Imagine a small startup with a headcount of six, a handful of clients and a regular table in the pub next door. A company of this size can easily create an intimate environment where close working relationships form and long-lasting friendships are made. Fast forward 20 years, with an 800% increase in staff and people working in different departments, locations and time zones, it becomes more challenging to maintain the same company culture.
If you are an HR Manager, team lead, or business owner looking to build and nurture company culture, it can be hard to find that sweet spot of keeping employees happy, productive and motivated. Read this blog to learn how Netpremacy builds a better culture and get some tips to see how you could implement them into your business.
1. Attract the right people.
Hiring people qualified for the job is important, but finding people who share the same company values help build a motivated workforce. These are the people that will champion your culture. They will emit positivity without even thinking because they believe in your company’s ethos. Finding people that embody your brand will help you build a loyal workforce that wants the company to succeed.
How we do it: This year, Netpremacy partnered with talent acquisition and consultancy business Graft to help us find the right talent and people that will fit in. We built a brand pack for candidates, with our core values and goals defined right from the beginning. This gives people a glimpse into the business and transparency on how they can contribute to the company’s success. Everyone we work with knows what we stand for as soon as they interact with us. We find that this attracts people with the same energy and drive to contribute to the positive experience that we offer, whether that is for employees, partners or customers.
Do you have your brand values defined? If so, do you think they are easily interpreted by people outside your organisation? Your values are the building blocks to building a better culture, so it’s important to get these right from the beginning.
2. Embrace change.
Many things in an organisation can change: the total number of employees, customer acquisitions, changing workloads, new policies and emerging technologies to learn. Although change can be uneasy, unfamiliar and hard to implement, leaders must embrace it to succeed and turn a change in circumstances into opportunities that benefit their business and the people in it.
How we do it: We are experienced changemakers. It is our job to help digitally transform organisations of all sizes. So we are pretty accustomed to the idea of change, and Netpremacy has evolved significantly since before the pandemic. We’ve expanded our offerings, our workload has increased, we have grown our headcount, and we have adopted a hybrid working model, with people signing in from different locations around the country. We are always transparent about change with our workforce, which builds trust with our people. We have a workforce that embraces change and contributes to a positive culture.
If change is inevitable, put a positive spin on it. Culture may naturally evolve as your organisation grows. Ride the wave through change and be as open and honest with your employees as you can – they will thank you for it.
3. Give everyone a voice.
When team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, you have a lift-up culture where everyone feels heard and important. New starters can become part of the team effortlessly, and people that work remotely can still feel as much involved as team members who are physically in the office.
How we do it: We use the employee experience platform, LumApps, to help people easily share information, whether that’s company updates, welcoming a new starter, shouting out our co-workers with praise, and celebrating milestones and achievements. At Netpremacy, there is a mix of people who like to work in the office and people who are remote. We find that encouraging employees to use LumApps bridges the gap between departments and hybrid workers, and allows people to have their voices heard.
There are many applications out there that businesses can use as an intranet, but the most important thing to get right is the way in which it is used. Get buy-in from line managers and department heads, and encourage team members to use it effectively.
4. Make work more fun.
Research shows that having fun at work has a positive effect on engagement and productivity and increases employee retention – all of which help maintain a great culture. Fun doesn’t have to be seen as distracting. It also means you can’t just place a foosball table in the break room and label yourself as a fun place to work. A fun workplace is a relaxed and supportive environment where employees don’t dread logging on or coming into the office.
How we do it: NetSocial, our social committee, formed during the first lockdown to help boost morale, keep up communication and collaborate with teams across the business. Initially, it was to help support cross-department engagement, but now they are responsible for much more. Organising office parties and fun activities, supporting new starters (and existing employees!), but above all, they help advocate for the company’s culture.
Not every business has the time or resources to have a whole team look after social activities. You can always start small and go from there. Survey your employees to find out what they find fun. Make meetings more engaging. Above all, make sure the demands of work don’t affect employees’ work-life balance.
