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

24 September 2020

Adapting to a more digital world – Top tips to ensure you are set up to take your work home

 

Businesses around the world have been working remotely in a more permanent way for over 6 months now. To put that into perspective…that’s half of 2020. Now, in light of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, it looks like working from home will continue long into 2020.  We are over the initial shock to the system, but we need to keep on top of keeping our employees happy and motivated and start putting into place measures that are more permanent. 

Netpremacy was born in the cloud, and working remotely is what we teach to other businesses across the country. Which is why we wanted to share our experience and best practices with businesses that were not traditionally used to remote working. Office culture has changed dramatically, however, employees’ mental health and wellbeing is important, as is keeping business running as usual. 

Working from home has benefits and struggles you should consider:

Benefits 

  • Increased productivity 
  • Reduced travel costs
  • Reduced office maintenance costs 
  • Good for the environment
  • Increased flexibility 
  • Good for the environment

Struggles

  • Difficult to unplug from work
  • Loneliness
  • Different working environments
  • Distractions at home
  • Affects mental health
  • Hard to stay motivated

 

Do you have the correct setup?

When the UK was sent home to work, it was done overnight in a panic. Businesses didn’t have a choice and had to ensure their employees were sent home to keep them, and the rest of the country safe. 

Now we have started to adapt, more businesses have decided that working from home benefits them in several ways. Businesses are making the decision to keep this a more permanent solution, and we need to ensure that our employees have the correct setup and working environment. This can have a major impact on a person’s physical, and mental health. There are some simple steps that should help you and your employees to work comfortably and effectively. 

Ensure that when working from home you have somewhere comfortable to sit, that supports your back and neck. Yes, it’s a novelty working from your bed, but how much goodwill that do your back in the long run? The answer is not a lot! 

Working from a clean, and clutter-free environment is another way to ensure employee happiness. Make sure the area you are working in is free from distractions such as the TV, and is a clean space, to keep your mind clutter-free, and to create a productive environment in which to work. 

 Having a consistent spot that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot with getting work done. Choose the same spot for a few days and your brain will learn that when you’re in that spot, you’re focused.

Customise your working environment, so that you feel comfortable and at home- make it a place you WANT to go to – just like you would at your desk at work! 

Ensure that your MDM is set up correctly

Mobile Device Management is essential when working remotely, which is exactly why employers need to make sure that this is set up correctly so that company devices can be managed no matter where your employees are working. Through Google’s single console, your company is able to manage the entire enterprise mobility. This provides comprehensive protection whilst being easy to manage.

G Suite admins can now define custom rules that trigger on device events and have associated actions. When an event specified in a rule occurs on a device within your organisation with a G Suite Enterprise license, the corresponding action you have set will automatically be executed by Mobile Management.

• Easy for admins to enroll all company owned devices for MDM

• Easily enforce device-owner mode on multiple Android company-owned devices

• Not be dependent on the end-user to enable device-owner mode

• Gather info on each and every Android device/app accessing G Suite

Read more on how to ensure your MDM is set up correctly, or contact a member of our team who will be happy to help you get set up. 

Keep your teams secure 

Security is important, no matter where you are located. Luckily, much of the Google technology we use has many security features already built-in (learn more here). But it’s always a good idea to have multiple security procedures in place to keep your employees, and data, extra secure. 

The challenge of remote working, when it comes to security, is that if something does go wrong, your IT team is not there to fix any issues. However, by utilising the Google Admin Control allows you to manage devices remotely, which is useful in a time where everyone has been sent home to work. Another suggestion would be to allow only company approved apps to be installed in the work profile, so your employees are not using apps on the work profile that your business has not approved. It is also recommended to set up dedicated work profiles that are isolated from personal apps, and you should make sure data sharing is restricted. These simple steps can help to keep your employees and your company data secure. 

Setting up employee devices correctly is a fool-proof way of making sure data cannot be accessed by people outside your company. The data is encrypted, and in case the device is lost or stolen, it can be wiped remotely. The new Advanced Protection Programme is an added level of protection for users who are more likely to undergo security challenges. This uses security keys which prevents unauthorised access to your Google account and protects the user from harmful downloads. New updates and security features are automatically added, so it’s one less thing to think about. 

