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

Government

Healthcare

  • A woman working in healthcare talking to another woman

    How Capio is using interoperability and conversational intelligence to transform healthcare

    “Our doctors and staff were running faster and faster. Like mice on a wheel trying to keep up,” recalls Niklas Sundler, Technology Innovation Director at Ramsay Santé and Capio, as he explains how COVID-19 changed the rules of healthcare delivery as it swept across Sweden in early 2020. “Everything happened so quickly,” Sundler continues. “We […]

  • A woman undergoing a scan

    Predictive maintenance is improving quality of life for cancer patients

    With cancer affecting more than 17 million people annually, a figure set to rise dramatically in the coming years, efficient and cost-effective treatment is essential. Since deploying Microsoft Azure IoT, IBA Worldwide, a leading developer of medical equipment for cancer treatment, has been able to reduce the cost of maintenance and improve repair times for […]

Manufacturing

  • Two field workers fixing airplane turbines

    IoT connected field service has tapped into a new economy of satisfaction

    There’s something to be said for how modern convenience has altered customer expectations globally. As the world rapidly moves towards digitisation, traditional values―such as price and product loyalty―are cast aside in favour of curated service experiences. In the field service industry, this has become an area of concern for continuous customer satisfaction and business growth. […]

  • a group of people using a virtual map of a sea

    Overcoming a sea of data with Microsoft Azure

    With 12,000 ships certified, DNV GL’s job of ensuring they’re built safely and remain safe should be overwhelming, especially with the more than 50,000 inspections it must carry out each year. However, by making use of machine learning algorithms in Microsoft Azure, the company is not only increasing efficiency and satisfying its customers, but it’s […]

Retail

  • Duty free shop

    Dufry: cultivating a culture of data through cloud technology

    One of the largest travel retailers in the world, Dufry is committed to digitizing its operations and becoming a fully data-driven company. In support of this target, Dufry is using Azure as a scalable, dynamic platform helping it reach a single source of truth. “We absolutely love data, but we don’t believe in using it […]

  • A close up of a hand sewing leather

    Taking design beyond aesthetics with Natuzzi

    Design is more than an aesthetic. It defines the way we see the world. Take the objects we have in our homes. They are more than just tables, chairs and sofas; collectively they are a window into the way we see ourselves, each item selected against a personalised criteria of practicality, comfort, status and cost. […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

Digital Transformation

Press

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, […]