Stormberg is Norway’s best-selling sports and hiking brand, and produces clothing for children, juniors, women and men. Their products are sold in Stormberg stores across the country and through their own online stores for Norway, Sweden and Finland. Stormberg currently has around 350 employees and about 40 stores spread throughout Norway.
When Stormberg searched for a new productivity platform, cost and efficiency was at the top of the requirements list. They wanted a solution that could work on all platforms and systems, making everyday easier for both employees in stores and at their head office. The choice fell on Google’s G Suite, and Stormberg has already experienced the platform’s many great benefits.
In the spring of 2019, Tom Høgstøl, IT and Development Manager at Stormberg, contacted Google after careful research for the right platform for the company. Stormberg had previously run a traditional rig on a Citrix-based solution, but found it difficult to access the right files and documents. They had been ripe for a new system for quite some time when the choice was made.
“We also considered Office 365, but found that the solution was not a good enough fit for us. Also, the costs were a lot higher than G Suite, where we also found the functionality we were looking for. The solution works on all platforms and systems, is intuitive and easy to get to know. The choice was therefore not a difficult one,” says Høgstøl.
Recommended by Google
Stormberg discussed among themselves and did careful research on who they would like to work with. They already had contacts within Google, and therefore sent a request to receive recommendations. Amongst the recommendations that Høgstøl got he found The Cloud People (then Symfoni Next). The combination of good references and good communication that gave the answers that Høgstøl wanted led to The Cloud People getting the job.
“We initially had a conversation with Tord Ripe from The Cloud People where we talked about our goals and wishes. At startup we got to meet Solution Consultant Nicolai Skogheim, who helped us a lot. He had a lot of expertise, provided a lot of good information and was available for online meetings when needed. Nicolai helped and guided us, among other things, in exporting from Exchange to Gmail, as there was a lot of mail to move.”
A painless process
Høgstøl can tell that their first impression of G Suite was very positive, even amongst the most skeptical employees. Today, they have 157 unique users in G Suite; divided at their headquarters in Kristiansand, their warehouses, physical stores and store managers. Each one has its own user in the cloud, which makes it possible to control most things from home.
“I really thought the resistance was going to be greater, but it’s gone smoothly. G Suite has given us the opportunity to share across locations and departments seamlessly, and has been easy for anyone to familiarize themselves with. The platform engages many people and is easy to understand, even for the less tech-savvy. Even the Excel enthusiasts see the benefits!”
Previously, Stormberg experienced that some processes took a lot of time, but Høgstøl can tell that when they switched to G Suite they have overcome some of these challenges.
“We make all promotional materials at our headquarters in Kristiansand. Previously, we experienced challenges if rapid changes were made to the in-store materials. With G Suite, the graphic designers work directly in the cloud, allowing everyone to have access to everything they need, across departments and locations. Because all stores receive notifications of any changes directly by email, we find that we spend less time explaining and guiding on where to find the right products, information etc. We see the effect of relatively simple things very quickly, and see that things flow better.”
Increased productivity and collaboration
The goal of changing the productivity platform was for everyone, regardless of location, to be able to communicate more effectively. Although they are still in the process, the IT and Development Manager can tell that Stormberg is already seeing good results. He is currently teaching store employees how to use Google Drive through video conferencing with Google Hangouts to make sure everyone is up to date.
“Our goal at all times has been to be more efficient, as well as to be more accessible for store employees so that everyone gets the information they need. In the past we have spent a lot of time getting the right information on the right platform – with G Suite everything is gathered on one platform. We have simply become more cloud oriented, and everyday life has become more fun. G Suite covers needs we didn’t even know we had, and inspires us to develop further.”