Employees are generally kept safe from phishing attacks, as Gmail has in-built features that cleverly identifies and flags them; however, it is good practice to train employees, making them aware of what to look for and how to handle these types of cyberattacks. 

Adhering to these suggestions will definitely help to keep your mind at ease, however, if you have any further queries or questions our support and security teams are available to help. 

Regular communication & human interaction 

It’s important to remember that everyone is in their own unique environment, which may make working from home more challenging. Some will have a dedicated office space, whilst others are working in a one-bedroom studio. Whatever your situation is, you need to make sure it works for you, whilst being able to communicate with your teammates. 

Regular communication is important to stay motivated, and to keep up the morale too. Schedule catch-ups with your co-workers, so you are on top of your workload, but also socialising with the people who you usually spend most of your working week with.

Probably the most obvious, but it does get overlooked more often than not – take your lunch break! It can be quite difficult to cut off from work when you are in your own home, so step away from the computer, clear your head, and refresh. If you can spend your lunch break outside, that’s even better.

Keep things fun

Office culture differs with each organisation. Distractions in the office may make things difficult to get things done. Equally, you may find it easier to focus in the workplace more than anywhere else. No matter what you are used to, this is your opportunity to make things fun and make it work around you and your workload. Perhaps suggesting an online office quiz, or meeting up virtually on a Friday afternoon for a virtual drink will help keep things fresh!

Being successful in a digital environment is not just about getting the work done. Balancing health, both physical and mental, whilst having the right technology to communicate, collaborate, and keep your data secure is the key to allowing your business to excel.

Contact us and speak to one of our experts today about the technology we use in order to thrive in a digital world and remember to look after your mental health in times of uncertainty!

02 September 2020

Find out how to use Google Cloud technology to anticipate customer demand and gain a competitive advantage

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We have put together a solution to help businesses anticipate customer demand, by using Google technology to help gain meaningful insights from their data, leading to better business decisions. Download our One-Pager if you are interested in finding out more about this solution.

DOWNLOAD ONE-PAGER

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To find out more, or to see how your organisation can benefit from this solution, contact us and speak to one of our specialists: info@netpremacy.com

14 August 2020

Google Cloud Next ’20: OnAir: Half Time Round-Up

 

We are half-way through Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir, and have already seen lots of exciting new content and product updates. The first 4 weeks have covered Industry Insights, Productivity & Collaboration, Infrastructure, and Security – and we are excited to see what the next 5 weeks will bring!

In this blog post, we have highlighted some of the stand out sessions that we have found insightful. See below for just some of our highlights and find out how you can access the on-demand content.


Week 1: Industry Insights

In Thomas Kurian’s opening keynote, we were given a first look at updates such as the upcoming new interface in Gmail, the release of BigQuery Omni, and we got an insight into how companies have been able to adapt using Google technologies during the pandemic. Read our blog: Netpremacy Next Insights: Week 1 Industry Insights for our top highlights from the opening week.


Week 2: Productivity & Collaboration

As one of the UK’s leading Google Premier Partners, specialising in business transformation with G Suite, we anticipated this week would be full of exciting and valuable content for us, and our customers. We weren’t wrong!  Here are just some of the sessions we thought really highlighted the value of G Suite and how you can use it to power your organisation.

G Suite’s Vision: Your Future Workplace

Ever since the sudden and global transition to a remote way of working, more than 6 million businesses have chosen G Suite as their partner in digital transformation, and billions of people are using it to stay connected. This could be the catalyst that will accelerate the shift to a more flexible work culture.

*80% of employees want to see a more flexible way of working continue

**74% of CFOs are seeing a permanent shift in the way they are going to run their business

Giving employees more flexibility is helping to prepare us for the future. It has other benefits too, like saving businesses money and reducing their carbon footprint. Google is cloud-native, so G Suite tools were engineered with flexibility in mind. Noise cancellation and low light mode in Google Meet was just one of the many updates Google announced to help with the challenges of remote working, where often your environment isn’t that predictable. 

Google Meet is now free for everyone, so more people can enjoy secure and reliable video meetings. Google also announced earlier in the year that G Suite Essentials, for businesses, will be free until October 2020. The better home for work update was another exciting new feature, which will integrate the main G Suite collaboration tools to work even more seamlessly, helping users better manage the pace of work.

