How we helped the International Summer School of Scotland move to Google Workspace
ISSOS offers 13 to 18 year olds from all over the world the chance to combine academia, fun and cultural enrichment in the world class universities of St Andrews, Cambridge & Yale.
Working with Cobry
Working with Cobry
Cobry began discussions with ISSOS International Summer Schools in December of 2018 around their current IT provision to help gain a better understanding of their existing setup and what they wanted to achieve with this project.
“The process that Cobry went through with us to genuinely understand our business and its needs was simple and effective and resulted in outcomes that fitted our company perfectly.”
ISSOS run international summer schools at 3 of the UK’s most recognisable institutes of higher education; St Andrews, Yale and Cambridge. With secure access to data required at all sites and having also learned that ISSOS have been using Google Drive to a small degree for file sharing and collaboration alongside their current IT systems, Cobry recommended a full migration to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
“Because Cobry understood how we needed to use all the different applications they were able to recommend different and better ways to use google and all its different applications in order to better organise and deliver our products and services.”
Cobry managed the migration of all files to Google Drive and managed to consolidate ISSOS’s data from a number of different sources, including on-premise servers, hard-drives and personal Google accounts. This meant that all data could be accessed with ease from any device with an internet connection. Cobry also migrated all email data from ISSOS’s on-premises Exchange server before switching their mail-flow to Gmail. ISSOS also have a custom built CRM in place which sends automated emails to students and parents – because of the strong spam filtering features within Gmail, some configuration was required by Cobry to ensure that both systems integrated correctly and that all mail was successfully delivered.
“The migration was easy from our standpoint, it was quick and well planned out and caused no disruption to our day to day business. The fact we now have everything we need online and can access it no matter where we are in the world is invaluable. Plus it is all GDPR compliant!”
Cobry’s recommendation was for G Suite Business licenses, which provide unlimited data storage for each user as well as access to Team Drives – shared working spaces for teams to securely access data. Cobry set up Team Drives for each of ISSOS’s summer schools and applied the relevant sharing permissions for each one so that office staff could control the folder structure and ensure that the teachers of each school were granted access to all the files they needed for their courses.
“The Team Drive aspect of G Suite* has made our lifes a lot easier, increasing workflow and saving a lot of time trying to share information with different members of the team. The fact that there is no limit to the space we have means we do not have to think about what we upload or save on the drives. Team Drives makes a massive difference to us as we work in 3 different locations across the world and need to share information with different campuses all the time.”
*Now Google Workspace
After moving ISSOS’s data to the cloud, there was no requirement to maintain servers or locally host backups of old data. Following the migration, Cobry recommended a cloud-to-cloud backup solution to protect ISSOS’s data from accidental deletion and cyber attacks. Cobry’s solution provides encrypted daily backups of all G Suite data, audit logs, custom retention periods and allows users to recover any data from any point in time since setup. ISSOS can also archive or export entire user accounts to save on G Suite license fees in the future if team members were to leave.
“The backup solution we decided on takes away any need for us to think about the backup of files, we can rest assured it happened regardless and adds another level of security to our processes.”
After migrating data and configuring Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) to meet the requirements of ISSOS, Cobry provided tailored training sessions on the new apps and advised on new workflows so that all team members could get the most out of Google Workspace.
“The training offered by Cobry was great, it was tailored to our needs and they took into account the way we work and took minimum time to go through everything but were always on hand and still are for any follow-ups or questions we had. As part of the training, they also introduced applications that may be useful to us in the future.”
ISSOS also have a number of shared mailboxes which are managed by multiple different users in the organisation. Shared mailboxes can often be tricky to manage effectively without lots of emails back and forth between colleagues to ensure that all enquiries are being handled correctly. Cobry recommended a 3rd party tool which integrates directly with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) to help teams manage shared mailboxes and appears directly within their Gmail. Cobry implemented and provided training for the tool so that users could delegate emails, leave notes, automate repetitive tasks and increase the overall efficiency of dealing with enquiries.
“Cobry are so well versed in all that Google/G Suite* has to offer that they were able to advise us of additional applications that could be of use to us. With this in mind having heard of one of our issues with an additional mailbox that a number of us manage, Cobry suggested a Gmail Extension and this has solved a number of problems and streamlined the process.”
*Now Google Workspace
As part of the project, Cobry provided two weeks of support after the go-live date to resolve any post-deployment issues and advise ISSOS on best practice for using their new cloud tools. Having developed a close business relationship with Cobry throughout the project, ISSOS decided to extend this support through a retainer agreement for the upcoming year. This allows Cobry to continue to help by providing advice on new features, carrying out administrative tasks, providing security reviews and general technology advice. Cobry has also been able to help advise ISSOS on how they can leverage Google Classroom to help their teachers manage their classes, collaborate on lesson plans and best use the technology they now have access to.
“The support that Cobry have offered us as a company has been invaluable and has allowed us to take our time getting to grips with G Suite* and ask any questions we had as well as look at additional applications we may need. The team at Cobry could not be more helpful and have been a pleasure to work with.”
*Now Google Workspace
Switching to a cloud-based system supports ISSOS’s vision of using the latest technologies to not only support their office team but also to allow their teachers to collaborate and make the most of the tools to help deliver more engaging lessons for students.