a group of people in a room

Cordel Norge: creating automation and efficiency with a cloud-based datacenter

Leentje Chavatte

Leentje Chavatte

Microsoft, Data & AI and Digital Transformation

Read Time, 6 min.

“It’s our vision to become the preferred solution for the building and construction sector in Norway and Sweden by 2022.”

Thorbjorn Jenssen, Consultant Manager at Cordel, is outlining the Norwegian software company’s bold plans to dominate the sector in the next few years.

Cordel provides innovative digital tools that handle administrative tasks for the construction industry. But the company realized that to meet its ambitious target, it would have to undertake an ambitious modernization program of its own. “When our user base began to grow,” Jenssen says, “we knew that to accomplish our goal, we needed to modernize our infrastructure so we could scale efficiently and securely.”

And scale wasn’t the only challenge. The construction sector is undergoing a major transformation; new government requirements are being introduced all the time, and there is an increasing focus on ensuring processes are sustainable. Cordel understood that the solution it delivers to its users would have to be flexible enough to adapt alongside a fast-changing industry.

“We chose Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) at an early stage,” says Jenssen. “The idea was that it would help many of our customers cut costs, as well as making sure that our software was running without being hindered by external solutions we have no control over.”

The time comes to modernize a decade-old solution

When Cordel was founded back in 1995, it had a simple aim: to make small and medium-sized businesses in the building and construction sector more competitive by providing an administrative solution that’s both efficient and helps to reduce costs for its users.

“The goal was to relieve our clients of the need to have their own environment,” says Jenssen.

Since then, the company has grown to be one of the most-used software systems by the sector in Norway. By delivering an end-to-end solution, it assists businesses with all administrative tasks from bidding and invoicing, to project planning and progress monitoring.
At its core, Cordel works to help clients cut costs by providing a smart, simple solution, which can be combined with a range of IT applications and has many functions for data exchange and integration.

But over the years, its systems had become increasingly less efficient. Prior to migrating all its operations to the cloud, the infrastructure caused unpredictable spikes in costs when scaling. Jenssen and his team had to continually add external applications to meet the growing needs of its users, so there was a heavy resource requirement per client. This resulted in the team expanding from 40 to 60 employees in the space of a couple of years

“With increased demand from our growing userbase, we had to be forward-leaning,” Jenssen says. “We decided to transfer our solution to an Azure cloud-based platform, and we chose Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop because we knew it had reliable tech that scaled well.”

The long-awaited move gets the green light

In November of 2019, Cordel started to migrate operations to the Azure cloud, integrating Windows Virtual Desktop. “The whole process moved so quickly,” says Anders Bjørnrud, IT Operations Team Lead at Cordel. “We didn’t have the time to really understand the Microsoft Azure technology and Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop integration we were implementing, not only in terms of its infrastructure, but also as a service.”

So, it enlisted the help of Crayon, a Microsoft partner Cordel has worked with for many years. Crayon assumed an advisory role within the project, complimenting the work of Cordel’s consultants, offering support, providing technical expertise to build the cloud architecture and helping solve any technical problems they ran into.

At the beginning of 2020, Cordel had its first pilot customers migrated to the cloud, running on Windows Virtual Desktop. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, the number of users in the cloud continued to grow despite the ongoing crisis. By Q3, it had already passed 1200 users in its production environment.

When Cordel transformed its solution to a cloud-based infrastructure, it used the technology in a completely unique way, as a hybrid SaaS platform. “The new remote app solution was a gamechanger for us. It removed the headache of needing to maintain external resources,” explains Bjørnrud. “It brought with it a whole host of benefits for our team at Cordel and our user base.”

The cloud proves to be time and cost-efficient

“To put it simply,” says Jenssen, “the Windows Virtual Desktop integration has relieved our clients of the need to have their own environment as a local server or cloud.” Aside from allowing Cordel software to run without the impediment of external solutions it can’t control, it has also helped users to cut costs and work more efficiently.

This Azure-based system now provides a higher quality experience overall for its users which is more intuitive. By implementing Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, Cordel is now able to automate the onboarding of new clients, a process which is now 50% faster than before.
Security has also been hugely improved with the new monitoring system that comes with the new infrastructure, helping Cordel to catch possible errors much more easily. “In some instances,” says Jenssen, “we’ve informed our users that a problem has been solved before they’ve reported it to customer support.”

With the transition to Azure Active Directory, users have more control over their accounts. They can now log in to the system from anywhere, any time and on any device to access applications, improving flexibility and accessibility for an industry of workers who are always on the move.

Implementing Windows Virtual Desktop has vastly improved internal operations too. The new infrastructure in Azure means the environment benefits from automated maintenance and scaling.

