Altrecht is a care institution, a specialist GGZ, aimed at people with a psychiatric illness. This goes a step further than 'minor' mental and psychiatric problems. Mental health care is also provided by the general practitioner or the basic GGZ. Only if this help is not sufficient, the patient can be (further) treated by Altrecht. They do this mainly in the region of Utrecht, but everyone is welcome.

Altrecht: safe and flexible with Google Workspace

"Spending time with clients is our priority. Digital tools enable us that our caretakers can access and share data they need, without leaving the client. To do so, we had to move to the cloud."

Dieter van Grinsven, Information & Automation Manager bij Altrecht

The challenge

For the employees of Altrecht the idea of 'warm care' is top priority when giving care to mentally ill people. 'Warm care' entails that you make sure people feel at home", explains Dieter van Grinsven, Manager IT and Automation at Altrecht. "Providing top notch healthcare means that we should be kind and open to understand what they really need, so that we grasp the needs of our clients as good as possible. This means that we show interest in the people we take care of, and deliver more personal care."

Offering personal care is a logistical challenge for a company with more than 25,000 people in different locations, plus clients that make use of daycare and homecare. In order to deal with these challenges successfully, Altrecht employs 2,700 people in Utrecht province.

Voordien gebruikte het bedrijf on-premise e-mail en een website op het bedrijfsintranet om de versnipperde organisatie te centraliseren. Medewerkers die hun e-mails wilden bekijken, de nodige medicatie van de cliënt wilden checken, of verslagen wilden schrijven, moesten hiervoor naar hun computer op kantoor, en dus weg van de mensen waar ze voor zorgen.

"Part of 'warm care' is showing what you do instead of disappearing to the office to write reports."

Dieter van Grinsven, Information & Automation Manager bij Altrecht

The solution

"Less like a normal implementation - more like a party"

Companies that are about to implement new productivity tools worry a lot about additional trainings that are required to these changes, even more when they have lots of employees that are less comfortable with digital tools. "In our community there are lots of people that are not very proficient with digital tools," tells Dieter. Previous IT implementations caused trouble for himself and for the team, and required intense aftercare. To check which cloud solution would fit the scattered organization (with over 5,000 digital laymans) best, Altrecht has done a series of pilot projects.

"We initiated three pilot projects around one solution, but people found it hard to understand it", says Dieter. "Instead of using and trying to grasp the new mobile tools, we realized that people still headed to their workspace to access their old email address. We needed something more intuitive, something that was really easy to understand."

Altrecht ran a pilot with Google Workspace and after just two weeks, employees were convinced to continue with the full implementation. "The enthusiasm convinced us totally," told Dieter. "Everyone was just so happy to work with Gmail and the other Google Workspace tools."

Altrecht reached out to g-company, a Google Cloud Premier Partner, to let them support the deployment. "Together we made sure that the deployment focused on change rather than technical issues," says Dieter. "We made people enthusiastic. Less like a normal implementation, more like a party. We sampled T-shirts and launched 'Google Champions'. We started with it and kept track of the conversion of old data and other complicated tasks for later. g-company recommended us to implement Google Workspace in phases with the help of great training sessions. We started with Gmail and Calendar."

The result

Altrecht en g-company moedigden adoptie verder aan door een groep van 100 Google Guides te creëren, gekozen uit de werknemers die in direct contact staan en werken met de ouderen en personen met een psychiatrische aandoening. “Er is minder een hiërarchie nu,” zegt Altrecht. “We maken groepen in Chat en werken daarlangs samen, in plaats van in silo’s te werken. Voor IT projecten, bijvoorbeeld, werkten we vroeger steeds alles uit in het hoofdkantoor, om dan op locatie ervoor te zorgen dat onze oplossing paste binnen de realiteit op de werkvloer. Google Guides leggen in de Chat groep nu uit wat ze meemaken, en we werken samen met hen om tot een ideale oplossing te komen. ”

Supported by an enthusiastic board within Altrecht, the Google Guides create (who now work location independent) an effective network which Dieter and his squad can use to deploy Google Drive and Chromebooks.

"I have lots of experience in the IT field and led many implementations. Normally, we get lots of complaints, but the rollout of Google Workspace was a positive experience. There was enthusiasm for something new. Everyone loves it."

Dieter van Grinsven, Information & Automation Manager bij Altrecht
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