Agero improves employee collaboration by switching to Google Workspace

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/ AT A GLANCE

Agero transitions 9,800 employees to Google Workspace and improves employee collaboration under a unified platform.

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INDUSTRY Automotive

MIGRATED > 9,800 users (internal & partners) to Google Workspace

MOVED > 35+ TB of data to Drive

IMPROVED Platform security & employee collaboration

You may not be familiar with Agero, but you’re likely covered by one of their roadside assistance programs or other services. The company created the first private label driver assistance business fifty years ago, upending the traditional motor club industry. In the last five decades, Agero’s white-label model has developed into a growing marketplace and robust partner ecosystem with the largest automobile manufacturers, insurance carriers, and financial services companies in the U.S.  

With a deep history of continuous innovation and focus on the customer experience, Agero now provides services through more than 150 client programs, protecting 120 million-plus motorists, and completing about 12 million service calls per year. 

Business challenge 

Robert Sullivan, Agero’s Chief Information Security Officer and Vice President of Technology Shared Services, wears many hats at Agero, including the management of much of their IT organization and oversight of the company’s evolving infrastructure environment.  

Five years ago, Agero acquired Swoop, an industry-leading dispatch management platform, to add new capabilities to the company’s portfolio of services. Swoop’s team of 50 employees were using Google Workspace for communication and collaboration with products like Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Drive, while Agero’s 9,800 users (internal and partners) were operating with a competing product family of productivity software. 

Unite employees on a single platform for efficiency & productivity

For several reasons, Agero leadership determined it was necessary to undergo a technology transformation to unite the disparate teams and efficiently place everyone on a single platform of productivity tools.

“Foremost, interaction and collaboration among employees became a bigger and bigger challenge with two different service providers,” says Sullivan. “From a usability perspective, it was increasingly difficult to share and store documents, attend meetings, and effectively communicate in real-time.”

Cloud technology reduces risk to sensitive information on devices

In addition, security is a top concern at Agero, and the IT team wanted to transition to a cloud-native technology, addressing the risk of having sensitive information residing on different devices with varying levels of security. 

While it would have been much easier to quickly flip the 50 Swoop employees accustomed to Google Workspace to the incumbent provider of productivity software that Agero’s users were already using, Agero determined to go all in on Google Workspace.

“Google Workspace was a benefit for us because we were able to address various different challenges within one collaboration transformation project,” says Sullivan. “As a leadership team, we understood that the primary objective was to enhance collaboration so that we could be more agile in achieving business goals. In addition, we were able to expand our relationship with our strategic partner, SADA. These benefits offset the effort involved in moving the majority of our employees to a new platform.” 

Solution

To help with their migration to Google Workspace, Agero turned to a familiar solution provider, SADA, a multiple-time Google Cloud Partner of the Year. This strong relationship and trust in working with SADA and Google Cloud played a major role in deciding whether to stay with the legacy communication vendor or switch to Google Workspace’s suite of collaboration tools.

Migrate to Google Workspace all at once for simplicity & cost savings

There was a need for speed with the transformation to Google Workspace as the enterprise agreement with the previous provider expired in 12 months. Sullivan and his team thought it would make sense to migrate each business unit one at a time.

“The SADA team politely communicated, ‘That’s a very bad idea’ because it would’ve greatly increased the complexity of the project and actually caused a period of really heightened disconnect for all the users,” says Sullivan. “We came back and said, ‘You’re right, you’re the experts. You take the lead. What do we do first?’”

The first phase was a global email conversion that seamlessly transferred emails from the previous email platform following Google Cloud and SADA best practices of a three-phase approach with the final global launch occurring over a single weekend. Individual file shares were replatformed from SharePoint to Drive over a three-month period.

Training, ambassadors, & white gloves ease transition to Google Workspace 

Next, SADA helped Agero introduce and train employees on other Google Workspace applications such as Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Sheets, and Docs. SADA conducted live Google Workspace training over video conferences and provided a self-paced e-learning environment. 

Another thing SADA brought to the table that we hadn’t seen before from other integration partners was an ambassador program. Each department had individuals who were trained as educators that worked with their staff to identify specific challenges or workflows within their department. Then SADA would conduct targeted white-glove sessions that would attack the issues and discuss a number of best practices. They were highly interactive and really efficient.

Robert Sullivan | CISO and VP Technology Shared Services at Agero

Within eight months, the entire organization had successfully moved to Google Workspace, allowing three months for fine-tuning and addressing any specific gaps. In addition, SADA provided other in-scope services, such as moving 62 applications used at Agero from Azure Active Directory to Okta for Single Sign-on (SSO) capabilities.  

Impact

Google Workspace offers a safer, more collaborative, & improved user experience

As a result of working with SADA to migrate to Google Workspace, Agero seamlessly transitioned employees from a legacy office productivity and collaboration suite in under one calendar year. The migration needed to be completed by the end of the year to avoid having to renew licenses for the legacy suite. Additionally, Google Workspace offers a safer, more secure platform with expanded scenarios for staffers to work on the same documents in real-time.

Employee collaboration has also been enhanced with Agero users showing much more propensity to share files with other users. The biggest value-add of Google Workplace is the ease in which users can actively work on a document at the same time, including writing, editing, and providing feedback simultaneously. Plus, the active permissions structure of Google Workspace increases file security and can limit authorized user access to view-only or comment-only when warranted.

“Moving to Google Workspace gave us the opportunity to go and lift everything up into a controlled cloud environment that would be constantly scanning these files for vulnerabilities and viruses while providing great visibility on data loss prevention (DLP) controls,” says Sullivan. 

As for collaboration among employees, there is certainly an improved user experience being no longer split between two worlds, but also leveraging the intuitive tools offered by Google Cloud. There’s more collaboration going on in documents. Now, somebody can effortlessly share a file and work through it with another user. We see a lot more collaboration going on.

Robert Sullivan | CISO and VP Technology Shared Services at Agero

Overall, SADA helped Agero:

  • Migrate 380 million+ digital items and 35+ TB of data to Google Workspace
  • Provide 15 webinars and eight white-glove training sessions
  • Integrate 62 applications into Okta for Single Sign-on
  • Improve employee collaboration and platform security

SADA is a great provider and asset for Agero. It’s evident that they’ve done this type of Google Workspace transformation activity so many times. They invested resources documenting the necessary steps and provided runbooks for everything. This prevented us from being overwhelmed by the number of tasks that were required during the process.

— Robert Sullivan | CISO and VP Technology Shared Services at Agero

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