EW Facility Services

Data-driven cleaning by modernizing IT infrastructure
EW Facility Services (EW) is a national facility services company and operates throughout the Netherlands. They have a clear ambition: they want to become the best cleaning company in the Netherlands. Currently, they are among the top 5 best cleaning companies and are the market leader in hotel cleaning. A big party, with slightly less name recognition, because they mainly work in the background. With their Hospitality Factor they make the difference and show agility and reliability to clients.

About EW Facility Services

‍EWhas been around for about 30 years now and has a wonderful range of clients. From all Holland Casinos, to Rotterdam The Hague Airport, De Nederlandsche Bank and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Besides hotel cleaning, they also have other portfolios, such as in the areas of healthcare, hospitals, institutes and office environments. They employ an average of 3,500 employees, with peaks in the summer of up to 4,500. They are committed to long-term customer relationships and hospitality, so that their facilities staff can go the extra mile.

For example, employees focus on:

  • Odor perception;
  • Measuring customer experience;
  • Giving guests directions.

‍Datasent cleaning】.

‍EW's "unique selling points" are hospitality, agility, innovation and sustainability.

In the area of sustainability, they have struck a nice blow by cleaning with stabilized ozone water, which is much better for the environment. "We are extremely happy and proud of this," said Stefan van der Worp, manager data and ICT at EW.

A great example where innovation and agility come together is data-driven cleaning. By installing sensors that measure temperature and humidity, among other things, spaces such as meeting rooms can be cleaned in a data-driven manner. Once a room becomes vacant, they can read data from the sensors because there is no more movement or if the CO2 level drops. Then a signal goes to the cleaners that cleaning can be done. Stefan explains: "This way we can use this data to tailor our cleaning model to what a customer needs."

Another innovation is in robotics. For example, EW deploys robots that vacuum long hallways. They deploy these robots to relieve colleagues, allowing them to focus on more specialized work, such as cleaning corners.

Stefan: "So we can use this data to tailor our cleaning model to what a customer needs."

IT vision and situation

EW is a very progressive and innovative cleaning company. They are looking to the future, in which they see an important role for the cloud. They understand that the use of data has an important impact when innovating. And that, of course, makes our IT heart beat faster!

Stefan explains, "There are innovations in my field that are coming, but not yet implemented. Based on this, I started a scan of our IT infrastructure and competencies to determine the next step."

This scan revealed that the IT infrastructure would not be adequate. Data streams could not be accessed within the integration, so the IT infrastructure had to be modernized.

The old technology ran on an installed server with its drawbacks:

  • Server maintenance;
  • Mastery and knowledge required;
  • Low stability and continuity;
  • Checking whether data is coming through.

Solution with Azure

EW had already done its own preliminary research into a possible implementation and was in the corner of Microsoft Azure. Since Referit is a Microsoft Partner, they approached us to ask whether this modernization effort on Azure was possible and whether Referit was the right organization to take this on.

After a green tick was given for both criteria, Referit and EW began to consider a solution together. To follow EW's cloud strategy, the decision was made to migrate the integration layer from "on premise" to Azure.

Application and data integration

The choice to migrate to Azure allows for application and data integration within the IT infrastructure.

Application integration enables cleaning quality reports to land in the right place. From a source system, Azure retrieves reports and brings them to the ERP (AFAS). This makes the reports immediately visible to EW, but also to the client. This has business value and shows transparency to the client. So this big manual job is now automated.

Stefan: "The first project went so well that we were enthused to start using this on a large scale."

Because of EW's enthusiasm about the successful application integration, they immediately chose to integrate their BI environment; data integration. Thus, their BI environment has been converted and Azure now talks to multiple sources to land back on a database to which PowerBI is linked. "The great thing about this is that we can show employees that we can come to better insights with certain data and manage accordingly," Stefan said.

Benefits of Azure migration and integration

Stefan emphasizes that the Azure migration has been hugely successful and has brought many benefits, including:

  • Stability;
  • Continuity;
  • Focus on business value;
  • New insights;
  • More efficient business.

In addition, new technology from Azure allows them to add Data Science. This allows all sources to be unlocked, making new insights available. These new insights in turn challenge colleagues to make optimizations. Nightly loadings between source systems have also been reduced from 6 to 1 hour, "which is really bizarre," according to Stefan.

Finally, we want to take a moment to talk about Azure Cost Management. After all, a server is on 24/7 and you pay upkeep for that. With Azure, you have to deal with the "pay as you go" model. This makes all costs immediately transparent. Stefan says he has become "very flexible and agile" in this respect.

Collaborative model: co-creation and doing it yourself

EW has a clear view of what they want to do themselves and when they expect co-creation. "Within the IT department, we have the philosophy that when we can do it ourselves, we can also transform quickly. If we know how it works, we create a less dependent position and we can keep growing and moving ourselves," Stefan explains.

In the beginning Referit did 80-90% of the integrations, but by sharing knowledge with EW, we were able to turn this around. They still turn to Referit for the more specialized integrations, but they now do the rest themselves.

During the project Referit was also asked to inspire EW to make even more innovations within the new technology. Thus, for small things a decision was made to innovate this immediately and larger things were parked for now.

Stefan: "This was the perfect collaboration in which we could constantly tune in to deployment, exactly as expected."

How does EW look at working with Referit?

Stefan says, "I am very happy that we found a good cooperation model, in which we were able to create something with co-creation on the one hand and also sit at the controls together." Sharing knowledge with EW reached a tipping point where they became less dependent on Referit. "This was the perfect collaboration in which we could constantly fine-tune deployment, exactly as expected."

Also, both parties clearly stated in the beginning what the expectations are after the completion of the project. After all, what will the support and service provision look like then? Since it was still very difficult for EW to assess what they themselves would be able to do, an outline was made first. After completion, this was fleshed out together.

This led us to a long-term cooperation model, including maintenance, service and support. "You guys thought along with the needs we expressed and that is very much appreciated," let Stefan know.

We would like to thank Stefan van de Worp and EW for the trust in Referit and the fine cooperation during this project.