Hagfors is a municipality in Värmland County in west central Sweden with a population of around 12.000.

In 2018 Hagfors, encouraged by their schools’ decision, moved to G Suite.

Hagfors Kommun

When Hagfors’ schools came to a conclusion they need a new IT platform for their students, nobody knew this decision will soon impact all employees of the municipality.

 

But the education sector’s staff and leadership felt that the solutions they are using are outdated and no longer relevant.

 

They turned to municipality’s IT team to evaluate the options and soon came to a conclusion that Google’s G Suite for Education is what they are looking for.

 

However, the decision makers knew that a big move like this would make more sense if the new solution is implemented for a whole municipality, not just schools.

 

The IT department, which was already pushing for a full move to cloud based solutions supported the idea.

 

Soon, the discussions to leave Zimbra, LibreOffice, and Microsoft Office behind started.

Making sure all departments approved and supported the move wasn’t the only challenge the IT team faced.

 

Budget, resources, project management, and staff trainings – what was easy to manage for the schools’ project became a full time job for Andreas Berger, Hagfors’ IT Manager and the project leader.

The implementation of G Suite for education was going according to the plan and was fully managed by us. However the project to implement G Suite for so many different departments and types of staff needed external support.

Andreas Berger

IT Manager, Hagfors Kommun

Berger did a research and found out that Avalon Solutions had experience in working with municipalities and recently done a similar project for Flen municipality.

 

He contacted Avalon Solutions to talk about the project in early 2017. Avalon’s team became involved in Hagfors’ move to the cloud, and provided consulting and advisory for the schools’ switch to G Suite.

 

The conversations quickly moved to the topic of municipality. Berger wanted to understand the security side of G Suite, its GDPR compliance and encryption technologies. Avalon provided all the answers and soon the planning for Hagfors’ move to G Suite began.

 

Avalon Solutions and Hagfors’ IT team had a deadline they couldn’t miss: the Zimbra licenses’ renewal date. To avoid paying for a solution the municipality wants to switch for G Suite, both teams needed to act quickly.

Berger’s experience (gathered during the schools project) and Avalon’s expertise in G Suite implementations were critical. Email and calendar, the two crucial apps used by the municipality’s staff were implemented and ready to use in half the standard time: six weeks.

 

The fast pace of the project, dispersed structure of the municipality, and the staff’s habit of using well known tools for years meant that the change management componentof the project needed a lot of attention.

 

Josephine Bäcker, the Hagfors’ Communication Officer, was invited to join the project team and take care of the communication. The tight deadlines were a challenge and the IT team felt they could use a professional’s support to help introduce changes to all employees.

G Suite implementation is not an IT project, it is rather a process of employing digital technologies and information to transform daily operations.

 

The Hagfors project team understood quickly that this project will mainly impact the people in the organisation: the way they do their work, how they collaborate, how they communicate.

 

The main focus of the G Suite project was on the change management part, because without the change management we would never be able to transform the business operations and reach the project success criteria.

Shirin Dalin, Senior Change Manager, Avalon Solutions

Hagfors, especially Andreas, put a lot of attention and energy into this project, which made launching the solution with such short deadline much easier. It wouldn’t be possible without the great team on the customer side.

Ronald Haagensen,
Business Development Director, Avalon Solutions

Change management was critical. That’s why we needed Avalon Solutions, to do it in the right way and help people go through the change.

Andreas Berger

IT Manager, Hagfors Kommun

Hagfors’ team decided that the employees’ files can be moved to Google Drive by the IT team and the staff successively and on a case-by-case basis, when the most important parts of G Suite where already in daily use.

 

All schools were already using G Suite (the EDU solutions were launched before the start of the municipality project), when Hagfors’ departments and staff were getting used to new tools.

 

“The feedback is overall positive. Of course, the younger users are much more enthusiastic. For many types of employees, like elderly care, the solution was revolutionary – having access to everything work-related on their phone”, commented Berger.

 

“I’ve seen people who are not used to working digitally, now working effectively. Staff who work often from other places than the office feels that it’s much easier to access documents”, added Josephine Bäcker.