“The new hybrid SaaS platform has really helped reduce the stress for our internal teams,” says Jenssen. “Any issues with physical hardware and networking equipment we previously might have had, has been handed over to Microsoft Azure. Our Operations team no longer has to shoulder that responsibility.”

Since moving to the cloud-based platform, Cordel’s new model has also helped to keep its own costs low and predictable each month. “We’ve seen a big reduction in our infrastructure costs with Windows Virtual Desktop, compared to running our network in the local datacenter,” explains Jenssen. “This is a major win for Cordel.”

Edging closer to dominating the sector

Over the coming years, Cordel’s main goal is to move all its users onto the cloud as this will help to cut costs even further. Although it still has a long way to go, it’s already moved around 25% of its userbase; a userbase that is ever growing.

“In the near future, there are three main goals we are focusing on,” explains Jenssen. “We want to move all our customers to the cloud, create a solution that all our customers are satisfied with, and finally, become Norway’s best place to work.

“Moving to the Azure cloud with Windows Virtual Desktop has helped us to get even closer to accomplishing these goals.”

Roadmap to Digital Infinity: How to become an Intelligence Driven Organization

Unleash the potential of your organization with Microsoft’s practical guide to harnessing data and AI.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

Finance & Insurance

  • a view of a city

    Harvesting data helps save water

    With more than 140 years of history, the financial service company Ibercaja is deeply invested in the north-east region of Spain. In order to support its rural clients and solve the local water scarcity problems, the company now helps farmers to digitally transform their crop management. Key to this transformation are “Internet of Things“ enabled […]

  • How to transform banking with Personetics’ revolutionary app

    How to transform banking with Personetics’ revolutionary app

    A new generation of customers now expects much more from banking. The customer journey, not the product, needs to be the focus for financial services. And the key to enhancing it is data.   Personetics is responding to this demand with its white label solution that allows any bank to start to maximize the benefits of […]

Government

  • a woman sitting at a desk using a computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for government agencies

    Government agencies all over the world experience a huge transformation. Obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the trend of remote work has taken off in ways nobody could have imagined a year ago. Since offices closed and civil servants needed to stay in their homes, remote work collaboration was the only option to continue serving […]

  • Citizen-Experience-Image

    A focus on Citizen Experience drives public sector transformation

    In recent times, providing a responsive and efficient service that meets citizens’ expectations has become a priority for public sectors across the EU. But as citizen experience (CX) – such as improving citizen satisfaction and providing efficient digital services – takes center stage, many national, regional and local government organizations are falling behind. Governments must […]

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • a man holding a paint spray

    What we can learn from AkzoNobel’s digital transformation

    Savvy businesses are always on the lookout for ways to improve what they do and differentiate themselves from the competition. From organisational restructure to the development of entirely new business models, the quest for continuous improvement takes many forms. But one common factor in almost all modern business leaders’ plans is an emphasis on technological […]

  • 9 ways to turn your field service centre into a profit centre

    9 ways to turn your field service centre into a profit centre

    A service that generates more profit than cost: it’s the ultimate goal for any organisation. We’ve listed a few tips below to help you make this dream a reality. 1. Know what you’ve got to offer Knowing what you’ve got to offer and knowing how (potential) customers view your story are important elements in marketing […]

Retail

  • Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Big data boosts business for beverage company

    Contemplate, if you will, the multiple choices available every time you want something to drink. Water? Juice? Soft drink? Do you want a single-serve can or a six-pack? Or maybe you just grab a liter bottle. The fact is, we as consumers expect a lot of options and the global non-alcoholic beverage industry delivers. Arca […]

  • Store staff looking and pointing at screen

    Helping store staff rise to the challenge of creating world-class experiences

    Consumers have more information and choice than ever. That’s why shopping experiences provide an opportunity to differentiate and delight customers – rather than competing on cost alone. The digital shopping revolution has given us access to companies and information that was unimaginable two decades ago – and it has raised our expectations of bricks-and-mortar retailers […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Potato producers benefit from sensors (IoT) and AVR’s technological innovations

    Potato producers benefit from sensors (IoT) and AVR’s technological innovations

    In Roeslare (Roulers in French), better known by the name “Potato Valley,” potato producers have a particular fondness for AVR’s machines and technologies, which mean they can plant and harvest potatoes more efficiently. More and more of AVR’s machines are equipped with sensors that are connected to the internet (IoT This technology provides farmers with […]

Digital Transformation

  • Citizen-Experience-Image

    A focus on Citizen Experience drives public sector transformation

    In recent times, providing a responsive and efficient service that meets citizens’ expectations has become a priority for public sectors across the EU. But as citizen experience (CX) – such as improving citizen satisfaction and providing efficient digital services – takes center stage, many national, regional and local government organizations are falling behind. Governments must […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]