Google Workspace is rapidly becoming the enterprise's go-to office suite thanks to its intuitive interface and collaboration tools.
Although Microsoft Office remains the leader in terms of volume of users, Google Workspace has made massive inroads into Microsoft's dominance, with the number of paying businesses that have made the move to Workspace doubled in only two years.
The shift in business approach to their office suite can be explained in the fact that Workspace was born in the cloud and therefore did not come with any legacy programming or architecture. This, in turn, enabled the platform to innovate with highly collaborative tools such as Docs, Sheets and Slides. Gmail, the world's most popular email client, is the preferred choice for younger employees over Outlook and has, if required, complex email filtering and labelling functionality ensuring your inbox becomes more manageable.
Allied to this, Workspace is device agnostic which means that employees can use their hardware of choice, whether it is a Mac, PC or indeed the increasingly popular choice of a Chromebook - Google’s operating system of Chrome OS.
A further, less heralded factor in its increasing market share lies in Google’s drive to crack the education market. Workspace for Education, which includes apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides as well as Calendar, Jamboard and Meet, began in 2006. As of January 2019, 80 million educators and students worldwide use the Education tier along with 30 million Chromebooks. This strategy will, in essence, mean that students will already be familiar with the tools Workspace brings to the table.
So what are the steps to shift your organisation from your current solution to Google Workspace?
The first step to any successful migration has to be that the project needs to have decision-makers on board from as high up the organisation as possible using and engaging with Workspace.
However, the challenge will be in getting these senior employees to try something new, as they will likely have been in the Microsoft world for some time. This group of people will need to see the benefits of the move to Workspace, but their buy-in is crucial to the success of the project.
Often projects fail when there is a lack of time allocated at the planning stage by key influencers, this must be avoided at all costs as planning is key to a successful deployment.
Humans Don’t Like Change
As a general rule, humans do not like change, getting taken out of our comfort zones or trying something different. We get set in our ways and become closed off to the idea that another way could be better and lead to benefits.
It is a crucial part of the project that evangelists are recruited, team members who can shout out and embrace the benefits of the change. These will be the cheerleaders and will have the most influence on colleagues at the coal face.
Tailor Your Approach
The benefits of moving to Workspace will differ for each department within an organisation, so when engaging, tailor the approach and training. Each tool within Workspace will have a greater impact on some departments than others.
For example, the Finance department, typically the most resistant to moving from Excel to Sheets due to the complex nature of formulas, will need to buy into the migration of their work.
Another example of having a different approach would be with the executive administrator or PA’s who manage multiple inboxes and calendars. The interface and settings will look different in Gmail and Calendar to Outlook and will need different deployment instructions.
Focussing on touchpoints that affect the users in their day to day tasks will help ensure a smooth rollout and better adoption.
Phased Roll Out
No matter the size of the organisation or if spread over a number of different locations the best rollout will be a phased approach.
As well as migration issues, resources will need to be deployed for user knowledge gaps, training and problem resolution. So with all of that to be managed, migrating per department or location could be a good bet.
Most importantly, communication with stakeholders is key. Users will become frustrated and disillusioned if they are not kept in the loop with key milestones and project wins. Here the client evangelists will play an important role in this as they can amplify updates and help heal pain points within the user base.
Contact to Move to Workspace
As official Google Cloud Partners, Cobry has deployed Workspace and migrated organisations of all sizes throughout Scotland and across Europe.
If your organisation is considering moving to Workspace or has already set up its account but would like some help with device management or any other aspects of Workspace, please get in touch via the details below – we would be delighted to have a chat.