How Google Workspace drives technological and cultural change to retail businesses

17 November 2020

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 Workspace

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?”.

06 November 2020

Download our new Collaboration & Productivity White Paper to explore the key areas of digital transformation and a new way of working

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Download our “Guide to Adapting to a Digital Workplace” to explore the key areas of digital transformation, and how Netpremacy can help implement these into your business. Also learn the results of the biggest POC ever to understand what the immediate impact of the pandemic has had on businesses, the attitude towards remote working, and what this means for the future.

Contents:

  • Adapting to a digital world
  • The correct setup, MDM & Security
  • How Netpremacy have helped businesses to adapt
  • Google Workspace – Better collaboration in one interface
  • Adapting to work in a pandemic and beyond
  • What the people think – our results from the biggest POC ever, analysed
  • Will things go back to the way they were?

 

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To find out more, or to see how your organisation can benefit from Google’s collaboration and productivity tools, contact us and speak to one of our specialists: info@netpremacy.com

Is this the Biggest Proof of Concept in History?

We recently created a study on the effect COVID-19 has had on businesses, and here are the results… 

Since the proliferation of Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS), over the past ten years or so, the debate around allowing employees to live more flexible working lives through remote working has been ongoing. In recent years Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Office 365, Teams, and Zoom are making it increasingly easier for businesses to mobilise their workforce, collaborate with their teams, and continue speaking directly to their customers from any location, on any device.

Despite this, progress has been surprisingly slow. According to the Office of National Statistics, the percentage of the UK population mainly working from home in 2019 was 5.1%  compared to 4.3% in 2015 with only 30% of people having “ever” worked from home.*

That is until now,  in June 2020 at the height of the Pandemic the ONS stated 49% of workers reported working from home at some point in the seven days to 14 June, up from 41% the previous week.* As we head into a second lockdown we would like to think that businesses will be better equipped to work from home. 

Is this the biggest Proof of Concept in history?

If you asked the average Financial Services IT department 9 months ago to enable every member of staff to work from home tomorrow, or a retailer to close high street stores and transition to a 100% virtual shopping experience within days, they would have told you it can’t be done!. Yet this is exactly what they were asked to do. (and they did it)

 These businesses- thousands of them,  were forced into the biggest Proof of Concept in history.  While many would agree “The Concept ” has been proven, we should now ask what we have learned and what we will do differently? 

It’s time to ask yourself some questions. 

How confident are you that the platform is scalable enough, secure enough, reliable enough, easy to use, cost-effective at scale? How prepared are you for when something like this happens again?

• How has this changed your business? 

• Will this change your approach to remote working?

• Will you reduce office space? 

• Does this mean you can now hire from a broader talent pool if the location is no longer an issue?

• Will you offer more flexible working options in the future?

Will we go back to how we worked before?

No-one knows for sure but I believe the short answer is probably not. In a recent Netpremacy survey of UK knowledge workers 82.6% said that pre – COVID-19 lockdown, they were expected in the office every day

Fast forward to now.

47.8% said that they would be allowed to choose how to split their time between working from home and the office.

netpremacy covid 19 survey

39.1% said that they would now be working from home permanently. Leaving just 13% of the respondents having to go back to the office full time when the pandemic is over.

This is a big shift and if we listen to the  95.7% who prefer working from home and the 60.9% who felt like they were more productive, then,  I believe the majority will have to offer more flexible home working practices in the future. 

netpremacy covid 19 surveynetpremacy covid 19 survey

And those that don’t?… 

Well,  at the very least, now more than ever,  they understand how SaaS and the Cloud platforms such as Google Workspace, Teams, and Zoom, can help prepare for an ever-increasingly unpredictable future.

In our whitepaper ‘Three ways Google Workspace helps business thrive and plan,’  we outline how our customers have been using Google Workspace to thrive throughout this pandemic as well as plan for an increasingly uncertain future.

Download your copy here. 

Dan SullivanDan Sullivan is a Cloud and SaaS technology veteran currently working with Google Cloud Premier Partner and Google 2019 Work Transformation Partner of the year Netpremacy. With more than  20 years of technology experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses deliver game-changing business and technology transformations.

If  you would like to learn more about how Google Workspace can help your company adapt and thrive, please contact Dan on: dsullivan@netpremacy.com

 

*https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/19june2020 

08 October 2020

Using Google Workspace to keep your data secure and business protected.

We use Google Workspace in many ways to keep our organisations thriving, more now than ever before. Netpremacy is here to support your Google Journey, and in doing so, we support the security of your operations. With this in mind, we have put together some guidance and information to help you optimise your security posture.