Watch the full session here and learn more about Google’s first step in their long-term vision of what the future workplace could look like.

Power Your Business with Search & AI in G Suite

This session looks at some of G Suite’s incredible capabilities that help with employee efficiency, by improving meeting experiences, simplifying tasks, and turning data into insights: 

  • Google Calendar is able to automatically suggest the time and place of a meeting, based on the number and location of participants. 
  • Gmail and Google Drive use powerful search and assistant features to enable you to find the files you want, quickly. 
  • Machine Learning (ML) is used in Gmail (and now Docs) with smart compose, allowing you to write more quickly and accurately – powered by world-class Google search technology and ML models. 
  • Deep learning signals are used to learn and utilise these behaviours, delivering relevant and highly intelligent results.

Watch the full session here to learn more about the intelligent features in G Suite you should be using in your business.

Communication in G Suite: The Future of Gmail, Chat, Meet, and More

In this session, Google announced the key features, tools, and updates they have made to make it easier for people to work remotely. 

  • Extended tile view layouts in meetings
  • “Guest Access” – collaborate with external partners on Google Chat
  • Forward to inbox – makes it easier to follow up on specific chat messages
  • Ability to edit messages in Chat
  • Voice and Chat now available in Gmail 
  • New home for work – access everything you need straight from Gmail

Personalisation in Retail

Consumer behaviour in retail has been changing for years, but the sudden closure of brick and mortar stores highlighted and accelerated the importance of digital strategies. Now, the customer journey is much more complex, but behaviours online can be tracked and used to personalise experiences. Data science, AI, and ML models are at the forefront of implementing these strategies in an intelligent, scalable, and automated way. AI is fuelled by consumer demand, so it’s more important than ever to collect and analyse data properly. You can then make better decisions, such as delivering personalised product recommendations based on products they have previously viewed, and with Google’s powerful ML models, you can suggest products based on what other consumers have bought.

Watch the session here to learn how you can use this technology to deeply understand your customers.


Week 3: Infrastructure

Infrastructure is a vital part of any business which is why we need to ensure that it is protected and working to the best of its ability to keep businesses running efficiently. There was a range of interesting updates, and below are just a few that we felt stood out, and that will make a big impact on the way that businesses work going forward. 

New Transatlantic cables – Grace Hopper cable system

Google already has a deeply impressive private network, including many different sub-sea cable investments. However this week, Google announced the new transatlantic cable that they will be building, named after the famous Grace Hopper. This cable will be linking the US, UK, and Spain and will provide extra bandwidth to this key connectivity route. People will be able to share, search, send, and receive information more than ever. After all, in today’s day and age reliable connectivity is more important than ever before to ensure business continuity. The new transatlantic cable will provide even better resilience for the network that underpins Google’s consumer and enterprise products. Read more about the new cable and all the others here.

New private service connect

Private Service Connect in alpha, which allows you to connect and consume first and third-party as well as customer-owned services easily and privately. It creates service endpoints in consumer VPCs that provide private connectivity and policy enforcement, allowing you to easily connect services across different networks and organisations. Private Service Connect abstracts the underlying infrastructure for both the teams consuming and delivering services, making it easier for you to use value-added services. With Private Service Connect, traffic stays private and secure over Google’s global network. See the overview video, or Read more here.

Google Cloud Armor

There has been 3 stand out Google Cloud Armor updates over the infrastructure week that will have a large impact on many businesses across the globe. Google has simplified the way you can use Cloud Armor to help protect your websites and applications from exploit attempts as well as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Here’s a quick overview:

Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus 

This is a subscription service with a predictable, enterprise-friendly monthly pricing model that mitigates cost risk from defending against a large L7 DDoS attack. Leveraging the edge of Google’s network, as well as a set of products and services from across Google Cloud, Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus can help protect applications from DDoS attacks and targeted exploit attempts. Businesses can now benefit from the same scale and expertise Google employs to protect applications and critical services from malicious activity.

Named IP Lists 

Named IP Lists are now in beta. These are Google-curated rule sets containing a pre-configured list of IP addresses that can be referenced and reused across policies and projects. Google is starting with providing Named IP Lists that have source IP ranges for common upstream service providers that many users would want to allow through their Cloud Armor security policies.

