Google Workspace Results
Improved collaboration and productivity, in alignment with global initiative to standardize cloud-based end-user computing.
• Enables secure access to systems at any time, any location and from any
• Aligns with global rationalization and modernization of communication platforms
• Provides access to intuitive, easy-to-use and iteratively-enhanced collaboration tools
• Supports remote work during the pandemic
In a bid to provide a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations, businesses around the world are now prioritizing green initiatives and efforts in their everyday decisions. Veolia Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) is leading the way by designing and deploying useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy for municipal, industrial and commercial customers.
Across Australia and New Zealand, Veolia is a $3 billion business with around 6,000 employees. It is part of an international group with nearly 220,000 employees worldwide that aims to become the benchmark for ecological transformation. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them.
To help its workforce collaborate seamlessly and productively, Veolia elected to move to Google Workspace and roll out Chromebooks globally. This meant replacing most of its communications platforms and tools used across the business, and implementing a secure anytime, anywhere, any device (SATAWAD) project to enable its team members to become cloud workers.
“We viewed the move to Google Workspace through SATAWAD as transformative in ways such as improving employee collaboration, reducing support costs through rationalization, and improving security,” explains Lenzo. “Google Workspace is a cleaner, easier and more intuitive way of collaborating with our teams and it’s all via a browser I can access from any device.”
The project meant moving away from its traditional workplace productivity and collaboration tools, and a mix of desktops and notebooks, to Chromebooks, Chrome Enterprise Upgrade and Google Workspace. Veolia ANZ engaged Google Cloud consultancy Kasna at the end of 2019 to help assess the requirements of the transition.
Project increases in scale with Suez acquisition
"We viewed the move to Google Workspace through SATAWAD as transformative in ways such as improving employee collaboration, reducing support costs through rationalization, and improving security." -- Julian Lenzo, Digital Projects Manager, Veolia ANZ
In 2021, the scale and complexity of the project increased when Veolia expanded its presence and portfolio of services by acquiring Suez’s waste business, another global environmental services company.
The transaction sees Veolia ANZ integrate Suez’s local recycling and recovery operations.
Veolia ANZ plans to continue the rollout of Chromebooks until the end of 2022, with an assessment of the benefits of moving newly integrated employees onto the devices planned shortly. Around 2,000 new staff are also receiving training in Google Workspace to ensure successful standardization onto a workplace collaboration and productivity environment across the combined business.
Seamless collaboration across ANZ and internationally
"Google Workspace is very intuitive, and we’ve been impressed at the iterative enhancements of products like Meet since we embarked on this project. It’s just a link you access and accept. The user interface in particular is now very easy to navigate, making other video meeting systems look clunky by comparison." -- Julian Lenzo, Digital Program Manager, Veolia ANZ
Google Workspace is delivering more effective collaboration and communication across Veolia ANZ, with Meet enabling employees to work seamlessly with internal and immediate counterparts as well as teams in other countries. “Google Workspace is very intuitive, and we’ve been impressed at the iterative enhancements of products like Meet since we embarked on this project,” says Lenzo. “It’s just a link you access and accept. The user interface in particular is now very easy to navigate, making other video meeting systems look clunky by comparison.”
Team members can now also present directly to participants in Meet calls from Google Workspace applications such as Sheets, Slides and Docs. Ongoing improvements to applications across the workplace productivity and collaboration suite, including the option to switch between pages and pageless formats in Docs and smart reply suggestions for comments made on Slides, offer opportunities to work smarter and more effectively.
Security features protect data and enable remote working
Google Workspace also enabled Veolia ANZ to minimize disruption to operations during the pandemic as its workforce adopted remote and home-based working. “The ability to log in to Google Workspace daily to work remotely was extremely important to us during that period,” says Lenzo. “Our people could work from their own devices or from the Chromebooks they were issued, complete with the security controls and practices of Google Workspace to reduce the risk of breaches or unauthorized access.”
Veolia ANZ’s already strong security posture continues to improve as the business rolls out Chromebooks to its team members, with the devices secured through defense-in-depth principles and features such as automatic updates, sandboxing, verified boot and data encryption. By August 2022, Veolia ANZ issued just over 1,000 Chromebooks to team members, with a rollout target of 2,000. Veolia ANZ has also implemented additional security measures to lock down its network to comply with requirements to enhance its security posture.
These security measures, combined with efficient, cost-effective support for Chromebooks and Google Workspace, are paving the way for improved mobile working across the business. The multi-factor authentication available through Google Workspace also enables employees to work securely using their own personal devices. These capabilities fulfill a key objective of the global end-user computing standardization project.
A smooth rollout enabled by Kasna
"With Google Workspace and Chromebooks, collaboration has definitely improved, and gets easier as more features are released. We’ve reduced our infrastructure footprint and licensing, and we’ve consolidated a significant number of applications and made them accessible via a browser." -- Julian Lenzo, Digital Program Manager, Veolia ANZ
Veolia ANZ’s engagement of Kasna spanned the transition to Google Workspace, Chrome Enterprise Upgrade and Chromebooks, including validating each of the rollout steps.
The relationship stemmed from a recommendation from CMD Solutions, another business owned by Kasna parent Mantel Group. “We needed a partner that was an expert in Google Cloud at the enterprise level,” explains Lenzo. “We met with the Kasna team and worked with them to formulate a plan to make the required changes and align with the global objectives.”
The project entailed migrating files from existing locations and devices to Drive, and remediate applications in three different categories: server-based business unit applications, user-developed applications (typically macros embedded in products or databases), and applications installed on user devices. This exercise aimed to identify applications that needed to be retired or transitioned through a consolidation process.
“Kasna provided us a process to assess, redesign and test the user-developed applications, and they could turn them around very quickly which was important for us to meet our timelines,” shared Lenzo. “They know Google products in-side-out, coupled with an understanding of how to meet our business requirements. They’ve been able to provide a robust replacement solution and get UAT completed quickly.”
“With Kasna’s assistance, we found a lot of duplication and similar applications in use, so there was a lot of cleanup work to be done,” says Lenzo. By late August 2021, the business identified 1,003 applications within the scope of the remediation exercise and ensured 933 were compliant, leaving just 70 to be checked.
The Global initiative prompted a range of changes, including moving to a standardized cloud printing solution that could work with Veolia Australia and New Zealand’s Chromebook fleet.
“Cloud File Migration, Application remediation and Cloud Printing, were all prerequisites to moving our users onto Chromebooks,” says Lenzo. “Kasna left no stone unturned in validating our requirements and helping pull together a plan that would meet our global objectives.” Kasna also helped create a tool to ingest files from Microsoft file servers into Drive, automating and accelerating the migration process for Veolia ANZ. “Users were encouraged to move their own files, but for bigger more complex directories, they just submitted a form and Kasna’s migration tool would do it overnight”.
“With Google Workspace and Chromebooks, collaboration has definitely improved, and gets easier as more features are released. We’ve reduced our infrastructure footprint and licensing, and we’ve consolidated a significant number of applications and made them accessible via a browser. The journey to get here would have been harder to achieve without working with Kasna,” he concludes.
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.