There is a global shift now in adapting to a new way of working, ensuring our employees are productive, collaborating, and driving business whilst operating in a secure environment all whilst working remotely. Securing cloud environments is what we are dedicated to providing.

By delivering Security Workshops, webinars, regular updates, and articles we are ensuring that our Google Cloud customers are utilising their cloud investment to the highest level. Enterprise-level security, such as DLP, endpoint security, MDM, and log analysis are all available with Google Workspace. However, many security failures have been a result of the person or the process and not the technology. With all this in mind, we are investing our time and resources into ensuring all points of failure are assessed and mitigated against using Google Cloud Technologies and our expertise, whether that is the person, policy, process, or technology.

If you are operating the newly transformed Google Workspace, you will be aware of the vast security features available at your fingertips. With the majority of our workforce now facing remote working as a somewhat permanent measure, we need to look at securing not only the perimeter but the user, the endpoint, the access control, and ensuring data loss is no issue. Previously, working from home policies seemed alien to most security pods, posing unmanageable risks. However, as we are heavily invested in enterprise-level cloud solutions like that of Google Workspace, these security concerns are met with mitigating controls and processes to ensure peace of mind whilst staying compliant to regulating bodies and guidelines.

Google Workspace

As discussed, the user has been given a bad press in former years due to lack of due diligence, mistakes, or failure to provide multiple authentications leading to significant breaches. Ensuring your users have a seamless process to access the services and documents they need to fulfil their employment duties is a must. Overcomplicating authentication and access controls can lead to user dissatisfaction and shadow IT. Authentication is heavily used across all Google Workspace features, having a strong authentication process ensures that the right data is being accessed by the right person on the correct device. 

2 step verification reduces this risk greatly, by using the features available in Cloud Identity you can ensure all your users are providing additional verification processes and lowering your risk of unauthorized access to your company data. Google also provides security key enforcement offering another layer of security. This is a physical security verification process and sends an encrypted signature that only works with the access that it is provided, helping G Suite administrators to manage and monitor security keys at large and without having to install many different types of security software.

Moving on from the user, we look towards securing the device. If organisations have not already, there has been seen to be a huge uptake on device management solutions. Solutions on the market that are available to ensure the safety of company data when employees are remote working or using devices that are not owned by the company themselves, such as a BYOD policy. Being able to control what applications a user can utilise, to be able to lock the device down and wipe sensitive content if the device is lost or stolen has provided another layer of security to those companies who can operate outside of the traditional network structure. Google MDM is available in both Business and Enterprise SKUs, with a significant feature enhancement when looking into Enterprise, this provides what is usually a heavy investment with an alternative MDM provider included in your license commitment. Google was named a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice for Enteprise Mobility Management Suites.

There are many other features that enhance your cloud security posture with Google’s Suite, however, whilst security features are fundamental, regulated organisations need these security features to adhere to strict guidelines so their business can operate and expand. GDPR and ISO27001 are by far the most commonly adhered to guidelines in today’s data society. Google Cloud is compliant to GDPR guidelines as in most commonly known cases the data processor. Customers that utilise either Google Workspace or Google Cloud Platform take the role of the data controller, owning the data and must adhere to the data controller guidelines. GDPR has in essence given data protection and privacy and a dual-action approach, ensuring that cloud providers give assurances that data is protected in their environments and on the other hand the data controller ensures that the security processes around that environment are compliant with these regulations. 

Google has recently announced new security features, one of these features being data protection insights. This is a step forward in being able to classify data, the location of that data, and in turn be able to report on that to make informed decisions surrounding protecting your organisation’s data and can be of assistance when complying with regulations such as ISO27001. ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised data protection standard, which looks at all areas of data protection, from the virtual, physical, software, policy, and process. Many organisations wanting to work with the central government or organisations that hold extremely sensitive information will be asked to adhere to this framework. However, this is usually not light work, with some projects taking longer than 6/12/18 months to complete and become certified. When using any Google Service, you will adhere to these guidelines automatically and your data in that environment will be continually monitored and improved under the ISO 27001 regulations.

In addition, Google has also recently announced that Google Workspace has received ISO 27701 certification alongside their 27001 and alternate data protection and privacy certifications. This being part of the ISO 27001 family, aligns directly with data privacy and provides guidance for implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS). This relays back to GDPR considerably when looking into data protection laws and guidance. You can read more about the recent updates and security certifications here.

Although this article merely touches lightly on some of the features available to you with Google Cloud Services, there are many more. We carry out regular Security Workshops with our customers to ensure their environments are optimised to the highest level of security standards available.

We will be discussing this further on our Google Workspace Security Webinar which will take place on the 12th of November, covering a variety of security topics that have been highlighted in this article. We welcome customers and non-customers alike to join us to discuss this further.

