A privately-held and family-owned business, ABC Companies is the leading provider of motorcoaches and transit equipment sales and services. With 11 locations throughout North America, the company has experienced tremendous growth and expansion since its founding 5 decades ago.
When Matt Horn, Senior Network Administrator at ABC Companies, joined the team over 7 years ago, the company was using on-premises Microsoft Exchange and most of his time was spent trying to stay afloat amidst email server issues and a flood of internal tickets. A few years into his tenure, the company took on the task of implementing an ERP system, a project involving about 30 people that was a blended group of employees and external contractors. Horn was faced with one of his biggest IT challenges yet: How can a sizable and scattered project team collaborate and communicate efficiently? The answer seemed to live in the cloud.
Moving to the Cloud—An Internal Experiment
After researching all of the cloud office platforms on the market, Horn decided to introduce Google Apps to his project team, specifically for the collaboration in Google Docs and Sheets. Real-time co-editing worked seamlessly for project plans and to-do lists, and Google Chat (now Hangouts) kept everyone in the loop. The test worked flawlessly, and with the help of a Google Apps partner, Horn led the charge on migrating the rest of the company to Google Apps.
Expecting resistance to change, Horn and his team garnered internal support for the new system by leveraging Google training resources and holding workshops for employees in offices around the country. What really helped everyone get on board? Pushing their documents to Google Drive as a part of the migration forced employees to quickly realize the value of anywhere, from any device access.
How the Cloud has Changed IT’s Role
“We have so many fewer things to worry about; we don’t even think about uptime anymore. Google Apps just works,” says Horn. Out of the box, Google Apps removes many of the routine tasks common in legacy systems, making it possible for the team to focus on bigger-picture and more strategic projects.
“We have time to refine business processes and make sure the network infrastructure can support everything that’s going on,” Horn says. “Now we focus on things that can be refined to improve efficiency.”
Measurable Time Savings with BetterCloud Enterprise
Like many Google Apps admins, after moving to the cloud, Horn realized he was missing some of the functionality and data control that was baked into their legacy system, and turned to the Google Apps Marketplace to shop around for complementary cloud applications.
Looking for a way to control document sharing, Horn first came across CloudLock. But soon after purchasing CloudLock, Horn discovered BetterCloud Enterprise and found a 1:1 match on all of the security features they required—granular Drive auditing, access and sharing controls, automated compliance policies—plus a suite of management tools they didn’t know they needed. The IT team uses BetterCloud Enterprise’s Drive sharing policies to prohibit external sharing for certain users and org. units, and users appreciate being able to submit exception requests in the case a certain document necessitates external sharing.
The switch was a no-brainer: “CloudLock was really slow, I wasn’t losing any features, the cost was the same, but then I had all of these other tools and BetterCloud’s interface was nicer. All around BetterCloud seemed like a much better product,” Horn added.
In addition, BetterCloud offered “a lot of little things that were really tedious to do otherwise,” says Horn. “In BetterCloud, just a few clicks and it’s done.” Well, each of those little things saved an average of 30 minutes per day, summing to upward of 10 hours per month in time savings—a huge win for ABC Companies’ lean IT team.
Especially during their migration, Horn needed to set up several email delegation pairings between employees’ Gmail accounts—and before BetterCloud, he had to chase users down to set up a screenshare and then show them how to create the delegation. The scenario was the same with setting up auto-replies when users were traveling or out sick, but with BetterCloud, the IT team takes care of those tasks on users’ behalf, sparing time and headaches for everyone.
The biggest win for ABC Companies was BetterCloud’s comprehensive solution set, bringing all of the tools they needed into a centralized UI. Horn adds, “Improving efficiency is really what it comes down to. BetterCloud really helps us with everything related to managing our environment.”