New WAF rules: RFI, LFI, RCE

Google is also making RFI (Remote File Inclusion), LFI (Local File Inclusion), and RCE (Remote Code Execution) rules available as a beta. Collectively, these rules contain industry-standard signatures from the OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set to help mitigate the Command Injection class vulnerabilities while enhancing the out-of-the-box coverage for OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities as well.


Week 4: Security

Security is something that is on everyone’s mind. At Netpremacy, we want to ensure that our employees and customers are safe, especially with so much of the world working remotely since early 2020. Google has introduced a range of new security measures to ensure that everyone’s new normal is safe. This week Google made sure to speak about security to people on every level, from introductory sessions all the way to advanced sessions.

Google also shared with us some of the recent resources, features, and products they’ve been working on in the Security space:

Cloud Security Best Practices Center

With Security being at the forefront of organisations minds, Google has collated lots of information, whitepapers, and blog posts relating to the best practices and key considerations across a number of workloads. It’s a central place to go to ensure you’re meeting your compliance and security needs in Google Cloud.

BeyondCorp Remote Access

Google’s BeyondCorp methodology is one of the most innovative parts of Google’s overall security posture. By using the principle of Zero-Trust, Google enables its own employees to work and access internal systems from anywhere in the world. BeyondCorp Remote Access is a solution built on top of Google products (Cloud IAP and Cloud Identity) that enables organisations to adopt the BeyondCorp methodology for their own applications and employees.

Certificate Authority Service

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and certificate-based authentication are one of the most popular methods of securing networked devices and services. But Google recognises that there is a significant problem – it’s hard to set up Certificate Authorities (CA), and even harder to do it reliably at scale. Google has announced that they are releasing the Certificate Authority Service: a highly scalable and available service that simplifies and automates the management and deployment of private CAs.

Confidential Computing + Confidential VMs

Google has widely documented its security controls, governance, and policies and is completely transparent when it comes to their usage of data. However, Google still recognises that there are organisations that need extra assurances that their data is secure while on Google Cloud. At the present, Google encrypts data at rest and in transit but must decrypt it for processing inside of its servers. Now Google is announcing a new product category called Confidential Computing, with its first product – Confidential VMs.

Like many Google products, Confidential VMs are based on the open-sourced framework Asylo and ensure that data is encrypted at all times, including during processing. And the best part is that enabling this technology is as simple as creating a regular virtual machine – just check the box during creation and let Google take care of the rest. Confidential Computing could truly be the next frontier in data protection in the cloud.

Confidential VMs are in beta, and you can read more about the service here.



These are just some of the announcements and links to the new content that Google Cloud Next has pushed out over the first 4 weeks. To see the full announcements and updates, head over to
Google’s blog. Week 5: Data Analytics is available now. To book on, head over to the Google Cloud Next website.


*Source: Global Workplace Analytics: Work at home after COVID-19 
**Source: Gartner: 74% of organisations to shift some employees to remote work permanently

 

17 July 2020

Google announces more features for the ultimate video conferencing experience

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Since lockdown began, Google Meet has grown in popularity and demand. Thanks to Google Meet, colleagues have been able to stay connected, companies have been able to live stream to a remote workforce, virtual healthcare visits have allowed care to continue, and schools have maintained collaborative contact with students. This is all down to the amazing technology we have available at our fingertips. 

With plenty of video conferencing tools available, it can be quite difficult to distinguish which is the best on the market. Google Meet, which is now free for everyone, is launching several updates that will allow for the ultimate video conferencing experience. 

A New, Customisable Background
The long-awaited customisable background will soon be available to use in Google Meet. In addition, it will be possible to blur out your background, which is especially useful if you are sharing your workspace with family or pets and want to make sure calls are uninterrupted and free from distraction. Netpremacy will find this update really helpful during our webinars, as we will be able to make the experience for our viewers even more smooth and streamlined.

Nest Hub Max Integration
A high-tech, smart solution to help virtual meetings run seamlessly is the integration of Nest Hub Max with Google Meet. It will soon be possible to join meetings with just one click or a voice command through your smart home display. This is great for those who may not have room at home for dedicated office space, so you can free up your laptop and work from anywhere in the house.

Extended Tile View
The last update saw the tile view layout reach a maximum of 16 people, making for more fun and collaborative experience. With more people working remotely and relying on Google Meet to stay connected, Google will increase it to 49 participants. This means whole organisations, or larger teams, can all be visible on a call, making it the most connected, collaborative, and streamlined experience yet. 

