourselves (Rentokil), Netpremacy and Google has worked really well for creating an actionable plan for the business’s IT future.”

“We have about 16,000 devices out there, 4,000 Chromebooks in use across 26 countries, in the next 2-4 year we want to have 15,000 chrome devices across 75 countries with Netpremacy as our partner to drive adoption, engagement and support.”

-Ed Higgs, Group Director of IT Shared Services at Rentokil Initial

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14 October 2019

Netpremacy trainers

Christos Amyrotos –  Training Coordinator

My name is Christos Amyrotos and during my time working as Training Coordinator for Netpremacy I have learned the value of providing successful training sessions. Educating users on what is possible with Google Cloud’s suite of products is so rewarding, it has been a brilliant experience due to being on a constant learning curve as Google Cloud is forever evolving. One of the roles that come with my position is floorwalking. 

Floorwalking is a term we use, at Netpremacy, when visiting a customer site to offer at desk support and answer any questions end users may have on or around their Go-Live day. Floorwalking, to us, is essential to ensure that everyone experiences a smooth transition to G Suite and any questions are resolved as soon as possible. 

Netpemacy training services

Visiting a new customer site, especially for the first time, is always an energising and challenging experience; you are in their territory guiding them on how to use new technology in line with their internal best practice policies. Meaning that we have to dig a little deeper to solve very specific problems, as well as suggest new and better ways of working for individuals and teams. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that our customers have faith in us as trainers to answer their questions and help them learn a new way of working. We focus on gaining this trust by working with the project team to gain a deep understanding of company culture, inefficiencies that need addressing and what they are happy for us to recommend to those we come into contact with.

Netpremacy change management

 

Recently I attended an event at a customer site where end-users had the opportunity to ask any G Suite related questions during their lunch break. Excited by the opportunity to help  I jumped at the chance to attend!

We created a drop-in zone for users, at the customer site, with Netpremacy and Google banners and a selection of our lightweight yet powerful Pixelbooks so that people could get an insight into the Google tools we work with every day at Netpremacy, and how easy they are to use. 

Netpremacy training and change management

Our pop-up Netpremacy drop-in zone was visited by many G Suite users, with many interesting questions about the platform and with unique challenges for each of their workflows. 

Personally, I love it when an end-user finds the courage to speak to us and asks questions. It’s all too common that users are too shy to approach us thinking they have a “stupid” question but we always remind them that there is no such thing, every user has their own unique requirements. Of course, some questions were easier to answer than others and we were happy to spend time consulting on exactly what they were looking to achieve, in order to give them the most appropriate solution to meet their needs. 

One thing was certain; no one left our drop-in zone without receiving a bespoke solution to their question or enquiry; even if we had to do some more research and testing, we assured them we would get back to them with a clear solution.

That is just one reason why I find Netpremacy such a great place to work; we are encouraged to  take the time to listen to those we come into contact with. Even if it means we have to do some more research, we always endeavour to find the answers to their questions and love rising to the challenge of providing a solution to even the most difficult of problems. 

Netpremacy training and change management

We aim to make sure that our customers know we listened to their requests, and that we are working on it. Everyone who visited our drop-in zone left with a smile, feeling armed with the skills to confidently use G Suite and I do hope they felt as if they had gained more knowledge in the process. I think we all learned a lot that day and for that, I call it a success!

Netpremacy provides a range of training and change management services adapted to suit your specific business needs. Find out more about some of the services we can provide here.

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27 August 2019

How the Accessibility features of G Suite helped to benefit Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson's UkAbout the company:

Parkinson’s UK is a Parkinson’s research and support charity in the UK. The charity’s aims are to improve the quality of life for people affected by Parkinson’s and find a cure for the condition. It funds research aimed at finding better treatments and improving the understanding of Parkinson’s and its causes. 

The charity offers support and information to people affected by Parkinson’s, this includes families, friends, and carers.

The problem:

Parkinson’s UK also employs people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, as well as others who have learning and physical difficulties which may make day-to-day work more challenging. 

Parkinson’s UK had 500 members of staff across the UK in 3 different office locations plus home and remote workers. The teams were divided, with approximately 40% being office-based and on-premise, and the other 60% being remote workers working from home.

The solution:

This year, Parkinson’s UK decided to deploy G Suite with the help of Netpremacy. 

Their mission was to better equip their workforce with collaborative tools to improve efficiency and enhance communication between colleagues, including between office and remote workers. A key reason for implementing G Suite was the accessibility features that G Suite provided, making it easier for some of the team at Parkinson’s UK to work effectively. 

