How Netpremacy has responded to a Global Pandemic

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

________________________________________________________________

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.

________________________________________________________________

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.

________________________________________________________________

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.

________________________________________________________________

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.

________________________________________________________________

“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.

________________________________________________________________

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.

________________________________________________________________

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.

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.

22 May 2018

Managing Resistance to Change

 

In this blog post, I would like to underline how to go about managing resistance to change. As a trainer and therefore, the person on the ground during a change initiative, I am usually a prime target for directing resistance. Having experienced this in the past, I aim to highlight the methods and approaches Netpremacy use when dealing with resistance in a project.

It is important to have a plan of action for managing resistance. This will help to mitigate the impact of resistance on a business change and ensure a smooth transition between the old and new processes. Resistance is a natural human reaction that stems from the fear of moving into an unknown future state. It is, therefore, the role of a change manager to identify and address resistance, as well as get the right people involved in managing this on a personal and individual level. Poor change management can directly influence resistance, so in order to avoid these change management activities need to be at the heart of a project.

 

Resistance management and change management come hand-in-hand

Proactive change management is key to dealing with resistance. Training and communications activities are essential for many reasons:

To communicate the need for change, the effect it may have on people and the benefits it will bring in the future.

To expect certain obstacles and tackle them head-on in advance of the switch (for example, by creating MythBusters, FAQ’s, custom use cases, and many more).

To ensure people have all the knowledge they need to feel comfortable and confident with the new way of working.

Motivating and engaging employees through visible executive sponsorship and general support from management serves to create a burning platform and encourage positive emotion towards the change (see blog post on the importance of executive sponsorship). This can then be captured and leveraged to further spread the excitement and purpose.

Another aspect of change management is to expect resistance and empathise with the difficulty to adapt to new ways of working. There will always be a strong tendency to revert back to old ways, especially with deadlines and time constraints. It is normal for people to “quickly do something the old way” because it’s easier and they don’t have to think about it. Making yourself do something alien or unnatural and sticking to it is very hard so it is up to the change manager to facilitate the new processes and communicate the short and long-term advantages.

 

Addressing resistance

There are 3 steps to formally addressing resistance:

1. Identifying the resistors

2. Give them a part to play

3. Understand why they resist

The types of resistors that you frequently encounter are people who either have a strict routine for certain processes, are the ones who put the old processes in place, or already have heavy workloads and anticipate even more work as a result of the change. For example, in a typical G Suite deployment, those who are usually resistant to the transition are typically heavy spreadsheet users such as the finance department and PA’s because they have a unique way of working (with mail and calendar delegation).

Initial communications, such as a scoping survey that gauges how people currently work and what attitudes they have towards the project, are normally the first means of targeting resistance. In the first instance, you should pick out the people who are in favour of the change as these will help to spread excitement and positive energy around the organisation. Then, identify those who raise concerns about the change and get them involved in the project. Doing this will make them feel more in-control of the change and therefore, it will seem less scary because they are driving it. Taking this proactive (rather than reactive) approach to resistance management will help to reduce risks to the project rollout.

There is also a trend in the root causes of resistance that should be taken into consideration when understanding certain user groups objections.

Firstly, a common reason for resistance would be the lack of awareness. This is where clear and concise communications are vital to ensure complete transparency of why the change is happening, how it will be rolled out and when each stage is going to take place (see blog post on impactful communications).

Secondly, people are often afraid of the effects to their current and future job role. Employees sometimes feel that they may become less efficient at their work after the change, leading to the fear of job loss. Effective and engaging training gives these people the knowledge and ability to continue with daily operations, and floor walking allows trainers to provide one-on-one support to those still struggling (see blog post on effective and engaging training).

Lastly, another reason for resistance could be bad experiences in the past. As mentioned above, implementing change into an organisation requires visible support and commitment from managers. Without this, there are no apparent advocates of the change and so no-one pushing the project on the inside.

Assign resistance managers

Getting the right people involved from the start to combat resistance will facilitate the change management process. These people will be well respected to help push positivity and influence innovation.

Senior leaders are in the perfect position to enforce the need for change. If they devote time to the project to demonstrate their commitment, employees will value their input and opinion.

Middle managers represent leadership within the organisation already and are the closest figures of authority to employees. Being openly supportive and advocating for the change will motivate employees to follow suit.

Appointing these resistance manager roles can not only reduce negativity towards the project but also minimise ongoing resistance once the project has come to an end.

In summary

Having a plan for managing resistance is an important aspect of the change management process. From the early stages of a project, there are many factors to consider for managing resistant user groups in a proactive manner.

First of all, standard change management activities should be as strong as ever, especially if there are already high signs of resistance.

Then, an understanding of who is resisting and why is required to address resistance upfront by making them a part of the change.

Lastly, resistance managers from inside the organisation drive the positive need for change during the project and the increasing desire for innovation in the future.

Click here, for more information on how Netpremacy can help with change management for your business.

fraja change and training coordinator at Netpremacy

 

Fraja Hodges

Training and Change Coordinator