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

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

21 July 2020

COVID-19 Office Reservation Solution

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Every business wants to return to optimum efficiency. So in an effort to get back into the office, Netpremacy has created a solution. Using readily available G Suite tools you can create a complex, yet easy to manage, booking-in system. This means you can monitor and control the number of staff in the office at any given time, and have access to valuable contact trace data.

This method requires little maintenance and minimal admin, making it an easy solution to adopt and manage.

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

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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06 November 2018

How Cloud Telephony makes consolidation easier.

 

Organisations are now adopting the latest technology to streamline a range of business administration and processes, one of the latest being Cloud Telephony. Cloud-based Telephony comes with many benefits over the more traditional on-premise solutions which you can find listed out neatly across nearly every telecoms website. However one of the benefits rarely touched upon is the ability to ease day to day administration and consolidate a geographically and technologically diverse estate. A system is only as strong as its weakest link and business phone systems have a whole lot of links—from users to administrators and other systems.

Allow me to describe a fictional but common scenario that IT managers face:

Imagine that you’ve just been part of a dream merger in which you have acquired a firm that is going to add both value to how you operate and your company as a whole. The plan is to absorb the new business under the existing brand whilst allowing it to continue to trade. As well as merging the companies, you need to merge all that comes with it including the phone systems and communications.

You go about getting it all set up but discover that their in-house PBX is a different brand to yours. Do you leave them as separate entities and operations? You start to look into integrating the two together but find that to do this you need to spend a lot on new hardware. This then begins to get time-consuming.

So what are your options? Managing communications for a business is challenging enough at one location, but more challenging with multiple locations. This is especially true as with the above example of acquisitive organisations that have inherited multiple phone systems over a number of years, and are now charged with their maintenance and integration across the estate. For some companies, the acquisitions happened years ago and the enterprise has been living with the pain and expense of a tangle of diverse systems for a long time.

Companies that are looking after multiple locations with on-premises PBX’s have to contend with the fact that different locations could be running disconnected systems of different ages with different capabilities. Systems may not even be from the same vendor. Capabilities may be lost to interoperability problems. Productivity may be lost to inefficient communications. Getting every location onto a single standard may look close to an impossible task, but this is where cloud-based telephony really begins to shine.

Cloud telephony allows the consolidation of equipment and allows IT managers to benefit from standardised capabilities and total interoperability across locations. When upgrades happen, they happen everywhere simultaneously, maintenance is outsourced to the hosted PBX provider and fewer resources are required to understand and use systems across the business. Processes can also be standardised for greater efficiency and in most cases and you are able to reuse Cloud ready hardware to reduce costs. Simply put, for businesses who want phone systems working together across multiple locations, cloud hosted PBX systems present a much simpler and cheaper option to implement and maintain.

Now imagine the same scenario, only you have decided to implement a Cloud Telephony platform instead. You had heard that Cloud Telephony would make consolidation and onboarding of new sites easy and to your delight, it’s true. Cloud Telephony systems allow you to add extra phones to the system easily and bring the newly merged sites into one managed solution. Calls flow as you want and collaboration within the firm means the merger starts bearing fruits instantly.

It’s not always a necessity to replace the hardware. If its ‘Cloud ready’ you can simply introduce a form of Cloud to keep costs down. This means gaining all the benefits of Cloud and making those new locations an integrated part of your footprint.

Consolidation and acquisitions are not something that companies have to worry about every day, but when it is a worry, it can amount to a lot of stress.

The benefits of Cloud Telephony when it comes to consolidation include:

  • No limits to adding new users
  • Low cost adding new users
  • Ease of integrating with an existing infrastructure
  • Remote management across all sites
  • Vastly reduced admin resources
  • Complete transparency

If your estate is large or complex, making it hard to warrant an immediate switchover, you can take a staged approach. You are able to start with a cloud-based system at one location as part of a larger hybrid Cloud communications system and move other locations over as their on-premises PBX systems reach end-of-life. This is a clever phased approach to phone system migration that’s gaining more steam among businesses that don’t want to rip-and-replace all at once.

Still, some IT managers feel safer maintaining hardware that’s nearby, with the belief that the system may be pretty robust. It’s easy to run down the hall to a server closet if something goes wrong, right? But on-premises PBX systems are also dependent on forces outside a company’s control, an electrical grid outage, an Internet outage, a fire, burglary or severe flooding. Things like dual-powered cooling equipment, multiple independent distribution paths or fault-tolerant site infrastructure all will greatly reduce your exposure and increase resiliency, in short your phone system should stand up to a myriad of potential threats.