- Hire people who respect your company’s mission.
- If change is imminent, embrace it and be transparent with your employees.
- Encourage communication between different teams.
- Create a fun, relaxed and supportive work environment.
There are many plates to spin to create and maintain a brilliant workplace culture, but these tips unpick the essentials. In a world that is rapidly evolving, you must be agile and willing to respond to changing circumstances to create a healthy working environment. Lead by example and build a workforce that is approachable, supportive and believes in the company.
The biggest takeaway: look after your people because your people are your culture.
Here at Netpremacy, we work with some of the most innovative companies in the UK to shape their hybrid strategies and help them to build creative, collaborative teams. To arrange an informal conversation, get in touch today.
In a highly competitive job market and with employees increasingly wanting to work in a place that resonates with their values, we brought together two change-making technology leaders and two inspiring Googlers to discover how IT leaders can impact company culture in their businesses.
Netpremacy’s Director of Customer Success, Martin Russell, spoke to John Thompson, Group IT Director at Cazoo, Shaun Le Geyt, CIO at Parkinson’s UK, Alfred Biehler, Head of Innovation and Hannah Cassidy, Account Director at Google Cloud. Here are their key points from this thought-provoking panel session:
Continue to build on positive changes from the last two years.
Across the world, the IT team came to the forefront during the pandemic, facing a whole new raft of problems to solve and for many, a newly elevated position within the business. “Technology leaders now firmly have a seat at the table”, said Shaun Le Geyt, CIO at Parkinson’s UK. “We built a positive reputation for ourselves during the pandemic and we’ve established a great deal of trust and confidence. It’s up to us to keep maintaining these relationships and ensuring we get continued investment to support and level up our organisations”.
Nurture the potential in our teams.
All our panel agreed on the importance of seeing people as individuals with different skill sets and ways of communicating. Alfred Biehler discussed the possibility of missing potential if we overlook those that aren’t exactly like us. Leaders may inadvertently push our colleagues in the wrong direction if we don’t take the time to understand them, and their skills and goals. Diversity matters, and those businesses that don’t prioritise it will fall behind, according to research by Mckinsey. John Thompson added to this, emploring, “we need to bring humanity back into leadership model. If there was one piece of advice I would give tech leaders it would be to engage with their teams regularly. Make sure you’re speaking with them one-on-one- be that leader that makes time for people, understands their unique problems and raises them”.
Don’t underestimate early experiences for new starters.
John and Shaun discussed that the IT team often offers the first interaction a new employee has with the business when they start a role. Get it wrong, and a colleague might feel confused and isolated. Get it right, and you can showcase your business values and warmly welcome your new teammate. Both John and Shaun recommend having new starter equipment in stock in advance of people needing it if you know there will be a hardware delay, so they have everything they need to hit the ground running. Shaun added, “it might sound small, but even putting something like sweets into your new starter pack shows that there is a person that cares about their experience in the company and wants to welcome them.” Googler Hannah Cassidy explained the buddy system for new starters at Google. “Years on, buddies and their new starters stay in touch and have a great relationship.” In a highly competitive job market and increasing numbers of burnt-out staff, IT leaders thinking about how they can look after their new employees are those making a real business impact.
Embody company values through technology.
Our panel discussed two values they found important: equity and trust. When it comes to hybrid working, it’s important to remember that not everyone can be based from home, explained John from Cazoo. “We need to make sure everyone is treated fairly and recognise the great employees that make up the company (for example, Cazoo’s car mechanics). Everyone needs to be supported in the most relevant way for them.” When it comes to hybrid working, Shaun and John discussed various ways they are trying to make the experience as positive as possible no matter where colleagues are based. From ensuring meeting room cameras are at eye level to avoid people physically looking up or down at one another to using Google Companion Mode to interact in meetings, it’s about making sure people are interacting through a place of equality. As for trust, the panel discussed the possibility of giving employees a budget for their tech equipment rather than dictating what makes and models people will get. “A budget like this means people feel trusted and more personally responsible for maintaining their equipment,” explained Alfred from Google. “It shows that you as leaders trust your people to make good decisions.” However, like any important decision, it’s critical to consider the context of your team and how you will set boundaries for what you can support before considering a budget like this.
