Customer Story

Achères, France: Helping municipal workers serve their community better with Google Workspace

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the town of Achères improved collaboration, boosted productivity, and reduced licence costs by implementing Google Workspace.

Google Cloud Results

Eighty percent of work-related activities are now happening through Google Workspace.

• In just eight weeks, 400 employees migrated to Google Workspace
• Licenses and server costs have been significantly reduced
• Google Meet helped teams keep in touch, alleviating mental health issues due to lockdown restrictions
• Teams can now collaborate faster and more efficiently, with real-time editing in Docs, Slides, Sheets, and other tools – sharing and addressing feedback from anywhere, on any device

“During the first lockdown, all human interactions suddenly stopped. It was a very difficult time. But Google helped us stay connected and continue working together.” –Farid Noureddine, IT Services Director, Achères Town Hall

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the town hall to rethink its way of working and address the obstacles that hindered its team’s productivity and collaboration when working remotely, such as delays in sharing information, lack of real-time feedback, and mental health issues due to lockdown restrictions.

“After 10 years, it’s normal to be reluctant to suddenly change your way of working. Which is why, with the help of GoWizYou, we built a strong training team to support the transition to Google Workspace,” said Farid Noureddine, IT Services Director, Achères Town Hall.

From a teaser to implementation in just eight weeks

“Accessing data, applications, and other resources from anywhere, on any device, led to better teamwork and increased productivity.”–Farid Noureddine, IT Services Director, Achères Town Hall

At the beginning of 2020, the Achères Town Hall marketing department launched an internal initiative and invited hundreds of employees to discover Google Workspace and book their training sessions.

During this first step, they learned how Sheets, Docs, and Drive can improve teamwork and allow access to projects in real time, anywhere, on any device. They also took a sneak peek at Chat and Google Meet, and learned how these tools can ease collaboration when working from home.

“Thanks to this first step, training and onboarding went smoothly,” said Mr. Noureddine.

Every day, up to 20 employees received in-depth training. What also helped speed up the transition was familiarity with Google tools, as many employees were already using them in their personal lives.

Increased productivity and better collaboration while working from home

Currently, 80% of work-related activities are happening through Google Workspace, including catch-ups, project syncs, management meetings, and feedback sessions.

“This new way of working gave managers the freedom to access and prepare their projects outside of work, if needed,” said Mr. Noureddine. It also helped the municipal workers address their community needs faster and more efficiently.

More time for strategic IT initiatives

Moving to Google Workspace also brought benefits to the IT department. Software updates and patching activities are now automatically pushed to all devices, so the department can focus on other, more strategic projects.

But that’s not all. The municipal workers managed to reduce their environmental impact and save time for active work. For example, they now share links instead of attachments, sending the entire team to one file instead of sharing a copy of the file with each person.

“We convinced our colleagues to share links instead of attaching files. Sending a file to 40–50 people at once puts a lot of pressure on our servers. Not only do you need fast internet connection, but you also have to consider the space it takes up in your device,” said Mr. Noureddine.

The hybrid way of working is here to stay

“Staying connected from anywhere, at any time, gave managers the opportunity to consider a hybrid way of working.” –Farid Noureddine, IT Services Director, Achères Town Hall

As of September 2021, the team has the possibility to work from home two days per week. “Staying connected from anywhere, at any time, gave managers the opportunity to consider a hybrid way of working,” added Mr. Noureddine. When they’re in the office, the municipal workers can now use the new conference room that was set up with the latest technology to improve online communication with other public partners and organizations.

Google Workspace also allowed the IT department to start a long-term project to reshape how the municipality stores and accesses information, so it can serve its community better.

*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.

Google Cloud Premier Partner

About Gowizyou

On the south bank of the Seine, only 14 miles from the center of Paris, lies the picturesque town of Achères. It’s the home of Saint Louis, one of the most notable European monarchs of the Middle Ages. There are 22,000 people living in Achères today – 400 of them working for the town hall.