Customer Story

Idex: Enhances services that nurture sustainability goals inside and out

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French renewable energy company Idex enables more productive, collaborative working environments with Google Workspace and Chromebooks

Google Cloud Results

Reduces carbon footprint

• Boosts employee satisfaction with a more flexible working experience using Google Workspace
• Enhances staff productivity and responsiveness through streamlined IT and technical support
• Better protects IP and client services information with proven Google solutions

“We want to stay aligned with our vision to operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible. Google Workspace offers a complete set of proven collaboration apps, and Chrome OS devices have never suffered a ransomware attack. With Google, we can work smarter and better support our customers as they focus on more sustainable services.” - Odile Bonhomme, Human Resources Director, Idex

Six decades ago, Idex was a small family-owned energy company near Paris. Today, it’s France’s leading medium-sized energy services company and is rapidly expanding across Europe, from Belgium to the Baltics. It has grown by doubling down on renewable energy: solar, geothermal, biogas, and the conversion of industrial and manufacturing waste into energy, which align solidly with its commitment to energy sustainability in its own operations and for the variety of clients it serves.

The company’s operations are geographically dispersed, with dozens of agencies spread across hundreds of sites. Though each agency has strong regional roots and distinct ways of working, Idex—like any successful, growing business—needs a clear purpose, course, and set of values. So Idex recently redefined its vision and values to modernize the company, to serve its employees and its customers, and to standardize operations across geographies.

An integral part of the company’s transformation, as it looks at how it empowers employees and enhances client services, is a new digital roadmap emphasizing collaborative tools, cybersecurity, and ecological sustainability. Company decision makers are committed to these principles. They won’t invest in any new technology that doesn’t help employees work together remotely or strengthen security, nor will they choose technology vendors that aren’t committed to carbon reduction.

Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices are a perfect fit for Idex’s sustainability vision. “We want to stay aligned with our vision to operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible,” says Odile Bonhomme, Human Resources Director at Idex. “Google Workspace offers a complete set of proven collaboration apps, and Chromebooks are much less vulnerable than PCs to ransomware and other threats. They are at the heart of more modern, secure, and sustainable approaches to working. With Google, we can work smarter and better support our customers as they focus on more sustainable services.”

Working together from anywhere

“We can now work more securely in cafes and other spaces. As employers, we have to think about ways to attract and retain the best employees. Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices are the easiest way to enable modern, flexible working experiences.” - Odile Bonhomme, Human Resources Director, Idex

Idex loves that the collaborative tools in Google Workspace—especially Google Docs, Drive, and Sheets—allow its employees to work from anywhere yet still work together closely, not just from home but from an airport, a train station, a library, a café, or a vacation home. “We wanted to offer our employees that kind of freedom, and now we can,” Bonhomme says.

Some employees have moved away from the company’s Paris headquarters and from smaller offices in other cities, but they’re still able to collaborate effortlessly with their teams. Shared Google Drive folders are in high demand, and many people were delighted to discover how powerful Google Sheets is for working together on feature-rich, secure spreadsheets. For many others, the ease of creating, editing, and finalizing content in Google Docs has made it the most popular tool within Google Workspace.

“We can each be 500 kilometers apart and simultaneously work on the same document,” Odile Bonhomme says. “In the past, we had to keep track of different versions of the same document. We worried that we might not be modifying the most recent version, but Google Docs eliminates that problem.”

Simplifying IT, strengthening security

“Since moving to Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices, we don't need much tech support and we’ve been able to focus IT resources on strategic projects rather than merely keeping the lights on.” - Guillaume Laurency, Chief Digital Officer, Idex

In 2021, Idex began transitioning the entire company to Chrome OS devices from Dell with cloud-based apps, and it froze PC replacements during this time. This enabled the IT team to take servers offline and reduce technical support demands, saving money, time, and hassle.

“Since moving to Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices, we don't need much tech support and we’ve been able to focus IT resources on strategic projects rather than merely keeping the lights on,” says Guillaume Laurency, Chief Digital Officer at Idex. “It’s all very lean and simple, and it has improved our teams’ ability to keep moving projects ahead without IT challenges.”

With the simplified IT administration and strong collaboration between Idex and Google, Idex has also reduced IT costs. At the same time, the move to Google Workspace and Chromebooks bolsters the company’s sustainability efforts by reducing reliance on servers on premises and other power-intensive systems. With teams working reliably on more cloud-based apps and using Chromebooks, Idex now uses less energy for everyday operations and operates a bit greener, supporting its long-term vision.

Enhanced security has been another important advantage of moving to Google Workspace. Google Drive and the other Google Workspace apps use encryption to keep data and documents safe, so Idex and its customers work more securely than ever. “Working only with documents in Google Drive is much safer than relying on vulnerable servers,” Laurency says. “And Chromebooks are less vulnerable to ransomware and other attacks. We certainly can’t allow one of our university customers or the La Défense business district in Paris to lose heat in the winter because our employees can’t work due to a cyberattack.”

Better, flexible working experiences

Some teams resisted the shift to Google Workspace at first, but after Idex brought in change ambassadors to get as many people on board as possible, the transformation began to build momentum. Old habits are hard to break, and even positive change takes time.

The company’s president, Benjamin Fremaux, played a key role as a change ambassador. He now only accepts documents in Google Docs. It’s his way of nudging the company to transition faster, and it has unleashed a cascade effect from the top down.

The pandemic further accelerated the change because employees had no choice but to work together remotely. “The collaborative tools in Google Workspace proved invaluable at the beginning of the pandemic,” Bonhomme says. “It helped us adapt quickly. We’re now seeing how we can make these tools part of our everyday collaboration to keep benefiting our teams and clients.”

Like many organizations, Idex is adopting a hybrid approach to working, with some employees working remotely some or even all of the time. And working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home.

“We can work securely in cafes and other spaces,” Bonhomme says. “As employers, we have to think about ways to attract and retain the best employees. Google Workspace and Chromebooks are the easiest way to enable modern, flexible working experiences.”

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