Understand that culture changes and requires ongoing care.
“We cannot predict what is around the corner,” said Alfred from Google. “We have to acknowledge the impact that a change in work location has on the culture we cultivated when before the pandemic”. Alfred explained that as leaders, we need to be ready to adapt and do what we can to nurture culture and appreciate its ever-evolving nature. Shaun added that “everything is about our people at the end of the day.” The more that leaders can put people at the heart of everything and understand their unique circumstances, the better chance we have to support and adapt processes and build a company culture that thrives.
- Appreciate individuality and nurture it.
- Don’t underestimate the impact the IT team has on company culture.
- Understand people first, then build your processes around them.
Interested in company culture and hybrid working? Join Martin Russell, Netpremacy’s Director of Customer Success at this year’s CIO Cloud Transformation Summit, where he’ll be discussing both. View the agenda and sign up here or view all our events.
Day 1 of Google Cloud Next kicked off on Tuesday with the opening keynote, led by Google Cloud’s CEO Thomas Kurian. We hosted a watch party in our offices for team members to share their thoughts on the new product launches, partnership announcements and how we can make sure that our customers are benefitting from Google’s latest updates and ideas.
Key themes of the conference:
Understanding data with Google tools.
Google technology helps businesses tackle data problems to simplify how teams work with data and derive value from it faster. At the opening keynote, Thomas Kurian talked about how different industries are innovating using Google Cloud. The ability and speed to access purpose-built industry solutions are helping businesses to build robust execution plans, create great customer experiences, optimise business and modernise their infrastructure.
Improving workflows & empowering your teams.
Just one of the updates that excited our tech teams were the significant enhancements to Google Workspace. Developers can now build applications and integrate with Google Meet, Chat and Spaces. Google released a new Jira integration for Google Chat and Spaces that will let users create new tickets quickly, see actionable previews, and monitor issues as they come into the app they’re already using for collaboration. Google also announced the integration of AppSheet into Gmail, allowing anyone—regardless of their coding experience—to reclaim time with custom, no-code apps and automations.
Investing in security.
Google also announced that they will be investing $10B in cyber security. On top of this, they released Google’s new Work Safer program for email, meetings, messaging and documents, helping businesses to collaborate and communicate securely in the new world of hybrid work environments.
Announcing the Tableau, Looker and Sheets partnership.
This incredible new partnership brings together the top BI tools on the market, enabling continuous learning and experimentation for users that want a holistic view of their data. Tableau and Looker can integrate into Google Sheets, meaning teams can use familiar formulas to get insights faster. By leveraging insights from all three tools, you can analyse data and make quick decisions.
New capabilities within security.
To strengthen security and privacy in the workplace, Google announced four new capabilities:
- Client-side encryption (CSE) now available in Google Meet. Google also announced new tools to enable customers to manage their own encryption keys. This brings together Google Workspace and cyber security keys, making work safer with Google.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Chat is another layer of protection, without impacting the end-user, that prevents sensitive data and information from leaving an organisation.
- Drive labels are now generally available so organisations can now classify files stored in Drive based on their sensitivity level. Labels integrate with Google Workspace Data Loss Prevention, making it easier to manage external sharing, downloading, and printing of sensitive files.
- Improve your detection and response capabilities with Google Cloud and Cybereason. This new strategic partnership will provide Extended Detection and Response (XDR) tools to businesses for easier, faster threat detection.
Go green with Google’s Carbon Footprint Monitor.
Sustainability has been a core value for Google, which provides the cleanest cloud in the industry, for more than two decades. In 2017, ten years after becoming carbon-neutral, they matched 100% of its electricity consumption with renewable energy, and by 2030, they want to become completely carbon-free. Google uses technology to enable organisations around the world to transition to more carbon-free and sustainable systems. They launched their Carbon Footprint tracker that integrates directly into Salesforce. This new tool makes recommendations to reduce emissions and shows users their carbon footprint in the cloud, empowering their customers to act on this data to make simple, greener decisions. Learn more about Google’s solutions for climate change.
