So you want to embrace a digital transformation and stop running your file server, mail server etc internally. Running all these systems internally has a cost on the workforce, as these systems age and grow they demand more attention.

For us the GDPR caused us to look into all of our systems, understand where and what every bit of data we had and how we should deal with it.

It caused us to ask the questions of do we still want to maintain these systems and be responsible for these systems security.

Initially we looked into systems like, BOX, Dropbox, Amazon work mail etc.The problem with these systems they are disjointed, and the cost quickly adds up.  

Then we looked into Gsuite, Office 360 and Zoho Office.

Zoho office was the first one out it didn’t seem a great set up for a business our size. Next was Office 360 it was a possibility  but as the Dev team use Linux it probably would not be the best fit. There was nothing wrong and for the windows users of the business it would’ve been a benefit. The two things that threw it for us was 1) Cost 2) Unlimited file storage and 3) ease of set up.

So the choice soon became obvious it was going to be Gsuite.

After the initial investigation, we needed to run a pilot program as an investigation to see if it could potentially be a good operationally. A warning, for this pilot program you need to have somebody who will actively work on figuring out any issues with your pilot users, these pilot users need to be positive type people who are tech savvy.

Before you kick off the onboarding you need to check that Gsuite is appropriately setup for you needs and use case.  

This will help you rapidly resolve issues by getting them to assist in finding the teething problems. At this time try and get users on a broad set of technology: android, ios, windows, mac and Linux if possible. Also try to get one or two problem users who is not tech savvy. They will find issues very quickly which other users will quickly adapt around – this will prepare you for future onboarding. These problem users you will definitely need to onboard onto Gsuite before they will want to even consider using the platform. It is also good practice to onboard all the pilot users so they better understand the capabilities of the platform even the supporters of Gsuite.  

From our experience it was user workflow that had to be slightly modified for example with google drive and file permissions or company calendars.

There will be only so much you can do with a tech savvy base of pilot users. To gain more momentum you need to start onboarding individual teams as groups so that they can start using the platform collaboratively instead of using it for just email and file storage. When you start onboarding the less tech Savvy teams you will need to dedicate alot of time into them and their onboarding and being responsive in resolving their issues. If not they will quickly lose  patience.

Manage conversation in the organisation you will need to reiterate over and over that the pilot program is exactly that a pilot. Organisations talk and rumors can spread if expectations are not managed.

Once a couple of team are on gsuite you need to gather their feedback, see where the issues are and decide if you will proceed.

We discovered that apart from team members getting used to different workflows we had no reason to stop the trial / migration.

So we continued the migration, users were so impressed with Gsuite that the other teams were asking to get onto the trial so that they can start benefiting from the power of Gsuite. At this point the organisation was well sold on the idea of migrating to Gsuite.

This is another benefit of a slow managed roll out ensuring that teams are well sold onto the platform before moving onto the next team.

This initial rollout from investigation to getting the whole organisation onto the platform took about 5 – 6 weeks.

Now that the whole organisation is onboarded with Gsuite you need to

  1. Migrate your work flows onto Gsuite beyond users using it for email and basic file storage.
  2. Ensure user adoption of the platform and continuous usage, gsuite’s reports can help you achieve this.  

For us the Gsuite migration went in the following order,

Investigation

Pilot users

Review with users

Onboard a small amount of teams

Review again

Onboard the rest of the organisation for basic Gsuite usage

Calendar migration

File storage migration

Reviews additional powers of Gsuite for further adoption.

At the moment we are still in the early stages of our Gsuite adoption but it has already made a huge difference to how we work as an organisation. If we were not already using Slack the benefits would of been even bigger!

The biggest take away is that 1) most users will not read documentation even taylord content to your specific organisation.

 2) Onboarding sessions are hugely powerful with users encouraging each other to gain adoption faster and faster.

3) Hold the hand of your organisation during the migration ensure that users get one on on time with the Gsuite team to directly resolve and user issues.

4) Be transparent with everything that Gsuite can do, what data is available etc.