Google Cloud Results
Supports 220 groups at 80 locations with ease
• Enables instant, remote deployment of new offices, with no hardware costs
• Saves €1 million over four years by switching to Google Workspace
• Makes oversight easy ahead of strict compliance enforcement
Cello Zorg works with more than 1,600 people with learning difficulties across the Netherlands, providing support 24 hours a day to help them overcome limitations and enjoy independent lives. The company’s 2,700 staff operate at 80 locations, ranging in scale from single client situations to installations serving 350 people.
For Will de Laat, head of ICT at Cello, and his team, that means delivering flexibility is crucial. “We organise everything from communication tools to special applications and client software, on every type of device you can imagine,” he says. “We keep our scope as large as we can, to give people as much opportunity to talk with each other as possible.”
“Every time we deploy somewhere we have to consider infrastructure to make sure people can access our network. With Google Workspace, all we need is a wi-fi router and we can deploy an entire office environment remotely. It's suddenly very easy to make the organisation flexible.” Will de Laat, Head of ICT, Cello Zorg
Following the announcement of new European data regulations (GDPR), Cello Zorg reviewed its communications solutions and confirmed that the group accounts it had relied on for email would not comply with the new rules. Looking for a replacement, Will and his colleagues drew up three key considerations: compliance with GDPR, ease of use, and cost efficiency. Benchmark tests between Google Workspace and a leading cloud-based alternative to Google Workspace found it to be the most compelling option by far.
“We wanted a cloud solution because we need to be very flexible and able to work in many places and situations,” says Will. “Every time we deploy somewhere we have to consider infrastructure to make sure people can access our network. With Google Workspace, all we need is a wi-fi router and we can deploy an entire office environment remotely. It's suddenly very easy to make the organisation flexible.”
Uncovering €1 million savings
Dispersed organisations often struggle with maintaining group infrastructure across multiple locations while staying responsive to specific staff needs. For many European organisations, the imminent arrival of GDPR is prompting large-scale reviews of security and stability, which can prove complicated and costly. For Cello Zorg, a reliance on group accounts for up to 15 people fell short of the incoming regulations. In addition, their rigorous enforcement and the company’s review of its infrastructure revealed more than a need to make individuals accountable.
Will explains: “We had 164 servers in our maintenance equipment rooms at 2 sites, as well as VMs through a major cloud provider. We pushed everything to 45 VMs so that everybody could access our previous communications solution, and the whole setup became very expensive. We noticed major developments in SaaS solutions like Google Workspace and could see they offered flexibility, ease of access, and far better value for the money.”
Comparing Google Workspace with a leading cloud-based communications solution, Cello Zorg chose Google Workspace. “We analysed the ways that our staff were using their previous communications tools,” says Will, “We found that 96% of our colleagues were using less than 20% of the tools in the programs they used and that we paid for. The complexity and range of options were confusing for them. By contrast, Google Workspace is trimmed down to the options and items that people really use, which makes it so much more accessible than its competitors.”
“When I’m introducing people to Google Workspace, I put two screens up, one with Google Workspace, and the other with the equivalent tool on our previous solution. People say that there is a small difference, but no problem. Then I show them a major difference, which is sharing documents. That’s when they really get excited.” Will de Laat, Head of ICT, Cello Zorg
Cello Zorg’s cost comparison between Google Workspace and a leading cloud communications solution uncovered major long-term advantages for the company. “We saw that in four years we would save €1 million if we chose Google Workspace, compared to the alternative solution,” says Will. “That made the debate with management a lot more straightforward.”
With management approval secured, the company acquired 2,900 Google accounts and began to introduce the new tools to staff, beginning with Gmail and Google Calendar, before training staff in small groups to use Google Drive. “We have to handle the migration to Google Drive very carefully, because we are responsible for the data,” explains Will.
“We have 220 separate groups in our organisation, each with a range of different roles and needs. That means that everyone has their own perspective on how to use the data solution. Our approach is really to listen to the workers, ask them what they need, and then recommend a way of using Google Workspace that helps solve their problem.”
Enabling a smooth transition
Cello Zorg has a two-year, phased roadmap for switching the entire organisation over to Google Workspace. To handle the areas where the company will employ a hybrid infrastructure, it collaborates with Google Workspace implementation partner Zzapps. “Zzapps helps us as we phase out our use of thin clients and replace them with Google Chromebooks, which have excellent sound and visuals,” says Will. “Likewise, Zzapps is helping to reorganise our printing infrastructure so that we can discontinue all of our old servers.”
“When I’m introducing people to Google Workspace, I put two screens up, one with Google Workspace, and the other with the equivalent tool on our previous solution,” says Will. “People say that there is a small difference, but no problem. Once they’re comfortable with that, then I show them a major difference, which is sharing documents. That’s when they really get excited.”
Securing the future
“We want to deliver specific technological answers to solve every one of the wide range of challenges we might face, whether that’s greater home automation or collecting data to learn which options are most relevant for patients. Google Workspace, with its flexibility, speed, and openness, fits right into that plan.” Will de Laat, Head of ICT, Cello Zorg
Thanks to the Google Workspace SaaS solution, Will and his ICT team are able to work less on system maintenance and focus more on creating practical innovations for teams using the new tools. Even in the very early stages of implementation, Cello Zorg staff have expanded from using 1,100 workstations to accessing accounts from more than 1,500 devices, signalling greater work flexibility to match increased demand from staff for tablets and Google Chromebooks.
“Over the next ten years, we plan to use data and technology to deliver more freedom and choice to our clients and caregivers,” says Will. “We want to deliver specific technological answers to solve every one of the wide range of challenges we might face, whether that’s greater home automation or collecting data to learn how to present people with the options most relevant for them. Google Workspace, with its flexibility, speed, and openness, fits right into that plan.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.