Case study: apree health migrates to Google Workspace with SADA’s help

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/ AT A GLANCE

SADA unifies two legacy companies on one productivity and collaboration platform, improving communication, cooperation, and security.

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INDUSTRY

Healthcare & Life Sciences

MIGRATED

2 companies to 1 Google Workspace tenant in 6 months

ACHIEVED

67% positive reaction to Google Workspace migration

IMPROVED

Data security, collaboration, & communication

Providing a health benefit package to employees with easy and affordable access to primary healthcare is a complex challenge for many organizations. The innovators at apree health believe ensuring quality healthcare requires a new approach. The new company delivers the first integrated health network that combines data-driven personalization, a coordinated care model, and aligned incentives to improve outcomes. 

“We partner with employers, such as JPMorgan Chase and the Gates Foundation, to build onsite clinics in the offices for many of our corporate customers,” says Jeff Bryner, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at apree health. “We also serve patients with convenient, whole-person care by assigning dedicated, board-certified healthcare guides who leverage our best-in-class data and technology foundation to remove the burden of immediate access to physicians, specialist referrals, treatment monitoring, and billing management.”  

Business challenge

apree health was formed when leading advanced primary care provider Vera Whole Health merged with digital health innovator Castlight Health in 2022. 

“It was very difficult as the merger was unfolding,” says Bryner. “Even the simple tasks of sending an all-hands email from the CEO, developing a comprehensive employee directory, or scheduling a conference call with external people was next to impossible. Vera was operating in a very locked-down Microsoft environment and Castlight was using a combination of Microsoft, Google Cloud, AWS, and Okta. The complexity of multiple systems for directory services, authentication, and authorization helped drive a rethinking of what systems would be most ideal for long-term stability and security.”

Digitally eliminating technical debt from two companies

A purposeful choice was made to quickly unify the two disparate companies onto a single platform, one that would allow for sensitive data processing and provide enhanced security controls to meet the highest standards of their Fortune 100 employer customers. The migration for all 1,200 employees needed to be completed in six months due to the merger timeline.

“There was tremendous pressure to make the pain go away quickly,” says David Quisenberry, Senior Manager of Information Security at apree health. “Both companies were founded in 2008, so we needed to take the history of this 30-year-old combined company and undo all the technical debt, then put in a brand new platform that needed to work on day one.” 

Solution

Bryner reached out to fellow CISOs and tech industry colleagues for recommendations for a solutions provider to steer the Google Workspace integration.

When you ask people about a good Google Cloud partner, SADA is definitely a name that comes up first. SADA has clear advantages in terms of size, experience, and expertise that they bring to the table. We contacted them to see if they would be willing to take this journey with a super aggressive timescale with us.

Jeff Bryner | Chief Information Security Officer at apree health

Migrating from Office 365 to Google Workspace in record time

SADA, a multiple-time Google Cloud Partner of the Year, allocated Project Managers and Solution Architects in accordance with apree’s urgent timeline, and they were immediately “all in.” 

“SADA definitely showed up every single day; they understood what was expected of them and made sure that we got it done,” says Bryner. “We don’t have SADA’s brand of Project Management skills on our side. They have deep experience in Office-365-to-Google-Workspace migrations, including all the intricate details about what happens to your calendar entries, documents that you’ve shared previously, and what the world will look like when you land.”

Within three months, apree health’s Google Workspace platform was up, running, and ready for a phased migration.

SADA Change Management Consultants trained a team of volunteer Google Workspace Ambassadors representing different parts of the company, each with their own challenges, use cases, and workflows. Next, over 900 employees attended three onsite and 38 virtual training sessions. 

“SADA was on phone calls late into the evenings during these migration points,” says Bryner.  “They were incredibly willing to make sure that we were successful. Even in some cases where the issue was on our side, we were the only ones who could solve it, SADA was still there, still patient, still present, and still willing to help us get across the finish line.”

Impact

SADA completed the apree health Google Workspace migration on time and on budget. Additionally, 67% of apree health respondents to a company-wide survey about the migration rated their experience as positive or extremely positive. 

Streamlined communication and collaboration, improved security posture 

“Things have become tremendously easier for everyone with Google Workspace and its dynamic features,” says Bryner. “For example, employees are taking advantage of the real-time collaboration tools like working on a document without worrying if they have the latest version, and they appreciate calendaring meetings within dynamic groups.” 

When you have legacy organizations that have been around for a while you not only have technical debt but also security debt. There are all these black holes where you may be vulnerable, and you don’t necessarily know it. By moving to a new platform you get fresh eyes on that. You get to define every rule in the system. You get to work with SADA, who knows different hardening strategies to make sure you’re doing it right. In the end, you gain a tremendous amount of confidence in your security that allows you to go to bed at night.

David Quisenberry | Senior Manager of Information Security at apree health

Overall, by working with SADA, apree health was able to:

  • Accelerate migration to Google Workspace in just six months
  • Move 6.5+ TB of email and other files from Office 365 to Google Workspace
  • Execute Change Management best practices, with training session support 
  • Establish a zero-trust data security framework 

SADA is very good at meeting customers where you are, understanding your particular challenges, then taking you on a journey, holding your hand, and making sure you’re successful in the end with your Google Workspace migration.

— Jeff Bryner | Chief Information Security Officer at apree health

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