Over 13.000 employees in 186 hotels, present in 6 countries. Now on 1 platform

Company profile:

 

Nordic Choice Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in Scandinavia.

 

It consists of three hotel chains as well as 23 independent hotels. The company owns over 180 hotels and hires more than 13.000 employees. The network’s hotels are present in six markets.

nch-logo-big-on-white

The scope of the project

Hospitality businesses, such as hotels, can be characterized by their variety of employees – management, HR, customer service, room service, maintenance, kitchen staff, to name a few. But like any other business, to operate effectively, they need a platform that enables all employees to collaborate and communicate easily.

 

Rolling out a new platform, which at first may appear to be a standard IT project, turns into a challenge when only fracture of the company’s employees are desktop users, and some staff members don’t even have a digital identity.

 

Nordic Choice Hotels was struggling with exactly this situation. They critically needed a tool that connected all employees, including those on the go.

Nordic Choice Hotels was using a high cost and outdated solution. Instead of developing their current resources, the company’s leadership decided they needed a change. Only a new, innovative platform would allow all staff members to collaborate with each other and allow the company to reach all their employees.

 

The platform also needed to allow the company to fulfill their most important goal: focus on the customers.

The G Suite Journey

Since a significant part of the staff would access work applications on their phones or tablets, Nordic Choice Hotels needed to choose a solution that worked smoothly on mobile devices. The best choice was to leave behind on-premise technology and move all tools to the cloud. After taking all of the requirements and options into consideration, the leadership decided to move to G Suite.

 

Nordic Choice reached out to Avalon Solutions, a Google Cloud Premier Partner to prepare a pre-study on implementing G Suite for all 13.000 employees. Avalon Solutions analyzed both business and technical tracks, and a thorough pre-study was delivered to Nordic Choice Hotels in November 2015.

Avalon needed to understand how Nordic Choice does things. Hotels are not the same as a Google rollout for a standard office. As soon as we understood each other, there were no problems discussing the rollout.

 

Eivind Sollie
Service Manager, Project’s Technical Lead, Nordic Choice Hotels

 

 

Many of the staff did not have a digital identity, which made bringing all 13.000 employees together on one platform a challenge.

 

Shirin Dalin

Cloud Projects Manager, Avalon Solutions

Deployment

After receiving the green light from the customer, Avalon Solutions started working on the G Suite implementation. The process was split in two phases.Phase one included a G Suite rollout in the Nordic Choice Hotels headquarter offices and one pilot hotel. This stage was critical to the whole project. A hotel, a 24/7 business with no operational downtime and no scheduled maintenance left little room for error. Multiplied by 186 made this deployment a unique challenge.

 

Avalon Solutions approached this task carefully and monitored the G Suite rollout to ensure that none of the hotel’s operations were affected by the change. The team knew that successfully launching G Suite in one hotel meant being ready to launch it in all of them.

After a few weeks a customer survey was performed by Avalon Solutions and a phase one implementation analysis was done. The results were presented to the Steering Committee which approved a full rollout. The experience and key lessons gathered in phase one were applied to phase two of the plan and shortly after G Suite was launched in all remaining hotels.

It was my biggest project so far – both regarding the user base but also geographically. We launched G Suite in almost 200 locations.

 

Fredrik Södergård

Technical Lead, Avalon Solutions

I would recommend Avalon Solutions because they will always be there for you, day and night, helping you out. Everything on the IT side was delivered before deadlines and with 100% perfection, says Eivind Sollie, Service Manager and project’s Technical Lead, Nordic Choice Hotels.

 

I value Avalon Solutions for their knowledge of Google-rollout for a big corporation and their knowledge about Google. They gave us lots of good advice, adds Sollie.

Change Management and engaging users throughout the entire process played a critical role in the planning and rollout of G Suite.

 

It was a key success factor to tailor training and communication in the language that hotel users could relate to and understand. Nordic Choice dedicated time and effort to design the layout, content and flow of the training, and training was delivered together by Nordic Choice and Avalon Solutions.

 

Involving the customer and ensuring the customer’s culture and mindset are embedded in the change process paved the way to allow for a rollout to 175 hotels on the same day.

Google enhances the everyday collaboration and gives NCH new possibilities towards working more efficient in a decentralized environment.

 

The key for success is change management, without taking lead on this ourselves we wouldn’t have the outcome we did.

 

Didde Christensen,
Vice President Technology, Nordic Choice Hotels

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