What that means for our customers:
The new features, updates and announcements focus on solving business challenges that leaders everywhere face, from reducing their carbon footprint to maximising data strategies to grow profit. We are excited for the latest insights around data and sustainability, which are key to our clients and will help their business strategy, not just IT.
“In my opinion, one of the long-standing unique aspects of Google Cloud, especially in the enterprise, has been the theme of integrated tools and services. Google’s unique cloud-native suite of products and services have always led with developer-friendly, open standards, API’s and commitment to open source and resulted in an incredible user experience.
I am excited to see the continued drive for integrations from Google, two stand out exciting announcements are the Looker / Tableau / Google Connected Sheets announcements as well as the Carbon Footprint / Salesforce Sustainable Cloud integration.
Coupled with the announcement of Google Distributed Cloud and continued investment in Anthos / hybrid cloud we can continue to work with customers to pick the best tools and services to help solve our customers’ challenges.” – Guy Ellis, Professional Services Director, Netpremacy.
If you would like to watch the whole keynote and build your own content playlist, explore the Google Next ‘21 catalogue here.
Martin Russell, Netpremacy’s Director of Customer Success, is no stranger to building teams. Previously JustEat’s Director of IT, he has worked in several startups, growing IT teams from a handful of people to a core strategic function within the organisation. Now, he leads Netpremacy’s customer success team remotely, helping customers with their technology strategy, sweating their IT assets and future-proofing their organisations. Here are his thoughts on how technology leaders can start to shape hybrid working to encourage collaborative, productive and fulfilled teams.
“Firstly, let’s take a moment to recognise a great outcome from what has been a difficult time for everyone. We’re now in a world that understands it’s not the place of work that is special or important, it’s 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 for us to become a more visible, more valuable IT team.
Make the office the carrot, not the stick
This was an aim I had for many years when I looked at technology and how it empowers people. I wanted offices to be somewhere we chose to go because we wanted to be together rather than it be “because that is where work happens”, or where our systems and data were. Let’s create a purpose for being there, and as a Tech team, we can make a big impact on the overall experience for people with well thought out cameras, jamboards for collaboration etc.
Some have loved the last year working from home. Some have hated it. As managers and IT leaders, we need to support our team and their individual needs. Consider that those with quiet voices may become even quieter, and it will be easy to slip into an in-office/at-home divide. We need to encourage open forums, open chat rooms, cameras on, time at the start/end, greet everyone as they attend – there is no silver bullet, it is all of these things and more. There is a section of the workforce with a digital life who are very comfortable with social media, chat rooms, socialising online via gaming or party based media consumption. But for many, this still might feel quite alien or uncomfortable. We need to develop a better understanding of pastoral care. Do you conduct one-to-ones beyond “are they doing their job?”
Make yourself visible
Being visible remotely is challenging but as IT leaders, the last year should have demonstrated just how key we are to our organisations. If you are in a business today that sees you as ‘basement IT’, there when things break or just a cost centre to the business – you need to stand up and be counted. I would highly recommend talking to others about the brand of IT within the business. Look for those opportunities to talk about what you are doing and why. Have a mission/vision for why you are where you are and what you and your team are trying to achieve.
As team leaders, we can also encourage the visibility of our team at an individual level. Consider daily stand-ups to encourage regular communication in your team or ways of working like sprints. Simple but short achievable commitments that can be regularly delivered go a long way in quickly demonstrating success when not everyone can not be seen/heard.
Focus on adding value
We need to spend our time on value creation, not replicating other’s work for the sake of it. Take security – it’s a critical, complex function and one that’s even harder remotely. Why make our job more difficult than it needs to be? Don’t try and do everything yourself. Consume the best in class services, make the most of the tech giants (like Google) who spend billions a year to protect their services way beyond our individual organisation’s capabilities.