Hand Raising
Google has not only announced long-awaited updates, but they have thought about the finer details to make the enhancements seamless in so many ways. The new extended tile view layout is great, but the accompanying “hand-raising” tool makes it even better. This allows participants in a larger call to “raise their hand” if they have a question or want to contribute to the meeting. Making a more organised, and smooth experience. 

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Netpremacy’s Top 5 Updates

Netpremacy was born in the cloud, our teams are incredibly familiar with Google Meet. The new updates add more inclusiveness and make the sessions more seamless in a remote environment. The most exciting benefit of the updates is how they will affect our webinars. The introduction of the below features will allow us to have complete control and increase engagement, which makes an even greater experience for our audience. 

1. Meeting attendance: This will make it easier to track who attended, so we can follow up efficiently and make sure attendees receive collateral and the slides/recording of the webinar.
2. Breakout rooms: We try and personalise the experience for our attendees, as we want to make sure everyone leaves with valuable information. These breakout rooms will give the opportunity to ask the experts directly.
3. Q&A: Our team of experts that deliver these webinars tries to answer as many questions as possible, if not all, so this Q&A channel will make it easier to monitor and direct the questions without disrupting the flow of the webinar.
4. Additional moderator controls: The introduction of more controls, makes the experience smoother. So muting, presenting, even joining the webinar is an afterthought for the speaker, as the hosts can organise and monitor, making it a polished experience for all.
5. Polling: Real-time polling is also a new feature that will be added to Google Meet. We can ask for instant feedback and can get an idea for what content our audience wants to hear in future sessions there and then.

If you want to learn more about our webinars and the topics we talk about, visit our events page.

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To help businesses stay connected and to continue working, we have been offering G Suite Essentials to new customers, which includes Meet, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and it’s free of charge until 30th September 2020.

For more information download our one-pager or to book in your free installation, contact us here: netpremacy.com/contact-us/get-g-suite-essentials-free/

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10 July 2020

Highlights:

Bespoke COVID-19 back to work strategy

◦ Google Meet offerings – keeping people connected remotely

◦ Fast deployment of Chrome devices

◦ Ongoing support for our customer base

◦ Ongoing webinar knowledgebase

◦ Supporting schools, parents, and children through Google technologies

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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. Since then, there have been a number of changes globally that have forced businesses to drastically change the way that they work in order to stay afloat and to survive a global pandemic.

Netpremacy is born in the cloud, and so we took this change in our stride. We were proud to win the 2019 Google Cloud Global Specialisation of the Year – Work Transformation Enterprise award as a testament to our dedication and knowledge within the Google Cloud space. Mobile working is one of our core competencies and before the lockdown was fully declared, our whole team was working from home safely, securely, and collaboratively.

We appreciate that it was not that easy for many other businesses around the UK, and as such we have aimed to be the helping hand that many companies have needed to help get them through this difficult time. As such, Netpremacy has been running a series of webinars throughout lockdown, answering questions businesses may have on this new way of working, as well as offering advice, tips, tricks, and more on how to keep ahead of the game even during a global pandemic.

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

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.

“As soon as the UK was put into lockdown our number one priority was ensuring that we could help keep our customers up and running safely in the cloud. This was a drastic change for many businesses around the world. At Netpremacy we are agile and used to working remotely, so we took our expertise and shared our services, knowledge, and experience with anyone who needed it. We understood that this was an unprecedented time for so many people and wanted to ensure that we were on hand to help. We will continue to do so long after lockdown is eased, and we believe that this has brought to life a new way of working that perhaps many businesses were not fully aware of beforehand.”
– Andrew Martin, Commercial Sales Director, Netpremacy

Our longstanding and strong relationships with our partners at Google meant that our teams have been able to collaborate remotely and help with ensuring that our customer base had access to everything they needed. Whether that be knowledge sharing, training, or support when making the big transition to working from home.

Since lockdown began, we have been working on a number of solutions to ensure that businesses are using the Cloud to the best of their ability, to ensure that they can work more effectively.

We have been in constant contact with our current customer base to ensure that we can support our customers in any way possible through these unprecedented times.

