Eneco: A remote workplace rollout on a (inter)national scale

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A remote workplace rollout on a (inter)national scale

As a modern energy supplier, Eneco proudly helps consumers and businesses make the switch to renewable-energy sources. It’s a sustainability commitment the company takes seriously internally too, which has helped it build a strategic partnership with Microsoft where both companies can help the other achieve their sustainable goals. It also proved valuable in 2020, when Eneco started a project to create a stable modern workplace—choosing both Microsoft hardware and software to help create a seamless remote-working experience for everyone across the energy group.

"From the moment they first unpack their machine and switch it on, we want everything to be set-up for that specific employee’s working environment—allowing them to start work in the best possible way.”

This is the modern workplace vision that Mark Edelbroek, Head of Business Technology and IT Operations at Eneco, wants for every employee across the Dutch energy group.

“COVID-19 meant we couldn’t work with our employees in person to help tailor the new devices. So, we had two challenges—choosing hardware to suit everyone’s needs and finding a new way to remotely roll out this project across Europe.”

With the lease on the company’s existing hardware coming to an end in 2020, Edelbroek’s team launched a project to implement a new range of cutting-edge devices that met the needs of Eneco’s workforce. With 4,000 people spread across Europe, rolling out a fleet of new devices would be a challenge at any time. The COVID-19 outbreak, however, would make it a logistical nightmare.

To avoid people coming into Eneco’s offices, the team needed to plan a remote rollout of these Surface devices to make sure everyone got the right equipment. “Planning a deployment of this scale is an achievement in itself,” says Ron Roozeboom, manager Digital Workspace at Eneco.

“Has the new software been packaged and tested? Are people taking home monitors with USB-C connections? Do they require a Dutch, German, or a Belgian keyboard? All kinds of technical aspects—but through Microsoft Intune, we could set up each device to make sure it could be used straightaway, and even remotely manage them if an employee needed support.”

To help with the logistical challenges it faced, Eneco brought in device deployment partner NEG-ITSolutions. The company has more than 25 years of experience in helping organizations manage their workplace deployments, along with bespoke solutions that help deliver this new hardware to each employee and get them set up either from an office location or their own home.

Up and running within half an hour

With NEG’s device deployment tool, we could collect address data, track packages, and most importantly, make sure everyone got up and running within half an hour,” explains Roozeboom. “It was a completely different rollout from what we were planning to do, so we ran a small pilot program to test NEG’s solution and the feedback was really good.”

User centric experience

“NEG also helped us create a portal where employees could select their device,” he adds. “Some travel a lot and need smaller or lightweight machines, while others may need a larger screen or faster processor. So based on these predefined personas, we selected four machines for people to choose from—the 13.5″ and 15″ Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, and a higher-spec Surface Book 3 for the heavy users.

“When we sent out the email, we were astonished that within a week we had responses from more than 70 percent of employees. It was great to see everyone’s response, and with Windows Autopilot, every employee can set-up their new hardware from home without any physical help from IT—which in the current world is a big benefit to have.”

A strategic partnership for the future

With 1,500 new Surface devices now in the hands of Eneco employees and more than 1,500 on their way, the company’s stable modern workplace vision is becoming a reality.

“We're flexible, we're stable, and now able to roll out devices easily to new user groups or even new countries—which I think will really play into Eneco’s expansion strategy and help with any future mergers or acquisition,” says Ron Roozeboom.

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