Our most successful customers are ones that don’t treat things in isolation. Much of the technology we use now, especially the Google stack, touches so many areas beyond just collaboration – identity management, device management, security (both prevention and investigation), to name a few. Look for those areas and opportunities to consolidate and sweat the existing asset.
Stay open to ideas
For me, the biggest drawback of hybrid working is the impact on chance encounters, the spark of an idea over brewing a coffee, lunch meeting, the one-to-one. I am aware that significant moments in my career sparked from these chance encounters that sparked an idea or changed a preconceived one. With digital working/meetings, it is easy to become transactional – this is my time slot for a topic, then I am on to the next. I don’t have an answer to this, but I know that I’ll be working hard to try and remain open-minded to colleagues’ ideas, and letting them know I’m available to chat.
I’m truly excited about where we are in the world of work right now. This is an opportunity to do things differently, embrace more inclusivity and individuality and have more fulfilled work and home lives. I can’t wait to see how our customers shape the new workplace.”
To join the discussion about the future of the workplace, attend our webinar this September, Designing a modern workplace to build culture, business growth and empower employees to succeed.
Last Wednesday, Netpremacy ran a closed roundtable where we brought together data decision-makers from the Finance Industry. Heads of Data, Directors of Data, Heads of IT and Chief Data Officers came together, along with our Partners Looker and Google Cloud. We discussed challenges the financial sector faces around data analysis and moving to the cloud and explored ways to help solve them. Here are the key questions we explored:
How do I get buy-in from other business stakeholders for moving our data to the cloud?
“Start with a strong plan”, recommends Tom Anderson, Technical Consultant at Netpremacy. “Really think about what you need in the cloud, as it is different for every business. You don’t always have to start with a ‘big bang’ (learn more about staged cloud adoption here). You may want to harness data analytics capabilities, scale at speed, or improve your data protection. By taking small steps and delivering Proof of Concepts along the way, you can prove yourself in the business and start to build the momentum you need to reimagine your business in the cloud.”
Security is key for us, so how can Google provide reassurance that this is a safer option than on-prem?
Realistically, how much can your organisation afford to spend (time, money and testing) on security in comparison to Google? Is your data really more secure on-premises than in the cloud? It will be part of your role as a data leader in the business to reassure others, but Google Cloud can provide plenty of documentation, case studies and advice to help you. One attendee also suggested this is a key area to bring in experts that can help you with penetration testing and making sure you have all the right foundations in place.
How can I change the business culture to be more data-savvy?
Ensure everyone in the business understands the value of data and the benefits they’ll enjoy by using the tools and processes you implement. One of the top tips from Looker is to identify frequently asked questions from your data team and focus on answering those first, as they’re clearly the ones the business needs. By using a data analytics tool like Looker, you can empower business users to answer questions they have about data themselves rather than relying on the data team – encouraging more data-driven decisions. If more people can take ownership of data, you can start to grow an appreciation for what can be done with data. This way, you will have business and tech leaders working together, hand in hand. Businesses getting ahead are those where the membrane between business and technology teams is dissolving.
Sounds good in practice, but what about the reality?
It’s all well and good for technical companies or cloud-first FinTechs, where there’s some expectation of non-technical users to use no-code or low-code solutions, but what about established businesses with even more established spreadsheets? James Tromans, Technical Director, Office of the CTO at Google Cloud has plenty of experience with ‘the spreadsheet issue’. “Show, don’t tell”, he advised, “find something their spreadsheet can’t currently do that your solution can. Once they start to see what’s possible, their imagination will ignite and they’ll soon be on board.”
It was interesting to hear the challenges these key players face when contrasted against some of their younger FinTech competitors’ that we discussed back at our roundtable in April (read more here). Despite the differences, the main challenge they both face is cultural change. It is now a test for technologists within any business to take up more of an evangelist role and continually prove themselves. If this is something you are struggling with, we recommend seeking help from an experienced partner with plenty of experience advocating for technical change. Businesses such as Google and Looker can further help you make your case with key documentation and use cases from the industry.