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Getting you back to work safely

Using G Suite tools, (Apps Script, Sheets, Calendar, Forms, and Data studio) our highly skilled teams have built and developed a simple to use booking system which will help prepare businesses for a safe return back to the office. This system ensures that strict numbers are adhered to and that colleagues are kept safe and appropriately distanced when they do decide to return to work. The system allows staff to book a seat on their given day, and to see when their other team members are booked into the office. The bonus of this system is the data it collects, allowing for contact tracing to be quick and simple if a COVID-19 outbreak were to occur in the office.

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Google Meet Offer

To help businesses stay connected and to continue working, we have been offering free Google Meet licenses and deployment services, available to new businesses until 30th September 2020.

For more information, download our one-pager or to book in your free* installation contact us on: info@netpremacy.com.

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“My vision has always been for CSS to be focused on unlocking the full potential of the Google product suite, this requires both Netpremacy and Customer to be far forward-thinking and always working towards that. Recent times have had me and our customers thinking differently, we have all had to adapt very quickly to Covid-19. What has been constant though, is technology is no longer a barrier. What we are now focused on is the creation of a feedback loop with those working from their homes all over the world. We want to know what is and is not working, letting people know we are listening and working towards constant improvements. There is a new normal but it will be created by those that are living and working it every day, so we had best listen!”
– Martin Russell, Head of CSS, Netpremacy

Looking after our current customers will always be our number one priority, we value our relationships with our customers above all else, and it was important to us that we made sure we were there to help in any way possible.

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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.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of project delivery for our chrome deployment services, with some of our customers requiring immediate and fast deployments to enable them to keep connected and “business as usual” while working from home. The Netpremacy delivery team has successfully adapted to the change in pace and understood the urgency in which customers wanted the deployments delivered. A perfect example of this was the chrome deployment project with LOXAM PAD. The team was engaged and ready to support the customer immediately with the whole chrome deployment completed within days minimizing any downtime.”
– Jordan Brown, Project Manager, Netpremacy

Following the delivery, both Netpremacy & LOXAM PAD pulled their teams together for a crash course on all things Chrome. After a few calls, the team at LOXAM PAD was up and running and enrolling devices within hours, with Netpremacy observing and supporting across the whole journey.

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.

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We are also proud to be supporting the next generation by helping schools maintain learning through these difficult times. Schools, parents, and children are able to get the support and training they need, through Google technology, so young people can continue their education while learning from home. Learn more about the Government’s Schools of England Platform Provisioning Programme here.

In this new age, even when businesses do begin to return to the office, we understand that this has opened up a new way of working. Some companies may return to the office, whilst a vast majority have now learned that they can survive and thrive remotely if they need to. Hear from Alastair Lumley, Account Director at Netpremacy, on his predictions for the future of working remotely, and how he sees the workplace changing.

If you would like Netpremacy to help implement these solutions into your business please contact: info@netpremacy.com.

12 June 2020

How Netpremacy & Google can help you utilise G Suite & GCP to become more digital and mobile

 

Register now for our 3-part webinar series, featuring guest speakers from our partners FinTech North, and Google Cloud, as we discuss:

• How to create a return to work strategy with Google technology

• Increasing collaboration and productivity in the manufacturing industry

• How to use smart analytics to stay ahead of competitors

Follow the links below to find out more and how to register for each webinar.

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How ML & Smart Analytics are helping FinTechs understand their data

Date: 09/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Join us, FinTech North, and Google to learn about the power of Machine Learning, and Big Query. Hear more on how FinTechs are driving their business forward thanks to Google Cloud. Understand how businesses are using data to gain a competitive advantage, and how Big Query is the tool that makes this possible.

Guest speakers:

  • Alastair Lumley, Netpremay
  • Tom Anderson, Netpremacy 
  • Julian Wells, Director, FinTech North
  • Richard Ashby, Google Cloud 

REGISTER HERE 

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How businesses can use the G Suite tool-stack to return to work

Date: 22/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Sign up to our webinar to understand how businesses can use tools from G Suite to create a complex and intelligent booking system, to get your teams safely back up and running in an office environment.

Hear from Google and Netpremacy on what our plans are for getting back to the office, and how we are using tools from G Suite, App Script, and Data Studio to do so.

