Success Story: Ferrum AG

Good timing: Wabion gets Ferrum ready for working from home

June 8th, 2020

The can seamers and centrifuges from Ferrum AG serve as the basis for numerous products in various sectors such as the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The machine manufacturer is present around the globe and employs more than 800 “Ferrumians” in Switzerland, Germany, Poland, USA, India, China and Brazil.

The Swiss family company founded in 1917 stands for flexibility and reliability. To write the next chapter of the global success story, the seamless cooperation between the company’s own branches, sales representatives and subsidiaries plays a central role.

Challenge

The choice of the right IT infrastructure and tools is key to enable the targeted collaboration culture. Through an evaluation Ferrum opted for G Suite (G Mail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.), the collaboration solution from Google Cloud. Wabion, the leading Google Cloud Premier Partner in the DACH region, supported Ferrum in deploying G Suite simultaneously in different countries, mastering challenges such as:

  • Different countries and different IT system – how to integrate G Suite as smoothly as possible?
  • How do more than 500 employees become convinced G Suite users?
  • How can the management team foster the new collaboration culture?
  • Solution

    G Suite increases through “real-time collaboration” – users can edit documents at the same time and all changes are traceable at any time – productivity and stands out from other solutions. The collaboration solution from Google Cloud provides all areas of an office suite from note management to data backup:

  • Create: Word processing with Google Docs, calculation with Google Sheets etc.
  • Connect: G Mail, Google Calendar, Google Meet for video conferencing etc.
  • Access: Google Drive for data storage, Google Cloud Search etc.
  • Control: Google Vault and other data backup applications
  • Wabion has successfully accompanied demanding G Suite migrations for various customers (including Allianz, Kaeser Kompressoren, Tx Group). In order to optimally prepare more than 500 Ferrum employees in Switzerland and in foreign subsidiaries for the change, Ferrum followed Wabion’s advice to proceed in two stages: the deployment of G Mail and Google Calendar as G Suite “flagship apps” was the focus of the first stage, data storage with Google Drive and the implementation of Google Docs, Google Sheets etc. followed in the second part. In both stages, a central team took over the coordination in order to complete the cross-country deployment as smoothly as possible.

    Based on Google Best Practices and its own expertise, Google Cloud Premier Partner Wabion always develops a deployment strategy that is tailored to customer needs. The simultaneous migration of over 500 Ferrum employees in several countries followed a proven project methodology:

    Planning / Design
  • Planning the project
  • Technical concept of the solution
  • Preparation of change management
  • Core IT phase
  • Migration of the project team and part of the IT
  • Focus on testing and validation
  • Mailflow dual delivery and then split delivery
  • Early Adopters phase
  • Migration of 5-10% of the staff from all business areas
  • Training of these users as supporters during Global Go-Live
  • Testing of communication and training using the example of early adopters
  • Mailflow split delivery
  • Global Go-Live
  • Migration of all users on fixed date
  • Intensive communication in order to prepare organization and align it positively
  • Broad array of trainings
  • Support
  • Support after the migration
  • First intensive phase a few days after the migration, followed by a quick consolidation
  • The proven approach set the pace for both stages (first G Mail / Google Calendar, then Google Drive). Wabion took over the lead not only for the “work streams” project management and advice / support in the technical area, but also for change management and training. The motivation (“excite”), information (“enable”) and instruction (“expand / embed”) of the employees plays a major role in every IT transformation project.

    Local presence is equally important during a simultaneous migration in several countries. Therefore, Google G Suite partner Buenacloud was mandated for the training in Poland during the phases “Early Adopters” and “Go Live”.

    Benefits

    Shortly before the lockdowns due to the corona virus across Europe, Ferrum’s cross-country G Suite implementation was completed. Over 500 employees were ready for working from home just in time. The expertise of Wabion and the smooth collaboration with Ferrum made this spot landing possible:

    “Thanks to Wabion and the guided implementation of G Suite, our employees were optimally equipped just in time for the big wave of remote work. With Google Meet, the number of video conferences jumped from 0 to 800 per week. In general, the increased collaboration and the increased exchange of international locations is noticeable. ”
    Roger Leimer, CIO Ferrum

    The punctual implementation is the result of a mixture of technical expertise and a tailor-made approach; Wabion did not simply implement Google Best Practices, but tailored them to the specific needs of Ferrum. In addition to the locations in Switzerland and Poland, Ferrum employees in India and the USA are now also using the G Suite.

    Through close cooperation with Wabion, Ferrum discovered additional digitization potential and had Wabion develop two web applications for employees and suppliers based on Google Cloud Firebase.

    “For us, G Suite was like an entry ticket to the world of web applications and the cloud. Thanks to the powerful team, the broad cloud expertise and the development skills of Wabion, we were able to execute two development projects for two web applications. With the various components of the Google Cloud, the possibilities are almost endless – we are only at the beginning of this journey and will be actively supported by Wabion.”
    Roger Leimer, CIO Ferrum

    Make it fast, make it smart, make it together. The G Suite motto applies to the entire Google Cloud. Together with an experienced partner, international market leaders like Ferrum can put their digital transformation on the right track.