Speak with the Experts
At Netpremacy, we have extensive knowledge and experience in helping organisations on their cloud journey, whether that’s on a consultative basis or delivering an innovative transformation to your business. If you’d like to get more from your data, our team of data engineers and infrastructure specialists can help. Our decade of experience in change management means that you’re in safe hands to make the cultural shift needed to change your organisation. Contact us for an initial conversation on your data strategy to start doing things differently.
Looker & Google Cloud’s data analytics platform provides more options to help you deliver more through the use of strong, fresh insights.
Monzo Case Study
Monzo refines and optimizes its fast-developing product with BI analytics based on Google BigQuery and Google Cloud Platform.
Photo by Burst on Pexels
The energy and utility sector is something most of us take for granted. We pay them for warm showers and to heat our homes, and no doubt we will all be reaching for the thermostat over the long winter months ahead to keep us extra cosy. However, behind the scenes, these companies have to embrace digital transformation and harvest massive amounts of data in order to grow, evolve, and meet the demands of the future.
The industry is constantly up against challenges; from pressure to reduce emissions, increasing demand, and providing competitive prices to their consumers. Google Cloud has a wide range of industry-leading and energy-specific solutions aimed at helping these businesses digitise faster, and respond to these demands.
Why data is important for digital transformation
The most valuable asset many companies have is data, and in order to be successful, energy providers must adapt to change, stay current, and realise this. They need to be able to store, read, and analyse data properly, in order to gain a competitive advantage and solve complex business challenges.
Google’s BigQuery can help businesses bring different data sets together in order to gain those insights, and Google’s AI-powered solutions are the key to unlocking analytics capabilities within your data sets. In this case study, you can learn how Energyworx, an energy supplier in the Netherlands, uses GCP and smart analytics to harvest their data to better plan for future energy demand, and find ways their customers can save on their electricity use.
If you would like to learn how to use smart analytics to help your business grow and evolve, download our Smart Analytics White Paper here.
A deeper dive into AI and ML energy-specific solutions
Powerful AI models use data analytics to provide actionable insights, and these models can help inspections at scale. This is extremely useful for energy and utility companies who have large areas they need to monitor, such as energy grids, wind farms, or solar panels. Google Cloud’s Visual Inspection solution reduces inspection times without compromising on safety or accuracy and makes organisations more efficient and sustainable.
Businesses also have the ability to build their own custom Machine Learning model with minimal effort and little to no Machine Learning experience.
AES is a Fortune 500 global power company that distributes sustainable energy in 15 countries. Their asset inventory is phenomenal, with a value of over £33 billion. They use Machine Learning and drone technology in their wind farms to monitor, manage, and maintain their assets.
This was the perfect solution, as it was in keeping with their greener vision and they were able to massively scale using Google’s powerful infrastructure. Learn more about their custom made solution powered by Google Cloud’s AutoML Vision here.
For most modern energy and utility companies, contributing to greater customer satisfaction is also an important identifier for success.
AI models like Contact Centre AI allows agents to assist with customer requests more efficiently, leading to shorter call times and improved outcomes, with much quicker resolutions. Learn more about Google Clouds CCAI and how companies are using this technology to modernise.
A smart future for the energy industry
Smart meters are the latest innovation to tackle the biggest challenges facing the industry today. By 2024, almost 77% of EU households will have one installed*.
This new technology brings multiple benefits such as delivering automated, real-time readings, giving consumers access to their own data; and being able to identify faulty appliances, reducing downtime, and enabling repair staff to be efficient and effective with their time. They also improve the awareness of energy consumption, allowing individual households and businesses to reduce their energy use and generate savings.