REGISTER HERE 

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Manufacturing with G Suite during and post-pandemic

Date: 23/07/20 Time: 11:00-12:00

Sign up for our webinar to hear how manufacturers in the industry are increasing their agility and digitizing their way of working thanks to Google Cloud.

To sustain a business we must transform digitally and culturally. G Suite has been a go-to solution for many organisations within the manufacturing and distribution market, providing that competitive edge during times of uncertainty.

Guest speakers:

  • John Boyle, Google Cloud

REGISTER HERE 

If you are unable to attend these webinars, but would like to find out more, please contact us.

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18 May 2020

At Netpremacy, security is number 1 on our list, especially with so many companies now working remotely. We wanted to share a high-level summary of some of the security features Google Chrome offers to ensure your employees and data are kept safe. 

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A Chromebook is an ultra-secure computer, with little setup required, making it a great choice for remote workforces. It runs on Chrome OS with embedded security, which uses Google-powered security features to make it well-protected against malware and external threats. There is no need for antivirus software or scans as it comes with built-in malware and virus protection. This multiple protection approach means that if one layer is bypassed, others are still in effect. 

Secure Design

 

Automatic updates

Chromebooks automatically manage updates so they are always running the latest and most secure version of the OS. Feature updates are available every 6 weeks, while security patches every 2-3 weeks. This eliminates the need for direct action from administrators and they take place in the background, without downtime or interruption, so the end-user can continue to work. There are also two versions of Chrome OS on every device, so one can be used while the other gets updated. 

Verified Boot

Chromebooks are protected every time it starts up. It does a self-check called “Verified Boot”. This confirms if the operating system is authentic and unmodified. In other words, it can detect if the system has been compromised or tampered with dangerous malware. It will repair itself without any effort, and with two versions of OS, it can proceed with boot-up even if one OS has been corrupted. The Chromebook will be restored back to an operating system that’s as good as new.

Data Encryption

The primary use case of a Chromebook is for browser-based applications and for important data to be stored in the cloud. However, there will be files and data that need to be present on the machine, like downloads, cookies, and browser cache. These data are protected because they are encrypted using tamper-resistant hardware, called the Google Security Module. This user data encryption is enabled on every Chrome device by default, which cannot be switched off, making it very difficult for anyone to access these files.

Trusted applications

 

Sandboxing

Chrome Browser uses sandboxes to contain possible threats and uses site isolation to keep all Android, Linux, and OS processes separate from each other. If a user is directed to an infected web page or application, the sandbox security feature contains the possible threat, so it can’t affect any other tabs or apps on the computer. 

Protection against threats

 

Safe Browsing Protection

The Safe Browsing service protects users from phishing attacks, dangerous malware, and unwanted software, which can be buried in and amongst websites. Google’s servers will scan billions of URLs and the content on each web page. If it detects harmful material it will add that URL to a list of unsafe websites, and that list will be stored locally on the users’ device. This means if the user goes on an unsafe website, Google will alert them with a warning. 

Ransomware

Every 40 seconds, a company is hit with a ransomware attack*

With limited data held on a Chromebook, there is often little which can be held at ransom. Nevertheless, there are a number of Chrome security features which minimises the risk of a ransomware attack. Similar to phishing attacks, Machine Learning works on Gmail to identify emails that contain malware, and Chrome Browser warns the user before accessing hostile sites. The built-in protection on Chrome OS also helps to stop malware from spreading across your network. If an attack should get through, Verified Boot would restore the operating system.

*Source: Kaspersky Lab “Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2016”

 

Recovery Mode

The above security features are designed to work together, safeguarding end-users against harmful attacks and mitigating the impact if one does slip through. The recovery mode is the final step to quickly restore the operating system if something does go wrong. You can use this option to restore the Chromebook back to its original factory state. This will wipe everything from the machine, including downloads, local files and it will remove all user accounts.   

Sign up for our webinar on 27/05 as we delve into how Google Chrome is keeping businesses running securely, and to learn more about Chrome security features.

REGISTER HERE

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11 May 2020

Learn about our 3-step strategy for getting the most out of your data

 

Now more than ever data is becoming one of our most valuable and most governed assets. Data is all around us and it’s something that we are all using to our advantage. Such is our dependency on data and understanding it, we have teams dedicated to analyzing it, understanding it, dissecting it, predicting it…. The list goes on.

