A meeting room

GN Group transforming from classic to modern ways of working: M365 as one of the enablers

Kit Ingwersen

Kit Ingwersen

Go-To-Market Lead - Modern Work

Læsetid, 5 min.

From classic to modern device management. From classic AD to Azure AD. From Skype to Teams. These are just some of the many changes GN Group has implemented over the past few years to increase security, enhance collaboration, and spark innovation and productivity.

“We started by gathering a number of end-user-facing services that were all facing a cloud transformation – from a classic to a cloud-based way of operating. You can say we followed in the wake of Microsoft Modern Workplace and in many ways, Microsoft was the first mover on this concept. But Covid-19 was also an enabler of thinking things completely differently,” Nicklas Jersing, Head of Modern Workplace at GN Group, says. “We simply had to utilize cloud services because our people were no longer only working from the office. Therefore, this hard dependency of a VPN client to do security updates, patching or pushing applications to the organization needed to change”.

Cloud collaboration

According to Jersing, changes are particularly visible in device management. He explains: “Previously, when a new employee started, or we needed to re-set a machine, we needed people in the office to deliver or pick up the machine. Now, this process is cloud-based. We can set up user provisioning and manage devices via Microsoft Intune”. This approach increased the focus on hybrid work in GN Group. “Many of our employees are benefitting from this flexible way of working. We can hire people based in other countries, but they belong to a team anchored in Ballerup because we can now ship computers directly to their homes. This way, they can do the provisioning themselves, and the devices arrive with the right level of security and the applications they need,” Nicklas Jersing says. According to Jersing, besides enabling employees, this approach also frees up time for IT supporters who can focus on assisting people with more urgent IT requests.

A man Our collaboration platform is also cloud-based now. There are thus no longer any constraints to working together no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection.

– Nicklas Jersing, Head of Modern Workplace at GN Group

The three pillars of digital transformation

According to Nicklas Jersing, the GN Group’s digital workplace transformation has three main pillars creating real and tangible value for the organization: “We use Microsoft Azure AD as our primary identity provider. This opens a range of opportunities when collaborating with partners because we can use Azure B2B,” Nicklas Jersing says. Azure B2B allows other companies to access information or resources at GN Group’s tenants or the other way around, which considerably eases collaboration. According to Jersing, another improvement regarding partner collaboration is the introduction of Windows 365 Cloud PC: “The Cloud PC allows both us and our partners to log into and access data and resources securely with a full Windows desktop experience.”

“The second area is the new Microsoft Intune modern device management approach that, besides supporting hybrid work, also allows us to offer a range of device opportunities to our people. We can to a large extent offer them the device they prefer – this is also about being able to recruit the best,” Nicklas Jersing says.

A man We went from a classic set-up with one device model for everybody to a more diversely composed offer, which is better suited to meet the needs of our employees

– Nicklas Jersing, Head of Modern Workplace at GN Group

The third pillar is the collaboration area and all the tools and platforms that help people connect and collaborate seamlessly. “Teams is our primary collaboration platform and a one-stop-shop for almost all kinds of communication – both push and pull – and we are now transferring our SharePoint intranet to Teams via Viva Connections to get the full one-stop-shop experience,” Jersing says.

The security part of the equation

“On top of the transformation from on-prem to the cloud, we have increased our focus on cyber security,” Nicklas Jersing points out and continues: “This means that security baselines are now in place, local admin rights are removed, and we have introduced a solid patching regime – both related to systems and applications to meet potential vulnerabilities. All these new changes take time to absorb. In general, we have made an incredible number of changes for the better in the past years, and obviously, it takes a lot of carefully thought-through communication to make sure they land right.” But according to Jersing, the changes come with great advantages. One example is the Microsoft Secure Score. Nicklas Jersing and his team see visible improvements: “We can see that our security score has gone up considerably. Obviously, this gives us a certainty that we are better off in case of hacking attempts. This also improves efficiency – the fewer incidents we must manage on a daily basis, the more productive we become”.

A partnership with meaning

Besides being a customer of Microsoft, GN Group is also a highly valued and important partner. Microsoft is working with GN Group’s audio and video brand, Jabra, to enhance collaboration solutions. The Jabra PanaCast 50 video bar is certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms and delivers a range of intelligent meeting experiences, while Jabra professional headsets are certified for Microsoft Teams for seamless hybrid working. “On a regular basis, we meet with technical specialists from Microsoft, who guide us regarding trends and help us build our roadmaps. And we’re very proud of being part of the Microsoft Compass Group, where we get early access to Microsoft 365 products and services, which are beneficial for us and our partnership”, Nicklas Jersing concludes.

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