September 2, 2014 6:01 pm

How Lumia helps VolkerWessels build employee happiness

Fulfilling the business mobility needs of a company is no easy task, especially when that company is as large as the Dutch construction giant VolkerWessels.

With approximately 15,000 employees in 120 subsidiaries and offices around the world, VolkerWessels needed a new mobile fleet that could keep up with its employees. Not surprisingly, the ideal candidate turned out to be Lumia. But how did such a huge switch happen and what does it mean for employees?

VW Lumia switch

Evolving mobility needs

Once upon a time, VolkerWessels’ construction and real estate division was a BlackBerry stronghold, with around 2,000 mobile phone subscriptions. But as years went by, working habits changed and VolkerWessels’ employees became increasingly mobile. They needed a tool that would let them access their entire working environment anywhere, at any time.

“They wanted a smooth looking phone with a large screen and a decent keyboard” Vincent Spoelstra, VolkerWessels’ ICT Architect explains. “And especially a modern look and feel that aligns with what they are accustomed to at work. As a result, more and more users began taking their own device from home. In this way, we gained more experience with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android. We also researched which mobile device would fit VolkerWessels’ business environment best.”

The perfect match

Spoelstra quickly concluded that “Lumia with Windows Phone 8 is the right combination for any business environment.” All BlackBerrys were soon replaced by Lumia 625 and Lumia 925 devices.

The response from both administrators and end users has been positive. “Users experience how perfectly Windows Phone 8 dovetails with their working environment,” Spoelstra continues. “The integration with, for instance, Outlook and SharePoint is unprecedented. It all works very intuitively.”

VolkerRail - switch to lumia

Familiar, yet a whole lot better

The employees have adjusted to their new devices at an amazing speed. As Spoelstra puts it, “The working environment on a Lumia looks familiar and works just like our people are used to on their computers. Therefore, it aligns perfectly with their way of working.” Spoelstra is also impressed with the ease of communication, whether in the office or out in the field: “You can call and text, and soon (once our deployment of the app is fully up and running) also communicate through Lync. Also, you can participate remotely in teleconferencing and video meetings. Especially for our people in the field, this is a godsend.”

Data at your fingertips

With Windows Phone 8, VolkerWessels employees have easier access to data, wherever they are. “The close integration of SharePoint with Windows Phone 8 is a major advantage,” says Spoelstra. “With data centrally stored in our SharePoint intranet environment, it’s easy to get access to a project document and edit it on location. Because the documents are not stored on the smartphone itself but centrally on our intranet, there is only one editable version.”

The camera of the Lumia device has been handy, too. “You can use your Lumia to take a picture and add it with a few clicks to the project file, “ Spoelstra says.

lumia 925

Apps for easier working

Along with Windows Phone 8, VolkerWessels adopted the Windows Intune device management system, with which IT administrators can ensure device security (from data encryption to remote wiping) as well as distribute and manage applications centrally.

As a result, VolkerWessels was able to develop company-specific business apps for their Lumias. For example, Spoelstra rebuilt the company’s popular address book into a Windows Phone app, which includes navigation. “This was pretty easy to do, because you can integrate all the technology that Microsoft and Lumia offer for an app like this,” he elaborates.

The app has been enthusiastically embraced by employees, who are now coming up with more suggestions, from reporting apps to construction apps.

The possibility of creating more company-specific apps is good news for VolkerWessels, making it easy to custom fit their Lumias to serve their employees’ needs and increase efficiency.

The foundations for building more

In addition to the functionality of Lumia devices, Vincent Spoelstra and other VolkerWessels employees also praise the famed design, the robust quality and the large, easy-to-use touchscreen. Employees can now work more efficiently on the move, access projects from anywhere, and even have customized apps to get the job done.

By making the switch, it certainly seems that VolkerWessels has laid firm foundations for smarter working and building employee happiness. Was your switch to Lumia equally blissful? If so, we’d like to hear all about it in the comments below.

***

Read more about companies who have switched to Lumia here.