Valleys to Coast works more collaboratively and flexibly with Google Workspace


Valleys to Coast is a not-for-profit organisation which provides and manages around 6000 homes across Bridgend, South Wales.

About the project


Like many housing associations, Valleys to Coast was running on legacy IT systems that were preventing them from evolving into a modern, well-run organisation defined by its amazing customer service and a really great place to work for its 250 staff.

Valleys to Coast needed to undertake a major modernisation of its infrastructure, moving away from an on-premise implementation of Microsoft Office and Sharepoint that made it hard for staff to collaborate effectively and efficiently or to work flexibly from any location.

Valleys to Coast evaluated both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace and Google Workspace won for three reasons.


  1. It offers better support for collaboration and mobile working
  2. It makes managing mobile devices easier
  3. It delivers a much lower TCO for non-profits.

Valleys to Coast also chose to switch from Windows laptops to Chromebooks because they would be easier to manage. Ancoris delivered both the technical migration to Google Workspace and an extensive change management programme so that its staff would become confident users, happy to embrace new and more flexible, collaborative and efficient ways of working.

V2C Affordable Housing


  • Staff were being held back by legacy tools, including older versions of Microsoft Office running on thin-client desktop PCs.  The on-premise implementation of Sharepoint was so difficult to use, staff often shared documents by email and spent time collating comments and managing version control manually.
  • Mobile workers, especially the tradespeople working in Valleys to Coast Direct Labour Organisation (DLO), had very limited access to IT. Valleys to Coast had provided staff with Android phones but to complete a form or read a new policy document stored on Sharepoint, they had to go into the depot or an office to access it on a PC.
  • There was no mobile device management in place for either the Android phones or an increasing number of other mobile devices, such as laptops, that were being provided to staff to allow them to work more flexibly from any location.


  • Staff are able to produce quality work more quickly and efficiently. It’s easier to get more people involved — and involved earlier — when creating and reviewing documents. There’s also no longer any need to spend time on version control or collating feedback because everyone is always accessing, editing and commenting on the same copy of the document.
  • Staff in the DLO now have a single app on their mobile phone that handles all their work communication. This includes being able to open documents and forms from links sent by email.
  • Staff were able to quickly pivot to working from home when Wales went into lockdown in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, staff were immediately able to begin using Google Meet and Chat to maintain easy communication with colleagues.
  • Valleys to Coast IT team can easily and efficiently manage and secure all its Android phones and Chromebooks remotely, through the mobile device management functions available as standard in the Google Workspace Admin Console.

Want to know more?

Read the blog post by Polly Thompson, IT Director and Jonathan Flay-Petty, Project Manager and Business Change Lead

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