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Essence – A FlashPanel Enterprise Case Study

BetterCloud Monitor

May 27, 2014

3 minute read

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Employees: 450
Founded: 2005
Industry: Digital Advertising

“FlashPanel Enterprise is a vital component of our Google Apps deployment.”
Colin McCarthy
IT Manager

Essence is a global digital agency and the world’s largest independent buyer of digital media. They help top brands like Google, eBay, Expedia and Barclays earn valuable connections with their consumers. With expertise in data science, objective media and captivating experiences, their mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world. The agency is more than 450 people strong, manages over $500MM in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets through offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Singapore.

Making the Leap to the Cloud

In 2009, as Essence was expanding its presence globally, the company had grossly outgrown its messaging system, Microsoft Small Business Server, and was facing a decision: invest heavily in Microsoft Exchange or move to the cloud. Essence’s founders, visionaries in their own right, chose to make a leap to the cloud and landed softly on Google Apps.

Gaining Administrative Control with FlashPanel Enterprise

While Google Apps offers a host of functionality for Essence employees to enjoy, Colin McCarthy, Essence’s IT Manager, found the suite’s Admin Console lacking. He installed FlashPanel Enterprise to fill in some of the administrative gaps in Google Apps and has been using the application heavily ever since.


As for most businesses, security is of the utmost importance for Essence. Colin uses FlashPanel Enterprise’s in-depth reporting functionality to run reports on instances of incorrect email forwarding and delegation as well as Group and OU memberships. The reporting feature came in particularly handy when an Essence manager needed a complete list of all employee email addresses based on office location. Colin simply ran a custom user report, which was automatically created for him in Google Drive and shared that report via Drive with his colleague.

Email Tools

Colin also relies heavily on FlashPanel Enterprise’s various email tools, especially the ability to set an auto-reply and enforce email signatures. According to Colin, “having the ability to set an out-of-office notice for a sick or absent user without needing to change their password is extremely useful.”

And, the ability to standardize email signatures reinforces the value Essence places on creativity and aesthetics. “Being a creative agency, it’s important that even the smallest aesthetics like standardized and correct email signatures are put in place. With FlashPanel Enterprise, I’ve been easily able to create and enforce a standard signature based on user profile data and apply it according to a user’s organizational unit.” This came in extremely handy when all five of Essence’s offices changed location. Colin simply updated user contact information in bulk and re-enforced email signatures seamlessly.

Apps Explorer

Thanks to FlashPanel Enterprise’s Apps Explorer feature, Essence is now monitoring additional services and applications tied to their Google Apps account. Apps Explorer also helps Colin determine which applications should be standard across the company’s domain based on the number of users who have indepently installed the same applications.

Recently, Essence began purchasing employee subscriptions for Lucidchart Premium and Colin predicts he’ll add the product to the entire domain through the Google Apps Marketplace. He adds that, “the application saved us for purchasing Microsoft Visio and gives us more flexibility since its tied to a Google Account and not a particular device.”

Google+ Management

Essence makes great use of Google+ Communities to share relevant business articles. With FlashPanel Enterprise’s Google+ Management tool the company can ensure social media policies are followed, run reports on active users and track general usage of Google+.

Colin adds that, “FlashPanel Enterprise really does have a complete set of tools every Super Admin needs. The UI is intuitive and BetterCloud totally understands Google Apps and how IT admins work, so everything works exactly how I want.”