Discovery boasts a large creative workforce globally, fueling the content showcased on media properties including Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport. One of the company’s main focuses has been on making it easier for their teams to collaborate from anywhere.
“We are customer-obsessed and dedicated to giving our staff the best experience. Our IT culture builds on this mentality and we work with partners to deliver on that promise,” says Dave Duvall, Chief Information Officer at Discovery. “Several years ago, we were early to adopt a secure, public cloud to better support media storage and processing. The results were terrific, so we decided to keep moving forward with newer cloud-native technologies.”
Discovery’s exceptional approach to IT is no secret, as it is seen as a driver of innovation in the media and entertainment industry. To continue its path of digital transformation, Discovery chose to further streamline employee collaboration and content storage using Google Workspace, with the help of Google Cloud Premier Partner SADA.
From legacy IT to anywhere, anytime collaboration
Discovery made the decision to migrate it’s 16,500 global employees to Google Workspace a couple years ago as part of its journey to improving essential company processes.
“We wanted to establish a way to enable global teams to work more effectively by delivering standardized tools for remote and asynchronous collaboration,” says Duvall. “Google Workspace proved to be the right choice given its browser-based, simple architecture. It offers a full suite of collaboration tools with Docs, Slides, Gmail, Drive, and others, so that our teams everywhere can work together easily.”
SADA helped Discovery through its migration, first assisting the company to migrate almost two petabytes of document data that included 86 million items.
“I was extremely happy to see our team, along with SADA and Google work together so cohesively through the migration process.”Dave Duvall | Chief Information Officer at Discovery
SADA worked with Discovery and Google to complete the lift-and-shift of files into Drive. Throughout the process and following migration, SADA also provided change management support, educating IT professionals and end-users at Discovery on the best practices for using Drive and other Google Workspace tools.
This massive effort between Discovery, SADA, and Google virtually took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting Discovery employees and contractors as they shifted to working in increasingly remote settings.
Since migrating to Google Workspace, Discovery employees have started to use a range of tools within the solution to improve efficiency. Shared drives help teams keep all necessary files for a given project accessible and centralized, eliminating access issues and improving project management for collaborators who are globally disbursed.
Multiple teams also take advantage of the real-time collaborative editing capabilities within Docs and Sheets to produce and share important documentation across the business.
“The experience in Docs and Sheets for technical writing is a game-changer. We didn’t realize just how much we missed the live, collaborative editing capability until we started using Google Workspace. If we need to hop into a briefing deck we’re preparing for leadership, we can use comments and other features to tackle it efficiently.”Dave Duvall | Chief Information Officer at Discovery
“I encouraged our finance and communications teams to try Docs beginning with our quarterly earnings press release. They came back and were amazed,’” says Duvall. “A draft press release gets edited many times, with a lot of stakeholders correcting stats and refining content to ensure accuracy. The flexibility to do this in real-time and in one central Doc transformed the process.”
Fostering a culture of collaboration with the right partners
Discovery values Google and SADA as partners in success. SADA provides expertise and technical support to help Discovery get the most out of Google Workspace. Google offers product roadmaps and updates to keep Discovery in-the-know about important upcoming features.
“Every time we do a survey and hear that most of our employees are comfortable working from home, I take that as a sign that we’re taking the right approach to IT,” says Duvall. “I credit Google Workspace for our ability to create this open environment that enables–not hinders–our teams to work together to produce outstanding results.”
- Improved global collaboration to 86 million files through Drive
- Migrated 16,500 global employees to Google Workspace
- Improved project collaboration with real-time editing in Docs, Sheets, and Slides
- Provided workforce enablement and adoption through training in six languages
- Keeps globally distributed teams working collaboratively in spite of global lockdowns
The modern workforce increasingly depends on highly available, intuitive collaboration tools. While this is true across industries, it’s especially critical in media and entertainment, where seamless file sharing, communication, and collaboration tools can make or break a project’s success.