Amstelring: location independent with Chromebooks & Google Workspace
Warm care is our priority
For the employees of Amstelring the idea of 'warm care' is top priority when giving care to elderly and disabled people. 'Warm care' entails that you make sure people feel at home", explains Yoanette den Boer, Manager IT and Automation at Amstelring. "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 2,000 employees in 35 different locations, with clients that make use of daycare, homecare, people living in carehomes or by offering services for disabled people. In order to deal with these challenges successfully, Amstelring has 3,000 employees, 1,400 flexworkers and 1,300 registered volunteers in Amsterdam Area.
Before, the company used on-premise email and a website on the company's intranet to centralize the scattered organisation. Employees that wanted to check their email or wanted to check the medication prescription for a patient, were tied to one specific computer at the office, away from the people they were providing care to.
"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 Yoanette. Previous IT implementations caused trouble for herself 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, Amstelring has done a series of pilot projects.
"We initiated three pilot projects around one solution, but people found it hard to understand it", says Yoanette. "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."
Amstelring 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 Yoanette. "Everyone was just so happy to work with Gmail and the other Google Workspace tools."
Amstelring 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," said Yoanette. "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."
Amstelring and g-company encouraged adoption even more by creating a group of 100 Google Guides, chosen by employees that were directly in contact with elderly and disabled patients. "there is less hierarchy now,"says Yoanette. "we made groups in Hangouts and worked together in stead of working in silos. For IT projects, for instance, we used to work at the HQ and thereafter ensured on the location that the solution fit the reality on the working floor. From now on, Google Gluides explain in the Hangouts group what they experience and work together to come to an ideal solution."
Supported by an enthusiastic board within Amstelring, the Google Guides create (who now work location independent) an effective network which Yoanette and her squad can use to deploy Google Drive and Chromebooks.
Care closer to the client with Crhomebooks and CloudReady
To spend more time with clients, employees can now access a broad variety of devices that connect with Google Workspace, but Yoanette and her team discovered that caretakers did not make use of tablets that they were given. "Lots of caretakers got rid of their tablets because they were shared and not assigned to a single employee," is what Yoanette remembers. After a long, thorough trial period, Amstelring has decided to deploy more than 1,000 Chromebooks. These CloudReady devices were taken care of by g-company, which caused old devices to get a new life as Chromebook.
"With certain medication it is required that one caretaker checks the dose, whilst the other administers the medication," says Yoanette. "Thanks to Chromebooks with two cameras can one caretakers check the label remotely and see how the medication gets administered to the patient."
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