Kingston and Sutton London Borough councils are local government authorities in south-west London. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London, assisting residents, local businesses and visitors.
Kingston and Sutton London Borough strike to support by delivering services and enhancing the experience their residents receive.
Kingston and Sutton Council had over 4,500 users at more than 104 locations, including social enterprises such as the award-winning Achieving for Children, using a legacy email solution with data centers, on-premise servers and a wide area network.
Recognising that selecting a new email infrastructure was a priority for them, they decided to look for an alternative, cloud-based platform that would be easier to administer, maintain and allow them to collaborate and work more efficiently within their teams.
Alongside the technical migration away from their existing email solution, Kingston and Sutton recognised a real need to develop a modern IT strategy, and that in order to truly utilise the potential of the cloud they would need to go beyond providing their staff with new tools.
With such a change across their organisation, Kingston and Sutton decided that they wanted to work with a company that would help their staff embrace the smarter way of working.
Their key focus was to provide their staff with the right tools and training that will allow them to work collaboratively, and change their working culture.
Deploying with CTS
Following a review and benchmarking exercise of leading cloud-based platforms, they decided that G Suite was the right choice for them as the technology suite matches how they want their employee people engagement to be.
With such a wide spread organisation, the platforms leading collaboration tools really offered them a chance to improve working practices. After some more research, they discovered CTS and soon chose them to deliver this based on their strong experience within the public sector and transforming companies with cloud solutions.
From the outset the knowledge that comes with CTS’ Google Cloud Premier Partner status played an important part in Kingston and Sutton Council’s project delivery. They played a pivotal role in helping Kingston and Sutton to make the right decisions on how they used Google to achieve their goals. “Inevitably this level of change in complicated,” said Mark Lumley, Head of Shared ICT Services, “having the CTS experts on hand to think things through and get the right answers has been really important to us.”
By training up a series of Google Champions, existing employees who knew the ins and outs of G Suite, CTS helped to ease the deployment of the new tools and technology into the business. “They evangelise G Suite and the possibilities of the new technology to help drive a cultural change across the organisation”. Mark Lumley, Head of ICT at the Shared ICT Service
CTS handled the technical migration of their users through their own product, CloudMigrator. This involved the migration of all 4,900 Microsoft Exchange users in to G Suite.
Speaking about working with CTS Mark said; “We have been well supported by CTS throughout our migration, have found their knowledge invaluable, and have found them very good suppliers to work with. We’re excited to build on our partnership and take advantage of the powerful capabilities available from G Suite, including introducing Chromebox for Meetings and Chromebooks.”
The impact of the move was felt almost straight away, particularly in shared services teams. Video HangOuts (Video conferencing) allowed these teams to be much more efficient with their working hours “Our team spends around 50% of its time at each location, so having team meetings and one-to-ones in-person is hard to organise and waste time travelling between sites. Hangouts enable that collaboration. Not having to worry about where team members are going to physically be is a major advantage.”
Collaboration of documents has also simplified many processes around the councils. There’s no need to email round copies of documents anymore and worry about version control, as merging different document versions together when different people have been editing different copies is a thing of the past.
“When you have multiple people in a document creating content, they work with each other, agree, disagree, follow up with each other, and correct mistakes,” says Mark. “When you’re trying to get content out quickly, that’s hugely powerful.”
“G Suite has changed the way we work,” adds David. “Now we put meetings in Google Calendar to write documents together using Google Docs. Instead of an offline task, when everyone does their bit in isolation and someone would have to collate the documents, now they all put time aside to write at the same time, so there’s less time asking questions and less confusion. And at the end of it, you get a better document.”
Now Kingston and Sutton London Borough Councils are rolling out fast, simple, and cost-effective Google Chrome devices to all users, part of a wider project to empower teams to create their own solutions.
“We aim to make our ICT service more proactive than reactive,” says Mark. “The map of our sites is huge and it’s growing. We don’t want to be doing mundane things, we want to be adding value and changing business processes within the organisation. G Suite is a big part of that fundamental change, and we want to be out there, driving that change in work culture and attitudes across both councils.”
“Our experience of working with CTS has been very good, and we are happy to recommend them to other organisations who are making the move to [the cloud].”
Kingston and Sutton have transformed the way they work by utilising Google’s tools and continue to drive innovation.