Connecting Disconnected with Google Workspace
Length of the project: 3 months
Number of users: 400
Industry: Telecom, ISP
The technology used: Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
Type of service: Google Workspace Implementation, Adoption, Change management
Location: Prague and regions across the Czech Republic.
About the company
Nordic Telecom is a telecommunications operator with its own networks in the 3.7 GHz and 420 MHz bands. It serves more than one hundred thousand customers across the country. They were the first to launch a modern 5G network that offers a high-quality, high-speed internet connection over the air. The company is part of the Nordic Investors investment group.
What needed to be done
To teach 350 employees of 20 different companies within the group how to effectively communicate from different locations they were in. They wanted to avoid introducing completely new systems, so as not to disrupt the company's everyday operations and activities.
1. Complex online communication between companies
After the merger of several companies (Nordic Telecom, Nordic Telecom Regional and several local ISPs), online communication between different companies within the group became an issue. Businesses needed to exchange vital information other than just through emails. However, each used different tools (Office 365, Zoom, Skype, NextCloud), which could not be easily connected. This created confusion, problems with connections to video calls and the inconvenience of constantly installing new software and creating new accounts. There was no platform for collaborating on files, sharing calendars, or organizing meetings.
At the same time, it was necessary to communicate with external parties as well. Those on top of everything else, also used tools and systems of their choosing which couldn't be controlled centrally.
2. Inconvenient file forwarding
Sharing files across a group of companies posed a challenge. Nordic Telecom Group tried SharePoint, NextCloud and Dropbox, but in most cases ended up sending each other bulky files by email anyways. It was impossible to control who had access to what or grant and withdraw permissions without the help of the IT department.
3. Mobile device management
Many of the Nordic Telecom employees work in the field, so it was necessary to have access to the same tools and be able to view and edit files on mobile phones and tablets as well.
4. Getting the IT department and on-board with change
When it comes to the IT department, paradoxically, the most resistance towards such changes often can be seen there. Such was the case for Nordic Telecom. Their IT employees are experts on Microsoft technologies, with over 20 experience with them. So understandably they weren't happy at first when the decision was made to implement a completely different system.
5. Overcoming change resistance
It is natural that people don't really want to learn new tools. Therefore, it was necessary to get everyone on-board. Especially employees working in the field in distant locations, who go to see clients each day directly from their homes.
6. Microsoft or Google? This is the question!
One of the companies originally used Office 365. Deciding between the two giants is never easy. Therefore, we helped Nordic to choose a solution that will best suit their needs.
Deployment of Google Workspace and proper change management.
1. Unification of tooling and linking all communication tools across different companies
Nordic Telecom decided to switch to Google Workspace with the help of Revolgy. We helped them with technical migration so that they could safely and seamlessly use all the services they needed to unify (email, calendar, video conferencing, chat, drive, shared documents, etc.).
2. File sharing and permission administration without the need for help from the IT guys
All the files are now stored in one place in the cloud storage and they can access them from any location and any device. The IT department is no longer needed for granting access to shared drives. The allocation of rights is a responsibility of each user being the admin of a particular drive. The only thing IT takes care of is granting permissions for sharing drives with external users.
"Before switching to Google Workspace, everything was a problem. Calendars and online conferences didn't work very well for us. With Google Workspace, everyone suddenly had the same standard. No more switching from Office to Zoom, etc. Now, we can all work without problems, even from home. I can't imagine how the company would have functioned at the moment without Google Workspace. We transitioned literally last minute. [shortly before the coronavirus pandemic started -ed.] Without it, we would have had to be dealing with the purchase of dozens of Zoom accounts. It would have been very expensive and solved only part of the problem. Work would have been extremely difficult."
Jaromír Kaláb, CIO
3. Turnkey online conference from anywhere
Everyone connects to Meet from a browser (on a mobile phone, computer or tablet). No one needs to install any applications and the connection is seamless. Nordic Telecom's business partners also benefit from the solution- and they can now easily connect to a video call by clicking on a link to a meeting.
4. Less pressure on the IT team and their manager's peace of mind
The change also pleasantly affected the head of IT.
"There's no more complaints from the management towards IT that something isn't working. No more calls from employees that they can't create a spreadsheet, document, etc. Suddenly everything works much better, which is great. We also don't experience any major technical issues. Everyone can run everything on their computers, they don't even have to have a special company one. As the head of IT, I didn't experience increased demand to take care of things even after the outbreak of the "corona crisis".
Jaromír Kaláb, CIO
5. Getting chronic opponents to change onboard (so-called change management)
The resistance of people towards Gmail was big, which surprised the head of IT himself. Revolgy provided Nordic Telecom with complete "change management", i.e. structured assistance in convincing employees that change would be for the better.
"People's journey to adopting changes is challenging and some employees didn't want to participate in it at all. Paradoxically, even the IT department was not on board with it at first, even though they use Google services in their private lives extensively. In the end, however, we managed to explain everything and I think that the bet on Revolgy and their change management paid off. It was also important for us that Revolgy can not only deliver a service/product but also inspire the entire company for the solution. ”
Jaromír Kaláb, CIO
The entire migration to Google Workspace was completed two months before the arrival of Covid-19. Even people who were not very technically capable accepted the changes positively. Thanks to that, they were trained and were able to function even in times of the greatest crisis.
6. Deciding between two giants. Why Google Workspace, not Office 365?
For Nordic Telecom combining different open source solutions wasn't ideal. Office 365 licenses for hundreds of employees were very expensive.
"At the time, I would have seen more enthusiasm, if I'd chosen Office 365, because people generally struggle with changes. But the Google Workspace won. ”
Jaromír Kaláb, CIO
In the end, it was decided that Nordic Telecom needed a partner who would "implement" the solution both technically and in people's minds, instead of just reselling third-party products. Cost savings were also very important.
“Google Workspace was more convenient for us. Office licenses would cost us way more. As for the technical setup, the people from Revolgy have always been here for us and did not hesitate to design the optimal solution variant. The Revolgy team helped us immediately whenever we needed it. ”
Jaromír Kaláb, CIO