Please contact me if you have any further queries around security: amunroe@netpremacy.com 

07 October 2020

Google Workspace
Google workspace

Since the start of 2020, businesses across the world have dramatically changed the way they work. Work itself is transforming in unprecedented ways. For many of us, work is no longer a physical place we go to, and interactions that used to take place in person are being rapidly digitized. This was at first a shock to many businesses, but as we have adapted we have found that working remotely has had so many positive effects on businesses, people, and much more. 

Amidst this transformation, time is more fragmented—split between work and personal responsibilities—and human connections are more difficult than ever to establish and maintain. 

These are unique challenges, but they also represent a significant opportunity to help people succeed in this highly distributed and increasingly digital world.

Google is uniquely positioned to help here, given its history and product innovation: 

  • First, over 2.6 billion users choose G Suite. Google has spent decades building products that are simple, easy to learn, and anticipate users’ needs. 
  • Second, Google products are all cloud-based, so they can innovate with speed and don’t have to worry about maintaining legacy desktop apps. 
  • And third, Google’s global infrastructure helps deliver consistent quality & reliability around the world. 

How Google is evolving to meet the need: 

As a result of these changes, Google is building on these strengths and their vision for the future, by introducing some exciting new developments. Google has changed what was formerly (G Suite) to Google Workspace. This represents the brand accurately as so many changes have been made through 2020 to develop a platform that is easy to collaborate on, all through one interface. 

Google Workspace

Now, everything you need to get anything done, is in one place. Google Workspace includes all of the productivity apps you know and love—Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more. Whether you’re returning to the office, working from home, on the frontlines with your mobile device, or connecting with customers, Google Workspace is the best way to create, communicate, and collaborate.

To learn more about the new changes that Google are making, read their full announcement here. 

How does Google Workspace help? 

Google helps you get more done at work and at home—with communication and collaboration tools known and loved by billions of users, thoughtfully connected together. It’s a place for shared interests, projects, planning, and group work, with simplicity, ease of use, and helpful features that make any kind of work a little more satisfying. And it’s designed from the ground up with industry-leading security and privacy controls built-in — and powered by the cleanest cloud in the industry. 

Top 3 benefits of Google Workspace

  • Flexible: Designed for flexible, fluid, and fast collaboration – when, where, and how you need it. 
  • Helpful: Address what’s important & let Google handle the rest with best-in-class AI and search technology that helps you work smarter. 
  • Simple: An integrated workspace that’s simple and easy to use, so you spend less time figuring out how to manage your work and more time actually doing it. 

Our role as a Google Cloud Premier Partner:

Netpremacy are always striving to work closely with our valued customers to ensure that they get the best out of their investment. Our goal is to help businesses across the UK to transform the way they work, for the better. Since the start of 2020, we have helped many customers to adapt to a new way of working. 

“Businesses are looking for streamlined ways for teams to collaborate, connect, and get things done remotely – both today and in the future,” said Carolee Gearhart, Global Channel Chief at Google Cloud. “We’re thrilled to announce Google Workspace to help customers transform the way they work, and we look forward to working with our partners like Netpremacy to help organizations build a more connected future with Google Workspace.”

When 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. Read more on how DFS and Netpremacy worked together to ensure that the business was able to stay online and to keep the business running smoothly when the UK was first put into lockdown.

It’s not just current customers that Netpremacy has helped. Due to the pandemic, we have seen new relationships form with businesses across the UK. We first began to speak to Loxam when they urgently needed 100’s of Chrome devices to ensure that their whole company was able to work remotely.

They were rolled out and deployed within 3 days of delivery, so 200 members of the LOXAM PAD workforce were now fully operational and could continue working remotely. This rapid delivery and deployment is a testament to the hard work and effort the team at Netpremacy put into providing the right solution for their customers, and another great example of how Google’s browser first solutions have a real impact when it’s needed the most.

Read more on how we worked to get LOXAM PAD up and running in days.

Since the start of 2020, we have seen so many of our customers have to adapt quickly to ensure that they can run successfully through such challenging times. Now we have since run webinars demonstrating the new Google Workspace interface, which has been well received by our customers. We are already seeing fantastic adoption throughout, and have seen how this collaborative interface is having a positive impact on the way businesses are working, for the better. 

Get started with Google Workspace

To celebrate the new launch of Google Workspace we are offering free of charge, our Google Workspace express onboarding package to allow your organisation to fully realise the potential of Google Cloud. This will cover topics such as;

  • Provisioning
  • Authentication
  • Data Migration
  • Security Configuration
  • Change Management
  • General Best Practices

 

Contact us here to learn more about the new features of Google Workspace.