Of course, with all new technology advancements, comes an influx of data. Energy companies need a scalable data warehouse to be able to import, process, and anaylse this data. Google Cloud’s BigQuery streams data in real-time and can predict business outcomes with powerful built-in ML models; plus it runs on Google’s infrastructure and is a managed service, meaning companies spend less time developing technology and can focus on their service instead. Read how Halsfund, the largest power company in Norway, uses GCP and BigQuery for the new smart meter network here.
Being a successful energy and utilities company today requires the right technology to solve big business problems. However, in order to truly succeed, you must make the right decisions for your business by making the most of the information you gather.
Now you know what you can do with your data, are you using it to the best of your advantage?
Speak to one of our data experts and we can help you implement this technology and show you how to use it. Contact us here.
Realise the true benefits of digital transformation with Google Workspace
It is no secret that the retail industry is forever changing. In order to keep up with consumer trends and behaviours, businesses need to constantly adapt to stay ahead of the competition. New strategies and processes need to be implemented. It is more important than ever to optimise the most valuable asset to your business: data. But before you begin with implementing these complex strategies, you need to start from the very beginning: are you using the right tools for your digital transformation?
Get ahead with the omnichannel approach
In March 2020, the world ground to a halt. High Streets were empty, roads were quiet, and an eerie stillness put doubt into businesses across the globe. Without an online presence, many retailers wouldn’t survive. This was the driving force to innovate faster. Many had to upgrade their technology, not only to implement these digital strategies but to also continue working, remotely. Read our first blog in the retail series: “An enhanced retail experience with AI and Machine Learning” to understand why the omnichannel approach is important to succeed.
To help tackle these challenges, Google has been working on industry-specific solutions. Through driving operational improvements, capturing digital and omnichannel revenue growth, and help make data-driven decisions. Watch Google’s Next: OnAir session “Planning for retail’s new priorities” for further details.
Stay productive and collaborative with the right technology stack
Just because you have identified the solutions, does not mean you can enable them straight away. The biggest obstacle businesses have faced is the cultural shift from working in an office to now working from home. Most companies were simply not set up for a remote workforce. In order for retail businesses to deliver a brilliant customer experience, keep up with consumer demand, and excel in a digital environment, they need organisation robustness – systems, processes, productivity, and collaboration.
Google recognises these challenges and prides itself on enabling businesses to thrive in a digital environment. The collaboration and productivity tools within Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), are everything you need to get anything done. Earlier this year, Google announced a better home for work. The main applications are now fully integrated with each other, bringing together the core tools for communication and collaboration.
Gmail: Made into a more collaborative space, with tools from Meet, Chat, and more all being accessible in one interface.
Chat: Create tasks, upload files, and join a Google Meet from your chat window.
Google Meet: Hold a video call on any device, no matter where you are. Send a calendar invite with a link to a Google Meet and transform the way you host a meeting.
Google Drive: A safe place to store all of your files and has a powerful search tool to find your files quickly.
Docs, Sheets & Slides: Everyone can work together on the same document at the same time. Create, edit, and share documents directly from within your browser.
Download our latest White Paper: “How Google Workspace helps businesses thrive & plan for an unpredictable future” and learn why Google Workspace could be the best technology stack for your organisation.
How Google Workspace has helped organisations transition to a remote way of working
When the first UK 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. However, after exploring their options, they decided they wanted to align their business wherever possible and to improve collaboration and communication as a business.
Netpremacy partnered with DFS to ensure that the business was able to stay online and to keep the business running smoothly throughout lockdown. DFS saw numerous advantages of Google Meet Hardware for remote meetings; the simplicity of use, native integration with calendaring, seamless, and reliable video conferencing.
Read the full case study here.
Google’s vision for the future of technology in retail
Thanks to the collaboration and productivity tools, Google is able to solve the basic challenges of remote working and can help drive digital transformation. This allows retailers to focus on their marketing strategies, digitise their processes, and ultimately serve their customers better.
Being successful in the retail industry today requires technology to solve big problems. Whether that’s stock inventory, customer experience, or analysing data. Google continues to innovate and has multiple tools and solutions specific to retail (view here).