Some of the tools that the team benefited from were; Voice typing within Google Docs and Slides, Select to Speak, Chromevox and enabling High Contrast mode to help prevent eye strain, headaches, and migraines due to glare. 

G Suite can be personalised to suit the needs of the individual, especially Gmail. This became especially useful when introducing people with Parkinson’s to the applications. People experiencing involuntary movements in the hands may accidentally click when using a mouse. To minimise issues caused by this we were able to turn off hover actions, helping to reduce the risk of accidentally deleting or actioning emails.

Why Netpremacy:

Working with Netpremacy has ensured that effective Change Management and Training was delivered to Parkinson’s UK to enable successful adoption of G Suite, in particular, in-depth and advanced training on the accessibility features. 

Netpremacy’s Trainers spent time on-site providing classroom-based training sessions, remote sessions for those harder to reach, and individual support before, during and after the deployment of G Suite. 

Through this continuous support, Netpremacy’s Trainers were able to help individuals who have Parkinson’s, learning difficulties, visual and hearing difficulties to discover more about the accessibility features available through G Suite, Google Chrome and Chrome devices.

Netpremacy’s dedicated training team helped us get up to speed on how to use G suite but also ensured we made the most of all the excellent accessibility options that G Suite has. This has enabled our teams to continue to work effectively whilst providing for specific learning or physical needs.

– Shaun Le Geyt, Parkinson’s UK

These features have seen people who may usually struggle with working on computers grow in confidence; as well as work better with their teams to save time and help others who are affected with similar conditions too. 

Implementing G Suite meant that the teams at Parkinson’s UK were able to work in a more collaborative environment, no matter their visual, hearing or physical difficulties which brought accessibility to the workplace. 

Click here to find out more about the accessibility features that have helped people at Parkinson’s UK. 

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22 August 2019

Creating a seamless Meeting Room experience at OVO Energy’s office with Google Chrome Devices

 

Google Chrome Netpremacy

One of Netpremacy’s strategic customers, Ovo Energy, have moved into a new, sustainable space in West London. 

As part of this incredible, high-tech working environment, Netpremacy engaged with OVO to supply Chrome devices such as Hangouts Meet Hardware and Chromebase for Meetings to enable collaboration across their offices. 

This ensures they have the appropriate hardware strategy to maximise their meeting room experience in their Google Ecosystem.

 

Google Chrome OVO Energy

Google Chrome“We are proud to Partner with OVO Energy as their Google Cloud Premier Partner as they continue to grow and innovate within the Energy Market”

Ben Trood, Head of Business Development

To find out more about how Google Chrome can benefit your business, download our free whitepaper here. 

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13 August 2019

How Monzo moved their telephony to the Cloud, with Netpremacy

Monzo cloud telephonyAbout the company:

Monzo Bank is the fastest-growing bank in the UK, with over 250,000 people a month opening an account. Customers manage everything through an intuitive app, and spend on distinctive hot coral cards.

The problem:

Monzo approached Netpremacy after it became clear that their existing telephony solution no longer suited business needs. After working with Monzo on previous projects, Netpremacy were well placed to find, name and tailor the best solutions in the market.Up until now, Monzo’s staff made business calls on their personal mobile phones. This offered no flexibility or group administration. It also meant that staff were giving out personal numbers, resulting in phone calls outside of working hours.

 

The solution:

After an initial consultation with Monzo, we identified that they needed an easily deployable solution that integrated seamlessly with G Suite. Monzo also wanted to simplify their administration process.

We decided that the product best suiting Monzo’s requirements was Google Voice. This fully hosted platform enabled fast deployment, integrating directly with their existing G-Suite infrastructure. Google Voice is able to scale rapidly with Monzo’s expansion and growth plans, allowing them to provision new users with ease.

“Netpremacy have been fantastic to work with, and we’re really seeing the benefits of working directly with a Google Cloud Premier Partner”

– Chris Hyder, Technical Operations specialist, Monzo

 

Why Netpremacy:

Monzo selected Netpremacy as their partner of choice building on our existing G Suite relationship, their deep technical knowledge and proven success across Google’s product portfolio.

‘Netpremacy are proud to partner with such an innovative and recognisable brand in Monzo and this project is a further step in strengthening our relationship’

– Andrew Martin, Netpremacy Commercial Director.

Find out more about the customers we have recently interacted with by visiting our case studies page. 

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