The tools at our disposal are endless and the skill set of data scientists and engineers is constantly growing and improving. However, one thing that is often overlooked, and is potentially the most important thing to consider and understand is actually, what do we want to know? And how do we build a strategy to help us get the most out of our data? 

Netpremacy is Google’s 2019 Global Partner of the Year for Work Transformation Enterprise. Our work over the past decade has been dedicated to understanding organisations’ longer-term strategies, understanding what’s driving some of the world’s leading brands, and how data is beginning to play a significant role in this. This ranges from the tools they use for collaboration and innovation all the way to a fully functional data strategy. Our large team of engineers are extremely skilled in the use of Google’s analytics tools and helping identify and build out a longer-term data strategy.

Below are some of our top tips on how to build a data strategy, and what to look out for along the way. 

Step 1: Understand the business & look for a quick success

Before we even begin to look at what new tools we can use, it’s integral we understand what direction the business is going in. 

  • Are we looking to increase online sales by 20%? 
  • Are we looking to enter a new market? 
  • Are we striving for better operational efficiency? 


Once we understand the direction of the business we can identify what we need to know and the questions we want to ask. We’ve found having 4-5 initial use cases or problems to solve builds a good foundation for a proof-of-concept or pilot programme to get started.  

For a lot of organisations, this can be a new concept and something that needs traction within the business, as when done correctly and with complete buy-in from the business, the benefits can be staggering. 

Now we’ve identified the direction of the business, it’s time to choose a problem that can be solved relatively quickly and easily, but will have a big impact on stakeholders across the business. That could be simply understanding buying trends for a specific demographic & building a view of the customer. Once we have a level of trust and success in the business it’s much easier to find new use cases, funding, and momentum to keep the data strategy going. 

Step 2: The Requirements & Governance 

Once the areas where we can have the quickest and immediate impact have been identified, what will really help us gain momentum internally is to understand what data we need:

  • What types of data are we going to capture and work with? Think Structured vs Unstructured, Transactional, or Relational data. 
  • Do we need to augment what we currently have to supplement the analytics we can run? 
  • What sources of data do we have in the organisation?
  • Read our blog on BigData to learn more


Understanding this is key as without the right data and quality the outcomes will be heavily impacted and could make or break any long term data strategy before it gets started.

As mentioned at the start of this blog, data is quickly becoming one of the most governed and controlled assets in the world and with new regulations such as GDPR its integral that we have the correct governance in place. This means truly understanding the data we hold, is it secure? Do we need permission to use it? Who is responsible for it, How do we keep it up to date? 

Step 3 – Skillset and technology

Finally, we understand the strategy of the business, we know what data we have and the governance around it. We can now look at what technology we want to use and who is actually going to use it. Do we have the resource in house? Are we lucky enough to have skilled data engineers waiting for a project to come up and the technical resource to house petabytes of data, query it in seconds, and get an answer? The chances are probably not! But we can work on building the internal capabilities, as there is a significant increase in training courses, qualifications & employees who understand data and can leverage a wealth of different technologies to better gain insights from the data we have

We also need to take into account where this data is going to sit. Do we have the infrastructure to do this all in house? Unlikely! 

This is where cloud providers like Google Cloud come into play. 

As we are looking at housing and querying large quantities of data that are constantly changing and growing, we need the correct environment. We need to be agile, adaptable & make sense of data quickly in order to get the maximum impact across the business. This is why the majority of companies are choosing public clouds such as Google Cloud Platform and using tools like BigQuery to help them. 

We’re lowering IT overheads as we don’t need dedicated local hardware. We don’t need to build our own complex analytics tools. We can simply use the market-leading tools available, make sense of petabytes of data in seconds, and then use this to have a positive impact on the business. 

Sounds simple right? 

These strategies can get extremely complex when we start trying to please everyone, and we need to tread carefully or the use cases will grow and the complexity grows with them. This is where a well thought out and constructed strategy comes in and helps keep us on track.

Netpremacy is uniquely placed to help when it comes to creating data strategies and implementing them. Over the years we’ve understood what makes a successful strategy, built up a team of dedicated engineers who are experienced in Google’s Cloud Platform & have implemented some of the largest data strategies and projects spanning multiple verticals from Retail all the way to Energy & Utilities. 

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