For the companies that don’t currently have this on site, Cloud telephony delivers a level of reliability and redundancy that’s difficult and expensive to achieve at facility level with an on-premise PBX. With a Cloud phone system, that reliability is built in. However you decide to approach the issue of consolidation, one thing is clear, hosted communication is rapidly becoming the norm for businesses regardless of size, vertical or site complexity and shows no sign of slowing down.

If you have any questions about your current telephony system please contact our Cloud Telephony Specialists for more information on how we can help take your telephony system into the Cloud.

26 June 2018

“It’s been a pleasure working with Netpremacy”

Pressure Technologies is a specialist engineering group with businesses in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barton on Humber, Glasgow, Cardiff and overseas in Vancouver, Canada, Germany and Pittsburgh, USA.

The company was introduced to Pressure Technologies at a Sheffield Chamber of Commerce event where CEO, John Hayward was impressed by the presentation Netpremacy gave on the benefits to a business that G Suite could offer.  

G Suite had two core appeals for Pressure Technologies, cybersecurity with trusted Cloud-based servers and the ability to collaborate. With geographically diverse businesses, Google’s G Suite and cloud storage gave Pressure Technologies added security and a common operating platform across the entire Group. The Cloud encouraged and enabled collaborative and mobile working, with access to data from any device, anywhere.  

The project kicked off with Netpremacy being invited to present to Pressure Technologies senior management team and business leaders, who were as equally impressed as John had been at the event in Leeds.

To ensure a smooth transition of the overall G Suite Deployment, Netpremacy broke it down into 2 projects, so each project had its own statement of work.

The first project began in July 2017 and included all the manufacturing divisions. Given the scale of this first project, consisting of 6 businesses, a decision was made to break up the project into two phases: Drop 1 and Drop 2.

Project 1 was concluded by December, and the second project for the Alternative Energy Division was delivered early 2018. Even though this second project was smaller than the former it still came with its challenges. With Pressure Technologies being dispersed between the UK and Canada, it meant the project team had to plan meticulously to avoid issues arising from the time difference, time constraints and international training both in person and remote.

Each of the projects began with a period of discovery, an important aspect to ensure a smooth transition. The aim of this was to find out what processes could be improved upon, where time was being wasted and more importantly, where G Suite could be used to improve efficiency and the everyday practices of teams and individuals. The information collected was used to form the training sessions, training resources and post-training support that users received.

Before the transition to G Suite and the training that was provided, Pressure Technologies were using Outlook. When the transition began, Netpremacy used a tried and tested approach for migrating the data. After the training sessions were over, the teams returned to their desks and all of their data had been seamlessly migrated across into G Suite. This then led to a successful transition for Pressure Technologies.

Training and communications were provided by Netpremacy as a part of managing the end user’s reaction to the change in the business. Moving platforms can often be stressful without the right communication to educate end users, leading to lower adoption levels if not managed correctly.

In this particular project, training played a very important role. Pressure Technologies encompassed most age groups and generations, as a result, there was a broad mix of confidence levels in using new tools. Taking this into consideration, Netpremacy took people from every sector of the business to be Google Guides, giving them access to G Suite before everyone else. This meant they were confident and in turn able to help their colleagues with the transition after the training and go-live had finished.

A programme of ongoing communications in the weeks following go-live ensured further support.  A “Tip of the Week” programme was created and sent out weekly to provide small pieces of information and improve knowledge on how to use different aspects of G Suite. This series of tips have been very successful so far with some users being known to print them out or store them in some way to create their own ‘Google Handbooks’.

“I have been heavily involved in IT projects during my 35 year career, and none of them have ever gone this smoothly. It’s been a pleasure working with Netpremacy. We highly rate the team for technical and project management ability. G Suite is transforming the way we work,encouraging much wider collaboration then we had dared to imagine.”

– John Hayward – CEO, Pressure Technologies

Although the migration to G Suite is complete, Pressure Technologies decided to continue with the CSS programme that Netpremacy provides. They felt this was essential to the continued success for the transition to Google and did not want to leave people with the project without ongoing support to ensure G suite is successfully embedded into the whole Group.

If you have any questions regarding G Suite and how it can enhance your company’s performance, please contact us.