Since its establishment in 1970, Aerotech Inc. has been designing and manufacturing high-performance motion control and positioning systems for customers around the world in various different industries. Their headquarters are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but some of their 375 employees work around the globe in subsidiary sales and services offices in England, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and China.
Before migrating to Google Workspace, Aerotech ran on Exchange 2003 with servers based at their home office in Pittsburgh. Company-wide outages plagued their network and they wanted a reliable system with 24/7 support to their local offices and their subsidiaries overseas. The situation was exacerbated by time differences with the overseas offices. If the England office woke up to no email, they waited 6-8 hours for the Pittsburgh IT team to repair it, reducing productivity and increasing frustrations.
Furthermore, they needed to eliminate expensive and time-consuming maintenance and dependency on local servers. Aerotech’s international footprint was growing, and the need to travel and be increasingly mobile called for cloud-based email and data storage systems.
Based on a recommendation from another organization, the team at Aerotech, led by David A. Holm, Director of IT, reached out to SADA for consultation and evaluation of Google Workspace. After carefully assessing Google Workspace, the Aerotech IT team was confident about transitioning from Exchange and Outlook to Google Workspace. On November 7, 2013, a date that Holm recalls with ease, Aerotech signed a contract with SADA and strategized a deployment plan starting in mid-December. From a technical standpoint, Holm affirmed that SADA “laid it all out clearly and we didn’t have any surprises.” Holm and the Aerotech IT team followed the SADA migration playbook carefully. No deadline or email posting was missed. Holm commends SADA on their clear support structure, nearly immediate response time to requests, and sensible resolutions to problems. By February 10th, SADA completed the deployment project and everyone at Aerotech was using Google Workspace with complete success. “I can’t imagine it going any better than it did,” said Holm.
Holm affirmed, “Some business leaders refer to the transition as a non-event, and completely painless. One person described Google Workspace as a godsend to our company.” SADA also assisted Holm in driving change management, and with on-site training to aid in the transition to Google Workspace. Holm said, “I have complete confidence in everything SADA does; the migration was fantastic and everyone I worked with was fantastic.”
Results and benefits
“I haven’t looked back since,” said Holm with great relief. “A giant weight was lifted from our shoulders.” He joked, “We’re sharing files, people are dancing in the hallways. The people that really understand the business value for us, they all get it.” Holm ensured that the message of change management was driven loud and clear, and the Aerotech team quickly familiarized themselves with the new interface.
Google Workspace is a great value. At one third the cost of Aerotech’s previous system, Holm describes Google Workspace as having twice the functionality. With Aerotech’s previous system, half the users had only email, with no add-ons, and that was triple what it costs to have everyone using the full suite of Google Workspace for whatever they need including Calendar, Drive, and Docs. On maintenance, Aerotech saves about 20 hours a week by not having to manage on-premise servers.
Although Aerotech chose Google Google Workspace primarily because they needed a more reliable email system, since the transition they have been extremely pleased to recognize other benefits of their selection, and have realized an exceptional increase in efficiency. “I spend less time doing email and support, and more time getting my job done using Google Workspace,” said Holm, “and I am passionate about that.”