Further reading: With Christmas just around the corner, learn how to use your data to prepare for the busiest shopping period of the year with our second blog in the retail series: “Is your retail business ready for a surge in online sales?”.
In a new age where most of the population is working remotely, could now be the time to look at transforming the way your business works, for good?
Hear from our account director, Alastair Lumley on his personal experiences of working remotely, and how he sees the workplace changing.
The world has changed as we know it and there are no signs that we will go back to “normal” any time soon. It, therefore, poses the question, do we ever want to return to normal?
We have all suddenly had to adopt a new way of working. Personally I’ve fallen victim to poor WiFi, seeing nothing but a freeze-frame of a colleague only knowing they are there by the sudden boom of their voice. My colleagues have had to deal with my face being too close to the camera, or my persistent shouting as I refuse to use headphones, maintaining that my set up is the best! We’ve all probably had our own experiences of suddenly working from home and things we’d want to change, but these are all teething problems right, this is now the new normal?
This is why now is the perfect time to look at the tools we use, understand how the wider workforce has adopted a digital-first approach, and really evaluate the business. To put it bluntly, the shock is over, now how do we make it work for us?
Netpremacy has recently been announced as Google’s Global Partner of the year for Work Transformation – Enterprise. This is a result of over a decades worth of work & experience, implementing some of the largest transformation projects with the likes of, Just Eat, Monzo, Morrisons, Ovo, DFS… the list goes on.
With this in mind, we wanted to share a few things to remember/consider when looking at a digital transformation, they may be obvious but, here they are written down.
Netpremacy’s 5 top tips
- Staff are the most important asset. Provide them with the right tools and you’ve won half the battle, we employed them for a reason so let’s ensure they can do their job to the best of their ability
- Change for the right reasons. Yes a cashable ROI is important, but it’s also imperative we do this for the right reasons, do we want a more flexible working environment, are we looking to reduce operational costs at the same time?
- Are we looking for a younger workforce, do we need to become more collaborative & innovative to react to market demands? Therefore do the tools we use need to attract that demographic and drive the adoption across the wider organisation
- What are our competitors doing? Have they changed how they operate? Are they making changes we arent and benefiting from them? Are we beginning to fall behind? Or, are we the first to change, can we get ahead of the curve?
- What’s happening on a global scale? (particularly important right now) Can we learn from other countries and their success or even mistakes?
These are just a few things to take into account when we start a transformation project and very high level questions. Once we start to answer these questions, we can begin to focus on choosing the right tool for the job, and that is where Netpremacy can help.
At Netpremacy, Google & in particular G Suite has kept us running like clockwork over the last few months. We simply picked up our Chromebooks, in some cases monitors (large scale project planning to do), opened them up at home, and away we went.
We have teams creating training plans using docs, teams supporting customers via GoogleMeet ensuring they can still operate. Senior management has been able to constantly update the company via weekly meetings ensuring we know what’s going on. Our delivery teams are creating project plans, our Account Directors are creating proposals to roll out GoogleMeet for free to give those who need it most access to vital tools. Our developers are still…..developing. It’s business as usual here at Netpremacy.
The best bit is, that as we do this it’s all super-fast, reliable, and secure as it’s all floating above our heads in the cloud (i am aware that is not strictly true). None of the struggles or delays in wondering how the hell we were going to operate, we just did and it worked.
What I’m trying to say is, if ever there was a time to take a step back, pause for a second and look at the last 10 weeks now’s the time, but use that reflection and think forward as this is likely to become our new normal. As we all begin to return to the office let’s make sure we have the right tools, our teams have access to everything they need and try to use the positives to build the next generations’ way of working.
In order to help share some lessons and experience, we’re running a series of webinars that are focusing on how tools such as G Suite, Chrome & Googles wider cloud platform are helping us prepare for a return to the office, as well as specific industries and how they are coping.
To find out more about how digital transformation can dramatically improve your company’s way of working, take a look at our digital transformation whitepaper. Or, if you would like a more informal chat, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.