Google Cloud results
Helps to reduce infrastructure hosting costs
• Cuts travel costs and boosts efficiency by enabling quick and easy video
conferencing with Google Meet
• Increases mobility and connectivity between offices and building sites by helping employees to work from any location
• Supports collaboration as multiple teams can work on the same project document at the same time
"We have employees in offices, design studios, and building sites, who all need to work together efficiently. People need to access information in real time and be productive, as well as collaborative, from any device." —Franck Melquiot, Head of IT Infrastructure, Léon Grosse
From stadiums and train stations to the European Parliament tower in Strasbourg, Léon Grosse has played a role in the construction and refurbishment of some of France's key civil infrastructure. The family-founded business has grown over the past century to become a major player in the French BTP (construction and civil engineering) sector and is now seeking to lead the way in terms of the digitalization of the sector.
According to a 2018 report, more and more companies in the sector are focusing on innovation and digital tools, a trend driven by new startups entering the field and interacting with established groups, investors, and researchers. "The construction sector is changing very quickly," agrees Franck Melquiot, Head of IT Infrastructure at Léon Grosse. In 2016, to stay ahead and consolidate its growth, Léon Grosse launched its own digital transformation strategy with the aim of fostering closer and more effective collaboration within the company.
"We have 2,300 employees overall," says Franck. "They’re distributed over around 30 offices in France, two in French overseas territories, and more than 200 IT-connected building sites. But no matter where they are, all these people need to be able to exchange ideas and information easily." With its previous email and calendar solutions and productivity software, employees weren’t able to collaborate effectively. In order to access centralized servers, they had to connect via a networked workstation, which restricted mobile working, and few chose to use video conferencing as the system was slow and difficult to use.
Franck and his team were tasked with improving the day-to-day workflows of employees across various divisions, including office-based management and administrative support teams, and the masons, carpenters, and construction workers who are based on building sites. After inviting employees to test and compare the collaborative potential of several solutions, the company chose Google Workspace for its communication and productivity needs based on the positive feedback from employees across divisions.
"We have employees in offices, design studios, and building sites, who all need to work together efficiently," says Franck. “People need to access information in real time and be productive, as well as collaborative, from any device."
Google Workspace training and support for a smooth migration
“With Google Meet hardware, a call can be made with a few clicks, either in the meeting room, from a workstation, or even on-site from mobile phones.” —Franck Melquiot, Head of IT Infrastructure, Léon Grosse
In the construction sector, projects rely on the strict financial planning and scheduling of tasks, so employees need the right tools to work together efficiently. "Our staff weren’t able to access files from their own devices before, so they weren’t able to work remotely, and it was hard to tell which was the latest version of a file, as they were exchanged as attachments," shares Franck. The company wanted to find a way to make things more efficient overall, while gaining cost savings where possible.
To choose the best solution, the IT team asked employees from different divisions to test Google Workspace alongside a direct competitor, giving them a set of everyday use cases to compare, such as how easy it was to collaborate on documents. "It became clear very quickly that Google Workspace was their preferred choice," says Franck. "So it was actually the employees themselves who chose Google Workspace, as it best answered their needs."
In order to support its staff in making the most of the new software, Léon Grosse worked with implementation partner GoWizYou to deliver training through online webinars and in-person workshops. "As well as training ambassadors in every department to spread the word about the power of Google Workspace, we used Sites to create a site with online content and forums where employees could post questions and share tips," says Franck. "GoWizYou also provides technical support and is able to offer solutions for any questions we might have."
Easier ways to communicate, faster ways to work
Employees are now able to communicate and work together in new ways. "Our building site staff have really taken ownership of the new tools," Franck explains. "For example, one site implemented a shared Google Calendar to track deliveries of raw materials, so everyone knows when the concrete mixer truck is due to arrive."
To get feedback on how the tools are working, Franck and the IT team use Forms to carry out satisfaction surveys amongst employees. "Previously, we didn't have an easy way to gather feedback," says Franck. "But now it's very simple to do, and our employees are even creating surveys themselves.
The IT team uses a shared Calendar to announce planned IT maintenance work, and the communications team is using Sites to keep employees up to date with project developments, such as the progress on its flagship technology innovation branch at Versailles-Chantiers.
Making it easier to work remotely, in-office and on-site
"Thanks to Google Workspace, it’s much easier to source the required knowledge from any department and work on a problem simultaneously. It has improved the collaborative power of our company." —Franck Melquiot, Head of IT Infrastructure, Léon Grosse
With the help of GoWizYou, Léon Grosse installed Google Meet hardware in meeting rooms across its 30 sites, to enable employees to make video calls quickly and easily. "Before, it could take five minutes to switch everything on, and because logging on was complicated, people avoided using it," says Franck. "With Google Meet hardware, a call can be made with a few clicks, either in the meeting room, from a workstation, or even on-site from mobile phones." The project was completed within three months, with GoWizYou technicians visiting each site to ensure the best possible setup.
By connecting office-based workers with building sites, the improved video-conferencing facilities have led to a significant reduction in travel costs, as meetings can be carried out remotely, meaning fewer site visits are required. The company also has two Jamboards, including one at its flagship Versailles-Chantiers site, to support the creation of presentations during remote meetings.
With Google Workspace, employees at Léon Grosse are able to work in closer collaboration with one another. "Thanks to Google Workspace, it’s much easier to source the required knowledge from any department and work on a problem simultaneously," says Franck. "It has improved the collaborative power of our company."
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*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.